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W&L Dancers to Perform at Cucaloras Film Festival

Washington and Lee’s award-winning dance program will be on display in Wilmington, N.C., tomorrow at Dance-a-lorus, part of the Cucaloras Film Festival, an annual event that supports innovative artists and encourages creative exchange.

W&L alumna Julia Pleasants, of the Class of 2007, invited her former W&L dance teacher, Jenefer Davies, to apply to the festival. Julia has coordinated Dance-a-lorus, which pushes boundaries by pairing filmmakers and choreographers for an exploration of film and dance.

“This is a wonderful example of the way W&L alumni give back to the University in so many different ways,” Jenny said of the invitation to the W&L Dance Repertory Company.

In response to Julia’s invitation, Jenny created a new dance, “Breathing Lessons,” which the Cucaloras adjudication panel accepted. She will take three of her current dance students — seniors Jennifer Ritter, of Mariposa, Calif., and Erin Sullivan, of Metairie, La., and sophomore Blair Davis, of New Orleans — to perform, take classes and watch performances.

Each choreographer in Dance-a-lorus is paired with a filmmaker. In W&L’s case, that’s Richard Alan Templeman, who recently performed in the campus production of “Bye Bye Birdie.”

“Breathing Lessons” is a modern dance in three sections, and the W&L troupe will perform a version of it in March at the W&L Repertory Dance Concert. Here’s how the dance is described on the Cucaloras website: “Our breath can be a physical clue to our emotional, psychological and spiritual condition. This work is a satiric lens magnifying images of women and the breath that connects us.”

If you’re in the Wilmington, N.C., area tomorrow, Dance-a-Lorus starts at 7 p.m. at the Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts.

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