Throughout the academic year, dancers 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, Alejandro Cerrudo, Hope Boykin, Dwight Rhoden, Jiří Kylián and Crystal Pite, 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, USC’s Bing Theatre and off-campus venues. Students also have the opportunity to present their choreography at least once a semester.
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 Hope Boykin, Matthew Neenan, Sonya Tayeh, Andrew Winghart, Christopher Scott and Jessica Lee Keller—who have all created new works on our students.
There are many opportunities for special, one-time 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 LACMA and The Broad Stage, nationally at The Joyce Theater and Jacob’s Pillow, and internationally at Gala de Danza in Los Cabos, Mexico. They have also performed at events including the Laguna Dance Festival, the Los Angeles Times Book Festival and the World Choreography Awards, among others.
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 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.
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.