Kennesaw State's Department of Dance partners with Rialto Center for the Arts downtown

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Partnership seen as natural fit with Georgia State University's performing arts center …

Georgia (Oct 11, 2012) — ###

Partnership seen as natural fit with Georgia State University's performing arts center 

KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct. 17, 2012) — The Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University and the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University announced their new partnership. The Rialto will become the Department of Dance’s 2012-13 Presenting Partner.

The Rialto’s long history of bringing the best of the best in contemporary dance to the city of Atlanta made the alliance a natural fit, as Kennesaw State’s dance department has become one of the up and coming programs in the country. The partnership will include Kennesaw State’s utilization of the dance companies on the Rialto’s 2012-13 roster for master classes, live performance classroom opportunities and access for the college dancers to some of the world’s finest companies. 

Rialto performances for the 2012-13 partnership include performances by Pierre Rigal’s Compaignie deniere minute from Atlanta’s sister city Toulouse, France, in conjunction with France-Atlanta 2012 in late October, and the crowd favorite of the 2011 EDGE festival Gallim Dance from Brooklyn.  Kennesaw State University’s Department of Dance performance schedule includes ROADKILL on Nov. 14-17, 2012, and their annual Student Dance Concert April 26-27, 2013.

One key example of the growth of the metro Atlanta dance community is the work of Kennesaw State’s Dance Department’s Chair Ivan Pulinkala. Pulinkala started the dance program at Kennesaw State in 2005, and has since built the Department of Dance with the support of several community partnerships with leading organizations such as Atlanta Ballet, gloATL, and the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. The Department of Dance is a model for Kennesaw States new engagement initiative. Several partnerships in the community actively serve the university mission of collaborative education and service. These dance partnerships leverage external resources for KSU dance students, giving them opportunities to perform, choreograph, teach and study at professional venues.

Leslie Gordon has long been a major proponent of dance in the city of Atlanta. Upon taking the reins of the Rialto Center for the Arts in 2003, she included a focus on national and international contemporary dance companies. Partnerships with the Woodruff Arts Center and CORE to create the “Woodruff Arts Center Presents Dance at the Rialto” and the Atlanta dance initiative “Spring into Dance” attracted attention from key donors like the Charles Loridans Foundation. The foundation supports the Rialto’s vision to bring great dance companies to the city. In 2012, the first biennial EDGE dance festival, in collaboration with Kennesaw State University and gloATL, was a huge success, bringing eight companies from all over the world to the city of Atlanta and the Rialto stage. These initiatives help foster the vibrant and growing dance community that exists here in the city.

Kennesaw State University Department of Dance currently enrolls more than 100 dance majors and offers a B.A. degree in Dance. The department has received regional and national attention for Pulinkala’s choreographic work at the American College Dance Festival. Pulinkala is the only choreographer in the history of the American College Dance Festival to have his work selected for three successive national festivals in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 90 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,100 students from more than 130 countries.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit