a student publication of the goucher college dance department
VOL. 30, NO. 2 | FALL 2014
Grieg Concerto: A Living Memory By Therese Ronco ’15 Patricia “Patti” Ackerman came to campus for a week to work with Goucher dancers to stage Grieg Concerto, a Doris Humphrey work first performed in 1928 to the music of Edvard Grieg’s Concerto in A Minor. Nearly 50 years ago, Grieg Concerto was reconstructed from memory by former Humphrey dancers Ernestine Stodelle and Eleanor King and has been performed by dancers from MOMENTA, a Doris Humphrey company based in Oak Park, Illinois, where Ackerman dances and directs rehearsals. So, under Ackerman’s direction, Goucher dancers were able to rehearse a dance that is captured from the past in one sense, but that is also living and evolving as different bodies transpose the movement. Because the piece was created so long ago, it’s very different from choreography dancers normally learn today. Ackerman mentioned how modern dancers in Doris Humphrey’s time were more focused on how they shaped their feet, on the floor and in the air. It felt like a step back in time to slow down and use the concept of form in a different way. Teaching my body how to be aware of itself in a historic style felt grounding, as if I were tapping into something greater.
Top: Christina Embury ‘18 and Geneva Winters ’15 rehearsing Grieg Concerto Bottom: Therese Ronco ’15
rehearses Grieg Concerto as Patti Ackerman observes. (Photos by Cuong Huy Nguyen ’14)
Grieg Concerto is a musical visualization in which a soloist is dressed in black to represent the piano, and the corps is dressed in “cello color” to represent the orchestra. The dynamic music pulls the movement out of the body, suspending the breath. There is an impetus (usually breath) for everything in Grieg Concerto, and finding the natural stimulus for each movement allows for organic movement. Whenever we were confused about a part, Ackerman would just tell us to listen to the music because it was telling us what to do. It took more than a few tries to let go of focusing purely on the choreography, and instead to breathe and dance with the music.
Dance as an Abstraction of Recovery GOUCHER COLLEGE
By Tamar Reisner-Stehman ’18 On a recent Thursday afternoon I was slated to observe the rehearsal of a modern dance collaboration for which faculty member Linda Garofalo choreographed and Cuong Nguyen ’14 created original music. When I walked into the dance studio, I was immediately struck by the stage setup: Three wooden frames were arranged on the floor. When I asked Garofalo about her vision for the wooden set pieces, she said white cloth will cover them to act as a canvas for multimedia projections, courtesy of Nguyen. Additionally, there will be a center cloth that will act as a “road” and a back screen with a split in the middle for dancers to enter and exit. Garofalo says the idea is to start with the frames so the audience feels restricted, setting the mood. With Grace is about universal suffering, though not with a particular event or circumstance in mind. The dance is a journey of realizing grief, and audience members are encouraged to think of their own individual stories. She explains this dance is not literal but more emotionally based— “whatever personal space it puts people in, that’s important to me,” Garofalo says. In Garofalo’s words, the piece is “an abstraction of recovery.” The dance uses the raw emotions that come with the humanness of feeling completely enveloped in despair and accepting that it’s OK to let others in and help you. Garofalo says, “This acceptance of the emotional state ultimately leads to the powerful understanding that one can rise above grief with strength and hope.” Garofalo was inspired several years ago by the image of veiling and unveiling, of being covered and uncovered. She played with the concept of how much the body was seen and knew she wanted to incorporate fabric to create moments of revealing and covering. Garofalo explains, however, that she really solidified the conceptual idea for the piece following the tragic death of Sophia “Sophie” Kurek ’13 this past summer. As Garofalo witnessed the tremendous strength of Sophie’s mother, the piece became more centered on the feelings of complete loss and the concept of being strong, even in the face of unfathomable grief. Garofalo was trained in the choreography of Martha Graham, and With Grace does have strong influences of the latter’s technique. There is Graham’s sense of drama, and the
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characters are Grahamesque with solos, trios, and a chorus. But Garofalo constantly thinks about how to innovate in the dances she creates. As she thinks about a piece, Garofalo says she sees images in her head, which become the foundation of her creative process. Playing with choreography before setting it is also an extremely important part of Garofalo’s process to build movement vocabulary. Additionally, including students in the creative process is important in helping everyone connect emotionally to the dance to make it look, in her words, “as organic as possible.” Garofalo says the audition process was “incredibly intense because this is such an emotional, but profoundly beautiful, topic.” Most of the audition was improvisation; Garofalo was looking for dancers who were open to creating movement and being emotionally connected to what they were doing. The feelings Garofalo explored at the audition were triggered by phrases such as “buried in grief,” “heavyhearted,” and “mustered in strength, but overwhelmed.” She originally intended on taking 10 dancers, but ended up with 14. Because Nguyen created the accompaniment, the music selection process was extremely collaborative. At first, Garofalo used music on an iPod so Nguyen could get a feel for what she was looking for. Nguyen and Garofalo met weekly to talk about what was working and what was not. “It’s a nice process,” Nguyen says. He says he likes working with both the dance and the music at the same time, and dancing in the piece was helpful for the creative process. “Sometimes collaboration stops short,” he says, but this creative process was complementary—he and Garofalo inspired each other. When asked if choreographing sets and people is difficult, Garofalo answered that the hardest part might be finding a balance between manipulating the set and having strong choreography, all with seamless transitions. Additionally, as with any creative process, keeping the flow of the piece and moving forward is always hard. Garofalo also points out that sometimes there are so many ideas it can be overwhelming. But, Garofalo says, “I love the challenge.” Premiering at the fall dance concert, Garofalo hopes With Grace will be shown at other venues, such as choreographic showcases or multimedia events.
a student publication of the goucher college dance department Faculty Adviser:
Dorie Chevlen ’15
Tamar Reisner-Stehman ’18
Katie Graham ’16
Julia Larcenaire ’16
Sydney Burrows ’16
Alice Johnston ’16
Madeleine Hobbs ’17
Therese Ronco ’15
Emily Polasik ’13
Cuong Nguyen ’14
Sydney Burrows ’17
Katie Graham ’16
Remembering the Ineffable Sophie Kurek ’13 By Emily Polasik ’13 No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough to describe the beauty that Sophia “Sophie” Kurek was, and the pain that is associated with the tragic loss of one of our own Goucher dancers. Watching someone dance is like receiving an invitation to see right into their soul. How lucky so many of us were to have had the pleasure of regularly seeing Sophie dance on Goucher’s stage. She first caught my attention during the 2010 fall dance concert. Working backstage, I knew that show like the back of my hand. I must have watched those dances tons of times, and I remember Sophie caught my eye in every piece she was in. She just had it—that presence on stage where you didn’t want to watch anyone but her. We later became friends, and I found that this presence not only existed on the stage, but also in her everyday life. She was always full of energy, radiant in every way imaginable. People were simply drawn to her. In addition to road trips around the United States, our friendship took us traveling to Spain and throughout Italy during our semester abroad. This past spring she came to visit me in Bermuda to explore pristine beaches, jump off cliffs, and celebrate finishing her MCATs. Sophie was truly a thrillseeker—she was never fazed by anything and was always two steps ahead of you to find the next big adventure. She was constantly moving, never staying in one place for long— anyone who knew her knows what I mean. When Sophie passed away, I found myself struggling to accept the term “Rest in Peace.” It just wasn’t TIME for this beautiful dancer to be “resting” yet, and it was way too generic to describe her, anyway. She’s surely moving wherever she is, dancing or having some epic adventure. “Moving in Paradise” (MIP) is how I imagine her now. Not long ago, I was asked to describe Soph in one word. One word. I think I actually laughed out loud. How could I choose just one? She was stunning. Fierce. Passionate. Graceful. Determined. Not to mention hilarious, silly, exciting, and adventurous. “Electrifying” was the closest I could get to portraying her spirit in one word. Then, in the midst of flipping through an old journal trying to find any story or thought I wrote that had anything to do with her, there it was. That exquisite word that described everything Sophie was and more without actually describing anything. The craziest part? She gave it to me. In the spring of 2013, I danced in her senior independent work, “Degrees of Obscurity.” One of the tools Sophie used in rehearsals and
Sophie Kurek dancing. (Photo by Jason Lee)
