We aspire to give our students the skills and imagination to be leaders in the field of dance and in their communities. Our graduating class of 2015 confirms that students, staff and faculty work together to do just that. Our graduate students are moving into faculty positions in dance departments and pursuing their creative and scholarly work. Our undergraduates are working as performers in dance companies and projects, launching their choreographic careers, teaching in a wide variety of settings, serving as arts managers and entering graduate school in medicine and physical therapy. Most importantly, they are global citizens intent upon enriching society through dance and the arts.
Susan Petry guided this department through very challenging years. She has left us with a stellar staff, a state-of-the-art facility, programs that emerged from semester conversion even better, national re-accreditation of our programs and the continuation of our status on this campus as a center of excellence (pg. 12). She will take a muchdeserved leave and rejoin the faculty next year. I now step into the chair position, grateful for her work and mentorship.
Replacing Melanie Bales and Candace Feck, our most recent retiring faculty, seems like a daunting challenge. They inspired us all for 25 years (pg. 20). We move forward with new faculty hires as an opportunity to extend their profound engagement with the past and present as inspiration for the future.
Our newest hire, Daniel Roberts, joins us from the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and the Danish National School of Contemporary Dance (pg. 15). And Sofie Clemmensen (MFA ’13) who has strengthened the BFA program for the past two years, moves into a three-year visiting assistant professor position (pg. 23). As we conduct our searches for new tenure-track faculty, an exciting group of visiting artists and lecturers enhance the student experience. Eddie Taketa, 20-year veteran of Doug Varone and Dancers and recipient of a Bessie Award for Sustained Achievement in Performance, joins us for this year.
I have worked under every chair this department has known, in graduate school as well as my 26 years on the faculty. I intend to honor this legacy of enlightened leadership as we continue to situate The Ohio State University Department of Dance at the national forefront of innovation in dance: intersecting physical practice, creative process and theoretical inquiry.
Please stay in touch as we move together into the next iteration of this remarkable place.
Susan Hadley, Chair