DeSales University Dance Students Bound for Brazil
DeSales University dance students will learn about Brazilian dance and culture first-hand, when they travel to Rio de Janeiro to take part in an academic dance program at Centro Coreografico do Rio in Rio de Janeiro from May 19 to 29.
The three-credit course of study will include daily lecture, movement and choreography classes. Students also will have the opportunity to observe and interact with artists and members of several dance companies in residence at Centro Coreografico.
Although DeSales dance students have traveled abroad previously, this trip to Brazil marks the first time they will be doing it for academic credit.
"Centro Coreografico will be an amazing place to study," said Kristin Fieseler, assistant professor of dance at DeSales, and one of three faculty members accompanying the DeSales students. "There are usually six to eight companies in-residence throughout the year, so our students will have a chance to observe rehearsals and mingle with the artists."
Fieseler worked with Regina Miranda, director of Centro Coreografico do Rio, to develop an academic curriculum for the program.
Students will take part in three classes each day taught primarily by master teachers and choreographers from Rio. The final class of the day will be a choreography class taught by Fieseler. In this class, students will prepare for their final movement projects, which will be due on the last day in Rio.
"By using the Centro Coreografico, students will be able to attend different types of classes and get a taste of the variety of dance in Brazil, from contemporary to folkloric, in one location, rather than traveling from studio to studio," said Fieseler.
In preparation for the trip, the DeSales dance students learned about all aspects of Brazilian culture in the Special Topics class DA 280: Brazilian Dance and Culture. During the second half of the semester, the students created a group dance piece that compares and contrasts life in Brazil and the United States. The students will perform the piece while in Rio.
Francesca Stigliano, '08, of Tannersville, Pa., describes the modern dance piece created by the DeSales students as a "happy inspiration." According to Stigliano, it explores the culture of Brazil and presents ideas and images through the blending of music, costuming and choreography.
"It will be exciting to be surrounded by music and art, and be able to experience the culture in that part of the world," said Stigliano. "I am looking forward to learning new dance moves and methods, and also performing and sharing what we've learned at DeSales."
Stigliano, who graduates from DeSales on May 17, two days prior to the Brazil trip, has joined the Annex Dance Company, based in the Lehigh Valley, under the direction of Kristin Fieseler.
According to Gabrielle Winter, '10, of Islip, N.Y., developing the dance piece was a collaborative effort and involved everyone in the class.
"We focused on three topics from our class on Brazil - pride in country and culture, unique lifestyle, and sense of community - and made dance phrases and just kept creating," said Winter. "It was a great process."
In addition to Fieseler, the other two DeSales faculty members who will travel to Brazil are Angelica Silva, assistant professor in humanities, and Father Joseph DiMauro, OSFS, associate dean for student life.
In keeping with the Salesian spirit, the trip to Brazil also will include a service project. The group will spend an afternoon at the Obras Profissionais e Sociais Santa Rita de Cassia school, where they will have an opportunity to interact, teach and perform for 350 students, years ages 3 to 14.
The group of DeSales students traveling to Brazil includes 11 dance majors and one TV / Film student going to Brazil. They are:
Class of 2008 - Narissa Fell, of Coopersburg, Pa.; Francesca Stigliano, of Tannersville, Pa.; Amanda Takacs, of Easton, Pa.; and Caitlin Catanella, of Cherry Hill, N.J.
Class of 2009 - Nakia Gard, of Philadelphia; Marianne Delehanty, of Harrington Park, N.J.; Samantha Hillegass, of Quakertown, Pa.
Class of 2010 - Stephanie Strausser, of Easton; Gabrielle Winter, of Islip, N.Y.; Krysta Mardon, of Rockaway, N.J. and Heather Fleischman, of Milford, N.J.
TV / Film major - Jennifer Russell, '09, of New Windsor, N.Y.
For more information on the Brazil dance trip, contact Kristin Fieseler, assistant professor of dance at DeSales, at 610.282.1100, ext. ext. 1243.
Press Release: DeSales University Dance Students Bound for Brazil | Posted on: 5/16/2008
For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034
610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu