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NATIONAL COLLEGE CHOREOGRAPHY INITIATIVE 



BY SUZANNE CALLAHAN 
WITH BROOKE BELOTT 



i r w it- 



A Second Round of Success 







NATIONAL 
ENDOWMENT 
FOR THE ARTS 




The Impact of NCCI Projects 
An Oasis of Opportunity for Artists 
NCCI Tours to Washington 
Snapshots of NCCI Projects 
Artists Funded by NCCI 
Schools Funded by NCCI 



From the Executive Director 




Dance/USA is pleased to once again highlight 
the National College Choreography Initiative 
and offer a sampling of its impact. Initiated in 
2001 by Dance/USA and the National Endowment 
for the Arts, the program provides funding for guest 
choreographers to either restage an existing dance or 
create a new work for students at colleges in all 50 
states and the District of Columbia. 

Colleges, universities and conservatories have played 
a vital role in the transmission of dance traditions, par- 
ticularly in the second half of the 20th century. Never- 
theless, a renaissance of activity in university dance 
departments in the late '60s to late '70s was followed 
bv a noticeable decline, which in turn limited the next 
dance generation's opportunities to experience the 
work of its predecessors. As Doug Sonntag, Director of 
Dance at the National Endowment for the Arts, 
observed in the 2002 report on the National College 
Choreographv Initiative, "It is particularlv troubling 
that as dance students sharpen their technical perform- 
ance skills, they have little direct knowledge of the 
artistry and artistic works that underpin the profession 
thev seek to enter." 

More recent years have witnessed a renewed appreci- 
ation for the symbiosis between academe and the profes- 
sional dance world; choreographers are working in 
closer conjunction with colleges for the benefit not onlv 
of students and teachers, but also of artists and audi- 
ences. With its commitment to serving all areas of the 
professional dance field, Dance/USA realizes that 
direct contact with artistic leadership is the kev to 
inspiring the next generation of dancers and artists. Col- 



lege and university dance departments can again become 
primary sites for the field's development. Sparked by 
NCCI, Dance/USA has begun to create a forum for 
active dialogue between colleges and choreographers. 
We applaud the universities' leadership, the artists' 
vision, and the young dancers' commitment to our field. 

This publication illustrates some of the ways in 
which the program was transformative for participating 
artists, students, administrators, and dance audiences. 
For dancers, there is nothing more valuable than learn- 
ing choreography directly from its artistic source, and 
no substitute for the personal influence of those artists 
who created or previously performed the work. The 
program has far surpassed the expectations with which 
the NEA and Dance/USA began. It has been a win- 
win situation — students learn from talented profession- 
als, communities have access to the creative process and 
product, choreographers and their dancers get work 
and create relationships with college administration, 
faculty and students, and more. 

Suzanne Callahan has been managing this project 
since its inception in 2001. During that time, she has 
produced a wonderful, important range of valuable 
tools and created numerous forums related to artists' 
residencies on college campuses, curriculum issues, and 
training students for careers in dance. This publication 
is the next exciting link in the chain. 



Andrea Snyder 

Executive Director, Dance/USA 



JANE JERARDI, CONTRIBUTING WRITER 
ON THE COVER: A University of 
Mississippi student performs in Dwight 
Rhoden's Before Now and After Then. 
Photo by Robert Jordan. 

© DANCE/USA 2005 All RIGHTS RESERVED 

ANTING DATE: APRIL 2005 
ISBN: 1-931683-12-3 

PUBLISHER: DANCE/USA 

1 156 15TH STREET. NW; SUITE 820 

- NGTON. DC 20005 
202-833-1717 
WWW.DANCEUSA ORG 



The National College Choreographv Initiative is a Leadership Initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, with 
additional support from the Dana Foundation. The National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency, 
was established by an Act of Congress in 1965. The National Endowment for the Arts enriches our Nation and its 
diverse cultural heritage bv supporting works of artistic excellence, advancing learning in the arts, and strengthening 
the arts in communities throughout the country. 

The National College Choreography Initiative is administered by Dance/USA, the national service organization that 
supports professional dance. For more information about NCCI, please contact consultant Suzanne Callahan, who 
manages NCCI, at 202-955-8325 or callahangForTheArts.org. For more information about Dance/USA, please contact 
the organization at 202-833-1717 or at danceusa S danceusa.org, or check the website at wwwdanceusa.org. 



National College Choreography Initiative 



Encore: A Second 
Round of Success 



In 2003, Dance/USA awarded the second 
round of awards for the National College 
Choreography Initiative (NCCI). 

Building on its first round, NCCI continues to experi- 
ence unprecedented success, as evidenced by the thou- 
sands of artists, students and audience members it 
serves across the country. When colleges are awarded 
national funding to bring prestigious choreographers to 
their campuses, the presence of these dance artists gen- 
erates waves of activity on the local level. And, their 
effects on students have been profound. 

Designed to foster appreciation for American dance 
creativity, NCCI once again brought classic American 
dances and newly commissioned works to students and 
audiences across the nation. Colleges and universities 
engaged artists, students and communities in one of two 
ways. Masterworks of the 20th Century provided sup- 
port to reconstruct or restage existing works by master 
artists. Dances by contemporary artists supported the 
creation or restaging of works by choreographers work- 
ing today. Outreach was a component of all projects, 
and colleges opened their doors to the general public 
beyond the performance of the dance work itself. A 
wide range of activities, such as panel discussions, lec- 
tures, open rehearsals and school performances, allowed 
students and general audiences access to dance history 
and the creative process. Having professional artists in 
residence inspired involvement on the part of musical 
ensembles, studios, service organizations, schools, art 
galleries, and presenting institutions. 

THE STRENGTH IN THE NUMBERS: 
NCCI REACHES ARTISTS, COLLEGES, 
AND COMMUNITIES 

NCCI has reached far and wide into communities across 
the country, as evidenced by the total numbers of 
artists, colleges, partners, students, and audiences who 
participated in the 35 communities. 

In the past year, 30 artists and ensembles worked in 
28 states to create or restage dances of the highest 
caliber with students. Many of these guest choreogra- 
phers brought in additional professional artists from their 



own companies to assist with teaching 
and reconstruction. 

A total of 28 dances have been 
restaged or reconstructed and 
another 25 new works have been 
created. Colleges have opted to capi- 
talize on this rare funding opportunity 
by commissioning multiple works. 

Almost 6,000 college dance students 
benefited. Students were intensely 
involved in the creative process through 
one-on-one experiences with profes- 
sional artists. An additional 12,000 col- 
lege students in other areas of study and 
13,000 young people who attend ele- 
mentary or high school participated in 
events that reached far beyond cam- 
puses, such as school performances, 
workshops and lecture/demonstrations. 

Audiences that totaled almost 64,000 
people were able to experience the artistry of cho- 
reographers, most of whom would not otherwise 
have appeared in their state. Audience members par- 
ticipated in almost 600 events, including close to 250 
performances as well as master classes, lectures, per- 
formances, and a wide range of community-based 
activities. 

Almost 600 local artists took part. Local artists work- 
ing in various disciplines participated in collaborations 
and professional development activities such as master 
classes with guest choreographers. 

NCCI leveraged almost $750,000 in additional sup- 
port through cash and in-kind contributions. This 
was almost triple the amount of funding that was dis- 
tributed. Multiple funding sources from colleges them- 
selves included set-aside funds, visiting artist funds, 
and endowment support. In addition, direct support 
was generated from over 20 sources, such as private 
foundations, state arts agencies, local arts councils, arts 
patrons, corporations and local businesses. In-kind sup- 
port in the amount of almost $250,000 was provided by 
university departments and other sources. 




Cuban Pete's Latin Magic 
at the University of the 
Arts 



Encore: A Year of Success 




Sean Curran's 
(Another) Metal 
Garden at Keene 
State College 



Fees of over $360,000 were paid to artists and 
ensembles. That is almost half again the total of funds 
given by Dance/USA. 

NCCI encouraged collaboration on campus. With 
NCCI support, 19 colleges formed collaborations with 
other universities in their areas or other departments 
within their schools, to spread the resources of NCCI 
among a greater number of students and faculty. 

NCCI encouraged touring. NCCI provided opportunities 
for 28 artists to travel from their home states to other regions. 



THE TRUE IMPACT: FROM CAMPUS 
TO COMMUNITY 

While the numbers indicate the breadth of NCCI's 
reach, the extent of its impact is more evident in the 
experiences that it has fostered for students, artists, 
faculty and audiences. The array of ways in which 
communities participated with professional artists 
illustrates the many points of entry and the depth of 
experience that these 35 residencies brought to the 
younger generation of dancers, as well as to profes- 
sional artists and local residents. 

1 THE LEGACY OF AAASTER ARTISTS 

As students had rare opportunities to reconstruct and 
perform work of great artists such as Merce Cunning- 
ham, Trisha Brown, Meredith Monk, Jose Limon and 
Paul Taylor, they learned the roots of their own dance 
history. Sixteen colleges restaged master choreogra- 



phers' works. When University of California-Irvine stu- 
dents performed the historic "Steps in the Street," 
excerpted from Martha Graham's Chronicle (1936), they 
brought this icon of modern dance to local audiences 
for the first time in 30 years. University of Georgia's res- 
idency with ballet master Stanley Zompakos compelled 
many former students, who are now teachers, to travel 
from Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, and South Carolina 
to learn from him. In other cities, students not only 
learned the choreography, but were exposed to all 
aspects of the collaborative process. When Shelly Senter 
visited the University of Colorado to restage Trisha 
Brown's Set and Reset, design students recreated the 
elaborate sets. At Purchase College, where Merce Cun- 
ningham's Septet was restaged, music students learned 
and performed the score by Erik Satie. 

2 A DIVERSE REPERTORY OF NEW DANCE 




National College Choreography Initiative 



opportunity to learn from these experts in Latin dance 
and local master classes attracted as many as 80 stu- 
dents. University of Idaho students connected the new 
with the old in a residency with dance master Frankie 
Manning (89 years young!) who staged two new works 
and conducted a weekend swing/jazz dance workshop, 
which sold out and attracted dancers from as far away 
as Seattle and Portland. When Doug Elkins - known 
for his fusion of hip-hop, club dance and martial arts — 
arrived on the scene at the University of Minnesota in 
Minneapolis to create a new work that referenced Bol- 
lywood musicals, prominent hip-hop artists joined in to 
bring vernacular culture to the concert stage. 

3 A WEB OF COLLABORATION 

The momentum that built on campuses and in commu- 
nities was dramatic as NCCI residencies progressed. 
Dance departments took risks that involved complex 
logistics in order to engage choreographers with the 
broader campus. Outside the dance departments, cul- 
tural participation took place on many levels in the sur- 
rounding communities on and off campus: scholars pro- 
vided information and context about cultures, histories, 
trends and traditions. Projects created camaraderie and 
forged professional connections between students and 
faculty in these different departments and even from 
different schools. When Montclair State University 
brought choreographer Alexandra Beller to create a 
work on the damaging effects of negative body images, 
it became the focal point for a campus-wide initiative 
called "The Body Talks." Duke University's residency 
with Ronald K. Brown brought together 44 students 
from Duke as well as four other area colleges through 
master classes, repertory sessions, and communal meals. 
The general public was enlightened about the value 
and diversity of artists' creative processes and perform- 
ances. The amount of residency activity increased expo- 
nentially as individuals and organizations joined in. 
When the University of Nebraska-Lincoln brought Bill 
Hastings for a month to restage Bob Fosse's pioneering 
Broadway choreography, the reach was staggering: Hast- 
ings conducted more than 60 outreach activities, 
including 28 master classes on campus and at 18 area 
dance studios. A final performance drew 1,200, which 




Audience members at a 
children's show of Paul 
Taylor's Esplanade 



was double the attendance of the university's NCCI 
project performance the previous year. When The Uni- 
versity of Mississippi brought Dwight Rhoden into the 
Oxford/Lafayette area, the college had no idea how 
deeply the experience would resonate for its commu- 
nity. Rhoden worked with difficult, deeply ingrained 
racial issues that run through the complex history of 
the university, emphasizing the spirit of racial healing 
and artistic growth. Town hall meetings and lunchtime 
discussions in churches, libraries and the black student 
union fed into the students' creative process. Efforts are 
underway to bring Rhoden back, demonstrating how 
dance and the creative process can catalyze change and 
foster long-term relationships with communities. 

4 NEW AUDIENCES FOR DANCE 

Community outreach helped build new audiences for 
dance through partnerships with local presenters. 
With 18 months of preparation, Tulane University and 
its partner, the New Orleans Ballet Association, 
arranged an exciting array of programs for local 
dancers, public schools and community centers, 
exposing over 4,000 children and adults to Paul Tay- 
lor's work. Building on the support of NCCI funding 
for the Taylor 2 residency, the New Orleans Ballet 
Association produced the Paul Taylor Dance Company 
as a culminating event for the community. 

5 NEW FUNDING SOURCES 

With the endorsement of prestigious NEA support, col- 
leges leveraged funding through university budgets, 
private and government sources, and dance patrons. 
Faculty generated support not only to match funds for 
NCCI projects, but to heighten visibility for long-term 
plans that would benefit their dance programs. Susan 
Marshall's year-long residency with her company at the 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee enhanced the 
department's programs by developing strong connec- 
tions with students as well as expanded donor interest. 



Encore: A Second Round of Success 



.u 



-" 




Students at the 
University of Cincinnati 
work on Paul Taylor's 

Esplanade 



One community member was so moved bv the Marshall 
Company's performance in October that she donated 
S5,000 toward the cost of the project. 

6 PRESS COVERAGE OF DANCE 

Largely due to the prestige of having national artists 
touring their communities, local and even national press 
focused on campuses, resulting in coverage that ranged 
from college newsletters to citvwide papers to regional 
and national outlets, some of which garnered significant 
visibility for university departments. The climactic per- 
formance of Jose Limon's Missa Brevis, restaged by the 
University of Kansas, received multiple previews and 
reviews and a five-minute university television spot. A 
local cable television program featuring an interview 
with Sarah Stackhouse and excerpts of the piece aired 
for a week preceding the performance. Doug Elkin's res- 
idency at the University of Texas, Pan American was 

J J 

featured on a local television show, UTPA Today Metro- 
politan and national press outlets covered the Univer- 
sity of the Arts' presentation of Cuban Pete, including a 
spot on Philadelphia's ABC affiliate television station. 
And, the Orange County Register's major feature on 
Bonnie Oda Homsey and her residency at the Univer- 
sity of California, Irvine, brought to light her restaging 
of master choreographer Martha Graham's work in the 
Orange County community. 



7 DANCE TOURING 

When NCCI brought artists to local communities, it 
meant that nearby presenters could work with artists 
who might have otherwise been unaffordable. The end 
result was increased touring. The University of Alaska, 
Anchorage organized a performance for dance and 
video artist Marianne Kim at the Bunnell Street Gallery 
in Homer, about 200 miles away from Anchorage. Seven 
other dance departments either presented or assisted 
with the presentation of companies that participated in 
residencies, including Susan Marshall Dance Company 
Complexions (Dwight Rhoden's company), Pearson and 
Widrig, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Sean Curran, 
Cuban Pete and Barbara Craddock, as well as the Paul 
Taylor Dance Company. 

