FAA Summer Dance Intensive

FAA Summer Dance Intensive 2017Come dance with us! You can major in dance and minor in hip hop or tap. Join us for an exciting week of modern and ballet repertory and more!

When: June 25–July 1, 2016 (Deadline to register is May 1.)

Where: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Who: High school students who have completed freshman, sophomore, or junior year

Apply now

For more information, contact Kristi Martin at kmartin2@illinois.edu.

Dr. C. Kemal Nance Joins Dance at Illinois as an Assistant Professor in Dance and African American Studies

C. Kemal NanceIt is my great pleasure to announce that Dr. C. Kemal Nance will be joining our community as an assistant professor in dance and African American studies starting in fall 2017. As a scholar/artist and master teacher of Umfundalai, Dr. Nance brings a wealth of knowledge to the interdisciplinary intersections of body, race, gender, and ethnicity. As an artist and a publicly engaged intellectual, Dr. Nance is interested in "seeding" models for "newblackmen" and inspiring cumulative creative efforts that take us in that direction. Dance at Illinois looks forward to his leadership in our community in the areas of African, Afro-Carribbean, and contemporary African American dance, dance history/theory, and community engagement. As a charismatic teacher, a thoughtful and caring mentor, and a rigorous scholar/artist, we look forward to his many contributions to our community and the field!

Please join me in welcoming Kemal!

Jan Erkert, Head of Dance at Illinois

Beloved Lecturer Kate Kuper Passes Away

The Dance Department mourns the passing of beloved faculty member Kate Kuper, who died on November 18. Kate was a lecturer in the Dance Department, teaching Creative Dance for Children and Introduction to Contemporary Dance. She also taught Dance for People with Parkinson's at Krannert Center and Viewing Dance for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Her contributions to the department and impact on the community are immeasurable, and words cannot express how much she will be missed.

"The author of two—maybe three—books, Kate was a leading expert in the nation on teaching dance to children. Her methodologies were clear, concise, and imaginative—drawing out the joyous spirit of every child.—We can't measure how many children learned to fly, dance, soar, roll, jump, and wiggle under Kate's able eye. Kate was fully Kate in the classroom with children—singing, laughing, and leading, while cajoling and encouraging the children to enter the flight of the soul that is found in dancing. But there is more . . . she taught dance majors at the university how to teach dance to children. Our alumni are scattered across the country teaching thousands of other children. She kept a watchful eye on her student teachers, insisting on rigorously prepared and imaginatively shaped lesson plans. After working with Kate, our students had the skills and the tools necessary to tap into children's innate desire to dance. There is even more . . . she taught Dance for People with Parkinson's at Krannert Center as well as numerous classes in the schools and communities of Champaign. The impact of her work will live for a long, long time. Kate's soul has flown away from her body—but her spirit is soaring, jumping, and wiggling in the bodies of thousands of children dancing. Her impact is truly immeasurable!"—Jan Erkert

Life Remembered: Dancer Put Best Foot Forward with Positivity, Energy

Professor Renée Wadleigh Retires from Dance at Illinois

This December, beloved Professor Renée Wadleigh will retire from the University of Illinois' Department of Dance. Renée has many accomplishments and has shared more than two decades of creativity, knowledge, laughter, and mentorship here at Dance at Illinois! She will be missed!

Professor Cynthia Oliver 2016 MAP Fund Grantee

Virago-Man Dem Choreographed by Cynthia Oliver"Virago-Man Dem will allow me to explore the spoken and unspoken attitudes and expressions in Caribbean black masculinities, but which also appear in African American masculinities as they are performed by communities of men, staged on male bodies, but designed and interpreted by a woman—me."
—Cynthia Oliver

Virago-Man Dem will be an evening-length, dance-theatre work that navigates complexities of black masculinity. In the Caribbean, Virago is a term alluding to that "je ne sais quoi" power that works behind the veil of the world we know. The term's "official" meaning refers to cultural and gender transgression, often used in derogatory relation to a woman who possesses tendencies, like bravery or aggression, that are most associated with men. Cynthia Oliver is interested in these components and especially the transgressive ambiguity of the term, which takes on a very particular life in the Caribbean. Despite the region's rampant homophobia, masculinities in the Caribbean are wildly flexible in the ways they are expressed through personal style, posture, and men's interactions with others.

In Virago-Man Dem, Oliver will work with collaborators Jason Finkelman (composer), John Jennings (visual artist), and others to capture these masculinities through movement, visual mediums, sound environments/music, and the spoken word. The work will be a performance of masculinity that emerges from subtle, intra-gendered movement communications that can be uniquely expressed through choreography. Virago-Man Dem will premiere at Gibney (NYC) in the fall of 2017 with subsequent national touring.

Dance at Illinois Welcomes Guest Artist Michelle Gibson

Michele GibsonWe are excited to welcome guest artist Michelle Gibson in fall 2016! Check out her bio.

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