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R & VA Performance Sololos MFAs Necessary Beauty Dance Downtown Synchronous Objects ARC Drums Downtown Featured Projects Profiles Calendar

2 3 4 5 6 8 10 11 12 14 18



Susan Van Pelt Petry

Melissa Bontempo Susan Chess Carrie Cox Anna Reed Michael Wall

FACULTY Melanie Bales Michael Kelly Bruce David Covey Melanye White Dixon Karen Eliot Candace Feck Susan Hadley Sheila Marion Bebe Miller Victoria Uris Valarie Williams Abigail Yager Ming-Lung Yang Norah Zuniga-Shaw

FACULTY EMERITI Helen P. Alkire Vera J. Blaine Odette Blum Angelika Gerbes John Giffin Louise Guthman Ann Lilly Vera Maletic Lucy Venable

LECTURERS Dale Beaver Noelle Chun Susan Dromisky Meghan Durham Maria Glimcher Laurel Hodory Shawn Hove Alex Kovach Jon Nicole (Coco) Loupe Mary McMullen Amy “Beaker” Prince Marden Ramos

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSOCIATES Odemaris Irizarry Jane Ledford-Adkins

VISITING ARTISTS AND SCHOLARS 2008-2009 Ann Cooper Albright Lynn Brooks Dana Casperson Yau Chen Lynn Dally Scott DeLahunta William Forsythe Beth Genné Nik Haffner Maurice Hines Ming-Shen Ku Christian Matjias Dianne McIntyre Tresa Randall Joanna Mendl Shaw Marcia B. Siegel Alva Noë


INFORM PUBLICATION Editor: Jolene Bartley Designer/Co-editor: Melissa Bontempo

DEPARTMENT DONORS 7/1/2008 - 6/30/2009 Helen P. Alkire Keely Ayres Carolyn Tooill Bartnon Karen A. Bell Vera J. Blaine Dr. Robert Lee Booth Jr. Shawn Bowman-Hicks Dr. Thomas Brannon John Broadbent Michael Bruce Dale Bruggeman Lucille M. Burkett Marlene A. Casini Dr. Susan Chess Senta Driver Roberta Barber Eggart Carl M. Faller Dr. M. Candace Feck Mathew Ford James Frazier Jordan Fuchs Jill M. Gellerman Pandey Dr. Roy M. Gottlieb Clarence D. Greer Sally Greer Louise B. Guthman Susan Hadley Sally Haltom Barbara Hartley Lisa Haynes-Henry David B. Hollingsworth Robert R. Klar Judith Kosstrin Albert H. Leyerle Sheila J. Marion Heather McCord Milligan Linda Wiseman Orriss Richard Orriss Susan Petry Linn Schlaifer Amy Schmidt Matthew B. Schmidt Dr. A. Jeanette Sexton Carole Simpson Gina Thomas Jeanine Thompson Victoria Uris Columbus Foundation Johnstone Fund OSU Tau Beta Sigma

Photo: Stephanie Matthews. From 8:47 at 4th and Pine. Choreographer: Shawn Hove.


LETTER FROM THE CHAIR Thank you for your interest and support of the Department of Dance! An inspiring year it was, full of forward momentum: deepening engagement with William Forsythe, his improvisation technologies, and his most recent research project with Ohio State; a closer look at Trisha Brown’s Sololos; graduate students invited to perform at Judson Church in New York City as part of our exchange with Movement Research, Inc; seniors self-producing an evening of work integrating technology in the EMMA lab; our first ABD PhD student landing her first teaching job and another garnering many awards and fellowships; a senior honored for her accomplishments by the Ohio State Board of Trustees; the development of our first hybrid studio; and alumni sharing news of awards, commissions, concerts, projects, and babies. While the economic news continues to challenge everyone, and while Ohio State is abuzz with change, we look at the evidence of all the efforts of the faculty, guest artists and scholars, staff, students and alumni and it is truly astonishing. We are certainly not phoning it in, going through the motions, nor doing business as usual. There is abundant imagination, innovation, and creative capital in and from the Ohio State University Department of Dance. Dancers know something about momentum, and the OSU Dance family is creating it daily.

Many thanks to the donors for supporting This is a photo of not just a facility; it is a scholarship funds, travel to conferences and festivals, projects that connect OSU Dance to the Columbus dance community, visiting scholars and artists, and the creation and dissemination of choreography, dance films, and new ideas in dance and technology.

Very special thanks to:


Dr. Roy Gottlieb for his sponsorship of The Columbus Dance Calendar; Ron and Melissa Weber for the Visiting Scholars in 2008-2009; Martha Morris for her gift that helped to fund Taiwanese choreographer Ming-Shen Ku’s residency; Senta Driver for her support of work with William Forsythe; Louise Guthman for supporting Dance Downtown and scholarships; and Jack and Zoe Johnstone Fund for New Music at the Columbus Foundation.

space that facilitates beauty, experimentation, community, creativity, and AHA! moments. This is a photo of Studio 5 a.k.a. the White Box, a hybrid studio for interactive education and creative activity – recently renovated and widely celebrated. We imagine all our spaces being this smart, aesthetically pleasing, and inspiring.

You have an opportunity to collaborate

with us to facilitate this imagining. For the first time in almost two decades, we are entering a phase of building renovation, thanks in part to a major gift to the Cartoon Research Library and Museum, who will be our building’s new tenant. Your gift (to the building fund) is not only money; it is adding momentum to the commitment we have to imagine and create dance of the future.

With momentum,

Susan Van Pelt Petry Chair, Professor

This is the time to add to the momentum. Become an inspired facilitator and give to the building fund, or to a scholarship fund. Go to and enter any of the following:

Thank you!

Dance Building Fund 312772 Department of Dance Fund 306319 Dance Preservation Fund 307021 Dance Special Projects/Vera Blaine Fund 305892 Helen Alkire Scholarship Fund 600066 Rosalind Pierson Scholarship Fund 665802 Catherine Elizabeth Woods Scholarship Fund 667854 Presutti-Madison Dance Fund 605905 Stella Becker Scholarship Fund 600406


Resident & Visting Artists Performance

December 3-4, 2008, Sullivant Hall

chocolate, dance, & conversation

The allure of chocolate and a friendly dance experience drew a large and diverse audience to Chocolate, Dance, & Conversation – the annual Resident and Visiting Artist Concert. Audiences were served treats from Columbus bakeries before, during, and after the performances. Casual conversations between dances give audience members various ways to see and engage with the work.

Photo: Stephanie Matthews. From 8:47 at 4th and Pine. Choreographer: Shawn Hove. Dancers: Kimberly Koerner and Maungsai Somboon.

