USC Kaufman Artists in Residence are part-time faculty members who are typically in residence for three to six weeks. In addition to teaching studio classes in their fields of expertise, Artists in Residence choreograph new works or stage repertory for USC Kaufman.
To adapt to ever-evolving industry trends, USC Kaufman continuously recruits active professionals who are recognized in the dance field to join the faculty as Artists in Residence. In addition to our current Artists in Residence below, previous Artists in Residence include Aszure Barton.
Hope Boykin is a choreographer, performer and former member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. An original member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, she also danced with Philadanco. Boykin serves as Artistic Lead for Kennedy Center Dance Lab and is an inspirational speaker. An educator, creator, mover and motivator, she believes “…there are no limits.”
Marjani Forté-Saunders is an award-winning independent artist, choreographer, performer and educator who co-founded LOVE|FORTÉ A COLLECTIVE. She is also C0-Director of the Alkebulan Cultural Center of Northwest Pasadena, CA.
Zippora Karz is a former soloist with the New York City Ballet, where she performed for 16 years on stage and in television. She is a master teacher, currently responsible for staging the ballets choreographed by George Balanchine.
Fiona Lummis is a master teacher responsible for staging the works of choreographer Jiří Kylián. She performed with Netherlands Dance Theater for two decades, dancing featured roles in many classical and contemporary ballets.
Barak Marshall is an award-winning choreographer whose works are performed internationally by companies such as Batsheva Dance Company, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, BODYTRAFFIC and London’s Rambert Dance Company.
Victor Quijada is the Founding Director and choreographer of the Montreal-based contemporary dance company RUBBERBAND. He has a rare perspective on a large spectrum of dance, possessing knowledge and experience that spans from the street corner to the concert hall.
Dwight Rhoden is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and has created over 100 ballets for Complexions, and Ballet Companies worldwide. He has written, directed and choreographed across mediums including film, television and musical theater. He is the recipient of various awards and honors, and has received an honorary doctorate from The Boston Conservatory.
Desmond Richardson is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet and a former principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Frankfurt Ballet. A Tony Award nominee and honorary doctorate recipient, he has been hailed by The New York Times as among the great dancers of his time.
Penny Saunders is a Princess Grace Award winner and the current Resident Choreographer at The Grand Rapids Ballet. After a 20 year performing career with American Repertory Ballet, Ballet Arizona, MOMIX and Hubbard Street, she launched her choreographic career which has led her to create works for Pacific Northwest Ballet, Hubbard Street, BalletX, Whim W’Him, Royal New Zealand Ballet, among others.
Jermaine Spivey is a Juilliard graduate, Princess Grace Award winner and highly sought-after dancer, educator and choreographer. He presently dances with Crystal Pite’s company Kidd Pivot.
Micaela Taylor is the Artistic Director, Founder and Choreographer of The TL Collective. Trained in hip-hop and ballet, she created her own dance genre named “expand practice,” exuding emotion and creating varied physical shapes and textures as expressions of one’s authentic self. Taylor’s work has been presented at Jacob’s Pillow, The Broad Stage, Ford Amphitheatre and more.
Doug Varone is an award-winning choreographer and director who works in dance, theater, opera and film. His New York City-based Doug Varone and Dancers has been commissioned and presented to critical acclaim by leading international venues for over three decades.
This spring, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomes three new Artists in Residence with diverse choreography experiences. These new artists – Dwight Rhoden, Micaela Taylor and Doug Varone – will join fellow Artists in Residence Marjani Forté-Saunders and Victor Quijada in working with the BFA students this semester.
Every school year, USC Kaufman proudly offers its students the opportunity to learn a variety of renowned repertory and to work with some of the most distinguished artists in the field. Even though instruction remains online, USC Kaufman looks forward to continuing this tradition in the Spring 2021 semester.
2020 tested the resolve of the entire University of Southern California community. Nevertheless, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance proved to have a busy and successful year. USC Kaufman embarked on a multitude of unique artistic endeavors, despite the world pivoting to the virtual space in March. As 2020 comes to an end, USC Kaufman revisits some of these memorable moments.
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomes Artist in Residence Hope Boykin. Boykin is a choreographer, educator and current member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Performing professionally for over two decades, she has traveled the world and learned many lessons, which she never hesitates to use as food and fuel for her performances. We asked her to share a bit about herself.
This month, choreographer Jiří Kylián was elected into the Académie des Beaux-Arts, one of the five academies of the Institut de France. Kylián will join Section VI: membres libres, or free members. Opera manager Hugues R. Gall, also a member of Section VI, will announce and invite Kylián formally to the Académie.
When USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance Vice Dean and Artistic Director Jodie Gates asked Victor Quijada to join the school’s faculty as an Artist in Residence, there was no job description. The school did not yet physically exist: in 2014, USC Kaufman was a few rooms scattered across the university campus. Core faculty members were still auditioning the first BFA class.
Aszure Barton’s choreography is notorious for its complexity: count structures, canons, minute flicks of the fingers and toes. Walk into one of her rehearsals at USC Kaufman and you’ll hear a dissonant symphony of students vocalizing their counts.
Last fall, Israeli choreographer Barak Marshall set excerpts of his full-length work “Monger” on USC Kaufman BFA students. This semester, he returns to teach the work again—this time, as an Artist in Residence. The opportunity to teach at USC Kaufman as a faculty member, he said, was too good to pass up.
BFA dance majors at USC Kaufman spared no time once they returned to school this fall—new Artist in Residence Jermaine Spivey had already arrived to set excerpts of Crystal Pite’s “Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue.”
This fall, USC Kaufman welcomes four brand new Artists in Residence, each from a different background and with a diverse range of dance experience. The four choreographers—Aszure Barton, Marjani Forté-Saunders, Barak Marshall and Jermaine Spivey—will set work on BFA dance students throughout the year.
As the class of 2021’s second semester at Kaufman began, we were already exposed to a wealth of knowledge and information in the first week. Ranging from repertoire and improvisational tasks with William Forsythe, new creation with Sonya Tayeh, Ohad Naharin’s movement language ‘Gaga’ guided by Bret Easterling, and Victor Quijada’s RUBBERBAND Method.
Zippora Karz has the most beautiful long legs; her line is impeccably clean. Working with Professor Karz as one of USC Kaufman’s artists in residence is not just humbling, but engaging–her story is so incredible that it is almost unbelievable, until you hear it straight from her mouth.
Following the Oct. 6 master class with Mariinsky Ballet’s Yuri Fateyev, USC Kaufman BFA students attended a special salon with Mariinsky’s, Diana Visheva and USC Kaufman faculty member Desmond Richardson of Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Vice Dean and Director Jodie Gates moderated the discussion.