Houston Ballet dancers Ian Casady and Melody Herrera perform "Falling," choreographed by Stanton Welch. (Photo by Amitava Sarkar)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis and Dance St. Louis will continue their six-year relationship with another year of great dance and educational courses beginning next month. Two iconic dance companies will conduct courses on UMSL’s campus and will perform at the university’s Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center and the Fox Theatre. These vibrant courses and performances bring world-renowned art and culture to UMSL and the St. Louis region.

Dance St. Louis presented its first performance at the Touhill on May 20, 2004, beginning their relationship with UMSL.

“In every subsequent season, Dance St. Louis continued presenting performances at the Touhill, and with the 2007-08 season, Dance St. Louis made the Touhill its principal theater,” said Janet Brown, director of operations & education for Dance St. Louis. “The 2007–08 season also marked the beginning of Dance St. Louis’ relationship with UMSL’s Division of Continuing Education, with teaching artists associated with the visiting dance companies giving courses at the campus.”

Every semester since, Dance St. Louis has featured a master class at UMSL.

The 2010–11 season kicks off with the Houston Ballet. As one of America’s premier ballet companies, the Houston Ballet is graced with a stellar 41-year history and an international reputation sealed through frequent tours performing the work of world-renowned choreographers. In September, this vibrant classical ballet company will bring to UMSL a six-session series of intermediate to advanced classical ballet classes. The noncredit course is from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursday, Sept. 28 to Oct. 14, at the General Services Building Dance Studio on UMSL’s campus. The course fee is $75. Call 314-516-5948 for more information. In coordination with the course, the Houston Ballet will perform at the Touhill as part of the first American Arts Experience–St. Louis at 8 p.m. on Oct. 8 and at 2 and 8 p.m. on Oct. 9.

In March 2011, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will grace the St. Louis region with performances at the Fox Theatre and a master class at UMSL. Captivating audiences for 52 years, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has earned a reputation as one of the most acclaimed international ambassadors of American culture, promoting the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of American modern dance. The dance company will conduct a six-session series of intermediate to advanced modern dance classes that will emphasize the Horton Dance Technique as featured in Alvin Ailey’s repertory productions of “Revelations” and “The River.” The noncredit course is from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 1 to 17, at the GSB Dance Studio. The course fee is $75. Call 314-516-5974 for more information. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform at 8 p.m. March 11 and at 2 and 8 p.m. March 12 at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis

The dance courses are designed for intermediate to advanced dance students in high school and older.

“Dance students from all over the St. Louis area have enrolled in the dance practicum courses, delighted by the rare opportunity to learn from teaching artists from world-class companies in a variety of techniques,” Brown said. “The courses also support the dance concentration within UMSL’s performing arts department.”

In addition to the courses each semester, UMSL and Dance St. Louis partner to feature the “Spring to Dance” festival. Created in 2008, “Spring to Dance” features 30 dance companies performing different programs over three nights.

“The 2010 festival, presented by Dance St. Louis, Emerson and the Touhill, had the highest ticket sales yet of the festival’s three years,” Brown said.

Dance St. Louis, one of the cultural treasures of St. Louis, has been bringing world dance to St. Louis audiences for 44 years. They offer the full spectrum of dance styles including classical and contemporary ballet, modern, ethnic, ballroom, tap, jazz and hip-hop. Dance St. Louis also conducts a wide variety of education and outreach programs in the St. Louis community, including the master classes at UMSL.

Visit the online course catalog at http://umslce.org to register for master classes with the Houston Ballet, Modern Dance with Alvin Ailey or both at UMSL.

More information:

Leslie Patterson

Leslie Patterson

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