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Bennington Becomes First US School to Participate in European Dance Festival

Bennington College this summer became the first American school to participate in the European Schools Festival at the National Center of Contemporary Dance in France.

Accompanied by dance faculty members Susan Sgorbati, Terry Creach, and Dana Reitz, Bennington dancers Marie Blocker '10. Niko Tsocanos '11, Emily Climer '12 and Lydia Chrisman '12 joined more than 150 students and teachers from 15 schools representing 10 European countries for the five-day bi-annual event.

Bennington and Julliard were the only non-European schools invited (Julliard was not able to attend).

"We were invited because of the quality of our dance program and because we are known for being experimental," Sgorbati said.

The Bennington dancers participated in morning and afternoon workshops each day, and performed four of their own compositions during the evening sessions. 

"Their performances were very successful," Sgorbati said. "It was wonderful seeing them so inspired, and fantastic for us to form relationships with other dance professionals from around the world."

Further information about the European Schools Festival, see CNDC