The Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of Kansas has announced the winners of its Choreographic Fellowship for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. Upcoming fellows are Rebecca Bryant, co-founder of PMPD and professor of dance at California State University, Long Beach; Nejla Yatkin, award-winning and internationally acclaimed choreographer and dancer; Gabrielle Lamb, founder and director of Pigeonwing Dance and award-winning choreographer; and Michael Waldrop, choreographer and instructor at the Joffrey Ballet School and Peridance Capezio Center. The Choreographic Fellowship is supported by the Janet Hamburg and the John M. & Frances R.B. Peterson Visiting Artist Funds.
The Choreographic Fellowship program is an adjudicated competition for guest artists to participate in an intensive two‐week teaching and creative residency with KU students each semester.
“The residency exposes dance students to new dance experiences that are vital to their growth as dance artists,” said Jerel Hilding, associate professor and dance studies coordinator.
During their residency, choreographers teach master classes, set works for members of the University Dance Company and help foster connections between dance students and professionals in the dance community. The Choreographic Fellowship competition occurs every two years. The Department of Theatre & Dance also supports the works of alumni and regional choreographers through master classes, workshops and choreographic opportunities.
Rebecca Bryant, Fall 2019 Fellow
Coming from a visual art background, Rebecca Bryant combines choreographed and improvised dance with language and projection to investigate meaning-making in performance. Her work has been shown in 26 U.S. states and 11 countries. She worked with Lower Left Performance Collective for 13 years and is co-founder of PMPD (dance/music/new media). Currently a dance professor at California State University, Long Beach, specializing in improvisation, composition and somatic approaches, she has taught movement workshops in Los Angeles, Berkeley, New York, Stockholm, Oslo, Berlin, Freiburg, Cluj-Napoca, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Bogota and at more than 20 U.S. universities. Read more about Rebecca Bryant.
Nejla Yatkin, Spring 2020 Fellow
Award-winning and critically acclaimed choreographer Nejla Yatkin is a recent 2018 Drama Desk Award nominee, a 3Arts Award fellow and a Princess Grace Choreography Award recipient. Yatkin hails originally from Germany, bringing a luminous and transcultural perspective to her creations. Her focus is regularly drawn to the role that memory and history serve in constructing identity, causing and resolving conflict and transforming cultural tensions into deep, authentic moments of human connections. Read more about Nejla Yatkin.
Gabrielle Lamb, Fall 2020 Fellow
Gabrielle Lamb, winner of a 2014 Princess Grace Choreography Award, is a New York City-based choreographer, dancer and founder/director of Pigeonwing Dance. After training at the Boston Ballet School and joining the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal in 2000, Lamb earned her soloist promotion in 2003. At the invitation of choreographer Christopher Wheeldon she moved to New York City in 2009 to join his company Morphoses. Lamb, who began choreographing in 2005, has won the National Choreographic Competition of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2009 and 2013, First Prizes in Milwaukee Ballet’s Genesis International Choreographic Competition, and Western Michigan University’s National Choreographic Competition. She was named winner of the Banff Centre’s 2014-15 Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award; and in 2014 she was honored with a New York City Center Choreography Fellowship. Most recently she was awarded the S&R Foundation's Washington Award Grand Prize for 2018. Lamb is also a self-taught video artist and animator. Read more about Gabrielle Lamb. (https://www.pigeonwingdance.com/gabrielle)
Michael Waldrop, Spring 2021 Fellow
Michael Waldrop has toured the world, performing with Ballett des Theater Koblenz, State Street Ballet, and Pasadena Dance Theatre, as well as guest performances with Odyssey Dance Theatre, Seamless Dance Theatre and the Covent Garden Dance Company’s international gala Ballet in the Park. From the world of concert dance to the commercial industry, Michael has also appeared in film, television, print, and stage productions. Waldrop has created original works for Theater Koblenz and the Joffrey Ballet School, as well as commissioned presentations for Marymount Manhattan College, the Joffrey Ballet School, and the School of State Street Ballet. His work has been shown throughout the United States, Canada, Japan and Germany, emphasizing dynamic, extension and flow through a classical and contemporary vocabulary. Read more about Michael Waldrop. (http://www.michael-waldrop.com/)
The Department of Theatre & Dance is one of three departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.
For more information on or to apply for the Choreographic Fellowship, visit http://theatredance.ku.edu/choreographic-fellowship.