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West Virginia Dance Festival to be held at the Cultural Center April 28-30

Ting-Yu Chen and Ryan Kasprzak will perform as guest artists at the 7 p.m. programs on Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, in the Cultural Center’s Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater when the West Virginia Division of Culture and History presents the 2006 West Virginia Dance Festival. This year marks the 25th year of the event.

Chen is the artistic director of Flying Lions Dance Company, and assistant professor of dance at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va. where she teaches modern dance, composition, Chinese opera dance, modern dance pedagogy, and Dance and Technology Graduate Seminar. She is a grant recipient of the National Arts Council of Cultural and Educational Development in Taiwan, the Greater Columbus Arts Council in Ohio, and the Shenandoah Arts Council in Virginia.

Chen’s choreography has received high recognition by adjucations at the American College Dance Festival Gala Concerts, Jazz Dance World Congress’ choreography competition, and various choreographers’ showcases in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. She has received choreography commissions and residencies from regional companies, university dance companies, and performing arts high schools in the U.S. and abroad.

Chen has presented, choreographed, and taught in Taiwan, China; Argentina; Spain; the Netherlands; Russia; New York City and across the United States. She serves on the national board of the American College Dance Festival Association. She received her master of fine arts degree from Ohio State University and her bachelor’s from SUNY Purchase.

Kasprzak is currently performing and creating new works for the New York-based company Parallel Exit: Physical Comedy Theater. The company’s latest piece, This Way That Way, recently enjoyed a critically acclaimed off-Broadway run and is slated to tour the U.S. in 2007.

Kasprzak has spent the last few years on the national and international tours of Fosse and has been honored to perform with such legendary entertainers as Ann Reinking, Ben Vereen, Gregory Hines, Fred Kelly, Peg Leg Bates, Jimmy Slyde, the Nicholas Brothers, and Diane “Lady Di” Walker.

Kasprzak studied at the British American Dramatic Academy in London and holds a bachelor’s degree in acting from Marymount Manhattan College. Kasprzak is also a member of the resident faculty at Ann Reinking’s Broadway Theatre Project.

The festival runs April 28-30. Two nights of performances, beginning on Friday, April 28, at 7 p.m., will showcase the talent of West Virginia dancers who come to perform and take classes from a nationally acclaimed festival faculty. The Friday night concert will feature performances by 14 West Virginia dance groups and Saturday night will showcase another 13 groups. In addition, the guest artists each will perform one piece both nights.

The evening performances are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis; seating is limited. A schedule of both concerts is attached.

The West Virginia Dance Festival presents dance professionals leading workshops and classes, performance situations and a focus on dance as an art form. Thirty-one dance groups consisting of more than 375 dancers will participate in this year’s festival. Classes begin on Friday, April 28, and continue throughout the three-day festival.

For more information about the 2006 West Virginia Dance Festival or other programs of the Division of Culture and History, call (304) 558-0162.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

2006 West Virginia Dance Festival Performers

Friday, April 28, 2006 Performing Groups

(in order of appearance)

Capital High School, Charleston

A. Michelle Legg, director

Inwood Dance Company, Inwood

Denna Smith/Shan Dai, directors

Next Step Dance Ensemble, Lewisburg

Ginny Walls/Helen Haynes, directors

JADCO Contemporary Dance Company, Charleston

January Johnson Wolfe/Kristen Pennington, directors

feMo Dance Theatre, Buckhannon

Bess Park Reynolds, director

Schrader Youth Ballet, Parkersburg

Velma Schrader, director

WV Wesleyan College, Buckhannon

Bess Park Reynolds, director

Guest Artist

Ryan Kasprzak

Friends of Culture and History Scholarship Winner

Joanna Radow

Inwood Performing Arts, Inwood

Denna Smith, director

Concord Dance Ensemble, White Sulphur Springs

Sara Markum, director

Princeton Dance Studio, Princeton

Janis Gunnoe, director

Guest Artist

Ting-Yu Chen

West Virginia Dance Ensemble, Union

Julie Richards, director

Charleston Ballet and American Academy Ballet

Kim Pauley, director, Charleston

Mid Ohio Valley Ballet Company, Parkersburg

Suzy Gunter, director

Saturday, April 29, 2006 Performing Groups

(in order of appearance)

River City Youth Ballet Ensemble, Elkview

Michelle Raider, director

Trillium Performing Youth, Lewisburg

Beth White, director

Morgantown Dance Studio, Morgantown

Liz Finklea/Lauren Quattro, directors

Summersville Dance Theatre School, Summersville

Paige Haney, director

Oglebay Institute School of Dance, Wheeling

Cheryl Pompeo, director

Alchemy Dance Project, Morgantown

Angela Dennis, director

Beckley Dance Theatre School, Beckley

Jerry Rose, director

Guest Artist

Ryan Kasprzak

Momentum Center for the Arts, Clarksburg

Jamie Kinney, director

Huntington Dance Theatre, Huntington

Jamie Turner, director

Guest Artist

Ting-Yu Chen

Augusta Youth Ballet Company, Buckhannon

Nina M. Scattaregia, director

Trillium Performing Arts Collective, Lewisburg

Carli Mareneck, director

The Art Center School of Dance, Huntington

Ella Hay, director

Beckley Dance Theater, Beckley

Jerry Rose, director

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Ginny Painter
Director of Public Information
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
Phone (304) 558-0220
Fax (304) 558-2779
ginny.painter@wvculture.org