Alumni News, 2011-2012

"Even though I am not dancing these days, you should know the significant impact each of you had on my life. I often think back to the joy from your classes and [the] exploration and expansion of my creativity in your composition courses. The appreciation and support from your teachings made me believe that I could be successful regardless of the pursuit."

Carly Hunter (BFA 2005)

Alumni in Different Places

Alumni in Israel

Alumni (L-R) Leigh Lotocki (BFA 2011), Fiona Lundie (MFA 2012), Deborah Friedes Galili (MFA 2006), James Graham (MFA 2010), Maree Remalia (MFA 2011), Meredith Hurst (BFA 2011), and Ale Jara De Marco (MFA 2011) traveled to Tel Aviv, Israel, over the summer to study gaga -- a movement language developed by Ohad Naharin, artistic director of Batsheva Dance Company who, along with choreographer Noa Zuk, is visiting the department this Autumn to teach and stage a work for Dance Uptown. Gaga is an improvisational dance practice that raises awareness of one's physicality and encourages new possibilities for movement. Through a guided experience, dancers engage with nuanced and extreme modes of movement in the body, increasing strength and "lightening" the senses and imagination. From Fiona Lundie: I am deeply honored and moved [by the] support [of] my continuing inquiry into the body and movement research at the Gaga Intensive in Tel Aviv, Israel this summer. [The Department's] generous funding covers almost the entirety of the program cost, which significantly reduces my financial burden in total! It was a truly amazing experience to be immersed in the Gaga mentality and investigating the range of physicalities it requires. Being in the same class as all the OSU alumni, I could see the focus, attention, and body awareness prized at OSU supporting the movement investigation. I also felt particularly well prepared after having three months of Noa Zuk's class! She taught a few of the classes in the workshop and they truly are remarkable. Each Gaga teacher brings their own flavor and focus to class, but her energy, passion, and management of the classes is truly extraordinary! You all made a fantastic decision to bring them back this year! I wish I were around to enjoy it... Thank you, again, for the incredible opportunity to pursue my dance training!

Across the Platform, Dixon Place - June 10 2012. Produced by Arts by the People

Katherine Stehura (BFA 2010) has recently been working as a teaching artist and choreographer for the non-profit organization ARTS By the People, which creates free, groundbreaking arts programs to underserved communities, including youths and senior citizens. Katherine worked with other teaching artists to create a show on June 10, 2012 called Across the Platform, a collaborative effort that combined dance, live music, spoken word, photography, and visual art. She choreographed a work for four dancers including herself, and performed alongside the talented artists in these other fields. Her dancers included fellow BFA graduates Sarah Barber, Daniel Holt and Kiki Williams, and the work was lighted by Nicole Gross.

Ashley Mathus (BFA 2008) was hired in October 2011 at DanceMedia, publishers of Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, and Pointe, as the Marketing and Sales Coordinator. She also manages the magazines' social media accounts.

Noelle Stiles (MFA 2007) started a dance newspaper publication called FRONT with three other colleagues (Tahni Holt, Robert Tyree and Danielle Ross), and is currently working on a second edition. Contributors include the likes of MGM Grand, Karen Nelson, Ann Cooper Albright and many more. This year, a performance series was added to FRONT's endeavors titled The Collision Series. Both are used as community engagement events and fundraisers for the newspaper. Stiles is also currently doing development and communications in the Dean's office in the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Portland State University and teaching at an improvisation focused series called Monday Night Play Conduit Dance, Inc. She also received a grant to perform her solo, Here Begins A Region Of Eclipse in Atlanta, GA at Dance Truck (run by OSU alum Blake Backham and Malina Rodriguez).

Jessica Lindberg (MFA 2003) is still teaching dance at Austin Community College, just welcomed a new baby girl, and co-reconstructed Loie Fuller's group work La Mer (1925) with Megan Slayter (MFA 2003) at Western Michigan University in February. La Mer was also presented in May as part of the grand opening of the Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing of the Maryhill Museum in Goldendale, WA.

Christine Chen (MFA 2000) is currently the Managing Director of American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School. She has been with the organization since November 2009, after receiving her MBA from UC Davis. There, she simultaneously taught in the dance department, appeared in Oklahoma! and danced in the late Della Davidson's Sideshow Physical Theater. Prior to that, she danced with STREB for four years, and in various Bay Area dance companies, for an additional four years.

