Press Releases

Purchase Signs Exchange Agreement with Beijing Dance Academy

Date Released: 9/15/2010

President Schwarz and President Li Xu of Beijing Dance Academy held discussions and signed an agreement for student exchanges. Click for details.

President Schwarz and President Li Xu o.jpg

















The Purchase College School of the Arts Conservatory of Dance were be visited by a delegation from Beijing China on Thursday, September 16 to finalize an agreement for an ongoing relationship between Purchase College and the Beijing Dance Academy. A formal signing ceremony will took place at 5 PM in the Student Service Building in Room SSB227.


Purchase College President Thomas J. Schwarz and President Li Xu of the Beijing Dance Academy  signed the document which established an agreement between the two institutions for student exchanges.  It is anticipated that this will set a precedent for other exchanges.


The delegation from the Beijing Dance Academy including its President Li Xu will met during the day for discussions with President Schwarz and Purchase staff and faculty members.  The visitors saw Conservatory  dance classes,  the Neuberger Museum of Art and The Performing Arts Center on their campus tour.


“We are honored to welcome the visiting scholars from the Beijing Dance Academy and look forward to our joint endeavor.  The relationship between the Conservatory of Dance and the most prestigious dance academy in China represents an exciting and innovative merging of the visions of training and creativity from two sides of the world.  We hope this is the beginning of many future collaborations between our two institutions,” said President Schwarz.


The agreement with Beijing Dance Academy is the result of two years of discussions and visits to China by Carol Walker Dean Emeritus of the Conservatory of Dance.  In 2008 President Schwarz and Provost Damian Fernandez  asked her to explore educational relationship possibilities with Beijing institutions as an extension of a strategic commitment to the internationalization of the College. She visited seven schools, colleges and universities in and around Beijing.


“Beijing Dance Academy is the premiere institution for dance training in China,” said Carol Walker. “It has over 50 years of graduating classes in classical ballet, classical Chinese dance, Chinese traditional dance, dance studies and choreography and modern dance. Its alumni head the dance programs at many other colleges and universities in China. While several institutions were very interested in associating with Purchase, the Beijing Dance Academy is the most aligned with the Conservatory of Dance in mission and training objectives.  We were very interested in forging a relationship with the school,” she said.


The Purchase Dance Corps performed at the Bejing Dance Academy in 1995 as part of an International Festival of Dance Academies. Carol Walker was invited in 2004 to make a presentation at an international dance forum and twice this summer for international conferences.  In 2009, at the behest of President Schwarz, Ms. Walker returned to Beijing and began discussions with Beijing Dance Academy about a future relationship.

Exchange agreements were finalized under the direction of Deirdre Sato, Director of international Programs at Purchase.


Participants in the Beijing Delegation visit included:


From Beijing Dance Academy

President Li Xu

Jia Anlin, chair of Dance Studies Department

Yong Ou, director of Dance Studies Department

Ping Xin, Professor of Dance Studies Department

Pan Li, Professor of Dance Studies Department

Tian Tian, Dance Teacher

Wang Xin, Dance Teacher

Lili Cheng


From Purchase College

President Thomas J. Schwarz

Provost Damian Fernandez

Ken Tabachnick, Dean, School of the Arts

Deirdre C. Sato, Director of International Programs

Carol K. Walker, Professor, Conservatory of Dance, International Programs

Megan Williams, Conservatory of Dance BOS coordinator

Rosanna Seravalli, Professor, Conservatory of Dance, ballet

Bettijane Sills, Professor, Conservatory of Dance, ballet

Ted Kivitt, Associate Professor, Conservatory of Dance, ballet

Kazuko Hirabayashi, Professor, Conservatory of Dance, MFA & choreography

Larry Clark, Associate Professor, Conservatory of Dance, modern dance

Stephanie Tooman, Associate Professor, Conservatory of Dance, modern dance

Rozalind Newman, Conservatory of Dance, composition

Renqiu Yu, Professor, History

Sara Connolly, Study Abroad Advisor