Drama and Dance Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Performing Arts

NYC Programs Highlight Hofstra Dance Talent

(Pictured above: Laura Merkel, front, far right.)

Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY … Three Hofstra University students were invited to present their original choreography at two prestigious dance programs in New York City at the start of 2013: the College Partnership Program at New York Live Arts on February 24 and DanceWave’s “Kids Café Festival Goes to College” on March 2 and 3.

Julie Seal
Julie Seal

Every fall, Hofstra dance students present their original choreography to the dance faculty. The students listen to their professors’ feedback and continue to develop and revise their work. At the end of the fall semester, there is a final adjudication performance at Hofstra’s John Cranford Adams Playhouse. From that, the dance faculty selects two student works to be performed at the College Partnership Program, one student to represent Hofstra at the Kids Cafe Festival and three additional student pieces to be performed at the American College Dance Festival.

This year’s College Partnership Program featured works by students from five different dance departments – among them were Hofstra students Julie Seal and Laura Merkel. This was Julie’s second time in the program. She performed her original work, “Construct,” to music composed by Arthur Solari, Music Director for Hofstra’s dance program.

Julie, 21, is a Hofstra senior from Bayport, NY, who is majoring in dance and minoring in psychology. Her choreography was also recently featured in a dance performance at North Shore University Hospital on February 1. She and fellow students performed in memory of their late professor Niles Ford as part of the American Heart Association’s 10th annual National Wear Red Day. Julie will next be seen in Hofstra’s Spring Faculty Dance Concert in April where she will be performing Bebe Miller’s work, “Guardian Angels,” restaged by Nancy Duncan, producing director of CoDanceCo, Inc.

Also at the College Partnership Program, Hofstra junior Laura Merkel, 20, of Westerly, RI, presented her choreography – a duet titled “Astasia,” performed by Julia Macchio and Brianna Rogers. Astasia is the inability to stand, walk or sit without assistance because of a lack of muscular coordination. Laura says, “Both the concepts of lack of control and assistance are reinforced by a manipulative movement vocabulary that drives the piece.” Last spring 2012 Laura was chosen to perform her choreography, “Rue des Cascades,” at the American College Dance Festival in Michigan. Laura will also be featured in Hofstra’s Spring Dance Concert, in pieces choreographed by Hofstra faculty Stormy Brandenberger and Maxine Steinman.

Junior Brianna Rogers represented the Hofstra Dance Program at the Kids Café Festival at the Kumble Theater of Performing Arts at Long Island University in Brooklyn, March 3. Brianna, 21, a resident of Nashua, NH, is majoring in both dance and Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences.

Brianna Rogers

She says the goal of the Kids Café Festival is to expose New York area high school students to college dance programs. “Many students at this point in their lives are wondering if they should continue to dance and have many questions about what dancing in college is like.” The Festival allows the college students to share their experience studying and performing dance on the college level, and also to perform their original choreography for the high schoolers. Brianna presented her work “Wayfaring” at the Festival.

Like Julie and Laura, Brianna will also perform in the 2013 Spring Faculty Dance Concert, where she will perform a modern dance piece choreographed by Hofstra faculty member Maxine Steinman.

For more information on Hofstra’s Dance Program visit www.hofstra.edu/drama-dance.

Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution of higher education where more than 11,000 full and part-time students choose from undergraduate and graduate offerings in liberal arts and sciences, business, engineering, applied science, communication, education, health sciences and human services, honors studies, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.

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