Sololos, a classic post-modern piece by choreographer Trisha Brown, was re-staged by former Brown Company member Abigail Yager, and performed by five OSU dancers in one of the studios (see next page). Ohio State alumna Mary Williford Shade, hailed by The Washington Post as “the dancing equivalent of Edvard Munch’s The Scream,” performed John Giffin’s new dance theatre tour de force, Out of the Woods. Giffin and Shade conspired to create a landscape at once familiar and strange, complete with the tale of Little Red Riding Hood turned inside out and conflated with a speech to an imaginary PTA. Noted for his poignant, wry, and provocative work, Giffin has been on the faculty for 28 years and retired in June 2009 (see page 15). Lecturer Megan Durham’s new work Guitar Heroes was an energetic ensemble piece integrating live music composed and performed by Clifton Hyde with support from the Johnstone Fund for New Music at the Columbus Foundation. Durham, artistic director of Philadelphia based Meghan Durham/Merge Dance and NEA award winner, brought her smart, witty, and utterly physical choreography to Columbus for the first time. Hyde, guitarist/composer, is a member of the Blue Man Group in New York City and has performed alongside Lou Reed, Sigur Ros, and Trevor Dunn. Inspired by people-watching, Shawn Hove’s (MFA ‘05, Lecturer) 8:47 at 4th and Pine examined the human condition in the new realities of the 21st century. This urban chic work, performed by a large cast, featured music by Wim Mertins, and portrayed a world of beauty and pathos. Susan VP Petry, Chair, was part of the landscape in Ric Petry’s videodance which moved in unexpected orientations. A guest commented: “What a wonderful evening! It’s like a subculture where everyone's beautiful and on your side... Thanks so for all your hard work. You are all enchanting. We should have Dance in our lives like universal health care. If I could give as much as you all do, and work as hard... I will have done well in my life.”



“It was a process of building layers, stripping layers, and rebuilding them again... I learned to remove all habits and focus on clarity, to regain my artistic voice in the movement.

Photos: Stephanie Mat


Laurie Atkins (MF Ariadne Mikou (MF A ’09): “The experie A ’09): of nce learning, investigating “The rigorous and inte , and performing nsive Sololo s as a repertory pro process of perform ject has profoundly ing and influenced my develo rehearsing reminded pment and training me as a Gra duate student at OS a lot of working like U… I have been being applying the knowle in a company… stu dge base from Sololo dying s to my current repertory Brown’s repertories experiences… I find and that the pra ctic e of specific rigor to taking multiple classe detail, deeply s with engrain ed responsiveness, Abby Yager was a and connection huge through weight as too learning experience ls that remain in my which body. I am able to hav helped me start thin e a broader resour king of bas ce e as a performer to dynamics in my dan engage more fully cing, in reh ear sal process and per effortless dancing, formance.” spatial clarity, precise movem ent initiation, resilience , looselimbed and sequen tial movements, and bas ic dancing skills such as dancing in unison through sensing eac h other’s weight.”

–Katie Vickers, BFA

Abby Yager, Visiting Associate Professor, directed Sololos, choreographed by Trisha Brown, in the spring of 2008, and continued with a small group in the fall, performing the work in book-end format at the Resident and Visiting Artist Concert in December in the quiet, night-sky lit ambience of Studio 1. A seminal choreographer of the postmodern era, Trisha Brown came to public notice in the 1960s as part of New York City's avant-garde Judson Dance Theater and later as co-founder of Grand Union. In 1970, she formed the Trisha Brown Company where she soon began exploring choreographic structures within traditional proscenium settings. Equally at home performing on rooftops and walls, as in the grandest opera houses of Europe, Ms. Brown, a MacArthur Fellow, continues to push the limits of choreography.

Sololos is one of the purest expressions of Trisha Brown’s love affair with choreographic structure. Created in 1976, it is a study of causality – cause and effect, as well as logical processes, properties, variables and facts in which dancers respond to instructions called to them from a dancer offstage. The piece begins in simple unison, quickly unravels into visual complexity, then re-ravels itself back to its beginning prompted by instructions given by the caller.


Katie Vickers (BFA ‘10): “My process wit h Sololos marked a very pivota l moment in my col lege experience. It was a process of building layers, stri pping layers, and rebuilding them aga in. The movement itself is intricate and demands its ow n challenges; howeve r when working with such specific ma terial for so long the demand only increases. I learned to remove all habits and focus on clarity, to regain my artistic voice in the movement, to let loose of everything I have learned… Mo st importantly this experience cha nged the way I view and approach my own dancing. I listen to the way I mo ve and others around me. I approa ch my own dancing with a new set of skills and tools suc h as precision and awareness. Anna Reed (MFA ‘08 ): “We slip through doorways and out of unison, we spill and branch out of syn c with the group, and we meet up aga in to slide, plunk, drop and roll togeth er. What pleasure to share these secrets with viewers and feel the excitem ent of their Ah! moments… I remem ber well the thrill of finding myself part of a fluttering canon Bernice Lee (BFA’1 0): “Rehearsing So within the dance. Thi lolos s emergent tempor was extraordinarily al life-changing… lea relationship felt del rning to icate and skittish; it fulfill the movement and also the group needed careful per dynamic, ipheral observation learning to respond almost animal-like and oblique attentio to each n to maintain the other, with a sort of total intelligence. In tenuous connection general , but could be scared all the embodied thin king practice of So off by plans or desires lolos for it to become has helped me com e to terms with the more – more visible act of , more defined, dancing. I still consta ntly question why I sustained through time. I learned to kee do it, but now I feel as though the p watch out of the cor re is something to ner of my eye.” be found in dancing that nothing else can offer me and for now tha t is enough.”

FEATURED WORK November 13–1

tation, rts (EMMA) Lab and Movement A Ariadne Mikou performed Augmener Trisha

and by form Laurie Atkins n and directed by Trisha Brow d he ent of Dance rtm pa De choreograp SU dO a core ny member an otion capture of Brown Compa ger. From a m Ya l eo work. ai vid ig t or Ab t sh tis a Visiting Ar iadne created Ar , n tio ta tation en no gm s from Laba phrase from Au rected two solo di Atkins, a yv by Le ed s rm gg rfo Rachael Ri ryad (1948), pe ad m Ha fusing ’s u, an dm rformed by Miko score: Jean Er ney (1943), pe ham ur ra Jo G a d on an e, re tu nc and Crea la, Balinese da Hu m urie fro La s r fo ce en g Through Erdman’s influ graphed Breakin tion eo or ep rc ch u pe w iko M ho g technique. ’08) explorin elle Chun (MFA ct life choices. Atkins and No oughts and dire th d an gs in el fe e ftware ap so , sh of spaces d by Murmur ints was powere and Matthew Po , x w Si ha In -S , lly ga ni na Fi er, Norah Zu ng Ai c r Tender at ar te M Pe by d designed Schroeder an n Be m fro t or ovisation aphy and impr Lewis with supp grated choreogr te cture and in ru o st tri e e th Th ACCAD. d and explored un so ive ct ra te in with real-time ntion. qualities of atte

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Photo: Stephanie Matthews. Kate Enright (MFA ‘09) in Still Time by Ming-Shen Ku.

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Photo: Michael Mazzola

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W pany Premiere at Bebe Miller Com rector of Performing Ar ts University by Charles Helm, Di ts, The Ohio State


Still Time

by Kate Enright, MFA ‘09 During winter quarter Ming-Shen Ku, a guest choreographer from Taiwan, created a new piece with eleven students from the OSU Department of Dance. Ku, whose choreography is influenced by contact improvisation, ballet, modern, and traditional Eastern dance forms, worked with students to explore the subtleties at work in a human’s experience of time. The first rehearsals examined how a whole universe of possibility inhabits a single standing position — the still body acting as an encasement of history and the present. Students learned to trust each other’s physical instincts in relationship to time by simply standing quietly together, collectively finding the impulse to move forward. Using improvisation and qualitative explorations, Ku set the rest of the piece with movement that brings the past into the present, twisting time and human interactions into a landscape of color and qualitative shifts. Through her tireless examination of specificity, coupled with the subtle trajectory of her work, Ku offered the dancers insight into the various performance energies used to create context. The students also worked with Yau Chen, Ku’s video artist, to enhance the audience’s experience of passing time. The real-time video, recording the performed movement from a hidden angle, offers the audience another perspective of the action on stage. The twodimensional projection takes on a life of its own in relationship to the moving bodies performing with it. For Ku, the piece has a universal appeal, examining a common experience among all people. As she aptly states: “It doesn’t matter who you are, every human has to figure out how to interact with the passage of time.”

