Category Archives: Arts

Two students dance in the fall 2017 Richland College production of "Thriller" Richland College Dance Program Presents ‘DANCE–Take a Walk on the Wild Side!’ Fall Dance Concert

The Richland College dancers may not have moves like Jagger, but they will have moves like jaguars! The fur will be flying at the upcoming fall dance concert, “DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!,” at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!” will involve both students and faculty in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!” is a creative endeavor to bring awareness and to inspire a passion for nature and wildlife with a zoological theme, and audiences are invited to attend and engage in a “zoo-rific” opportunity to appreciate dance.

Choreography will include original pieces by Cheryl Callon, Cooper Delgado, Kaley Jensen and Lauren Schieffer-Holley. Repertoire will include a tap piece from Dallas legend Buster Cooper, recreated by his granddaughter, guest artist Keira Leverton and performance by her company Choreo Records. Guest artists include Kaley Jensen and Dallas Black Dance Theater’s Encore!

Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.

Jensen was born and raised in Atlanta and graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in dance and minor in business. While at BYU, Jensen performed and toured with the Theatre Ballet Company all four years. Jensen has trained on multiple scholarship programs, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and Ballet West, as well as achieving academic and international talent awards at the World Dance Movement in Italy. Last May, Jensen completed her M.F.A. in dance at the University of Arizona, where she also deepened her passion for performing, educating and choreographing. Currently, Jensen dances professionally as a company member with Ballet North Texas.

Dallas Black Dance Theater’s Encore!, under the direction of Nycole Ray, is a professional company that consists of eight aspiring artists from around the nation. Since its inception, Encore! has grown in popularity and thrilled audiences with its fresh allure. Encore! provides an opportunity for young artists to develop their dance skills while serving the Dallas/Ft. Worth community and touring around the world with dance performances of the highest artistic quality.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students who value diversity. The program develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

“DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road.


illustration of hamlet classical theater actor playing character Richland College Theatre Students Receive Prestigious Internships with Shakespeare Dallas

Richland College students Lacedes Hunt and Will Frederick recently received prestigious summer internships with Shakespeare Dallas. Hunt will work with directing and Frederick will work with lighting.

“An internship with Shakespeare Dallas means that our students have the opportunity to work at one of the largest, oldest and most respected regional theatres in Dallas,” said Gregory Lush, theatre faculty member at Richland College, who will be portraying Iago in Shakespeare Dallas’ production of “Othello” this fall. “They work all summer alongside the top professionals in our field. At the end of a successfully completed internship, our students will receive personal recommendation letters.”

Internships at Shakespeare Dallas provide students the opportunity to work with top artists, designers and technicians in a professional working environment and to connect with many different theatre companies in North Texas. These unpaid internships last eight to 12 weeks and require 20-25 hours of work per week.

The Richland College Theatre program provides a well-balanced curriculum of classroom instruction and concurrent professional employment that challenges students and fosters their success in the world of drama and theatrical production. Students learn on a cutting-edge sound system and robotic lighting, giving them real-world training in all phases of production. The award-winning faculty and staff also offer in-depth classroom study and hands-on practical experience in acting, musical theatre, design and technical arts and improvisation. For more information, visit richlandcollege.edu/theatre.

Since 1971, Shakespeare Dallas has provided North Texas residents the opportunity to experience Shakespeare in a casual park setting, as well as providing cultural and educational programs to audiences of all ages. For more information, visit shakespearedallas.org.


Charles Coldewey poses near the winning artwork with U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson. Richland College Gallery Coordinator Selected as Jury for 2018 U.S. Congressional Art Competition

Richland College gallery coordinator Charles Coldewey was recently selected to serve on the jury for the 2018 U.S. Congressional Art Competition for the 30th Congressional District of Texas, represented by U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson.

Richland College resides within the 30th district of Texas. Coldewey is one of five individuals from schools within Johnson’s district selected to be on the jury for the competition.

“This is both a privilege and honor to be asked to be involved, and it’s a great opportunity to represent Richland in the community,” said Coldewey. “I have a deep love for the arts, and I want to support young artists whenever possible.”

