An original work choreographed by Hope College senior Jessica Mumford was one of only eight works chosen to be performed on the Northeast Regional American College Dance Festival Gala Concert, held at the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y., in March.
"Forward Looking Back" was selected from a field of 36 works representing 26 colleges and universities. Mumford, a senior from Kalamazoo who is majoring in dance and psychology, noted that she "was extremely honored to have [her] piece performed in the Gala Concert amongst so many other well crafted works."
Performed at the Center for Fine Arts Mainstage Theatre on Saturday, March 19, "Forward Looking Back" was described by the adjudicators as a "powerful, brilliant... stunning, overwhelming work... a jewel." The piece was performed by Mumford and Hope sophomores Rebecca Bombard of Batavia, Ill., and Andhra Norman of Graytown, Ohio.
"I did not know what to expect from our trip to ACDFA [American College Dance Festival Association], but looking back, I can definitely say that I gained much more than I expected," Mumford said of her experience at the festival. "The opportunity to bring my own work and share it with dancers and faculty from other colleges was both humbling and gratifying. I did not realize that my work would have the impact that it did in Buffalo. This experience has given me a new sense of inspiration and reassurance that I have found my calling as a choreographer or, as I like to call it, 'creator of movement.' I only hope that many other dancers and choreographers from Hope can find their own experiences with ACDFA as rewarding as I did in the future." While at ACDF, students and faculty have the opportunity to present original works for adjudication, perform in informal concerts, participate in master classes and workshops, and attend lectures and presentations.
In addition to Bombard, Mumford and Norman, those attending from Hope were sophomore Jennifer Andrews of Hobe Sound, Fla., and faculty member Linda Graham. Their attendance was supported by the college's department of dance.