Loyola Dancers Perform in Rome, Italy Alongside Professional Artists on New Faculty-Lead Summer Program
A new Loyola faculty-lead study abroad course takes student dancers to Rome, Italy to collaborate and perform with Rome’s Mandala Dance Company.
The program (DANC 398: Undergraduate Research in Dance), led by Loyola educator and choreographer Amy Wilkinson, is a unique experience that combines, travel, dance and research. Wilkinson started the program in Ho Chi Minh City last summer at the Loyola Vietnam Center and launched the new program in Rome this year. The program pairs faculty mentors with students pursuing research projects in Dance. The students experience dance and choreography in new ways while studying and learning alongside international dancers.
This past June, nine Loyola students embarked on the week-long trip. One week before the flight, the group met in Chicago to rehearse a dance choreographed by Wilkinson entitled My Life Closed Twice. Once in Rome, the dancers joined forces with the Mandala Dance Company to learn and rehearse two more dances.
Throughout the week, the group visited historical landmarks around Rome and experienced the culture and lifestyle of the eternal city. On the last day, the students performed three dance pieces with the Mandala Dance Company at a public showcase.
Yariana Baralt-Torres, a Loyola student and one of the dancers on the trip, said,“Getting to experience a different culture, group of dancers and set of ideals allowed me to understand better my role as an artist, student and person in this world.”