Tiffany Mills (MFA 1995) continues to run her 14-year-old, NYC-based Tiffany Mills Company. One of her dancers, Emily Pope-Blackman (BFA in Dance, 1996), joins Mills as they prepare for the World Premiere of "Berries and Bulls" at Brooklyn Academy of Music's brand new Fisher Theater. Just back from a tour from Russia, the Company is preparing for an active year ahead, with Company Workshops, Residencies, and touring in the Northeast.

Julianne O'Brien Pedersen (MFA 1992) has recently accepted a position as the Dean of the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance. She will be teaching as well as leading the Dean College BA program.

Patrice L. Whiteside (MA 1983) is presently a fourth grade teacher within the gifted and talented program in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District in California, where she was named Teacher of the Year two years ago. As artistic executor of the Eugene Loring Estate, she staged a Loring work on the Nashville Ballet this past February. She has two sons in college who are both majoring in business. The oldest son is a pairs figure skater who is on the U.S. Figure Skating Team. The younger son is a baseball player (pitcher). She lives in San Ramon with her husband.

Karen Stokes (BFA 1982) is Head of Dance at the University of Houston and Artistic Director of Karen Stokes Dance, a non-profit dance company. In 2011, KSD premiered a new evening length work titled The Secondary Colors in collaboration with composer Bill Ryan. In his end of the year review of dance in Houston, critic Theodore Bale wrote: "The most adventurous, if not spectacular, work this year from a Houston-based artist was the premiere of Karen Stokes and Bill Ryan's The Secondary Colors at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts."

Beth Corning (MA 1981) ended her six-year tenure as the Executive Artistic Director re-vitalizing Pittsburgh's repertory company Dance Alloy Theater. After presenting eleven critically acclaimed seasons, including works by fourteen nationally and internationally acclaimed choreographers, three signature works, twelve world premieres, eight Pittsburgh premieres and one USA premiere, (many of which productions were lit by David Covey); bringing the company out of debt, tripling the budget, and running the company in the black for her last three years, she left the company in Autumn 2009 to return her focus to being an artist. She launched CORNINGWORKS, a vehicle for her own choreographic projects, including the critically acclaimed series The Glue Factory Project – an annual production created on internationally and nationally renowned performers over 40. Since its Pittsburgh premiere in 2010, the project has included OSU alums Claire Porter, John Giffin, and David Covey, among other notable performers. In September, Pittsburgh's 3rd annual Glue Factory Project will present an adult dance theater puppet work The Life and Death of Little Finn, created by Marina Harris' COMPANY X of Canada. In June she will begin the research and creative development for a solo evening created in collaboration with Tony Award winning director, Dominique Serrand, former artistic director of Theatre de la Jeune Lune, and current founder of The Moving Company in Minneapolis.

Rebecca Nettl-Fiol (MA 1979) continues as a Professor of Dance at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She recently published a book, Dance and the Alexander Technique: Exploring the Missing Link (with co-author Luc Vanier), and received the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the University of Illinois, 2011. She presented at a number of conferences this past academic year, including Freedom to Move, Dance and the Alexander Technique (New York City), American Society for the Alexander Technique (Las Vegas), International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (Washington, D.C.), and National Dance Education Organization (Minneapolis, MN). She was a guest teacher this past academic year at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Beloit College, Pomona College, Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles, and Alexander Technique Milwaukee.

Claire Porter's (MA 1977) piece Falling for Prepositions was performed in Minneapolis on June 30, 2012. The work features singer Marla Berg of Cleveland with music composed by Mary Ellen Childs. Falling for Prepositions was commissioned by an American Music Center 's 2011 Live Music for Dance Grant and developed while in residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in NYC. Claire's new solo, Guided Tour, for Pennsylvania Dance Theater 's director André Koslowsky, premiered May 12, 2012 in Pittsburgh. Her new twin pieces, Modern on Modern and Modern on Modern on Modern ("panel discussions" on Modern Dance) premiered June 16, 2012 in New Jersey. She performed her solo, Lady Lamp, May 10, 2012 at Bergen Community College, NJ and June 15, 2012 at Steel Stacks in Bethlehem, PA. She also performed Lost in the Modern at The Museum of Arts and Design in NYC June 1-2, 2012. This summer, Claire set Happen Chance on OSU grad Kate Trammell (MA) from James Madison University, returned to Bearnstow, Maine to direct her week long Writing and Moving, A Creativity Retreat, and performed Happen Chance at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. She has been attending classes on writing at The Field in NYC and playwriting at the New Jersey Playwrights Theater in NJ. Both classes are highly recommended. This autumn, Claire will teach Laban Movement Analysis for the Dance Education Program at NYC Steinhardt.

