The American Dance Festival (ADF) will award the 2011 Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching to Donna Faye Burchfield, former ADF dean and director of the Hollins University/American Dance Festival MFA program.
The presentation will take place June 10 at 4pm in White Lecture Hall on Duke University’s West Campus in Durham, North Carolina. ADF dean emeritus Martha Myers will present the award.
Established by the ADF in 1991, the Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for
Distinguished Teaching honors educators who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of dance. Burchfield first arrived at the ADF as a student in the summer of 1982 and spent the next 28 years helping build and nurture the dance community. As the ADF dean, Burchfield worked to keep the school’s curriculum at the forefront of modern dance, structuring an environment for students to develop their skills and creativity. In 2010 she was appointed director for the School of Dance at The University of the Arts, Philadelphia.
Burchfield has served on a multitude of panels and organizations around the globe in support of
dance and the arts. At Hollins, she was awarded the Herta Freitag Distinguished Faculty award and a distinguished service award in addition to numerous travel/research grants that helped to make possible the extensive study of dance in Tunisia, Italy, China, Hong Kong, England, Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, and Cuba. She has taught in Moscow, Seoul, and Shanghai, and her works have been commissioned by The Mallarme Players, North Carolina State’s Center Stage, and Contemporary Dance Fort Worth.
Yang Meiqi, who pioneered modern dance in her native China, will be awarded the 2010 Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching by the American Dance Festival in a ceremony July 18 at Duke University’s West Campus in Durham, North Carolina. Choreographer Shen Wei, founder of Shen Wei Dance Arts and a former student of Yang Meiqi, will speak at the ceremony.
“Yang Meiqi’s brave and unrelenting pursuit to successfully build an unknown art form in her home country unequivocally deems her the mother of modern dance in China,” the ADF said in a press statement.
With the help of the ADF and its teachers, Yang established the first modern dance program at the Guangdong Dance Academy and founded the country’s first modern dance troupe, the Guangdong Modern Dance Company.
Yang served as director of teaching and research and principal at the Guangdong Dance Academy and has also been director of the Chinese Dancer’s Association and a member of the Guangzhou Municipal Arts Educational Committee.