7-9, 2009 DANCE DOWNTOWN XI May Riffe Center at the Capitol Theatre


Visit to view video clips and cast profiles!

Alarums and Excursions by Lindsay Caddle LaPointe, MFA

During fall, winter and spring quarters nine women from the OSU dance department, selected by Victoria Uris, rehearsed her piece Alarms and Excursions. Uris has created over sixty dances in her lifetime yet never fails to find new ways to move her dancers through the space. She started with the music composed by José Evangelista, which would help drive her choreographic process. The ten short pieces selected from Airs d’Espagne lasted as short as thirty seconds to as long as three minutes – each helping shape the moods of the dance from sensual to sassy. The dancers created most of the movement with small instructions from Uris such as specific rhythms or words like: slosh, step back and down. Once

the movement was there she began to sculpt and structure patterns that defined the space using lines, circles and arching pathways. The costumes, created by Mary McMullen, were dresses made from silk which emphasized the flowing gestures of the dancer’s arms. Dave Covey’s lighting design took the piece to new heights with his constant changes of color that looked like paint being thrown on a canvas. Overall the process of rehearsals and performance gave the dancers an experience they will never forget. After the last performance they exited the stage cheering, laughing and crying. For them the piece could never get old to dance because each time they would find something new and joyous to experience.



Ivory Dances

Known for her solo performances and choreography, Melanie Bales premiered a new group work titled Ivory Dances to Chopin piano pieces at Dance Downtown, May 2009. With ten dancers costumed by Mary McMullen, in various pale shades of ecru, bone, ivory and eggshell, the piece was a contemporary, “off-white” take on the ballet blanc. Each dance in the suite reflected the mood and character of the five pieces of music: a nocturne, a prélude, a tarantella and two mazurkas – one earthy and one wistful. Ms. Bales is also a scholar and writer, and her recent book, The Body Eclectic: Evolving Practices in Dance Training, addresses issues of modern dancers training and the intersections of ballet training. She is currently working on another book with Karen Eliot, highlighting the “crossover” choreography of Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Ivory Dances was her own crossover choreography: elegant, playful, intensely musical deployment of dance d’éecole swept up with 21st century choreographic devices, non-sequitur structure, and nuanced negotiation of classical and idiomatic gesture. “The experience of working with Mel was enriching, fun and pleasant. I think she knew exactly what she wanted, but at the same time was flexible while creating the piece. She allowed the dancers to introduce some movements of their own in the piece which she shaped to fit her choreographic vision. As I performer I can say that her piece brought elegance, serenity and playfulness together.”- Alejandra Jara, MFA candidate, Fulbright Fellow from Paraguay

Blue Grass In 1998, the famed Hubbard Street Dance Company of Chicago commissioned Susan Hadley for the creation of Blue Grass. Hadley pays a choreographic tribute to bluegrass music played by virtuoso fiddler Mark O’Connor with other masters of this American musical genre. Complete with gender role bending (a lyrical partnered quartet for men and a competitive foot stomping for women), youthful and full out split leaps, and an achingly beautiful canonic closing, the dance is a classic Hadley musical tour de force. It “touches on the ability of dance and music to chase away those double demons, death and loneliness” (Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune), and paints a portrait of American energy and largesse.

Jolene Bartley, MFA ‘10 and a dancer in the piece, writes:

Photos: Stephanie Matthews

This spring, thirteen OSU dancers had the privilege of dancing Susan Hadley’s existing Blue Grass in the Dance Downtown concert. I was one of the lucky ones…


I would just smile waiting stage left before every performance. The curtain was about to rise. Looking across, Daniel was set on stage, standing with his hip out. Sarah was perched on a ladder in the wing. Lauren was eagerly waiting, ready to sprint and leap. Everyone was jumping up and down, a last chance warm up for the ensuing romp. The stage would go dark, curtain up, lights go, and then the first note by Mark O’Connor… And Blue Grass! We were off. I used to joke that dancing the piece felt like being on a roller coaster. Lock your restraint before the curtain rises, go up and down and all around, and most of all, enjoy the ride. Three absolutely stunning pieces had preceded us in the concert. I can’t tell you about the experience from the audience with this piece, but I can tell you that a family was formed over those two quarters of rehearsals. Those really were friends leaping and flying across the stage, each of them doing what they truly love to do: dancing, I mean really dancing. From the freshman through the graduate students, being a part of that community, a community the choreography necessitated, enriched each one of our educations. Without words or stories, we belonged. An intimidating yet empowering project, I can only hope we gave Blue Grass as much as it gave us back.


Synchronous Objects A project created in collaboration between William Forsythe, The Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design, The Department of Dance and faculty and graduate students from various departments at the Ohio State University. Please visit: “…think of One Flat Thing as an organism powered by many complex systems on a microcellular level. When we view the piece — in which dancers drag, jump over, and crouch behind 20 steel-edged tables — we see only its exterior. We don’t perceive the intricate inner workings that drive it. The web project team set out to discover, analyze, and chart the work’s ‘deep structure,’ the scientific and mathematical mechanisms churning beneath its artistic surface… Ultimately, Forsythe and the project team hope to broaden the conversation about choreography in academia and the public at large. ‘We want to dig down deeply in understanding movement as a site of knowledge,’ says Shaw, ‘so that dance is placed at the center rather than the periphery of interdisciplinary dialogue.’”

Steve Sucato, Dance Magazine, April 2009

“For Mr. Forsythe and the Web site team this idea — the flow from dance to data to objects; the shift from a direct reading of the dance’s structures to a more conceptual account, often seen through the prism of another discipline — is the site’s most important characteristic.”

