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USM Dance Participates in Artist Exchange in Partnership with Kinetic Etchings

Wed, 06/05/2024 - 08:39am | By: Ivonne Kawas

Kinetic Etchings

Kinetic Etchings, a contemporary dance and theater company based in Jackson, Miss., partnered with The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Dance program and Hattiesburg Company Duncan Dance South, as part of an Artist Exchange grant from the Mississippi Presenters Network (MSPN) and the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC).

Kathryn Gurtler Wilson (Kat), artistic director of Kinetic Etchings, led this partnership, marking an important step towards connecting Mississippi artists and presenters from different regions of the state and demographic backgrounds.

“I was so excited when Kat reached out to me about this exchange,” said Meg Brooker, professor of dance and director of the School of Performing Arts at USM and artistic director of Duncan Dance South. “There is such a strong history of dance in Mississippi, and partnerships like these create more visibility and collaborative opportunities for professional dance artists in the state."

The event titled, “Dance Exchange Day,” showcased the talents of artists and presenters from the Central and South region. Attendees had the opportunity to take masterclasses from both dance companies, see a choreography showing, and engage in an informal panel discussion.

Kinetic Etchings


USM Dance alumni who participated in the exchange included Merrie Kathleen Christmas, BFA in Dance/Theater Arts ’1978; Beth Philip, BFA in Dance ’2005; and Emaleigh Ousterhout, BFA in Dance (Performance and Choreography) ’2024.

Ousterhout, a recent USM graduate from Pelahatchie, Miss., reflected on the significance of having the opportunity to learn from and network with artists at the event.

“I enjoyed dancing with other professionals, as you can learn new techniques by simply observing performances and choreographic perspectives,” said Ousterhout. “Additionally, I experienced a sense of both nostalgia and pride by performing my Repertory Dance Concert solo, “Water Study,” choreographed by Isadora Duncan, one last time.”

Kinetic Etchings exists to provide original, engaging, and educational contemporary dance experiences to the Jackson, Miss. and the surrounding area.

Duncan Dance South is a regional dance company focused on preserving and passing on the works of early modern dance artists Isadora Duncan and Florence Fleming Noyes and on creating new works rooted in these early modern dance techniques.

Learn more about Kinetic Etchings, Duncan Dance South, and The Dance Exchange Day.