Maria Bauman The Well Conwell Theater--photo by Bill Hebert

MFA Student Presents Work at ACDA

This past March, MFA student Maria Bauman along with fellow Temple BFA and MFA students attended the American College Dance Association. Maria’s work, “The Well,” was presented at the conference at Brockport University.

 

 

The music credit and the program note from Audre Lorde are there. Instead of Bethlehem Roberson, though, the singer for ACDA was Chelsea-Ann Jones. She is a freshman music theater major at Temple.

 

Maria Bauman photo credit David B. Smith

Maria Bauman, from Jacksonville, FL, is a dance artist and community organizer. Her choreography for her company MBDance is based on her sense of physical and emotional power, desire for equity, and fascination with intimacy and relationship. Bauman brings the same tenets to organizing to undo racism in the arts and beyond with ACRE (Artists Co-creating Real Equity), the body she co-founded with Sarita Covington and Nathan Trice. Her MBDance work has been showcased across the country and in Singapore. She has been Associate Artistic Director of Urban Bush Women and danced with that company for many years, and has also danced with Nia Love, Paloma McGregor, jillsigman/thinkdance,  and many others. Check out more of her videos and creative process! vimeo.com/mbdance

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Temple Dance Participates in Sustainability Week

Last week, Temple Dance Department participated in Sustainability Week, Climate, Sustainability & the Arts video festival.

The festival opened Monday April 11 in the Science Education and Research building with Program 1, exhibited on the giant SERC Video Wall.

Program 1 included Professor Merián Soto’s One Year Wissahickon Park Project: Summer, which documents the summer cycle of the award-winning year-long project of 16 branch dance performances in Wissahickon Valley Park in 2007-08.

Te program also featured Professor Peter d’Agostino’s World-Wide-Walks / between earth & water / ICE, and Prof. Michael Kuetemeyer’s Spilled Light.

Program 2 also took place on April 11 in Annenberg Hall 14,  2020 N. 13th Street. It included Temple Water Dances, a compilation of student dance and video works created and presented in celebration of World Water Day (2015-16). Temple Water Dances included excerpts of works by BFA, MFA and PhD students Kristen Bashore, Bonita Bell, Long Cheng, Leslie Cornish, Morgaine DeLeonardis, Angeline Digiugno, Marina DiLoreto, Amanda DiLudovico, Jessica Halko, David Heller, Kaylie McCrudden, Tyler Ross, Blythe Smith, Angelica Spilis, and Muyu Yuan.

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Pictured: MFA student Muyu Yuan in Temple Water Dances

 

Also on the program was Fishing for the Future, by Dede Maitre, and Superfundland, by  Daniel Kurtz, Christina Betz, John Tarquinio, Jesse Roehrer

-Merián Soto, Professor

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ACDA Experience

Ever since I found out about ACDA when I was a freshman in college, it was a personal goal to be accepted to attend the festival. Year after year, I was in works that were submitted but ultimately, not chosen. Finally, my senior year I was able to attend and I was pumped!
For those who don’t know, ACDA (American College Dance Association) is an organization geared towards supporting dance in higher education through providing national programs that provide a variety of classes, performance opportunities, lecture series, and networking events. Temple is a part of the Northeast Regional Conference which was held in SUNY-Brockport this year. The trek was long, but the studios were beautiful!!
The range and amount of classes provided offered variety and flexibility which was a nice change from regular, semester long classes. Some of the classes I took included partner stretch, intermediate ballet, choreographic voice and social justice, an ADF Audition class, Jamaican Dance Hall, modern dance with one of the graduate students who presented work, and advanced contemporary modern dance taught by one of the adjudicators- Ruben Graciani.
As a transfer student, I understood the differences in course structure within different dance departments at colleges and universities. From the hotel room, to classes on campus and attending the adjudication concerts, ACDA was a wonderful experience to network with other dancers in the northeast region and learn about their program and previous training.
If I had to choose my favorite aspect of the program, I would choose the final Gala performance. The three adjudicators chose the top 10 pieces out of all 5 previous concerts based on composition, musicality, aesthetic design, etc. The diversity of movement style and theme celebrated just how powerful, eclectic, and connected the art form of dance is to society. The audience was incredibly supportive of each piece which created an amazing atmosphere. At the end of the day, everyone at ACDA chose to major in dance to share our passion for movement performance and its connection to community which was reiterated in the Gala performance.
-Katie Moore
Senior, B.F.A Dance, Business Minor
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Reflection: Response Choreographic Commission 2016

TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

Dance Department 

Reflection:Response Choreographic Commission 2016

The Temple University Dance Department is pleased to announce that our fifth choreographic commission under our Reflection:Response speaker and performance series has been awarded to:

Kathy Westwater

Westwater will create a new work, titled Anywhere, which will premiere on Sept 16 &17, 2016 in Conwell Theater at Temple University. The commission includes a cash award of $5,000 and access to rehearsal space at Temple University throughout summer 2016.  Past commission recipients include Laura Peterson, Charles O. Anderson, Tatyana Tennenbaum, and Jennifer Weber.

In Anywhere, Westwater asks how a dance might engage with, and itself be, a monument. Central concerns are permanent and impermanent cultural manifestations that register and record the impact upon us of time, war, and climate—economic and environmental—and how these manifestations are rendered and experienced in public and private space. Westwater seeks to choreographically manifest a contemporary heroism found in the everyday—anywhere. Without being about a specific historical time or event, there will be a remembering of something that was lost and something that wasn’t.

Anywhere will be performed by five dancers to Henryk Górecki’s “Symphony No. 3.” It will feature a unique relationship between movement and sound through a sound integration design by Architect Seung-Jae Lee.

Kathy Westwater has choreographically pursued experimental dance forms since 1996. Described by Dance Magazine as “bloodless and fascinating” and The Brooklyn Rail as “at the limits of the human,” her work responds to the societal landscape in which it manifests by reimagining the body’s movement potential. Her work has been presented extensively in NYC in spaces such as New York Live Arts, Danspace Project, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Performance Space 122, Dixon Place, and more. Westwater has received awards from Puffin Foundation, Franklin Furnace Fund, Meet the Composer, and New York Foundation for the Arts, and has been an Artist-in-Residence at Djerassi, Movement Research, and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence College since 2001.

Photo Credit: A Hitzenberger

For more information contact:

Merián Soto, Curator

Reflection/Response Commission

msoto@temple.edu

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Kathy Westwater: SHAKE/WALK Workshop at Temple University

Kathy Westwater: SHAKE/WALK Workshop at Temple University

On Friday, April 1, Kathy Westwater will teach her Shake/Walk Workshop at Temple University. The workshop is a platform for an aspect of her creative practice as a choreographic dance artist. What began as a therapeutic effort to alleviate strains that arose in the choreography she made, over time became compelling for the formal possibilities embedded in it. Shake/Walk was and has remained something that feels good to do.

Westwater will work with students during a one-week intensive Aug 22-26, and perform work in the Reflection/Response Concert on September 16-17, 2016.
The first Shake/Walk Workshop took place at Movement Research in NYC in 2012. Subsequent workshops took place at Gibney Dance Center in 2013 and 2014, and again at Movement Research in 2015. The last workshop at Movement Research also included a culminating performance with the students at Movement Research at Judson Church on November 9, 2015.

Westwater is eager to share this workshop with Temple dance students in anticipation of her Reflection:Response Commission and Premiere in September in the Cornwell Theater. This workshop will serve as an “audition” to participate in the concert.

Workshop Description

When: Friday April 1, 1:45-3:45PM

Where: Conwell Dance Theater

Taking two everyday forms of movement, we will allow these forms to disorganize within, and be disorganizing of, our bodies. As we explore in solo, duet, and ensemble improvisations, moving periodically in contact and/or with eyes closed, lines between states of order and disorder will be at times stark and at others blurred. The sensations that arise within this unstable and unbound matrix range from chaotic to cathartic, and from disorienting to freeing. We will shift our attention from sensation to function to composition as the workshop unfolds, delving deeper into the formal potential found within experiential states of disorder.

 

Photo Credit: Tod Steelie

 

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Photo by Jonathan Gene

D2D: Dare to Dance Hosts Prelude Philadelphia 2016

This past Sunday, D2D: Dare to Dance, Temple University’s dance company, hosted Prelude, an urban dance competition and dance battle that tours to cities across the country to showcase regional dance groups and strengthen the dance community. The #90sandChill themed competition was filled with passion, artistry and fun.