With this support, not only could colleges in more 
rural states bring in artists from urban centers, but 
artists also toured from one region to another: Bill Hast- 
ings traveled from New Jersey to Nebraska; Sara Pear- 
son and Patrik Widrig went from New York to Mon- 
tana; Alonzo King went from San Francisco to Ann 
Arbor, Michigan; Doug Elkins went from New York to 
Texas; and Cuban Pete went from Florida to Pennsylva- 
nia. Residencies and touring performances gave stu- 
dents the unique opportunity to either share the stage 
with professionals or observe masters in the profession. 

8 STUDENTS' GLIMPSE INTO THE 
PROFESSIONAL DANCE WORLD 

As they developed close relationships with professional 
artists, voung dancers were inspired to reexamine the 
role that dance plays in their own lives and in the 
broader world, and to pursue professional training, 
sometimes with the NCCI artists who had mentored 
them. Marian Kim's residency provided an unexpected 
professional opportunity for one University of Alaska 
student, who will join her in Germany to create a new 
work in collaboration with an Austrian theatre artist. 
Students from the University of Cincinnati were exposed 
to professional opportunities following their residency 
with Connie Dinapoli, who restaged Paul Taylor's 
Esplanade. Several attended a Taylor workshop in New 
York over winter break and one student was offered an 



National College Choreography Initiative 



apprenticeship with a regional dance company after per- 
forming Esplanade as part of his audition process. 

8 SERVICE TO THE DANCE PROFESSION 

The Dance Center at Columbia College's groundbreaking 
residency with the Cunningham company created the 
first-ever student-performed Cunningham MinEvent 
and connected students with professionals to celebrate 
Cunningham's work. One of the highlights of the resi- 
dency happened during "Conversations on Cunning- 
ham," a three-day symposium that featured a visit by 
Merce himself, who surprised students by attending 
their rehearsal and offering feedback. The NCCI resi- 
dency was part of this larger celebration that brought 
experts on Cunningham, contemporary choreographers 
such as Elizabeth Streb and Ralph Lemon, as well as 
four generations of dancers, critics, administrators, and 
teachers to Chicago to reflect on his body of work. 

8 NCCI FORUMS: A NATIONAL 
NE^VORK FOR DIALOGUE 

The broad array of activity supported throughout the 
two rounds of NCCI has provided an ideal context in 
which to raise questions about collaboration between 




artists and colleges, including successes, 
challenges and lessons learned. In 
response, Dance/USA facilitated this dia- 
logue by establishing National Forums, 
which gathered professional artists and 
college faculty to address issues related to 
curriculum, residencies, and employment, 
and producing publications based on these 
gatherings. The Forums engaged almost 
40 artists and faculty around the same 
table. Out of these meetings, NCCI has 
begun to foster a national network of 
relationships among artists and faculty, who have been 
instrumental in developing recommendations for the 
broader field. The Forums are greatly needed in not 
only shaping a more cohesive community of those who 
strive to serve postsecondary students, but in moving 
the professional field forward. 

Throughout the past two years, Dance/USA has 
reaffirmed the impact of NCCI as a sustained national 
program that supports colleges and artists. Dance/USA 
is delighted to have facilitated the passing on of lega- 
cies, and the creation of new work, and to have pro- 
vided service to professional artists, faculty and stu- 
dents. The resonance of NCCI has been felt deeply by 
colleges across the country. Lisa Fusillo from University 
of Nebraska at Lincoln talks about the value of NCCI 
and the ways in which it has encouraged collaboration: 
I have personally witnessed the profound impact that a 
NCCI project can have on students and a community. . . 
I have sung the praises of the opportunities, outcomes 
and impact of the NCCI program to many of my col- 
leagues, and assisted in two other applications, one of 
which was submitted from a school which had not 
applied previously. I am an artist-educator, and now, for 
me the two roles are inextricably linked. My role does 
not begin and end at any one institution, and I find that 
one of the most enjoyable facets to my role is finding, 
assisting and providing opportunities for students and 
faculty — wherever they may be. . . The NCCI project is 
the single most significant opportunity available to col- 
lege and university programs to make connections with 
professional artists AND to take that into our commu- 
nities. You will never be able to count how many lives 
have been touched, and changed, by this experience. 




Above, students per form 
Merce Cunningham's 
Trio at Purchase College. 

Lower left, Latin Magic 
in Philadelphia. 



Encore: A Second Round of Success 



An Oasis of Opportunity 



This page, right: Bill 

Evans in Ritmos 

Calientes 

Below: Lar Lubovitch's 

Men's Stories 



Artists Speak about the NCCI's Contribution 
to their Creative Process 

Though NCCI was designed to benefit students, resi- 
dencies evolved to become an "oasis of opportunity" 
for artists involved, according to choreographer Ann 
Carlson. Given the shortage of creative opportunities 
available to choreographers, an important by-product 
of being in college settings is the sheer value of time 
and space to develop new ideas and focus on the cre- 
ative process. Carlson felt strongly that NCCI residen- 
cies offered artists the "chance to develop ideas, to 
bring alternative ways of working with movement, 
voice, and performance into this context, and also to 
be inspired by the students." 

According to artists, much of the inspiration came 
from students who took seriously the opportunity to 
work with choreographers of such high caliber. The 
interchange with students provided an environment 
that was ripe for experimentation. At UCLA, this envi- 
ronment created a lasting impact for Joe Goode, who 
described his NCCI experience as, "a year of total learn- 
ing. I felt like a student again." Bill Evans explained 
that "students feel honored to be participating and that 
is reflected in everything they do." Working with stu- 
dents on restaging dances was no less inspiring; when 




Shelly Senter reconstructed Trisha Brown's choreogra- 
phy, she said of the young dancers, "It was poignant to 
watch the students allowing themselves to remain in 
'process,' and realize that the dance requires approach- 
ing each movement as if it were [being done for] the 
first time." For this reason, the residencies ultimately 
provide "a bridge of work possibilities for students 
preparing to leave the university and get work," says 
Ann Carlson, who has maintained her relationship with 
students from her NCCI residencies. 

Some found the NCCI 
environment to be a wel- 
come relief from the fre- 
quently product-oriented 
demands of working 
against the clock with 
professional dancers in 
rented rehearsal space. 
There was a continuum 
to their creative process, 
as many used ideas gen- 
erated with NCCI stu- 
dents as source material 
for their own professional 
repertory. Choreographer 
Alexandra Beller spoke 
about this through-line 
in the creative process, 
which came from having 
a rehearsal period that 
spanned an entire semester: "This had never happened 
before, as there is usually such a short period that the 
piece does not yield work . . .that is truly of a profes- 
sional caliber." The time and experience that the resi- 
dency afforded her "was unprecedented... exponentially 
deeper and richer and more thoughtful." David Dorf- 
man calls NCCI "a yenta," or a matchmaker in Yiddish, 
for powerfully connecting choreographers with new 
opportunities that influenced their own processes for 
staging community-based work in college settings. The 
dance department became the company's "steward," 
taking on a greater role in connecting community mem- 
bers and rehearsing the piece. The extensive outreach 
of the Limon Company's residency in Virginia also 
spurred increased interest in community engagement; 




National College Choreography Initiative 




collaboration among institutions "was a model that the 
Limon Company would really like to replicate in other 
communities," according to Ann Vachon. 

The long-term effect of NCCI, artists thought, was 
the value that it has placed on the creative process. As 
Beller stated, "In this culture, which does not regard art 
as a necessity and which does not support artists for 
their efforts, we are often given the choice between the 
'experience' of creating art (for arts' sake) or making 
money by disregarding our aesthetics and ideas and 
making work that we don't stand by. The opportunity 
to combine the rich process we crave with the financial 
respect we deserve is remarkable." Marlies Yearby con- 
tinued, "The only way we can grow as an industry is to 
value artists so that they are sustained by their chosen 
field of endeavor." For her, NCCI residencies have pro- 
vided the most vital forms of support: "There's nothing 
like being able to be in an environment in which you 
are supported both artistically — with the hunger to 
explore creativity — and through resources, knowing 
that you can eat when you come back home." 

CREATIVE ROAD TRIPS 

MARLIES YEARBY DISCOVERS NEW 
POSSIBILITIES OFFERED BY U.S 
COMMUNITIES 

Some NCCI residencies afforded artists rare opportuni- 
ties to connect with new communities, sometimes in 
parts of the country where they had never traveled. 
Being in these new places not only built audiences for 
their work, but created opportunities for artists to 



experience new cultures. Although Marlies Yearby has 
toured abroad, both of her NCCI residencies enlight- 
ened her about the depth of cultural difference that 
coexists within the U.S. Her first residency in 2001 at 
Henderson State in Arkadelphia, Arkansas was as new 
for her as it was for the students and audiences she 
reached. She was on a campus 45 minutes away from 
the nearest movie house and 
where favorite restaurant fare 
is fried fish. This made her 
realize she doesn't have to 
venture so far to, as she put 
it, "open [my] eyes up to 
learn about a different cul- 
ture." Yearby 's more recent 
residency at Arizona State 
University reintroduced her 
to the pleasures of working 
with youth. While she had 
seen residencies primarily as 
a teaching experience, it was 
through her time with ASU 
and their long-term commu- 
nity partner, the Silvestre S. Herrara School, that she 
realized investigating the challenges of her artistic craft 
through working with kids could be "very empower- 
ing." Since then, she has formed a relationship with a 
school in her hometown of Montclair, New Jersey and 
is invested in working more with youth. 




This page, clockwise 
from top: Joe Goode 
Performance Group; 
Pearson/ Widrig and 
Company; Sean Curran 
Company. 




Encore: A Second Round of Success 



NCCI Tours to Washington 



Eight Colleges Perform at The John F. Kennedy 
Center for the Performing Arts 

Among the most successful outcomes of NCCI was a 
national collaboration that continued with The John F. 
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Impressed 
with the intent and quality of XCCI projects, staff at 
The Kennedy Center again dedicated two nights of per- 
formances on their Millennium Stage to NCCI projects. 
About 75 students presented the works of eight master 
artists for audiences that totaled almost 1,000. Students 
were thrilled to perform in this world-renowned venue; 
it again served as a mark of achievement to be selected 
to be part of an event at such a prestigious site. 

The Kennedy Center found this performance oppor- 
tunity a perfect match for its Millennium Stage, a non- 
traditional venue that presents daily performances. 
With NCCI participation, The Millennium Stage could 
offer free performances of historically significant master 
works as well as creations by contemporary artists to 
audiences of hundreds every day that included stu- 
dents, local artists and teachers. Audiences had the rare 
chance to view dances by Merce Cunningham and Jose 
Limon as well as new works bv contemporary artists 



such as Alonzo King and Ron Brown. 

"We were thrilled to feature this year's NCCI proj- 
ects, which included a wealth of classic restagings as 
well as prominent contemporary choreographers. Hav- 
ing such a range, coupled with the geographic diver- 
sity of the participating schools, allowed us to create 
two enlightening programs for audiences of both dance 
enthusiasts and novices," said Kristen Brogdon, man- 
ager of dance programming administration for The 
Kennedy Center. 

The culminating Kennedy Center events provided a 
perfect capstone for NCCI, offering powerful recogni- 
tion and \dsibility for choreographers, giving the works 
produced a longer performance life, and bringing stu- 
dents an unparalleled educational experience. The 
young dancers had the opportunity to be part of pro- 
fessional repertory performances and of everything 
needed to make them happen. They were energized by 
meeting a variety of student dancers from other col- 
leges, encountering artists whom they only had heard 
about, and seeing works they had only read about. Sev- 
eral colleges used the opportunity in Washington to 
visit their Congressional offices and report on the value 
of NCCI and the NE A. 



Students from Virginia 
Commonwealth 
University perform Jose 
Limon's Suite from 
Choreographic Offering 




National College Choreography Initiative 



COLLEGES PERFORMING AT 
THE KENNEDY CENTER 

Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 6:00 -7:00 pm 

Suite from Choreographic Offering (1956) 
By Jose Limon 

Virginia Commonwealth University 
Richmond, Virginia 

Septet (1953) 
By Merce Cunningham 
State University of New York 
Purchase, New York 

Bach Suite (1956) 
By Murray Louis 
Tensile Involvement (1953) 
By Alwin Nikolais 
Ohio University 
Athens, Ohio 

Steam Heat, The Aloof (from The Rich Man's Frug), 
and Dancin' Man (1954-1978) 
By Bob Fosse 
University of Nebraska 
Lincoln, Nebraska 

Wednesday, June 2, 2004, 6:00-7:00 pm 

Together Through Time (2003) 
By Bill Evans 

University of Central Oklahoma 
Edmond, Oklahoma 

Shostakovich String Quartet (1999) 
by Alonzo King 
University of Michigan 
Ann Arbor, Michigan 

Before Now and After Then (2004) 
by Dwight Rhoden 
University of Mississippi, 
University, Mississippi 

Common Ground (2004) 
by Ronald K. Brown 
Duke University 
Durham, North Carolina 






Top and middle: Dwight 
Rhoden s Before Now 
and After Then. Left: 
Merce Cunningham's 
Septet. 



Encore: A Second Round of Success 



Snapshots of NCCI Projects 
Around the Country 



Artists, Students and Community 
Partners Connect through 35 
Projects in 28 States 

STATE: Alaska 

school: University of Alaska-Anchorage 

artist: Marianne Kim 

community partners: Bunnell Street Gallery 

Dance and video artist Marianne Kim created a 
multi-media, evening-length physical theater 
production at University of Alaska-Anchorage 
during an extensive two-month residency. The- 
ater and dance faculty members Brian Jeffrey 
and Brent Glenn collaborated with Kim on The 
Image After, which looked at photography as a 
captured image of an experience, rather than 
an interpretive portrait of a subject. The piece 
challenged the audience with an array of visual, 
verbal and physical information — beautiful 
images, suggestive lighting, provocative state- 
ments, and ten dancer/actors who revealed the 
mechanics of the production by playing them- 
selves onstage. The themes of nostalgia and death 
that ran throughout the piece were made visible 
through the framework of photography. 

The luxury of a two-month residency allowed 
students to participate in a Butoh workshop 
taught by Kim, and the experience culminated 
with a free public showing and a performance 
as part of the campus-wide International Day 
Festival. Kim explains, "Our rehearsals were 
intensive and the faculty provided a wonder- 
ful infrastructure to allow for me to work with 
the students." The residency resulted in an unex- 
pected professional opportunity for one UAA 
student who joined Kim in Germany to create a 
new work in collaboration with an Austrian the- 
ater/video artist. Additional teaching included 
master classes in the Theatre and Dance Depart- 
ments in advanced level technique and dance 
appreciation, as well as lectures in performance 
theory in the English Department and in art 
appreciation in the Art Department. Through 



partnership with Bunnell Street Gallery, more 
than 200 miles away in Homer, Alaska, Kim cre- 
ated an installation, presented a live perform- 
ance and taught a Butoh workshop for the pub- 
he in the gallery. 

