Performing in Scotland a big move for dance students

Publication Date

The Union College Dance Program will leap across the Atlantic this summer to perform for the first time at the renowned The Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland as part of the International Collegiate Theatre Festival.

Union dance students

“We’re excited that our students have been selected to perform at the world’s largest arts festival,” said Dance Program Director Miryam Moutillet. “This is a fabulous opportunity to present their work internationally and be exposed to artists and cultures from around the globe.”

The Fringe attracts more than 3.5 million people each year. Moutillet and Laurie Zabele Cawley, dance lecturer, will accompany 13 students to the three-week festival. The students will perform four times while there, Aug. 5-16.

“Being able to display my love for dance at this renowned festival is an incredible feat that very few artists experience,” said Emma Kelly ’21. “I am so grateful that Union has offered me not only academic advancement but the opportunity to continue my passion for dance.”

Haylee Snow ‘23 looks forward to “immersing myself in different cultures and building new relationships.” And for Lily Kurker ’22, having the chance to “travel and perform internationally with such a great group of women and live out a dream of mine is surreal.”

Joining these three dancers on the Fringe stage are Leigh Cavanaugh ’22, Isabella Demyan ’21, Alex Kucinski ’21, Marie Lindsey ’21, Mary Melo ’22, Alex Merrill ’21, Michela Michielli ’22, Catherine Rayhill ’21 and Zoe Watson ’23. Theater major Juliet Park ’21 will serve as technician and stage manager.

In addition, senior dance minors Madison Altman, Madalyn Engvold, Danielle Pinney and Abby Polott will assist on campus with choreography, marketing and rehearsals.

Participants will work on the Fringe project throughout winter and spring terms. They will return to campus in July to rehearse for five days before embarking on their travels.

In addition to dancing at the festival, they will attend performances, workshops and dance classes, and tour some of Scotland’s historical and cultural sites.

“Our dance minors will be able to reflect on who they are as individuals and artists, define their distinct voice and distinguish their craft as they become part of a larger community,” Cawley said. “Our hope is for them to see the arts as a powerful tool to bond us across continents.”

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe was created in 1947 as an offshoot of the Edinburgh International Festival, which was formed to promote global peace and unity after World War II. Eight theater companies that had not been officially invited traveled there and participated on its “fringes.”

They attracted so much enthusiasm that a new festival was born, the Fringe.

Today, with more than 3,000 productions and 50,000 performances featuring thousands of international artists, the Fringe transforms Scotland’s capital into a wall-to-wall performance space. For the last 20 years, select collegiate performing arts programs have been invited to participate.