WMU first university to perform dance masterpieces

Contact: Courtney Clancy
Photo of WMU dance students.

WMU dance students practice for upcoming performance

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—At the Great Works Dance Project 20th Anniversary Gala next month, choreography spanning genres and generations, including three dances never before staged by a university program, will be performed by Western Michigan University dance students.

"Lilac Garden" by Antony Tudor is one of the pieces that will be featured in the 20th anniversary program. In its 80-year history, this ballet has only been performed by professional companies. The lineup also includes "The Gettin'" by Kyle Abraham and "Charanga" by Frank Chaves, neither of which has ever been performed by students.

According to WMU Department of Dance Chair Megan Slayter, being granted the honor of performing these works for the first time at the university level is a tribute to the caliber of the WMU dance program and its students.

"The performance of Great Works dances by our students places Western Michigan University among an elite few dance programs engaging in this type of performance-based research," she says. "Our students are capable of performing professional works with not only strong dance technique, but true passion and integrity."

Other featured works include "Foreground" by Lauren Edson, "Fire Dance" by Loïe Fuller and "Diphthong" by Brian Enos.

Great Works Dance Project 20th Anniversary Gala

Performance schedule

All performances will take place in the Gilmore Theatre Complex's Shaw Theatre.

  • Thursday, Feb. 2—8 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 3—8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 4—2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 5—2 p.m.


Tickets are $20, $18 for ages 62 and older and $10 for students. They may be purchased from the Gilmore Theatre Complex Ticket Office at (269) 387-6222.

Great Works Dance Project

WMU's Great Works Dance Project enriches and enhances the programs of the University's Department of Dance and brings works of the highest aesthetic standards to southwest Michigan. Presenting choreography that features ballet, jazz and modern dance styles, this program highlights innovative artists of the past, as well as today's contemporary choreographers.

The Great Works Dance Project was recently featured in Encore magazine. Read the article at encorekalamazoo.com/glimpsing-great-works.

For more information on the Great Works Dance Project 20th Anniversary Gala, contact WMU's Department of Dance at (269) 387-5830.

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