HARRISON, N.Y. -- A group of Manhattanville College students performed on Thursday, July 24, on the Inside/Out Stage at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, an annual summerlong festival featuring dancers from all over the world.
The students performed “The Book of Breath,” a piece choreographed by Bessie Award winner Marta Renzi for last year’s fall dance concert. Since then, the students have performed the piece in Newport, R.I., at the Great Friends Dance Festival in addition to Jacob’s Pillow.
“Dancing on the Inside/Out Stage at Jacob's Pillow was breathtaking,” said Laurel Higa, who graduated from Manhattanville in May. “As a recent graduate looking to further my career as a dancer, performing at this historical site was a huge step forward into the professional world of dance and art.”
Senior Sara Arment and junior Lori Belovin said the experience at Jacob’s Pillow was a life-changing opportunity for them.
“Performing here is something that every dancer dreams of," said Arment. "I remember thinking in my head during the last minute of the performance, ‘Wow, you are actually here. You made it.’ It was such a surreal moment.”
The performance at Jacob’s Pillow was attended by more than 600 people.
“It was an incredible feeling, knowing there were different arrays of people there, some who are regulars and some who have never seen or experienced dance before. To know that we have affected and inspired people's lives for the first time is an overwhelming feeling,” said Belovin.
Training with professional dancers such as Renzi was also a big opportunity for the Manhattanville students, who also were coached by young professionals Ching-I Chang and Esme Boyce.
“Marta Renzi is an incredible woman,” expressed Belovin. “Not only does her choreography complement our talents and makes people think, but she sees our great potential and dedication.”