Through the residency, Marianne Kim 
explored photographic imagery in new ways, 
both visually and in performance, and shared the 
form of Butoh with students and audiences in 
Anchorage and Homer. Kim explains the import 
of the residency not only for her, but also for stu- 
dents at the University of Alaska: "Working 
with young artists is always inspiring to my cre- 
ative process. I have to champion the impor- 
tance of arts education not only for my own 
survival as an artist, but the alternative it pro- 
vides university students — future elite citizens 
and leaders of the U.S. — to value culture and 
art. I think the people who champion the cause 
for arts are the ones who have had direct expe- 
rience with it." 

state: Arizona 

school: Arizona State University 

artist Marlies Yearby 

community partners: Silvestre S. Herrara 

School, Boys and Girls Club of Tempe 

NCCI funds supported a three-week residency 
with Marlies Yearby at Arizona State Univer- 
sity where she worked intensively with Dance 
Arizona Repertory Theater (DART), the dance 
department's outreach-oriented company. The 
company consists of 18 undergraduate and grad- 
uate dance students with distinctive technical 
and performance backgrounds, and seventh and 
eighth grade students from DART's long-term 
community partner, the Silvestre S. Herrara 
School, which serves underprivileged youth 
from the Nuestro Barrio neighborhood of 
Phoenix. In daily rehearsals, Yearby conducted 
experiential movement workshops for the DART 
and Herrera students. The creative process cen- 
tered on the relationships between breath, 
rhythm and emotion, and was challenging for 



both DART and Herrara students, who paired 
together to work on choreographic composi- 
tions. The relationship between the groups 
extended beyond rehearsal through online dis- 
cussions and emails initiated by DART students. 
Yearby discovered that she "helped the DART 
Company to see a different way" of creating 
dance. While before, the Herrara kids had looked 
up to DART Company members, Yearby says 
that by "creating some oral history [we helped 
reveal] who they were as individuals" and 
formed a more intimate environment. Yearby 
reveled in the process-oriented residency, par- 
ticularly because her company's projects are fre- 
quently more product-focused. As she says, "It 
was rich for [the students] and for me." 

The cast experienced the working artistic 
relationship between Yearby and composer Eric 
Schultz, who attended rehearsals and created 
an original sound score inspired by the dancers' 
creative process. The resulting work, A pulse, a 
moment, a state of being, a breath, and emotion, 
beat, premiered to a full house at "Community 
Pulse," DART's annual free community show- 
case, which drew a diverse audience of ASU 
administrators; College of Education faculty; 
Department of Dance faculty and students; 
friends and family of performers from DART 
and Herrera; and high school students from the 
Boys and Girls Club of Tempe. The work also 
had a five-night run at the interactive Dance 
Studio Theater at ASU, attracting audience mem- 
bers from the department, ASU, and greater 
Tempe and Phoenix. Area videographer Heidi 
Shikles documented the entire process and the 
footage was compiled into a short documentary 
to be used as a reference and archive. 

Yearby also shared her vision and craft with 
the larger campus and metropolitan area in a 
variety of community activities. In coordination 
with faculty of the ASU Women's Studies Pro- 
gram, she conducted a free workshop around 
the concept of identity that included movement, 
writing and vocalization for a diverse group of 
women in the greater Phoenix area. She partic- 



10 



National College Choreography Initiative 



ipated in a panel discussion entitled "Fostering 
Innovation and Creativity in Interdisciplinary 
Efforts," which was offered through the College 
of Interdisciplinary Studies. To share her expe- 
rience in a wide variety of dance forms, Yearby 
taught two advanced master classes at ASU, as 
well as an open class for ASU and Herrara stu- 
dents in collaboration with composer Daniel 
Bernard Roumain. The NCCI residency with 
Marlies Yearby expanded the education and 
artistry of students and at the same time reached 
beyond the boundaries of the university to 
engage the community in the creative process 
of self-expression. 

state: California 

school University of California, Irvine 
artist Bonnie Oda Homsey /American 
Repertory Dance Company 

COMMUNITY PARTNERS: Support GrOUpS 

Division of the Orange County 
Performing Arts Center 

Former Graham company principal dancer Bon- 
nie Oda Homsey undertook a historic restaging 
of Martha Graham's Steps in the Street, an excerpt 
from Chronicle (1936) for the benefit of students 
at University of California, Irvine. Applying 
their foundational knowledge of the Graham 
technique, students learned this seminal work 
from reconstructor Homsey, as well as the 
Martha Graham Resources designee Sandra Kauf- 
mann, who had performed in the original restag- 
ing by Graham principal dancer Yuriko. Choos- 
ing to cast 14 women rather than 12 allowed a 
greater number of students to experience Gra- 
ham's methods firsthand and to learn the 
nuances of performance from masters. Local 
audiences had not been exposed to the Graham 
repertory in more than 30 years, and this resi- 
dency provided an opportunity to reacquaint 
the community with the work, as well as expose 
them to the larger artistic context. 

Performed at UCI as part of "Dance Visions," 
the restaging was accompanied by an educa- 



tional exhibit of photography by Barbara Brooks 
Morgan of the Martha Graham Company, orig- 
inal costumes from the piece, and a couture 
gown worn by Graham. The exhibition marked 
Homsey 's debut as a curator and allowed her to 
"synthesize so many skills [to create] a dynamic 
homage to the creative genius of Martha Gra- 
ham and Barbara Morgan." Free outreach activ- 
ities, designed to promote wider knowledge and 
access to Graham's legacy, included a lecture/ 
demonstration, "Footsteps of Modern Dance," 
co-sponsored by the Orange County Perform- 
ing Arts Center for 650 students at Santa Ana 
High School. The presentation featured per- 
formances of the work of St. Denis, Shawn, 
Humphrey, Kreutzberg and Graham by UCI stu- 
dents, as well as narration about the history and 
philosophy of these artists. Students from Santa 
Ana were invited to attend an open dress 
rehearsal of "Dance Visions." A pre-show panel 
discussion brought together former Graham com- 
pany members from different generations to dis- 
cuss the value of Graham's legacy as it relates to 
the balance between preserving our dance her- 
itage and supporting new artistic vision. The 
project received outstanding press, including a 
feature story in the Orange County Register. 
Through the residency of performances and 
humanities activities, Homsey and other Gra- 
ham experts shared the talent and artistry of 
this historical figure in modern dance with the 
college and the community. 

state: California 

school University of California, 

Los Angeles 

artist Joe Goode 

community partners: UCLA Fowler Museum 

of Cultural History, UCLA Hammer 

Museum, Japanese American Cultural 

and Community Center 

NCCI support allowed artist Joe Goode to create 
Beauty Subsides, a performance installation that 
was a primary component of a larger project, 




Bill Hastings at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln 

"From the Verandah," a collaboration between 
the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 
the UCLA Hammer Museum, and the Japanese 
American Cultural and Community Center. 
"From the Verandah" was an experimental instal- 
lation — a wooden verandah-like structure with 
two platforms, one which featured a work by 
visual artist Wolfgang Laib and another cov- 
ered with a thick layer of clay that had hardened 
and cracked. It was this environment that 
inspired Goode to create a piece based on the 
Japanese aesthetic principles of "wabi sabi," in 
which things that are commonplace and humble 
are given value. 

Goode covered new ground with students 
through a residency that emphasized a work- 
shop process over the final product. He explains, 
"We worked very hard to experience a land of 
homeliness, a state of in-betweenness, which 
was antithetical to performers who may want 
to be dazzling and beautiful... We moved 
beyond our western notion of what a perform- 
ance is and what purpose it serves." He credits 
their success to the "long gestation period [that] 
made all the difference to the depth of our 
understanding of the work." 

The cast was made up of undergraduate and 
graduate dance students at UCLA, as well as 
dance students from California State Univer- 
sity at Long Beach and California Institute for 
the Arts, faculty from UCLA, California State 
University at Los Angeles and Pomona College, 



Encore: A Second Round of Success 



11 



and two Los Angeles-based community 
dancers. Joe Goode commented on how engag- 
ing this diverse cast created enormously 
rewarding connections. Working with students 
from all different cultural backgrounds did 
prove to be a huge challenge: "Some were prac- 
ticing Buddhists, some were of Asian lineage, 
many were just coeds whose idea of dance 
extended no further than the drill team. . . [Stu- 
dents] had some artistic chasms to leap over 
and some judgments to set aside." On top of 
this, they were also "dealing with museum 
curators and administrators who really didn't 
understand what it meant to have 20 perform- 
ers dancing through their art galleries." In the 
end, "the students all bonded around the work 
and discovered a lot about themselves." 

The piece premiered at the opening day fes- 
tivities for "From the Verandah" to a standing- 
room-only audience, and was followed by a 
discussion with Goode who shared his inspi- 
ration and creative process. The students per- 
formed the work weekly in the gallery for 
museum visitors and were joined by guest lec- 
turers including Goode and artists Hirokazu 
Kosaka and Ogori. The class set aside time for 
discussion of the project, allowing students to 
become intimately familiar with both the initial 
idea and the process of creating "From the 
Verandah." In addition to Beauty Subsides, 
another work created by UCLA media arts and 
science students that compared human and rice 
genomes through stunning projections 
appeared in the Verandah space. In this way, 
the residency stimulated interaction between 
the dance department and students of molecu- 
lar biology, psychiatry, media arts, film, tele- 
vision and digital media as their respective 
projects for "From the Verandah" collided in 
the gallery. The dedication and hard work of 
Goode's cast, and the experimental quality of 
the residency, created camaraderie among the 
students and teachers, who have continued the 
relationships they developed beyond the end of 
the project. Goode's work itself will be pre- 



served through film footage that will be part of 
an educational documentary of the project. As 
Beauty Subsides was a unique collaboration that 
brought together arts and academic organiza- 
tions to develop a stimulating free perform- 
ance, and created an environment for students 
to explore Buddhist concepts with an acclaimed 
artist in a unique performance installation. 




Sleepwatchers at Franklin & Marshall College 

state: California 

school University of California 

at Santa Barbara 

artist Kim Epifano 

The University of California at Santa Barbara 
Dance Company, a touring company made up 
of 10 dance majors in their senior year, added a 
new multimedia work entitled Speak the Lan- 
guage to their repertory this year after an inten- 
sive residency with artist Kim Epifano. In the 
first week of rehearsal, Epifano worked with 
the students in improvisational exercises to famil- 
iarize them with her creative process, getting to 
know them personally and helping them expose 
their own creative voices. To address American 
cultural ideas of race, origins and stories of indi- 
vidual lives, the dancers did writing exercises, 
told personal stories, and kept journals. Epifano 
designed a sound score for the piece, which 
included pre-recorded sounds, song arrange- 
ments, and live performances by the dancers. 
Learning to act, sing and dance at the same time 



was a challenge for the dancers, but the explo- 
ration in early rehearsals created a safe envi- 
ronment where they felt free to push themselves 
artistically. The fruits of the students' own cre- 
ative play were interwoven into the vocal, dra- 
matic and movement material of Speak the Lan- 
guage — a hallmark of Epifano's process. The 
piece was a highlight of the company's rigor- 
ous touring schedule and was performed 13 
times, including at the American College Dance 
Festival at the University of Utah, where it was 
given high honors and selected for the gala per- 
formance. The piece toured to numerous local 
high schools, and there were other outreach 
activities, including a community master class 
and a brown bag lunch discussion at UCSB. By 
giving students the opportunity to share their 
own stories as part of the residency, Epifano 
was able to both create a culturally rich work 
that rang true for audiences, and to involve stu- 
dents deeply in the artistic process. The proj- 
ect has been, she explained, "a wonderful addi- 
tion to my creative experience as a professional 
artist! The connections I have made with the 
faculty and students has been priceless." 

state: Colorado 

school: University of Colorado 

artist Shelley Senter/Trisha Brown 

Shelley Senter, a master teacher and represen- 
tative of the Trisha Brown Dance Company, 
came to the University of Colorado to re-envi- 
sion Set and Reset, a 1983 masterwork of Trisha 
Brown. This remarkable undertaking on the 
part of Senter, 12 student dancers, and the 
design team for the production culminated in 
the meeting of young minds with the 
renowned accomplishments of a master cho- 
reographer. To complement the project, Senter 
taught morning movement classes, which 
allowed students to understand more deeply 
the physical skills that are central to Brown's 
movement style, as well to continue their study 
of the Alexander Technique, a formative aspect 



12 



National College Choreography Initiative 



of Brown's work and part of UC's curriculum. 
Senter commented, "It was poignant to watch 
the students work with allowing themselves to 
remain in 'process/ and realize that the dance 
requires approaching each movement as if it 
were the first time. It was satisfying to see the 
students' enjoyment in working this way." 

The work was performed to a sold-out house 
at the 2004 Central Region American College 
Dance Festival, for an audience of 380 students 
and faculty from 23 college/university programs 
around the country. It was also performed as 
part of UC's "Legacies" project alongside works 
of historical importance, including work by 
Martha Graham, Katherine Dunham, and Bill 
Young, as well as premieres of new work. Fac- 
ulty and students from design and technical 
theater worked together with Robert Shannon 
to create a complex mobile set complete with 
video, photography, sounds, surfaces and light- 
ing. Students had the opportunity to observe 
the collaboration between Senter and an off- 
campus costume designer, which closely mir- 
rored the historical record of Brown's interac- 
tion with Robert Rauschenberg. As part of 
ACDF, a public panel discussion moderated by 
a dance historian highlighted the importance 
and problems of reconstructions, as well as the 
unique solutions employed in this project. The 
historic restaging of the work was not lost on 
local press such as The Rocky Mountain News: 
"Set and Reset dates from 1983, but it contin- 
ues to resonate with a boldness that probably 
will challenge dancers for generations." This 
year-long project created a strongly-felt sense of 
excitement, energizing UC's students, staff, fac- 
ulty, community, and local press alike, and 
prominently featured Trisha Brown's work in 
Colorado where it is seldom seen. For Senter, 
directing Set and Reset/Reset renewed an aware- 
ness of the lasting integrity of Trisha Brown's 
work. Through the restaging process, she said, 
she discovered with students the "great power 
in revisiting the known [and] having it still 
teach you something." 



state: Georgia 

school University of Georgia 

artist Stanley Zompakos 

community partners: Clarke County Lyndon 

House Arts Center, Athens Ballet Theatre, 

Nellie Bee School District, East Athens 

Educational Dance Center 

Artist Stanley Zompakos arrived at the Univer- 
sity of Georgia to reconstruct Simple Symphony, 
which premiered in Athens, Georgia in 1981 for 
student dancers of the UGA Ballet Ensemble. 
As founding Artistic Director of the Athens Bal- 
let Theatre, Zompakos is a prominent figure in 
the dance heritage of Georgia. He was assisted by 
Janet Robertson, a UGA faculty member whom 
he trained. As a dance instructor, choreographer 
and mentor to many Athenians, Zompakos' res- 
idency allowed the community to become re- 
acquainted with his contributions and celebrate 
his place in local history. Among those who were 
compelled by Zompakos' presence to participate 
in the residency were his former ballet mistress 
at Athens Ballet Theatre; many of his former 
students, now teachers, who traveled from 
Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and South Carolina; 
and one former student who presented an entire 
gallery of photographs of his teaching days in 
Athens. Presented at a community reception 
honoring Zompakos, the photo exhibition was 
hung at the Lyndon House Arts Center and later 
in the UGA Department of Dance. Many stu- 
dents shared their fond memories of training 
with Zompakos at the reception and provided 
photographs, articles, programs and a few rare 
clips of his choreography on video for the archive 
created as part of the project. 

Zompakos gave back to the community in 
many ways during his residency by leading 
panel discussions and lecture/demonstrations, 
and teaching master classes at the Athens Bal- 
let School, UGA, the Nellie Bee School District, 
and the East Athens Educational Dance Cen- 
ter. Community dancers who participated were 
given free tickets to UGAs performance of Sim- 



ple Symphony, providing them a chance to see 
his work firsthand. The project illuminated the 
connection of Athens, Georgia, the UGA dance 
department and professional dancers in other 
states to dance history and the pedagogy of 
one of the great ballet masters, and allowed 
students to explore a greater understanding of 
their own artistry in performance. 

