UNCG Professor of Dance Janet Lilly took 14 UNCG dancers to Italy last month. They were in residence July 16-August 4 at the Pieve International School near the historical Medieval hill town of Corciano, in the Umbrian region of Italy.
Umbria is often referred to as the “green heart of Italy.” Surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards and olive trees, Villa Pieve is the perfect location for immersing students in the art and practice of dance choreography and performance. The dancers had daily contemporary dance technique, Iyengar yoga and dance improvisation and composition classes. There were also classes in Italian language and cooking, and day trips to Assisi, Perugia, Cortona and Florence.
The UNCG students had the unique opportunity to rehearse with New York choreographer Jacquelyn Buglisi for a performance of her work in collaboration with Italian visual artist Rosella Vasta, “The Table on Silence.”
The high point of their artistic journey was performing with Italian dancers from Perugia and Cortona on Aug. 2, known as the “Day of Forgiveness” in the Franciscan tradition, in the main piazza in Perugia and at the Basilica di Santa Chiara in Assisi.
This was the first time Janet Lilly, head of the UNCG Dance department, had led a group of Spartan students abroad.
Her favorite part of the Italian journey – aside from the Italian cuisine they all enjoyed? “Watching how the dancers grew as performers and the focus and commitment they brought to the two performances.” She noted that the Assisi performance began at 6:30 a.m., and the students were ready in every sense of the word.
Drawn from news item in SMTD newsletter.
Photo of UNCG dance students courtesy Giancarlo Belfiore