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News and Events

Welcome to Xi Zhao, our Visiting Guest Artist for the Spring Semester

Xi ZhaoThe Dance Department is very excited to welcome visiting guest artist, Xi "Cecilia" Zhao, for Spring, 2019. Cecilia will be teaching Ballet, Modern Technique, Composition, and Performance Technique as well as choreographing for the April 26-28 WUDE performances.

Cecilia and her family are visiting from Beijing where she is a full-time lecturer at Minzu University of China, guest choreographer for the Beijing Peking Opera Troupe, and founder and Artistic Director of Beijing New Dance Festival.

Cecilia holds a MFA in Dance (Performance & Choreography) from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to her numerous performance and choreography credits in China and the United States, she is conducting ongoing research on contact improvisation and improvisational choreography with financial support from the Beijing Education Commission.

 

Creations Dance ConcertDecember 14

Creations Fall 2018

Inbetween Showcases Original Works by Webster Senior BFA Candidates

Nov. 21, 2018

BFAII2018Webster University’s Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts Department of Dance presents Inbetween. The concert showcases original choreography of senior BFA candidates Jaqueline Edwards, Claire Francescon, Megan Reed, and Dorianne Thomas. Inbetween runs December 6th and 7th at 7:30p.m. as well as December 8th at 2:00p.m. The performance is located in Webster’s Stage III, the lower level of Webster Hall, 470 E. Lockwood Ave. The concert is free and open to the public, however, donations are accepted.

Jaqueline Edwards began dancing in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania where she continued to graduate from the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts directed by Kim Maniscalo. While at Webster, she has had the pleasure of performing works from Gary Hubler, Nejla Yatkin, Cleo Parker Robinson, Eve Mason, the Big Muddy Dance Company, and the José Limón Dance Company and has had the opportunities to study dance in Geneva, Switzerland and Puebla, Mexico.

“Within my work, I am particularly interested in the human experience,” Jaqueline explains, “I explore the simple and complicated facets of life through organization and reconstruction of movement that facilitates ‘humanness’ rather than a presentational show. I am consistently searching for contradictions and realness but hope that the viewers find personal meaning and connections.”

Claire Francescon was raised in Nashville, TN and began her formal dance training in the Tennessee Metro Arts system but moved to Second Story Studio after her first teacher opened the small Nashville Studio. During the summer of 2018 she studied European contemporary dance at Webster University’s Geneva, Switzerland Campus, where she had the opportunity to work with European artists Ramon Moraes, Graciela Acedo, Estelle Bovay, Vittorio Bertolli, and Luciana Reolon.

Claire reveals, “In my work I seek the day to day actions of humanity that can be translated into dance because they are the most natural movements. I, also, seek the human condition and try to address, understand, and replicate the things that “man” cannot control, such as love, hate, judgement, bliss, etc.”

Megan Reed was raised in the St. Louis area, beginning her dance training at DeNoyer Dance Studio under the direction of Sharon McGuire. While At Webster, Megan has had the opportunity to work with Alicia Graf Mack, Monica Newsam, Beckah Reed, Maggi Dueker, James Robey, Heather Sultz, Eve Mason, Cleo Parker Robinson and many others through classes and performances with the Webster University Dance Ensemble.

Megan states, “As people, we are affected by our environment. For my works, I’m interested in exploring the relationships we have with both ourselves and those around us. In working with my dancers, we discussed different relationships they’ve had in their lives to create a more relatable experience for them rather than performing as a character.”

Dorianne E. Thomas grew up in Chicago, IL. She began her formal dance training at Mayfair Academy of Fine Arts at the age of three. She has attended Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (Twin Lake, MI), The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Summer Intensive (New York City, NY) and in the summer of 2018 she studied European contemporary dance and ballet abroad at Webster University’s campus in Geneva Switzerland.

“This process allowed me to express simplicity, grace, beauty and strength. While at Webster I found that moving my body has become therapeutic for my soul and my entire being. For this concert, I created three works which embody events, thoughts and ideas that have taken a toll on my heart and mind for a while. I utilize Jazz music by John Coltrane for two of my works. This music choice is purposeful and relative to the movement I developed, and the specific emotions that come along with it. I want the audience to feel moved by what they see when watching my work and relate to it personally,” said Dorianne. 

