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WMU dancers performing again at Kennedy Center

May 9, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Students from Western Michigan University's Department of Dance will perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., at the American College Dance Festival Association national conference Tuesday through Thursday, May 16-18.

The performance marks the third time of the past four years that WMU dance students have been invited to perform at the Kennedy Center. This is the first time that a WMU dance, "The End," has been selected for performance at an ACDFA national conference.

WMU's performance of "The End" was selected for the national conference through three levels of adjudication. First, the dance was selected by WMU dance faculty to represent the university at the ACDFA East Central Regional Conference at Ohio State University in March. At Ohio State, "The End" was one of nine dances selected from among 50 for the regional conference's gala concert. Finally, it was one of four dances selected to represent the region at the national festival.

"'The End' is a very evocative dance and is an excellent example of great artistic collaboration. Its selection for this festival is a testament to [choreographer] David Curwen's artistic vision, the collaborative process and the high quality of the dancers' performance skill," says Nina Nelson, dance department chair.

Curwen, an associate professor of dance, worked closely with WMU's Kevin Abbott, CGI projection creator, and Megan Slayter, lighting designer, for the ACDFA performances. Set to music by Steve Reich, the dance is an exploration of ideas, images and movement related to fundamentalist beliefs regarding the Second Coming and the Apocalypse. It premiered October 2005 at the WMU Fall Concert of Dance and has been performed since in high schools throughout Michigan.

The 11 dancers performing "The End" are members of the Western Dance Project, the department's touring performance ensemble.

WMU dance students last performed at the Kennedy Center in 2005 as a part of the Celebration of African American Choreographers.

Media contact: Nina Nelson, (269) 387-5830, nina.nelson@wmich.edu

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