Teaching

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Personal, Present and Immediate*:

Making Performance on Socio-Political

Questions

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“One of the best courses I have taken

at the University of Michigan.”

–anonymous student evaluation

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Loreto Ares, Miguel “Melo” Quintana, Joan Taipo-San, Eryn Rosenthal, and José Luís Cano Blanco in Tú Aquí, a chapter of The Doors Project. Doorframe design by Bea Velasco; construction at La Nave Trapecio,
La Tabacalera Cultural Center, Madrid. Additional thanks to: Cristhian Salazar, Cecilia Ruiloba, José Jerónimo,
Natalia Sánchez-Ton i Normand, and Jesús Escobar. Photo by Cecilia Ruiloba.

 

Personal, Present and Immediate*:

Making Performance on Socio-Political Questions

Part upper level humanities seminar and part interdisciplinary creation workshop, this experimental, hybrid course brought together undergraduate students from the Arts & Ideas in the Humanities Program at the University of Michigan’s Residential College, the Global Theatre and Ethnic Studies Minor, the School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s  (SMTD) BFA Acting Program, and Dance Minor; with PhD students in Sociology, Masters students in the School of Social Work, and MFA candidates in the Penny Stamps School of Art & Design. The course was accompanied by a public film series, which culminated in original student performances.

I was recently honored by the U-M Provost’s Office for my diversity and inclusion-based work described below, which culminated in this class. I gave an address to U-M President Schlissel and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Leads of each unit in the university, and curated the performance of one of my students; the Residential College wrote this article about us.

 

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2017 King-Chávez-Parks

Visiting Professor and

Artist in Residence for

Dialogue-Building, Diversity

and Inclusion Initiatives:

As an artist in residence, I developed various pilot programs that ask what the body can bring to larger discussions of diversity, empowerment, and inclusion. This experimental, arts-based programming included professional development trainings, interdisciplinary workshops, and a working group

The residency, a first at U-M, was sponsored by over 12 departments, and draws upon my ongoing research on the connections between a dance form known as Contact Improvisation and democratic activism in South Africa, Spain, and the US. The residency included specialized pilot programs in the music department, the Trotter Multicultural Center, and the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT), in addition to professional development trainings and other programming.

The residency culminated this past semester in the interdisciplinary seminar Personal, Present and Immediate*: Making Performance on Socio-Political QuestionsI also designed and choreographed Root Vegetables, a community-based diversity and resilience initiative in the U-M dance department on groundedness, growth, and expanding definitions of beauty.  The work comes out of reflection on larger questions of institutional and departmental culture, and ways of productively shifting micro-environments toward being more inclusive and welcoming for people from diverse backgrounds.

 

WORKSHOPS:

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Dance and Dialogue: Human Contact and Democracy;
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Contact Improvisation;

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Buoyant Wait;

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Dance and Democracy;
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Real-time composition
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I teach workshops and master classes in the US, South Africa, and Europe in both Spanish and English. I also teach semester long classes and intensive workshops in Contemporary Dance, Composition, and Contact Improvisation at the university level, and am an active member of international Contact Improvisation teacher exchange networks.

I also facilitate and design professional development trainings, and build curriculum for activists, artists, engineers and medical professionals. I delight in programming that is fun and creative; that expands the imagination and our understanding of the possible. I am also deeply invested in broadening awareness and audience for contemporary performance. In my outreach, engagement and performance work, I love integrating elements of performance with other fields of knowledge. I also bring intentionally diverse groups of people together at different stages of the creation and reflection process, and create games, performances and other participatory structures that instigate dialogue, curiosity and connection among seemingly unrelated fields of experience through the body.

Please contact me if you are interested in a workshop, seminar, training or speaking engagement.

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Hallie Aldrich and Eryn Rosenthal (Photo by David Papas, www.papas.com)