Annual Physically Integrated Dance Performance Comes to Hialeah for “The 9th Talent Showcase”

picProduced and directed by KPD (Karen Peterson and Dancers) and four team teachers, “The 9th Talent Showcase” celebrates 25 years of physically integrated dance in South Florida. The free performance will be held in the Hialeah Senior High School Auditorium on Friday, March 13th at 10:00AM.

The KPD Company’s groundbreaking repertory has been performed by dancers with and without disabilities for 25 years. This organization is a positive “can-do” role model for both the disability and dance communities in South Florida that is committed to a high artistic level of creative opportunities for all abilities through workshops and performance.

With the support of The Children’s Trust, Culture Builds Florida, Autism Speaks and Citizens Interested In Arts to name a few, this performance is the final part of a larger initiative. KPD and “The 9th Talent Showcase” represent a safe and light-hearted atmosphere for students and provides them with the opportunity to learn about dance despite their economic, disability and geographical locations. Female and male students range in age between 13 and 22 years and their disabilities may include autism, visual, language, physical, emotional impairments and/or developmental delays. The participants, emerging from 16 different schools in the Greater Miami area rehearsed one hour a week during a 20 week dance program enabling them to gain social, emotional and learning skills through the discipline of and preparation for the final performance.

Hialeah Senior High School Quote
Teacher, Yvette Asous  “throughout the dance program it was amazing to see how my students became more and more comfortable with their body, physical movement and gross motor skills. Furthermore, social interaction, self confidence and following directions also improved”.

Before “mixed-ability” was recognized as a dance form, Artistic Director Karen Peterson consistently showcased this collaborative new language of choreography since 1990 and has become the only choreographer in Florida to win four dance fellowship awards for her choreographic vision. Even for dance teachers, KPD has offered them the ability to reach out to students through non-traditional teaching methods and reap the benefits of sharing in a physically fun, creative and esteem-building environments.

For more information about “The 9th Talent Showcase” and Karen Peterson and Dancers, visit www.karenpetersondancers.org or (305) 298-5879

Also in the future: KPD will celebrate their 25th Anniversary on May 14th, 15th, 2015 with CroiGlan and Hajde Da at the Dade County Auditorium

 About Karen Peterson a graduate of the Boston Conservatory, and Artistic Director of Karen Peterson Dance, has received four Choreographic Fellowship Awards from Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Department of State and the Miami Dade Department of Cultural Affairs for her groundbreaking choreography.

Karen has been a leader of “mixed-ability” dance since 1990 and under her direction, Karen Peterson and Dancers has represented the State of Florida at conferences and festivals in New York City, Atlanta, Cleveland, Brazil, Italy, Scotland, Spain, Bosnia, Belgrade, Montenegro and Ireland.  KPD toured the State in 2007, was presented in Tampa, Key West, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach and performed at The Harman Theatre in Washington D.C. for the VSA International Conference in June 2010.  Karen and her team teachers also direct the “Talent Showcase”, a 20-week residency program, now in its ninth year, for 200 Miami Dade students with special needs.

Karen received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 from the Mildred Levenson Dance Foundation, a Coldwell Bankers Cares Award, A Citizen Interested in the Arts Award, Cultural Exchange Fund APAP Travel Award and its first John and James L Knight Foundation Challenge Award in 2012 to support the company’s work in the Miami Dade Public Schools. She is a recipient of the 2015 American Red Cross Cultural Award for Women and was named one of the “Queen of the Arts” by the Miami Herald in September 2014.


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