STATE: Idaho 

school: University of Idaho 
artist Frankie Manning 
community partners: Swing Devils 
of the Palouse 

The University of Idaho's NCCI project with 
swing dance master Frankie Manning resulted 
in the creation of two new works, Flying Home 
and Jam Session. The first, set to the music of 
Lionel Hampton with a cast of 20 university 
dancers, featured the vernacular jazz vocabu- 
lary found in the fad dances of the 1940s. The 
89-years-young Manning taught the students 
the history of the dances and enticed them 
with the excitement of the era. The second 
work, set to the music of Benny Goodman, was 
a swing dance for three couples selected from 
university dancers and members of the Swing 
Devils of Palouse. With an improvisational feel, 
intricate rhythmic footwork and "air steps," 
the piece recreated the feel of film clips of the 
Savoy Ballroom dancers. The pieces were per- 
formed for more than 300 school age children 
and 400 visitors to the university's Lionel 
Hampton Jazz Festival. 

During his residency, Manning offered a 
weekend swing/jazz dance workshop, which 
sold out and attracted university and local 
dancers, as well as other dancers from through- 
out the Northwest region — some from as far 
away as Seattle and Portland. Adding signifi- 
cant context to the residency was jazz historian 
Peter Loggins, who taught classes and lectured 
on the roots of swing and vernacular jazz dance. 
Late-night dinners with the inexhaustible Man- 



Encore: A Second Round of Success 



13 



ning turned into impromptu oral history ses- 
sions where he reflected on working at the Savoy 
Ballroom, sharing stories about jazz luminaries 
such as Ella Fitzgerald and others. The work- 
shop concluded with a lecture by Manning and 
a preview of the new works. 

This exhausting weekend of dance was one of 
the best workshops in the Northwest region 
and gave the dance program at University of 
Idaho a great boost in visibility. The program's 
visibility was also increased on campus; Man- 
ning's residency took place during Black His- 
tory Month and the university held a presi- 
dential reception for the artist, a first for the 
program. The residency also received press fea- 
tures in the Moscow y 'Pullman Daily News and 
the Lewiston Tribune. Another long-lasting 
impact of the residency was the video docu- 
mentation of Manning's teaching and rehearsal 
sessions, which will be housed at the univer- 
sity and available to researchers or for future 
documentaries on Manning. Frankie Manning's 
residency was a great success for a small dance 
program as it gave dancers throughout the com- 
munity an opportunity to work directly with a 
dance legend and educated the public about the 
true roots of swing dance. 

STATE: HlinOlS 

school The Dance Center of Columbia 

College Chicago 

artist: Merce Cunningham 

The support of the National College Choreog- 
raphy Initiative made a direct connection pos- 
sible between eight dancers from The Dance 
Center at Columbia College Chicago and modem 
dance genius Merce Cunningham in the first 
ever student-performed Cunningham MinEvent. 
Students were immersed in the technique, cho- 
reography and history of Cunningham through 
a nine-week residency that exposed young 
dancers, arts professionals and vast audiences to 
the master artist's work and process. Cunning- 
ham's work has always been shown in one of 



two contexts: as part of the repertory, wherein 
full dances are maintained for performance by 
the company members; or as an "Event," in 
which excerpts from different dances are spliced 
together by Cunningham and performed bv the 
company. But never before had the "Event" 
concept been licensed, nor had an intense col- 
laboration of this scale been undertaken with 
college students. 

Guest teacher and former Cunningham dancer 
Banu Ogan taught swatches of choreographic 
material to the ensemble of student dancers. 
Drawing on instructions from Assistant to the 
Choreographer Robert Swinston, and Cunning- 
ham himself, as well as her own extensive 
knowledge of the repertory, Ogan taught and 
rehearsed the students on a rigorous schedule. 
Their work together culminated during "Con- 
versations on Cunningham," a three-day sym- 
posium. To students' amazement, Cunningham 
visited their dress rehearsal and offered feed- 
back on their performance of his choreography. 
The celebration brought experts on Cunning- 
ham, contemporary choreographers such as Eliz- 
abeth Streb and Ralph Lemon, and four gener- 
ations of Cunningham dancers to Chicago to 
reflect on the body of work that he has created 
during the last half century Through master 
classes, film screenings, panel discussions, and 
performances by Merce Cunningham Dance 
Company, students and the community were 
granted full access to the legacy of this artist. The 
MinEvent was also performed in the end of the 
semester student Repertory Workshop Ensemble 
and faculty concerts for substantial student audi- 
ences, as well as parents, friends and families, 
many of whom were exposed to Cunningham's 
choreography for the first time. The success of 
this project has had a great impact on The Dance 
Center and the local cornmunity: Cunningham's 
work and technique had been under-repre- 
sented, but this project provided both a look 
back at Cunningham's historic contributions to 
dance, and a new MinEvent performed by stu- 
dents that is exemplary of his artistic genius. 



STATE: IllmOIS 

school: University of Illinois, 
Urbana-Champaign 
artist Lar Lubovitch 

The NCCI grant awarded to the University of Illi- 
nois, Urbana-Champaign, brought the artistry of 
Lar Lubovitch and a restaging of North Star to 
students who had never before experienced the 
work. Though they had benefited from annual 
week-long residencies with Mark Morris, who 
is a former Lubovitch dancer and original cast 
member of the piece, this was their first oppor- 
tunity to delve into the choreographer's style. 
John Davger, who had danced for Lubovitch for 
25 years, set and rehearsed the piece, and also 
taught a semester-long repertory class that was 
open to all intermediate/advanced level dancers at 
the university. During a four-day residency with 
Lubovitch himself, the cast's understanding of 
the work grew tremendously as they interacted 
with him directly in rehearsal and repertory class, 
and heard him speak about his choreographic 
process for North Star in a lecture/demonstra- 
tion. Approximately 200 people from the broader 
community also had a chance to learn about 
Lubovitch's work in classes, discussions, lec- 
ture/demonstrations, and a public lecture, where 
he discussed the challenges of choreographing 
for the major venues of his career: the concert 
stage, the ice skating rink, and Broadway. 

Though North Star has not often been per- 
formed by companies other than Lubovitch's 
because of its difficulty, its performance as part 
of the annual main stage concert, Festival 2004, 
was a success by all accounts. The story of the 
residency was picked up by the local paper, The 
News Gazette, and the work was enthusiasti- 
cally received by audiences, who benefited from 
outreach activities that involved them in the 
choreographer's work. This NCCI grant allowed 
both students and cornmunity members to spend 
a substantial time period immersed in the dance 
style and choreographic process of an impor- 
tant figure in the landscape of modern dance. 



14 



National College Choreography Initiative 






STATE: KonSOS 

school: University of Kansas 
artist Sarah Stackhouse/Jose Limon 
community partners: The Lied Center, 
Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence High 
School, Free State High School 

The end result of the University of Kansas's 
exceptionally successful NCCI project was a stir- 
ring performance of Missa Brevis by seminal 
artist Jose Limon — featuring a stellar soloist, 23 
dancers, 42 singers, live organ accompaniment, 
an extraordinary projected backdrop of a dev- 
astated landscape, and the enthusiasm and emo- 
tional responses of a moved audience. During 
this residency, dancers from KU and the 
Lawrence area worked closely with Sarah Stack- 
house, the former Limon dancer who re-created 
the piece, as well as with faculty member Patrick 
Suzeau, who learned the Limon role. For an ini- 
tial three weeks, students rehearsed for at least 
three hours a day to learn the work, and most 
participated in daily dance classes with Stack- 
house, which were open to all advanced dancers 
in the region. 

With the great gift of immersion in the Limon 
technique, the cast learned Missa Brevis and 
then began to take the work out into the com- 
munity through performances, lecture/demon- 
strations, and open rehearsals, along with mas- 
ter classes taught by Stackhouse for youth dance 
groups. Performances drew large regional audi- 
ences, and a lecture/demonstration that coin- 
cided with Annual Dance Day brought many 
high school students from Kansas, Missouri, and 
Illinois. Another performance took place at the 
Kansas Dance Festival at Wichita State Univer- 
sity, giving a wider geographic range a taste of 
Missa Brevis, which helped bring larger audi- 
ences to the final performance at the Lied Cen- 
ter. The residency also brought diverse depart- 
ments at KU together in a lively panel discussion 
on 'Art and War," with faculty panelists from the 
fields of theater and film, art history, music, phi- 
losophy, humanities and Western civilization. 



Audiences commented that the dancers were 
already able to convey the enormous power of 
this landmark piece. But thanks to the NCCI 
grant, the students had the privilege to work 
with Stackhouse for an additional three weeks to 
ensure the highest possible level of perform- 
ance. The dance faculty observed stunning 
growth among students in technical and per- 
formance skills, as well as a growth in the visi- 
bility and passion for dance in the community. 
The climactic performances at the Lied Cen- 
ter received significant media attention in the 
form of preview articles in three papers, glow- 
ing reviews in two, a five-minute university tel- 
evision spot to spread the word on campus, and 
a local cable television program devoted to an 
interview with Stackhouse and excerpts of the 
piece, which aired for a week preceding the per- 
formance. The NCCI grant project at the Uni- 
versity of Kansas culminated with two per- 
formances of Jose Limon's Missa Brevis at the 
Lied Center, a concert hall which serves the 
campus, community and region. 

state: Kentucky 

school: Western Kentucky University, 

Bowling Green 

artist Acia Gray and Barbara Phillips 

community partners: Dance Images 

The NCCI grant awarded to Western Kentucky 
University, Bowling Green, brought tap dance 
artists Acia Gray and Barbara Phillips to stage an 
original work on the WKU Dance Company to 
the live piano and vocals version of "Saturday 
Night Fish Fry" from the Broadway musical, 
Five Guys Named Moe. Phillips created a beau- 
tifully entertaining work of choreography to be 
performed as part of "An Evening of Dance 
2004" and exposed the dancers to historical tap 
from the 1930s, which formed the backbone of 
the movement style in the piece. The residency 
provided students with an education from sec- 
ond and third generation tap dancers in the 
style of "hoofing" (accurate to the period), as 




Doug Elkins' Brimful of Ashe at the University of 
Minnesota 

well as a sense of the importance of preserving 
and continuing the legacy of this uniquely 
American dance form. For the first time, stu- 
dents learned about tap as a culmination of Irish 
and African dance with jazz and spiritual influ- 
ences, and gained knowledge about the evolution 
and origin of specific steps — an experience that 
could only come from interacting closely with 
artists. This message also went out into the cam- 
pus and Bowling Green communities via master 
classes, both on campus and at Dance Images, a 
local dance training facility, in six open public 
performances, and at a high school matinee 
designed to support the Kentucky Common- 
wealth's Initiative to integrate study of the arts 
into public school curriculum. Since the WKU 
Theatre and Dance program is largely focused on 
musical theater, both the dancers and audiences 
responded enthusiastically to the new work's 
focus on '30s jazz and jitterbug, period fashions, 
and live entertaining music. This NCCI residency 
provided a remarkable opportunity to continue 
passing down the oral history of rhythm tap 
from the masters to a new generation of tap 
dancers and audiences in Kentucky. 



Encore: A Second Round of Success 



15 



state: Louisiana 

school: Tulane University 

ARTIST: Paul Taylor 

community partners: New Orleans Ballet 
Association (primary), St. Bernard School 
Board, New Orleans Recreation 
Department, New Orleans Center for the 
Creative Arts/Riverfront, Housing 
Authority of New Orleans 

The NCCI grant awarded to Tulane University 
enabled Paul Taylor's second company, Taylor 
2, to be in residence for two weeks, exposing 
the community to the work of one of the coun- 
try's foremost pioneers of modern dance. Led 
by director Susan McGuire, along with six Tay- 
lor 2 dancers, excerpts of Taylor's famous 
Esplanade were reconstructed for students in 
the Newcomb Dance Program at Tulane. 
Through workshop rehearsals and the recon- 
struction, along with technique master classes, 
the students gained insight into both the tech- 
nical proficiency and performance quality of 
Taylor's choreography. 

This opportunity was extended to a wide 
segment of New Orleans with the help of the 
New Orleans Ballet Association, which acted as 
a conduit into the community with its award- 
winning programs. With 18 months of prepa- 
ration, the project partners arranged an exciting 
array of programs. Master technique classes were 
offered to students at a performing arts high 
school, students in the New Orleans Recreation 
Department/New Orleans Ballet Association 
"Step Up" program, and dancers in the profes- 
sional community. Lecture/demonstrations 
reached six public schools, a St. Bernard parish 
community center, and the Sojourner 
Truth/Lafitte Housing Development Creative 
Community Center. Showings of the recon- 
struction of Esplanade included an informal 
showing of workshop material, one children's 
show and four formal showings as part of "An 
Evening of Dance" produced by Newcomb 
Dance. In total, over 2,000 children and adult 



community members observed work by Taylor; 
each day 20-30 Newcomb Dance students par- 
ticipated in classes; and another 2,000 children 
and audience members observed the "Evening 
of Dance" performances. All members of the 
community were exposed to the absolute pro- 
fessionalism of the Taylor 2 company members 
and exquisite articulation and teaching of Tay- 
lor technique by Susan McGuire. With the sup- 
port of NCCI funding for the Taylor 2 residency, 
an additional element was made possible through 
other sources — New Orleans Ballet Association 
produced the Paul Taylor Dance Company as a 
culminating event for the community. This res- 
idency was a success because of the powerful 
presence of both Taylor 2 and the Paul Taylor 
Dance Company in New Orleans in perform- 
ances, lecture/demonstrations, teaching and 
repertory workshops, which exposed the com- 
munity to the choreography and creative process 
of a master artist of the 20th Century. 

state: Maryland 
school: Towson University 
artist Jawole Willa Jo Zollar 
community partners: Towson University: 
College of Fine Arts and Communication, 
Office of University Marketing, Stephen's 
Hall Production Crew, Department of 
Theatre, Office of Diversity, African- 
American Cultural Center, African- 
American Acting Troupe; Stephanie 
Powell Danse Ensemble; Dance Baltimore 

Towson University's NCCI project was designed 
to support a new work by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar 
for the Towson University Dance Company. The 
new ensemble work, Dreamin' the Blues, Medi- 
tations on Africa, was created in rehearsals with 
BFA dance majors at Towson who grew tremen- 
dously through their exposure to Zollar s approach 
and movement vocabulary. Zollar was skilled at 
encouraging and inspiring dancers to create in 
dance composition and movement theater classes. 
As their learning of the new work progressed, 



faculty members were pleased to observe stu- 
dents embracing Zollar s teaching and executing 
the movement in an authentic fashion. 

