One of the cornerstones of NJDTE's mission is to provide its dancers with firsthand experiences with dancers and choreographers from some of the most prestigious companies in the world, including Parsons Dance. NJDTE is proud to have had several current and former Parsons Dance members on its faculty for over ten years. This summer, two Parsons alumnae - former Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Koeppen and Kate Skarpetowska - joined the modern faculty for NJDTE's first Summer Intensive program in its new state-of-the-art facility in Summit, NJ.
As inspiring as it is for the NJDTE dancers to work with incredible artists like Koeppen and Skarpetowska, it is the dancers' passion, talent and dedication that in turn inspires them to keep coming back as mentors and long-term faculty members at NJDTE:
"Working with the NJDTE dancers is always a wonderful experience. They are highly dedicated and so eager to learn! In addition to watching them work so hard it is also incredibly satisfying to see them having so much fun."
"As always, the NJDTE dancers were an inspiring bunch this summer! It really was a pleasure to see such focus and dedication in these young dancers. There was great progress throughout the 3 weeks [of the Summer Intensive], both on the technical level as well as in the maturity of their performance abilities."
After seven years with Parsons Dance, Kate went on to perform with Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. This summer, she staged large group versions of two Lubovitch solos for the NJDTE dancers. Level 3A performed the fun and energetic "Do You Be," set to the idiosyncratic music of Meredith Monk. Kate selected this work for Level 3A "because of its playfulness. We had some great laughs in the studio learning it!" Level 3B/4 performed the expressive "Pardon My Affection," to music by Mozart. Kate chose this particular piece for the older dancers to "challenge their performance skills and the ability to speak through gesture."
A prolific choreographer and in-demand repetiteur, Skarpetowska teaches Ensemble Company classes on Sundays periodically throughout the year. During the next 6 months alone, Skarpetowska will create two new commissioned works for Parsons Dance and Owen/Cox Dance Group, and will travel to Germany to set Lubovitch's "Marimba" on the Oldenburg State Theater.