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FROM READERS: Columbia native Morgan Hulen returns as Stephens dance guest artist

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:22 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Columbia native Morgan Hulen has been working with students in Stephens College's Summer Dance Intensive program on improvisation, among other skills.

Janese Silvey is a story specialist/strategist for Stephens College.

After finishing a five-month U.S. tour with the world-renowned MOMIX dance company, Columbia native Morgan Hulen spent most of May at Stephens College working with students in the Summer Dance Intensive.

It’s fitting that he would join the summer faculty as a guest artist: Hulen credits Stephens for sparking an early interest in the art.

Hulen’s mom, Pam Hulen, has told him that she took him to a dance performance on the Stephens campus when he was a toddler. She feared he would fidget, but instead, the 3-year-old Hulen was mesmerized.

With training from Dancearts of Columbia, the Perlman School of Dance and his own summers enrolled in Stephens’ dance intensives, Hulen left Rock Bridge High School after his junior year to finish high school and college at the North Carolina School of the Arts. That’s where he met his future wife, Amanda, both of whom would go on to perform for the Louisville Ballet of Kentucky.

Hulen spent some time also working in Texas and as a guest artist and choreographer. He returned to the Louisville Ballet in 2007 before joining MOMIX in 2010. Amanda Hulen also recently left the Louisville Ballet and will join her husband at MOMIX, which will resume touring in September.

At Stephens, Hulen has been teaching the students improvisation and about knowing how to share weight when lifting partners — and how to trust those partners. Students are now coupling those skills with what they’re learning from other guest artists to create original pieces.

Hulen joins an impressive guest faculty at Stephens this summer that includes Jeremy McQueen and Diane Coburn Bruning, both award-winning choreographers, and Jill Echo, a professional modern dancer in New York.

Students will show off what they’ve learned this summer during a public performance later this month. The Summer Dance Intensive Concert is 7:30 p.m. June 21 and June 22 at Macklanburg Theatre. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Hulens, along with their 2-year-old daughter, currently reside in Louisville.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.


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