This year, dance department faculty member Norah Zuniga Shaw completed work on Synchronous Objects, her long-term collaboration with choreographer William Forsythe and the Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) at Ohio State. Synchronous Objects is a screen-based work that reveals and transforms the choreographic structures and organizing principles in William Forsythe’s ensemble dance One Flat Thing, reproduced through a collection of twenty visual objects (animations, interactive tools, and information graphics). The work had its online launch April 1, 2009 along with a symposium and exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts. To make the work, Zuniga Shaw and co-creative director Maria Palazzi lead a team of interdisciplinary student and faculty researchers from fields as diverse as geography, architecture, design, computer science and of course dance. In this way the project was a participatory learning environment as well as a research endeavor. This is clear in the following comments from graduate student Lillian Skove who also contributes to the Synchronous Objects blog: “For the past year I have been involved with the Synchronous Objects project as a graduate research assistant. Engaging with this project as a choreographer, I was very interested in how choreographic thinking is a way of knowing that offers new insight into other fields. I was also interested in the ways that other fields shed light on my own choreographic practices. The process of translating a choreographic idea into a language understood by a statistics analyst or architect is not simply an exercise in cross platform communication, but an opportunity to turn our understanding of choreography inside out. As an artist I seek to undo what I think I know choreography is so that I can be open to inventive ways of working. Interacting with the Synchronous Objects website is a chance to re-think what choreography is—from an organizing principle, to a series of actions, to an example of counterpoint, to a study of the responsibilities and dependencies among a group of performers—and the list goes on. This has several practical consequences that are evident as I create in the studio. There are tools on the website for users to interact with, and all of them enable me to re-imagine choreography. The Counterpoint Tool, for instance, invites me to play with new ways to organize groups of people moving through space, or to organize my limbs and relate them to each other in surprising ways. Bringing these tools into my choreographic practice gives me a new way into the act of making. The greater implication of this project for my choreography however lies in expanding what choreography can look like and act like. From the work of the interdisciplinary team that came together to create Synchronous Objects I come away with an inspiring methodology for collaboration. Congregating around common interests from a variety of angles yields not only insight into each distinct field, but articulates areas where interest and expertise overlap. William Forsythe’s call for a reinvention of the choreographic act and expansion of the word “choreography” into several domains is also a call for us choreographers to sit up and notice the many ways that actions are organized—be it in the editing room of a film-maker, or on the drawing board of a city planner. With one foot in the studio, and the other in several diverse disciplines, I feel inspired to jump into making a new piece equipped with the desire to look for choreography everywhere.”

Screenshot from

Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times, March 24, 2009

“The wide-ranging possibilities of the project become apparent when visitors, with a mouse click, remove the dancers and see only the swirls and patterns in action. The moving three-dimensional patterns can also be used in making models of systems such as architecture, design, geography, landscape or weather, Forsythe said.”

Tim Feran, The Columbus Dispatch, March 29, 2009

8 Synchronous Events for Synchronous Objects: • Creating a special course and spring break The Forsythe project, “Synchronous workshop for 25 undergraduate and graduate Objects”, and the Wexner Gallery Forsythe installations were strategically students culminating in public events at the Wexner Center in spring 2009. The students intertwined with a series of colearned Forsythe’s improvisation methods curricular learning environments with Nik Haffner intensively for 12 weeks, and events. These were designed had opportunities to meet with Forsythe in to deepen the students’ and the small groups, and were credited contributors public’s engagement with Forsythe to the sculptural work that was in the Wexner choreographic thinking, and to expand exhibition. the possible interconnections between • A Symposium presented collaboratively by the Department of Dance, ACCAD, Wexner disciplines.

Maria Palazzi, William Forsythe and Norah Zuniga-Shaw.

Center for the Arts, with additional support from the Knowlton School of Architecture. Along These include: with Norah and Maria, guests included Scott • Recruiting Forsythe Company dancers deLahunta, research fellow, Amsterdam School (Amy Raymond, Jill Johnson, Elizabeth of the Arts, Mark Goulthorpe, Department of Waterhouse, Christopher Roman, Dana Architecture, MIT, Patrick Haggard, Institute of Caspersen, Nik Haffner) to teach classes Cognitive Neuroscience, University of College at Ohio State. London, Charles Helm, Wexner Center, Alva • Bringing William Forsythe to lecture in Noë, Department of Philosophy, University of the department. Berkeley. • Convening a Dance Research Consortium that gave a broader group of dance students • Additional talks in the Department of Dance in the days following the Symposium and access to meetings with Forsythe and the launch, with Scott deLahunta sharing updates interdisciplinary research team on concurrent dance and technology projects, • Hiring a graduate research associate from Alva Noë, expanding on his cognitive dance for our research team every year psychology research, and Marcia Siegel, since 2006. describing her own critique of Forsythe’s work.

background photo: 3D Alignment Forms Animation of dancer’s traceforms in One Flat Thing, reproduced mapped to 3D space.


Photo: Melissa Bontempo



From the article by Julia Harris, OnCampus, 12/10/08 Reprinted with permission.

In a small mirrored studio in the basement

of Sullivant Hall, a group of dancers forms a wobbly circle and begins to warm up. The music is piercing, a mix of plaintive Celtic wails and urgent Afro-centric percussion, and suddenly one of the dancers cuts loose. He takes to the floor with a wild energy — twisting and rolling his entire body, a look of pure joy on his face.

It’s not the kind of dancing you might expect to see at a typical Ohio State dance class. But then again, Jeremy is not your typical dancer: He has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair for most of his waking hours. Jeremy is part of an eclectic assortment of dancers who comprise the ARC Dance Company, led by Professor David Covey from Ohio State’s Department of Dance. For the past five years, Covey and a handful of undergraduate and graduate dance students have been teaching adults with a range of physical and mental challenges how to express themselves through dance. “We’re dealing with a pretty broad spectrum of people and challenges: Down syndrome, autism, spina bifida, fetal alcohol syndrome,” noted Covey, who serves as production coordinator for the dance department and teaches dance lighting, production and composition.

“Some don’t talk, some will almost literally talk your head off. Some can’t raise their arms above their heads. I just let them move in whatever capacity they can.” He calls his approach a kind of “structured improv:” Rather than trying to teach set pieces or choreograph movements for the students, he lets them move to their own internal rhythms and gradually gain both confidence and range of motion. It’s a learning curve for both dancer and student, he says. “I got Jeremy out of his wheelchair last quarter and I was afraid I’d break him,” he said. “But now he’s rolling around, he’s break dancing, it’s really beautiful.” Covey’s emphasis on freeform dance turns the weekly class into a whirl of energy and excitement that can only be described as infectious. People walking by in the hallway often stop and hover in the doorway to watch; some have even been known to join in. To Jackie Boyle, art director for Franklin County’s ARC Art Studio for adults with disabilities, the class is nothing short of extraordinary. Boyle is the one who contacted Covey five years ago to see about doing a dance video with her clients — all of whom, she said, love to dance — and she says she still can’t quite believe her luck at how well it all worked out.

“Their joy and commitment to our work remind me every class of why I love to dance and that I am blessed to be able to experience movement in this way.” –Anna Reed, MFA ‘08 “They look forward to this every week,” she said, watching a man named Aaron shimmy his way around the floor, eyes closed and arms raised above his head. “It has expanded their awareness, helped bring them out of their shells. And it’s so beautiful to hang out with them.” For Covey, this labor of love brings personal satisfaction as well as a renewed sense of excitement and energy to his craft. “These people bring pure joy to every situation, they are there to move and they are totally un-selfconscious,” he said. “To see them use their abilities in the range they have with so much passion really affects our dance students and helps them find new reasons to dance.” The continuing success of the class has spurred Covey to seek opportunities for expansion. He envisions working with artists in the music department to bring instruments out to the main facility on Johnstown Road so that less mobile clients can create their own music — music that would then be made available for Covey’s dancers. “I decided when I started this whole thing that it wasn’t going to be a one-shot deal for me, because I saw what a big deal it was for them and how it was making changes for them physically and emotionally,” he said. 10


DRUMS DOWNTOWN: Sound in Motion February 27 & 28, 2009, Riffe Center at the Capitol Theatre

For the sixth year in a row, the OSU Percussion Ensemble, directed by Susan Powell and Joseph Krygier in the School of Music, recruited Susan Hadley to organize the collaboration with choreographers and performers from the Department of Dance. The concert, subtitled “Sound in Motion” once again presented a rich mix of a range of percussion genres and movement, seamlessly connected from piece to piece with playful performance vignettes by graduate students Lily Skove and Eran Hanlon.

