For Dr. Carole J. Ott, associate director of choral activities, every opportunity to work with new students is an opportunity to learn more about herself and her craft. Ott has taken this passion for teaching, as well as a passion for research, to São João del-Rei, Minas Gerais, Brazil as the first Fulbright Scholar to collaborate with the Universidade Federal de São João del-Rei. There, she will explore archives of relatively unknown sacred choral music held by orchestras that have been performing this music continuously since the 18th century.
“The music brings the possibility of diversifying the well-known canon of composers such as Mozart, Haydn and Bach, and highlights the abilities of colonial Brazilian musicians,” Ott said.
While teaching and collaborating at the Universidade Federal de São João del-Rei, Ott will work with primary sources found only in local archives, observe and document modern adaptations of 18th century choral music in Brazil, listen to Brazilian pronunciation of Latin texts and transform these primary sources into modern performing editions for choral directors worldwide.
“The editions I create from archival materials could become inspiration for free improvisation, enabling students to experience this music from a new perspective,” Ott said.
Free improvisation is a fundamental part of how she teaches her students. By incorporating free improvisation, Ott said her students experience themselves as not only performers of music, but as creators of original music.
“This has unleashed the creative potential of my students and of every group with whom I have worked in this manner,” Ott said. “I am extremely excited to share this method with music students and faculty in Brazil through workshops or exploratory coursework.”
Ott’s work in Brazil will continue through December, but Ott said she is confident her experiences in Brazil will stick with her well beyond her term as Fulbright Scholar and provide her yet another perspective on teaching and how best to serve all of her students.
By Victor Ayala, Campus Weekly Staff
The College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Dance are proud to announce their selection for the 2018 Distinguished Alumna in Dance: Tiffany Rhynard.
Tiffany Rhynard is an artist, dancer, and filmmaker compelled to make work that examines the complexity of human behavior and addresses current social issues. Having created numerous works for stage and screen, Rhynard’s choreography, dance films, and documentaries have been presented nationwide and internationally. Her dance films have screened at festivals including Dancing for the Camera at the American Dance Festival and ScreenDance Miami 2015 where she won First Prize for her short “Invisible Queens.”
Rhynard’s award-winning documentary, “Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America,” was honored with the Social Justice Film Award from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Freedom Award from Outfest Film Festival. “Forbidden” is currently airing on LogoTV and is sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Her recent dance documentary short, “Black Stains,” created in collaboration with Trent D. Williams, Jr. about black male identity in the United States, is currently screening at film festivals. Now in the pre-production phrase, “A Right to Kill,” is a feature-length documentary questioning the ethics of capital punishment.
A cross-disciplinary artist, Rhynard has worked with esteemed collaborators including choreographer Christal Brown, internationally renowned composer Lei Liang, real-time digital media artist Marlon Barrios Solano, and mezzo-soprano Sahoko Sato Timpone. As a performer, Rhynard has danced for choreographers including Gerri Houlihan, Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians, and Chavasse Dance and Performance Group. She has taught at colleges and universities throughout the country and currently teaches dance and technology in the FSU School of Dance.
In addition to other events that will take place during the week of November 5, Tiffany will be screening her film, Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America. The screening will take place on November 5 in room 225 of the Curry Building on the UNCG campus.
Congratulations to Tiffany and all of the 2018 CVPA Distinguished Alumni!
School of Dance Professor Duane Cyrus’ October 2017 performance in the premiere of Cynthia Oliver’s Virago-Man Dem has been nominated for a Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer. Dubbed the “Oscars of Dance”, the Bessies honor groundbreaking and exceptional work in performance, choreography, visual design, and music composition. The awards ceremony will take place on October 8, 2018, at the Skirball Center in New York City. Congrats to Prof. Cyrus and all of the nominees!
School of Dance Professor Clarice Young spent this past summer as a member of the teaching faculty at the American Dance Festival’s 85th season at Duke University. ADF was founded to “encourage and support the creation and presentation of new modern dance work by both established and emerging choreographers, to preserve our modern dance heritage through continued presentation of classic works as well as through archival efforts, to build wider national and international audiences for modern dance, to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the art form and its cultural and historical significance, to provide a sound scientific and aesthetic base for professional education and training of young dancers, and to maintain a forum for integrating and disseminating information on dance education” (ADF website).
Prof. Young taught classes as well as a set repertory of her former company director Ronald K. Brown, who received the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement. UNCG Dance major Shaylin Watson served as Prof. Young’s assistant, and UNCG Dance majors Nia Sadler and Taylor Roberson were in the repertory.
Photo courtesy of Clarice Young, pictured back row, 2nd from left.
Dr. Jill Green has announced her retirement in Spring 2019. Dr. Green is a widely published expert in the field of somatics and has been teaching somatics, body studies, and pedagogy to UNCG Dance majors since she joined the faculty in 1993. She will serve as the Interim Director of the School of Dance while current Director and Professor Janet Lilly is on research leave.
A celebration of Dr. Green’s service to the School of Dance is currently in the planning stages and will be announced soon.