Announcing Spring 2024 repertory and guest artists

January 24, 2024

Clockwise from top left: Kyle Abraham, Bret Easterling, Nina Flagg, Jeff Thacker, Garen Scribner, Bruce McCormick, Roderick George

USC Kaufman welcomes two new Artists in Residence and adds an acclaimed work of choreography to its prestigious repertory. Plus, a new multimedia project and world premieres by guests and faculty.

Each semester ushers in new creative opportunities for USC Kaufman BFA students. Spring 2024 is no different.

The second half of the 2023–2024 academic year is full of surprises. One is the school debut of an original work by a Tony Award-winning choreographer. Yet another: An experimental multimedia project by a member of USC Kaufman’s Board of Councilors. And of course, the unveiling of new repertory by USC Kaufman Artists in Residence and faculty members. 

Below is an overview of who and what to expect over the next five months. 

Artists in Residence

New Artist in Residence Roderick George is set to stage his first work for USC Kaufman. He is the recent recipient of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation Dancer Award. As a young dancer, George trained with the Alvin Ailey School, Miami City Ballet, and LINES Professional Program. Later, he joined The Forsythe Company under the direction of William Forsythe. Career highlights include collaborations with Jorma Elo, Jerome Bel, Jiří Kylian, Sharon Eyal, Ohan Naharin, Benoit Swan-Pouffer, Richard Wherlock, Tino Seghal, and many others.

Garen Scriber joins USC for the first time as an Artist in Residence. The LA-based Scriber is a former soloist with San Francisco Ballet and star of the Broadway and National Touring Production of An American in Paris. Scribner will stage Tony Award-winner Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour—“a tonic for the soul” according to The Guardian.

Faculty and special guests

Claude and Alfred Mann Endowed Professor in Dance Kyle Abraham | Photo by Matt de la Peña

USC Claude and Alfred Mann Endowed Professor in Dance Kyle Abraham unveils the world premiere of Medulla Problems, an original creation for the Class of 2024. The collaborative work dates to the winter of 2023 and takes inspiration from the music of Bjork. It is the second original work by Abraham since being appointed the Claude and Alfred Mann Endowed Professor in 2019. The USC community received a sneak peek in the spring of 2023.

USC Kaufman Lecturer Bret Easterling | Photo by Benjamin Peralta

USC Kaufman BFA students will create a new contemporary work with Lecturer Bret Easterling. Easterling previously staged repertory by Ohad Naharin in 2021. The former Batsheva company dancer has been making waves recently as the co-director of The Ghost Light Residency, a new artistic incubator for local artists in the LA area. 

Lecturer Nina Flagg will create her first original work for USC Kaufman BFA students. Flagg draws from Hip-Hop and Dancehall techniques. Among many accolades, she has a long history of collaboration with choreographer Rennie Harris and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. As a BIPOC artist and educator, Flagg often draws on her passion for creating equitable, multi-generational art. 

It’s another world premiere for Bruce McCormick. The USC Kaufman Associate Professor of Practice will create and stage a new contemporary ballet for BFA students. McCormick joined USC Kaufman’s faculty in 2018. Prior to, he performed internationally as a member of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Bavarian State Ballet and the Bern Ballet. He also served as Assistant Artistic Director of North Netherlands Dance and a Guest Rehearsal Director with Ballet BC. 

Jeff Thacker, a member of USC Kaufman’s Board of Councilors, puts students behind the lens. A long-time Executive Producer of the FOX television series So You Think You Can Dance, Thacker’s project is titled “Dance for TV/Cameras.” The idea: experiment with the technical know-how of capturing movement on camera. In a distinguished career that spans multiple genres, Thacker has produced TV shows with major artists such as Sir Elton John, Pavarotti, Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Britney Spears, Diana Ross, Enrique Iglesias, Sting, and Celine Dion, among others. 

A return to the Bing Theatre

USC Kaufman BFA students perform Tyce Diorio’s “Balkan Beat Box” at the Bing. Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

The Spring 2024 repertory will be presented during USC Kaufman’s Spring Showcase, April 25–27 at the Bing Theatre at USC’s School of Dramatic Arts. All four presentations are free and open to the public. Registration is required. Stay tuned for registration information later in the semester.

Visit our website for more information about USC Kaufman facultyArtists in Residence, and guest artists.

Visiting artists to USC Kaufman are supported in part through generous funding from The Choi Family Artists in Residence Fund.