Department of Dance



Alumni Ph.D. Bios


Alumni Ph.D. Bios

Back to Our People

Jennifer (Dawson) Allgaier

Ph.D., 2006
jendawson5@msn.com

Jennifer Dawson Allgaier completed her Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory at the University of California, Riverside in the winter of 2006. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance, as well as a B.A. in Dance and French Literature, from the University of California, Irvine. Dawson Allgaier’s research examines the organization of ballet at the Paris Opéra during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. It foregrounds the conditions in which female dancers worked, all the while keeping the labor trends and ideologies of ballet and the French social order at play. Dawson Allgaier has worked as a dance educator, both in private studios and higher education, for the past eighteen years. She has taught various levels of ballet, jazz, modern dance, composition, and dance history at Mt. San Antonio College, Santa Ana College, Riverside Community College (Norco Campus), and Riverside Ballet Arts. She is currently on the faculty of Citrus College.

Riselia Duarte Bezerra

Ph.D., 2000
riselia.bezerra@gmail.com

After earning a Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from the University of California, Riverside, Dr. Bezerra worked in Brazil with public policy development and implementation design at municipal and federal levels. In the past nine years, she has been working with studies and evaluations in the field of development cooperation and performing advisory roles in the design and re-structuring of multi-lateral pooling mechanisms, such as Global Funds. She has been working for the World Bank, the United Nations and Ministries of Foreign Affairs of various countries, performing work in different countries, such as Afghanistan, Angola, Brazil, Cuba, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, and Uganda. She was a senior consultant and partner at Scanteam AS and is currently a researcher at Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies, both of Oslo, Norway.

Melissa Blanco Borelli

Ph.D., 2006
m.blancoborelli@surrey.ac.uk

Melissa Blanco Borelli is a Lecturer in Dance Studies at the School of the Arts, University of Surrey. Previously, she was a Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Scholar in the Music and Theatre Arts department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has also taught at the University of California, Riverside, UCLA and Citrus College. She is currently working on a monograph entitled, She is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body, that traces a social dance history of Cuba through the body of the mulata and her corresponding corporeal language of hip(g)nosis. Blanco Borelli is the editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen (in progress), which features a variety of essays on dance in film, television, video games, commercials, and music videos. As a dancer she has performed Afro-Cuban sacred and social dance in Los Angeles, New York, Boston, London and Havana, Cuba. Her cabaret show, Mulata Madness, or a Day in the Life of an Adventurous, Sensual and Lost Woman, is based on the cabaretera aesthetic made popular in Mexican Golden Age cinema. http://www.havanabarbie.com

 

Francesca Castaldi

Francesca Castaldi

Ph.D., 2000
francesca@focusingpathways.net

Francesca Castaldi holds a Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from the University of California, Riverside, and previous degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Choreographies of African Identities (University of Illinois Press, 2006), a book that examines the trope of the African dancer as deployed on stage by the National Ballet of Senegal and raises questions about artistic creativity and exploitation, virtuosity, sexuality and reciprocity, representation and power. Castaldi has taught courses in dance studies, anthropology, women studies and African studies at the UC San Diego, UCLA, and at Occidental College. She is now an independent scholar and practitioner involved in developing innovative curriculum and pedagogy at the intersection of psychology, anthropology, somatic processing and embodied experiential thinking. She is also dedicated to supporting individuals in processing trauma through an approach that is historically aware, culturally appropriate, and somatically centered. www.focusingpathways.net

photo credit: Dardo Salas

 

Kuang-Yu Cheng

Kuang-Yu Cheng

Ph.D., 2005
kuangyu_cheng@yahoo.com

Dr. Cheng returned to Taiwan in 2005 and has been working at Taipei Shi-Chien University. In addition to writing about dance, he has published three books about relationships and communications, and all of them have occupied the best-seller list for several months.

 

Colleen Dunagan

Colleen Dunagan

Ph.D., 2001
Colleen.Dunagan@csulb.edu

As Associate Professor in the Department of Dance at California State University, Long Beach, Colleen Dunagan is the M.F.A. Coordinator and Co-Advisor, the M.A. Program Director, and currently serves as Assistant Chair of the Department. She is the choreographer, co-director, and co-producer of two screendances, Apres (2011) and Promiscuity (2009). She regularly creates choreography for the concert stage at CSULB.  Dr. Dunagan’s research on dance and television appears in Dance Research Journal and in The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater (forthcoming)ed. by Nadine George-Graves.In collaboration with Dr. Roxane Fenton, Dr. Dunagan has co-authored two book chapters on dance and film, “Dirty Dancing: Dance, Class, and Race in the Pursuit of Womanhood” (in Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen, ed. Melissa Blanco Borelli, 2014) and “The Beatles, the Moving Image, and Dancing Bodies” (in Movies, Moves and Music: The Sonic World of Dance Films, ed. Mary Fogarty and Mark Evans, Equinox, 2015). Dr. Dunagan’s current book project analyzes the cultural history of dance-commercials (1948-2010), investigating the role of dance as a marketing tool and as a means of theorizing identity within consumer culture.

 

Roxane Fenton

Roxane Fenton

Ph.D., 2007
roxane@rlfenton.com

Roxane L. Fenton received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside in 2007. She currently works as the Coordinator of Career + Professional Development at Art Center College of Design. She has co-authored articles on Dirty Dancing and Across the Universe (forthcoming) with Colleen Dunagan. The two have also written about improvisation and emergence with Evan Dorn (forthcoming). Fenton studied improvisation with Susan Rose, Susan Foster, and Wendy Rodgers, contact improvisation with Caroline Waters, and she has taught improvisation at California State University, Long Beach. She has performed improvisationally in Los Angeles and Riverside. Fenton currently does freelance developmental editing work for other dance scholars.

 

Jeff Friedman

Jeff Friedman

Ph.D., 2003

Jeff Friedman graduated from University of California, Riverside with the Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory in 2003. He is Associate Professor of Dance Studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.  He is also Graduate Director for a new M.F.A. degree, proposed for 2017, focusing on interdisciplinary research, combining theory and practice as praxis. Friedman was a 2010 Fulbright Fellow in Frankfurt, Germany and the 2014 Allen Smith Fellow at Simmons College’s Graduate Department of Library and Information Science. Recent projects include presenting his lecture-performance “The Eros of Oral History” in Boston and Istanbul; workshops on embodied oral history at Brown University and the University of Salzburg; and conference presentations in Vienna and Jerusalem.  Recent publications include book chapters in Bodies of Evidence: The Practice of Queer Oral History (Oxford); "Are a Hundred Objects Enough to Document the Dance?" (University of Leipzig); and Body, Memory, Performance (Palgrave).  Friedman also recently published an article on Heidegger’s temporality, embodiment and oral history for the Oral History Review.  He is currently a fellow of the Institute for Research on Women, participating in the year-long Feminist Optics Seminar at Rutgers’ Women and Gender Studies Department for whom he is Affiliate Faculty.

photo: Jeff Friedman in his solo work, Muscle Memory, based on LEGACY's collection (photo credit: Savage Photography)

 

Michelle Heffner Hayes

Michelle Heffner Hayes

Ph.D., 1998
mhayes@ku.edu

Michelle Heffner Hayes earned a Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory (now Critical Dance Studies) from the University of California, Riverside in 1998. She is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Dance at the University of Kansas, where she teaches arts administration, modern dance, improvisation, choreography, dance history and flamenco. In addition to her work as a choreographer and dance scholar, Hayes spent a decade as a performing arts presenter of contemporary and culturally-specific work. Her book Flamenco: Conflicting Histories of the Dance was published by McFarland & Company in 2009. Other publications by Hayes include discussions of contemporary flamenco on film (Dancing Bodies, Living Histories: New Writings on Dance and Culture, 2000), parallels in postmodern dance improvisation and flamenco (Taken By Surprise: An Improvisational Reader, 2003) and understanding flamenco performance (The Living Dance. An Anthology of Essays on Movement & Culture, 2012). Most recently, she contributed to and co-edited Flamenco on the Global Stage: Historical, Critical and Theoretical Perspectives, with K. Meira Goldberg and Ninotchka Devorah Bennahum, McFarland & Company, Inc., 2015. 

