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Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania--Is the choreographic process "merely moving around to create something" or is it a form of academic scholarship that requires research and development of abstract concepts?

According to Nora Ambrosio, chair of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania's dance department, "choreography as research" is a legitimate academic pursuit. This premise "elevates the status of dance on campus," she says, and is important to both faculty tenure and promotion issues. It augments the learning process by providing exposure to professional artists, and facilitates the awarding of grants.

Recently, the department, which is housed within the College of Health and Human Services, obtained a $9,400 SRU student/faculty research grant to support the creation of two works by choreographer Doug Elkins, artistic director of the Doug Elkins Dance Company.

Following an April 1 performance of Elkins's troupe (which, incidentally, was funded by a $12,000 SRU Student Government Association grant), the choreographer remained on campus to conduct a two-and-a-half-week residency that produced two interrelated works--a duet featuring faculty members Jennifer Keller Birkes and Ursula Payne, and a hip-hop/break dance piece for students. The two new works may be performed together or individually.

"Doug was chosen because we knew that he could work with these two groups" and "could provide the students with a type of choreography that they don't often get to do," says Ambrosio. On October 14, the Slippery Rock University dance department will present a Faculty and Guest Dance Concert at Miller Auditorium on campus to premiere Elkins's choreography. Subsequently, the faculty piece is expected to be performed independently in Pittsburgh (date TBA), while the student work will be reprised on a January 2001 SRU student dance concert.

The 7,500-student campus of Slippery Rock University is located in western Pennsylvania; it offers a B.A. in dance and a dance minor. For further information, see Dance Magazine College Guide 2000-2001.

--Karen Dacko

Teaching Aids--An instructional tape on Eve Gentry Technique (Breathing, Imprinting, and Joint Release) is available from Physicalmind Institute, (note new address) 1807 Second Street, Suite 40, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505; (505) 988-1990, ... Bodarc Productions has released four new instructional CDs with one-hour videos with teachers Judy Ann Bassing, Beth Bogush, Paul Boos and David Howard, and pianists Steven Mitchell, Whit Kellogg and Tim Grundmann. Videos are also available in PAL format.

To order, call (214) 525-1062 (Dallas, Texas) or fax (214) 526-0223.

Albuquerque, New Mexico--Keshet Dance Company, a nonprofit organization based in Albuquerque, has been awarded the 2000 National Arts Education Award by Bravo, the cable television network for the arts. Keshet's professional dancers work as teachers and mentors in community classes and outreach programs, providing dance classes and workshops for children, promoting self-esteem, self-expression and empowerment. They also collaborate with other community groups to offer free classes to children with physical disabilities and reach out to youngsters in youth shelters, detention centers and intervention programs. Bravo, Keshet!

New York, New York--The dates for Broadway Dance Center's next Absolute Beginner Workshop for--yes, it's true--adults wanting to start dance classes are September 24-October 29. That's $95 for the six-week session of warm-ups and stretches, introductory steps, terminology and questions answered. For more information or to register, call (212) 592-9304 or click on It's never too late to learn to love dancing.

Online--The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Web site has added a feature to help link arts communities with federal funding opportunities--Cultural Funding: Federal Opportunities. This resource tool is intended to show federal funding opportunities at national, regional, state and local levels. Try it. The address is ... The Saint Paul, Minnesota-based Jerome Foundation will act as financial agent for contributions to the Mike Steele Fellowship Program: Innovations in Performing Arts Criticism. Steele, who was the dance critic for the Minneapolis Star Tribune until last fall, died in May. For further information, to make contributions or to receive grant information, contact Vickie Benson, Senior Program Officer at the Jerome Foundation, (651) 224-9431 or click on ... New Yorkand Los Angeles-based offices of Career Transition for Dancers are richer by a grant of $50,000 per year for three years to establish the Luigi Gasparinetti Scholarship Program for Graduate Studies. These grants add to benefactor Caroline H. Newhouse's contributions, which since 1992 have enabled the organization to award scholarships to dancers totaling more than $880,000. Newhouse has again pledged $100,000 to Career Transition's scholarship funds in support of education and retraining needs of professional dancers. Besides grants, Career Transition operates a nationwide toll-free counseling and referral hotline for dancers outside its immediate metropolitan service areas: 1-800-581-2833.

Dance Magazine College Guide 2000-2001 is now on sale for your reading pleasure, and for planning ahead for application to dance programs. This tenth edition contains new insights, graphics and descriptions of College and university dance programs. For more information or to order, turn to page 45 of this issue, or visit Dance Magazine's Web site at and click on DM College Guide.
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Author:PATRICK, K.C.
Publication:Dance Magazine
Date:Sep 1, 2000
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