Dance Student to Perform at Kennedy Center Festival

Kelsey Elizabeth Saulnier
Kelsey Elizabeth Saulnier

Kelsey Elizabeth Saulnier, a senior dance major, has been selected to represent the department of music and dance at the National College Dance Festival June 7-9 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Saulnier’s solo dance “Small Memory” was selected for inclusion by the 2018 Northeast Conference of the American College Dance Association (ACDA), which lauded the work as “a delicate movement poem, pure in its essence and profound in its performance and simplicity.”

Saulnier describes “Small Memory” as having been inspired “by shared memories, arrival, and departure. Through authentic gesture and poetic nuances, this dance explores a single moment in time, while questioning beginnings inside cyclical cycles.”

On April 14, Saulnier performed alongside fellow UMass Amherst dance students and faculty at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. The performance, “College is Not a Dry Run,” featured Saulnier’s “Small Memory,” along with two works by music and dance faculty members (“Alyma” by Molly Christie González and “Last Loop First” by Leslie Frye-Maietta) and “to ascend past numbness…” by Johnnie Cruise Mercer of TheREDprojectNYC’s.

Saulnier has been featured in works by Pilobolus Dance Theater, Bill T. Jones, Kinsun Chan and Bebe Miller. Last year, she was awarded the Virginia J. Wagner scholarship, granted to a student who has made significant contributions to productions of the Five College dance department.