Free dance concert to feature top choreography
Students enrolled in the Summer Dance Intensive at Stephens College will have a chance to show off what they’ve learned at a free public concert.
The Stephens Summer Dance Intensive is part of the three-year, two-summer Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Stephens. It is also open to students from other colleges, and a portion of the program is open to high school students, as well.
The students have spent the past six weeks working with professional guest faculty members to learn a variety of techniques and skills. The work will culminate with the concert, which starts at 7:30 p.m. June 21 and June 22 at Macklanburg Playhouse.
Students have been working alongside an impressive faculty this summer, including award-winning choreographer Diane Coburn Bruning. Bruning has been working with students in a composition class, and as a result of her teaching, two students were allowed to choreograph original pieces for the concert.
“This is highly unusual for the summer dance concert, which is generally dedicated to works by guest artists,” said Carol Estey, director of the summer intensive.
The students, LeeAnn Davis and Samantha Bennett, are going into their senior year and are passionate about choreography.
“They are working on those pieces in their classes, and it is pretty exciting,” Estey said.
Columbia native and dancer Morgan Hulen also spent three weeks teaching students improvisation and techniques. Hulen—who attended the Summer Dance Intensive himself as a teenager—was a member of the Louisville Ballet before joining the world-renowned MOMIX in 2010.
Also working with students this summer is Jeremy McQueen, an award-winning choreographer and the 2013 recipient of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago’s Choreographers of Color Award. McQueen serves as a guest instructor at universities, schools and studios across the country and is currently on faculty with the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation.
Students are taking additional courses from Jill Echo, a modern dancer who has performed with dozens of companies across the world for more than 20 years. Echo was a member of the Paul Taylor Company, a founding member of Taylor II and is currently assistant director of TAKE Dance.
“Our guest artists have substantial experience working in internationally known companies,” Estey said. “The community is going to have a chance to see some amazing performances created by the top choreographers in the country.”