Dancers from LIU Brooklyn perform at Jacob's Pillow
Long Island University,
Dancers from LIU Brooklyn were selected to perform in August at Jacob's Pillow, a renowned dance festival where choreographers from all around the world come and showcase work, and where dancers leave their mark. The students’ performance was part of the Pillow's Inside/Out Performance Series, with four colleges selected for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Un.Framed, a quintet choreographed by Alenka Cizmesija, represents the culmination of a process that began in the Fall of 2015. Since then, the work has been performed in the Kumble Theater, at the American College Dance Association’s Northeast region conference, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and now at Jacob's Pillow. The members of the Un.Framed cast – LIU Brooklyn students Aja Carthon, Chantal Montilla, David Myrie, J'nae Simmons and Chanel Stone – were excited to be part of such an honorable evening of works at the historic Jacob’s Pillow. Taking part in the two-day festival, the dancers toured the 220-acre National landmark, attended master classes, collaborated with dance photographers, and shared unforgettable experiences with the other college students selected to perform.
Chantal Montilla ’17 described Jacob’s Pillow as “a great enlightened experience filled with historic landmarks and stories. Every dancer should have the opportunity to experience Jacob’s Pillow. Performing on the Inside/Out stage as one of the first university dance programs to perform was the most exciting performance of my life thus far.” The Inside/Out stage is located outdoors, with a scenic background of mountains and clouds, with many shows performed at sundown.
Cizmesija was very proud of the student dancers tasked with bringing her choreography to life. “It's been an exciting year-long journey with the cast of Un.Framed,” Cizmesija said. “ It was a perfect setting to finish up the year of creativity, exploration and growth that took us from the Kumble Theater, on to the Kennedy Center and allowed our students to grace the stage at the Pillow.”
Cizmesija continued, “Their performance will become part of the incredible archives of American dance, and this experience will leave a lasting impression on their individual dance journey. It was more than a performance; it was a collaborative effort by the entire University in support of the students. Our success spilled into a professional realm.”
Between performances, the dancers took part in a variety of activities designed specifically for college students. Students were able to visit the famous Jacob's Pillow archives, accessing videos of all of the renowned dancers who have ever performed at the Pillow, including Dana Hash-Campbell, chair of the LIU Brooklyn dance program, who performed at Jacob’s Pillow with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Now, the dancers will get to come back and see themselves in those very same archives.
Written by: J’nae Simmons
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