The residency had a wide array of positive 
effects on Towson University administrators, 
faculty, staff, students and artists, many of whom 
had no previous exposure to Pearl Primus, 
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar or Urban Bush Women. 
The residency exposed the campus community 
to the rich contributions of these artists through 
numerous master classes in dance composition, 
modern dance technique and movement theater 
improvisation taught by Zollar, as well as talks 
in seminars classes for dance and theater stu- 
dents. Zollar also gave a seminar presentation 
on diversity and the stage, sponsored by the 
Towson University Office of Diversity, African- 
American Cultural Center, and African- American 
Acting Troupe, and introduced these groups to 
the legacy of Pearl Primus and the work of 
Urban Bush Women. During a brown bag lunch- 
eon with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, members of the 
Towson University community had a chance to 
interact with the artist and gained a greater 
awareness of modern dance as an important part 
of the fine arts. Through the residency, a col- 
laborative documentary of the process was cre- 
ated to serve as an educational tool and an 
archive of the creation of Dreamin' the Blues, 
Meditations on Africa. This NCCI residency 
brought the contemporary artistry of Jawole 
Willa Jo Zollar, as well as the history and legacy 
of Pearl Primus, to dancers and community mem- 
bers at Towson University and allowed them to 
experience a unique combination of the work of 
these two artists. 

state: Michigan 

school University of Michigan 

artist Alonzo King 

community partners: Detroit Public Schools 

NCCI support brought artist Alonzo King to the 
University of Michigan to restage Shostakovich 
String Quartet on the University Dancers, to be 



16 



National College Choreography Initiative 



presented as part of a campus-wide festival com- 
memorating the 300th anniversary of the found- 
ing of St. Petersburg, Russia. The choreography 
figured prominently in the celebration of the 
city's remarkable cultural heritage. The work 
was set by King's assistant, Summer Rhatigan, 
who inspired and pushed the students to new 
heights, and was later rehearsed during a resi- 
dency with King. The students learned the 
abstract modern ballet without music or even 
counted movements, although it was danced to 
a live performance of Shostakovich's "String 
Quartet #15 in B Flat Minor, Opus 144," by the 
university's student Rosseels String Quartet. The 
idea behind learning the work in this manner 
was to encourage the students to find their own 
interpretation and expand their performance 
range. The process was a success, evidenced by 
artistic growth that impressed the choreogra- 
pher and the decision of a few students to con- 
tinue their studies with King at his Lines Ballet 
School in San Francisco. 

While King was in residence, he also took 
his work out into the community by conducting 
a master class at Martin Luther King High School 
in Detroit in which 40 students participated, 
another 40 observed, and all had the chance to 
hear him discuss his work and answer ques- 
tions from the audience. The University of 
Michigan hosted a "Dance Day" and invited 75 
students from the Detroit Public Schools to take 
a technique class and see a matinee perform- 
ance of Shostakovich String Quartet. Another 
major outreach effort was conducted by the 
Freshman Dance Touring Company, which per- 
formed sections of the work throughout the 
community, including at the University of Michi- 
gan hospital, area high schools and a retirement 
community, totaling eight performances for more 
than 1,000 community members. This NCCI res- 
idency allowed students at the University of 
Michigan to progress as artists, and allowed 
Alonzo King to teach a cast of eager dancers 
and curious community members about his cho- 
reography and artistic process. 



state: Minnesota 

school: University of Minnesota 

artist Doug Elkins 

community partners: St. Paul Central 

High School 

Doug Elkins, a choreographer known for his fusion 
of hip-hop, club dance and martial arts, created 
Brimful of Ashe, a new work for students at the 
University of Minnesota. The work is a wildly 
physical ride set to the music of Punjab MC that 
references the exoticism of Bollywood musicals. 
Elkins' use of popular music and culture made 
him an ideal choreographer for the residency, 
which was designed to correlate with the uni- 
versity's Trans/lations/ferrals Conference, which 
focused on translating vernacular and popular 
culture to the concert stage. The work premiered 
on the University Dance Theater Program and 
was also presented at the conference alongside 
works and demonstrations by other contempo- 
rary artists such as Jawole Jo Zollar and Rennie 
Harris, as well as prominent local hip-hop artists 
such as B-Girl Seoul, Desdemona, Kenna Camera- 
Cottman, Daylight, Abomination, Dancin Dave 
and Mr. Uneek. Panel discussions on topics includ- 
ing "Vernacular Layers and Pop Culture," "Hip- 
Hop in a Global Context" and "The Evolution of 
Hip-Hop," allowed time for participants to get 
involved in theoretical discussions and then see 
actual work that addressed the same issues. In 
conjunction with the conference, Elkins taught a 
hip-hop class for 27 students from St. Paul Central 
High School, an inner city school. The rigorous 
and lively class encouraged students to focus 
intently to learn new partnering techniques and 
hip-hop moves. Elkins not only taught an engag- 
ing and challenging class, but educated the young 
students with a running history of hip-hop along 
the way. The conference and performances allowed 
the dance program at the University of Minnesota 
to not only increase its outreach to the local dance 
and scholarly communities, but to also provide a 
vibrant, enriching experience in vernacular and 
popular dance for the surrounding community. 




Kim Epifano's Speak the Language at the University 
of California-Santa Barbara 

state: Mississippi 

school: The University of Mississippi 

artist Dwight Rhoden 

community partners: Mississippi Arts 

Commission, Yoknapatawpha Arts 

Council, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 

Second Baptist Church, Clear Creek 

Baptist Church, Office of Mayor Howorth 

and the William Winter Institute for Racial 

Reconciliation, the Oxford/Lafayette 

Public Library 

The University of Mississippi brought Dwight 
Rhoden into the community to initiate a dia- 
logue about racial reconciliation, using dance as 
a medium for revealing both the pain of times 
past and a hope for the future. The goal of this 
residency was to bring together members of the 
Oxford, Lafayette County, and university (OLU) 
communities in the spirit of racial healing and 
artistic growth. Through the choreographic 
process, Rhoden worked with some of the dif- 
ficult racial issues that are deeply ingrained in 
the OLU community and particularly the com- 
plex history of the university, including the 
riots surrounding the admittance of James 
Meredith in 1962. The ideas that informed the 
piece, titled Before Now and After Then, were 
drawn directly from Rhoden's interaction with 
the OLU community, who opened themselves 
up to him in the interest of healing old wounds. 
Through town hall meetings and lunchtime dis- 
cussions that took place in churches, libraries, 



Encore: A Second Round of Success 



17 



and the black student union, Rhoden tapped 
into the area's racial dynamics, and found both 
lingering tension and evidence of progress. Stu- 
dents attended many of the community events 
so that thev could experience the anger, pain 
and guilt that remained firsthand so that thev 
might better understand and interpret the com- 
munitv's feelings on stage. Rehearsals were open 
to the communitv members, who in turn could 
observe how their stories were being trans- 
formed into art. For these committed dance stu- 
dents at a university without a dance major, the 
opportunitv to learn directlv from a well-known 
choreographer was a first. Rhoden encouraged 
and even expected them to meet the high tech- 
nical standards of his companv, a challenge that 
generated great respect for the artist. 

The piece premiered at the new Gertrude 
Ford Center for the Performing Arts in a program 
that featured Rhoden's company, Complexions, 
and was performed at the Southeastern Ameri- 
can College Dance Festival, selected for the gala 
and the national performances, as well as chosen 
for the NCCI program at The Kennedv Center. 
The impact on the community' as a whole was 
dramatic and is still reverberating. An enthusi- 
astic group of 1,000 children in Northeast Mis- 
sissippi attended a school performance, which 
was for manv their first experience with modem 
dance. Rhoden taught master classes for the 
campus and OLU communitv, for experienced 
and novice dancers, voung and old. The Depart- 
ment of Theatre Arts is editing a documentary 
film of the project, which will serve as a record 
of the creation of Before Now and After Then as 
well as inspiration for future progress. Rhoden 
himself grew artistically from the process, and 
now hopes to develop it as a full-length piece for 
his company. By using a new non-verbal 
approach to racial healing, the project success- 
fullv demonstrated to the university how the 
creative process can bring historical events to 
life, as well as be a catalyst for change. Conse- 
quently the university is a strong supporter of 
Rhoden's idea to expand the work, and plans 



are underway to feature members of the OLU 
community of all ages and creative contribu- 
tions from local writers, musicians and visual 
artists. For the first time, the University of Mis- 
sissippi used the creation of a communitv-wide 
artwork to confront racial issues. The NCCI res- 
idency with Dwight Rhoden left students and 
the OLU community as a whole with a greater 
understanding of the need for reconciliation, as 
well as the role that art can plav in healing. 

state: Montana 

school University of Montana 

artist Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig 

COMMUNITY PARTNERS: SuSSeX School 

For two weeks, artists Sara Pearson and Patrik 
Widrig shared their artistic vision with a wide 
range of University of Montana and Missoula 
communitv members — from teaching univer- 
sity and elementarv school classes to meeting 
with dance, costume design, and media art stu- 
dents to offering lecture/demonstrations and 
restaging a site-adaptable piece, for which the 
duet companv is so well known. The residencv 
began at the start of the spring semester, which 
allowed students to engage with Pearson and 
Widrig earlv on and build on the ideas they 
introduced throughout the semester. Students 
were exposed to, and part of, this choreographic 
team's working process, including how they 
select music in juxtaposition to movement, the 
contrast between highly technical and noncha- 
lant pedestrian moves, and how thev build a 
two-hour technique class on a few simple ideas 
and phrases. 

Pearson and Widrig 's skill at working on a 
personal level created a residencv where rela- 
tionships could develop with the dancers, and 
also made their outreach into the community 
exceptional. Students in fourth and fifth grade 
at the Sussex School were treated to a video 
viewing of Pearson and Widrig 's work and then 
led through an improvisational movement work- 
shop. After the workshop, students performed 




Members of the University of Texas-Pan American 
dance ensemble in Doug Elkins' Orange Peel Pifiata 



their own improvisations and a piece of chore- 
ographv for the rest of the school in an assem- 
bly. Widrig presented his dance video work for 
the university's Media Arts program and dis- 
cussed how it develops based on rh\lhmic shifts 
in the visual design rather than a narrative or 
plot, an idea that is a significant departure from 
the styles that students had previously experi- 
enced. The Missoula public attended a lec- 
ture demonstration that included discussion by 
the artists, video clips of previous work and a 
live performance, which the community reacted 
to with excitement and gratitude, as it would be 
the onlv out-of-town dance presented in Mis- 
soula for the year. Later in the semester, the uni- 
versitv presented A Curious Invasion, the piece 
restaged bv Pearson and Widrig, and it received 
a standing ovation, a first for the dance pro- 
gram. The fact that the piece is site-adaptable 
was a primary draw, and it will reappear for the 
Missoula community outdoors in a site-specific 
concert. With NCCI support, this residency proj- 
ect was an invaluable addition to the cultural 
life of Missoula for both the dancers who became 
part of Pearson and Widrig 's creative process, 
and the community members who were enticed 
bv the work and outreach of these artists. 



18 



National College Choreography Initiative 



state: North Carolina 

school Duke University 

artist Ronald K. Brown 

community partners: Duke University Institute 

of the Arts, John Hope Franklin Center for 

Interdisciplinary and International Studies 

Choreographer Ronald K. Brown worked with 
students from five colleges and universities in the 
Durham area during a two-day intensive and 
later set a new work, Common Ground, on 
selected dancers. Danced to the hauntingly beau- 
tiful "Wodabe Nights" from Sweet Honey in 
the Rock, the piece uses images of entering a 
forest and clearing both a physical and emo- 
tional space to suggest the need for openness 
in order for people to meet on "common 
ground" and interact on a deep level. The two- 
day intensive required just this kind of deep 
interaction. Through master classes, repertory 
sessions and communal meals, 44 dancers got 
to know each other, as well as Ron Brown. Their 
talents spanned a range of diverse dance forms, 
from ballet to modern dance, from African dance 
to hip-hop, and Brown, whose work draws from 
all of these, created a supportive environment for 
interaction among these students from Duke 
University, University of North Carolina at 
Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina at 
Greensboro, North Carolina Agriculture and 
Technical University and North Carolina State 
University. 

The residency provided an opportunity that 
was the first of its kind for students in the 
Durham area to learn about each other and form 
a basis for future communication and interac- 
tion. The project appears to have had a huge 
impact on students, who commented about how 
working with Brown renewed their love for 
dance, gave them insight into the role of life 
experience in creating art, and even inspired 
them to hope for a world where people can meet 
on common ground. The new work was per- 
formed on several programs at Duke University, 
including a performance for Duke alumni and a 



free matinee performance for Durham county 
public, private and charter schools, and was 
also selected to be shown on The Kennedy Cen- 
ter's Millennium Stage. Additional outreach 
included two open rehearsals with question and 
answer sessions for the public, and a lunch dis- 
cussion with Brown hosted by the John Hope 
Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and Inter- 
national Studies. Brown describes his work as 
about "bringing worlds together, seeing how 
people and cultures intersect and what is shared 
while creating a space to witness and learn 
respect for difference," and that certainly hap- 
pened for students, faculty and community 
members in the Durham area as a result of NCCI 
funding for this residency. 

state: Nebraska 

school University of Nebraska-Lincoln 
artists: Bill Hastings/Bob Fosse 
community partners: Cooper Foundation, Ruth 
Diamond Levinson, Nebraska Arts 
Council, Dancerschool, Hart Dance 
Academy, Club Kicks Dance and Cheer 
Studio, Universal Dance Academy, Cheryl 
Priess-Dickey Dance Academy, 
Haymarket Theatre Children's Academy, 
Studio 2, Karen McWilliams School of 
Dance, Brackhan Dance Directive, 
YWCA Dance Academy, True Dance 
Academy, Pure Movement Dance 
Academy (all in Lincoln), Anderson-Hoxie 
Dance Project (Waverly), Shelly 's School 
of Dance (Seward), First Position Dance 
Academy (Ashland), University of 
Nebraska at Omaha, Pure Movement 
Dance Academy 2 (Crete) and Dance 
Etc. (Crete) 

Bill Hastings was in residence at the University 
of Nebraska-Lincoln for more than a month to 
introduce dancers and the community to the 
pioneering Broadway choreography of Bob Fosse. 
Hastings restaged works by Fosse, including 
"Steam Heat" from Pajama Game, "The Aloof" 



from Sweet Charity, "Dancin' Man" from 
Dancin', and also created his own choreography 
in the Fosse style for "All That Jazz" from 
Chicago. The works were restaged with a com- 
mitment to provide students with a visual and 
educational experience of the history behind 
the dances. The message hit home for the cast, 
who realized that learning the choreography 
from Hastings, one of Fosse's original dancers, 
was a great gift, and that maintaining Fosse's 
legacy and the details of the choreography would 
be, in part, their responsibility in the future. 

The reach of this project was staggering. Hast- 
ing taught a total of 28 master classes in the 
Fosse style of jazz dance in 18 dance studios in 
Lincoln, Waverly, and Crete, and at UNL, as well 
as lecture/demonstrations, open rehearsals and 
presentations, for a total of more than 60 out- 
reach activities. Audiences were enchanted by 
student performances at a rehabilitation center 
and at two retirement communities. The proj- 
ect culminated in the concert performance 
"Broadway Lights, Fosse Nights," which had a 
scripted educational introduction for each piece, 
as well as historical information in the program 
about the musicals and dances. Other dances 
included in the program were from such famous 
musicals as Fosse, A Chorus Line, Riverdance, 
Dreamgirls, Swing, CATS, Movin' Out, West Side 
Story and 42nd Street. The performances in Kim- 
ball Hall in Lincoln were a tremendous success 
as evidenced by audiences totaling over 1,200, 
a doubled attendance from last year's perform- 
ance, with extensive coverage by the press, 
including the Lincoln Journal Star and the Daily 
Nebraskan. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln 
was given the opportunity to perform the Fosse 
program at The Kennedy Center's Millennium 
Stage, where they were congratulated by U.S. 
Senator Ben Nelson from Nebraska. 

