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American College Dance Association Conference comes to LU

Lamar University’s Department of Theatre and Dance will host the 2018 South-Central Conference of the American College Dance Association March 13-17 for a culturally-enriched week that will promote multiple styles and genres of dance as it invites participants to celebrate under the anthem “Everybody Cut Loose!”

LU will host more than 420 participants from campuses across Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma as they join LU faculty, staff and students for the conference. 

ACDA graphic“The conference will be an exciting celebration of dance in higher education with a wide variety of master classes, scholarly research presentations, opportunities for student and faculty exchanges in and out of the studio, guest artists, adjudication and informal concerts, feedback sessions and a Gala Concert,” said Golden Wright, chair of LU’s Department of Theatre & Dance. 

“The public will have opportunity to experience some of the incredible talent from the South-Central region of ACDA at the free Gala Concert at the Julie Rogers Theater in Beaumont on Saturday, March 17,” Wright said. The free public concert begins at 7 p.m. 

“We are very pleased to be able to host the conference this year,” Wright added. “The experience of taking master classes, attending research presentations, viewing concerts, and listening to adjudicators' comments, as well as the energy exchange among dancers and faculty from other schools, has proven invaluable for our students, regardless of their levels of dance experience.” 

During the conference, 45 works will be presented and adjudicated by three professionals in the field: Marjani Forte’-Saunders, Bill Wade and Maura Keefe. 

Forté-Saunders is a native of Los Angeles, an independent artist and co-founder with Nia Love, of LOVE|FORTÉ A Collective. Wade founded Inlet Dance Theatre in 2001, and as its executive/artistic director, he has grown it into one of the region’s most exciting professional contemporary dance companies. Inlet embodies Wade’s longstanding belief that dance viewing, training and performing experiences serve as tools to bring about personal growth and development. Maura Keefe is a contemporary dance historian, and a scholar-in-residence at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, where she writes about, lectures on, and interviews artists from around the world. She is the associate director of the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park where she teaches dance history and theory and choreography.

Choreographers and dancers will receive valuable comments after each concert in an open and constructive forum, Wright said. Because the national college dance festival falls on an even year, a set number, typically two or three, of the 45 adjudicated works will be chosen to be presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

In addition to the dances on the adjudicated concerts, 20 more will be presented on the Grand Informal Concert Friday night. More than 100 dance classes in ballet, modern dance, tap, jazz, hip-hop, aerial, improvisation, traditional Chinese dance forms, contemporary partnering, and various other disciplines will be taught. .

Guests from Taiwan include artists and educators from Tainan University of Technology, Department of Dance. : Tai JuanAnn, Professor and Chair of the Department of Dance at Tainan University of Technology, specializes in dance education and dance history, and holds a Ph.D. in Dance Studies from the University of Surrey (UK). Chechen Ku, Associate Professor, specializes in Taiwan parade dance, Taiwanese indigenous dance forms, Chinese Opera Dance, and contemporary dance, and holds a MFA in Dance from Taipei National University of the Arts. Wen-Jen Huang is the founder, director and choreographer of the Seed Dance Company, a Taiwan-based company. She holds an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

For more information about the conference, or the March 17 concert, call (409) 880-8037.