 

Sarah Holmes

Sarah Holmes

Ph.D., 2013
sholme39@kennesaw.edu

In June of 2013, Sarah completed her Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from the University of California, Riverside. Her dissertation examined issues surrounding race, class, and gender in Pilates, and is currently being adapted into a manuscript, Reforming Pilates: Ballet, Masculinity, and the Construction of a Gendered Practice, for Wesleyan University Press. More recently, “The Pilates Pelvis: Racial Implications of the Immobile Hips” was published in the Dance Research Journal in August 2014. Sarah has been working with Peak Pilates as an “MVe” Teacher Trainer since 2008, and as a Master Instructor for the Peak Pilates Comprehensive Certification Level One course since 2013, teaching for Peak both nationally and internationally. She is presently working as a Lecturer in the Dance Department at Kennesaw State University. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Scripps College, Claremont, CA, an M.A. in Dance from Mills College, Oakland, CA.  Her future research endeavors include examining issues in Dance Science and Medicine and deepening her work in the embodied cultural and racial issues in Pilates. Her other publications include “Understanding the ‘Unconscious Muscle Memories in Pilates: Using Somatics, Motor Learning, and Pilates History to Reveal Embodied Cultural Tensions in Pilates,” published in the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practice in 2015.

 

Jill Nunes Jensen

Jill Nunes Jensen

Ph.D., 2005
jnunes@lmu.edu

Dr. Jill Nunes Jensen received dual B.A. degrees in Dance and Political Science, cum laude, from the University of California, Irvine. She holds an M.A. in Dance from the University of California, Los Angeles, and Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from the University of California, Riverside. At present, she instructs courses in dance history, appreciation, ballet technique, and choreography in the dance departments of Loyola Marymount University and the El Camino College Department of Fine Arts. Dr. Nunes Jensen has presented papers at the Congress on Research in Dance, Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS), and Popular Culture Association conferences, and also contributed to the formation of Dance Under Construction in 1998. Additionally, she has lectured for the University of California, Irvine and taught a master class for the American College Dance Festival. In 2014, she completed her second term of service on the Executive Board of SDHS as the Corresponding Secretary. Her research on Alonzo King LINES Ballet has been published in Jennifer Fisher and Anthony Shay’s When Men Dance (Oxford University Press), Dance Chronicle (Routledge, Taylor & Francis),and Theatre Survey (Cambridge). She has a article on King published in Dance in American Culture (University of Florida Press, 2016) and is Guest Editor for the SDHS publication, Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies: Network of Pointes volume XXXV, June 2015. She recently co-chaired a special topics SDHS conference on contemporary ballet, held in New York City in 2016. 

John Jordan

Ph.D., 2001
jjordan@csufresno.edu

John Jordan graduated in 2001 and was hired by the Theatre Arts department at California State University Fresno where he teaches dance history, philosophies of dance, and introduction to dance. His published research analyzes representations of male dancers in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century in England. His articles include “’Is He No Man?’: Toward an Appreciation of Male Effeminacy in English Dance History,” in Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 30. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001, and “Pricked Dances: The Spectator, Dance, and Masculinity in Early 18th-Century England” in When Men Dance: Choreographing Masculinities across Borders, edited by Jennifer Fisher and Anthony Shay, Oxford, 2009. Jordan is currently investigating dance and somatics and is studying to be a Feldenkrais practitioner.

