University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Chair's Letter


Welcome to the Universe of Dance in its Most Dynamic and Interdisciplinary Way!

Ferro_SimoneThis is the place where you will find what you were looking for. This is the place where your artistic aspirations, pedagogical curiosity and thirst for interdisciplinary inquiry become concrete reality. This is the place where you will find knowledge, support, and fulfillment. This is the place where artistry and technical sophistication coexist in every class, in every performance, in every interaction. This is the place where you will experience world-class training and vision. This is the universe of UWM Dance. Welcome!

Here you’ll find top-ranked professionals engaged in each student’s individual goals, needs and aspirations. Our faculty commitment to each student’s uniqueness is displayed in the pluralistic nature of our programs’ structures. Our BA, BFA (Contemporary or Africa and the Diaspora Tracks), and MFA degree programs are designed to prepare our students for a multitude of careers in the field of dance. In addition, we offer three BFA Inter-Arts Degrees (Musical Theatre, Dual Discipline and Interdisciplinary Arts & Technology) and a Minor in Somatics.

Training UWM dance artists is a faculty that is one of the most professionally skilled and diverse in the school or any school that I have ever come across. Prepare to be impressed! In addition to the remarkable faculty, the Terpsichorean People (our student organization, named after the Greek muse of dance), promote the activities of the Department and advocate for resources from student government. Their activities enhance the student experience by providing support for production activities, travel opportunities, and guest artist fees. In addition, student representatives sit on the Black and Gold Commission, meeting regularly with the Dean and faculty to determine the future of the Peck School of the Arts.

This year, the Department of Dance celebrates its 51st year of existence with a plethora of special events and celebrations aimed to honor the work of our faculty, students, alumni and all those who have helped to bring this department to the place where it is today.

Our year starts with a 10-day residency of Molly Shanahan in late October in partnership with Alverno Presents. In December, our undergraduate students will present their daring capstone works in New Dancemakers: Inscribed in Us. At the Winterdances: Set to Reset concert in January 2015, the Department will feature three world premieres by dance faculty as well as the restaging of Trisha Brown seminal work Set and Reset/Reset with the support of the National Endowment of the Arts. In late April, we will produce another New Dancemakers and in late May feature MFA alumna Sarah Weber-Gallo, winner of the 6th Annual New Work Award, as well works by the dance faculty members at our Summerdances: Spirits and Fugitives honoring the creative work of Martin Jack Rosenblum (1946-2014). In July 2015, our program will feature theses and new works from our nationally-recognized MFA students.

The 2014-2015 academic year brings us artists from across the United States. We are proud to welcome Lucas Crandall from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Molly Shanahan/MAD SHAK Dance Company, Kathleen Hermesdorf, in addition to Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Step Afrika, LeeSaar: The Company, Adam McKinney and Daniel Hanks from HaMapah, Camille A. Brown and staff members from the Milwaukee Ballet. The Department will once again partner with the Milwaukee Film Festival (Community Partner) this fall for the screening of a dance related film and with the LGBT Film Festival. The Department’s faculty will partner with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Danceworks Performance Company, Alverno Presents, Your Mother Dances, Milwaukee Ballet, Oni Dance, Wild Space Dance Company, as well as our company-in-residence Ko-Thi Dance Company.

From coast to coast the achievements of our alumni continue to show fingerprints of the work we develop at UWM Dance. From Pilobolus in the east to Bobbevy in Portland, Oregon, to teaching positions in many academic institutions in United States, our former students – now mature working professionals – are the best evidence of our commitment to living an artistic life.

Simone Ferro, Chair
Department of Dance
sferro@uwm.edu