22nd Annual Helen Keller Lecture Series – “Helen Unveiled” - November 14, 2016

TROY’s 22nd Annual Helen Keller Lecture Series featured world-renowned dancer and choreographer Adria Ferrali and TROY students Brooke Whigham and London Brison in “With Tempest on Its Wings,” inspired by the book “The Myth of Water” by Jeanie Thompson. “Helen Unveiled” also starred TROY faculty members Quinton Cockrell and Tori Lee Averett.

Helen Keller’s life was anything by ordinary! “Helen Unveiled” introduced audience members to the woman behind the icon through a spectacular production of theatre, dance and music!

Helen Keller

Helen Keller was an Alabamian, an American author and lecturer. She overcame considerable obstacles to serve as an inspiration for other persons with disabilities. Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, she had an acute illness that left her deaf and blind at 19 months old. No way could be found to educate her until her seventh year when she began her special education in reading and writing with Anne Sullivan.

Miss Keller quickly learned to read by the Braille system and to write by means of a specially constructed typewriter. In 1890, she learned to speak after only one month of study. Ten years later she was able to enter Radcliffe College, where she graduated with honors in 1904.

Miss Keller then served on the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and, shortly thereafter, began lecturing throughout the world. After World War II, she visited wounded veterans in United States hospitals and lectured in Europe on behalf of those with physical impairments.

Her writings include “The Story of My Life,” “The World I Live In,” “Out of the Dark,” “Midstream,” “My Later Life,” “Let Us Have Faith,” "Teacher: Anne Sullivan Macy” and “The Open Door.” Her life is the subject of the film, “The Unconquered,” and the play, “The Miracle Worker,” which was made into an award-winning film by American author William Gibson.

Featured Performer – Adria Ferrali

Adria Ferrali

Adria Ferrali is the artistic director and founder of New Dance Drama and of the New Art Dreams Project. Adria, a former dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company and the Pearl Lang Dance Theater in New York City, has been the recipient of the “Nijinsky Award for Choreography and Dance” at the National Opera of Ukraine and assistant to Yuriko in many occasions, including at the Dutch National Ballet. Adria has taught Graham-based technique in Europe at the Royal Danish Ballet, the School of the La Scala Theater (Teatro alla Scala) in Milan, the Ballet Academy of Göthenborg in Sweden, the University College of Dance in Stockholm and the Boston Conservatory in the Unites States, as well as at the Kemerovo State University in Siberia and in many other international schools and theaters. Through Adria’s initiative and thanks to several international activities, her association has participated in and supported performances in many theaters such as the Thalia Theater and the Stadtstheater of Gothenborg in Sweden; the National Opera House of Ukraine in Kiev; the Kennedy Center in Washington DC; “La Versiliana Festival” in Marina di Pietrasanta (Lucca); Villa Strozzi for the “Maggio Musicale Fiorentino” in Florence; the "Dante Alighieri" Theather in Ravenna; the University of Siberia in Novosibirsk; the Drama Theater in Kemerovo, Russia; the Davis Theater and the Performing Arts Center in Montgomery, Alabama, as well as the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and the Shakespeare Festival Park. Under her artistic direction, New Dance Drama has also collaborated with the Martha Graham School and the Montgomery Ballet to organize the Pietrasanta in Danza International Festival 2010, where artists from all over the world gathered for an exclusive week of performances and master classes at the Civic Theater of Pietrasanta. Adria Ferrali is presently director of the Alabama River Region Ballet and artist in residence and visiting professor at Troy University.

The Helen Keller Lecture is sponsored by Troy University along with longtime University supporters including The Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind.

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