An Inside Look at SDO’s Guest Artist: Laura Peterson

fourth-position-jump-bright-for-dnaPhoto by Steven Schreiber

Written by Emily Gerst

(Guest Artist Committee Chair, Student Dance Organization)

This week, we are proud to welcome Brooklyn-based choreographer Laura Peterson to Brockport as part of the Student Dance Organization’s annual guest artist residency. The residency, which began last Friday, will culminate with a lecture-demonstration on Thursday, February 12th, and features an exciting array of opportunities in between.

Laura’s background includes a throng of teaching experiences, as well as several choreographic ventures. She currently teaches dance at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in addition to studios throughout New York City. Her work has been presented at various performance venues including The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Inside/Out among others. Laura is also a recent recipient of the 2014 Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship in Italy, where she was supported in the making of her new work, Il Futuro. Laura states that as a dance maker, she is “deeply influenced by visual art and seeks to explore changeable relationship we have to the body’s limits and limitless of human imagination.” (

During her week here, she is teaching various technique and improvisation classes spread out over the course of five days. These classes will take place during regularly scheduled dance-department classes, thus exposing numerous students to Laura’s pedagogy and artistic sensibility.

Alongside her scheduled classes, Laura is also setting an original choreographic work on Brockport students. Auditions for the work were held this past weekend, with rehearsals succeeding on both Saturday and Sunday. The dance-making process continues this week, as students will continue working until showing at the lecture demonstration on Thursday. With two casts, a large handful of students have the opportunity to participate in her creative process. In addition, the work will become part of the Brockport repertory, which allows future opportunities for students to perform.

During the lecture demonstration on Thursday evening, students will also have the chance to observe Laura take on the role of performer and interact with her in an open forum. Laura will be performing her newest solo work, Il Futuro, alongside the newly created piece. A forum lead by moderator Allison Bohman will follow, in which students will have the chance to ask questions and gain insight on Laura’s experiences as a choreographer and her process with creating both her new work and Il Futuro.

We are incredibly excited to be hosting such an intelligent and creative artist, and even more excited to provide students with this exciting opportunity. Catch a glance of this rousing process by joining us this Thursday February 12 at 7:30pm in Rose L. Strasser studio and witness a truly exhilarating night of dance.

Visit Laura’s website for more information about her work.

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