Bethlehem, Pa., April 8, 2015—The Moravian College Dance Company will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a special production of over 75 dancers, on Friday, April 10th and Saturday, April 11th at 7:30 p.m. in Foy Hall.
Beginning as the Moravian College Dance Club in the 1975, the dance program has provided 20 or so girls each year with the opportunity to see and participate in workshops with professional dance companies for the last four decades. The dancers also participate in Bethlehem schools arts days and in dance workshops on other LVAIC campuses.
"The company has really progressed over the past forty years," said Dawn Ketterman-Benner, choreographer and professor Emerita. "It is a wonderful opportunity for the dancers to continue practicing their skill and a great community of support for the girls." The Moravian Dance Company has become more technologically sound over the years, allowing for a broader range of genres for the dancers to choose from. Ketterman-Benner officially retired last August and hired Artistic Director Mary Anne Hoffman and Assistant Director Gina Mento to help move the company forward.
Not only is the celebration of the 40th anniversary a thrilling moment for the dance department and Moravian College as a whole, but it is also a big moment for the dancers themselves. "Not many people can say that they have been a part of this significant moment," said Lauren Mulvaney ’16, vice president of Moravian Dance Company. "We have incredible dancers for this performance and the pieces they have created are going to be absolutely breathtaking."
The 40th anniversary production will include a mix of many genres including modern, jazz, and tap. Two alumni dancers, Samantha Anderson ’13 and Caitlin Bock ’12, have been working with the Dance Company, choreographing the dance that will open the production. Another important alumni connection is Susan Gangwere McCabe ’79, who created the Dawn Ketterman-Benner Dance Fund in 2000, for which Ketterman-Benner and the entire company are grateful for. “This fund provides monies for workshops with professional dancers, an assistant artistic director, and other expenses not covered in the dance budget,” she said.
"Being a part of the 40th anniversary is an honor," said Rachel Morrison ’15, president of Moravian Dance Company. “It is a wonderful feeling to see all of the successes that the Dance Company has had over the years." Many of the performances put on by the Moravian Dance Company have filled every seat in Foy Hall, leaving standing room only.
With so many people involved in the Moravian Dance Company, and the 40th anniversary production, sometimes things can get a bit messy backstage. “Our girls are so helpful to one another. If something needs to be done, or if anyone is having any trouble, another dancer is always there to help. We really are a community here,” said Morrison.
And in an effort to involve the greater Lehigh Valley dance community, the Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Coral’s Academy of Dance, Tap Ties, Repertory Dance Theatre, and In Motion Dance Company (directed by Kathie Kececi ’85) will also perform during the concert.
Moravian College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please call 610-861-1365 prior to the event.
Moravian College is a private coeducational liberal arts college, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, Moravian is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college and the first to educate women. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.