Photo: Matt Mascaro. From Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea. Choreographer: Susan Hadley

Susan Hadley choreographed a major work to Mark Duggan’s Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea, with complex, spirilic, interconnecting pathways that had the dancers diving and leaping past one another with the same split second timing as the musicians. Frequent guest in the department, choreographer Maria Glimcher, worked with a small group to create the dynamic shape-shifting work to Russell Hartenberger’s Telisi OdysseyKumasi. Arriving at the theatre, euphoric and sleep-deprived having just spent a week with


his newborn daughter, Ming-Lung Yang performed a transcendent improvisation to Aurel Hollo’s Jose/before John. The concert ended with a rousing tap finale, led by graduate student Jenai Cutcher. Drums Downtown continues to be an event that truly brings together musicians, dancers, as well as animation and sculpture from ACCAD and the Art Department. Many students benefit from this additional performance opportunity, and under the leadership of Susan Powell, Joe Krygier and Susan Hadley, this is an annual event many OSU students, staff, and Columbus public look forward to. As a mother of a dance major put it: “The dance was fabulous, my husband and I were so impressed with this level of dance. We couldn't believe how our daughter’s dancing has reached a new level. In this environment we think the sky's the limit.”



Senior Honors Project by Jeffrey Marras,

Jamie Murzynowski and Yolanda Royster

Imagine this: Entering the EMMA Lab at OSU’s Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design, you are greeted by young women in lab coats who usher you to your seat with an air of impeding danger, spiced with a little bit of tongue-incheek. The space is wrapped in projection screens, gauzy forms, and pounding with music by Flying Lotus, The Prodigy, and Style of Eye... You read in the program: “On behalf of the Insylum Center for Genetic Research, we welcome you to witness the experiment known only as Project XXY... The things you will see will definitely tempt you to record or photograph for proof alone, however the government forbids any unauthorized documentation; the rest of the world is not ready for the events you will witness here. You may NOT feed the patients so do not even bring in food or drink. Most importantly, please allow the extreme euphoria and excessive indulgence that is sure to ensue, take over...”

Then the trio of performers begin the hour or so of dancing, video, audio compilations, and woven narrative, that provide a glimpse into the millennial generation. The three undergraduates are handily versed in performance, choreography, video editing, lighting and costume design. They are savvy with technology to the point of complete permeability with digitally driven interactions, fluid transitions between virtual and f2f, and the performance stance comfortably blends concert dance conventions, club dance interactivity, and theatrical story telling. With titles like Do You Think I'm SEXXY? LOL, The Sonic Recreation of The End of The Worldz, and Dear Prophetess, We Came to the Wall, But Couldn’t Understand Your Handwriting,” you know you are experiencing a very heady now of dance. Jeff, Jamie, and Yolanda received support from the Vickie Blaine Special Projects Fund, EMMA Lab resources, and the Department of Dance Fund.

Photo: Jeremy Stone



by Robyn Young, BFA ’09, & Erica Harris, B.F.A .‘09

Photo: Melissa Bontempo

traditions redefined

Inherited Movement, Traditions Redefined was a dance concert that served as the culmination of research for the Senior Distinction Projects of Robyn Young and Erika Harris. This concert exhibited movement from the African Diaspora. The genres of dance that were performed in the concert were West African, Afro-Caribbean, Spiritual, Modern and HipHop. One of the goals of the concert was to show the journey of dance through the African-American lens. Robyn Young and Erika Harris continue their efforts in broadening the audience of dance and advocating for the knowledge and study of dance from the African Diaspora by participating in lecture/demonstrations on The Ohio State University campus and throughout the community. This concert was held on October 31November 1, 2008, in Sullivant Hall Theatre.

Robyn Young and Dr. Melanye Dixon at Gordon Gee's annual President's Salute to Undergraduate Achievement. Robyn was an honoree from the College of the Arts and Dr. Dixon attended as her mentor. In addition, Robin was awarded a special recognition by the Board of Trustees of The Ohio State University for her exceptional academic and artistic performance.

performance improvisation ensemble

Stillness. Impulses. Decisions. Risks. What is happening in the space? What does the dance need? How am I contributing? Do I take a solo?

...there was a real sense of feeling of our own and each others impulses... resisting and giving way to that magnetic pull in order to support the moving world... –Sarah Gibbons


Photo: Melissa Bontempo

by Kelly Onder, BFA ‘10

These are just some of the questions and issues that members of the Performance Improvisation Ensemble (“PIE”) deal with in every rehearsal and performance. The Ensemble was created in Autumn 2007 through an open repertory class taught by MFA Candidates Noelle Chun, Adriana Durant, and Annie Kloppenberg. Following the completion of the class around fifteen undergraduate students have furthered their interest in the work through continued self-directed rehearsals. The ensemble has been improvising performances continuously ever since. From informal showings to collaborations with musicians, PIE has been making a name for itself whenever and wherever possible. Currently organized by the student members, PIE meets and makes work regularly. The ensemble performs and creates simultaneously with the goal being to create a piece with as much attention, detail, and development as choreography. The dancers work together with a heightened sense of awareness to make visually engaging work. Working in the ensemble has helped deepen the students’ work in all areas of the Department. The Performance Improvisation Ensemble has big dreams for the next year including expanding in size and going on tour. So look out for a little piece of PIE coming your way!


Meet Esther by Jolene Bartley, MFA ‘10 The OSU Department of Dance is pleased to introduce Esther Baker-Tarpaga as our newest faculty addition. Esther will be joining us beginning this fall 2009.

Crossfade: A Tribute to Vicki Uris by Hannah Kosstrin, PhD ‘10

ine Tempe

Photo: Anto

Esther, along with her husband Olivier, founded the Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project, a company with a contemporary African theme that incorporates live music into both process and performance. Esther’s research and creative work “tends to be somewhat socially active” on more of a personal level, she explains, drawing material from the dancers themselves. Here at OSU, she looks forward to continuing work that investigates connections to the African continent.

Photo: Melissa Bontempo

What is Esther looking forward to in the Department? “Everything,” Esther simply stated. She is excited for the new environment and the students, because of their “caliber of work.” Along with teaching technique and composition, Esther will also be setting a piece for Dance Downtown 2010. Esther’s perspective as a young dancer and choreographer in the field promises to be a valuable resource for students. Her intercultural and global knowledge brings a welcome voice to Sullivant Hall. “I am very grateful,” Esther said of this opportunity. She will of course miss friends and the yearlong California sunshine and ocean, but the department is very lucky to add her family to ours.