The house was full at the Kurtz Center for the Arts at William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia and radiated with positive energy. First in the competition was the dance battle, judged by Dinita “Princess Di” Clark, D2D’s co-founder Béa Martin, and Academy of Phresh’s leader, “Smart Mark.” Dancers circled the battle with shouts and leaps of encouragement for both battlers, while family and friends joined in from the audience, giving the battle an inviting feel. The battle advanced to the top 8, top 4 and then top 2 against So You Think You Can Dance’s Virgil Gadson and Kidd. From razor-sharp angulations to arms being pulled out of the socket to back flips, ticks and clicks, these battles gave dancers the chance to express themselves as a dancer and a creator.

Next was the dance competition, which consisted of about nine dance groups from the north coast that performed various styles of hip-hop. The diverse range of ages, gender and body types in the competition were pleasing to see. The crowd favorite was a local group called Academy of Phresh, who performed an entertaining routine that involved headlamps, a “Straight Outta Philly” sign, and young dancers grooving for their life. The dancer’s raw movement brought out their personalities that beamed with a love of dance.

Last in the program to perform was D2D themselves. The crew raced onstage with smiles, laughter and energy, looking like they just walked out of a 90’s fashion magazine. The 90’s theme continued as D2D danced to a mash-up of throwback hits featuring artists like Busta Rhymes and Notorious BIG. D2D danced with synchronicity, heart and a genuine family connection. The classic songs got the crowd up on their feet dancing and spreading the love.

Danzel Thompson-Stout and Béa Martin founded D2D in 2012 at Temple University. Now, both Temple graduates and working artists in Philly, they continue to serve as a father and mother figure for the crew.

D2D members completely ran the competition. Frankie Markocki, a third year D2D member and dance major, worked as stage manager for the competition. Other members worked tirelessly on piecing together the competition, from contacting the teams, acquiring a theater, deciding the creative design, all while managing their own performances. The smiles that beamed on every D2D member’s face clearly displayed Prelude’s success.

D2D members and alumni have recently been certified in Umfundalai, traveled to Florida for an event called The Thesis, and are working dancers and choreographers in the field. The 29 current members study a range of fields from business to communications to dance. Béa Martin recently graduated with a degree in neuroscience.

D2D has also competed at Battle on Broad, where they won 1st place, and World of Dance.

Mark your calendars for April 22 and 23 at 7:30pm, when D2D will host their Third Annual Showcase titled “Undefined” at Conwell Dance Theater.

D2D hosted Prelude Philly 2016 with grace, organization and sheer fun. Their level of professionalism is unmatched by any school organization, and their accomplishments have reached far outside of just the Temple community and into the professional dance world. D2D’s intentions of spreading the joy of dance and the love for the arts were clearly reflected during Prelude.

Photo by Jonathan Gene

 

-Meghan McFerran

B.F.A. Dance

B.A. Journalism

Meghanmcferran.com

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Dance for All

Dance for All

 

Earlier this year, I accepted the position of Outreach Coordinator with BalletX. Our program, Dance eXchange, is partnering with three Philadelphia public schools this fall. Dance eXchange is a 13 week program that includes a field trip, mid-term performance for peers, and ends with a final performance on a professional stage open to friends, family, and the community, providing each child with a sense of pride in his or her achievement. Responsibilities with my role include leading the Teaching Artist team, administering the program, and setting future goals for the growth of Dance eXchange.

Dance eXchange is based on the award-winning pedagogy of National Dance Institute, founded by Jacques D’Amboise in 1977. This past summer, I was sent to New York City to train with NDI’s master teachers. Through dance instruction and live musical accompaniment, Dance eXchange motivates students to achieve a standard of excellence while learning basic dance skills such as sequencing, rhythm, tempo, and performance quality. Our method builds choreography sequences through repetition of simple, athletic gestures set to varying rhythms and tempos and competitive group games.

Our approach calls on its teachers to maintain a high energy level and positive attitude to support a respectful and engaging environment designed for success, with the goal to achieve a standard of excellence from all participants. Teaching Artists work to develop students’ listening skills through the use of live musical accompaniment, employing tempo and rhythm changes to heighten students’ focus and sense of timing.

This January, Dance eXchange will have its culminating performances at the Prince Theater. The event will be FREE and open to the public.

