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Sources: Kathleen Witcher, 785-532-5444,;
Neil Dunn, 785-532-6846,; and
Julie Pentz, 785-532-5411,
News release prepared by: Megan Wilson, 785-532-6415,

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Two faculty members from Kansas State University's dance program will present the first lecture of the spring semester in K-State's Vernon Larson International Luncheon Series.

Neil Dunn, instructor of dance, and Julie Pentz, assistant professor of dance, will present "Celebrating Life Through the Music and Dance of Ghana" Wednesday, Feb. 11, in the ballroom at the Holiday Inn, 17th Street and Anderson Ave. The luncheon buffet begins at 11:45 a.m., with the lecture from 12:15-1 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public; the luncheon costs $12 and reservations are required by calling 785-532-5990. Reservations should be made by Friday, Feb. 6.

The lecture is sponsored and coordinated by the Friends of International Programs.

Dunn joined K-State in 2005. In addition to overseeing aspects of production, concert promotion and community outreach for K-State's department of communication studies, theater and dance, he teaches rhythmic notation and composition, and provides musical accompaniment for dance technique classes. Dunn, who earned a master's in music with percussion emphasis from the University of Arizona in 2002, currently serves as principal timpanist for the Arizona Opera Company and Ballet Tucson orchestras. He also has performed internationally.

Pentz is director of K-State's dance program. She joined K-State in 2004 and has choreographed pieces for the program's annual WinterDance and SpringDance performances, as well as other performances. She also has started a popular tap dance ensemble at K-State. Pentz has made guest appearances at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference and the International Jazz World Congress. She also showcased her choreographic work at the Theatro Libero in Rome in 2004. Prior to joining K-State, she performed with the National Tap Ensemble. Pentz received a bachelor's in dance education from Shenandoah University and a master's in theater arts with a dance emphasis from the University of Arizona.

The Vernon Larson International Luncheon Series was started in 1979 by Larson, then director of international agriculture programs at K-State. The series includes six lectures each school year and offers the K-State community a chance to hear presentations from individuals who have recently participated in extensive overseas activity or who are involved in major international activities.