Contemporary dance repertory performed by students from the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will highlight the Gala Dinner on the closing night of the 2017 USC Global Conference, to be hosted at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo, Japan, on Sept. 21-23, 2017.
Jodie Gates, vice dean and director of the school, said that up to 10 sophomore and junior BFA dance students will be making the trip to Japan with her. They will be performing works by American and European choreographers.
The students represent the first two classes to enroll at USC Kaufman, the first new school created at the university in 40 years. It was philanthropist Glorya Kaufman’s transformative gift in November 2012 that established school that bears her name. Her gift created an endowment to support the school’s programs in contemporary and classical dance, recruit renowned faculty and provide student scholarships, as well as fund construction of the Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center, the largest building dedicated to dance on a private university campus. The 54,000 square foot Italianate Collegiate Gothic building had its grand opening Oct. 5, 2016.
Gates calls the building “an exquisite new home” where she and other faculty members are shaping new movement models — intersecting dance techniques and creating hybrid forms of dance that can be expressed in new media, scholarship, studio practice and choreography.
USC Kaufman’s motto is “The New Movement,” which incorporates three guiding beliefs. First, dancers immerse themselves in a variety of dance styles and stay abreast of technological changes, such as animation, that will impact the dance world in the future.
Second, the school offers a conservatory quality of dance instruction embedded in a broader liberal arts education.
And third, USC Kaufman is grounded in the realities of the physically demanding dance profession in which performing careers are often shorter than in many other professions. The school encourages students to reach beyond the stage and screen to follow their interests in studying the sciences and entrepreneurship.
“Understanding the means of staying healthy will prolong a performing career, and understanding the workings of the industry will allow dancers career options long after they have left the stage,” said USC Kaufman Dean Robert A. Cutietta.
Interdisciplinary study is assured through unique partnerships with the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the USC Thornton School of Music, where students in the BFA program can select a specialization in cinematic arts or music during their junior and senior years.
USC Kaufman students benefit from a world-class faculty, including experts in hip-hop, Bollywood, Afro-Cuban and contemporary dance, ballet, tap and jazz, as well as choreography for a variety of media. Since its inaugural class arrived two years ago, USC Kaufman students have had the opportunity to learn from – and dance with – a number of professional dance companies that have come to campus, including Hubbard Street 2, Alonzo King LINES Ballet and the Martha Graham Dance Company.
Renowned choreographer William Forsythe, known for directing the Ballet Frankfurt for 20 years and for developing new approaches to dance documentation, research and education, is a USC Kaufman faculty member, as well as artistic director for a choreographic institute that is planned for future years. He regularly teaches composition, improvisation and ballet classes at USC.
Said Forsythe: “When I teach at Kaufman, I do not teach any differently than when I teach for professionals.”
The 2017 USC Global Conference will be held in Tokyo, Japan, at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo from Sept. 21-23, 2017. Registration is now open with Early Bird discounts available for a limited time. The conference is expected to sell out, and advanced registration is recommended.