This February, 16 dance majors from the Keene State College Theatre and Dance Department joined 500 students from 30 colleges attending this year’s American College Dance Association New England Conference at Boston University. The KSC dancers received significant recognition and each returned to campus inspired and invigorated. Gabriella Pacheco (’14) and Alexander Davis (’14) each presented their choreography in concerts that were adjudicated by three nationally recognized choreographers. Pacheco, Davis, and their dancers received valuable critical assessment and much praise from the three adjudicators.
Davis’ dance “Slight Displacement,” performed by Gabby Pacheco, Kendall Platenyk (’14), Meghan Quinn (’13), and Samantha Sampaio (’13), was selected from 45 adjudicated pieces to be produced in the conference’s closing Gala Concert—a significant recognition of the talent of the performers and the choreographer. This dance also received Honorable Mention as an alternate selection for the 2014 National Dance Festival to be held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
“The most memorable moment from my time at this year’s ACDFA New England Conference was having the opportunity to present a fully produced dance work to a group of fellow dance students and professionals,” Davis said. “Being able to generate discussion and receive feedback regarding my choreography and the work of others provided moments of helpful constructive commentary. I look forward to continuing making work and applying the feedback I received.”
KSC hosted this annual dance conference in 1988 and again in 2011. The American College Dance Association (ACDA, formerly ACDFA) was formed in 1971 to support and promote excellence in college dance. These conferences give college dancers an opportunity to have their works adjudicated and critiqued by established professionals; share scholarship; provide professional classes, workshops, and performing experiences as well as other opportunities for interaction among all participants; provide students the opportunity to perform outside their own academic setting and be exposed to the diversity of the national college dance world; and build a network of communication within the college dance community and between the college and the professional dance world. The conference also provides regional and national visibility for college-trained choreographers and performers.
“ACDFA is an opportunity for me to have as many new dance experiences as possible,” Platnyk explained. “It is a wonderful thing to be grouped together with dancers from all around New England and take such dance classes as Musical Theater and Haitian that are usually not an option in my everyday life. I especially enjoyed having another chance to perform with a new audience and hearing useful feedback that can help me as a performer.”