On Friday, May 13, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance hosted a satellite commencement ceremony at Founders Park to celebrate the Class of 2022. In addition to opening remarks from Dean Robert Cutietta, USC President Carol L. Folt and visionary founder Glorya Kaufman shared a few words with the graduating class.
This semester, Kaufman Connections returned to fully in-person instruction, while continuing to follow Covid related safety protocols. This community engagement initiative brings the choreographic process with a focus on hip-hop to the 32nd Street Elementary School. BFA students from the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance work as teaching artists to give weekly, one-hour dance classes to the elementary school students.
While continuing to navigate Covid related safety measures, Spring 2022 saw a complete return to in person instruction and events. This semester, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance presented many exciting performances, including their LA debut at The Wallis.
The Southern California Choreographic Collective (SCCC) is a student-led organization. They have four main pillars: highlight student choreography, create space for students to present work, use dance as a means to create community, and promote collaboration.
Celeste M. Alleyne, an executive at Microsoft and great admirer of the arts, recently became the newest member of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance Board of Councilors. In addition to her vast work in diversity, equity and inclusion, corporate communications, local government and higher education, dance is a great passion for Alleyne who studied under Virginia Wolf at the internationally acclaimed Boston Ballet.
Last month, BFA students at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance had the honor of taking a master class with the world-renowned dancer and choreographer Brian Friedman. This opportunity was a way for us to have hands-on experience in the commercial dance industry.
Today, May 4th, our annual Day of SCupport, we celebrate what keeps our Trojan Family connected across generations and united in a common purpose: to help USC excel and advance the mission in teaching, research, artistic creation, professional practice and public service.
Interested in learning about how dance can be beneficial to our neurology? USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance’s newest course explores the benefits of dance for people with Parkinson’s disease, and puts that knowledge into action with fieldwork in the community.
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance offers various courses that are open not only to BFA students, but to all USC students. This fall, USC Kaufman will offer many new exciting open courses, including Intro to Hip-Hop, Spirituality and Social Change, and more.
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.
Achinta S. McDaniel, USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance lecturer, considers her work as an Indian American choreographer to be contemporary. While her choreography employs some classical Indian elements, including Kathak, she views her work as a unique American creation. For the upcoming USC Kaufman debut at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, McDaniel created a new piece titled “1947” with the BFA first and second year students.
Lecturer Bret Easterling joined Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel after graduating from college. He danced with them for seven years under the art direction of Ohad Naharin. Once he left, Easterling began working as a stager of Naharin’s work for collegiate dance programs and companies. For the upcoming USC Kaufman debut at The Wallis, he is staging Naharin’s “Minus 16” with BFA juniors and seniors.
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.
For Anne Kim (BFA ‘22), combining her dance training with her studies in gerontology offered a natural fit for her senior project. As Kim finishes up her time at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, she is also pursuing a progressive Master’s of Science in Gerontology at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. Kim’s project will offer a showcase of film, visual art and dance all inspired by and made in collaboration with her grandmother.
During her time at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, India Dobbie (BFA ’22) volunteered as a Teaching Artist through Kaufman Connections at 32nd Street Elementary School near campus. She also combined her BFA training with a minor in the Dynamics of Early Childhood minor through the USC Rossier School of Education. These experiences helped shape her senior project titled “Choreographic Connections in our Community.”
On April 1 and 2, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will hold its biennial Cypher Summit. While the overarching theme of the event continues to showcase the importance of hip-hop in educational spaces at the university level, this year’s summit centers on women in hip-hop. In this spirit, USC Kaufman partnered with the nonprofit organization Ladies of Hip-Hop to plan the event.
For her senior project, Anijah Lezama (BFA ‘22) wanted to find a way to show a culmination of the ideas, movement, people, practices and values that she engaged with during her time at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Lezama decided to create a dance film depicting the nuances of everyday life, but with a twist: filming through Spectacles by Snapchat.
For her senior project, Nina Gumbs (BFA ‘22) is highlighting a company she founded in February 2021. Her company, Good Company Enterprises, focuses on building a better matrix for the dance industry, working with artists and professionals in Los Angeles. To feature the company, Gumbs is producing a show titled An Evening with Good Company. The show will include a short dance performance followed by a networking event.
For his senior project, Jona Huang (BFA ‘22) knew he wanted to produce a show that would bring Los Angeles communities together. He began with three small shows, all self-produced and self-funded. According to Huang, these smaller shows were originally going to be his entire senior project, but he got hooked on the process and wanted to create something bigger.
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.
On March 9, the USC Asian Pacific Islander Faculty and Staff Association (APIFSA), USC Asian Pacific American Student Assembly (APASA), Asian Pacific American Student Services (APASS) and the USC Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) held a vigil for victims of the Atlanta shooting that occurred on March 16, 2021.
Emmy Award-winning director and producer Nigel Lythgoe will deliver the commencement address for the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance BFA Class of 2022. The satellite commencement ceremony will take place at the University of Southern California’s Founders Park on Friday, May 13, 2022.
This year’s USC School of Dramatic Arts all university musical is “A Chorus Line.” USC Kaufman BFA students Ava Noble (BFA ’23) and Luke Qualls (BFA ’22), as well as dance minor Conrad Rocha talk about their experience auditioning for the show and the process of rehearsals.
USC Kaufman’s dance minor allows students across all schools to converge in their practice of the art form, attracting people from varying disciplines. These students include sophomore Greg Ward and junior Samara Anderson. Read on to learn more about their experiences as dance minors and how they balance it with the rest of their studies and activities at USC.
The Senior Spotlights showcase included group pieces, duets and solos of varying styles from ballet to commercial jazz. The purpose of this showcase was to invite industry professionals to watch the graduating class in an intimate setting. After the showing, there was a reception to allow dancers and guests to mingle.
Shea Hancock (BFA ’25) shares her DANC 131: Improvisation & Composition experience as Associate Professor of Practice d. Sabela grimes has championed improv as composition. Hancock also describes the lead up to the Fresh Sesh performance, an informal sharing of work from the class.
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance BFA students have been hard at work learning a variety of repertory by faculty and guest artists. As the University approaches the semester’s midpoint, USC Kaufman will present Spring Works in Progress, a look into material the BFA students have been working on.
With support from an anonymous donor, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will make its debut in Germany this July 20-23 at the Stadttheater Fürth in Bavaria. Members of the USC Kaufman Class of 2022 and Class of 2023 will perform excerpts of “Rodeo” by Justin Peck and “Minus 16” by Ohad Naharin.