Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dance Senior's Piece Performed at College Dance Festival

Barbara Steadman of Coker College's Marketing Communication office shared the following story -- wish I also had the photos that accompany it but I hope the link gets you to the story with photos. I think I told the dance instructors that this feels like a sports conference championship -- in an arts context.

Coker Senior’s Dance about Change is Performed in South East Conference Dance Festival

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – March 8, 2011 – Coker College dance student Hannah Beard’s senior thesis project “Series: The 21st Multiple” was one of 10 dances (chosen out of 45) to be performed at the gala concert of the American College Dance Festival Association’s South East Conference at Florida State University this week.

Beard’s selection represents the first time that a Coker College student’s work has been selected for the gala.

“Series: The 21st Multiple,” which Beard says is about the constancy of change, was performed during the spring dance concert at Coker College in February.

“We’ve all heard that change is constant,” said Beard. “For humans, our bodies’ cells regenerate roughly every seven years. We become brand new people every seven years, whether change is visible or not. Change is constant. How we embrace change is up to us.”

Beard, a senior dance major with a business administration minor, started dancing when she was three. As a senior at York High School in York, S.C., she traveled to Coker to audition for a talent-based dance scholarship, which she received.

With a concentration in performance and choreography, she has performed in various faculty and student pieces, choreographed dances for shows and completed dance residencies with guest artists from all over the world.

“During the past few years, it has been wonderful to watch Hannah find and hone her artistic voice,” said Angela Gallo, an Assistant Professor of Dance at Coker. “She has become an extremely versatile dancer and a strong choreographer. She has also become a leader and an ambassador for Coker’s dance program.”

In May, Hannah traveled to France to study abroad for two weeks. With her European Contemporary Dance class, she performed site-specific dance in Paris on the Viaduc des Arts, a former railroad viaduct that has been transformed into a garden walkway. Site-specific dance is created to exist in a certain place and can be influenced by the surrounding environment.

Beard’s Honors Project, titled “On Site: Every Rehearsal is a Performance, and Every Performance has an Audience,” involves extensive research on the art as well as creating, staging and showcasing her own site-specific dance around the Coker campus at locations such as the dining hall and the library, in part to promote Performing Arts at Coker.

The American College Dance Festival Association sponsors regional conferences and a national dance festival to provide a venue for students and faculty to engage in three days of performances, workshops, panels and master classes taught by instructors from around the region and country. The conferences also provide an opportunity for students and faculty to have their dance works adjudicated by a panel of nationally recognized dance professionals in an open and constructive forum.

Culminating with the presentation of pieces selected for their exemplary artistic quality, the conferences offer a unique chance for college and university dance programs to perform outside their own academic setting and be exposed to the diversity of the national college dance environment.

Adjudicators at this year’s festival in Florida are Mary Cochran, chair and artistic director of the dance department of Barnard College of Columbia University; Zvi Gotheiner, ZviDance founder and artistic director and company teacher for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City; and Bebe Mille, professor of dance at Ohio State University.


Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

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