Diane Jacobowitz (BFA 1974) is currently the founder and artistic/executive director of Dancewave, a Brooklyn based non-profit organization targeting the work of young people in dance. Dancewave transforms the lives of New York City youth through unique exposure to world-class, pre-professional performing arts training. The organization's unique educational model matches renowned dance professionals with young dance artists. They currently maintain five pre-professional dance companies that exemplify this model: Dancewave Co I, DC II, DC III, Young Movers Ensemble (10-13 years) and Amazing Creatures (7-9 years). The top company, DCI, has worked with Mark Morris, Trisha Brown, Ron Brown, Garth Fagan, Susan Marshall, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Andrea Miller, to name a few. They have been invited to perform four times at Jacob's Pillow, and have also been invited to perform in Scotland at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival where they represented the United States. Additionally, Dancewave operates a school for 18 months–adults. D-Wave in Motion, Dancewave's arts in education program, offers residencies in several NYC public schools. At the Kids Cafe Goes To College Festival, Dancewave was proud to host teen companies/schools from all over NYC, and dance departments from colleges all over the US, including OSU. Dancewave alum Chafin Seymour (BFA 2012) recently performed and represented the Department.

In Memoriam

Rob Remley, an MA graduate, former member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and film industry executive passed away September 27, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Nancy Deckard (BFA 1969), a volunteer with the Universal Light Expo at Veterans Memorial, passed away June 4, 2012 after a sixteen-year battle with metastatic cancer. From her obituary: "Nancy enjoyed the art of dance, nature, beauty, selfless dedicated service, metaphysics and her home. She taught and performed dance at Brockport (NY), and worked for CTG, was a yoga teacher and massage therapist, until health challenges sent her on another learning experience."

Greg Halloran (MFA 1996), Associate Professor and Coordinator of Dance at the University of Idaho, passed away at his Moscow, Idaho home in late August 2012. Greg began dancing at the age of 17 in California where he danced with the Sacramento Ballet, Dale Scholl's Jazzworks and in various musicals. He received his Master of Arts from The Ohio State University where he performed with the famous University Dance Company in which he toured the Midwest, East Coast and Europe. He has had the privilege to dance in works by Val Caniparoli, Susan Hadley, Doris Humphrey, José Limón, Sophie Maslow, Mark Morris and Victoria Uris. He studied Labanotation with Odette Blum and Lucy Venable, and holds his teacher certification from the Dance Notation Bureau in New York City.

Greg returned to The Ohio State University and received his MFA in 1996 in Directing From the Labanotated Score. He has restaged the works of Judith Allen, Ted Shawn, Victoria Uris, Charles Weidman, and Doris Humphrey including her masterpiece With My Red Fires for a centennial celebration of Humphrey in her home state of Illinois. Most recently he staged Sophie Maslow's Folksay for CityDance Ensemble in Washington DC, which won a DC Metro Dance Award for outstanding group performance. He studied composition with Vickie Blaine and enjoyed choreographing his own works.

He taught at OSU, the Youth Performing Arts School in Kentucky, Northern Illinois University and Kenyon College. He was awarded grants from the Idaho Commission for the Arts, the Inland Northwest/Florence Wasmer Foundation, a NCCI and two American Masterpiece grants from DanceUSA, New England Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. He served on the National Board of Directors of ACDFA and the board of directors for the Idaho Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (IHPERD). He was honored with the Dance Educator of the Year award from the Idaho Association of AHPERD in 2005, and the Northwest District AAHPERD Dance Educator of the Year award for 2006. Greg taught Modern, Jazz, Composition, Dance History, Laban Studies, and co-directed Dance Theatre's Dancers Drummers Dreamers each year.

–Ellie Escosa-Carter