 

Anusha Kedhar

Anusha Kedhar

Ph.D., 2011
anusha.kedhar@coloradocollege.edu

Anusha Kedhar is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Colorado College. Her research interests are situated at the intersection of race, neoliberalism, migration, and the dancing body. Drawing on several years of ethnographic fieldwork in the UK and India, her current book project examines how transnational South Asian dancers navigate the inequity, volatility, and precarity of neoliberalism through choreography and other bodily practices. The book argues that while global capitalism has made South Asian dancers increasingly precarious, expendable, and vulnerable, this condition of precarity has also enabled them to navigate neoliberalism in creative and unexpected ways. Her scholarly writing has been published by Dance Research JournalThe Feminist Wire, and The New York Times. Kedhar was a Fulbright Scholar to India and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD). She is also an established artist and choreographer in the field of Indian dance. Kedhar has trained for over 30 years in Bharata Natyam and has worked with various contemporary Indian dance artists in the UK and US, including Subathra Subramaniam (London), Shobana Jeyasingh (London), Cynthia Ling Lee (LA), and Meena Murugesan (LA). Her own choreography has been presented in Los Angeles, London, and Malta. 

 

Hyunjung Kim

Hyunjung Kim

Ph.D., 2004
arthj@hotmail.com

Hyunjung Kim is an Assistant Professor in the department of dance at Chungnam National University in Daejeon, South Korea. She holds a Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from the University of California, Riverside, and a B.A. and M.A. in Dance from Ewha Womans University in Seoul. Kim received a Phi Beta Kappa international scholarship, a UCR Humanities Graduate Student Research Grant, Gluck fellowships, grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea, and the 2011 Outstanding Research Award of the Korean Society of Dance. Her fields of specialization include contemporary Korean dance, colonial and postcolonial discourses, modernity, nationalism, gender, and globalization. Kim has published articles in Dance Chronicle and Discourses in Dance, and in journals of The Korean Society of Dance and The Korean Society for Dance Studies, and also in Danses et identities de Bombay à Tokyo by Centre National de la Danse. She co-translated Sally Banes’ Dancing Women: Female Bodies on Stage (1998) into Korean language (2012).

 

Lizbeth Langston

Lizbeth Langston

M.A., 1988, Ph.D., 1998
langston@ucr.edu

Lizbeth received her M.A. through the Intercampus Program in Dance History based at the University of California, Riverside. She also received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (with an interdisciplinary emphasis in Dance) from UCR. Her favorite research & dancing interests are in 16th and early 17th century dance & theatre as well as in contemporary social dance communities. From 2000 to 2006, she was Corresponding Secretary for the Society for Dance History Scholars. Langston is active in the Southern California contradance, gay-lesbian square dance, and vintage dance communities. She is currently the Head of Information Services and Science Serials Bibliographer at the UCR Science Library.

 

Yatin Lin

Yatin Lin

Ph.D., 2004

Yatin Lin is Assistant Professor at the School of Dance, Taipei National University of the Arts. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside in 2004, researching on Cloud Gate Dance Theatre. Her areas of interest lie in cultural studies of contemporary dance from Taiwan and the Chinese diaspora. Previous editor of the Performing Arts Review and the Taiwan Dance Research Journal, Lin presented papers at international conferences while her writings have been published in the Routledge Dance Studies Reader (UK, 2010, 2nd Ed.), Danses et identites (France: Centre National de la Danse, 2009), Arts Review (Taiwan, 2008), Dialogues in Dance Discourse (Malaysia, 2007), Pina Bausch (Taiwan, 2007), Cloud Gate and Me (China, 2002), Dance Studies and Taiwan (Taiwan, 2001), and the International Dictionary of Modern Dance (USA, 1998), among others. Her article, “Roots and Routes of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre’s Nine Songs,” is included in a forthcoming anthology by Routledge Press (2012). She currently leads a project funded by the National Science Council analyzing dance festivals and cultural tourism in the Asia-Pacific region. Former Secretary General of the Dance Research Society Taiwan, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Society of Dance History Scholars (USA).

