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WMU hosts international ballet teacher conference

June 19, 2007

KALAMAZOO--A guest master teacher at the Julliard School, an international dance writer, a digital media specialist and a composer and dance scholar will be featured at Western Michigan University Sunday through Thursday, June 24-28, at the ninth annual Corps de Ballet International Teacher Conference.

Hosted by WMU's Department of Dance and Digital Media Innovation Grant, the conference, "Ballet in he 21st century: MoCap Meets the Arabesque," includes a wide range of master classes, presentations, panel discussions and workshops dedicated to gaining perspective on the art of classical ballet in the 21st century.

This is the second time WMU has hosted the event, the first time in 2002, and the primary events of the conference will be held in the Department of Dance's two main studios on the third floor of Dalton Center and in the Multimedia Room on the ground floor.

Featured presenters

Igal Perry of the Peridance Center in New York City and a guest master teacher at the Julliard School who will teach two master classes as well as give a presentation discussing the influence and connection between choreography and pedagogy

Nancy Goldner, a noted dance critic and lecturer for The George Balanchine Foundation who will speak on the current and future state of ballet through a Balanchine perspective

Kevin Abbott, project lead for special projects for the Office of Information Technology at WMU and project director of the Digital Media Innovation Grant, who will present his own digital media history as well as explain and demonstrate the many capabilities of the new technologies made possible by the grant, which include full-body motion capture, telematics, stereoscopic 3D projection and digital animation

Christian Matjias, an associate professor of dance and music at the University of Michigan, who is a collaborative musician, composer and dance scholar and whose works have recently been commissioned by Uri Sands and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre

The organization also will also honor Gemze de Lappe, a Smith College professor emerita and ballet and Broadway star, with its Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening night banquet.

Corps' membership is comprised of university ballet professors, however, the conference is also open to non-members including ballet teachers who work in secondary education, including private studios, performing arts high schools, pre-professional and professional training schools.

For more information, visit www.corps-de-ballet.org or contact David Curwen, Corps president and WMU associate professor of dance, at david.curwen@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5707.

Media contact: Deanne Molinari, (269) 387-8400, deanne.molinari@wmich.edu

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