WMU News

Dance alumna performs on national television

Feb. 1, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- A graduate of Western Michigan University's dance program was seen recently on national television as part of the program "Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts."

Melanie George, who earned a bachelor's degree from WMU in 1994, was featured in a tribute to Chita Rivera and performed on the same stage as Alicia Keyes, James Taylor, Placido Domingo and Kelsey Grammer. The program, the 25th annual gala honoring beloved entertainers and performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., aired Dec. 27 on CBS.

The event was attended by the president and first lady, cabinet members and legislators, while legendary news anchor Walter Cronkite acted as host. In addition to Rivera, this year's honorees included James Earl Jones, Elizabeth Taylor, James Levine and Paul Simon. Past honoree Sidney Poitier introduced Jones.

"I'm not often star struck," George said, "but seeing Sidney Poitier up close was awesome. My group was on stage for about 45 seconds. But, oh, what an exciting 45 seconds it was."

George currently is a graduate student at American University.

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

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