VOL. 29, NO. 2 | FALL 2013
a student publication of the goucher college dance department
A Dance Brought Back to Life By Sydney Burrows ’17
(above) Rehearsal for Rick Southerland’s piece The Writing on Mother’s Hand (photo credit: Cuong Nguyen ’14)
As time continues, ideas and knowledge are passed from one human being to another. The essence of the idea stays intact, but with each transition, details are altered to reflect the time and the person who holds the current knowledge. This fall, Assistant Professor of Dance Rick Southerland has been re-setting a piece of choreography to express this concept of passing of time and ideas. He sees the body as a container for a person’s essence and soul,
and when one cannot contain the soul or idea any longer, he or she passes it onto another person. Southerland’s choreography was originally his undergraduate thesis, completed in 1994. It was first performed at East Carolina University and has been performed many times since then with various dancers. A new group of students will present this piece in the Repertory Dance Ensemble Fall Concert, bringing with them a fresh look at an idea
of the past. Rick keeps re-setting this piece because he feels that it is a representation of his technical foundation, which involved the teachings of Gerri Houlihan, Mark Taylor, and Betty Jones. The movement comes to life with intricate, contemporary group movement and a mesmerizing solo and duet. It begins with most of the dancers interconnected and two individuals separate from the rest. This theme of contact in a group along with separate
A Dance Brought Back to Life continued on p. 3 1
Yes, But Then What? Gabrielle Stoler ’17 Goucher Dance welcomed Gina Patterson, artistic director of VOICE Dance Company in residency this fall. Despite claiming that “it wasn’t until the past few years that I really knew what I was doing,” Patterson has a phenomenally large repertoire and has been choreographing for 15 years now. She is inspired by challenging the norm and wants to express a “fuller way to communicate.” Choreography is about communication for Patterson, who began to develop this skill while she was dancing professionally. She described her craft of performing as a tool for choreography. While dancing professionally, she developed one brilliant piece and received tremendous feedback. The piece was in high demand to be performed. There was no turning back from there. Her career as a choreographer blossomed into something magnificent. Before coming to Goucher, Patterson had been on a choreography spree for several weeks. She stopped home to visit her parents and, oddly enough, got her inspiration for the piece she created at Goucher. Her mom had marked on the calendar, “Gina—home and back.” That became her concept: who, where, and what makes a home. Patterson likes to use analogies of life in her pieces and encourages staying open and being okay when a change in plans is needed. She says, “You can’t plan life, just like you can’t plan a piece.” She wants the piece to come full circle, starting and ending back home. The journey throughout the piece represents what you do to leave, and what you do to get back. As much as dancers in Comp class tried to relate this to ABA form, Patterson chose not to describe her piece with any structure. Once she had developed a solid foundation for the piece, her next step was to “swirl the ingredients”: putting together dancers, concept, and movement. Patterson wants this to be an educational process, not just for the dancers but also for herself. Ashley Daigle ’14 has learned a tremendous amount from being a cast member in this piece. Daigle says Patterson urged them not to settle into it, but to “keep pushing to take the piece to a new level every time we perform it.” Patterson’s greatest hope is to pass on what she knows and create a two-way street of learning and teaching, a rich and fulfilling experience for all parties involved. To see the end result, come to the Goucher Repertory Dance Ensemble Fall Concert in November.
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Above: Gina Patterson dancing (photo courtesy of: Gina Patterson) Top Right: Rehearsal for Rick Southerland’s piece The Writing on Mother’s Hand (photo credit: Cuong Nguyen ’14)
Dance Brought Back to Life
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movement on an individual is continued throughout the piece. The movement is fluid at first, while emphasizing angular shapes. Then, as the music speeds up, the motion becomes quicker and sharper. After the duet, the essence and soul of the original soloist is taken by the spirits (the group of dancers) and is then passed to the other dancer. Southerland says, “As I reflect deeper… the spirit of those who taught me has transmigrated into my body and is being passed along... I’m interested in how different forms interpret that… The dance doesn’t die. It does breathe. And it lives.”
Senior Independent Pieces By Julia Corrigan ’14 Hillary Blunt and I are completing Independent Studies in choreography this semester. Our concert will be December 8 at 5 p.m., and it will be free of charge. Hillary’s work is about the streets of India, where she studied abroad this summer. “When I was thinking about the cultural differences between the United States and India, the place I kept coming back to was the streets and how different walking down the street is in India from America,” she says. Her piece is structured into several segments, each tackling a different issue, including the flow of traffic and cows, which are considered sacred animals. Her cast includes five dancers, and she points out that “they are amazing.” Some of the dancers are familiar with her style of movement, having worked with her before, and they help to set the rehearsal pace. She is using mostly Bollywood music, but is mixing it with some classical Indian music. Hillary is inspired to choreograph because she can express herself more fully through dance.“ I knew when I had a hard time talking about my experience, it would be something we would have to dance about,” she says. “I love choreographing this work because it’s a way for me to communicate my feelings and my emotions about an issue or a topic with an audience.”
