Artistic Director Jenefer Davies
2010 ACDFA Win
Recognition for W&L Dance Program, Senior Zaq Lawal
Washington and Lee’s fledgling dance program and senior Zaq Lawal won major recognition last weekend during the American College Dance Concert at Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond. Zaq’s dance, “Metamorphosis,” was among a dozen outstanding works that a panel of judges chose from the 45 that were submitted by the 27 participating colleges and universities for performance at the closing gala.
Zaq, an economics major, will be one of the first W&L students to graduate with a dance minor. He’s already signed on for a job with Heinz next year. According to Jenefer Davies, W&L assistant professor of dance and artistic director of the W&L Repertory Dance Company, Zaq was lauded for his performance and for “projecting and embodying his brilliant powerful movement” by three nationally recognized dance adjudicators — Denise Jefferson, a former Alvin Ailey dancer and director of The Ailey School; Janis Brenner, a Juilliard teacher and the leader of Janis Brenner & Dancers; and Susan Hadley, a professor of dance at Ohio State University and a former Mark Morris dancer.
What makes Zaq’s recognition and the performance of the W&L dancers all the more impressive is that the competition included such major universities as Southern Florida and Penn State, which have significant dance programs. “It was quite amazing,” said Davies. “We are such a young program, and we don’t even have a dance major, so that makes it even more sweet. Our dance program has only existed for only four years, and yet we have won this distinction for artistic excellence twice. It is affirming to be singled out by your colleagues on a national level.”
The Washington and Lee Repertory Dance Company will feature original works in the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Region American College Dance Festival (ACDFA) hosted by the VCU Department of Dance and Choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University on March 17-20, 2010.
Chosen works include Metamorphosis, choreographed and danced by Rasaq Lawal ’10; This Macaroni and Cheese Crayon Tastes Like Wax, choreographed by W&L Artistic Director Jenefer Davies and danced by A’rese Emokpae ’10; and INOUT, choreographed by Stephanie Brown ’11 and danced by Stephanie Brown ’11, Tori Dickerson ’12, A’rese Emokpae ’10, Samara Francisco ’10 and Jennifer Ritter ’13.
The American College Dance Festival Association's primary focus is to support and affirm the role of dance in higher education as well as to promote the wealth of talent and creativity that is prominent throughout college and university dance departments. Approximately 400 participants from 25 colleges and universities from the Mid-Atlantic region and around the country will participate in this year’s conference.
The ACDFA provides a venue for students and faculty to engage in four full days of performances, workshops, panels and master classes taught by professionals from around the region and country. The conference presents a unique opportunity for students and faculty to have dance works critiqued by a panel of nationally recognized dance professionals in an open and constructive forum, to perform outside their own academic setting and be exposed to the diversity of the college dance world.