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José Limón’s “Concerto Grosso” with Irene Jung, Andrew Swailes and Sara Vincent.

José Limón’s “Concerto Grosso” with Irene Jung, Andrew Swailes and Sara Vincent. Photo by Edwin P. Lockwood

Dance Repertory Company Returns to Campus

Touring Ensemble to Study and Perform New and Classical Works

Oct. 16, 2007
by Gail Matsunaga

After a 10-year absence, Cal State Fullerton is welcoming the return of a dance company aimed at providing students professional-level experiences. From learning and performing new and classic choreography, to dancing for various audiences, the 12-member Dance Repertory Co. will further prepare students for a dance career.

So far, the company has performed at the 50th anniversary open house and Muckenthaler Cultural Center, and is scheduled for an exchange with San Jose State University next semester.

The goal, according to Debra L, Noble, assistant professor of theatre and dance, is to expose students to external opportunities. To that end, the department was awarded a Mission and Goals Initiative grant last year to restart the company, which allowed for guest choreographers, Titan alumni Damon Patrick Rago and Mike Esperanza, and Viktor Kabaniaev, to come into the classroom and teach.

Irene Jung
Irene Jung in José Limón’s “Concerto Grosso.”
Photo by Edwin P. Lockwood

Come spring, the group will become a new class, “Repertory and Dance Technique” that will broaden the students’ understanding of the history, theory and practice of concert dance performance. The class, funded by an Instructional Related Activity grant, will be team-taught by Noble, and Gladys M. Kares and Robin E. Johnson, both professors of theatre and dance.

A lottery grant will allow the company to license a second piece from the Limón Dance Co., the first was “Concerto Grosso — Dances for Isadora” in the spring. The assistant director of the famed New York-based troupe founded by José Limón in 1946 is scheduled to set the work for the students.

“We’re really grateful for all the funding given to us,” says Noble. “It’s wonderful to be able to offer this to students and share the choreographic works with different audiences.”

With its combination of internal and external instruction and choreography, the educational benefit of the entire experience, says Noble, “is huge for the dancers. They’re being called upon in more professional ways. Through their exposure to a variety of artists and their creative languages, the students will become more versatile, responsive and investigate their imaginations. They’ll gain more depth in their artistry by having opportunities to perform a work over and over again. They’ll get pushed in ways they normally don’t.”


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