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Hope Selected to Participate in Dance Festival Gala Concert | Arts & Culture

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Hope Selected to Participate in Dance Festival Gala Concert

HOLLAND – Hope College was among a select group of colleges and universities to have work chosen for the Gala Performance that closed the East Central Conference of the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) on Saturday, March 19, at the University of Akron in Ohio.

The adjudicated concert included “Yucuninu,” choreographed by Hope faculty member Alicia Diaz.  The solo piece was performed by Hope junior Michael Parmelee of Lansing, who is a dance performance-choreographer major.

“Yucuninu” is a ritualized, physical expression of pleading for strength and hope in a time of adversity.  West Michigan audiences had an opportunity to experience the work during dANCEpROjECt’s Oct. 28-30 fall concerts at the college’s Knickerbocker Theatre, which featured a different interpretation each night: a female solo, a female trio and a male trio.

The Hope participants dedicated the March 19 performance of “Yucuninu,” which the adjudicators described as a prayer and a lullaby, to Dr. Jennifer Young Tait of the college’s English faculty, who had died earlier in the day after suffering complications from premature childbirth, and her newborn son, Solomon.

More than 300 colleges and universities nationwide are institutional members of the ACDFA, which was established in the early 1970s and exists to support and affirm the role of dance in higher education.  Through its annual regional festivals and a biennial national festival, the ACDFA is the national professional organization through which dance students, master teachers and performers from a wide range of colleges and universities can gather to share knowledge and showcase their creative work.  The East Central region is one of 10 ACDFA regions, and includes institutions in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.

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