Welcome to the Universe of Dance in its Most Dynamic and Interdisciplinary Way!
This is the place where you will find what you were looking for. This is the place where your artistic goals become reality. This is the place where you will find support, attention, knowledge 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!
This year, the Department of Dance begins its 49th year of existence and here you’ll find top-ranked professionals engaged in each student’s individual goals 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, as well as the EC-A teacher certification, are designed to prepare our students for a multitude of careers in the field of dance. In addition, we offer a BFA in Musical Theatre, a Minor in Somatics and an Interdisciplinary Arts Technology BFA.
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 here by providing support for production activities, travel opportunities, and guest artist fees. 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.
Our production season this year explores the concept of Crossed Currents, as part of the 50th anniversary of the Peck School of the Arts here at UWM. While the Year of the Arts is celebrated across the campus and city, a plethora of special activities, performances and exhibitions will be held. With this theme in mind, the African Dance area already held a Throwdown/Bantaba as part of Welcome Week activities. In October, Dani Kuepper and I are collaborating with Milwaukee Ballet and Present Music on the shared concert FALL(ing). In December, our undergraduate students will present their capstone works in New Dancemakers: In the Loop. At the Winterdances concert in January 2013, the Department will present two world premieres: one from our fourth New Work Award winner, MFA alumna Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner; the other MFA alumna Katie Sopoci Drake. In May three faculty members, Dani Kuepper, Maria Gillespie and Visiting Assistant Professor Christina Briggs-Winslow will present Springdances…impermanence, a show in collaboration with musician Tim Russell. Also in May, Research Growth Initiative winner Ferne Bronson will present a new work on her Gullah research. In June, Summerdances will feature a water-influenced site-specific work by internationally-known choreographer Stephan Koplowitz. In July 2013, our program will feature thesis and new works from our MFA students.
The 2012-2013 academic year brings us artists from across the United States. We are proud to welcome Taryn Koschock, A’Keitha Carey, Saar Harari and Candice Schnurr of Gaga People, Youssef Koumbassa, Trish Sie and Edwin Olvera of Pilobolus, and Morgan Thorson. In addition, our students will have the opportunity to work and interact with company members from the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Parsons Dance Company and with staff members from the Milwaukee Ballet. We’re also helping present dance film screenings as part of the UWM’s LGBT Film & Video Festival (Campus Partner) and the Milwaukee Film Festival (Community Partner) this fall. The Department’s faculty will also partner with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Danceworks Performance Company, Alverno Presents, Your Mother Dances, Milwaukee Ballet, Present Music, 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, 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