UArts Dance Students to Represent United States at Venice Biennale

Four top dancers selected for international festival of contemporary dance

UArts dancers Miles Yeung, Tunai Jones, Arianna Henry and Richard Villaverde.

January 23, 2012

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Four 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.

Tunai Jones, a senior, juniors Richard Villaverde and Arianna Henry, and sophomore Miles Yeung follow three UArts students selected last year to be the first American students to attend the dance workshops led by renowned artistic director and choreographer Ismael Ivo.

Jones, Villaverde, Henry and Yeung were among 30 young dancers from around the world selected through competitive international auditions and will spend five months in Venice attending intensive workshops taught by global dance artists.  

The Venice Biennale has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Ever since its foundation in 1895, it has been in the avant-garde, promoting new artistic trends and organizing international events in contemporary arts.

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.

The students anticipate the experience will change them as artists as well as individuals. "I think exposure to another culture of dance will change the way we think about our art," said Villaverde, a native of Miami, Fla. 

Donna Faye Burchfield, director of the School of Dance at the University of the Arts, said, "It is a dream come true to have these four students go to Venice to continue to build on our relationship with Ismael Ivo and the Dance Biennale in Venice."

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