Dance Festival


Dances Enjoy Gala Spotlight at Regional Festival

Student/Alumni Creations Receive Glowing Remarks From Adjudicators

February 6, 2007

By Gail Matsunaga

“Drift” and “Kairos,” two dance numbers entered in the regional American College Dance Festival were performed during the festival’s January gala at San Francisco State University. The CSUF dances were among 44 pieces entered from 39 Southwest region colleges and universities.

That both entries from the same institution were chosen is unusual, according to Gladys Kares, professor of theatre and dance. In addition, said Kares, “This is the first time one of our student’s works — ‘Kairos’ — made it this far.”

Choreographed by senior theatre and dance major Sara Hallstead, “Kairos” was performed by students Crystal Barrientos, Brad Beakes, Kylee Desuacido, Rachel Hizon, Cheri McConner, Joshua Romero, Tiffany Telles and Melissa Zaballos.

Adjudicator Emily Keeler, artistic director of the San Francisco Arts Education Project, said, “I loved this work. It was beautifully danced …. The opening was one of the great moments we’ve had in these concerts.”
“Drift,” choreographed by alumnus Mike Esperanza — artistic director of the Bare Dance Company — was performed by students Barrientos, Beakes, McConner and Andrew Swailes.

“I was very moved,” said adjudicator Michael Smuin, founder and director of Smuin Ballet and a Tony Award winner. “Excellent work, compelling to watch. Particularly touching … beautifully danced.”

Both pieces originally premiered during the university’s Fall Dance Theatre Nov. 10-19.

During the adjudication process, judges are not given information regarding whether the pieces are choreographed by students or faculty/guest artists, or which college or university they represent.

The American College Dance Festival Association’s primary focus is to support and promote talent and creativity throughout college and dance departments. Its regional conferences and national dance festival provide venues for students and faculty to engage in performances, workshops, panels and master classes taught by instructors from around the region and country.

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