The concept of my piece is a bit more abstract, but it was also inspired by my training and experiences from my semester abroad in Italy. In my piece, we are exploring the physicalization of memory through dance. We are confronting questions such as, “How does my body move when I am experiencing a sad memory?” We are looking at these questions through the lens of several emotions and describing our movement patterns based on the theories of Laban Movement Analysis. My piece features 12 beautiful, hardworking dancers. Similar to Hillary, several of my dancers are familiar with my movement because I have choreographed on them or with them in previous semesters. It’s also an exciting challenge to work with people who don’t know my style. Rene Aubry composed my music, which provides fantastic support to the choreography. The aim of my choreography is to make something beautiful that also makes you think, and I think that dance is the perfect medium to create that type of artwork. We hope to see you at our concert on December 8. Top Right: Hillary Blunt on the streets of India. (photo courtesy of: Hillary Blunt ’14) Bottom Right: Julia Corrigan dancing in Italy. (photo courtesy of: Julia Corrigan ’14)
Who’s Who in the Dance Department: Sara Thomson Madeleine Hobbs ’17 Anyone who walks by Sara Thomson’s office can tell immediately that she loves dance and her favorite color is purple. The walls are covered with posters of dancers and pointe shoes; the ones seen in dance studios and homes of dancers around the world. However, if you know Thomson, you know that she’s essentially the glue that holds the Dance Department together. She came to the department in 2002 from Admissions because she wanted more interaction with the students. Her responsibilities run from overseeing schedules of the studios to prospective student visits to helping with publicity for the department. Besides helping to manage the department, she loves being able to interact with the students and faculty. The students are her favorite part of Goucher. She loves being able to meet them as first-year students and watch them advance until they receive their diplomas. As she says, “Everyone comes here with their own story,” and she’s so proud to be a part of it.
Other than a few years abroad, Thomson has spent pretty much her whole life in Baltimore City. After graduating Western High School, a family friend offered her a secretarial and lab technician position while he did research in Brazil. She did not think twice about the opportunity. As a result, Thomson is fluent in Portuguese, and has been a part of the Intensive Course Abroad (ICA) to Brazil at Goucher. After returning from South America, she worked at a radio station, and then spent a year travelling around Europe. When she returned again to Baltimore, she worked at various different jobs before coming to Goucher. In her spare time, she enjoys sewing, gardening, and crafts. Thomson and her sisters have a monthly craft evening with senior citizens at the apartment complex where her mother lives. Her sisters, friends, and Linda Garofalo make cards for the organization Cards for Cares, whose sales support the Northeast Food Pantry, where her 87-yearold mother still volunteers. Traveling excites her, and though she has a list of some places
Sara Thomson at work in her office (photo credit: Cuong Nguyen ’14)
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she wants to visit, she would love to see anywhere new. There is nothing that Thomson would change about her life, except perhaps going back to school, receiving a degree, and taking dance classes as a child. She laughs and says that she’s the best audience for the dancers because “I can’t do what you do and it is all impressive to me.” She is in awe of what dancers do, and if she could accomplish one thing, other than world peace, she would want the rest of the college to understand what dancers do and how hard they work for it. This includes the academic side of dance, where dancers write papers, keep journals, and have intellectual conversations during class. She comments that people don’t fully recognize what happens in the Dance Department, and that until she came she did not fully understand the process of taking an idea and getting it to the stage.
Seeing the Unspeakable By Zoe Black ’16
Goucher Dance’s Class of 2013: Where Are They Now? Since tossing their caps last May, members of the Class of 2013 have found a wealth of incredible opportunities. Here is just a sample of what some of these talented graduates have accomplished in their few months since graduation. Jessica Bukowski is teaching special education in a fourth-grade inclusion classroom in Montgomery County, MD, and taking dance classes as often as possible. Candace Chmielewski substitute teaches at a local high school, works as a veterinary technician, and interns hand-in-hand with the zookeepers at the Philadelphia Zoo. She is also working on vet school applications, and uses her spare time to choreograph and perform in local theater productions. Hana Coxhead currently lives in Pikesville, MD, and teaches a rambunctious group of fifth graders at Fort Garrison Elementary School.
