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Summer Dance gives students intensive learning experience

June 27, 2016


Earlier this summer, Stephens dance students participated in the annual Stephens Summer Dance (SSD) intensive as part of the B.F.A. in Dance. In the tradition of the program, nationally and internationally recognized guest faculty shared their experience and knowledge of dance technique, history and the creative process with students during the six-and-a-half week program.

“Students were immersed in daily classes and rehearsals with our exemplary guest faculty,” said Brandi Coleman, artistic director for Stephens Summer Dance. “Our dancers were challenged to quickly adapt to new ways of thinking and moving and learned how to integrate each new perspective into their technique and performance of the choreography.”

Students studied classical ballet techniques with Madame Peff Modelski (former professional dancer with the Royal Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet, among others) and Nancy Stoy, a Stephens adjunct instructor; Alexander Technique and Bartenieff/Laban-based modern dance with Elizabeth Johnson, a GL-CMA and AmSAT certified instructor and founder/artistic director of Your Mother Dances, a Milwaukee-based contemporary repertory company; Graham Technique with Virginie Mecene (former principal dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company and current artistic director of Graham 2); and contemporary dance with Dante Brown, founder of the New York company Dante Brown|Warehouse Dance.

For the first time in the history of SSD, students studied Dance for Camera, which was taught by Charissa Barton, co-founder of Axis Connect, a platform for emerging professional dancers. Multimedia producer Meredith Jacob, who works for Stephens’ Marketing office, served as the director of photography and co-directed the choreographic video project that resulted in the short film titled Zacharina.

The program culminated in a two-evening public performance of works choreographed by the guest faculty and performed by the Stephens dance majors in the Macklanburg Playhouse.

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