May 01, 2013

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By Matt Hughes


Lewisburg, Pa. — Graduates of Bucknell's Dance Program have taken diverging paths in life, but as alumni showed during a recent on-campus performance, once a dancer, always a dancer.

Some 20 alumni donned their dancing shoes again to join current students on stage at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts during Bucknell's Spring Legacy Dance Concert April 26 and 27.

"These alumni are now accountants, engineers, teachers, nurses, environmental activists, counselors, speech pathologists," said Kelly Knox, Dance Program Director and Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance. "And yet together they were a company of dancers moving in perfect unison through plies and tendus."

The concert celebrated the past, present and future of Bucknell's Dance Program and featured a work originally choreographed by its first director, Danna Frangione, reimagined by present Associate Professor of Dance Er-Dong Hu. It was the first performance to focus so heavily on alumni, Knox said.

"It really became about honoring the students who've passed through and honoring this Bucknell dance tradition," Knox said. "It's their love for dance and their love for this place that brings them back."

Returning alumni dancers included Kim Cipolla '90, Jennifer Schmermund '00, Kristy Kuhn '00, Stephanie McWilliams '02, Ellen Braun '04, Michelle Wirkus '07, Yabei Chen '09, Katie Culver '09, Christina Mansuelo '09, Abigail Dearman '10, Angelica Scott '11, Kelsey Tangel '11, Sarah Thalhamer '11, Elizabeth Burdick '12, Kourtney Ginn '12, Melissa Leonard '12, Danny Maskas '12, Mikaela Soto '12, Katelyn Tsukada '12 and Adrienne Vischio '12.

In addition, two alumni, Mary Kokie McNaugher '02, and Emily Riggins '10, returned as costume designers.