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Students Perform with Top London Dance Company


When the Richard Alston Dance Company (RADC) celebrated its 20th anniversary in London with a special concert series in June, two dance students from U-M 's School of Music, Theatre & Dance were among the featured performers.

Michael Parmelee, an MFA candidate, and Maeve McEwen, who will be a BFA senior this fall, gave what described as a "glowing and sensual account" of the concluding duet from Alston's Brisk Singing, which the couple had previously performed in February 2015 at the dance department's annual Power Center concerts.

Richard Alston, one of the United Kingdom's seminal contemporary dance choreographers, attended those performances at the invitation of dance department chair Angela Kane, a scholar of Alston's work who initiated the restaging of Brisk Singing at U-M.

Delighted by the full ensemble of 11 that performed his work--inspiring him to restage the full work for his own company next season--Alston was so impressed by Parmelee's and McEwen's duet that he invited them to perform it on the London anniversary series, titled "At Home," which was presented at The Place, London's premier center for contemporary dance. 

"It truly was the most amazing experience," said McEwen upon her return to the U.S. "The company was incredibly welcoming, and it was so special to work with Richard and Martin (Lawrance) again, especially in their home theater! I could not have asked for anything better."

During their weeklong stay in London, Parmelee and McEwen took class with the Alston company each day, led alternately by RADC rehearsal director and former company member Martin Lawrance (who had set the work on the U-M dancers last fall), and former Merce Cunningham dancer Jeannie Steele, and rehearsed Brisk Singing with both Alston and Lawrance. They documented the experience on SMTD's Instagram page (#umichsmtd, #smtdstudenttakeover).

The "At Home" concerts, performed June 10-14, were well-covered by the London media, with excellent reviews published in The London Times, The Guardian, and the Financial Times, as well as a number of dance and cultural websites. Among these was Seen-and-Heard International where John O'Dwyer wrote: "Maeve McEwen and Michael Parmelee, from the University of Michigan, received several cries of 'Bravo!'  


past news

September 2017
March 2014

U-M UpstART Festival Begins 03/31/2014

Students Present "Wall-to-Wall Theatre Festival" 03/27/2014

First-Ever SMTD Chamber Music Competition Launches April 5 03/27/2014

Doctoral Fellow Named MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year 03/26/2014

Theatre Student Lands Major TV Role 03/25/2014

Elizabeth Batiuk (ethnomusicology) has been chosen as a fellow at the Sweetland/Rackham Dissertation Writing Institute for spring 2014 and James McNally (ethnomusicology) received a summer and academic year FLAS for the study of Portuguese.    03/17/2014

Musicology graduate student Elizabeth McLain has been awarded a prestigious Lurcy Fellowship for research in France during the 2014-2015 academic year.   03/14/2014

December 2013

SMTD students Zoe Kumagai, Stephanie Aboukasm, and Adam DesJardins are among students profiled in an LSA article about the "Michigan in Washington" program, in which students intern at various Washington, DC organizations and businesses, including the National Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center, and the Washington Performing Arts Society.    12/10/2013

October 2013
August 2013

Evan Zegiel, a sophomore who studies with Fritz Kaenzig, was the First Place winner in the Tuba Student division of the 2013 Leonard Falcone International Euphonium & Tuba Festival.     08/21/2013

July 2013

Professor Ashley Lucas and three Theatre & Drama students are engaged in an intensive exchange program with UniRio in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this summer, where they are blogging about their experiences in UniRio's prison arts program and more.   07/12/2013

November 2011
August 2011
June 2011
Michael Parmelee and Maeve McEwen (photo by Peter Smith)
Current Student News
DMA Piano Students Perform with Ann Arbor Symphony more
2018 SMTD Concerto Competition Winners Announcedmore

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower