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Moscow Grand Prix

July 2004

Twelve Beloit students, dance faculty and Russian professor, Donna Oliver traveled to Moscow, Russia to participate in an international dance festival in June 2004.

Barbara Allen perfomed at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow

Under the direction of Professors Chris Johnson and Margaret Rennerfeldt, the dancers won the Laureate Grand Prix – the top prize-at the seventh annual "Festival of Choreographic Collectives," and international youth dance festival in Moscow, Russia, in June 2004. Professor Johnson was also recognized with a special citation for "examining universal human events in defense of Peace, in defense of our future" for Wreath of Memories, a dance she choreographed about children in a Nazi Ghetto during the Holocaust. The dance was originally performed in the Chelonia Dance Concert 2002, but it has received encore performances in Russia and in Washington, D.C. by special invitation at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in the Meyerhoff Theater.

Wreath of Memories 

In addition to performing Wreath of Memories, the Beloit students and faculty also presented two short dances, Where or When by Johnson and Barbara Allen by Rennerfeldt.

Where or When

Professor Rennerfeldt also taught classes and choreographed a work to be performed by the hosting dance company, Rennaissance Folk Dance Ensemble directed by Irina and Alexander Sokolov.

Beloit Dancers with Russian dancer/hosts at the international dance festival in Moscow.

Professor of Modern Languages Donna Oliver translated the work, organized the trip and served as a guide and translator for the group of students and faculty. The trip was a result of a previous visit by Johnson, Oliver and Rennerfeldt to Moscow during which they were working to establish arts education opportunities for Beloit students who study abroad in Moscow.