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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts dance concert Saturday

  • On May 23, Amber Lock, dance faculty for Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts, was awarded the 2008 Jester Award for Outstanding Choreography of a High School Musical in an award ceremony sponsored by Musical Theatre Wichita.


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  • On May 23, Amber Lock, dance faculty for Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts, was awarded the 2008 Jester Award for Outstanding Choreography of a High School Musical in an award ceremony sponsored by Musical Theatre Wichita.

    The 7th Annual Jester Awards honor area theater artists who work with talent in Wichita. Lock won her award for her staging and choreography of Newton High School’s production of “A High School Musical.” Lock, a member of the academy’s faculty since 2004, was thrilled to be honored, according to an academy news release.

    The public is invited to enjoy more of Lock’s choreography during the academy’s annual Spring Fling Dance Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Bethel College Fine Arts Center in North Newton.

    The concert will feature several new works by Lock and additional choreography by the program’s director, Jean Denney Grotewohl. The eclectic concert is a “rewarding and satisfying demonstration of the complete dance curriculum at the academy,” academy director Don Kehrberg said.

    Local/area dancers will be featured in two new jazz pieces by Lock: “Artic Slide” set to music from the movie “Happy Feet,” and “Doopity Doo” about the Oompa Loompas from Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” “Colors of Spring” is a ballet piece celebrating the hues of spring while “Mingling Spirits” blends ballet and jazz dance techniques. “After Hours” is a delightful character jazz piece about what happens in department stores after the lights go out, according to an academy news release.

    The concert also will showcase a collaborative work from Denney and the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, Persephone’s Sisters, which debuted in February at Bethel College to the music of Argentina’s Alberto Ginastera with guest conductor Diego Sánchez Haase. Dancers Paige Kliewer, Taylor Goerend, Molly Flavin, Abigail Decker and Aneka Voth will repeat their performance.

    Jessica Stone, a 2008 graduate of Newton High School, is featured with Lock in a duet titled “Like Minds,”a new work, and Denney offers a new Irish-inspired work, “Selkies,” for 11 of the program’s Irish Traditional step dancers.

    Other dancers performing in the concert include: Emily Kuhn, Emily Blaine, Chloe Denno, Anna Fruechting, Megan Hendrickson, Kassidy Thompson, Courtney Mellinger, Courtney Grosch, Lauren Mellinger, Calla Potluri, Kyla Jantz, Bethany Hamill, Martha Thrash, Laurel Edwards, Jasmine Brandt, Maddison Goerend, Naomi Neufeld-Epp, Lydia Chappell-Deckert, Kinzie Weber, and Randi Rienert.

    General admission tickets for Spring Fling are $7 for adults; $5 for children ages 5 through 12; and $3.50 for seniors. Children younger than 5 are admitted without charge. To reserve tickets, call 283-4902 or bcapa@sbcglobal.net. Tickets also will be available at the door.

    Summer Arts 2008

    The public is invited to participate in the academy’s Summer Arts 2008 with special programs for dancers ages 4 to adult throughout the summer.

    In addition to a three-week session, Jump Start Summer – June 2 through 20, the programming includes special program for young movers, Destination Imagination, during the weeks of June 9 and June 16, Ballet Intensive July 7 through 11, Just Jazz Intensive July 14 through 18 and Irish Intensive Aug. 4 through 8.

    A special dance camp, Dancers’ Intensive for Performers featuring field trips and special guests, will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, July 21 through 25. This program, coordinated by Lock, welcomes back guests Peggy Meade Finizio, M.F.A. from Florida, and Jennifer Weber, Ballet Quad-Cities, from Illinois. Finizio was the academy’s former director of dance, from 2004-2007.

    Other guests include A. Nicholas Johnson and Sabrina Vasquez from Wichita State University’s dance faculty, Irish dance artist Kieran Jordan, master of arts, from Boston, and local professionals, Gordon Method instructor Brian Postier, and early childhood expert Kristin Neufeld-Epp.

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