Home » News » Dance Celebrates Anniversary by Celebrating Alumni

Dance Celebrates Anniversary by Celebrating Alumni

This year, the School of Dance celebrates the anniversary of 80 years of dance on campus and 50 years of professional degree programs. In honor if this anniversary, the school welcomed back their alum for a reunion over a recent performance weekend. Nearly 40 alums attended the event, with their graduation years ranging from 1968 to 2013. They participated in master classes and a panel discussion, as well as presented their own work in an informal choreographic showing.

 

Alumni Celebration, photo by Jon Nalon

Alumni Celebration, photo by Jon Nalon

The alums of Florida State University’s School of Dance are certainly making their mark on the dance world!

Darrell Jones (MFA, 1995 and MANCC Choreographic Fellow) received a 2013 Juried Bessie Award for Choreography for his latest work, Hoo-Ha (for your eyes only). He is one of only two people to receive this prestigious honor this year. Jones premiered his award-winning creation on May 23, 2013 at Danspace Project (NY). Leading up to the performance, Jones spent multiple weeks developing the work at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography through Florida State’s School of Dance.

Merry Lynn Morris (MFA, 1998) has developed The Rolling Dance Chair over the course of seven years with the assistance of $150,000 of grant money. The chair can turn on a dime and is controlled seamlessly by the movements of the person in the seat. This allows effortless movement through space… or even dancing without interrupting the dance to pump the wheels of a wheelchair. Last month, Morris presented her invention at the Smithsonian Institution during a conference for innovators.

Panel discussion facilitated by Anjali Austin featuring Dr. Nancy Smith Fichter, Patty Phillips, and Russell Sandifer. Photo by Rachel Hunter.

Panel discussion facilitated by Anjali Austin featuring Dr. Nancy Smith Fichter, Patty Phillips, and Russell Sandifer. Photo by Rachel Hunter.

Jennine Willett (MFA, 1996 and Florida State in NYC Faculty), Tom Pearson (BFA, 1998 and Florida State in NYC Faculty), and Zach Morris (Florida State in NYC Faculty) are artistic directors of Third Rail Projects, an organization dedicated to reframing dance and performance and bringing art to the public through an array of media and within a variety of contexts. This year, Third Rail launched their first ever touring work, Roadside Attraction. Additionally, their long-running immersive theatre hit Then She Fell (featuring performances by Roxanne Kidd, BFA 2012, and Joshua Reaver, BFA 2011) was heralded by the critics and won one of three 2013 Bessie Awards for Outstanding Production.