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March 7, 2005

Gallaudet Dance Company to celebrate golden anniversary

From: Gallaudet - Mar 7, 2005


Gallaudet Dance Company to celebrate golden anniversary

Past and present performers showcase talents to honor program's fifty years of existence

WASHINGTON – The Gallaudet Dance Company is pleased to announce its upcoming 50th Anniversary dance concert titled, "Gallaudet Dance Company Celebrates 50 Years of Dance," on Friday, March 25 at 11 am and 8 pm; and Saturday, March 26 at 8 pm in the Elstad Auditorium, Gallaudet University.

To commemorate the golden anniversary, former dancers and friends of the Gallaudet Dance Company are invited to attend the reception immediately following the Saturday evening performance.

Joining members of the Gallaudet Dance Company will be guest performers from the National Deaf Dance Academy Dancers, Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, Eleanor Roosevelt High School Dance Company and returning Gallaudet Dancers. The audiences will be treated to a memorable showcase of the company's favorite dances from the past fifty years.

The Dance Company has a rich history. It was founded in 1955 by Dr. Peter Wisher. Dr. Wisher observed a student signing "The Lord's Prayer" in ASL during a ceremony in Chapel Hall. Wisher was so impressed with the beauty of the motions that he suggested using signs as the foundation for dance movements. At first, the troupe was social and recreational, but soon they were asked to perform at events on- and off-campus. Today, the Dance Company performs in various genres, including jazz, tap, modern dance, hip-hop and sign language (ASL) incorporated with dance. The company has performed at the White House, the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Center, at Egypt's National Theater of Cairo and on stages in Israel, Canada, Denmark, Costa Rica, Peru, Barbados, Brazil, St. Lucia, Guatemala, South Korea, the Bahamas and France.

Since the retirement of Dr. Peter Wisher in May 1981, the Gallaudet Dance Company has been under the direction of Dr. Diane Hottendorf. Sue Gill-Doleac, a former Gallaudet Dancer, became an assistant director in 1982. The Gallaudet Dance Company consists of 17 dancers, male and female, who have different levels of hearing losses ranging from moderate to profound. Some of the dancers had formal training before joining the company, and some did not. But all dancers are excellent communicators, using their ability to convey ideas and emotions in a variety of dance genres.

WHAT: Gallaudet Dance Company Celebrates "50 Years of Dance"

WHERE: Gallaudet University, Elstad Auditorium
800 Florida Ave. NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

WHEN: March 25, 2005, 11 am and 8 pm
March 26, 2005, 8 pm
50th Reception after the Saturday evening performance
Student Union Building – Multipurpose Room, Flex A/B

COST: $10 for the performance – Adults/Students/Senior Citizens/Children
$20 Advance ticket – For Saturday 50th Reception – All invited to attend.
$25 at door for Saturday 50th reception

Box Office at Elstad Auditorium
3 pm – 6 pm, M - F, March 21 – 25, 2005

All performances are open seating.
For the best seats, we suggest you arrive half an hour before show time.

For more information, call Dance Program at 202-651-5591 (Voice/TDD), e-mail or visit the web site, at:

About Gallaudet University
Gallaudet University is the world leader in liberal education and career development for deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduate students. The University enjoys an international reputation for the outstanding graduate programs it provides deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing students, as well as for the quality of the research it conducts on the history, language, culture, and other topics related to deaf people. In addition, the University's Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center serves deaf and hard-of-hearing children at its two demonstration schools and throughout the nation by developing, implementing, and disseminating innovative educational strategies. Gallaudet is located in Washington, DC.