her own choreographic process was the book The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan. As a thank you for our commitment and devotion to her piece, Sophie gave each of her dancers a picture frame that contained a definition from the book. At some point in the past year, I had taped the piece of paper containing the definition in my journal, completely forgetting about it. That one simple word: ineffable. “Ineffable, adj. These words will ultimately end up being the barest of reflections, devoid of the sensations words cannot convey. Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary to represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.” Sophie Kurek was absolutely, one hundred percent ineffable. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough to describe her or the love we have for her. The way she danced. The way she thought. Her beauty. Her charisma. Her passion. Those who try to write about or describe their love for her become frustrated because words are simply not enough.
To further honor her ineffability, Sophie’s family has worked with Goucher College to secure a scholarship in her name that will seek to financially assist other aspiring Goucher students who are pursuing their dreams with the same unwavering spirit Sophie had. The Sophia L. Kurek Memorial Fund will recognize students who embody the strong academic standards; artistic talents; and personal qualities of grace, passion, and diligence Sophie exemplified. Creating this scholarship has been steady but slow moving because many involved in the process (family and close friends) are still grieving. Donations can be made by visiting www.goucher.edu/gift and specifying “The Sophia L. Kurek Memorial Fund” or by mail to the Goucher College Development Office. While she may be gone from this world physically, Sophie Kurek’s legacy will live on. A true dancer never stops dancing, and Sophie’s grace, discipline, and passion will forever dance through our memories and throughout whatever paradise she now resides. MIP, SLK. (Move in Paradise, Sophia L. Kurek.)
Chaconne: A Choreographic Gift From Meredith Rainey By Julia Larcenaire ’16
LehrerDance By Alice Johnston ’16 For 10 busy days in early September, Goucher was lucky to host guest artist Jon Lehrer, the dynamic director of LehrerDance, which he describes as a “modern-jazz fusion” company based in Buffalo, New York. Over the course of the residency, Goucher dancers received information and guidance from Lehrer, and we saw LehrerDance’s movement principles embodied to the fullest extent by Immanuel “Manny” Naylor, a founding member and associate director of LehrerDance.
Some dancers have to study choreographic techniques for years, but there are others who seemingly have an innate ability to visualize a work of dance. Meredith Rainey possesses that gift. During his 10-day residency, part of the Goucher Dance Department’s earlyarrival dance program, Rainey’s creativity and positivity filled the studios and started the semester off on the right foot. Rainey mentioned to students how excited he was to be working with us, and he had been pushing to come to Goucher for some time. This sentiment made us all the more excited to be working with Rainey. His interest and enthusiasm in our work ignited even more passion, and the result of the residency was more than rewarding. The ballet Rainey created is called Chaconne, titled after a composition by Johann Sebastian Bach of the same name. Rainey had been playing with different works of music for a few days, but when he heard this piece, he was instantly inspired by its flowing melody and pulsing strings. There are many moments of pure, raw, human emotion, and the ballet explores how these emotions are affected by different types of reactions between people. Rainey does not have any specific theme or idea he wants the audience to grasp from this piece. He just wants them to be overcome with the music and the movements and invites them to connect the piece to their lives and past experiences. Watching Rainey create movement in the studio was a truly inspirational experience. He would listen to a section of music once, then replay it, and we would watch as the music
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Top: Meredith Rainey working with Cuong Nguyen, Blake Caple ’17, Annie Fortenberry ’14, and Kira Anderson ’18 Bottom: Meredith Rainey rehearsing with Blake Caple ‘17 (Photos by Cuong Huy Nguyen ’14)
would seem to pour out of every inch of his body. It was as if he became the music. He never prepared any movement beforehand—it was all about inspiration in the moment: the dancers, the music, and the mood in the room. The result is a work of musical visualization sprinkled with tender moments of human connection. The movement is a combination of the classical ballet aesthetic with extended or broken lines contrasted with moments of pure pedestrianism, such as recurring, dynamic heel-toe walks. Seeing this strongly flexed foot in the classical pointe shoe is striking and powerful. At the end of Rainey’s residency, we were sad to say goodbye to him, but we felt prepared and inspired to continue working on this gift of a ballet.