Trebien Pollard leading a rehearsal of his piece Seeing the Unspeakable (photo credit: Cuong Nguyen ’14)
When we first meet or see someone, why do we seem to only see the silhouette? Tentatively named Whistling Reich, Trebien Pollard’s latest choreographic work is looking to explore just this. As an artist, Pollard is curious about perspectives: How do we look at people? What influences that first look? Or the many looks after? Where can we find the similarities in people who seem incredibly different from one another? Pulling inspiration from the book Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by social psychologist Claude M. Steele, Pollard sees this piece as the second part of an evening-length work he began conceptualizing this past summer. Pollard was intrigued by people’s reactions to works about prejudice and racism that he saw while working at the American Dance Festival over the summer. He found people questioning why work was being done on that topic in this day and age, and he felt a need to examine this. As a professor to young adults who haven’t grown up knowing racial oppression like he grew up experiencing it,
Pollard finds that this piece is a way to explore what he is “holding onto that [he] could let go of to achieve something new.” The piece, which audiences can see November 22 and 23 in the Goucher Repertory Dance Ensemble Fall Concert, will consist of three sections. It will open with a passage from Angela Davis, then continue to a section danced exclusively by the women in the piece, who are seen as mourning. This, Pollard says, is inspired by the case of Trayvon Martin. “We will never know what he could have been,” he says. And yet he understands the case as a result of “perception and the influence of a history of thoughts.” The piece will close with what he describes as a reprise of energy.
Grace Harman spent a few months after graduation traveling before landing a job as an assistant teacher at a Jewish preschool. She works in a classroom with one-year-olds, and also teaches dance classes for two-tofive-year-olds once a week. Melanie Hedal and Megan Simon are roommates in San Francisco, and are enjoying exploring and taking advantage of all the dance opportunities in the city. Megan works as a tutor, and Melanie is a behavior therapist and nanny. Emily Polasik is currently living in Bermuda, where she teaches ballet, modern, tap, and jazz at the Jackson School of Performing Arts.
Pollard is completing his last year here at Goucher College. He will leave the Dance Department with a piece that inspires questions and compels one to look further and deeper at what makes people connected. How do you perceive someone upon first meeting them? Do you simply see their silhouette or do you see all the intricacies of their experiences intertwining with yours? Above: Emily Polasik enjoying her new home in Bermuda. (photo courtesy of: Emily Polasik ’14)
Chrystelle Bond: Goucher Dance’s Founding Mother By Ellen Bast ’14
Ashley Daigle ’14 and Eve Holmes ’13 taking a dance class in Taiwan (photo courtesy of Eve Holmes ’13)
(above) Professor of Dance, Chrystell Bond (photo credit: Bruce Weller)
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American modern dance as it is known today owes its existence and rich history to a canon of dance pioneers—the “founding mothers” of modern dance. How appropriate it is, then, that Goucher’s Dance Department has its own founding mother, Professor of Dance Chrystelle Trump Bond. On the faculty of the college since 1963, Bond has seen the dance program grow from a few courses in the physical education department to a nationally renowned program that features eight unique tracks of study. This year marks Bond’s golden anniversary at Goucher. Bond is both a dance historian and a kinesthetic scholar. Her varied training and experiences have allowed her to cultivate and integrate these two roles. While growing up in Maryland, she studied both Russian and French ballet with Michael Nicholoff and Hildegard Holm, respectively. She studied jazz and tap in Baltimore and spent summers in New York City. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dance and physical education and then a master’s of fine arts in dance and dance history at the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNC-Greensboro), she trained professionally at summer dance festivals in New London, Connecticut. There, she studied and danced with choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Louis Horst, José Limón, and Paul Taylor, just to name a few. She also learned from dance critics and historians such as John Martin and Selma Jeanne Cohen.
Furthermore, Bond has analyzed the life and contributions of Lillian Moore, a Goucher student who left the college to dance ballet professionally in New York, where she met George Balanchine and then joined his company, the precursor to the New York City Ballet. Bond’s current research focuses on the history of dance at Goucher. Professor Bond’s focus on the college in her research pairs nicely with her keen interest in the college’s main purpose to educate its students. During her 50-year tenure, Bond has taught a plethora of courses including all levels of ballet and modern dance technique, three different courses in dance history, advanced choreography, a seminar in dance history, theory, and criticism, anatomy and kinesiology for dance, and a first-year Frontiers course, “War and Dancing: Strange Bedfellows” (which the author of this article had the opportunity to take).
