WMU News

Curwen dance selected as finalist in prestigious competition

Nov. 21, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University dance instructor and choreographer David Curwen recently was selected as one of six finalists for the Spirit of Degas Dance Award.

The award, sponsored by the Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan Dance Council, Michigan Opera Theatre and the University Musical Society, was presented Saturday, Nov. 16. More than 250 works were submitted for the award, with six finalists chosen for performance at the awards ceremony at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Curwen's work, "Harp Finale," was originally choreographed three years ago and was recently restaged for the dance department's Dance Technology Concert.

"It was very nice to be selected," Curwen says. "The timing was great also because the dance was up and has been performed five times for the Dance Technology Concert."

The dance, created to reflect Degas' fascination with the world of ballet, is set to the final movement of Beethoven's Harp String Quartet. It was performed at the dance awards by five WMU dance students:

Alyson Assenmacher, a freshman dance major from Milford, Mich.

Brooke Holliday, a senior elementary education major from Grand Blanc, Mich.

Sarah Ivory, a freshman dance major from Waterford, Mich.

Lacey Kelley, a sophomore dance major from Burr Ridge, Ill.

Briona Richards, sophomore dance major from Sterling Heights, Mich.

The award was created to celebrate classical dance and coincides with the art institute's exhibition "Degas and the Dance" on display through Jan. 12, 2003, as well as recent performances by the Bolshoi Ballet at the Detroit Opera House.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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