Physics. Momentum. Energy. Space. Circles. At first these words might seem as if they are meant for a science classroom, but they were used and explored again and again over the course of the LehrerDance residency. Lehrer spoke a lot in his classes about the way the natural world and human bodies are related to each other by their fundamental shapes and properties. He is interested in combining all of the styles he has studied through his extensive dance career into a way of moving that is very human, artistic, and natural. We explored the idea of circular motion and momentum, movement that never stops even if it appears to the audience as stillness. The idea behind LehrerDance’s principles is to make movement easier for the dancer to perform by using the concepts of physics and momentum to push the body to its extreme limits with effortlessness. In class, and during the rehearsal process, the other dancers and I were pushed to investigate the way we could energetically maintain a state of calm and controlled movement with an emphasis on dynamics and flow. During the residency we learned and rehearsed Pantheon Rising, an energetic LehrerDance work created in 2013. According to Lehrer, the piece is intended to be an “epic closing work.” The word “epic” became more and more relevant as our 12-woman cast aimed to personify goddesses creating the world. Lehrer does not often accept offers to choreograph outside his company, so we at Goucher are fortunate to be able to perform Pantheon Rising.
Alone, Yet Not Alone: Choreography by Elizabeth Ahearn By Katie Graham ’16
Above: Oklahoma City National Memorial Bottom left: Stephanie Hrabar ’17, Katie Graham ’16, Michayla Kelly ’18, Nicki Mallon ’17, Tiffini Jones ’15, and Alice Johnston ‘16
rehearsing Elizabeth Ahearn’s ’Alone, Yet Not Alone’ Bottom right: Tamar Reisner-Stehman ’18, Hannah Dye ’18, Stephanie Hrabar ’17, Julia Larcenaire ’16, and Kira Anderson ’18 rehearsing Elizabeth Ahearn’s ‘Alone, Yet Not Alone’ (Top photo courtesy of www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org; bottom photos by Katie Graham ’16)
This fall, faculty member Elizabeth Ahearn is choreographing an emotionally charged work inspired by the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial, which honors the 168 lives that were lost on the morning of April 19, 1995, in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Ahearn’s choreography is not intended to be a retelling of the events that happened that day. Instead, she has worked to create a specific mood, which is inspired by the looks, textures, and feelings that are associated with the memorial and the events that took place there. The memorial itself spans both sides of the urban block where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Office Building stood and consists of 168 chairs, each representing a person who died as a result of the attack. The chairs are aligned in rows to represent the nine floors of the original building, and 19 of the chairs are smaller to recognize the children who were lost that day. The Field of Chairs overlooks a block-long reflecting pool and is bordered on the east and west by bronze gates that symbolically frame the moment of the explosion at 9:02 a.m. On the opposite side of the reflecting pool is an aging American elm tree that has been named the “Survivor Tree” because it came through the bombing
“We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. May all who leave here know the impact of violence. May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity.” – The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
to re-bud. The Survivor Tree has become a symbol of hope and has been adopted as the memorial’s official logo. Throughout the choreographic process, Ahearn has worked to create a sense of resilience that embodies the strength, power, sense of hope, serenity, and survival that the memorial site symbolizes. The work begins with 17 dancers seated in clear acrylic chairs to represent the chairs of the memorial. Much of the piece is centered on group work and bodies in space moving together and interacting with the chairs. Within this group mentality, the idea of the individual is also presented. Reflecting upon the title, “Alone, Yet Not Alone,” Ahearn says she wanted to portray the feeling of moving alone in the presence of other people. Thus, aloneness
