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Date: Oct 30, 2009
Hofstra Dance Presents a Celebratory Dance Concert in Honor of Its 25th Anniversary, Featuring Performances and Choreography by Some of the Program's Most Successful Alumni
Thursday, November 19, to Sunday, November 22, 2009, at the John Cranford Adams PlayhouseHofstra University, Hempstead, NY … Hofstra’s Dance Program is celebrating its silver anniversary with a fall dance concert reuniting some of its most successful alumni – now professional dancers – who will perform with their own dance companies and also choreograph sections of the performance for Hofstra dance students. These returning star alumni include Dina Denis, Class of 2002; Larry Keigwin, Class of 1993; Salvatore LaRussa, Class of 2000; and Makeda Thomas, Class of 1999.
The fall dance concert will take place at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse on Hofstra’s South Campus. Show times are 8 p.m. on November 19, 20 and 21; 2 p.m. on November 22. Tickets are $12, $10 for senior citizens. Members of the Hofstra community receive one free ticket upon presentation of a current HofstraCard. For tickets and more information call the Hofstra Box Office at (516) 463-6644, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
About Hofstra’s Dance Program
Hofstra’s Dance Program started as just a few disjointed classes in Physical Education and Sport Sciences. Today graduates can be found living out their dreams, performing with the world’s most prestigious dance companies, forming their own dance companies, teaching new generations of dancers and working behind the scenes at performing arts organizations.
Dance officially became a major at Hofstra in 1984, under the auspices of Professors Harriet Peters and Carl Morris, with only four students on board. As the popularity of the program grew, so did the diversity of the classes. Initially only modern dance classes were offered, but soon ballet, jazz and choreography at all different levels were added.
To highlight the artistry of the Dance faculty and the students, Hofstra’s first dance concert was presented at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse in 1988. It was the start of a performance tradition at Hofstra, where students would collaborate closely with their professors and guest choreographers on a unique and innovative dance production every fall and spring.
In spring of 2008, the Dance Program announced the launch of a new degree: a B.S. in Dance Education, the first program of its kind in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens.
About the fall 2009 guest artists/alumni
Dina Denis is founder, artistic director and president of Dance Into Light, Inc. (a.k.a. Dina Denis Dance), founded in 2003. Dance Into Light is a nonprofit modern dance company in Queens, NY, that teaches dance as an avenue for personal healing, means for self-expression, and as an approach toward building confidence in young adults. It offers artist-to-youth mentoring services, hands on creative movement workshops, lecture demonstrations, and live dance performances throughout the tri-state area. Dina Denis Dance also offers live dance performances to nursing homes and senior citizen centers. Dina Denis has been a member of Joan Miller's Dance Players and she has also performed with choreographers Robin Becker, Deborah Dames, Douglas Dunn, Sheila Kaminsky, Joan Peters, Eleo Pomare, and Martial Roumain, Abdel Salaam, Dr. Glory Van Scott, and ValSuarez.
Larry Keigwin is artistic director of Keigwin + Company (K+C), founded in 2003 with its premiere performance at the Joyce Theater in Soho. K+C creates work that is accessible and entertaining while remaining innovative and intelligent. The company has performed nationally and throughout New York City in venues such as Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU, New York City Center, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The Duke Theater on 42nd Street, Symphony Space and NYU/Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to Keigwin’s choreographic work with K+C, his recent commissions include The New York City Ballet's Choreographic Institute, The Martha Graham Dance Company, The Juilliard Dance Ensemble, The NYU/Tisch School's Second Avenue Dance Company, Paradigm and California Institute of the Arts. Keigwin has also danced at the Metropolitan Opera in Doug Varone's Le Sacre Du Printemps and Julie Taymor's The Magic Flute, in addition to his work with Mark Dendy (receiving a Bessie Award in 1998 for his performance in Dream Analysis), Robin Becker, Jane Comfort, John Jasperse, Doug Elkins, Zvi Gotheiner, and David Rousseve.
Salvatore LaRussa is artistic director and choreographer of Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theater (SLDT). Upon LaRussa’s graduation in 2000 he was the recipient of the Jennifer Muller (The Works) Scholarship. In December 2003, he toured Mainland China in Michael Mao’s ballet, Firecracker, as the principal character, “Junior.” LaRussa created SLDT in 2003 after being accepted to choreograph a work for the Gritty Cherries Productions’ Fall Dance Showcase. The showcase funded and premiered SLDT’s first work, “Sips of Breath.” In 2004 SLDT created a work for the MAC AIDS Fund event, “Leather and Feather,” another Gritty Cherries Production. SLDT’s mission is to bring creative and abstract concepts of modern dance to a variety of audiences. The company uses props, set pieces and innovative movement to express strong passion. SLDT credits include Merce Cunningham Studio, NYC; JCC Manhattan, NYC; The L.E.Z. Pageant/Knitting Factory, NYC; Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, Woodstock, NY; and the Juniper Valley Park Festival.
Makeda Thomas, dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Makeda Thomas/Roots & Wings Movement!, creates new dance works through cross-disciplinary collaboration with artists around the world. Thomas, who is from Trinidad and Tobago, has performed internationally with Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, Urban Bush Women and Rennie Harris/Puremovement. She has presented work at Harlem Stage/Aaron Davis Hall, Dance Theater Workshop, and Symphony Space in New York City, Brooklyn Academy of Music, BRIC Arts|Media|Brooklyn, the Chicago Women’s Performance Arts Festival, Maputo's Teatro Africa, Port of Spain's Caribbean Contemporary Arts, Queen's Hall, Zimbabwe's 7 Arts Centre, Seattle's Broadway Performance Hall, Teatro de la Ciudad in Mexico, and as a cultural envoy for the U.S. Department of State. Thomas founded Roots & Wings Movement! in 2003 and has since expressed wide-ranging creativity. The company has performed for audiences throughout the United States, in South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, the Netherlands, Mexico and Trinidad.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from about 150 undergraduate and more than 160 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business; engineering; communication; education, health and human services; and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future.