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Drexel Dance Ensemble Only Philadelphia-Based Group Invited to Perform at 45th Annual Singapore Yout

June 16, 2011

The Drexel Dance Ensemble, a professional caliber student company at the heart of Drexel University’s Dance Program, has been selected to perform at the 45th Annual Singapore Youth Festival, the only regional performing arts group that was invited to participate.  

Singapore’s premier international performing arts festival, organized by the Ministry of Education, runs from July 1- 29, 2011, with hundreds of performances by more than 30,000 students from Singapore and around the world, in celebration of the diversity of performance beyond Singapore’s shores.  The festival is attended by the Prime Minister of Singapore along with dozens of top public officials.  For more information about the festival, visit: www.singaporeyouthfestival.sg.

Drexel’s Dance Ensemble will send 12 dancers to the festival to perform a new work by dance faculty member Olive Prince, entitled Sea of Glass.  The students will spend four nights in Singapore, culminating with a performance on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at the University Cultural Centre Hall at the National University of Singapore. The students will be accompanied on the trip by Prince, Drexel’s Dance Program Director Dr. Miriam Giguere, and Adjunct Professor of Dance Mina Estrada.

 “It is an honor to be the only Philadelphia-area ensemble invited to perform at this prestigious international festival,” said Giguere. “I have served as an adjudicator for the Singapore Youth Festival and have seen firsthand the quality of the dance performances by the Singapore youth, which makes it even more remarkable that our dancers were selected to participate.”

The Drexel Dance Ensemble has been a part of Drexel University for more than 30 years, performing twice yearly at the Mandell Theater. The ensemble is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors of all majors through twice yearly auditions.  This 50-member company has performed the work of past guest choreographers, including Jumatatu Poe, Myra Bazell, Meredith Rainey, Nora Gibson and Kun-Yang Lin, along with new work choreographed by Drexel’s dance faculty, including program director Dr. Miriam Giguere.  There also are opportunities for upperclassmen and graduate students to choreograph work for the ensemble.

Freshmen dancers at Drexel have their own performing company, FreshDance, a 25-member company, which also performs the work of faculty, guest professionals and upperclassmen twice yearly at the Mandell Theater.  

In addition, The Youth Performance Exchange, a program that sends Drexel dancers into inner-city schools to choreograph new work that is later performed onstage at the Mandell Theater, was launched in 2007 and now visits four schools in Philadelphia and Camden. The Youth Performance Exchange Touring Ensemble, founded in 2008, visits 20 local elementary schools each year to perform.

About the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design:

Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design offers sixteen undergraduate and five graduate programs in media, design and the performing arts. Programs are taught in small studio settings, featuring hands-on learning and an award-winning faculty of industry practitioners who emphasize the use of the latest technologies. Westphal College is home to the Mandell Theater, the Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel’s television (DUTV) and radio (WKDU 91.7 FM) stations, the Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies, MAD Dragon Records and Drexel’s Historic Costume Collection.  Allen Sabinson is the dean of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. For more information about the College, go to: www.drexel.edu/westphal.  

News Media Contacts:
Zeek Weil, Director, Communications and Events, Westphal College, 215-895-2629 or zw36@drexel.edu
Alex McKechnie, News Officer, University Communications, 215-895-2705 or amckechnie@drexel.edu

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