Rubbing elbows with RUBBERBANDance Group

Posted by Michael Arellano on Jul 28, 2017 3:59:16 PM


My name is Michael Arellano, and I am a Junior at WMU pursuing a BA degree in both Dance and Psychology. I’m originally from Shelby Township, Michigan and next fall I will be traveling to London to study abroad. 

This summer, I spent two weeks at the Domaine Forget International Music and Dance Academy in Saint-Irénée, Québec. The company RUBBERBANDance Group was in residence at the academy to teach their codified “Rubberband Method” as well as some of their repertoire. RUBBERBANDance was founded by artist director Victor Quijada in 2002 and is based in Montreal, Québec. The works created by this company include elements of both hip-hop/break-dancing, as well as ballet and contemporary.

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Topics: Department of Dance, Dance, Student Experience, CFA Students in Summer, Going places - Summer 2017

Staff spotlight: Laura Cornish

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Jul 5, 2017 11:44:43 AM


Laura Cornish can usually be found behind the lightboard, but today we're shining the spotlight on her.

As supervisor of dance production, Laura splits her time between designing lighting for dance concerts and presentations, teaching and mentoring aspiring lighting designers, and managing various marketing duties for the Department of Dance. Learn more about Laura -  including what her farm upbringing taught her and where she finds the best prime rib in Kalamazoo - in her responses below.

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Topics: Department of Dance, Dance, Staff Spotlight

2016-17 year in review: WMU Department of Dance

Posted by Kelly Anderson on May 3, 2017 9:17:00 AM


Time flies when you’re having fun, and it’s no question that the Western Michigan University Department of Dance had a bit of fun throughout this 2016–17 school year.
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Topics: Department of Dance, Dance

5 ways the WMU Department of Dance prepared me for the professional dance world

Posted by Sarah Jones on Mar 16, 2017 11:26:43 AM


“It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”  -Jean-Luc Godard


Inspired … how I always felt at Western Michigan University.  Inspired by my professors, the guest choreographers, the repétitéurs, the alumni and my peers. Inspired by their stories and experiences. Inspired to find my own voice. Inspired to trust that voice. Inspired to train and chisel my body into a vessel for that voice. Inspired to get to the next level. Inspired to give back.     

That inspiration reaffirmed me when I felt rejected, steadied me when I stumbled, and picked me up when I fell; all of which you will experience in the professional dance world. With every dismissal, you dig in and dig deeper, until finally, you get your shot. I am proud to say that this small town girl used that inspiration and her WMU education to get to the bright lights of the windy city as a company member of DanceWorks Chicago!

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Topics: Department of Dance, Dance, Student Experience, The Student Experience, Alumni

A day in the life of a dance student

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Jan 27, 2017 12:35:42 PM


Mastering and performing a ballet is no easy feat. It's a process that involves complex dance sequences and intricate technique. It requires flexibility and balance - both physical and internal - as dancers must take on different roles through the movement of their bodies alone. It demands discipline, stamina, attention to detail and commitment.

In many ways, the complexities and demands of staging a ballet mirror those that exist in the every day life of a dance student. With coursework to complete, choreography to learn and rehearsals to attend, the life of a dance student is a fast-paced and tiring balancing act. But, just as perfecting a ballet brings great satisfaction and applause, the life of a dance student is immensely rewarding. 

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Topics: Department of Dance, Dance, Student Experience, The Student Experience

Reflections: Lilac Garden Residency

Posted by David Curwen on Sep 29, 2016 7:53:52 PM


The Department of Dance is proud to announce this year’s Great Works ballet, Antony Tudor’s Lilac Garden.  We are honored to have Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner, sanctioned repetiteurs from the Tudor Trust and former dancers with American Ballet Theatre, staging the ballet on our students during a 2-week residency. Originally created in London on Ballet Rambert in 1936, Lilac Garden was the first of Tudor's famous "pyschological ballets" and also launched his 40-year career as the Resident Choreographer with American Ballet Theatre. 

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Topics: Department of Dance, Dance, Student Experience

Forever brown and gold: Jacquelyn Nowicki

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Sep 21, 2016 10:12:56 AM
Heading out into the "real world" after graduating college isn't a straightforward or particularly easy process for anyone. With major life choices to make, an aggressive job market to navigate and never-ending bills to pay, the transition can be tough. When you're in a competitive and not-always-steady industry like professional dance, you'll face another layer of challenges entirely.
WMU dance alumna Jacquelyn Nowicki, who will be returning to campus this fall as the Department of Dance's 2016 Distingusihed Alumi Award honoree, managed to make it through the world of professional dance with great success.
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Topics: Department of Dance, Dance, Careers in the Arts, Alumni, Forever brown and gold

An international dance residency: Reflection IV

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Sep 19, 2016 6:19:04 PM


Last week, WMU dance students broadened their choreographic horizonspushed the boundaries of their bodies' kinespheres, and learned to appreciate the universality of strong technique through their exposure to visiting artists from the Dominican Republic. But the students weren't the only ones impacted by this international residency. 

In their native Spanish, Rafael, Dayme and Evelyn of la Compañía Nacional de Danza Contemporánea described the mark this experience left on them as educators and artists. Read their own impressions, stories and messages of thanks below:

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Topics: Department of Dance, Dance, Student Experience, Globally Engaged

An international dance residency: Reflection III

Posted by Alyssa Boone on Sep 16, 2016 4:33:50 PM


Living the Dream

A reflection from sophomore dance student Alyssa Boone

This Tuesday, my Modern II technique class had the privilege of taking class from some of the incredibly talented artists of the Compañía Nacional de Danza Contemporánea. 

Our teachers for the day—Dayme, Erick, and Rafael—were so passionate and energetic. They loved to push the limits of their movement and encouraged us to do the same. When you’re dancing in the same setting with the same people every day, it’s easy to get comfortable. But dancing with them helped remind us all that there’s always something more to reach for.

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Topics: Department of Dance, Dance, Student Experience, Globally Engaged

An international dance residency: Reflection II

Posted by Sinclair Davis on Sep 15, 2016 8:57:40 AM


The Universal language of dance

A reflection from senior dance student Sinclair Davis

This past week, Dancers from La Compañía Nacional de Danza Contemporánea traveled from the Dominican Republic to Kalamazoo to share their art with the WMU Dance Department. I was lucky enough to take two Modern Technique classes and an Improvisation class. Though I thought the classes would be challenging because of the language barrier, it became apparent that dance doesn't always require the same vernacular.
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Topics: Department of Dance, Dance, Student Experience, Globally Engaged

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The Official Blog of the WMU College of Fine Arts

Western Michigan University's College of Fine Arts is a place where passion meets practice, and The Fine Print is your lens into the lives of our students, faculty and community.

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