is not intended as a negative thing, but a reflection of the strength, power, and hope that surrounds an individual. Along with this perception of the individual, there is also the idea that each chair in the memorial is different, and the dancers in the work reflect these differences. All of the dancers are individuals, and how each one executes the movements is slightly different. This particular work is much different from many of Ahearn’s past works. It is more sustained than the manner in which she usually moves, which has challenged her to break away from the angular and percussive movements that often characterize her choreographic style. It is also a much larger cast than she had originally planned—and larger than she tends to work with at Goucher. She explains, however, that through the audition process, she decided to let her instincts roll and cast 17 dancers to create more of a sense of community. The work is very much defined by the aspect of resilience, reminding viewers not only about the people lost, but the people who lost them. Ahearn describes it as a “sense of light against the dark.” Even though there are empty chairs, you are still not alone. 5
The Language of Movement By Dorie Chevlen ’15
Left: Therese Ronco ’15 and Alyssa Whitney ’15 performing in Italy Right: Therese Ronco ’15 and Alyssa Whitney ’15 taking dance class in Italy (Photos courtesy of Accademia dell’Arte)
As the first college in the United States to require study abroad, Goucher sends hundreds of its students to various locations worldwide each year. During their international experiences, students learn to navigate new places, to engage in new cultures, and often to speak new languages. Dancers studying abroad have an additional challenge in their experience—they must also learn to move in foreign ways. Alyssa Whitney ’15 studied at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy, where she discovered both new techniques and teaching styles. For example, she learned the Tarantella, a highly energetic and theatrical dance native to Italy. Similarly, across the globe in Taipei, Taiwan, Annie Fortenberry ’15 also jumped headfirst into native styles, taking classes in tai chi, kung fu, and Chinese opera. Even beyond the natural complexities of learning a new style, dancers often have the challenge of learning material in a new
Goucher Dancers: Where Are They Now? Karen (Cohen) Bloom ’91 After graduating from Goucher with a B.A. in mathematics, Karen moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where she attended the University of Cincinnati’s post-bac teacher certification program and met her husband. She taught in Ohio; Westchester, New York; Cranston, Rhode Island; and even Australia before finally settling in Oakland, California, where she, her husband, and their two sons now live. Karen had been dancing on and off that whole time, until a recent injury made her retire from taking classes. 6 | goucherdance
language when they are abroad. Alyssa says learning in Italian gave her “an interesting insight into how dance can still be taught without needing to speak the same language.” Annie also welcomed the challenge: “Here, we often have in-depth conversations about movement and how to approach certain steps. This allows us to think critically and to intellectually understand movement. We then transition this intellectual understanding into our muscles and bones. However, without this tool in Taiwan, I was forced to kinesthetically understand first.” These are both valuable lessons, facilitated by unique experiences only study abroad can provide. Students who dance abroad are also exposed to cultural differences in the dance community. Maia Stam ’15, who studied abroad in Ghana, loved the spirit of dance in West Africa. “In Ghana there was no judgment because everyone dances—super old people, babies, everyone dances—just to express themselves and to express their
culture. So I really let go of being afraid of not being technical enough or good enough,” she says. Annie experienced a similar mentality in Taiwan: “Taiwan is a collectivist culture, and the philosophy is that if you succeed, I succeed. Everyone is working for growth as a group. Peers were not afraid to tell you when they saw something off that wasn’t allowing you to succeed in a step. They knew that their external perspective could give you new information and could help you improve.” Assimilating can be difficult after returning home from abroad, but Goucher dancers brought with them crucial insights gained from their time away. Though she misses Italy, Alyssa is able to use what she learned abroad to grow further at Goucher. She says, “I discovered new ways to push past my old barriers and find the limitless possibilities. I am now able to look at the capacities of my body in a different light.” Maia adds: “I feel like I found the fun in dance again.”
