April 10, 2013

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Bucknell Dance Company will commemorate the passion and dedication of alumni, students, faculty, and supporters of Bucknell's Dance Program in this Spring's Legacy Dance Concert, April 26 and 27.

The program begins at 8 p.m. each night in the Weis Center. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for senior citizens, youth 18 and younger, and Bucknell students.

"The concert will celebrate the program's legacy, its past, present, and future, featuring current students and alumni, including a special reimagining of work by one of our founders, Danna Frangione, who passed away 10 years ago," said Associate Professor Er-Dong Hu, faculty director of the concert.

Dance Program Director and Associate Professor Kelly Knox added, "The program features works by guest artists, including a repertory piece by renowned modern dance choreographer Jose Limon and a new work by American Ballet Theatre's soloist Sascha Radetsky.

"We are delighted that Nicole Bradley-Browning, a 1997 graduate, came out from the University of Montana to set a work on the seven seniors in the company. The concert really connects the future generation of dancers to those artists who helped pave the way for dance, and also dance at Bucknell," she said.

"We will begin each performance with guest speakers — former Bucknell president Gary Sojka on Friday and President John Bravman on Saturday night — who will introduce the concert as they celebrate the arts at Bucknell," said Hu.

"We are excited to have more than 20 alumni who will be returning to perform, choreograph, and design for the concert," he said.

Returning alumni dancers include Kim Cipolla, a 1990 graduate; Jennifer Schmermund and Kristy Kuhn, both 2000 graduates; Stephanie McWilliams, Class of  2002; Ellen Braun, Class of 2004; Michelle Wirkus, 2007; Yabei Chen, Katie Culver, Christina Mansuelo, all 2009 graduates; Abigail Dearman, Class of 2010; Angelica Scott, Kelsey Tangel and Sarah Thalhamer, all Class of 2011; Elizabeth Burdick, Kourtney Ginn, Melissa Leonard, Danny Maskas, Mikaela Soto, Katelyn Tsukada and Adrienne Vischio, 2012 graduates.

In addition, two alumni returned as designers: Mary Kokie McNaugher, who graduated in 2002, and Emily Riggins, a 2010 graduate.

Dance program history

Danna Frangione, an expert in modern dance and jazz forms, was hired as the University's first tenure-track dance professor in 1987. Her interest in modern as well as classical dance forms led to a more diverse program than available at many universities.

The University's dance minor, first offered in 1991, offers classes in all levels of ballet, modern and jazz dance, as well as dance history, dance composition, Chinese watersleeves, social dance, and musical theatre. The program hosts several guest artists every year who set work and teach master classes, as well as provide extensive student choreography and performance opportunities.

Caption: "You and Me" Choreographed by Er-Dong Hu ; pictured (from left to right): 2012 alumni Melissa Leonard, Kourtney Ginn, Katelyn Tsukada, Elizabeth Burdick, Adrienne Vischio, Mikaela Soto, and Danny Maskas (photo courtesy of the Department of Theatre and Dance)

Contact: Division of Communications