The Alma Mater may be offsite for this year’s graduates, but that doesn’t mean they have to skip the classic photo op. Students from the School of Art and Design constructed some Alma stand-ins who will be glad to pose for candid shots. Associate Professor Melissa Pokorny led the group of five graduate students—Sara Alsum-Wassenaar, Ben Hatcher, Alex Schutz, Scott Vanidestine, and Xinran Yuan—and five undergraduate students—Ben Barber, Dylan Gifford, Katie Maubach, Ali Sunseri, and Sean Tierny—in creating the six-foot plaster versions. Look for these surrogate Alma Mater statues on the Quad, at Assembly Hall for the university-wide ceremony, on the north side of campus, at the School of Art and Design, and at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center.
May 11, 2013
Jennifer Monson of Dance at Illinois will be celebrated at the Movement Research Gala on May 13. The artistic director of iLAND (Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance), Monson is best known for her nature-centered project BIRD BRAIN, which took dancers along pathways traveled by gray whales and birds in site-specific performances influenced by their locations and supported by scientific data. Movement Research serves as a laboratory for exploration and experimentation in movement-based art forms while capturing the diversity of artists and audiences. Each year, choreographers, dancers, and other motion-centered innovators are recognized for their contributions. Previous honorees include Meredith Monk, Yvonne Rainer, and Molly Davies.
May 6, 2013
New York Live Arts, a theatre space for novel experimentation in movement arts, hosted a program of dances featuring Boom! by Cythia Oliver on April 25-27. In this duet, Oliver challenges stereotypes, rules of behavior, and notions of self as she and Leslie Cuyjet crawl, crouch, argue, and slip between molten movement and comedic conversation. Brian Seibert of the New York Times notes that “their self-mockery was winning from the start and thereafter.”
May 6, 2013
Polly Bland, a senior majoring in costume design in the Department of Theatre, integrates her background in anthropology to make garments to suit the personality of an actor as well as the character. She draws inspiration from diverse sources such as Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, thrift shop finds, and Patricia Field for her artwork and clothing. In addition to contributing to productions of February Dance and Little Shop of Horrors, she blogs for Teen Vogue and Lucky, sells antiques and more through her Etsy shop, and exhibits pieces at the Boneyard Arts Festival.
May 2, 2012
Dance at Illinois choreographer, researcher, and professor Tere O’Connor has been given a Doris Duke Artist Award for 2013. O’Connor, a master dance maker with more than 30 years of experience, brings metaphor, memory, and aspects of consciousness to the forefront in many of his works. Funding from the Doris Duke Artist Award will allow him to both explore projects that connect writing, teaching, experiencing dance, mentoring, and advocacy and move farther away from the concept of authorship toward dances that are structured to allow for external ideas from the performers and the audience to shape them. The award includes an unrestricted grant of $250,000 over three to five years, $25,000 toward a retirement account, plus the possibility of additional funds for outreach and audience engagement. Chosen by an anonymous panel, winners must have previously earned at least three national grants, awards, or other eminent prizes and have received support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The ten-year Doris Duke Artist Award program is designed to “recognize the potential of individual artists and insure their future viability.”
May 2, 2013