In May 2020, the Ciompi Quartet made a music video on the patio of the Biddle Music Building with dancer Courtney Liu, who was one of the students in Ciompi violinist Hsiao-mei Ku's Duke Engage Zhuhai program in its first year, 2010.
That summer, Courtney had just finished her first year at Duke. Courtney graduated in 2013 and returned to Duke in 2019 as a student in the MFA program in the Dance Department. Professor Ku said she proposed the music (the second movement of Dvořák's American Quartet) to Courtney, and "she pretty much improvised her dance for the video on the spot... moving, heartfelt and dynamic!"
Ku says, "What makes Courtney special is her passion for what she does.... I know many Duke Engage students actually benefited more than the Zhuhai students in many ways. Courtney was one of those who took the opportunity to go on her first-ever trip abroad and to discover the world as well as about herself, her purpose, and her passion. I still remember so vividly how she was teaching dance classes to students at (School) No. 9, and how she danced on the outdoor stage back in 2010. 'Courtney is made to dance!' I said to everyone then."
"Ten years have gone by since 2010. Courtney is someone I am proud of, someone I look up to, and someone who is my inspiration, and who has carried the Duke Engage torch and marched on!"
The Ciompi Quartet
Eric Pritchard and Hsiao-Mei Ku, violins
Jonathan Bagg, viola
Caroline Stinson, cello
Courtney Liu, dancer and choreogrpaher
Troy Suter, videography