Due to the project's success, the Dance Divi- 
sion at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has 
been able to build stronger ties into the com- 
munity, and Hastings expressed gratitude for 
the chance to further develop his own teaching 



Encore: A Second Round of Success 



19 



methods through outreach. Both the Dance Divi- 
sion and Hastings have built a significant repu- 
tation for the highest caliber of dance and teach- 
ing in the midwest as a result of this project, 
and Bob Fosse's choreographic legacy has been 
imparted to a new generation of dancers and 
dance audiences in Nebraska. 

state: New Hampshire 

school Keene State College 

artist Sean Curran 

community partners: Redfern Arts Center 

on Brickyard Pond 

Sean Curran collaborated with six Keene State 
College students and two alumni to create a 
new version of his original work Metal Gar- 
den, titled (Another) Metal Garden, set to music 
by Tigger Binford and Peter Jones. The resi- 
dency concluded with a week of international 
exchange for the students, including rehearsals, 
classes and a performance in Montreal. Fifty 
audience members had the chance to attend an 
open rehearsal of the piece and learn about Cur- 
ran's choreography and rehearsal process, which 
was unfamiliar to many. The presentation con- 
cluded with a question and answer session and 
the performance of a solo by Curran. During 
the residency his generous spirit and excellent 
teaching enhanced both the small dance pro- 
gram at Keene State and the experience of 
dancers and community members in the sur- 
rounding area. Curran taught master classes in 
advanced modern dance and choreography at 
Keene State and nearby Franklin Pierce College 
and master classes at two Walpole, New Hamp- 
shire elementary schools and at a local dance 
school, the Moving Company 

After months of rehearsal, the piece was fea- 
tured in the Theater and Dance Department's 
annual "Evening of Dance" concert and then 
went on the road to Montreal. The dancers 
spent a week in Montreal rehearsing the piece, 
where they also participated in three master 
classes at Les Ateliers de Danse Moderne de 



Montreal (LADMMI) and a master class with 
Butoh master Yoshito Ohno, saw a dance per- 
formance at the University of Montreal, and 
attended final dance projects for senior stu- 
dents at LADMMI. The highlight of the week 
was the students' performance of (Another) 
Metal Garden at Montreal's Studio 303, a per- 
formance space in the heart of the city that 
was rented by The Redfern Arts Center. The 
NCCI project shared the program with works 
by Katie Ward, a Canadian choreographer, and 
William Seigh, associate professor of dance at 
Keene State. Bilingual programs and posters, as 
well as a press release translated into French, 
were distributed throughout Montreal and to 
the press to publicize the performance, result- 
ing in a capacity audience of 130 people. This 
remarkable project extended the reach of NCCI, 
Sean Curran and eight dancers from Keene State 
College through their international study, per- 
formance and collaboration in Montreal, and 
also enhanced Keene State's status as the U.S. 
hub site for the New Hampshire/New Eng- 
land/Quebec Dance Alliance whose mission is 
to foster the exchange of dance resources. 

state: Newjersey 

school Montclair State University 

artist Alexandra Beller 

COMMUNITY PARTNERS: MSU School of the ArfS, 

MSU Department of Theater and Dance, 
Tunnel Vision, Freespace Dance, 
the Women's Center, the Health 
and Wellness Center 

Alexandra Beller eagerly took on the creative 
challenge of addressing the damaging effects of 
negative body image in a new work, Diet Coke 
Can Save Your Life in a Montclair State Univer- 
sity residency that was the focal point for a 
larger campus-wide initiative known as "The 
Body Talks." This multi-year collaboration that 
involved many partners on campus, including 
the School of the Arts, the Department of The- 
atre and Dance, Tunnel Vision (a writer's group), 



Freespace Dance (the dance company in resi- 
dence), the Women's Center, and the Health and 
Wellness Center, aimed to examine and discuss 
the concept of body image as it affects dancers, 
young women and our entire culture. 

Beller is a renowned dancer, performer and 
choreographer — one who does not have a "tra- 
ditional dancer's body." She created the work 
in collaboration with the cast of MSU dancers, 
who were encouraged to share personal and inti- 
mate experiences relating to their body and 
bod\' image. After an emotionally and physi- 
cally exhausting process, the result was a piece 
that gave each of them an opportunity to craft 
their often difficult experiences into articulate 
and evocative movement. The work was per- 
formed several times on campus in the Works- 
A-Foot concert, the Alumni Dance Festival, and 
the Danceworks 2004 concert, along with related 
activities as part of "The Need to Know Series," 
which will continue to explore how the arts can 
be used as a tool to bring relevant issues to light. 
Students participated in "The Body Project," a 
literary-dance concert in collaboration with Tun- 
nel Vision Writer's Project and Freespace Dance 
Company, which continued the exploration of 
body image, beauty and aging. Additional activ- 
ities were a roundtable discussion led by Beller 
called "Dancing with Curves," which provided 
an open forum for MSU dance students and 
community members, and a master class for 30 
students at Glenfield Middle School that dealt 
with dance and body images. 

The project will also serve as a springboard 
for greater educational outreach as the topic is 
introduced into K-12 curriculum with a variety 
of performance and discussion vehicles designed 
to promote self-confidence, mental and physical 
wellness, and academic success. Discussions are 
underway with faculty at St. Elizabeth's College 
who plan to utilize the MSU model of "The 
Body Talks" in their new dance program. 

NCCI support, local press and extensive cam- 
pus-wide participation resulted in enhanced vis- 
ibilitv for Beller's successful residency as well 



20 



National College Choreography Initiative 




Students in Kim Epifano's Speak the Language at 
the University of California-Santa Barbara 



as for a vital message about the damaging effects 
of negative body image. The time the residency 
afforded Beller was "unprecedented [and] offered 
the opportunity for a process [that was] expo- 
nentially deeper and more thoughtful." Beller 
commented on the value of producing a piece 
that was later reworked for her own company: 
"This has never happened before, as there is 
usually such a short rehearsal period that the 
piece does not yield material or a work that is 
truly of a professional caliber." 



state: New York 

school: Purchase College, State 
University of New York 
artist Merce Cunningham 
community partners: Roeder Gallery, 
Neuberger Museum of Art, Performing 
Arts Center Arts in Education Program, 
Conservatory of Music 

The NCCI grant awarded to Purchase College to 
restage Merce Cunningham's Septet allowed the 
students, faculty and community to delve deeply 
into the piece, Cunningham s artwork, and the 
music. After the selection of a double cast of 12 



dancers from more than 100 auditionees, the 
dancers began learning the piece in intensive 
rehearsals led by former Merce Cunningham 
Dance Company members Carol Teitelbaum and 
Carolyn Brown, a dancer in the original com- 
pany. The piece, which premiered in 1953, is 
set to a quirky piano score in seven parts by 
Erik Satie. Student musicians selected from the 
Conservatory of Music watched rehearsals, 
worked with the dancers and even studied 
videotape of the original company performing 
with musicians in order to learn the piece. The 
dancers continued to rehearse and add layers of 
information about the artistry of the piece, and 



Encore: A Second Round of Success 



21 



eventually took Septet out into the community. 
The project provided many ways for the com- 
munity to participate in the residency, including 
lecture/demonstrations for local area schools. 
During these presentations, the music, dance, 
Cunningham's concepts and the challenges for 
the dancers were discussed, and time was 
allowed for the audience to ask questions and 
request any section to be performed again. Sev- 
eral local schools attended a performance of the 
Purchase Dance Corps sponsored by The 
Prompters, a children's arts-in-education pro- 
gram, and local high schools and colleges were 
invited to open rehearsals in the theater, as well 
as offered discount tickets to performances. As 
the first student company to restage this work, 
the dancers were privileged to work with pas- 
sionate former Cunningham dancers, and the 
two men cast in the role of Merce Cunningham 
had the opportunity to take class and work with 
Rehearsal Director Robert Swinston at the Cun- 
ningham Studio in Manhattan. The time that 
Swinston spent personally coaching the dancers 
in the role was invaluable to their understand- 
ing of the material. Prior to opening night, a 
reception was held for members of the commu- 
nity and Carolyn Brown spoke about Septet, 
inspiring the dancers with her passion. To coin- 
cide with the concert, an exhibit of Cunning- 
ham's drawings and dance notes was shown at 
the Neuberger Museum of Art and was seen by 
many on campus and in the local community. 
After the performances, a new combined cast 
was honored to perform the work at The 
Kennedy Center, an exciting culmination to the 
students' months of work. The NCCI grant 
allowed Septet as well as Cunningham's drawings 
to be shared with a large audience, created a 
new environment of collaboration between musi- 
cians and dancers at Purchase, and brought to 
life an important work in the Cunningham reper- 
tory with artistic guidance from master teachers. 

High school students in Richmond, VA working with 
the Limon company. 



state: New York 

school Sarah Lawrence College 

artist Meredith Monk 

With NCCI support, Meredith Monk returned to 
her alma mater, Sarah Lawrence College, to 
restage her classic Plateau #3 for a new gener- 
ation of interdisciplinary artists. In a voice and 
movement audition, four singers and eight 
dancers were selected from the dance and the- 
ater programs, and two full casts were created. 
The dancer/actors and singers rehearsed and 
learned from Ellen Fisher and Andrea Goodman 
respectively, who were in the original cast of 
Plateau #3 and who committed to communi- 
cating both the details and the spirit of the work 
to students. With these excellent mentors, as 
well as Monk's coaching, the student perform- 
ers were able to fully embody the images of 
strong, yet vulnerable, pioneer women. The stir- 
ring, mysterious vocal elements were entirely 



unique to Monk's work. Two nights of per- 
formance were devoted to Plateau #3 with both 
casts performing each night to full and enthu- 
siastic audiences. In collaboration with Monk's 
organization, "The House," the recreation of the 
piece was authentic with the use of original cos- 
tumes and lighting design. The community also 
had opportunities to interact more closely with 
Monk during her residency through a master 
class and discussion about her work in events 
that were open to the greater Westchester and 
Sarah Lawrence communities. At these well- 
attended events, Monk talked about her self- 
directed course of study at Sarah Lawrence and 
how it related to her subsequent artistic career. 
Because Monk's work crosses traditional per- 
formance boundaries, Sarah Lawrence, with its 
emphasis on interdisciplinary studies and the 
creation of original work, was both an important 
site of this master artist's early education and a 
perfect match for the project. NCCI support 




22 



National College Choreography Initiative 



enabled Monk to restage one of her masterworks 
on a new generation of eager theater and dance 
students at Sarah Lawrence and expose the sur- 
rounding community to her artistry. 

STATE: Ohio 

school: Ohio University 

artist Murray Louis and Alwin Nikolais 

Ohio University's Dance Department's restag- 
ing of Murray Louis's Bach Suite and Alwin 
Nikolais's Tensile Involvement created meaning- 
ful connections for students between dance his- 
tory, practice and contemporary culture. The 
residency began in October 2003 with two mas- 
terclasses taught by Murray Louis. Dancer 
Alberto Del Saz returned to the campus for an 
intensive two week residency in January 2004 
to work with the auditioned cast to reconstruct 
the works. Original cast member Gladys Bailin 
then worked with students through the 
rehearsal process until the presentation of Bach 
Suite and Tensile Involvement at the depart- 
ment's winter dance concert. 

The University's Nikolais/Louis Collection and 
Archives provided rich context for the com- 
pany's residency the first reconstruction in 10 
years for the school's dance department. Merg- 
ing performance with research on repertory cre- 
ated a learning experience that had a tremendous 
impact for students. Students read with interest 
about their rehearsal director, Bailin, in the col- 
lection. The connection of their performance 
project to dance history became even more evi- 
dent when the Bach Suite later traveled to New 
York City for Hunter College's "Sharing the 
Legacy" Festival, a conference that honored 
Nikolais's legacy and work. The performance of 
these works serendipitously coincided with the 
release of the major motion picture film The 
Company, which featured The Joffrey Ballet per- 
forming Tensile Involvement as the backdrop 
for its opening credits. Both students and audi- 
ences alike were delighted by the currency of the 
work and its connection to popular culture. Fac- 



ulty members were taken by surprise by the 
students' deep investment and commitment to 
the two works; they witnessed significant 
growth in performance skills by the cast of pre- 
dominantly freshman and sophomore students. 
Ohio University's residency with Murray Louis 
and Nikolais Dance Company demonstrated the 
power of combining performance with history 
to deepen students' understanding of the evo- 
lution of concert dance in the US. 

STATE: Ohio 

school: University of Cincinnati 

artist Paul Taylor 

community partners: West Clermont Institute of 

Performing Arts, Cincinnati Ballet 

Company, Fairview German-English 

Bilingual Elementary School 

At the University of Cincinnati, NCCI support 
gave students the opportunity to study the tech- 
nique of Paul Taylor in depth with master 
teacher Connie Dinapoli, and learn one of his 
acclaimed works, Esplanade. Approximately 25 
dance majors immersed themselves in Taylor 
technique classes twice a week, and those 
selected for the cast of Esplanade had an addi- 
tional 10 hours of rehearsal per week. For stu- 
dents in a program emphasizing classical ballet, 
this long-term daily study allowed them to work 
with gravity and weight in an entirely new way. 
The performance was received with a rare stand- 
ing ovation, a testament to the crowd's appreci- 
ation of the risk-taking and accomplishments 
of the cast. Students were thrilled and their par- 
ticipation in the piece has led to further profes- 
sional opportunities for some. Five decided to 
attend the Taylor workshop in New York over 
winter break to continue their studies. One male 
student was offered an apprenticeship with a 
regional dance company after performing 
Esplanade as part of his audition process. 

The reach of the residency extended out into 
the community as well through Dinapoli's excel- 
lent teaching in two master classes at West 




Clermont 
Institute of 
Performing Arts 
for 50 students and a 

master class for 12 dancers from throughout the 
Cincinnati area at the Cincinnati Ballet Company 
Studios. University of Cincinnati dance majors 
and cast also had a chance to take their hard 
work out into the community in events includ- 
ing a lecture/demonstration — "Everything That 
Moves" — which utilized dance majors to demon- 
strate the Taylor technique, held at the studios 
of the Cincinnati Ballet Company, and an open 
rehearsal of Esplanade for 100 students from 
Fairview German-English Bilingual Elementary 
School. Additionally, a pre-performance lecture 
was given for an audience of approximately 30 
to discuss Paul Taylor's work before the pres- 
entation of Esplanade. 

For the University of Cincinnati dance pro- 
gram, the success of this Taylor residency has 
greatly enhanced recruitment efforts by making 
potential students aware of the magnitude and 
scope of performance opportunities available; 
in fact, the incoming freshman class is the largest 
to date. This NCCI residency brought the work 
of master artist Paul Taylor to ballet students 
and enthusiasts in the Cincinnati area, who 
embraced it wholeheartedly, both in the 
rehearsal studio and through outreach events 
in the community. 



Encore: A Second Round of Success 



23 



state: Oklahoma 

school University of Central Oklahoma 

artist Bill Evans 

community partners: Classen School of 

Advanced Studies (Oklahoma City), 

Academy of Dance Arts (Yukon), East 

Central University (Ada), Holland Hall 

School (Tulsa) 

The University of Central Oklahoma used NCCI 
support to bring artist Bill Evans to campus to 
create a new work, Together Through Time, 
which had a profound influence on students. 
Despite being both a tap dancer and a modern 
dancer for most of his life, this piece marks the 
first time that Evans has integrated these forms 
in a choreographic work. After attending a con- 
ference themed "Culture, Language and Dance," 
Evans was inspired to use musical and move- 
ment rhythms as, in his words, the "heartbeat 
of the earth." In this new work, the beat is 
what connects modern and tap dancers, and 
current dancers to the legacy of dancers before 
them. Students had the opportunity to work 
with Evans for more than two weeks, which 
facilitated an in-depth study of the work and 
the process of choreography. Evans drew on 
the dancers' own experiences to create emo- 
tional connection to the work, and thev were 
expected to use their own personally authentic 
movement styles as part of the creative process. 
An informal showing of the work was presented 
for the entire staff of the College of Arts, Media 
& Design and Dean's office; after seeing the 
work, they became key players in promoting 
it on campus. 

