TROY dance students Carly Smith, Maya Jaramillo, Maliya Harris and Caitlynn Quintela pose backstage at the Davis Theatre in Montgomery.
More than 20 dancers from Troy University’s Department of Theatre and Dance performed in the inaugural Alabama Minority Choreographers Festival and Alabama Festival of Ballet, held Sept. 14 and 15 at the Davis Theatre on TROY’s Montgomery Campus.
In addition to 25 current dancers, three alumni and two faculty members participated in the weekend festivals.
The Alabama Minority Choreographers Festival selected work from two TROY alumni, Jarvis Williams and Angelene Kendall, to be performed by the student dancers, while the Alabama Festival of Ballet selected a work from TROY faculty member Dominique Angel.
“The weekend was truly an exceptional beginning to what we hope will become an annual event,” said Deborah Hicks, TROY Coordinator of Dance. “It was nice to join hands with so many other organizations to celebrate dance in Alabama. We were proud, indeed, of these participants, but we were equally proud that at least 21 students in the Department of Theatre and Dance made the trip to Montgomery to witness the performances and support their department.”
Created by James R. Atkinson, Jr, associate professor of dance at the Alabama State University, the Minority Choreographers Festival aims to “provide minority choreographers in Alabama with a place to present their fresh choreographic ideas that reach far beyond the core of the work or school settings.”
The Festival of Ballet, also created by Atkinson Jr., focuses on Alabama-based professional and semi-professional dance companies, along with educational dance institutions.
“I felt great pride on both evenings,” Angel said. “Our choreographic representation was stellar, as were the dancers who performed in them. It was an honor to have been invited to participate, as we were certainly surrounded by excellence throughout this inaugural weekend. Once again, dance and the theatre arts are all inclusive, as they speak one universal language.”