Community Invited to Unique Arts Event,
"Dancing to Connect," at MCCC Feb. 2


West Windsor, N.J. - The Dance Program at Mercer County Community College invites the community to "Dancing to Connect," an original modern dance performance to be held Tuesday, Feb. 2 at Kelsey Theatre, starting at 8 p.m. Presented free of charge, the event will mark the culmination of an intensive, collaborative three-day workshop led by Battery Dance Company (BDC), based in Lower Manhattan, and will feature 10 MCCC Dance students and 10 students from the Mercer County Performing Arts High School. Professional dancers from BDC will also perform from their modern dance repertoire. Kelsey Theatre is located on Mercer's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

According to MCCC Theatre and Dance Program Coordinator Jody Person, the workshop is part of BDC's award-winning "Dancing to Connect" program, which has been presented in hundreds of educational institutions in the United States and abroad. Two members of the company, teaching artists Bafana Matea and Mayuna Shimizu, will provide students with "an extraordinary opportunity to choreograph, collaborate and perform," Person said.

By the end of the workshops, which will run for six hours daily on Jan. 29, 30 and 31, students will have created solo, duet and group pieces for the Feb. 2 show. "We want students to get away from what they learn in the classroom to find their own movement. It will also be a wonderful experience in team and confidence building."

MCCC President, Dr. Patricia Donohue, has given her full support to the workshop program. "We strive to give students exceptional opportunities to pursue their passions and to grow creatively. This is the kind of experience that will stick with them and inform their future academic and career direction," she said.

Person notes that each year the Theatre and Dance Program strives to raise the bar for Mercer students by utilizing the resources available in nearby New York City. Last year, internationally acclaimed vocalist and songwriter Vanessa Daou presented a workshop on campus, while next year the program will feature a workshop in Japanese modern dance.

"College is the time to grow and be exposed to new ideas and avenues for self-expression," Person explained. "Workshops like these help students venture beyond what is safe and familiar to discover untapped potential. They also make connections and get practical advice from professionals in the performing arts."

Founded 35 years ago, BDC has become an integral part of the fabric of New York City, educating children in New York City schools, participating in international arts exchange programs, and performing for the public locally, as well as on national and international tours. The company has produced nearly 100 original dances choreographed by its founder and artistic director, Jonathan Hollander, in collaboration with an array of composers and designers as well as its cast of outstanding dancers. More information about BDC is available at its website here.

MCCC offers associate degrees in both dance and theatre. To learn more about MCCC's programs in the performing arts, call 609-570-3524 or visit:

A.A./A.F.A. in Dance
A.A./A.F.A. in Theatre

For more on events at Kelsey Theatre, visit:

2009-10 Season
Ticket Information
Audition Information

Kelsey Kids Playshops

Performers Bafana Matea and Mayuna Shimizu
will lead the workshop.
Bafana Matea
Mayuna Shimizu

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