Concert Information

Webster University’s Department of Dance Bachelor of Fine Arts Choreographic Project Concert II, Inbetween, will premiere December 6th, 7th, and 8th on Stage III—located in Webster Hall. For further information, call the Fine Arts hotline at 314-968-7128. For more information on the Department of Dance: call 314-246-7747, email dance@webster.edu, or visit the Department of Dance website.

Webster's Department of Dance Presents Temporary Beings, a BFA Choreographic Concert

Oct. 18, 2018

Temporary Beings BFA 1 2018Webster University’s Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts Department of Dance presents Temporary Beings. The concert showcases original choreography of senior BFA candidates Stephanie Borcherding, Alyssa Perez, Josiah Gundersen, and Rachel Tegtmeier. Temporary Beings runs November 8th and 9th at 7:30 p.m., as well as November 10th at 2:00 p.m. The performance is located in Webster’s Stage III, the lower level of Webster Hall, 470 E. Lockwood Ave. The concert is free and open to the public, however, donations are accepted.

Stephanie Borcherding states, “Sometimes our pain causes us to disconnect from the moments that are meant to connect us with the ones we love and the passions that liberate us from ourselves. I drew inspiration from these external and internal battles and shaped my choreography to display the possibility of accepting the pain we endure, as opposed to running from it. I think there is beauty in vulnerability.”

Borcherding, a Chicago native, fell in love with the stage while competing with Motion Express in St. Louis, Missouri. While at Webster, Stephanie had the opportunity to study abroad in Geneva, Switzerland this past summer of 2018 with Estelle Bovay, Bertolli Vittorio, Ramon Moraes, Luciana Reolon, and Graciela Acedo.

“I have a collage of thoughts racing through my mind daily. I want to highlight bold and rapid movement that covers the stage to illustrate this collage. Insanity can sometimes lead us to sanity". Alyssa Perez follows through her pieces with either struggles or accomplishments she's had in her past life and current life. She explores the use of space with herself and others within her pieces. She asks, “What is comfortable and what is not?”

Alyssa Perez was raised in Miami, Florida and trained with Hannah Baumgarten, Karin Bejerano, and Corey Colfer. Apart from the faculty at Webster, she has had the pleasure of working with Amanda Tae, Nicole Casanova, Janelle Delgado, Estelle Bovay, Bertolli Vittorio, Ramon Moraes, Luciana Reolon, and Graciela Acedo.

“I’m especially interested in crafting, formulating, and organizing movement that imparts to the viewer a design based experience. I’ve always been curious, so exploring concepts and pushing to create a meaningful experience without forcing a direct meaning is how I shape my work. I find it important that the dancer lives within the movement rather than puts on a show,” said Josiah Gundersen.

Josiah Gundersen grew up in the city of Olympia, Washington where he began his dance training at Studio West Dance Academy with Stephanie Wood and Sarah Shepler. Since coming to Webster University as a dance major, Josiah has worked with Alicia Graf-Mack, Monica Newsam, Beckah Reed, James Robey, Michael Uthoff, Heather Sultz, Cleo Parker Robinson and many others through classes and performances with the Webster University Dance Ensemble.

Rachel explains, “I’ve always preferred developing concepts for dance based on the human condition. My pieces for this concert explore familial relationships and a wide range of beliefs regarding death. I’m interested in using identifiable gestures as well as abstract movement to convey narratives and ideas.”

Rachel Tegtmeier grew up in Kentucky where she trained in all styles at Barbara Ann’s School of Dance under the direction of Clemmy Ann Bastin. Outside of Webster, she has had the privilege of working with Karen de Luna, Andrea Weber, and Angel Arambula.

Concert Information

Webster University’s Department of Dance Bachelor of Fine Arts Choreographic Project Concert, Temporary Beings, will premiere November 8th, 9th, and 10th on Stage III—located in Webster Hall. For further information, call the Fine Arts Hotline at 314-968-7128. For more information on the Department of Dance: call 314-246-7747, email dance@webster.edu, or visit the Department of Dance website.

2018-2019 Webster Dance Season

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