A Year of Compelling Dance Performances to Honor the New USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

July 15, 2015

CONTACT: Allison Engel at (213) 740-1927 or allison.engel@usc.edu

The University of Southern California is celebrating the opening of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, the university’s first new school in 40 years, by bringing several renowned dance companies to campus as part of the university’s Visions and Voices 2015-16 schedule.

Visions and Voices, the USC arts and humanities initiative, sponsors dozens of groundbreaking performances, lectures, film screenings and trips to area cultural venues each academic year.  Since it was inaugurated nine years ago, Visions and Voices has presented more than 1,000 innovative programs to more than 240,000 audience members.

Martha Graham Dance Company 

Jodie Gates, vice dean of USC Kaufman, says this season’s lineup of dance companies and artists reflects the new school’s mission to expose the campus and community to hybrid dancer artists and diverse choreographic styles. Augmenting their access to dance companies performing at Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center in downtown Los Angeles, USC Kaufman students will interact with notable companies on campus.

“Visions and Voices allows a tremendous amount of learning experiences for our BFA dance students, including a master class with Alonzo King of LINES Ballet as well as master classes from Hubbard Street 2 and the Martha Graham Dance Company,” she said. “Direct access and opportunities to train with these remarkable companies is key to the development of our students.”

At the Visions and Voices kickoff event in late August, dance will be represented by the sensational street-dance troupe The Groovaloos, based in Los Angeles. This back-to-school event is open to students only, but most other Visions and Voices events have seats set aside for the general public.

The Groovaloos

Alonzo King LINES Ballet from San Francisco comes to campus Sept. 16. The company combines classical ballet with diverse cultural traditions, joining dance and sound, nature and high art, to remind audiences of the interconnectedness of life. The USC performance will include Biophony, a collaboration with composer Richard Blackford and natural-soundscape artist Bernie Krause, who made recordings of ecosystems around the world for this work.

Alonzo King LINES Ballet 

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, considered one of the world’s top contemporary dance companies, recently announced a partnership with USC Kaufman that will include a program of intensive workshops beginning in summer 2016. The company’s second troupe, Hubbard Street 2, which prepares dancers ages 18 to 25 for careers in contemporary dance, will perform at USC on March 23, 2016.

Following the campus performance, Hubbard Street 2 director and choreographer Terence Marling will be in conversation with Jodie Gates of USC Kaufman.

Hubbard Street 2

Also in March, legendary choreographer, director, dancer and activist Bill T. Jones will collaborate with students from USC Kaufman and the USC Thornton School of Music on an adaptation of his work Story/Time, which fuses storytelling with contemporary music and dance. He will also be in conversation with the director of the USC Arts Leadership Program, Kenneth Foster, about being an artist-leader.

Bill T. Jones

Visions and Voices will close out its season with a performance by the Martha Graham Dance Company on April 27, 2016. The performance that will include the inaugural cohort of USC Kaufman dance students performing a Graham work.

The full Visions and Voices schedule is here.

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The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance was founded in 2012 with a gift from philanthropist and dance enthusiast Glorya Kaufman. The school combines a conservatory environment with the academic rigor of a major private research institution.  Its home will be the state-of-the-art Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center, a 55,000-square-foot complex of studios and lecture halls, currently under construction. It is scheduled to open in Spring 2016.

USC Kaufman offers individual classes in technique, performance, choreography, production, theory and history that are open to all students at USC. It also has two minors, Dance and Dance in Popular Culture: Hip Hop, Urban and Social Dances.

This fall, the first cohort of students enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program, a four-year professional degree, will be on campus.

Famed choreographer William Forsythe has joined the school’s faculty and will be the artistic advisor of the USC Choreographic Institute, which will be established in coming years. He joins vice dean and professor Jodie Gates, along with longtime USC associate professor of dance Margo Apostolos, and a roster of other dance professionals that includes:

Patrick Corbin, assistant professor: choreographer and former Paul Taylor Dance Company dancer

E. Moncell Durden, assistant professor; Rennie Harris Puremovement company member and notable hip-hop scholar

Jesus Fuentes, lecturer; an educator and performer in the entertainment field

d. Sabela grimes, lecturer; a choreographer, writer, dancer,composer and educator who was a 2014 United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow

Zippora Karz, artist in residence: former New York City Ballet soloist and current teacher and répétiteur for The George Balanchine Trust

Saleemah E. Knight, lecturer; a concert and commercial dance choreographer and performer

Jackie Kopcsak, assistant professor; an educator, choreographer and dance historian who originated roles in many contemporary and classical dance works

Fiona Lummis, artist in residence; répétiteur of choreographer Jiri Kylian’s master works and former member of Nederlands Dans Theater

Thomas McManus, assistant professor; a professional dancer, choreographer and educator who also stages the works of choreographer William Forsythe

Angeliki Papadakis, lecturer; teacher of modern dance and ballet who specializes in dance management

Victor Quijada, artist in residence: artistic director and choreographer of RUBBERBANDance Group based in Montréal

Desmond Richardson, artist in residence; artistic director and co-founder of Complexions Contemporary Ballet and former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and Alvin Ailey Dance Company

IMAGE CREDITS (from top):  Martha Graham Dance Company/ Hibbard Nash Photography; The Groovaloos/Leonard Xu; Alonzo King LINES Ballet/Quinn B Wharton; Hubbard Street 2/Todd Rosenberg; Bill T. Jones/Paul B. Goode