WMU dancers selected for June appearance in Washington, D.C.

Contact: Cara Barnes
Photo of WMU student dancers on stage.

The students will perform a work, titled "The Illusion Has Been Just a Dream."

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A dance work performed by 13 Western Michigan University dance students has been selected in regional competition to be showcased at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., when the American College Dance Association holds its national festival there in June.

"The Illusion Has Been Just a Dream," a work choreographed by WMU Associate Professor of Dance Carolyn Pavlik, was selected for the honor when the ACDA's East-Central Regional Conference was held on the WMU campus March 5-8.  Of 48 dance works performed at the regional event, only three were selected to go on to the national festival in Washington.

Photo of WMU student dancers on stage.

This year marks the fourth time WMU dancers have been invited to participate in the festival.

Pavlik's winning work was inspired by Charles Manson and his followers and explores ideas of manipulation and control, retribution and regret. The ACDA East-Central adjudicators, Elizabeth Gillaspy, Millicent Johnnie, and Christopher Morgan described the work as "an exceptionally well crafted, engrossing and chilling work that examined a disturbing historical subject and brought it to light in a fresh and innovative way through character development and compositional craft."

They also noted that in a time when incidents of mass violence are more commonplace than any would wish, the dance “emphasized Manson's larger effect on a community of people, making the work historically relevant and timely.

The work, they said, "managed to capture both the magnetic and disturbing qualities of Manson’s character, while shedding light on the time period in which the events took place."

About the festival

The biennial ACDA National Festival showcases dances selected by professional adjudicators at each of the 12 regional conferences.  Dances are selected based on their outstanding artistic excellence and merit, and highlight, on the national level, the outstanding quality of choreography and performance being created on college and university campuses. WMU is in ACDA's East-Central Region, which is is made up of all the universities and colleges in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

This is the fourth time WMU dancers have been invited to participate in the National Festival.  Other invitations and the works showcased were: "Foreground" in 2012, a work by the inaugural WMU National Choreography Competition winner, Lauren Edson; Professor David Curwen’s "The End" in 2006 featuring CGI projections by Kevin Abbott; and a special invitation to perform Paul Taylor’s seminal work "Three Epitaphs" in 2002.

For more information, contact Megan Slayter, chair of the WMU Department of Dance, at (269) 387-5834. 

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.