The project culminated with three evenings 
of performance, two of which sold out, thanks 
in part to the outstanding press the project 
and Evans received, including a feature on 
"Oklahoma Today," interviews in The Daily 
Oklahoman, numerous articles and advertis- 
ing, and word of mouth through other arts 
institutions. While Evans was in residence, 
he taught a number of master classes in tap 



and modern dance for middle school, high 
school and college dancers at Classen School of 
Advanced Studies, Academy of Dance Arts, 
East Central University and Holland Hall 
School. The extensive press and community 
interest, as well as outreach through teach- 
ing, helped the NCCI project to reach a wider 
audience, so that the hard work of dancers at 
University of Central Oklahoma and Bill Evans' 
new work could be showcased. 

state: Pennsylvania 

school Franklin & Marshall College 

artist Deborah Slater 

community partners: Silver Spring Dance 

Academy, Reynolds Middle School, 

Lancaster Country Day School, Grant 

Street Studio 

Franklin & Marshall College selected artist Deb- 
orah Slater and her piece Sleepwatchers as the 
focus of their NCCI project because it lent itself 
to discussion among people of all backgrounds 
and ages on the issues of sleep, dreams, memory, 
responsibility and loss. The project brought 
Slater, as well as three of her company mem- 
bers, to lead classes and workshops in the com- 
munity and restage Sleepwatchers on a student 
cast. Rehearsals for the work challenged F&M 
dancers to embrace the dramatic nature of the 
piece and challenge their preconceptions of 
beauty dance and narration. In a work that uses 
text, acting, acrobatics, humor, props, set pieces 
and challenging dance movement, the cast was 
challenged both technically and creatively to 
meet the demands of this powerful dance-theater 
work. The piece was first presented in a studio 
performance along with four other works by 
the Deborah Slater Dance Theater, and followed 
by a panel discussion featuring experts in the 
areas of sleep studies in dance. The audience, 
which included students and faculty from 
departments including Psychology, Theater and 
Philosophy of Mind, eagerly participated in the 
discussion led by a doctor from Lancaster Gen- 



eral Hospital's Sleep Center, a professor from 
F&M's Psychology Department and a profes- 
sional dance critic. This event was sold out, and 
the success of the studio performance format 
established a model for F&M that may grow into 
an ongoing performance series. In the culmi- 
nating performances as part of the Gala Fall Con- 
cert at F&M, audiences witnessed remarkable 
growth and change in the dancers who had been 
transformed by the drama of dance-theater. 

Outreach as part of the residency included 
a master class led by Slater for F&M dancers 
and actors, as well as community members, 
about embodying character, as well as classes 
and workshops at Reynolds Middle School, 
Lancaster Country Day School, Grant Street 
Studio and Silver Spring Dance Academy. At 
each location, a study guide prepared by F&M 
faculty with Slater was presented in advance to 
faculty for use with their students, a component 
that was facilitated through F&M's Center for 
Liberal Arts and Society. Even after the end 
of the project, the outreach activities initiated 
under the NCCI grant continue as students par- 
ticipate in F&M's "Service Learning Program" 
as part of a class called "Dance and Commu- 
nity" Students are working in community set- 
tings with themes and material gathered in 
large part from their in-depth experiences with 
Deborah Slater's residency, and they now have 
the background to expand the breadth of the 
program on their own to cover subjects that 
allow additional intersections with various sec- 
tors of the community through dance. Slater 
comments on the mutual benefits of the resi- 
dency: "Franklin & Marshall has a young and 
passionate department, which benefited 
immensely from the luxury of having a com- 
pany there for a period of time. We were able 
to have dialogue with them that would not 
have occurred otherwise. Conversely, it allowed 
us the gift of time so we could focus intensely 
on the students and feel cared for and rested 
simultaneously," Slater explains and adds, it 
was "quite a luxury." 



24 



National College Choreography Initiative 



state: Pennsylvania 
school: The University of the Arts 
artist Cuban Pete (Pedro Aguilar) 
community partners: Philadelphia Arts in 
Education Partnership (28 inner city, 
charter, Arch-Diocesan, and the School 
District of Philadelphia's elementary, middle 
and high schools), Taller Puertoriqueno 

With support from NCCI, The University of the 
Arts (U Arts) invited Pedro Aguilar, better 
known as Cuban Pete, and his partner Barbara 
Craddock, to choreograph a new work rooted 
in the tradition of mambo, a vernacular dance 
form not usually considered "concert dance," 
and presented it on the proscenium stage. Cuban 
Pete and Barbara Craddock are mambo legends, 
and among the most authentic artists of the 
genre. After selecting a large cast of dancers for 



Dwight Rhoden working with students at the 
University of Mississippi. 



the new work, Latin Magic, rehearsals and com- 
munity outreach began. At the beginning of the 
residency, the duo taught three master classes to 
introduce U Arts students and the public to the 
history, rhythms, music and steps of authentic 
Latin dances rooted in mambo, which have been 
revived and transformed through time. In these 
classes, they shared their experiences and 
stressed the importance of dancing to the "clave," 
the musical rhythm that drives the mambo. 

Cuban Pete and Barbara Cradock explain, 
"The students were very receptive to our teach- 
ing, which helped support a congenial working 
atmosphere. Ultimately, this heightened our cre- 
ativity." Two of the master classes were open to 
the public, amazingly attracting six dance teach- 
ers from New York City who traveled to Philadel- 
phia for the opportunity to learn from the 
experts. A lecture given by the artists traced the 
history of salsa and mambo, from its origins in 
the 1800s through the present, and included the 
showing of vintage footage of dances over the 









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decades for audiences that included schools in the 
Arts in Education Partnership, Taller Puer- 
toriqueno and Point Breeze Performing Arts Cen- 
ter. Another master class with the artists, as well 
as a noted specialist in ballroom dance, drew 
more than 80 members of the community, demon- 
strating the great appeal of this project to the 
Philadelphia area. As part of "Celebration of 
World Dance" at U Arts, Latin Magic was per- 
formed as the finale to an outstanding concert 
where half of the program was devoted to Latin 
music performed by musicians and vocalists from 
the School of Music. Due to extensive outreach 
for this concert, a capacity audience of 1,700 
people from 30 public and private schools, com- 
munity centers and other social service organi- 
zations was in attendance and was treated to the 
guest appearance of Cuban Pete and Barbara 
Craddock in a duet that brought the house down. 
Additional performances of the project took 
place in the April concert series at U Arts and the 
"Sharing the Legacy" program at Hunter Col- 
lege in New York. The artists were widely cele- 
brated in the community, from a gala party given 
by Philadelphia's Latin community complete with 
salsa dancing, to the extensive press the project 
received. Articles and photographs appeared on 
the front page of the entertainment section in 
the Philadelphia Daily News, Dance Teacher mag- 
azine and Dancing USA, a ballroom dance mag- 
azine. Aguilar, Craddock and U Arts students 
were also featured on Diego Castellanos' television 
program "Puerto Rican Panorama," which airs 
on Philadelphia's ABC affiliate and helped to 
publicize the U Arts concert. Documentation 
played an important role in this project where the 
parallel goals were to preserve the salsa as an 
important aspect of Hispanic culture, and to also 
teach the traditional and cultural dances to future 
generations. Filmmaker Barry Dornfeld captured 
expressions of the culture in rehearsals and per- 
formances, and U Arts plans to create a video 
that mixes this footage with portions of the artists' 
lectures, stories about the residency, archival film 
of Cuban Pete, and the world premiere per- 



Encore: A Second Round of Success 



25 



formance of Latin Magic. Cuban Pete and Barbara 
Craddock's residency was a gift to U Arts stu- 
dents, the Philadelphia area, and the Hispanic 
community, who had the chance to experience 
the history of mambo firsthand and celebrate it 
as an important dance form for the future. 

state: Rhode Island 

school Rhode Island College 

(collaborating with Roger Williams 

University) 

artist Sean Curran 

Rhode Island College, in collaboration with Roger 
Williams University, invited Sean Curran to 
restage Where I End and We Begin on student 
casts from both universities. Curran and his 
work are well-known in the area due to many 
previous college and professional residencies, 
and this project was designed to give students 
more extensive contact with an artist the}' 
admired, as well as firsthand exposure to the 
demands of modern dance performance and cho- 
reography Curran and his assistant Anthony 
Guglietti were demanding and specific in restag- 
ing the work, but also engaged students with a 
personal and humanistic approach that provided 
support to their learning. The powerful dance 
work addressed issues of individual identity 
versus the demands of community and was per- 
formed at the PJC Winter Concert, sharing the 
program with Sean Curran Company. 

The opportunity for students to perform 
alongside professional dancers in Curran's own 
company was inspiring and an education in 
itself. Students saw firsthand the challenges and 
tensions of mamtaining and producing reper- 
tory for a company, giving them a look at the 
rigor of life in professional dance. Curran was as 
charming an instructor in outreach events as he 
was inspiring in the classroom. In a daytime 
concert, school children were fully engaged in 
the performance and with Curran as a host. This 
multi-faceted project, made possible by NCCI 
support, provided students and the community 



insight into Curran's work and the complex and 
rich world that is professional dance. 

STATE: TeXOS 

school: University of Texas at Austin 
artist Ann Carlson 

The University of Texas at Austin commissioned 
artist Ann Carlson to create a new work that 
would integrate students from the various pop- 
ulations of performers found within the Depart- 
ment of Theatre and Dance. Her new work, Flag 
2, included dancers, actors and graduate stu- 
dents in the Performance as Public Practice pro- 
gram, as well as members of the community. 
Flag 2 was created as a sequel to Flag, which 
Carlson previously set on UT dance students, 
and allowed the artist to continue her work of 
addressing the symbolism of the American flag. 
This time, she used it as a dress worn by a soloist 
juxtaposed against an ensemble of performers 
in street clothes. 

The impact of having Carlson in residence for 
a month in total was profound. It created bridges 
between disciplines in the department, university 
and the Austin community through master classes 
and her participation in graduate and under- 
graduate courses. Connections into the community 
were created via artist talks within the Theatre 
and Dance and Radio-Television-Film depart- 
ments, in addition to a free master class for the 
Austin community. Carlson comments, "I came 
into contact with a number of departments in 
one university; land arts, film and video, theater 
and performance, dance, philosophy — the NCCI 
project allows for deep connections between dis- 
ciplines and advances the stature of choreographic 
research within the academic community." 

The residency reached a national audience 
because it overlapped with a conference hosted 
by the Performance as Public Practice program. 
At an open rehearsal during the conference, 
scholars and performers from around the nation 
participated. In fact, the soloist in Flag 2 was a 
student from University of Michigan who Carl- 




Rhode Island College students performs in Sean 
Curran's Where I End and We Begin 



son found through the conference. Carlson was 
still looking for someone to fill the role, and 
when the student volunteered, UT students and 
faculty worked together to provide a per diem 
and accommodation for the student. The piece 
was performed as part of the annual concert of 
the Dance Repertory Theatre on UT's campus 
on a program with a work created in collabora- 
tion with over 60 students from the music 
department. The capacity audience consisted of 
members of the music community in addition 
to dance and arts supporters, resulting in greatly 
increased exposure for Carlson's work. Thanks to 
the support of NCCI and the integrating power 
of Carlson's interdisciplinary work, the students 
and community surrounding University of Texas 
at Austin's Department of Theatre and Dance 
have created connections and are working 
together in unprecedented ways. 

STATE: TeXOS 

school: University of Texas, Pan American 
artist Doug Elkins 

NCCI support was invaluable to the University 
of Texas, Pan American, in creating the most 



26 



National College Choreography Initiative 



professional and diverse concert in the UTPA 
Dance Ensemble's history, featuring a new work, 
The Orange Peel Pinata, created by Doug Elkins. 
The college has a limited faculty to create reper- 
tory and teach modern technique, and having 
Elkins at the university for two weeks to teach 
daily technique classes and workshops, as well 
as create a new work, was an exciting prospect 
for faculty and students. The students' techni- 
cal skills were strengthened, particularly in the 
area of partnering, as was their enthusiasm and 
knowledge about contemporary choreography. 
Elkins' longtime collaborator, Evren Celimi, com- 
posed the score for the new work and spent 
four days in the studio during rehearsals, giving 
students a chance to witness the collaborative 
dialogue of two artists who have built a work- 
ing relationship over the years. Elkins' new work 
played freely with movement dynamics and 
humorously alluded to the syncopation and 
rhythmic density of flamenco, the area of focus 
for faculty member and program coordinator 
Fred Darsow. 

Elkins, whose work often weaves together 
elements of popular and vernacular movement, 
challenged dancers to explore different 
approaches to partnering. The students' enthu- 
siasm and curiosity created fertile ground for 
creative exploration and they began to work 
as a company early on in the process, support- 
ing and coaching each other as they learned. 
The new work had four evening performances, 
as well as a showing for surrounding K-12 
schools, and was presented again in the fall of 
2004. The residency was also featured on a local 
television show, UTPA Today, in which Fred 
Darsow appeared to discuss the work and 
excerpts of Elkins' piece in rehearsal were 
shown. This NCCI residency provided an oppor- 
tunity for two artists, Doug Elkins and com- 
poser Evren Celimi, to create new work in a 
rewarding environment, and a chance for stu- 
dents at the University of Texas, Pan American 
to participate in an artistic experience with an 
inspiring guest choreographer. 



STATE: Utah 

school: University of Utah 
artist David Dorfman 
community partner: Sorensen 
Community Center 

University of Utah invited New York City-based 
choreographer David Dorfman and two com- 
pany members to develop and re-work his Bessie 
award winning community-based project Famil- 
iar Movements: The Family Project. This 
dance/theater work was originally performed 
by Dorfman's company, along with community 
members and their families, and has been recre- 
ated in states across the country, and now Utah. 
The goal in restaging the work was to establish 
bonds between participants and shed light on 
areas of family life that are not often discussed 
such as intimacy, self-worth and personal expres- 
sion. According to Dorfman, the residency 
greatly influenced the process he uses for com- 
munity based projects. It was the first time that 
the company left a community based project in 
the hands of the dance department, which 
became the "steward," taking on a greater role 
in connecting community members and rehears- 
ing the piece. Dorfman found that this increased 
ownership by the department "opened [the com- 
pany's process] in a whole new direction." 

The cast included 28 performers, 14 of whom 
were modern dance majors in the department 
while the rest were their family members, 
broadly defined to include blood relatives, 
adopted family or close friends, ranging from 
10 months to 15 years of age. Dorfman and his 
assistants led the group through explorations 
involving physical movement, spoken word and 
music, and they contributed their own stories, 
from which the piece developed. The chance to 
create and perform in their own autobiographies 
was empowering for the participants and cre- 
ated compelling theater for audiences, who com- 
mented that they felt a personal connection. The 
work was performed as part of the Performing 
Dance Company's fall concert in a five-night run 




Encore: A Second Round of Success 



27 




Susan Marshall's The Most Dangerous Room in the House at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 



and an additional outreach performance at the 
Sorensen Community Center, followed by a ques- 
tion and answer session. Community groups, 
campus-wide organizations, and general audi- 
ences throughout Salt Lake City were invited 
to all performances, which were documented 
on video for future education for both facultv 
and students. 



