Assistant Professor of Dance Missy Pfohl Smith, and BIODANCE, a not for profit modern dance company for which she is artistic director, received two new grants from the Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York State Legislature. These grants will allow Smith to create a new community-based dance and allow BIODANCE to present its third annual Rochester performance season.
With the support of a decentralization (DEC) grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, BIODANCE’s Rochester Performance Season will include a collection of original dance works at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance in October.
In collaboration with Multi-use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC), BIODANCE will present a benefit concert for Haiti at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 28 at MuCC, 142 Atlantic St., Rochester. The concert is the second performance of Bright, Bounding, Balancing,Bursting, Bumping, Breathing Bodies: BIODANCE!, an upbeat family matinee that shares tools and tricks used to create the dances and foster dance literacy and appreciation. The performance will encourage the audience to engage and participate in dances while exposing them to dance as a form of communication.
Additionally, Smith will direct and choreograph a new collaborative work called “Generation Gap” with composer Mark Olivieri with the support of an Individual Artist Grant. This dance will develop from stories shared within workshops that Smith will lead for multiple generations of people ranging from high school students to senior citizens. This creative process will parallel methods developed by Tony Award-winning dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones while exploring the impact of life-threatening illnesses such as AIDS and cancer. Some of the goals of Generation Gap are to share and explore the vast differences that have occurred in society over the past several decades to foster intergenerational understanding and communication while bringing the community together through the art of dance. Smith is currently looking for interested participants that are ages 16-20 and 60-99. If interested contact her at 585-201-1002 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smith creates innovative work by exploring environmental issues through collaboration with national multi-media artists. Her work is riddled with political and ethical matters that ask questions in theatrical, comical and unconventional ways which include dance, text, film, music and ice cream.
Based in Pittsford, N.Y., BIODANCE has performed at a number of venues throughout the Greater Rochester area, often with Hobart and William Smith faculty and students involved on or off stage. Cadence Whittier, associate professor and chair of the Dance Department at the Colleges, is a BIODANCE company member and Cynthia Williams, professor of dance, is a member of the Advisory Board; Professor of Dance and Associate Dean of Faculty Donna Davenport has performed as a guest artist with the company. Senior Caitlyn Schrader held an arts administration internship and made her debut performance with the company this past summer, along with Kathryn Bowering ’11. Karen George ’09 performed with BIODANCE prior to graduating from William Smith with a B.A. in psychology and dance. Additionally, senior Lauren Budd ’10 has worked as stage manager and grant support staff.
Pfohl Smith is pictured above with Lauren Budd’10.