Raina Cephas ’11
Caitlin Quinn Pittenger ’07
This May, Raina married the love of her life and is now finishing her third and final year in the Master of Fine Arts in Dance Program at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She also teaches dance technique (ballet primarily) and lecture courses at the university to undergraduate dance majors and minors, as well as to non-dance majors. She will graduate next May and is applying for dance teaching positions at universities and colleges.
Since graduating from Goucher, Caitlin has gone on to earn her Master of Fine Arts in dance in 2011 from Temple University, where she also served as faculty. In 2012, she married her high school sweetheart and moved to New Jersey, where she was awarded a full-time position as guest artist-in-residence at Georgian Court University. She teaches in the Dance Department at Richard Stockton College and was honored to be the guest artist of Lock Haven University in a dance program created by fellow Goucher dance alumna Jayme Klinger Host ’93.
361 Concert: Nobody Wants a Beige Bouquet By Madeleine Hobbs ’17 The 361 Concert is a compilation of original works created by students of Goucher’s advanced choreography class. The choreographers have been guided through the choreographic process, and their works highlight each of their unique visions and ideas—together creating a diverse and inspiring concert. Kalinda Santor ’16 drew the inspiration for her piece from a theatrical work she saw at the Fringe Festival in Scotland in which a man ran through the audience with his body covered in oranges that could be smelled but not seen. It gave her the idea to explore the idea of the five senses in a comical way, with some fairly serious undertones. She’s exploring different levels of the awareness of senses to remind audience members, “We have five senses, and it’s unnecessary to block them out.” Camila Padilla ’15 challenged herself this semester by straying from the comfort of using a storyline to choreograph and is letting the music inspire her movement to reflect her theme of human conflict. She wants to explore universal personal problems, focusing on conflicts within ourselves and within relationships. She is focusing on the power that comes from this struggle, which led her to push her cast emotionally. Camila used various acting exercises to help her cast find the emotions needed to change the feeling of the entire piece. Geneva Winters ’15 was inspired by the topic of cognitive dissonance, which she learned about in a psychology class. She’s exploring the idea of ignoring a piece of information because it conflicts with personal beliefs, as well as the discomfort that comes from being confronted with that information. Her biggest
challenge was allowing herself to discard ideas that weren’t working and being willing to try different things. Danielle Aliotta ’15 has been inspired by musical theatre since her teen years. The style of her piece was informed by choreography from classic movies and musicals, in addition to the movement vocabulary of Bob Fosse. The quirky quality of her work comes from the personality and fashion sense of Breakfast at Tiffany’s Holly Golightly. Therese Ronco ’15 spent last spring abroad at the Accademia dell’Arte in Italy and was feeling disconnected from American culture. She says she needed the creative process of the 361 Concert to help her reconnect and assimilate into life in the United States. When reading her environmental science textbook, she learned about hinterland: an area lying beyond what is visible or known. She’s been exploring this idea with the help of her dancers, who have been collaborating with her to make the movement as organic as possible. Haley Rose ’15 created an abstract story ballet, but with her own personal twist. Originally inspired by the song “In the Future” by David Byrne, her piece is set in the future, in a highly government-regulated and technologically advanced society. The government controls everything in citizens’ monotonous lives, from what they see to whom they mate with. The piece uses a robotic corps de ballet and a twist on the classical pas de deux to illustrate a fight for a self-controlled life and a return to humanity. Victoria Bartlett ’16 also created a ballet, but in a very contemporary style. She explains,