“If you don’t have passion, there’s the door.” Chrystelle Bond
Even after accepting her position at Goucher, Bond continued to train and take classes in ballet, modern, and postmodern dance with individuals including Merce Cunningham, Meredith Monk, and Yvonne Rainer. Additionally, she attended dance critics seminars over the summers.
Bond has led Intensive Courses Abroad (ICAs) to England and Brazil. She has also overseen many independent studies for students whose interests transcend the topics covered by Goucher’s already diverse dance curriculum.
Since she was immersed in many exciting eras in the progression of dance, it is not surprising that Professor Bond is passionate about dance history and criticism and her scholarship focuses on these fields.
Within the classroom, Bond leads a passionate and memorable class: students admiringly recall her mantras, such as “dance is a cultural metaphor” and “if you don’t have passion, there’s the door.”
Her numerous projects have included research on dance in Baltimore from 1814-1900, published by Dance Perspectives. She has also researched and reconstructed dances of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Colonial/ Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, World Wars I and II, and 1950s and 1960s periods.
Bond’s courses instill a sense of devotion in her students. As Shawnia White ’11 reflects, “[Professor Bond] was extremely helpful in helping me define who I am. Her seminar class questioned why I danced, what I believed, and made me answer honestly with love, passion, and dedication. I left that class ready to pursue anything I wanted and because of
her class I have had the opportunity to live my dreams and stand tall, ready to defend what I believe.” Professor Bond clearly loves what she does, and this sentiment is infectious. Bond is also the director of Chorégraphie Antique, the dance history ensemble of Goucher College. The performance troupe, comprised of students, alumnae/i, and community members, performs historical reconstructions of dances on local, regional, national, and international stages. The company even performed at one of Barack Obama’s inaugural balls in 2009. In addition to her duties in the Dance Department, Professor Bond has been involved in the general Goucher community. Upon arriving to Goucher in 1963, Bond was a faculty member in residence and lived in the Froelicher-Alcock apartment for a time. After she married Tim Bond, the couple moved into the Stimson-Connor apartment. She has served on numerous college committees and is responsible for the library’s Jacques-Pierre Collection, a collection of stories about pets established to honor Bond’s beloved toy poodle, Jacques-Pierre. Bond’s love of dogs and animals also led to the annual Blessing of the Animals service, a memorable collegewide event. Chrystelle Bond’s presence has influenced and benefitted Goucher in innumerable ways over the past 50 years. As an academic and historian, she enriches the field of dance history and criticism for future generations. As a professor and mentor, she inspires students. This inspiration in future generations is what drives Professor Bond. She says: “I am most proud of the accomplishments of Chorégraphie Antique, as well as all the dance majors who graduated and are now out in the world sharing their passion, knowledge, and experiences to demonstrate how dance is a most meaningful and significant art form that can make contributions to better human understanding, peace, and good health, and increase the quality of life for all.” Professor Bond, thank you.
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Calendar of Events
Independent Concert December 8, 5 p.m. Todd Dance Studio Theater Seniors Hillary Blunt and Julia Corrigan will present original works as their independent project in choreography. Also enjoy a presentation of the repertory of Trebien Pollard performed by his dance repertory class.
Chrystelle Trump Bond’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Alumnae/i Weekend, April 25-27, 2014 Celebrate Chrystelle Bond’s 50 years of service at Goucher’s largest-ever dance alumnae/i event! The weekend will feature performances by Goucher dancers, members of Chorégraphie Antique, and special guests— plus a special presentation by Professor Bond on her dance history research. Information will be regularly updated on Goucher Dance’s Facebook page. For more on Chrystelle Trump Bond’s contributions to Goucher Dance, see Ellen Bast’s article on page 6. Donations in her honor can be made online at www.goucher.edu/gift through Friends of Goucher Dance.
a student publication of the goucher college dance department
Faculty Adviser: Juliet Forrest Editor:
Maia Stam ’15
Ellen Blast ’14 Zoe Black ’16 Sydney Burrows ’17 Julia Corrigan ’14 Madeleine Hobbs ’17 Gabrielle Stoler ’17
Cuong Nguyen ’14 Bruce Weller
NEW! Additional stories online at www.goucher.edu/dancenewsletter
361 Advanced Choreography Concert December 6, 7:30 p.m. December 7, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. December 8, 3 p.m. Todd Dance Studio Theater Advanced Choreography students present their works from the fall semester. $8 general admission.; $5 students and senior citizens. Reserve tickets online at www. goucher.edu/tickets