UH Manoa Dancer Wins Prestigious National Dance Award

University of Hawaiʻi
Gregg Lizenbery, (808) 956-2464
Director of Dance
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
Posted: May 23, 2002

Ben Arcangel, a charter member of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s Dance Ensemble, was recently selected "Outstanding Performer" at the Tenth National American College Dance Festival held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The award, presented by Dance Magazine, represents the highest honor among college and university dance students. This is the second time in 10 years that a dancer from the UH dance program has been awarded this national distinction.

"We are extremely proud of Ben. It is the first time to my knowledge that this award has been given to a non-Western dancer. In his 10 years of study, Ben has gained an exceptional reputation as one of the finest West Javanese dancers living in this country," commented Gregg Lizenbery, UH Mānoa‘s director and graduate chair of dance.

The American College Dance Festival Association organized nine regional festivals throughout the United States this year; over 5,000 participants from over 250 institutions of higher education were represented. In March 2002, Arcangel was named the "Outstanding Performer" at the Southwest Regional American College Dance Festival in Tempe, Ariz. More than 400 choreographic works were adjudicated and 37 were selected for presentation at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the Tenth National American College Dance Festival. From this large cross section of dance in higher education, Arcangel has emerged as the pre-eminent performer in the country.

He received a bachelor‘s degree in history from UC Santa Cruz, and studied West Javanese dance, culture, music, and society in Bandung, Indonesia. He is frequently invited to perform nationwide and currently teaches West Javanese dance under the auspices of the UH Mānoa Department of Theatre and Dance and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. He is pursuing a master‘s degree in Asian Studies with graduate certificates in Southeast Asian studies and Philippine studies. He is currently studying Philippine, Hawaiian and Korean dance forms at UH Mānoa.

Participation in the prestigious dance event was made possible through the generous support from the UH Mānoa College of Arts and Humanities and the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation. Arcangel can be seen during outreach performances by the UH Dance Ensemble and in concerts at the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre and Kennedy Theatre main stage productions during the upcoming academic year.

Note to media: Photos of Arcangel dancing and in costume are available via e-mail. Please contact Kristen Cabral at 956-5039 or e-mail cabralkr@hawaii.edu.