Group Is Named B.C.'s Resident Dance Co.

Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties William B. Neenan, SJ, has announced that the Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble - a popular performance group on campus during the Christmas season and at Commencement - has been named the resident dance company at Boston College.

Formed in 1980 by Robert VerEecke, SJ, pastor of St. Ignatius Church and the University's Jesuit artist-in-residence, the ensemble includes Boston College students and alumni as well as dance professionals from the Boston area. The company has received national recognition for integrating dance and religious expression, especially in its annual presentation of "A Dancer's Christmas" at Robsham Theater in December, and at such campus events as the baccalaureate Mass on Commencement weekend.

The Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble has performed regularly at baccalaureate Mass and other campus occasions for many years.

"I am very pleased that the Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble will now be known as our resident dance company," said Fr. Neenan. "This represents an enhancement of its already strong presence at Boston College and I am confident that Fr. VerEecke and his colleagues will further contribute to the spiritual vitality of the University community."

"This arrangement offers a mutual advantage to the ensemble and Boston College," Fr. VerEecke said. "We have enjoyed institutional support since we began, but this formalizes a steadily growing relationship and establishes a concrete support for the arts and their theological dimensions."

As the University's resident dance company, Fr. VerEecke said, the ensemble will offer master classes and work with student performing groups during the academic year, in addition to offering its regular slate of performances. Next summer, the ensemble will begin a two-week "Study Program in Sacred and Liturgical Dance" under the aegis of the Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry.

This fall, the ensemble will perform as part of the series "Faith in the Future" at the University of St. Jerome's College in Waterloo, Ontario, and at the Lilly Fellows conference titled "Nurturing Souls: Scholarship and the Christian Worldview" at Valparaiso University in Indiana. The ensemble also will appear at a Nov. 3 "Peace Day" celebration to be sponsored by the City of Newton.

The ensemble has performed throughout the US and Canada and in London, and produced a video, "Dance In Christian Worship."

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