Meet Mary by Jolene Bartley, MFA ‘10 Mary McMullen, the new costumer, was welcomed to the department beginning Fall Quarter 2008. A double-Buckeye, Mary received both her BA in Theatre and her MFA in Theatre Design from OSU. Knowing that the performing arts is where she wanted to be, Mary began working in the costume shop during her undergraduate career and loved it. “I was finding my path,” Mary remembers. For Mary’s design process, she likes to begin by listening to the choreographer, “to figure out where they are coming from,” Mary explains. “The message they’re trying to send is a big, big thing.” Then she goes to a rehearsal. A designer to the core, at this point Mary shares, “The movement and music paint a picture for me.” Mary sounds like she is certainly talking about dance as she describes the task of choosing the fabric and patterns: movement, weight, shape, form, line, texture, color. Then she makes it happen. Mary’s designs most recently performed in Dance Downtown 2009. Now in Sullivant Hall with her door always open, she is designing and constructing along with fixing up the costume shop and teaching. “I love to teach. I really enjoy that. I want to open minds and create designers.” There will be annual classes plus independent study available with Mary. “I wanted to reach out and have more student activity. I think it is really important. It is giving a skill set that a lot of people don’t have out there.” The student response to Mary is proof of her charm and talents. “I wanted to be in Columbus; I like it here,” Mary states. Well, Mary, we like you here, too.

“I remember just being insanely happy,” Professor Victoria Uris replied when asked about her favorite moments from her tenure at Ohio State. “Happiness is working with amazing students in class and choreography. I am so impressed by them and learn so much from them—that’s the best, best joy.”

Uris will retire from teaching in the Department of Dance at the end of Autumn quarter 2009. Her plans? So far, the list includes volunteering, becoming a better gardener and cook, making ceramics, knitting, and traveling. The variety of her retirement plans mirrors the multi-faceted nature of her work: through her years at OSU, Uris taught modern technique, improvisation, repertory, “Music and Choreo,” group composition, and video, while composing both for the stage and for the camera. This interdisciplinarity of working in different media feeds Uris. “One refreshes the other,” she said. “Each medium is different in terms of strengths and weaknesses and how it enhances human movement.” Uris’ artistic successes include the full-length multimedia stage work 9 Scenes With Interviews (1996), which premiered at the Wexner Center and for which Uris earned her first research SRA; and her films Four Ships (1999) and Igor & Svetlana (2002), which were official selections at Lincoln Center’s Dance on Camera Festival in 2000 and 2003. Uris danced with the Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1975-1981, and then freelanced nationally as a choreographer and teacher in the early and mid 1980s. After quarter-long OSU artist residencies in 1985 and 1986, Uris liked what she experienced. “I really loved Columbus. I liked the scale of the place, the vitality of the scene, the vibrancy of the dance department,” she said. “It just seemed like a perfect escape from New York to a place that I wanted to work in, love in, play in, live in.” She credits Professor Emerita Vera Blaine for piquing her interest in the newly-established dance MFA, which she completed in 1989, and for allowing her to follow her interest in film and video; Uris supplemented her dance studies with classes in the Department of Photography and Cinema, and cites Professor Emerita Vera Maletic as her mentor. In 1989, Uris applied when the dance department opened a national search for a position, and got the job. She has seen departmental changes since the 1980s. When Uris began, faculty and graduate students shared one cubicle-filled office in what is now Sullivant Library. Costumes and posters decorate her current office, a comfortable solo space in the basement of Sullivant Hall. In a class early in Uris’s tenure that she co-taught with Maletic, in which Maletic taught videodance history and Uris taught video production, they borrowed VHS cameras from Lord Hall. Over the years, the department acquired cameras and editing equipment. Uris fondly remembers when Associate Vice President of the Arts Initiative. Karen Bell, then department chair, gave Uris a computer editing system in 1997. “It really changed my life,” she said. “I generated some of my best work after that.” The dance media lab, in which Uris oversees her students’ video projects, is now filled with cutting-edge computers and editing software. As she faces retirement, Uris feels that this transition reflects a similar junction as when she left the Taylor company. Her time at OSU has been filled with rewarding relationships with students and colleagues. “In my freelancing days, I thought this was one of the best departments in the world,” she said. “I feel so very lucky to have ended up here.” 14

Celebrating John Giffin by Janet Weeks

This article first appeared in the 7/2009 edition of Dance Teacher magazine on the occasion of John’s receipt of the National Dance Teacher Award in Higher Education. Reprinted with permission. Little brings John Giffin, professor in the Department of Dance at the Ohio State University, more joy than sitting in a dark theater watching his senior students perform. “Over four years, I’ve watched them grow from teenagers into young men and women, and it’s so rewarding to see,” he says. “It’s not just their artistry, but their personalities and values that develop.” Giffin has been an integral part of OSU’s dance department since the early 1980s. This will be his last year attending the end-of-year concert as a full-time professor, since he’s soon to retire. But he has agreed to continue sharing his expertise with students on a part-time basis. When Giffin first joined the OSU faculty in 1982, he taught ballet and Labanotation, a written system used to record choreography. Over the years his course load has expanded – John Giffin to include Performance Techniques, a class he co-teaches with faculty from the Department of Theater. And through his own interests and research, he has developed a course in dance theater and another on American social dance, which attract students from outside and within the department. The diversity of Giffin’s course offerings reflects the wide range of dance styles on his resumé. He began taking tap classes as a child in Akron, Ohio – but once he saw Nureyev perform, he found the best ballet teacher in town and immediately enrolled in her classes. After high school, he attended Juilliard, where he studied with Antony Tudor, José Limón and Anna Sokolow. “I don’t know how I got into Juilliard,” he says, “because I really didn’t know left from right. But while I was there, my eyes and ears got bigger and my mouth got smaller. So I learned a lot!” After college, Giffin danced with several companies, including the Pittsburgh Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Eventually he moved to Europe, becoming a founding member of Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal and working with other European opera ballets. He returned to the US in 1979 and was dance captain for the 1980 Broadway revival of Brigadoon. He also toured with Agnes de Mille’s Heritage Dance Theatre. But it was his longstanding interest in Labanotation that eventually pulled Giffin to OSU, where he earned an MA in dance in the early 1980s. OSU houses the only outpost of the New York-based Dance Notation Bureau, – Victoria Uris an organization devoted to facilitating the restaging of works using Labanotation. As his retirement approaches, Giffin is taking special pleasure in setting Tudor’s Dark Elegies on a graduate student using the Labanotation score. “I’m so thankful for all the people who have taught me over the Please join us for a Celebratory Alumni years,” he says, “and grateful that I’ve been Gathering in honor of John Giffin and able to share what I’ve learned. Though Victoria Uris, Saturday December 12 dance is a profession that takes everything, at Ohio State. For more information, it gives back just as much.” Giffin believes check our website: that statement rings as true for his students as it does for him. “No matter what they do after college, whether they dance or not, they emerge as glorious people. Being a part of that process is very rewarding.”

Photos: Melissa Bontempo

“It’s not just their artistry, but their personalities and values that develop.”

“Happiness is working with amazing students in class and choreography. I am so impressed by them and learn so much from them—that’s the best, best joy.” SAVE THE DATE!


