The UWM Peck School of the Arts Dance Department sent 12 students, including Muskego native Steven Zarzecki, and two faculty to Hunter College for the Sharing the Legacy conference, April 13-16, 2011. This was the last event in a year-long centennial celebration of noted choreographer/auteur Alwin Nikolais. The students performed Nikolais' Water Studies, originally premiered in 1964, and were joined by eight other dance programs from across the country. In addition to the evening performances, the students participated in classes, workshops, screenings and discussions with company members as part of the conference activities.
Steven Zarzecki is a senior BFA Dance candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Zarzecki’s movement career began with an interest in the performing arts. Since beginning training in 2007, he has danced works by Luc Vanier, Elizabeth Johnson, Darci Wutz, Simone Ferro, and Ferne Bronson as well as performed masterworks by Mark Morris, Alwin Nikolais and Garth Fagan.
Sharing the Legacy marks the first time that a group of UWM undergraduate dancers has traveled to New York City to perform.
“While our department performs a lot of new and experimental work, we also have a commitment to connect our students with what has come before,” says Ed Burgess, Dance Department chair. “Performing the Nikolais work has broadened their abilities as thinkers, collaborators and choreographers.”
Alberto del Saz was so impressed with the UWM students’ grasp of the Nikolais choreography that he recommended they be invited to perform at the prestigious Hunter College conference. He also returned to UWM this academic year to help the dancers prepare Water Studies for performances in this past February’s Winterdances: Égalité! on the UWM campus and the April performance in New York City.
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