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 and Barak Marshall.
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.”
Michael Breeden is a repetiteur for Justin Peck, having staged his works for Hong Kong Ballet, Ballet Arizona Indiana University, Princeton University and Miami City Ballet. He co-founded the podcast ‘Conversations On Dance,’ and has danced professionally with Boston Ballet II, Miami City Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre and Suzanne Farrell Ballet.
Tessandra Chavez is a two-time Emmy Award-winning choreographer for her work on World of Dance and Dancing with the Stars. A native of San Diego, Chavez has created masterful work for Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, Muse, Derek and Julianne Hough. She has held the position of supervising choreographer for many notable television shows.
Peter Chu is a distinguished artist who strives to push the physical bounds of dance. He trained at Dussich Dance Studio and received his BFA from The Julliard School. Chu founded a Las Vegas project-based company called chuthis. that combines innovative lighting and sound with live contemporary movement and has performed all around the world.
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.
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.
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.
Australian choreographer Dani Rowe was a Principal Dancer with the Australian Ballet and Houston Ballet, and also danced with the prestigious Nederlands Dans Theater. Rowe has choreographed numerous works for companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Co.Lab Dance. She is the former Associate Artistic Director of SFDanceworks.
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.
Toyin Sogunro is a dancer, dance educator, choreographer and cultural ambassador of Black street and club styles. She has gained the respect as one of the best house dancers of this generation and is perhaps most well-known for earning the distinction of performing, winning and judging some of the top dance competitions in the world.
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.
Yin Yue is an internationally recognized performer, choreographer and the founder and artistic director of YY Dance Company (YYDC). Yin studied at the prestigious Shanghai Dance Academy and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she received her MFA in 2008. Yin Yue was the recipient of the 2021 Harkness Promise Award, among others.
Starting this fall, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomes three new Artists in Residence. They include Peter Chu, Dani Rowe and Yin Yue. These renowned artists will work with BFA students, teaching classes and setting choreography.
This semester, Artist in Residence Toyin Sogunro created a new work with BFA students at USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Her piece, titled The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity, will premiere at the USC Kaufman debut at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on April 21-23, 2022.
This semester, two-time Emmy Award-winning choreographer Tessandra Chavez set a new work on BFA students from the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Her piece, titled “Big White Room,” will premiere at the USC Kaufman debut at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on April 21-23, 2022.
This semester, Artist in Residence Doug Varone worked with members of the Class of 2024 to create a new work. The students will perform this piece titled “the momentum of memory” at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on April 21-23, 2022. In this article and corresponding video, students discuss what the rehearsal process was like.
This semester, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomes three new Artists in Residence: Michael Breeden, Tessandra Chavez and Toyin Sogunro. These world renowned artists will work with the BFA students over the next three years.
At the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, BFA students have the opportunity to collaborate with distinguished artists in the field. This semester, the Class of 2022 has been working with Artist in Residence Jermaine Spivey on a new work to be premiered via livestream on Nov. 30.
Artist in Residence Penny Saunders joined the faculty at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance this fall. Through August and into September, she has collaborated in-person with the Class of 2023 on a new work. The piece will be performed through livestream on Saturday, September 18.
This fall, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomes two new faculty members. Penny Saunders will join the School of Dance as an Artist in Residence. Rosanna Tavarez will become an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Dance for the 2021-2022 academic year.
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.
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.