Three University of the Arts Students Selected for Prestigious Dance Program in Italy

UArts dancers to blog about their experiences at the four-month, intensive Venice Biennale dance workshop

January 20, 2011

Three University of the Arts dance students have been selected to participate in the Arsenale della Danza dance workshop at La Biennale di Venezia (the Venice Biennale), one of the world's highest-profile celebrations of the arts.

Follow the UArts dancers' blog.

Seniors Noelle Cotler (center) and DJ Smart (left), and junior Patrick Cubbedge (right) are the first dancers from the U.S. to be selected for the festival. They were among 30 chosen at auditions this past fall in Italy and will spend four months in Venice participating in the prestigious program, held January 17 – May 15. The 20-year-old Cubbedge is the youngest dancer to be selected.

Arsenale della Danza is an intense combination of study and performance, a physical learning-by-doing process of research and exchange. Dancers spend six eight-hour days each week dancing and studying. In addition to working in the studio with top dance masters, participants will also be involved in on-stage activities and in a final performance to be presented in Venice.

Cotler, Cubbedge and Smart (who performed on Fox TV's hit show "So You Think You Can Dance" this past July) study under renowned dance educator Donna Faye Burchfield, director of the School of Dance at the University of the Arts.

"This is an incredible opportunity for these three students," Burchfield said. "Their success speaks to the strengths and abilities of our students here in the School of Dance to move through the world. As they expand and grow, so do we. 

"Their selection was a tremendous vote of confidence for our future directions in international programs and study tracks," she added.

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