Dance students poised to train with US troupe

TWO Motherwell College dance students are to train with a famous dance company in New York.

Rachael MacLeod, from Cumbernauld, and Stacey Jardine, from Blantyre, recently completed the two-year HND Contemporary Dance course and have been offered the chance to train for one year with the Merce Cunningham Studio, the official dance school of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Merce Cunningham was one of the most highly-regarded and influential dancers ever to live in the United States, with a career spanning more than 50 years. His school trained many dancers who went on to found their own dance companies. These include Paul Taylor, Karole Armitage, Floanne Ankah and Jonah Bokaer.

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Merce also received several of the highest awards available to any performer, including an Olivier Award, and he has also been the subject of several films, books and exhibitions.

Top dance companies all over the world have performed his works.

Merce died in 2009, which means Rachael and Stacey will be two of the last students to ever train with the Studio which will shut down next year.

Both will participate in the closing ceremonies which will mark the end of an era in American dance.

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David McShane head of department for performing arts for Motherwell College said: “We already have an excellent track record of producing top quality graduates from our Performing Arts courses. The HND in Contemporary Dance gives our graduates a chance to continue their studies at the Merce Cunningham studio underlining our position as one of the best educational establishments in the UK to train in the Performing Arts.”

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