News & Announcements

Centenary Assistant Professor to be Presented with Award for Advancing Dance at Centenary College

06/23/2014, 10:39 AM

Hackettstown, N.J. – Lea Antolini, Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance at Centenary College will be accepting the “Jete Award” at the 2014 Dance New Jersey Festival on Saturday, June 28 at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, located on the Douglass campus of Rutgers in New Brunswick. 

The Jete Award is presented to someone who has made "a leap forward" for the dance community in the state. Antolini took her leap forward as curator of the Centenary Stage Company’s annual Dance Fest over the past 3 seasons at Centenary’s state-of-the-art performing arts facility, The Lackland Center.   The Festival, which is funded in part by a generous grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, has featured a plethora of New Jersey’s finest dance companies over the past three years, including the celebrated Nai Ni Chen Dance Company, the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Lustig Dance Theatre, Nimbus Dance Works, Umoja Dance Company, The Art of Motion, Inc. and moe-tion dance theater on the Sitnik stage of the multi-space Lackland Center.   

In addition to performances, each year the Centenary Stage Co.’s Dance Festival opens its doors to dancers in the community, offering workshops and classes open to the public, and taught by visiting artists, which Antolini spearheads.    The workshops and performances of Dance Fest are part of CSC’s mission to expand appreciation of and audiences for contemporary dance.

“I am very pleased to see Professor Antolini receive this award,” says Carl Wallnau, Artistic Director of the Centenary Stage Company, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and Chair of the Communication and Fine Arts Department. “Lea is a passionate advocate for the art form, and she works tirelessly to advance appreciation of the dance arts.    Credit must also be paid to our funding partner, the visionary Geraldine R.  Dodge Foundation, whose commitment to contemporary dance and the performing arts in New Jersey has enormously enhanced the cultural landscape of our state.”

 During the Dance New Jersey Festival in New Brunswick, attendees are invited to attend a day of workshops and classes that focus on various dance styles and hot topics in the field. The day also includes a lunchtime meeting of the entire membership, election of new Board members, and the presentation of the Dance Advocate, as well as the Jete Awards.

Antolini is a graduate of Brandeis University where she received her MFA in acting, after completing her undergraduate studies at University of the Arts in Philadelphia.   She has performed professionally in New York City and New Jersey as well as regionally on the east coast.  She is a member in training of New York’s Blessed Unrest theatre company, where she has also served as assistant director and choreographer.

As an  educator in the arts, Antolini has taught at Brandeis University, James Madison University, and numerous Montessori schools in the area, as well as working with various schools in the area developing movement and music programs for young children.   Currently, she teaches at Centenary College in the Theatre Department, as well as with the Centenary Stage Company’s Young Performer’s Workshop musical theatre program.   

Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary
College is an independent, coeducational liberal arts and career studies college
distinguished by an accomplished faculty, small class size and diverse student body.  Centenary is the only baccalaureate and master’s degree granting institution in northwest
New Jersey.

Centenary College’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County).  The Centenary College School of Professional Studies offers degree programs online and in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.  The School of International Programs recruits international students for study at Centenary and Centenary students for study abroad.