Throughout the academic year, BFA students study and practice traditional and contemporary repertory with an intentional emphasis on stylistic approach, performance quality, role development and the dancer as a collaborator in the creative process. Previous repertory includes works by George Balanchine, Hope Boykin, Alejandro Cerrudo, Jiří Kylián, Crystal Pite, and Dwight Rhoden, as well as new works by Artists in Residence and core faculty. BFA performances take place in the Large Performance Studio at the Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center, theatres throughout campus and off-campus venues. Students also have the opportunity to present their choreography at least once a semester, starting second semester of their first year.
Artists and choreographers from major companies often visit USC Kaufman. BFA students have performed with Hubbard Street II at the USC Fisher Museum of Art as part of Lita Albequerque’s 20/20: Accelerando installation, and have shared the stage with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Bill T. Jones and with Jon Boogz through USC’s Visions & Voices program.
Other guest choreographers have included Matthew Neenan, Christopher Scott, Sonya Tayeh, and Andrew Winghart,—who have all created new works on our students.
There are many opportunities for special, one-time USC performances. Students performed at the opening of the USC Village, the halftime show of USC Trojan Football games, the USC Trustee Conference in Santa Barbara, the USC Global Conference in Tokyo and the USC Arts Showcase as part of the inauguration of President Carol L. Folt.
There is also no shortage of off-campus performance opportunities. USC Kaufman BFA students have performed locally at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Wallis Center for the Performing Arts. They have also performed at nearby events, including the Laguna Dance Festival, the Los Angeles Times Book Festival and the World Choreography Awards, among others. Finally, they have performed nationally at The Joyce Theater and Jacob’s Pillow, and internationally in Los Cabos, Mexico, London, England, Tokyo, Japan and, most recently, Fürth, Germany.
The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance is excited to announce the upcoming Fall semester performances. These events reflect a diverse range of choreographers, guest artists and movement styles. Through USC Kaufman performances, BFA students will have opportunities to explore different styles and engage with peers.
USC Kaufman performed at the Stadttheater Fürth for their European debut. Colin Heino (BFA ’23) talks about the experience: “dancing at the Stadttheater Fürth taught me not only about what it feels like to tour and dance abroad, but also about myself and the artist I want to become. I will cherish this memory for the rest of my life.”
Jenna Meilman (BFA ‘23) and Jessalyn Ward (BFA ‘23) will perform July 21-23, 2022 at the Stadttheater Fürth in Fürth, Germany with recent USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance graduates and fellow classmates. As they prepare, they share their experiences on the three-week rehearsal process leading up to the USC Kaufman Debut in Germany.
Starting this fall, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomes three new Artists in Residence: Peter Chu, Dani Rowe and Yin Yue.
To close the spring semester, USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance BFA students performed in a culminating event at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Calif. The show featured both highly-renowned and new choreography from artists including USC Kaufman lecturer Achinta S. McDaniel, guest artists Ohad Naharin and Justin Peck, and Artists in Residence Tessandra Chavez, Toyin Sogunro and Doug Varone.
Michael Breeden, an Artist in Residence at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, met choreographer Justin Peck when they were peers at the School of American Ballet. Now after two decades of friendship, Breeden is staging Peck’s version of “Rodeo” for the USC Kaufman debut at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
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.
One of the main appeals of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance is the unique experience to collaborate with other artists in the broader USC community. In this student blog, Ashton Benn (BFA ’24) discusses Choreographers and Composers and how it offers students the opportunity to integrate different disciplines while working closely with their peers.
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.
We received an opportunity for USC Kaufman and USC Thornton students to produce and perform a Broadway-inspired song and dance number. The performance would air as part of the NBC Sports LA Fan Fest event taking place at the Coliseum, home to our USC Trojan Football team.
The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance continues to welcome back in-person performances with Fall New Works. This semester, Associate Professor of Practice Patrick Corbin and Lecturer Amy O’Neal have been working with the Classes of 2024 and 2025 to create these new works to engage audiences in innovative ways since the pandemic.
The USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will host its very first Cypher Celebration on October 6 and 7. This event will bring the cypher, an integral part of hip-hop where dancers gather in a circle and take turns freestyling, to a performance stage. Lecturer Amy O’Neal serves as performance culture liaison for the USC Kaufman hip-hop faculty and is organizing this event.
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.
USC Kaufman’s faculty, staff and students continue to show their strong commitment to a creative and successful virtual semester. While navigating through this unprecedented time, the School of Dance’s sense of community has never been more important. As the end of this semester draws nearer, the USC Kaufman community is eager to share what they have been working on for its online dance festival, A/Part To/Gather: Spring 2021.
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.
This coming semester, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will offer its students the chance to engage with renowned guest artists and repertory as our dance studios begin to open. Guest artists Kara Wilkes, Toyin Sogunro and Peter Chu will engage with BFA students remotely throughout the semester. BFA students will also learn repertory from current USC Kaufman faculty and Artists in Residence.