PhD STUDENT PROFILES In April 2008, The Graduate School conducted

a Doctoral Program Assessment, and wrote of the new PhD in dance: “The Graduate School recognizes the historical strength of the Dance program’s MFA graduate students… The doctorate in Dance is currently offered at a very small number of institutions, and Ohio State’s Dance program promises to be a niche program that brings much distinction to the college and the university.” The OSU PhD in Dance Studies was implemented in 2007 and is one of four programs in the country offering the doctoral degree in dance. In light of the enormous growth in dance scholarship in the last two decades, the OSU Department of Dance faculty seeks to prepare future scholars by training them to critically analyze, document, and theorize about dance of the past, present, and future. The OSU program is distinct from others in its promotion of discipline-based methodologies and practice-based research. While remaining grounded in the curricular strengths of the Department – notation and the analysis of movement; technology; documentation; choreography; and dance criticism and history – the faculty is eager to embrace high quality research proposals that create new knowledge and expand upon current areas of expertise. The following profiles feature three of our five PhD students: Hannah Kosstrin is completing her second year of the PhD program, where she is teaching dance history lecture courses as a Graduate Teaching Associate. Hannah is interested in the intersection of dance with social politics and identity, and she has also completed a minor field in Women’s History. Her dissertation investigates Jewishness, radicalism, and modernism in Anna Sokolow’s work from 1927-1961. She presented “Of Dreams and Prayers: Topographies of Anna Sokolow’s Holocaust Work During and After World War II” at the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS) Conference at Stanford University in June, where she was awarded the Selma Jeanne Cohen Award, SDHS’s graduate student writing award, for the paper. She presented a shorter version of the paper at the OSU Hayes Graduate Research Forum in April. Also in April, she presented “Vestiges of Ballets Russes Choreography in American Popular Culture” at the Midwest Slavic Conference at Ohio State. She has been the SDHS Website Content Editor since 2005. Hannah has been fortunate to have her research recognized across disciplines this year. She was awarded The 2009-2010 Samuel L. Melton Graduate Fellowship in Jewish Studies from the OSU Melton Center for Jewish Studies, and a Coca-Cola Critical Difference for Women Graduate Studies Grant for Research on Women, Gender, or Gender Equity from the OSU Department of Women’s

Studies. Hannah has also been named a 20092010 P.E.O. Scholar by the P.E.O. International Sisterhood, through Chapter DL of Newark, Ohio. Ashley Thorndike (PhD ‘10) has spent the spring teaching dance as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Oberlin College. With the support of the Alumni Grants for Graduate Research and Scholarship and the Department of Dance Quarterly Funding Initiative, Ashley collected her dissertation data, observing and interviewing undergraduate student dancers and dancing in new works by Michael Estanich (MFA ‘06) and Annie Kloppenberg (MFA ‘09). She performed for Kloppenberg at Movement Research in New York and at Boston’s Greene Street Studios. Ashley’s new work featuring Laurie Atkins (MFA ‘09), Annie Kloppenberg (MFA ‘09), and Meghan Durham-Wall (OSU adjunct faculty) was performed at Oberlin College in May and at the Goose Route Dance Festival in July. In June, Ashley presented a paper concerning her dissertation work at the Society for Dance History Scholars conference. Ashley will spend 2009-2010 writing her dissertation on how dancers experience and conceptualize knowledge and how such knowings are mediated by institutional, including economic, factors. Jessica Zeller earned her MFA from the OSU Department of Dance in 2008 and is currently working toward a PhD in Dance Studies. Her research is focused on the development of American ballet pedagogy in the early decades of the twentieth century. Zeller is investigating the individual pedagogies of several ballet teachers — Italian, Russian, and American — who were teaching in New York at that time. She is also exploring the possible effects of concurrent developments in dance on ballet pedagogy, including early modern dance, vaudeville, the burgeoning film industry, and aesthetic barefoot dancing. Recent publications include an article in Dance Chronicle, “Teaching through Time: Tracing Ballet’s Pedagogical Lineage in the Work of Maggie Black.” A Graduate Teaching Associate, Zeller teaches ballet in the dance major program, and ballet, pointe, and dance history in the non-major program.


ALUMNI NEWS Go to our OSU Dance Alumni network at osudance. and enjoy connecting with old friends, reading profiles, and sharing your own. We hope this site continues to grow and be a “home” for news too numerous to list in this annual publication! Examples of alumni news… Two alums have been awarded the prestigious Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching Award at the American Dance Festival: Dianne McIntyre in 2008 and Sharon Kinney in 2009. Kim Jensen finished her notated score of Rosalind Pierson's Lachrymae. Shelly Saint-Smith was chair of the ICKL Research Panel for the conference in Thailand. Ashley Mathus (BFA ‘08) has been working as a PR assistant for Youth America Grand Prix. Annie Beserra (MFA ‘07) found great success with her Jenkins Farm Project produced in Chicago, IL, September 2008. Vanessa Justice (MFA ‘03) is presenting a new work called FLATLAND (October 15-18 in NYC) which culminates her post as Resident Artist at Joyce SoHo. The work includes performance by two OSU alumnae Kendra Portier and Alli Ruszkowski (BFAs ‘03), and video elements by Rachel Boggia (MFA ‘03) and Kareen Balsam (MFA ‘03). Visit her website at Laurie Atkins (MFA ‘09) accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Dance at Appalachian State University. Yolanda Royster (BFA ‘09) is a Production Intern at Dance Theatre Workshop. Ann Rodiger (MA ‘75) received the University of Oregon Distinguished Alumni Award. Ebonie Pittman (BFA ‘03) is an Arts Program Assistant for The Wallace Foundation Noelle Stiles (MFA ‘07) is making dance happen in Portland, Oregon. Erin Carlisle Norton (BFA ‘03) is teaching in Chicago with Lauren Bisio, Laura Vinci and others joining in. Jenny Campbell (BFA ‘05) is dancing in Misnomer Dance Company, NYC.


Seniors L-R ROW 1: DeAngelo Blanchard, Deborah Billow ROW 2: Jamie Murzynowski, Jeff Marras, Yolanda Royster, Michelle George, Robyn Young, ROW 3: Dora Fenyvesi, Cortney Crenshaw ROW 4: Rachael Fullenkamp, Kate Tyndall, Aureyl Pitts, Erika Harris. Not pictured: Christine Boshinski, Laura Canzano, Samantha Lipkin.

MFA graduates Daniela Wancier, Annie Kloppenberg, Lauren Atkins and Kate Enright. Not pictured: Jenai Cutcher, Rachael Riggs-Levya and Sarah Mitchell.

FACULTY PROFILES Melanie Bales had a paper accepted for the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) conference in the UK, and has an essay included in the Society of Dance History Scholars’ publication “Conversations” in Autumn 2008. Melanie is working on a comparative analysis of three pas de deux (Petipa, Balanchine and Forsythe) for the upcoming book of essays co-edited with herself and Professor Karen Eliot. They are in the process of collecting essays from an exciting list of contributors. One of the goals for the book is to provide visibility to the new PhD program (see previous page). Bales also choreographed “Ivory Dances” for the 2009 Dance Downtown - a contemporary “ballet blanc” for ten dancers to Chopin piano works. Michael Kelley Bruce finished his second year as Assistant Chair, teaching lots of sections of Floor Work, Reformer and Kinesiology. Between teaching and the Assistant Chair duties, he has not had the time (or the frame of mind) to choreograph, but next year he is really excited to be making a big group piece, 3 Dances for Now. Also he is looking forward to a new area of physical practice working with Laurel Hodory this summer in a Yoga Certification Course. This past year Dave Covey designed the lighting for the Jazz Tap Ensemble's "The Hollywood Journey" at the Joyce Theatre in New York City. He also designed Dance Alloy Theatre’s full length evening work Feed Your Head Café by Artistic Director Beth Corning, and their spring season pieces by Nora Chipamire and Victoria Marks. He designed Jazz Moves 2 for Ballet Met in Columbus at the Capitol Theatre, and at OSU he designed Annie Kloppenberg and Ashley Thorndike's MFA projects in addition to faculty and guest artist works choreographed by John Giffin, Victoria Uris, and Ming-Shen Ku. His work with the ARC dancers, including a performance this summer at the Ohio State Fair, continues to evolve, and his initiatives were featured in The Lantern and On Campus newspapers.