“I’m in a world full of modern [dance and dancers], but I’m going with my gut and doing ballet. Although my work is very personal, it is in no way pedestrian.” Her piece is a personal story that explores a journey of emotions. She challenged herself to use music that is not typical for her, but her dancers have made the process incredible: “All of my dancers bring something to the piece. It wouldn’t look the same without them.” Zoe Black ’16, on the other hand, is tackling an issue that is larger than she is. After reading “Women Left for Dead,” an article by American playwright Eve Ensler, she decided to use her piece to tell the story of the women in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the trauma they’ve experienced due to war. Zoe comments, “I was floored and inspired by [the women’s] incredible strength to not only carry on, but move forward. … I felt an instant desire to be a megaphone for these women.” To give a voice to these Congolese women, Zoe needed to find a way to relate herself and her cast to women with whom they share little in common due to their comparatively privileged lives. Because of the topic of Zoe’s piece, the 361 class decided to make their concert a benefit to support V-Day’s City of Joy, a transformational leadership community for women survivors of violence in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. Please join us in the Todd Dance Studio on November 21 at 7:30 p.m. and November 22 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. for a concert filled with incredible and inspiring works. $8 General admission; $5 students and senior citizens.
Shawnia T. White ’11
Chelsea Murphy ’12
Drew Santoro ’14
Since graduating Shawnia did a year of service with City Year New York, working in an underprivileged school in East New York. She received her master’s in dance/movement therapy and graduated with honors from Pratt Institute. She is teaching dance in an arts and education program, as well as working as a dance/movement therapist and case manager at a counseling center.
Chelsea is living in Philadelphia making dancetheater pieces that are gut-wrenchingly sad/ funny, accidentally feminist, and involve a lot of yelling with her collaborator Magdalene San Millan. After graduating she participated in the Headlong Performance Institute. She has also been using her arts administration skills as the operations manager at Headlong and as the class coordinator at the Whole Shebang. In September, she received her first New York Times review, which said her duet with Magda was the “discovery of the evening.” Chelsea and Magda will be premiering their first evening-length show at JACK in Brooklyn December 18-20.
Immediately following graduation, Drew moved to Seattle to intern at Velocity Dance Center. Since moving there she has performed in works by Carol Dilley and Rachel Boggia through the East West Residency and Bennyroyce Royon through the Strictly Seattle Intensive. She is working with the Deadpan Monkeys for the EnRoot performance in November and with Serendipity Dance Brigade for a performance in December. She’s also been helping to organize a bimonthly openmic performance night called SH*T GOLD.
Jan-Delle Johnson ’12 After graduating, Jan-Delle participated in ArchCore40 with former guest artist Jennifer Archibald and performed in a music video for Pete Miser. She is a ballroom instructor and choreographer for the Arthur Murray franchise.
New Dance Faculty Member: All About Paul Wegner By Sydney Burrows ’17 This semester, I have the pleasure of having Paul Wegner as my ballet teacher. At the end of each class, I am exhausted and winded, but I feel as if I have improved within just the hour and 20 minutes of class. Wegner moves very quickly throughout barre, keeping the combinations simple but challenging. When we move to the center, he emphasizes moving in a way that shows off our individual beauty.
dancer in the piece. He remembers working and rehearsing in our very own Lilian Welsh Studio, and he is happy to be back on campus in his new role as teacher. This is Wegner’s first time teaching at a collegiate institution. He is used to working with professionals and children, and he is very impressed with the speed at which the students here at Goucher pick up corrections and combinations. He loves teaching in our studios, with our live accompaniment, and enjoys his experience working with a large variety of students and technique levels.