We’re off to a strong start! Teachers have already shared with me the positive ways that their students are responding to the program.

I’m grateful to BalletX for the opportunity to lead an effective and inspiring program and I’m excited about everything I’m learning. I’m proud that I get to change lives through dance for a living!

 

-Belle Alvarez, BFA 2014

www.bellealvarez.com

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Complexions Performance and Master Class Review

Complexions Contemporary Ballet was the first of eight companies to perform at the Prince Theatre in downtown Philadelphia, as part of Dance Affiliate’s NextMove series.

Complexions Co-Founder Dwight Rhoden arranged seven of his works for the Philadelphia stage.

The show opened with Ballad Unto… a Philadelphia premiere. With each articulation of the spine and brush of the arabesque, seven couples poured emotions of love and heartbreak into brisk and graceful movements en pointe.  Seamless partnering and gestural unison sections made the piece successful.

Next in the program was Gone, a trio performed by Kelly Marsh IV, Greg Blackmon and Timothy Stickney that illustrated a fight for survival. The men captured this motif beautifully, transitioning with ease from soars and darts through the air to complex floor work. The choreography and concept of the piece illuminated the athleticism of these three professionals.

Addison Ector stole the stage in Choke, a male duet exploding with themes of dominance and competition. Ector’s facials remained casual and royal while he whipped out triple attitude turns followed by a series of controlled extensions.

The final piece took an enormous risk on dance and artistry and succeeded with flying colors. Strum was a full company piece set to the music of Metallica. Watching this piece was like tasting, smelling and touching a rock concert through dance. The walking pathways were one of the most powerful aspects. Timothy Stickney stole the spotlight, expressing qualities of insanity, passion and pure stardom.

 

Master Class with Ashley Mayeux

On Friday, I attended the Complexions master class at Philadanco!, taught by dancer Ashley Mayeux.

I was surprised to find the class was mostly filled with younger dancers, around high school age, with little training in ballet or contemporary techniques. After a standard, fairly easy ballet barre, Ashley taught us part of a Complexions finale dance. The choreography was very basic and more fun than technical. I think this was largely due to the skill level of the class. Although I was somewhat disappointed that the master class was not up to the level or rigor that I expected, I appreciated Ashley’s professionalism and willingness to cater the class to the average ability level of the room. She made the class enjoyable for all of the dancers. If nothing else, I obtained valuable information from watching Ashley in class. I observed her artistic choices and studied how I can apply these choices to my dancing.

 

 

-Meghan McFerran

B.F.A. Dance

B.A. Journalism

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Exclusive Interview with Complexions Contemporary Ballet Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director Desmond Richardson

The New York Times recognizes Complexions Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director Desmond Richardson as “One of the great modern dancers of his time.“ Richardson is praised for his captivating and cutting-edge work in the dance field. I had the privilege of asking Richardson about his life dedication to dance.

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When you were a young boy, you think you would be where you are today in your career?

When I was a young boy, I never thought I’d have the career I have today. Dancing has brought to me a wealth of experience and knowledge of the world, it’s exactly what I imagined it to be.

What inspires you to create new work?

What inspires me to create is my passion and how I view the world around me.

How do you recover from a bad day?

I recover from a bad day by breathing deep and realizing that I’m still standing, living and breathing and perhaps I may get another chance to explore and investigate this life a little bit more.

How would you define the word “success?”

I would define the word “success” as staying curious, on a continuous quest of exploration of myself.

What was a life-changing moment in your dance career?

Working with Michael Jackson.

What is one piece of advice you would give to young aspiring dancers?

Follow your passion. Be real, be honest and be in the moment so that your work reads across the foot lights.

You and Dwight Rhoden now offer a DVD, “Complexions Technique” in which dancers can receive Complexions training in their own homes. How has this product impacted you in the dance business, and what results have you seen after the DVD’s release?

Dwight and I have realized that it is certainly time to build a school and training ground for the next generation of formidable dancers.

What are your personal goals for the future and how to you set/achieve goals for yourself?

My goals for the future are immense, so to nail it down to one simple goal is daunting. I will tell you that a one man show for me is in the works and a lot of my energies are going toward that endeavor.

 

Meghan McFerran

B.F.A. Dance

B.A. Journalism

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