Seasoned Dancer Katherine Horrigan Returns to the Stage at the Kennedy Center

ARLINGTON, VA / ACCESSWIRE / June 14, 2024 / At 44 years old, Katherine Horrigan's life was a whirlwind of activity. Running a successful dance school, raising a child, and navigating the demands of entrepreneurship left little room for anything else. But then came an unexpected opportunity: a chance to return to the stage at the prestigious Kennedy Center Opera House. Not just any performance, this would be the world premiere of a new production of Puccini's classic opera, Turandot.

Photo Courtesy: Tony Powell / Katherine Horrigan

Taken at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.

The invitation was both thrilling and challenging. Stepping back into the world of professional dance after retiring from the stage 14 years ago meant confronting not just the physical demands of training with time constraints but also facing doubt that her old knee injury would resurface. Yet, Katherine, ever the entrepreneur, saw this as an opportunity for growth, a chance to push her limits and reignite her passion for performing.

"Professional dance training and performance is much like the entrepreneurial journey," she says. "It's a constant evolution of improving oneself requiring self-assessment, refinement, perseverance, mindset work, discipline and creative problem-solving. We don't know what we are capable of until we test our own limits."

There was no easing back into it. Rehearsals were intense, stretching late into the evenings, culminating in a demanding week of dress rehearsals at the Kennedy Center itself. But amidst the physical strain, there was a sense of renewal. Katherine reconnected with old friends and colleagues Jessica Lang and Kanji Segawa, who co-choreographed the production. She was inspired by the entire leadership team and impressed by their talent and collaborative approach with the artists.

Photo Courtesy: Corey Weaver / Washington National Opera's Turandot

Turandot, famous for its aria Nessun Dorma sung by the greatest tenors and is now known as a popular soccer anthem, received critical acclaim for its world premiere at the Kennedy Center. The artistic director, Francesca Zambello, commissioned a new, more nuanced ending, a collaboration between Emmy-winning playwright Susan Soon He Stanton and Grammy-winning composer Christopher Tin. This new take on the classic opera presented by a largely female cast of top caliber artists resonated with audiences and artists alike.

What began as a personal goal to regain her physical strength blossomed into something far more profound. It was a journey of self-discovery, a rekindling of her artistic spirit, and a newfound respect for the dedication and artistry of those who devote their lives to the performing arts. Performing in this sold-out season at the Kennedy Center was a testament to the power of perseverance and the enduring magic of live performance.

Photo Courtesy: Tony Powell / Katherine Horrigan

Taken at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.

Katherine's story is one of resilience and reinvention. A seasoned performer who graced international stages, she has since transitioned into a successful entrepreneur, nurturing the next generation of dancers through her thriving dance school. The decision to return to the stage wasn't just about reliving her past glories; it was about embracing the present, defying limitations, and demonstrating the power of a growth mindset.

"Working with some of the best artists and producers in the world has been an honor and a privilege," she reflects. "It has invigorated my love of this art form and respect for the artists who dedicate their lives to it."

This wasn't just a personal triumph; it was a family affair. It was the first time Katherine's daughter would see her mother dance professionally, a moment that transcended the stage and underscored the importance of pursuing dreams, no matter your age. It was also a reunion 18 years in the making, as her father finally got to witness his daughter perform once again.

Beyond the personal rewards, this experience has fueled Katherine's mission to empower others. She was grateful to share this experience with her students, colleagues and community and encourage others to reach for their dreams. Seeing her on stage showed her students of the dance school what is possible for them with this career. Having faced challenges and emerged stronger, she is dedicated to supporting women, business owners, and young girls through her dance school and non-profit initiatives.

"There is no last curtain call," she declares. "Take the stage as long as you are living, find your spotlight, move with passion & light up your own heart so you can pass it on to others."

Katherine's story is an inspiration to anyone who has ever doubted their ability to grow and evolve. It's a testament to the transformative power of art, the importance of embracing discomfort, and the joy of living life to the fullest, no matter your age. It's a reminder that the curtain may fall on one act, but the performance continues, and the next stage is always waiting.

About Katherine Horrigan

Katherine Horrigan is a former professional dancer turned entrepreneur, renowned for her pioneering work in the field of dance education. With over two decades of experience as a performer, educator, and choreographer, she has left an indelible mark on the world of dance. As the founder of the Dance Academy of Virginia, Horrigan continues to push the boundaries of artistic excellence and inspire the next generation of dancers.

Country: United States
Media Contact Name: Katherine Horrigan
Company: The Dance Academy of Virginia
Phone Number: (703) 891-4292

SOURCE: The Dance Academy of Virginia

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