Southeastern dance pieces selected for festival gala
Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
HAMMOND – Two dances choreographed by Southeastern Louisiana University students were honored recently at the American College Dance Festival.
“Vague Variations,” a dance choreographed by Nicole Judson of Baton Rouge, and “River Rise,” choreographed by Jeoffery Harris Jr. of New Orleans, were selected for the gala performance of the festival, held at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches April 7-11.
More than 20 colleges and universities presented approximately 50 works for adjudication at the festival. A panel of judges selected a total of nine works to be showcased at the gala performance on the festival’s final day.
Dance instructor Dana Brewer-Pazinic said it is highly unusual for two pieces from the same school to be chosen and even more unusual for both of them to be choreographed by students.
“It is difficult to get in the gala because it is very competitive,” she said. “I selected Nicole and Jeoffery to present pieces because of their talent in choreography and their time and dedication to the dance program.”
After the gala performance, the judges chose four of the nine dances to be presented again at the National Dance Festival conference at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in May. Harris’ dance was selected for the national conference.
“These two accomplishments are huge for Southeastern,” Brewer-Plazinic said. “Our hard work is paying off, and dance at Southeastern is strong despite the fact that we have lost all of our funding.”
The group received an Academic Enhancement grant from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, which helped fund the trip to the festival. Students also held various fund raisers to help with the remaining expenses, Brewer-Plazinic said.