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A look back at the 2019 conference:

Stephens College, Columbia, MO


Guest Presenters

Daniel Gwirtzman
United Through Dance: An Interactive and Inclusionary Workshop.

Designed to bring Missouri’s diverse dance communities together in a meaningful and spirited way, United Through Dance: An Interactive and Inclusionary Workshop, taught by New York choreographer, director, dancer, and educator Daniel Gwirtzman, presents a range of dynamic, easy-to-learn and accessible dances to create a common, shared experience designed for all. The movement workshop seeks to strengthen the connections among Missouri’s dance practitioners, scholars, and educators, highlighting pedagogical applications and best practices to bring to one’s individual communities.

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Photo Credit - Lois Greenfield

Daniel Gwirtzman--producer, educator, filmmaker and dancer--celebrates twenty-four years as a New York choreographer and company director. His diverse repertory of over a hundred dances has earned praise for its humor, musicality, charisma and accessibility. “Mr. Gwirtzman does know that in dance less can be more. And that’s a good thing for any choreographer to know” writes The New York Times. The New Yorker describes him as a choreographer of “high spirits and skill." The NYC-based Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2019. “A troupe I’d follow anywhere” (The Village Voice), a “troupe of fabulous dancers” (Backstage) that “can’t help but smile” (The New Yorker). Highlights include performances at The 92nd Street Y, Jacob’s Pillow, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kennedy Center, Battery Dance Festival, Bryant Park, La MaMa, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Since 1998 the nonprofit has committed to education through inclusive, multigenerational interactive programming. He has received commissions, residencies and fellowships from institutions including the Joyce Theater Foundation, The Yard, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, The Studios of Key West, Ucross, CDI, Raumars (Finland), Sacatar Foundation (Brazil), Sfakiotes Residency (Greece) Maison Dora Maar (France), Centro Negra (Spain), and Gdański Festiwal Tanca (Poland). Daniel has been on faculty at SUNY Buffalo State, Kennesaw State University, and The University of the Arts, and a guest at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, The University of Florida, Princeton University, New York University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Fordham University/The Ailey School, Barnard College, Joffrey Ballet School, American Dance Festival Studios, and the LaGuardia H.S. for the Performing Arts. Daniel produces dance films that have enjoyed screenings nationally and internationally. He attended The University of Michigan (BFA), The University of Wisconsin (MFA), and danced with Garth Fagan Dance and the Mark Morris Dance Group. In 1995 he co-founded Artichoke Dance Company, “a welcome addition to the New York dance scene” (The NYTimes). In 2010 he was selected by the DanceBreak Foundation, supporting the “next generation of great Broadway choreographers.” In 2014, Daniel premiered The Oracle at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAM Fisher. As a dancer he has been described as “a willowy John Travolta, sensual, playful, a rag doll, unusually supple, and one who moves like the wind.” He serves as the Director of E-Communications and a Board Member for the National Dance Education Organization. and gwirtzmandance on Instagram/Facebook.

Cecilia Nadal

As founder and executive director of Gitana Productions, for more than two decades Cecilia Nadal has used music, dance, and drama to nurture awareness, acceptance, and appreciation across diverse communities.

Ms. Nadal established Gitana in 1996 in the midst of her 23-year career leading Productive Futures Inc., a human resources firm for immigrants and long-term unemployed people.  Cecilia is a playwright, producer and sociologist who is passionate about the role that the arts can play in building community.

Every concert, play, dance, festival, and educational event she has produced has furthered Gitana’s mission of “global healing through the arts.”

Since 2006, Gitana’s after-school program has brought together young immigrants and African-Americans who often live in the same neighborhoods but have no ambassadors linking the two groups. In 2012, Ms. Nadal built a collaboration between 80 local organizations to create the first St. Louis Cross-Cultural Engagement Conference for arts organizations. The many awards Cecilia has received, and her frequent role as a keynote speaker and panelist, have raised the profile on how the arts can bridge gaps and build a dynamic community.

This year Cecilia received the highest honor given in the arts in Missouri. She received the Missouri Arts Award for “Leadership in the Arts” for her dedication in bringing diverse segments of our community together using music, dance, drama and education.  This recognition follows earlier awards Cecilia has received including Woman of Achievement, the St. Louis Visionary Award for Community Impact, the Adelante Award from the Hispanic community and the Ethics in Action Award.

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