ChoreoLab 2015 to pay tribute to a departing dean

The Duke University Dance Program will present its spring dance concert, ChoreoLab 2015, at 8 p.m. on March 27-28 in Reynolds Industries Theater at Duke University.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or from the Duke Box Office ( or 919-684-4444).

This year’s ChoreoLab will be presented as a tribute to Dr. Laurie Patton, who is stepping down as the Dean of Trinity College Arts and Sciences to accept the position of President at Middlebury College.

Dean Laurie Patton, an eminent Sanskrit scholar, came to Duke in 2011 and, among other contributions, has taken an active and keen interest in inspiring the proposed MFA degree in Live Arts and Embodied Performance for the Dance Program.

“The Dance Program is pleased to pay tribute to her contributions at Duke and to honor her at our ChoreoLab mainstage show,” said Director Purnima Shah.

The opening piece of the concert, Oh, Shakti!, is a performance of verses three and nine from the 8th century Sanskrit text, Ananda-Lahari, by the philosopher and theologian, Adi Shankaracharya. It is conceptualized by Shah and sung and danced by Bharatanatyam dance artist and classical vocalist, Ramya Sundaresan Kapadia.

ChoreoLab 2015 will also feature the return of alumna Audrey Fenske (T’ 2009) the first dance major to graduate from Duke. She will perform, with her partner Devin Sweet, the "Duet from Image d'un Reve” choreographed by Keith Lee, former ballet master for Alvin Ailey and former American Ballet Theatre soloist.

Julie Janus Walters, assistant professor of the practice of dance, has choreographed a modern ballet, “Signed Release,” a work she said is inspired by how people grant the use of personal information in the current era.

Associate Professor Andrea E. Woods Valdés and her repertory of modern dancers have created a new work titled “The Humanity Museum” inspired by poems and quotes of Maya Angelou.

Rounding out the program will be an African dance piece from Associate Professor Ava LaVonne Vinesett, a dance theater work by Thomas F. DeFrantz, professor of African and African American Studies and Dance, and dance performances by student choreographers Rebecca Holmes, Jennifer Margono, Alexandra Sansosti and A.J. Laudenslager.

Prices for tickets are $17 general, $12 seniors, and $7 for students. To purchase tickets:

Article by: by Jennifer Prather, (919) 684-6054,