As of 2017, the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) will have provided creative development residencies for over 120 professional artists and their collaborators from around the United States. As it serves the creative process, MANCC also affords time and space for meaningful interactions, or “Entrypoints,” with faculty and students. These opportunities lead students into beneficial relationships including networking, future career development, and even employment with MANCC’s resident artists.
During the 2016/17 residency season, MANCC artists provided 18 opportunities for students to engage with their process through open rehearsals, work-in-progress showings, facilitated conversations, and classroom visits. Students report that such exposure broadens their professional and artistic visions.
Cheri Stokes (MFA 2017) was invited to participate as a studio assistant for Bessie Award-winning artist, Okwui Okpokwasili. Stokes writes, “…being immersed in her process not only informed me about her choreographic voice, but also educated me about the production aspects of the work…” Other nationally acclaimed artists who invited student assistants into the studio include Camille A. Brown, Lin Hixson and Matthew Goulish, Pam Tanowitz, and Bill Shannon.
Several artists, including Michelle Ellsworth, Camille A. Brown, and Pam Tanowitz, opened the doors on their rehearsal process to specific classes with curriculum aligned with ideas and concepts being explored while in residence. These classes included Visiting Professor, Andre Zachary’s Dance Technology course, a non-major Hip-hop class lead by Andre Lumpkin, Professor Doug Corbin’s Rhythmic Analysis class, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s Directing class.
Ten dance students worked daily with Living Legacy Artist, Ann Carlson during her Fall residency. Reflecting on her time spent with FSU students, Carlson wrote, “…this was fantastic, energizing, and moved the project forward for me in ways that couldn’t have been possible without this interaction and collaboration.”
In some cases, FSU graduates have been hired to perform and tour with MANCC artists, with whom they first connected as students at FSU. Shamar Watt (BFA 2015) returned to FSU to be in residence at MANCC with Camille A. Brown, and Maggie Cloud (BFA 2010) was in residence as a performer with Pam Tanowitz.
From performing experience to research and professional exposure, FSU’s School of Dance students are getting a headstart in the dance field thanks to their relationships with MANCC artists. We look forward to continuing to engage FSU students in the upcoming 2017/18 season.