Reneé Wadleigh

Reneé Wadleigh's Worth LiesWadleigh's deep engagement in dance has been a lifelong proposition. She is committed to the process of creating her own dance works and is as keenly invested in guiding new generations of dance artists in the development of personal creative practices.

Her unwavering enthusiasm for tracing developments in dance, particularly from the 1960s to the present, and measuring corresponding developments in the contemporary arts has driven her teaching, her research, and a desire for collecting full-length contemporary dance works on video from artists significant on a global platform from New York, across the United States, and around the world since 1991. Her Digital Library Collection, now on a private password-protected website, contains hundreds of full-length performances that are often the most recent works by artists in a performance season. Viewing works performed in the major performance arenas of the field creates a professional context and provides an opportunity to read dances while applying critical, theoretical, and historical information relating to movements in dance and the arts. Experiencing an awareness of the choreographic in dances from the point of view of the dancer, the choreographer, and the viewer sharpens artistic sensibility as students prepare to enter or reenter the field.

Wadleigh's collection provides research opportunities for MFA candidates otherwise unavailable outside a major dance center and makes available complete works on video for their courses as teaching assistants with Dance at Illinois. Through these campus-wide course offerings, a tremendous number of nondance students at the U of I engage in study that assists in broadening the many common notions of dance to dance and performance as art.