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Kent State Dance Faculty and Students Featured at American College Dance Association Conference

Posted Mar. 17, 2014

Work choreographed by Professor Barbara Allegra Verlezza and performed by Kent State students opens gala concert

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Pictured are Kent State University
students on stage during a performance.

Kent State University’s School of Theatre and Dance is proud to announce that Celestial Celebration, choreographed by Dance Division Professor Barbara Allegra Verlezza and her husband, Sabatino Verlezza, opened the gala concert at the American College Dance Association’s (ACDA) East-Central Conference held March 2-5. The piece, performed by Kent State dance students, was most recently presented during the School of Theatre and Dance’s production of Dance ’13: This Time in November 2013.

The choreography of Celestial Celebration was inspired by the Greek and Roman myths of the planets and features the majestic music of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. The work originally premiered in New York in 1993. The dancers featured in the piece worked with both Barbara Allegra Verlezza and Sabatino Verlezza throughout the beginning of the spring semester and rehearsed once a week in preparation for the conference. Dance Professor Joan Meggitt, who also represented the School of Theatre and Dance at the conference, says the dancers were “beside themselves with excitement” to be chosen to open the gala concert.

Both Verlezzas were “delighted to represent Kent State, the College of the Arts and the School of Theatre and Dance” at the conference and “excited that the dancers had the opportunity to showcase their work.” Works included in the gala concert are chosen through blind adjudication. Three nationally recognized dancers and choreographers determine which pieces best represent the region through demonstration of outstanding artistic excellence and merit. In the coming weeks, a number of pieces from each regional conference will be selected for presentation at the National College Dance Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

The dance students who attended the ACDA conference also participated this past weekend in the School of Theatre and Dance’s BFA Senior Dance Concert/Student Dance Festival: The Light Within Us as choreographers and performers. An excerpt from Celestial Celebration was performed by senior B.F.A. dance performance major Katie Scekeres during this event.