posted April 12, 2011

Hope Sacred Dance Group to Participate in “Project Dance” in New York

Performing live in Times Square will be among the highlights of Hope College Sacred Dance Ministry's participation in "Project Dance" in New York City during the weekend of April 15-17.

New York-based Project Dance was founded in 2002 as a way of bringing hope and healing to the broken streets of New York following the events of 911.  Today events are held around the world in major cities including not only New York, but Hong Kong, Sydney, Toronto, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Manila and others, offering the universal language of dance to the public through outdoor open-air concerts.  Among other honors, Project Dance has been named one of the top 10 dance events in New York City by "Dance Spirit Magazine," and the event's founder, Cheryl Cutlip, received a 2009 "The Lights Are Bright on Broadway" award from Masterwork Productions.

The weekend in New York is centered around an all-day outdoor dance concert, taking place on Saturday, April 16, that is free to the public.  While in New York, the Hope Sacred Dance members will also attend Project Dance Live, which is an evening concert on Friday, April 15; and an inspirational service and master classes, taught by renowned professionals from the Radio City Rockettes, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Martha Graham Dance Company, on Sunday, April 17.

"I'm very excited for the chance to spread God's Word, and to work with other Christian artists," said junior Elena Caruthers of Des Plaines, Ill., one of the 11 Hope College Sacred Dance Ministry students who will be participating in the event.

The Hope group will be performing two pieces, "Hosanna" and "K'vah," each of which has been choreographed by students.

"Hosanna" is choreographed by senior Sarah Stern of Virginia Beach, Va., with music by Selah.  The piece is a worshipful prayer asking for conviction and cleansing through the blood of Christ, seeking for the Lord to work in and through the body of believers eagerly awaiting His coming in glory.

"K'vah" is choreographed by senior Magdalene Reishus Mastin of Holland and formerly of Kokomo, Ind., with music titled "Sleeping Lady" by Bill Evans and Megan Lynch.  "K'vah" was created in response to a study of humanity's continual journey of waiting on the Lord through times when humanity expects immediate Divine action.

Hope College Sacred Dance Ministry was founded in the 1960s by Maxine Debruyn, who was on the Hope faculty from 1965 until retiring in 2006 as the Dorothy Wiley De Long Professor Emerita of Dance and continues to serve as advisor.  The ministry's mission is "To Live and Spread God's Word through Movement," and the group presents works during the college's chapel services as well as at churches in the Holland area.

The Hope College Sacred Dance Ministry dancers that will be on the trip include sophomore Alyssa Brillinger of Rockford; junior Elena Caruthers of Des Plaines, Ill.; junior Radhajyoti Deitenbeck of Gainesville, Fla.; senior Magdalene Reishus Mastin of Holland and formerly of Kokomo, Ind.; junior Linelly Olmeda-Santos of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico; junior Stephanie Rankin of Levittown, Pa.; junior Amber Rogers of Hershey, Pa.; junior Kate Schrampfer of Appleton, Wis.; junior Brittany Steeg of Westfield, N.Y.; senior Sarah Stern of Virginia Beach, Va.; and senior Sarah Stinson of Stilwell, Kan.  DeBruyn will accompany the group as advisor.