Welcome to the latest edition of Inform. On hiatus last summer, we are happy to bring you a linked edition this year that gives you both the chance to hold and pass along the analog product of a magazine, as well as freely pull and push information through our website and social media.
The department has been through a period of rapid change and shifts, a microcosm of what we are seeing and feeling in many sectors of business, politics, economics and education. The faculty and students admirably weathered a few years of tremendous upheavals, temporary work spaces, construction woes, shortened summers, lengthened courses, confusing graduation requirements, up-ended production schedules and the like.
While the most obvious changes have been our shift from a quarter system to semesters, and the move out of and back into a renovated Sullivant Hall, these are just the architecture of more substantive and complex shifts. These have to do with leadership in new dance scholarship, further integration of technology, flexibility in curricular structures that are inspiring innovation and entrepreneurialism, increase of inter- or intra-disciplinary project driven course work and globalization projects. Happily, the embracing of all this complexity seems to be yielding increased retention rates, grants and awards, applicant and audience numbers, and donor gifts.
Whether you are alumni, donor, parent, current student or staff member, I thank you for your role in this complex web of dance, scholarship, production and reflection that is the Department of Dance. Read on, write back, connect on Facebook, join us for our alumni reunion at the grand opening of Sullivant Hall on September 20 and 21, honor those who have passed on, and support those working in this strange and wonderful world of dance.
Our move back to Sullivant Hall in January 2014 brought us to the new and improved spaces for our program’s needs: six studios, a conditioning room, media lab, costume shop, new light-filled and spacious office suite, colorful and generous reception area, a green room and dressing rooms, a classroom, and a new, state of the art black box theatre. New windows, good floors, great collaborative neighbors – all designed to keep us moving at the forefront of contemporary dance research and pedagogy.
Susan Van Pelt Petry