Announcing new Artists in Residence: Spring 2021

February 9, 2021

Four dancers rehearse in a studio

Micaela Taylor and The TL Collective during the 2019 New Movement Residency | Photo by Mary Mallaney

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.

Dwight Rhoden

Rhoden, Founder and Artistic Director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, joins USC Kaufman this semester as an Artist in Residence. He has performed with a myriad of companies including Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Les Ballet Jazz De Montreal and as a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Rhoden has created over 100 ballets for Complexions, as well as for numerous other companies internationally. He has directed and choreographed for TV, film, theater and live performances. Rhoden has worked for So You Think You Can Dance, E! Entertainment’s Tribute to Style and Cirque Du Soleil. He has also collaborated with high-profile artists including Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Kelly Clarkson and Patrick Swayze.

Rhoden has taught and created works at many Universities across the globe including New York University, Juilliard, Boston Conservatory and The University of Mississippi to name a few. Last semester, he and fellow Artist in Residence Desmond Richardson worked with BFA students on Rhoden’s “RED/THE FORCE.” This semester, members of the Class of 2023 and the Class of 2024 will perform “RED/THE FORCE” as part of USC Kaufman’s spring online festival. Members of the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2022 will also learn a new work titled “Prelude” by Rhoden, which will premiere during the spring online festival.

Headshot of Dwight Rhoden

Dwight Rhoden | Photo by Jae Man Joo

Micaela Taylor

In 2019, Taylor joined USC Kaufman for its New Movement Residency. The three-week residency provides a space for artists to explore, create and prepare dance work for future touring and presentations. During her residency, she worked with BFA students including alumna Stephanie Dai (BFA ‘19), who is now a member of Taylor’s company The TL Collective.

Taylor, the founding Artistic Director of Los Angeles-based company The TL Collective, is the recipient of the Inaugural Springboard EMERGE Choreographic Award. She was named among DANCE Magazine’s “25-to-Watch” in 2019 and graced the cover of Dance Magazine’s May 2020 issue.

Taylor has commissioned work for Gibney Dance Company, BODYTRAFFIC and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. She also collaborated with Tyra Banks to create ModelLand, an immersive experience in Santa Monica, Calif. This spring, Taylor will work with members of the Class of 2023 and the Class of 2024.

Doug Varone wearing all black dancing barefoot in front of a black background

Doug Varone | Photo by Hayim Heron

Doug Varone

Varone, a renowned educator and an award-winning choreographer and director, joins USC Kaufman this semester. He has served as the Artistic Director of the New York City-based Doug Varone and Dancers for the past 35 years. Since its founding in 1986, Doug Varone and Dancers has commanded attention for its expansive vision, versatility and technical prowess. On tour, the company has performed in more than 125 cities in 45 states across the United States and in Europe, Asia, Canada and South America.

In the world of opera, Doug Varone is an established director and choreographer. Among his four productions at The Metropolitan Opera are Salome with its Dance of the Seven Veils, the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy, Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, designed by David Hockney, and Hector Berloiz’s Les Troyens.

Varone has received numerous honors and awards during his career. These include a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, Obie Award, Jerome Robbins Fellowship at the Boglaisco Institute in Italy and two Bessie Awards. In 2015, he was awarded both a Doris Duke Artist Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Dance Guild. This spring, Varone will work with members of the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2022.

Visiting artists to USC Kaufman are supported in part through generous funding from The Choi Family Artists in Residence Fund. For more information about Artists in Residence, please click here or watch the video below: