2013-14 Year in Review
Partners in Dance members attended open rehearsals and classes of two Great Works dance artists, including Gabrielle Lamb, winner of WMU’s 2013-14 National Choreographic Competition held in March
of 2013. Gabrielle’s October residency followed shortly after the exciting performances, master classes, choreographic commission and presentations by Peter Chu, of Chuthis (contemporary dance company).
A highlight was the September student preview performance at Chenery Auditorium of his commissioned work "One Sound Looking Back." Marlo Stafford Martin, 2002 WMU dance graduate now in Seattle,
arrived at WMU in late October to set a work on first-year students for the December Fall Showcase. Martin’s piece was selected for performance in the 2014 Department of Dance Winter Gala Dance Concert. Claudia Howard Queen, a dance musician and composer and former WMU faculty member now at the University of North Texas, also offered open classes to PID members during her residency.
Partners in Dance hosted its ninth Art Hop at the Wellspring Theatre in the Epic Center on Dec. 6, 2013. The Western Dance Project, under the direction of David Curwen, presented a program that included dance excerpts in a wide range of styles. The presentation also previewed Great Works dances that would be presented in the January/February Winter Gala Dance Concert. Once again, there was a standing-room-only audience in the Wellspring Theatre with more than 250 people seeing all, or part, of the presentation.
Great Works Dance Project Annual Dinner
The CityScape Events Center in downtown Kalamazoo was the site of Partners In Dance’s Great Works Dinner which preceded the Winter Gala Dance Concert on Jan. 31, 2014. Host Dan Guyette, newly appointed dean of the College of Fine Arts, spoke about his experiences as an undergraduate in theater and dance and his professional work as a designer for theatre companies and most recently as dean
of the College of Fine and Performing Arts at Western Washington University. Guest speaker Gabrielle Lamb, 2013 National Choreography Competition winner provided dinner guests insights into her craft
and shared experiences she enjoyed while working with WMU students and faculty in the setting
of her new work, “Ritournelle.”
Community Dance Advocacy Award
The Partners in Dance Great Works Dinner venue was this year’s setting for a celebration near and dear
to all dance lovers hearts - the presentation of the Community Dance Advocacy Award to two exceptional members of the Kalamazoo dance community, Judah Gesmundo and Nancy Ehrle. Congratulations!
In an effort to reach out to parents of our dance majors, Partners in Dance Board members welcomed parents and new students during dorm move-in day and orientation to the dance department, providing cookies and assurances that their students were in good hands. Partners in Dance also hosted a well-attended reception for parents, students and guests in the Gilmore Atrium Lobby between the matinee
and evening performances of the Feb. 1, 2014 Department of Dance Winter Gala Dance Concert.
Dance Theatre of Harlem bus trip
The Partners in Dance board offered an exceptional opportunity to its members and the community
to travel by tour bus to the Detroit Opera House in March for a matinee performance by the Dance Theatre of Harlem, newly rejuvenated under Artistic Director, Virginia Johnson. Sharon Garber not only provided
the pre-concert presentation and discussion for attendees while en route, but she also arranged
for attendees to meet the gracious Ms. Johnson after the performance. Eight students from WMU
and Kalamazoo Central High School were sponsored by generous donors from Partners in Dance,
the Honors College and through a Kalamazoo Public Schools grant.
Partners in Dance online
Be sure to “like” Partners in Dance on Facebook. Connect to Partners in Dance through its website.
This site can be accessed through the WMU Department of Dance website as well. The website
was created by Partners in Dance to increase communication opportunities and provide more exposure
to savvy social media dance enthusiasts. This is an on-going endeavor that really needs dedicated
support in the coming year from a member of the board.
Open classes week
Partners in Dance board members were invited to observe Department of Dance classes during the first week of April 2014. Sharon Garber prepared a course matrix of classes with brief descriptions, locations and times for board members.
Partners in Dance provided $9000 in scholarships and allocated 25 percent of remaining operating budget funds for more than a dozen winter and summer intensives/workshops for students. Partners in Dance
also provided $500 in funding for a choreographic commission by Joshua Manculich for the senior B.F.A. graduating concert.