Dance is poised to become a national program this year, and much of that has to do with the work and research of our faculty over the summer, which not only speaks to the diversity of our program and profession, but also provides students with insight into the professional and practical world of the arts.
Associate Professor of Dance Ali Duffy published two articles this summer: one in the Journal of Dance Education and the other in Research in Dance Education. She also made progress on her forthcoming book about careers in dance and a forthcoming book chapter about teaching dance technique across the lifespan. With the support of a Dean's Advancing Creative Scholarship award, she traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to conduct research on Meow Wolf and then presented a paper about it at the Dance Studies Association conference at Northwestern University. Dr. Duffy also performed at the Ft. Worth Contemporary Dance Festival with Flatlands Dance Theatre and began a new creative collaboration with a digital media artist.
Assistant Professor of Dance Tanya Calamoneri published a chapter in the Routledge Intercultural Acting and Performer Training edited by Phillip Zarrilli, and received a Faculty Travel Grant from the Office of Research Services to research in NYC at the La MaMa Archives and the New York Butoh Festival.
Assistant Professor of Practice in Dance Kyla Olson took a break from choreographing musicals this summer. In June, she presented a 2-day professional development workshop for the LISD dance faculty. She also attended the National Dance Education Organization's Special Topics Conference, Jazz Dance: Hybrids, Fusions, Connections, Community, at the Salve Regina University in Newport, RI.
Professor of Dance Genevieve Durham DeCesaro, along with Assistant Professor Rachel Hirshorn-Johnston, presented a poster at the 2019 Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Los Angeles in July. The peer reviewed poster featured information about and data resulting from performances of Remember This? A Participatory Performance Experience which features a cast of faculty members, graduate students, and alumni from the School of Theatre and Dance. Additionally, she spent time in the studio restaging a piece titled "We Are All On Fire" for performance in Flatlands Dance Theatre's Fall 2019 production.
Adjunct Instructor in Dance and MFA student Yvonne Racz Key was invited to teach ballet to the Budapest Dance Theatre in Budapest, Hungary, and taught classes to the Advanced class of their Elite Year-round training program and the professional performing company where she incorporated her theatre education and connection in the ballet class. She has been invited to return next year to set choreography on the company.
Additionally, Yvonne was in New York City to work on research for her thesis project: directing and choreographing Guys and Dolls. She conducted research at Lincoln Center Library of Performing Arts and working on choreography with a dancer from the 1992 Tony award-winning Broadway production. Yvonne also taught master classes in Upstate New York to young theater students, incorporating ballet technique and her conference proposal on Theatre education in the ballet class.
And I taught a series of master classes in contemporary technique at the Copenhagen Contemporary Dance School in Denmark and at the Waterford School in Salt Lake City. Additionally, I travelled to Richmond, Virginia, on a site-visit for a performance that my company, NOW-ID, is presenting at the Tredegar Iron Works Museum in November, commissioned by the University of Richmond. Later in the summer, I co-curated a Pecha Kucha tied to the theme of our Rite of Spring production which I choreographed and staged with NOW-ID in Salt Lake City. This site-specific work took place below an overpass in an industrial area of the city and involved 18 artists (including TTU professors Mallory Prucha and Sydney Sorenson).
We start the season with a celebration of Diana Moore, beloved former head of the Dance program at Texas Tech University on October 4th at 11am in the Creative Movement Studio. Luke Kahlich, an alumnus of the program, is responsible for organizing this event to honor Diana by naming the lobby of the CMS after her. Students, faculty and alumni will perform as our way of thanking the artist and educator who created a powerful legacy with our program.
The director of Orchestral studies at the School of Music, Philip Mann, and I have been collaborating on site-specific performance ideas that celebrate the talents of the School of Music and the Dance program. This kind of interdisciplinary exploration benefits our students, celebrates cultural artifacts in Lubbock, and is a powerful recruitment tool for our college. These important conversations create momentum, inspiring both students and faculty.
In November we have our annual Fall Dance Festival. The work of eight student choreographers will be featured in this production at the CMS November 6-9th, 2019. This year, our students will explore timely themes of gun violence, alienation, the celebration of diversity and more.
In December, Kim Jones, former dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company in New York City and a current faculty member in the Dance Department at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, visits our program to set a work on the students which will be featured in this spring's production of DanceTech. What a wonderful experience for our students to learn the Graham technique!
In January, two faculty members and eight dance students will travel to New York City, sponsored by a generous grant from the Bohny Family Fund. Our students will experience a diversity of live dance productions from companies not seen in Lubbock, and gain knowledge and awareness of cultural and aesthetic trends in dance. They will not only see performances but also take a range of different movement classes, visit museums/galleries, and experience architecture and design.
Our annual DanceTech production is March 5-7 and will take place in the new Black Box Theatre. Because the space provides flexibility in terms of staging, it will add another dimension to the way audiences view the work of faculty and guest artists.
RROAPS/RRADS: Red Raider One-Act Play Spectacular/Raider Red's Awesome Dance Spectacular, April 2-5, is an opportunity for dance and theatre students to work together on original work. We consistently talk about the necessity for interdisciplinary collaborations and RROAPS/RRADS is a powerful example. This year the dance and theater students will draw inspiration from a designed space and work from that space to develop content and form, a brilliant way to force everyone to look at space in new and innovative ways.
We are excited about the potential of dance being more present in the new building. This fall, for example, my Choreography I class will complete a site-specific "Space as Collaborator" assignment not only to familiarize them with the new space, but also to identify these surroundings as a haven for innovation and exploration. It's a new world for dance, and we are excited to have you join us as we explore the and in theatre and dance.