Dance Represented at Summer Conferences – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Dance Represented at Summer Conferences

In June, faculty presented their research at the 2008 National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) conference, “Contact Politics: The Dance of Personal and Public Change” in Towson, Md. The conference focused on dance as a mirror for social personal and political reflection and change and all members of the dance faculty participated:

  • Professor Donna Davenport presented a workshop titled: “Performing Social Change from the Inside.”
  • Assistant Professor Michelle Iklé presented a workshop titled: “The Politics of Fusion in Jazz Technique.”
  • Associate Professor Cadence Whittier presented a paper titled: “Developing Artistry in Ballet Technique through Personal Agency.”
  • Visiting Assistant Professor Missy Pfohl Smith presented a workshop titled: “Art and Big Oil.”
  • Professor Cynthia Williams presented a paper titled: “Fields of Play: Contact Improvisation and First Year Seminar Students.”
  • Williams and Smith, both of whom were recipients of Teaching and Learning Grants which were awarded by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), gave presentations that were the result of teaching projects initiated during the 2007-2008 academic year.

As a national organization NDEO promotes research in curriculum development and instruction in dance education. NDEO has been integral in the development of national and state goals for dance education in the private sector higher education and the K-12 curriculum.

Also in June, dance faculty participated in “Invention-In,” an international conference on Dance Somatics and Movement Analysis, at the College at Brockport, State University of New York. Co-sponsored by Bill Evans, Sondra Fraleigh and Eastwest Somatics Network, the conference featured presentations, papers and performances on a variety of topics within the overall theme of the intersection of dance somatic practices and applications and Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis. HWS dance faculty presented the following workshops:

  • Iklé: “Developing a Somatic Pedagogy for Teaching Jazz Dance Technique” and “Pluck from the Memory a Rooted Sorrow.”
  • Smith: “Guzzle!” which was supported by a spring 2008 CTL grant and explored the collaborative creation of a recent choreographic work created at HWS.
  • Whittier: “Using Phrasing and Effort Theory to Develop Personal Agency in the Ballet Classroom.”
  • Williams: “Making the Music Dance: Applying Somatic Movement Concepts to Improve Cello Performance.”

The Invention-In conference culminated with an evening dance concert. Both Smith and Iklé were invited dance artists in the Somadances concert. Iklé performed her solo “wrought” with original score by David McGuire. “wrought” will also be performed as part of the Finger Lakes Dance! concert October 4, at the Smith Opera House. Smith premiered her dance company’s (BIODANCE) newest work, entitled “Web We Weave” with an original score by Thomas McMahon. “Web We Weave” will also be performed in the BIODANCE concert at the University of Rochester on September 27.

The photo above features Michelle Ikle, assistant professor of dance, performing her solo “wrought.”The photo was taken by HWS photographer Kevin Colton.