WMU News

Choreographer Randy Duncan instructs dance students

March 13, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- The Department of Dance at Western Michigan University will be host to Chicago-based choreographer Randy Duncan Thursday and Friday, March 21-22.

Duncan, a three-time recipient of Chicago's prestigious Ruth Page Award for Outstanding Choreographer of the Year, will conduct master classes in jazz and modern dance technique. Duncan will also conduct a mock audition and head shot critiques for dance majors, minors, and musical theater performance majors.

Participation in Duncan's master classes are reserved for dance majors, minors, and musical theater performance majors enrolled in the technique courses. Others are welcome to observe the classes by contacting the Department of Dance 269 387-5830 for times or for further information.

Duncan began dancing at the age of 15 with the Joseph Holmes Dance Theater. He advanced his way from dancer to soloist to choreographer and, after the death of Holmes, assumed the role of artistic director of the company.

He has choreographed works in the jazz, ballet and modern dance idioms for several dance companies throughout the world, including the Joffery Ballet, River North Dance Company of Chicago, Spectrum Dance Theater of Seattle Washington, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance of Chicago, and Bat Dor Dance Company of Tel-Aviv, Israel. Duncan has also choreographed and appeared in the musicals West Side Story, Don't Bother Me, and Guys and Dolls, among others.

Most recently Duncan received the 1999 Artistic Achievement Award from the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters. In 1999 the Wolf Trap Foundation commissioned him to create a ballet in memory of the Joffery Ballet founder, Catherine "Kay" Filene Shouse. This ballet, Kay's Lilt, has remained in the Joffery Ballet's repertory.

Media contact: Trudy Cobb, 269 387-5834, trudy.cobb@wmich.edu

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