Dance Ensemble on the move

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Members of the Grand Valley Dance Ensemble have traveled east and west to give stellar performances in recent festivals. Concerts in Allendale are next.

The Grand Valley Dance Ensemble will showcase their talents for local audiences during free performances Saturday, December 3, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 4 at 2 p.m. in the Louis Armstrong Theatre, Performing Arts Center.

Nine Dance Ensemble members were recently selected to perform November 16, as part of Dance Chicago, a statewide dance festival featuring the most promising dancers and dance companies in the greater Chicago area. Through the efforts of Shawn Bible, assistant professor in Grand Valley’s Dance Program, guest choreographer Lizzie Mackenzie was in residence at Grand Valley in early September. Mackenzie, former principal dancer with River North Ballet Chicago, set an original choreographed dance, “Aftermath,” for which she hand-selected students through an audition process. Kaliana Basoukas, Amanda Charlton, Katie Chernoby, Charlie Clark, Karley Dorner, Brandon Harneck, Judi Jaekel, Kate Kurko, Bonnie O’Rourke, Martin Skocelas-Hunter and Hayley Woodward performed the piece in Chicago.

Every November, hundreds of high school seniors gather to participate in the “Oakland Dance Festival.” In 2011 the two-day festival was hosted by Harrison High School in Farmington Hills. Statewide university dance programs presented dance performances, master classes and recruitment and scholarship opportunities. Grand Valley Dance Ensemble students Kaliana Basoukas, Amanda Charlton, Katie Chernoby, Charlie Clark, Judi Jaekel, Maggie Madden, Gina Maniacci, Jesse Powers, Chelsey Shirk and Dan Wentworth performed “reVere” set by Julie Blume, former Parson’s Dance Company principal dancer. Blume was a guest choreographer in residence at Grand Valley in early September. Grand Valley students performed alongside dancers from programs at the University of Michigan, Wayne State, Oakland University, Western University and Hope College.

For more information on upcoming performances, call (616) 331-3484 or visit www.gvsu.edu/music.