Dorfman taught master classes within the 
department, spoke in several gatherings includ- 
ing a "Dance in Communitv" course, and his 
companv members led a lecture/demonstration 
for a College of Fine Arts Dean's Tour that 
included potential funders for college-related 
events. The project allowed the University of 
Utah to forge new alliances within the commu- 



nity — with audience members in the sold-out 
shows, local journalists who covered the resi- 
dency in the Salt Lake Tnbune, and the Sorensen 
Community Center, where future joint programs 
are planned. The most exciting outcome of the 
residency was the artistic growth that took place 
as students experienced a new process in which 
their stories, gestures and family relationships 
were an integral part in creating the work. Dorf- 
man's tremendous skill in inspiring the cast to 
explore and craft honest, evocative movement 
pulled them into the process and allowed them 
to establish a connection to a professional in the 
dance field. The relationships that developed 
during the residency are real, as manv in the 
cast are still in contact with Dorfman, and one 
student has attended the company's audition 
process. This residency created and strength- 
ened relationships in the University of Utah 
community, among students, their families, fac- 
ultv, Dorfman, and the communitv through the 
transformative power of investigating intimacy 
in Familiar Movements. 

state: Virginia 

school Virginia Commonwealth University 
artist The Limon Dance Company 
community partners: Pine Camp, Latin Ballet 
of Virginia, Asociacion Hispano- 
Americana de Richmond, Richmond 
City Public Schools, Richmond Ballet, 
Henrico High School Center for the Arts, 
Huguenot High School, Broad Creek 
Elementary, Richmond City Schools 
Arts & Humanities Program 

Virginia Commonwealth University invited 
Limon master teacher Clay Taliaferro for a three- 
week teaching residency, followed by a one- 
week residency with The Limon Dance Com- 
pany. This provided students with the once-in- 
a-lifetime opportunity to learn a suite from the 
master work, A Choreographic Offering, through 
an intensive working process that raised their 
awareness about professionalism and artistry. 



28 



National College Choreography Initiative 



At the heart of Virginia Commonwealth Uni- 
versity's NCCI project was the desire to expose 
VCU students and central Virginians to the mod- 
ern dance legend Jose Limon, his company, cre- 
ative process and living memory The choreog- 
raphy proved to be an enormous challenge, and 
as a result, the students made significant dis- 
coveries as dancers and performers, opening 
new expectations within the dance department 
about students' capabilities and what is possible 
in the curriculum and presenting program. The 
students rose to the challenge and performed the 
work alongside The Limon Dance Company, 
who presented other master works, new works 
by emerging choreographers and a work by 
dance luminary Donald McKay le. 

To expose Virginians to Limon's work, an 
extensive community outreach program was 
planned to include a class taught by Taliaferro 
for dance students at Pine Camp, a masterclass 
with Carla Maxwell for 81 advanced dancers 
at the Richmond Ballet, and a class for 59 young 
community dancers from central Virginia and 
beyond taught by Raphael Boumaila. The Limon 
Company also led a lecture/demonstration at 
the Henrico High School for the Performing 
Arts for the Hispanic community and outreach 
to area elementary and high schools that demon- 
strated and encouraged participation in the 
Limon philosophy and technique. The presen- 
tation at the high school was conducted in Span- 
ish and English for the large Hispanic popula- 
tion present, and included work with the 
concept of fall and recovery, which appealed 
to the students. 

The Limon residency forged lasting partner- 
ships with arts organizations and schools, which 
will enhance the logistics of planning future 
community outreach activities. It also impacted 
the Limon Company's own approach. As Ann 
Vachon explains, "A great deal of collaboration 
between various institutions helped make this 
possible. . .This entire project was a model that 
the Limon Company would really like to repli- 
cate in other communities." With NCCI support, 



VCU Dance was able to successfully identify 
and communicate with student populations who 
would most identify with the Limon heritage, 
benefit from the outreach activity and enjoy 
classes with the company's master teachers. 

state: Wisconsin 

school: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 

artist Susan Marshall 

community partners: Milwaukee Ballet, 

Danceworks 

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee had the 
unprecedented opportunity to host an ongoing 
residency over the course of a year with cho- 
reographer Susan Marshall and her company. 
The residency began when the company came 
to UWM to rehearse and premiere Sleeping 
Beauty and Other Stories in the Mainstage The- 
atre for the largest audience the dance depart- 
ment had attracted to date. Approximately 150 
members of the campus and Greater Milwaukee 
communities attended an open rehearsal and 
talkback with Marshall, after which the entire 
company shared an informal dinner with dance 
faculty, university administrators and members 
of the community. The company offered two 
master classes, one of which was a repertory 
class that served to audition a cast for the restag- 
ing of an excerpt from The Most Dangerous 
Room in the House, one of Marshall's signature 
works. Company members Mark DeChiazza and 
Kristen Hollinsworth began restaging the work 
by first observing students' own choreography 
and performance in an annual concert, "New 
Dancemakers," to learn more about their cast. 
During this two-week visit, DeChiazza and 
Hollinsworth worked with the dancers six days 
a week and were so pleased by the progress of 
the rehearsals that they added an additional 
section to the restaging. The company mem- 
bers were busy on and off campus, teaching a 
master class for dance majors, a master class at 
Milwaukee Ballet, and a two-day workshop for 
beginning dance and theater students on move- 



ment and storytelling. 

Students in the dance and theater depart- 
ments continued these themes in an interde- 
partmental outreach project by working with 
Danceworks, a local dance organization that 
implements creative arts residencies in facilities 
for elders. After receiving training on working 
creatively with elders, the students exchanged 
stories and engaged in movement activities with 
Chinese and Chinese American elders and sen- 
iors at an adult day care center. Marshall 
returned to campus to coach students in the 
nuances of performance before the piece pre- 
miered as part of the department's "Summer- 
dances" concert, after which audiences com- 
mented on the character development. Marshall 
also worked with graduate students, who were 
all professional choreographers that travel to 
Milwaukee for intensive summer coursework. 
To kick off their summer of study, Marshall 
taught a workshop on choreographic process, 
which was also attended by faculty members 
and the local dance community. Marshall opened 
the studio to observation by the public for the 
last hour of creating and refining material. 

The structure of this residency, particularly 
the repeated visits by Marshall and the com- 
pany, was a major strength because it allowed 
time for strong connections to develop between 
student and professional dancers. The project 
had an enormous impact on the Peck School of 
the Arts, the Milwaukee dance community and 
the community at large, as well as the UWM 
dance department which has benefited from 
expanded donor interest resulting from the long- 
term relationship that community members also 
developed with Susan Marshall. This NCCI proj- 
ect inspired and encouraged students through 
their interactions with Susan Marshall and her 
dancers, strengthened the dance department's 
skills and confidence in presenting nationally 
recognized artists, and engaged the community 
in ongoing, exciting dialogue about dance. 



Encore: A Second Round of Success 



29 



Artists Funded by National College Choreography Initiative 



The following artists received funding for one 
or more residencies through NCCI in its three 
rounds of existence. (The third round of 
residencies will take place during the 2004-05 
academic year.) 

Pedro Aguilar (aka "Cuban Pete) with Barbara 
Craddock, N. Miami Beach, FL 

Jill Bahr, Charleston, SC 

George Balanchine, New York, NY (reconstructions 
by Bart Cook, Fiona Fuerstner, and Patricia McBride) 

Robert Battle, New York, NY 

Lori Belilove, Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation, 
New York, NY 

Alexandra Beller, New York, NY 

Charlotte Boye-Christensen, Ririe Woodbury Dance 
Company, Salt Lake City, UT 

Ellen Bromberg, Salt Lake City, UT 

Ronald K. Brown, Ronald K. Brown/EVLDENCE, 
Brooklyn, NY 

Trisha Brown, Trisha Brown Company, New York, NY 

Danny Buraczeski, JAZZDANCE, Minneapolis, MN 

Wally Cardona, Brooklyn, NY 

Ann Carlson, New York, NY 

Feme Caulker, Ko-Thi Dance Company, Milwaukee, WI 

Merce Cunningham, Cunningham Dance Foundation, 

New York, NY 

Sean Curran, Sean Curran Company, New York, NY 

Agnes de Mille, New York, NY (reconstructions 
by Gemze de Lappe and Glory Van Scott) 

David Dorfman, David Dorfman Dance, New York, NY 

Heidi Duckler, Los Angeles, CA 

Eiko and Koma, New York, NY 

Doug Elkins, Doug Elkins Dance Company, 
New York, NY 



Kim Epifano, San Francisco, CA 

Bill Evans, Bill Evans Dance Company, 
Sandia Park, NM 

Bob Fosse, reconstructed by Bill Hastings, 
Ridgewood, NJ 

Joe Goode, Joe Goode Performance Group, 
San Francisco, CA 

David Gordon, Pick Up Performance Company, 
New York, NY 

Martha Graham, New York, NY (reconstructions 
by Bonnie Oda Homsey and other artists) 

Acia Gray, Austin, TX 

Neil Greenberg, Dance by Neil Greenberg, 
New York, NY 

Mark Haim, Seattle, WA 

Deborah Hay, Austin, TX 

Josh Hilberman, Jamaica Plane, MA 

Bonnie Oda Homsey, American Repertory Dance 
Company, Los Angeles, CA (for reconstruction of 
works by Martha Graham and Michio Ito) 

Lin Hwai-min, Cloud Gate Dance Theater, Fu-Hsing, 
Taipei, Taiwan 

John Jasperse, Thin Man Dance, Inc., 
New York, NY 

Brian Jeffery, XSIGHT!: Performance Group, 
Anchorage, AK 

Margaret Jenkins, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, 
San Francisco, CA 

Keith Johnson, Keith Johnson/Dancers, 
Long Beach, CA 

Marianne Kim, Lincolnshire, EL 

Alonzo King, Alonzo King's LINES BALLET, 
San Francisco, CA 

Nicholas Leichter, nicholasleichterdance, 
Brooklyn, NY 



National College Choreography Initiative 



Jose Limon, Limon Foundation, New York, NY (recon- 
structions by Sarah Stackhouse, Risa Steinberg, Clay 
Taliaferro, and Ann Vachon) 

Loretta Livingston, Los Angeles, CA 

Lar Lubovitch, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, 
New York, NY 

Frankie Manning, Corona, NY 

Susan Marshall, Susan Marshall & Company, 
Putnam Valley, NY 

Gesel Mason, Mason/Rhynes Productions, 
Takoma Park, MD 

Gabriel Masson, San Diego, CA 

Dianne Mclntyre, (for the reconstruction of work 
by Helen Tamiris), Cleveland, OH 

Carol Mendelsohn, Roy Hart Theatre, 
Anduze, France 

Bebe Miller, Bebe Miller Company, New York, NY 

Celeste Miller, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, 
Takoma Park, MD 

Meredith Monk, New York, NY 

Mark Morris, Mark Morris Dance Group, 
Brooklyn, NY 

Nita Little Nelson, Nita Little Nelson Dance Theater, 
Santa Cruz, CA 

Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis, Nikolais Louis, 
New York, NY (for works reconstructed by 
Alberto del Saz and Murray Louis) 

Tere O'Connor, Tere O'Conner Dance, New York, NY 

David Parsons, Parsons Dance Company, 
New York, NY 

Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig, Pearson/Widrig 
and Company, New York, NY 

Dwight Rhoden, COMPLEXIONS, New York, NY 

Pascal Rioult, Pascal Rioult Dance Theatre, 
New York, NY 



Shirley Ririe, Ririe Woodbury Dance Company, 
Salt Lake City, UT 

Wendy Rogers, Riverside, CA 

David Rousseve, David Rousseve/REALITY, 
Pasadena, CA 

Sue Schroeder, Core Performance Company, 
Decatur, GA 

Vicki Shick, New York, NY 

Billy Stiegenfeld, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, 
Evanston, IL 

Deborah Slater, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, 
San Francisco, CA 

Mark Taylor, Dance Alloy, Pittsburgh, PA 

Paul Taylor, Paul Taylor Dance Company, 

New York, NY 

Michael Thomas, Brooklyn, NY 

Antony Tudor, St. Louis, MO (work reconstructed 
by Muriel Topaz) 

Doug Varone, Doug Varone & Dancers, 
New York, NY 

Martha Wittman, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, 
Takoma Park, MD 

Mar lies Year by, Movin' Spirits Dance Theater Inc., 
Brooklyn, NY 

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar (for original choreography 
and the reconstruction of work by Pearl Primus), 
Urban Bush Women, Brooklyn, NY 

Stanley Zompakos, Charleston, SC 

Sherry Zunker, Chicago, IL 



Encore: A Second Round of Success 



31 



Schools Funded by National College Choreography Initiative 



The following colleges received one or more 
awards in three rounds of NC CI funding. They 
are listed by state: 

AZ University of Alaska-Anchorage 

Al Huntingdon College 

AR Henderson State University 

AZ Arizona State University 

AZ Scottsdale College 

CA California State University-Hayward 

CA University of California-Irvine 

CA University of California-Los Angeles 

CA University of California-Riverside 

CA University of California-Santa Barbara 

CO University of Colorado at Boulder 

CT Connecticut College 

CT Trinity College 

DC Howard University 

DE University of Delaware 

FL Florida State University 

FL New World School of The Arts 

GA Brenau University 

GA University of Georgia 

HI University of Hawaii 

HI University of Hawaii at Manoa 

ID University of Idaho 

IA University of Iowa 

IL Columbia College Chicago 

IL Illinois Wesleyan University 

IL University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

IN Ball State University 

KS University of Kansas 

KS Wichita State University 

KY Western Kentucky University 

LA Loyola University LA 

LA Tulane University, LA 

MA Five Colleges, Incorporated 

MA University of Massachusetts- Amherst 

MD Towson University 

MD University of Maryland-College Park 

ME Bates College 

MI University of Michigan 

MI Wayne State University 

MI Western Michigan University 

MN University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 

MO Southwest Missouri State University 

MO Washington University 



MS University of Mississippi 

MS University of Southern Mississippi 

MT University of Montana 

NC Duke University 

ND Dickinson State University 

ND University of North Dakota . 

NE University of Nebraska-Lincoln 

NH Keene State College 

NJ Montclair State University 

NJ Rutgers University 

NM Eastern New Mexico University 

NV University of Nevada-Las Vegas 

NY Purchase College 

NY Sarah Lawrence College 

NY Vassar College 

OH Ohio State University 

OH Ohio University 

OH University of Akron 

OH University of Cincinnati 

OK University of Central Oklahoma 

OR Lane Community College 

OR Reed College 

PA Franklin & Marshall 

PA Pennsylvania State-Altoona 

PA University of the Arts 

RI Rhode Island College 

SC Columbia College 

SD Washington Pavilion of Arts & Science 

TN University of Memphis 

TX Southern Methodist University 

TX University of Houston 

TX University of Texas at Austin 

TX University of Texas-Pan American 

UT Southern Utah University 

UT University of Utah 

VA James Madison University 

VA Virginia Commonwealth University 

VT Bennington College 

WA Cornish College of the Arts 

WA University of Washington 

WI University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 

WI University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 

WV West Virginia Wesleyan College 

WY University of Wyoming 



National College Choreography Initiative 




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