Press Releases

Purchase College Dance Corps Performs in China and Conservatory Officials Explore New Initiatives With Chinese Universities

Date Released: 10/17/2008

The Purchase College Conservatory of Dance has been invited to participate in two prestigious International Festivals in China this October in Taiwan and Nanjing and a delegation from Purchase will explore new cultural exchanges with officials at Chinese universities.

“We are thrilled to expand our horizons through these festivals and meetings,” said Carol Shiffman, Dean of the School of the Arts Conservatory of Dance.  “We are bringing some of the finest members of the Purchase Dance Corps who will have extraordinary opportunities to meet and share performances with students at Chinese universities and attend classes and workshops  with them,”said Dean Shiffman.

The delegation from Purchase includes Dean  Shiffman, eight dancers, faculty members Kevin Wynn and Stacey-Jo Marine, and Carol K. Walker, Dean Emeritus of Purchase College, who heads the task force on international programs and will represent President Thomas J. Schwarz at official ceremonies.

At Taipei National University of the Arts, where Purchase has a vibrant student exchange program, Deans Shiffman and Walker will meet with the President of Taipei National University of the Arts and with the dance faculty and exchange students from both countries.   

In Nanjing, Purchase Dance Corps members will perform on October 27 at the Nanjing Arts Institute. Professor Kevin Wynn will teach a master class and lead a lecture demonstration there for faculty and students while Purchase delegates meet with NAI officials.

On October 30 the Purchase Dance Corps will perform at Jiangsu Province’s 30th Anniversary Festival celebrating international exchanges.  They will perform excerpts of a recent work “Expulsion from Paradise, a Deconstructed Homage to Tania Leon,” by Purchase master teacher/choreographer  Kevin Wynn.  The Jiangsu Province event will take place in the 5,000 seat Olympic Center.  The performance will be a highlight of the festival and will be broadcast on Jiangsu state television.  Jiangsu is one of China’s largest industrial cities and this event is part of a year-long celebration.

The Purchase Dance Corps members on the tour are: James Boyd, Jacksonville, Florida; Marissa Horton, Fort Washington, Maryland; Leah Katz, Northampton, Massachusetts; Brian Lawson, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Chalvar Monterio, Montclair, New Jersey; Mckay Montz, Parkersburg, West Virginia;  Christopher Ralph, Rosedale, New York; Chihiro Shimizu, Tokoyo, Japan.

Carol  K. Walker and Dean Shiffman will join leaders from government and world renowned universities on October 29 at a forum on the Internationalization of Higher Education sponsored by the Jiangsu Provincial Government.  Carol Walker representing President Schwarz will give a keynote speech.  Among the invited guests who will speak are: the Vice Governor of Jiangsu Province;  the Governor of Ontario, Canada; the Vice Governor of West Sumatra, Indonesia; Benno Schmidt, Chairman of the Council for Aid to Education, US; the President of SUNY at Stony Brook; the President of CUNY; the President of Nanjing University of Finance and Economics; and the Vice President of Nanjing University.

The Purchase delegation will also visit university officials in Suzhou and Shanghai.

Two other representatives from Purchase will visit Taipei and participate in  Taipei National University’s month long arts festival including performances and master classes by artists from all over the world. Purchase alum Lesley Garrison will perform works by dynamic choreographer, and Purchase faculty member Nelly Van Bommel (Oct. 22-25).  Ms.Van Bommel, will also teach a series of master classes.

“This trip provides opportunities for the Conservatory of Dance to expand its presence in China,” said Dean Shiffman.  “The Purchase Dance Corps has achieved international recognition in Asia through its performances at dance festivals, notably in Beijing, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  Through this trip, Purchase will explore possible partnerships and cooperative programs including expansion of exchanges of graduate and undergraduate students and faculty members.  Other ventures may include joint concerts, exchanges of academic information, and joint degree programs.  We look forward to new friendships and collaborations to enhance the reputation of  Purchase College and its fine conservatory programs, and to increase the range of global learning opportunities we offer all our students.”