Coldewey visited Johnson’s office to judge 98 student-submitted works of art, and he was also a guest speaker at the Congressional Art Competition reception April 20 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas.

Victoria Taylor of the Cambridge School of Dallas was selected as the grand prize winner of the competition. Cree Agent of Bishop Dunne Catholic School won second prize and Natalie Carvajal of Booker T. Washington High School finished third. As part of her prize, Taylor’s winning artwork will be displayed for one year in the Cannon Tunnel, a tunnel in Washington, D.C., connecting the Cannon House Office Building with the U.S. Capitol.

In addition to serving as gallery coordinator and teaching three-dimensional design, advanced design and sculpture classes at Richland College, Coldewey is an active member of the north Texas art community. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of North Texas, is on the Ft. Worth Arts Panel and is on the artist registry for Dallas and Ft. Worth.

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 and is an annual competition open to high school students and sponsored by the Congressional Institute. A winner is submitted from each congressional district by the district’s member of Congress.


Two students dance in the fall 2017 Richland College production of "Thriller" Richland College Dance Program Presents ‘Utopia’ Spring Dance Concert

The Richland College dance program will transport audiences into a fantastical world of myth and wonder when it presents its spring dance concert, “Utopia,” with performances at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. April 13.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “Utopia” will feature students, faculty members and guest performers in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“We hope to make imaginations bubble with excitement in the unexpected land of ‘Utopia,’ where our audience will experience hope, joy and fantasy right along with the performers,” said Sawyer. “This dance performance seeks to take viewers to a place of innovative art-making where dreams come true.”

Part of the performance will be the short film “In Memoriam,” dedicated to celebrating the creative life of the late Darrell Cleveland, a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor who left a lasting influence on the Dallas-Fort Worth dance community, particularly at Richland College, where he was a regular guest performer in dance productions. With performance and choreography clips interposed with commentary about Cleveland from current and former Richland College students, the film remembers an outstanding member of the local community and hopes to inspire others to make a positive impact within their own spheres of influence.

Dance choreography and film work will include original pieces by Sawyer, Christie Bondade, Cheryl Callon, Cooper Delgado, Lauren Schieffer Holley and Terrance M. Johnson. Featured guest performers include 8&1 Dance Company, directed by Jill S. Rucci, and Choreo Records Tap Company, directed by Keira Leverton.

Jill S. Rucci, founder and artistic director of 8&1 Dance Company, moved to Texas from New York City after being a principal dancer and guest choreographer for Vissi Dance Theater for more than 10 years. Her professional experience has taken her to places including Boston, Los Angeles and Olbia, Italy. For six seasons now, Rucci has grown 8&1 DALLAS into a successful dance company, creating innovative and refreshing works, and in January 2018 she announced the expansion of the 8&1 Dance Company to include 8&1 EAST, to be based in Providence, RI.

Kiera Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students that values diversity and develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

“Utopia” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road. Additional information is available at richlandcollege.edu/dance.


Waiting for Godot Richland College Theatre Department Wins Awards at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

The Richland College theatre department received several awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), Region Six Texas State Festival, held at Angelo State University (ASU) Oct. 25-28.

Richland College performed a production of “Waiting for Godot” at the festival. Students Carter Brown, Jabin Lewis and Shae Hardwick received Excellence in Acting awards, and Marissa Gutierrez received a Stage Management award.

In addition, Richland College’s performance was awarded Respondents’ Choice Best of Festival, chosen by respondents Tom Miller, from New York City’s Actors’ Equity Association, and Tom Burch, assistant professor of scenic design at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. The show also received Directors’ Choice Best in Festival, voted on by the directors of each show in the festival.

“Richland College was represented with pride and honor at the Texas State Festival of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival,” said Andy Long, lead faculty of theatre at Richland College. “Our freshmen and sophomore students not only held their own at a play festival, where productions consisted of juniors and seniors and even graduate students, but also the Richland College production of “Waiting for Godot” walked away with the top two awards. The commitment and determination of our young students was remarkable to see as they focused their attentions and abilities on success and then accomplished it. I am immensely proud of our students.”

Richland College is currently being considered for participation in the 2018 KCACTF Regional Festival, hosted by ASU Feb. 28-March 3.

