Posting Date: April 27, 2009
KSU Dance Company and Orchestra perform with CEPAC ArtsBridge program
By Gina Gareri-Watkins
KSU Dance Company relax after performing with CEPAC
Members of the KSU Orchestra in performance
The Kennesaw State University Dance Company and the Kennesaw State University Orchestra recently performed at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre as part of a collaborative outreach performance hosted by Atlanta’s CEPAC ArtsBridge program. The April 15 performance offered more than 500 metro Atlanta high school students the opportunity to witness the two ensembles perform, followed by a “talk-back” session between the audience and KSU performers.
The 38-member KSU Dance Company is the pre-professional level dance company directed by Ivan Pulinkala, associate professor of dance. The mission of the dance company is to bring concert dance to campus and community settings through performances and outreach. “This is the second year we have partnered with the ArtsBridge program at CEPAC,” said Pulinkala. “This year I decided to invite the orchestra to perform with us, and the partnership was such a great experience for both organizations that we have decided to make this an annual event.”
Directed by Associate Professor Michael Alexander, the KSU Orchestra was launched in 2004. The orchestra performs a wide variety of repertoire from all time periods and styles. The KSU Orchestra has also been fortunate to benefit from some exciting residencies including the Pro Arte Quartet, the Miami String Quartet, the American Horn Quartet, Alan Baer, principal tuba with the New York Philharmonic, and violinists Joseph Lin and Peter Zazofsky. The orchestra has also collaborated with several area schools including performances at Harrison High School and this year at Kennesaw Mountain High School.
“The KSU Orchestra was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the KSU Dance Company,” said Alexander. “It is a very natural partnership and provides great opportunities for our students to learn from each other and produce a great artistic product.”
The joint program at CEPAC featured the ensembles performing “Sinai” with Atlanta composer Douglas Hooker. The resulting choreography was titled “Impasse,” and provided a unique experience for the university’s dancers and musicians. “It gave them the opportunity to work collaboratively and gain a practical understanding of how to work with another art form,” explained Pulinkala. “For the dancers, they had to actively listen and connect with the live music, and the musicians were able to see a different interpretation of the sound score presented through movement.”
The performance also proved a hit with its student audience. “There was a genuine curiosity about the way in which dance and music is created, and questions were asked about the experience for both groups as they came together to perform the same score,” said Pulinkala. “The audience had the opportunity to experience the art forms in collaboration, something that is hard to experience with today’s economic constraints.”
The KSU Dance Company received top honors at the 2009 American College Dance Festival, and was the only university company to have both its presented works selected for the festival gala concert. In 2008, "Incubus," choreographed by Pulinkala, was one of 29 works selected from a national pool of 430 to be performed at the national festival in New York City.
Pulinkala is hoping to include a new collaboration with the KSU’s Department of Visual Arts and Department of Theatre & Performance Studies for next year’s CEPAC event. “It will make the event a true reflection of KSU’s College of the Arts.”