FOBD Newsletter: Notes from Bill Evans, dance faculty liaison to Friends of Brockport Dance

Photo of Bill Evans dancingDuring the summer of 2007, the founding officers and directors of Friends of Brockport Dance were elected. Officers are:

  • Cynthia Cable, president;
  • Dr. William Hauser, vice president;
  • Gregory Bell [your humble webmaster], secretary; and
  • Dr. Jerry Fisher, treasurer.

Directors are:

  • Joyce DeHaan,
  • Dianna Leach,
  • Mary Markusen,
  • Thomas Markusen,
  • Manuel Rivera-Ortiz,
  • William Rock (also special advisor to the executive committee),
  • Peter Scribner and
  • Dr. Frances Maroney Whited (also special advisor to the executive committee).

The fall semester of 2007 was perhaps the busiest ever in the Department of Dance:

  • There were a total of 27 faculty, professional staff and teaching assistants serving our students. Dr. Suzanne Oliver, former chair of dance at San Jacinto College in Houston, Texas, joined the faculty as a new assistant professor, and Don Halquist, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Education and Human Development, began teaching a course in intermediate/advanced modern dance technique in the Department of Dance. Habib Iddrisu served as a visiting lecturer, filling in for associate professor Clyde Morgan, who was on a very exciting sabbatical leave. (He promises to write about his sabbatical activities in our next newsletter.) Kelly Ferris, Heather Roffe and Courtney World (who completed their MFA studies in our Department just last spring) joined the adjunct faculty.
  • I was on a 2/3 leave for the fall semester, to complete a major choreographic project funded by
    National Endowment for the Arts at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. To partially cover my absence as a teacher, Francis Short, Dean of the School of Arts and Performance, made it possible for us to engage four renowned guest artists: B. J. Sullivan, from the faculty of the Department of Dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, creator of a revolutionary modern dance technique, called Safety Release; Clay Taliaferro, former principal dancer with the José Limón Dance Company, recently retired from a faculty position in dance at Duke University; Travis Gatling, about whom Maura Keefe has written some remarks below; and Julia Sasso, one of Canada’s most sought-after teachers and choreographers, who teaches at both York University and the Professional Program of the School of the Toronto Dance Theatre. Each of these four remarkable teachers brought unique and exciting pedagogical and artistic ideas and practices to our lucky students, who were stimulated by and deeply appreciative of these opportunities.
  • Our department offers more performance opportunities for our majors than any other that I know of. The fall 2007 performance season included:
    • September 16– Season Preview Symposium, Strasser Studio, featuring assistant professors Anne
      and Suzanne Oliver, organized by Bill Evans
    • September 18-20– David Dorfman Dance, professional dance company Hartwell Dance Theater,
      sponsored by the Brockport Student Dance Organization
    • October 25-27– DANCE/Hartwell*, Hartwell Dance Theater, Anne Burnidge, artistic advisor
    • November 1-3– New Dancer Showcase*, Strasser Studio, Kelly Kavanaugh, director, Suzanne
      Oliver, advisor
    • November 14-17– DANSCORE: Moving to Make Things Whole*, Hartwell Dance Theater, Bill Evans,
      artistic director, Suzanne Oliver, assistant director
    • November 29-December 1– DANCE/Strasser, Strasser Studio, Maura Keefe, artistic advisor
    • December 6-7 — Dime-A-Dance, Strasser Studio

Dr. Darwin Prioleau served as producer of all productions. Graduate student Kristi Faulkner served as concert coordinator for all productions. Christian Tucker served as director of dance production and as lighting designer for the Hartwell Dance Theater performances. Sandra Cain served as costume designer and/or advisor for all productions.

  • Since last summer, Kelly Ferris and Heather Roffe, co-coordinators, and Anne Burnidge, Bill Evans, Jim Hansen and Maura Keefe, faculty advisors, have been planning the Northeast Region American College Dance Festival Association Conference, which will take place on our campus from March 12-16, 2008.
  • Friends of Brockport Dance are invited to attend one of the ACDFA Gala performances, Sunday, March 16, Tower Theatre, 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Please tell your friends about this exciting concert. Anyone joining FOBD by March 16 will be given a free ticket to the ACDFA Gala of their choice, and their membership will last through the entire 2008-2009 season.
  • Current members of FOBD will be guests of the Department at the Friday, April 4, for a performance of DANCE/Hartwell, which will feature choreography by master of fine arts candidates Molly Christie, Cynthia Hermann and Mark Schmidt. The 7:30 p.m. concert will be followed by a reception. Please plan to attend. Call (595)395-ARTS to reserve your seats and obtain your free FOBD tickets.
  • As part of my service in helping the Department of Dance and SUNY College at Brockport develop a "friends" organization, I have compiled and edited this, the first issue of the Friends of Brockport Dance Newsletter. We are in the process now of selecting a Brockport dance graduate student to become lead writer and editor of this publication beginning with the next issue.

Friends of Brockport Dance Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 2008)

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