Kennedy Center American College Theatre is a national organization focused on celebrating the educational and creative process of university and college theatre. Through its state, regional and national festivals, it honors excellence in overall production and individual recognition to students in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing and design. It includes more than 600 academic institutions nationwide participating in eight regional festivals. Richland College is part of Region Six, which also includes college theatre programs at universities and colleges in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. For more information about KCACTF, visit kcactf.org.

For more information about the Richland College theatre department, visit alt.richlandcollege.edu/theatre.


Richland College Dance Program Presents ‘Thriller’ Fall Concert

The Richland College dance program will be preying on our fear of the unknown with an upcoming fall dance concert, “Thriller,” at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “Thriller” will involve both students and faculty in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“Thriller” is about exploring the mystery of the unknown through dance performance. Each choreographer has created a unique take on the subject, ranging from celebrating recognizable images in pop culture to conceptual pieces addressing surreal fantasy.

Sawyer also created an original piece, “The Scream,” which will be performed by Richland students.

“I am hoping to get a reaction of discomfort by abstracting and juxtaposing everyday and invented movements in a bizarre fashion, allowing the visual imagery of the dance to build in intensity until it reaches out and grabs the audience,” Sawyer said of her piece.

In addition to Sawyer, choreography will include original pieces by Cooper Delgado, Christie Nelson and Lauren Schieffer. Repertoire will include a tap piece from Dallas legend Buster Cooper, recreated by his granddaughter, guest artist Keira Leverton. The Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet Company under the direction of Emilie Skinner will also guest perform.

Kiera Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.

Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet was established in 2011 as a nonprofit organization to bring concerts emphasizing neo-classical ballet to the Dallas-Fort Worth community, while also creating a venue for experienced classical dancers to utilize their training. The company’s dancers are primarily from the north Texas region.

Neoclassical ballet is the style of classical ballet exemplified by sophisticated and modern choreography, retaining the pointe shoe aesthetic, but often without the excessive drama and mime of the full length story ballets of previous eras.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students that values diversity and develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

“Thriller” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road.


Richland College Presents 14th Annual ‘Carnival of Steel’ Festival April 22

A student plays steel drumsRichland College will once again be the site of incredible beats and rhythms when it hosts the 14th annual Carnival of Steel festival from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 22.

A premier world music event in Dallas-Ft. Worth, this year’s Carnival of Steel festival will feature steel bands, percussion groups and jazz bands from around the U.S. performing a variety of music styles from Caribbean to Latin to classical and even rock. Special guests include world-renowned steel drum artist Jeff Narell and steel drum artist, festival tuner and massed band leader Shelly Irvine.

Carnival of Steel will begin with daytime performances from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. that are free and open to the public. At 5:30 p.m. Narell will host a guest artist performance demo clinic, and at 8 p.m. will be the guest artist evening concert. Tickets to the performance demo clinic are $5, and tickets to the evening concert are $10. All performances will take place in the outdoor breezeway on the east side of the Richland College campus.

Also available at the Carnival of Steel will be a steel drum tuning service provided by Irvine, in addition to various Caribbean food and clothing vendors.

Tickets to Carnival of Steel may be purchased in advance by contacting Derrick Logozzo at 972-238-6254, or they may be purchased in person at the event.

Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road. Additional information is available at richlandcollege.edu/carnivalofsteel.


Richland College Dance Program Celebrates the Unexpected with ‘Serendipity’ Spring Dance Concert
Four Richland College dance students perform in True Colors

Richland College students perform in last year’s ‘True Colors’ dance program.

Expect the unexpected when the Richland College dance program stages its spring dance concert, “Serendipity,” with performances at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. March 31.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “Serendipity” will feature students, faculty members and guest performers in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“’Serendipity’ is sure to tickle your fancy with unexpected twists and turns,” said Sawyer. “The dance performances embrace creative thinking and art-making.”

Dance faculty choreography and film work will include original pieces by guest performer Darrell Cleveland and faculty members Nadia Dosal, Christie Nelson, Lauren Schieffer and Sawyer. Additional guest performers and choreographers include Keira Leverton and the Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project.