Wegner often says, “Do what makes you feel beautiful. If a teacher gives you a correction that you feel doesn’t look right, don’t continue to move in that way.” He believes technique is important, but the spirit of a dancer is what makes ballet so special. When I asked Wegner what he tries to emphasize while teaching, he told me he thinks of the quote: “Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top; it is the willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy or be given by others; it rises from your heart.” Junko Tabei said this after she became the first woman to climb Mount Everest in 1975. I love that Wegner does not focus only on technique. I leave each class feeling proud of myself as a dancer, and I am determined to improve even more.
Paul Wegner teaching Rosalie Cryan ’17 (Photo by Sydney Burrows ’17)
Although he is new to Goucher as a teacher, Wegner has a special history with the college. He danced for Goucher in the mid-1980s for a guest artist piece by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. It was here that Wegner met his wife, a fellow
In addition to instructing at Goucher, Wegner teaches at the Dance Conservatory of Maryland in Harford County, the Carroll Dance Center and Ballet Conservatory, Peabody Dance, and the Ballet Theatre of Maryland. When he is not teaching at one of these many studios, he enjoys photography. He loves photographing dance, specifically, and has even photographed for the Washington Ballet in the past. We are very excited to welcome Wegner to Goucher, and we cannot wait to see how the Dance Department will continue to grow and learn from his talent and dedication.
Calendar of Events Todd 361 Series November 21, 7:30 p.m. November 22, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Todd Dance Studio Theatre This year’s advanced choreography students will showcase original works set on Goucher dancers that will be presented in a studiotheatre environment. Each choreographer will share a unique choreographic vision. $8 general admission; $5 for students with ID and senior citizens. Reserve tickets at www.goucher.edu/ tickets. Some of the proceeds will be donated to City of Joy, a transformational leadership community for women survivors of violence in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. Diane Coburn Bruning, Ballet Guest Artist-in-Residence February 6-15, 2015 Diane Coburn Bruning, founder and artistic director of the Washington, DC-based Chamber Dance Project, will teach ballet classes and set a work on Goucher dancers for the Goucher Repertory Dance Ensemble concert on April 17 and 18, 2015. Master classes are open to high-intermediate and advanced ballet dancers. Class fee: $20.
Meet the Artist with Diane Coburn Bruning February 13, 6 p.m. Todd Dance Studio Meet ballet guest artist in residence Diane Coburn Bruning and watch a rehearsal of her work to be performed in the Goucher Repertory Dance Ensemble spring concert. Free and open to the public. Gwen Welliver, Modern Guest Artist-in-Residence February 20-28, 2015 Gwen Welliver, award-winning dancer, choreographer, and teacher, will set a work on Goucher dancers for the Goucher Repertory Dance Ensemble concert on April 17 and 18, 2015. Master classes are open to highintermediate and advanced modern dancers. Class fee: $20. Meet the Artist with Gwen Welliver February 27, 6:30 p.m Todd Dance Studio Meet modern guest artist-in-residence Gwen Welliver and watch Goucher dancers in rehearsal for her work for the upcoming Goucher Repertory Dance Ensemble spring concert. Free and open to the public.
1021 Dulaney Valley Road | Baltimore, Maryland 21204-2794
Goucher Repertory Dance Ensemble Concert April 17, 7:30 p.m. April 18, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Kraushaar Auditorium Goucher students will perform ballet and modern works by guest artists Diane Coburn Bruning and Gwen Welliver. The program will also feature works by Goucher faculty member Rick Southerland and students. $15 general admission, $5 students with ID, senior citizens, and anyone with a valid Goucher OneCard. Reserve tickets at www.goucher.edu/tickets. Independent Works Concert May 2, 7:30 p.m. Todd Dance Studio Theatre Please check www.goucher.edu/academics/ dance/dance-news for more information. Thesis Performance: “Paisley Mastodons” May 3, 3 p.m. Todd Dance Studio Theatre Maia Stam, senior dance major, will present the culmination of her yearlong thesis work, a multimedia performance exploring the concept of “The Total Work of Art.” Free and open to the public. 15175-3315 11/14