Melanye White Dixon was interviewed for the “Digital Archives of Literacy Narratives,” and is assisting in their first project, literacy practices of African American Women Faculty Leaders at The Ohio State University. Dixon served on the panel “Celebrating the Black Tradition in American Dance: The Works of Richard Long” at the 2008 Society of Dance History Scholars Conference and she presented a paper “Joe Nash: 20th Century Archivist of the Black Tradition in

American Dance,” for the Association of the Study of African American Life and History. In December 2008, she published a biographical essay on ballet pedagogue Marion Cuyjet for the African American National Biography, Oxford University Press. She maintained her involvement in community engagement by facilitating performances in the Columbus public schools for the Black Dance Alliance and for an undergraduate research honors project (see page 13). She continues her leadership in dance education and recently served on the Ohio Department of Education writing team for University K-12 Dance Licensure Program Standards and participates as a mentor for department of dance interns from area schools. Karen Eliot was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Enhancement Grant to further her work on a book about the British ballet during the Second World War. Karen will be taking an Faculty Professional Leave for the academic year 20092010. During her leave she will continue to work on her proposed book and will co-edit an anthology of new essays with Melanie Bales. Candace Feck completed a book review of Janice’s Ross’s Anna Halprin: Experience as Dance to be published in The Drama Review (T203, Fall 09). She received a Coca-Cola Critical Difference for Women grant as well as a College of the Arts grant to support travel to do interviews for her book: Elizabeth Streb: Real Moves, for which she continues to do interviews, film research and development of the manuscript. In addition, Candace is working on a chapter about dance writing for the University of Illinois Press reader co-edited by Karen Eliot and Melanie Bales, and an oral history of Bebe Miller for the NYPL Oral History Archive. She presented a paper at the CORD special topics conference in the UK, “Global Perspectives on Dance Pedagogy: Research and Practice.” Her paper, “Teaching for ‘Buy-In’: A Mixed Methodological Approach to Dance Studies in the General Education Curriculum,” queries the role of general education courses in dance education efforts, and discusses teaching strategies for maximizing the potential of these courses. She also presented a lecture at the University of Georgia about the importance of dance criticism in the curriculum. Feck is completing five years of service to Congress on Research in Dance, currently on the Executive Board of Directors. Susan Hadley reset Blue Grass on thirteen OSU dancers for Dance Downtown at the Capitol Theatre. This work was originally commissioned in 1998 by Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, with generous support from the Choo San Goh and H. Robert Magee Foundation and it is also in the repertory of Repertory Dance Theatre (see page 7). Hadley also curated the dances for Drums Downtown, an annual concert of the OSU Percussion Ensemble at the Capitol Theatre for which she created a new work to music entitled Slow Swirl by the Edge of the Sea by composer Mark Duggan (see page 11).

Bebe Miller taught a choreographic workshop for State of Emergency, Ltd in Totnes, England, at Dartington College of Art, and during the summer she continued to produce dance workshops at Bearnstow (Mt. Vernon, ME). In October, Bebe Miller Company premiered Necessary Beauty at the Wexner Center (see page 5). The company carried out developmental residencies on campus in March, August and September of 2008 and toured to Dance Theatre Workshop (NYC), Krannert Center for Performing Arts (University of Illinois) and Myrna Loy Center (Helena, Montana) with a final performance at the Bates Dance Festival in summer 2009. Miller also received an honorary doctorate from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. Visiting Associate Professors, Ming-Lung Yang and Abigail Yager returned to the American Dance Festival last summer where Ming-Lung co-taught a composition workshop with Israeli thespian, Neil Harris of the Dorot Foundation and Abigail reconstructed Trisha Brown’s Sololos with four groups of dancers. In September, they conducted a workshop at the Vicki Sianou Studio in Thessaloniki, Greece organized by OSU alumna, Ariadne Mikou (MFA ’09). While there, they were invited guest speakers on Greek National Radio’s Da Capo hosted by Paris Paraschopoulos. From Greece, they headed in opposite directions, Abby to P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels where she co-directed four Set and Reset/Reset projects and Ming-Lung to Taiwan where he created a new solo for the Guandu Arts Festival. Ming-Lung spent the remainder of Fall Quarter as guest faculty at the Taipei National University of the Arts and researching material for new choreography with Zhang Yi-Wen of Dance Forum Taipei and Liu Yi-Chun of Cloud Gate Dance Theater. Abby returned to OSU in October to resume her work with MFA candidates Laurie Atkins, Ariadne Mikou and Rachael Riggs-Leyva on Trisha Brown’s Augmentation Cannon from M.O. (1995) and on Sololos for presentation in the Resident and Visiting Artists Concert in Sullivant Hall. Upon his return to OSU this winter, Ming-Lung performed an improvised solo as part of Drums Downtown. Abby and Ming also collaborated on their most important project: the birth of Miru Pearl Yager Yang on February 17, 2009. Valarie Williams was promoted to full Professor and served as Associate Dean for the Arts and as Honors Director for the Arts Honors Program. She also served as Director of The Ohio State University’s award-winning Urban Arts Space, which is the new 10,000 square feet gallery and alternative performance space in the former downtown Lazarus building. Throughout the year, Valarie participated in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Academic Leaders Program and continues to serve on the Board of Trustees for the International Council of Kinetography Laban/Labanotation.





OCTOBER 14 Dance on Camera: Dance Films Association picks

FEBRUARY 11–13 MFA Concert: Jolene Bartley, Karena Birk & Rodney Veal

APRIL 13–17 Senior Concert Events

OCTOBER 16–17 Kristina Isabella Dance Co.

FEBRUARY 19–20 Drums Downtown

OCTOBER 28 Dance on Camera: OSU Alumni NOVEMBER 5–7 MFA Concert: Julie Fox & Eran Hanlon NOVEMBER 19–21 R&VA Concert: Melanie Bales, John Giffin, Susan Petry and Victoria Uris DECEMBER 12 Celebratory Alumni Gathering in honor of John Giffin and Victoria Uris

FEBRUARY 25–27 MFA Concert: James Graham MARCH 4–6 Winter Concert MARCH 18–APRIL 2 Urban Arts Space MFA Installations: Rodney Veal, Lise Worthen-Chaudari, Lindsay Caddle LaPointe & Lillian Skove

MAY 7–8 Dance Downtown: Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Michael Kelly Bruce, Bebe Miller and Ming-Lung Yang MAY 27–29 Spring Concert For details and updates, please visit and click on “calendar”

Photo: Lindsay Caddle LaPointe. Dance MFA students create installation for William Forsythe’s Monster Partitur.


Cover photo: Stephanie Matthews. From Blue Grass. Choreographer: Susan Hadley.


InForm Alumni Magazine 08/09  

The Ohio State University Department of Dance Alumni Magazine for 2008-09

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