NWSA dance alumni honor Gerri Houlihan at Winterfest

By Maria M. Flores….

Pictured from a performance of Between Angels (1992), choreographed by Gerri Houlihan are: Roxana Barba, Stephanie Bastos, Liza Carmona, Asha Darbeau, Afua Hall, Jennifer Knepper, Donald Laney, Tiffany Mellard, Heather Maloney, Makgotso Makiti, Jennifer Nugent, Kristin O’Neal, Sandra Portal-Andreu, Josh Reaver, Nikki Rollason and Mary Spring.

Alumni traveled from as far away as California to honor Gerri Houlihan during the Florida Dance Festival’s Winterfest on Dec. 30, 2010, at the New World Dance Theater.

Ms. Houlihan was the first full-time faculty member employed at New World School of the Arts Dance Division. She taught and choreographed at New World from 1988 to 1999. During that time she formed a company, Houlihan and Dancers, using students and local dancers. She presently is dean of the American Dance Festival and teaches at Florida State University.

The sold out performance was attended by many friends and alumni of the New World School of the Arts dance program and Houlihan and Dancers.

Houlihan began her professional training at the Juilliard School in New York studying with Antony Tudor, Alfredo Corvino and members of the Martha Graham and Jose Limon dance companies.

She performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and the Paul Sanasardo Dance Company, and spent five years as a soloist with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, touring extensively in the United States and Europe. Since 1977, Houlihan has taught and choreographed for such institutions as Connecticut College, New York’s High School for the Performing Arts, American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Harvard Summer Dance Center, Companhia de Lisboa in Portugal, Meredith College, and Florida State University.

From 1984 to 1987, she directed her own school and company — the Boston Dance Project. She was one of five finalists in the Boston Ballet’s First International Choreography Competition.
From 1988 to 1999, Houlihan was on the faculty of the New World School of the Arts. During that time, she also was the artistic director of Houlihan and Dancers. She has received two Florida Individual Artist Fellowships in Dance/Choreography.

Houlihan began teaching for the American Dance Festival in 1981. As an international representative for the festival, she has taught in Korea, Poland, Paraguay, Brazil, Chile, Estonia, the Philippines, Russia, and most recently China. She currently directs the Four Week Young Dancers Program at ADF, and is teaching as guest artist in residence at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro.

For more information about New World School of the Arts, call 305-237-3559 or visit online at nwsa.mdc.edu.

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