Darrell Cleveland is a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor with 20 years of experience in ballet, jazz and modern dance forms. His experience includes teaching at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, dancing with Toni Braxton and En Vogue, eight seasons with the Dallas Black Dance Theater and choreographing and starring in statewide Texas Lottery commercials.

Keira Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.

The Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project (TMJDP) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that uses the art of dance to promote community outreach, cultural awareness, social consciousness, art in education and the preservation of live performance art. Its mission is to support the welfare of underserved communities through the creation and implementation of art and culture programs that are rooted in the principles of humanity. The TMJDP professional company is a collective of performing artists that engages audiences with choreographic works that are socially conscious, critically engaging and aesthetically pleasing.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students that values diversity and develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

“Serendipity” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road. Additional information is available at richlandcollege.edu/dance.


U.S. Air Force Band of The West To Perform at Richland College
U.S. Air Force Band of the West performs music.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force Band of the West.

The United States Air Force (USAF) Band of the West is coming to Richland College to perform as part of its Holiday in Blue tour. This performance will take place at 7 p.m. on December 3 in the Fannin Performance Hall. This concert is free and open to the public.

“At this time, the U.S. federal government is considering a severe reduction in U.S. military band travel, and we will be able to experience the tremendous benefit of the program before such a decision is made,” said Derick Logozzo, Richland College director of instrumental music. “Also, the interaction that Richland students will be able to have with these career musicians on the day of the event in separate sessions is very valuable. Our students will get to hear and see the level of ability of experienced competitive symphonic music professionals and learn more about how to reach such a goal.”

The USAF Band of the West has been presenting Holiday in Blue concerts for more than 40 years as a way of bringing the community together to celebrate the holiday season and our veterans through music. This 90-minute concert will include a variety of works, styles and genres featuring the excellent display of musicianship from the symphonic concert band and soloists.

For more information about the USAF Band of the West, visit bandofthewest.af.mil. For more information about the Richland College music department, visit richlandcollege.edu/hfp/music.


Richland College Dance Program Raises Environmental Awareness with ‘Fire and Ice’ Fall Concert
Two students dancing in sync

Richland College students audition for “Fire & Ice.” Photo by Paul Knudsen.

The Richland College dance program’s movements will go green as it raises awareness of the environment during its fall dance concert, “Fire & Ice,” at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “Fire & Ice” will involve both students and faculty in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“’Fire & Ice’ is about creating a greater awareness for our environment through dance performance,” said Sawyer. “The Richland College dance program is collaborating with Richardson Recycles to promote sustainability within our community.”

Each audience member who attends the afternoon show will receive a blue recycle bag from the city of Richardson. The bags can be used as a reusable grocery bags and later can be repurposed into cleaning cloths.

Dance faculty choreography and film work will include original pieces by Claire Augustine, Christie Nelson, Lauren Schieffer and Sawyer. The program will also feature guest performers and choreographers Matt Rivera, the Big Rig Dance Collective and Rhythmic Souls, which is under the direction of Katelyn Harris.

Rivera’s professional experience includes theatrical performances such as “Mamma Mia!” in Las Vegas and the first national runs of “Swing!” and “Movin’ Out.” He also has performed with a variety of dance companies, including Twyla Tharp’s THARP, Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago, Cirque du Soleil and more.

The Big Rig Dance Collective is based in north Texas and produces contemporary dance works that investigate questions big and small through physical experience. Since 2010, the Big Rig Dance Collective has been creating a myriad of dance experiences in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and has presented at many regional and national festivals throughout the United States.

Rhythmic Souls, under the direction of Harris, is a small company of rhythm tap dancers known for their unique blend of style, charisma, innovative choreography and rapid-fire footwork. Rhythmic Souls strives to bring the spirit of tap dance back to the stage and continues the legacy of this American art form. Their cross-genre repertoire infuses rhythm dance with body percussion, sand dancing, contemporary movement, flamenco, swing dance and anything else that might lend itself to rhythmic persuasion.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students that values diversity and develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

Richardson Recycles encourages people to recycle common items such as paper, cardboard, plastic and glass  not only to save landfill space, but  also to help the environment. The City of Richardson offers blue bag collection twice per week for single family homes and annually collects an average of 5,500 tons of recyclable material.

“Fire & Ice” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road.