 

Juliet McMains

Juliet McMains

Ph.D., 2003
mcmains@uw.edu

Juliet McMains is a dance scholar and artist whose work centers on social dance practices and their theatrical expression on competition and theatrical stages. Her first book, Glamour Addiction: Inside the American Ballroom Dance Industry (Wesleyan, 2006) won the 2008 Congress on Research in Dance Outstanding Publication Award. Her second book, Spinning Mambo into Salsa: Caribbean Dance in Global Commerce,was released by Oxford University Press in 2015. McMains has also published articles on rumba, salsa, swing, and ballroom dance, all genres in which she has choreographed, performed, and danced socially for many years. Her most recent passion is Argentine tango, which she dances, teaches, performs, and researches in the U.S. and Argentina. In addition to her rigorous training and experience in partner dance forms (ballroom dance, salsa, swing, tango, and contact improvisation), McMains has extensive training in ballet, modern/contemporary, jazz, and AfroCuban folklore. She won numerous titles as a competing DanceSport professional, including being twice named a U.S. National Rising Star finalist. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Dance Program at the University of Washington, where she teaches courses in cross cultural dance studies, research methods, dance ethnography, salsa, tango, swing, and ballroom dance.

 

Janet O’Shea

Janet O’Shea

Ph.D., 2001
joshea@arts.ucla.edu

Janet O’Shea is author of At Home in the World: Bharata Natyam on the Global Stage, co-editor of the Routledge Dance Studies Reader (second edition), and a member of the editorial review board for the Routledge Online Encyclopedia of Modernism. Recipient of a UCLA Transdisciplinary Seed Grant to study the cognitive benefits of hard-style martial arts training, she is currently completing an ethnographic memoir entitled Risk, Failure, Play: What Martial Arts Training Reveals about Proficiency, Competition, and Cooperation. In 2016, she gave a TED Talk, entitled “Beyond Winning,” on competitive play and offered a keynote presentation at the second annual Martial Arts Studies conference. Having worked as a Reader in Dance Studies at Middlesex University (UK) and Lecturer in Dance Studies at the University of Surrey (UK), she is currently Professor of Dance Studies in the department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at UCLA. 

 

Laura Ostweiler

Laura Osweiler

Ph.D., 2011

Laura Osweiler focuses on performing, choreographing, teaching, and producing events. Her performances and compositions reside in a wide framework. She has developed a post-modern movement style with a foundation in Middle Eastern dance and pulls from American improvisation, Contemporary, Ballet, and Hip Hop. Additionally, Osweiler and her dance company, Ya Helewa!, frequently perform traditional Middle Eastern dances. She teaches classes and workshops on Flexibility, Bellates (a fusion of Ballet, Yoga, Pilates, and Belly Dance), Experimental dance, Composition, and Middle Eastern dance. She has taught accredited courses on dance appreciation and Middle Eastern dance at University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Riverside; and Cal Poly, Pomona, as well as workshops at a number of universities and colleges. Additionally, Osweiler is Director of Training4DanceTeachers, a teaching certification program for studio dance teachers and producers. Her productions include The Austin Belly Dance ConventionAn Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance (EEMED) concert, X–MED workshops on experimental dance, Tarab, workshops on improvisation with live music, and commercial dance videos. Laura holds a Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from the University of California, Riverside and a B.A. in Music History and Literature from Florida State University.

www.AmaraDances.com

 

Danielle Robinson

Danielle Robinson

Ph.D., 2004
drobin@yorku.ca

Danielle Robinson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Dance at York University in Toronto and cross-appointed with the graduate programs in Theatre and Performance Studies and Communication and Culture. Previously, she was a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Fellow at the University of Chichester (UK) and a Visiting Professor in the School of Dance at the Federal University of Bahia (BR). She is the author of Modern Moves: Dancing Race during the Ragtime and Jazz Eras (Oxford University Press, 2015). She is co-editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism’s popular dance entries (2015). Her journal articles have appeared in Dance Theatre Journal (UK), Dance Research Journal (US), Dance Chronicle (US), Dance Research (UK), and Research in Dance Education (UK). Her research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (CA), the Leverhulme Trust (UK), and the Institute for Jazz Studies (US). 

 

YoungJae Roh

YoungJae Roh

Ph.D., 2007
balletyj@gmail.com

Youngjae Roh is a lecturer at the Graduate School of Culture and Arts at Dong-A University in Korea. Roh completed her Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory at the University of California, Riverside in the winter of 2007 with the dissertation Choreographing Local and Global Discourses: Ballet, Women, and National Identity. Her research interest focuses on dance literature and cultural studies of ballet and contemporary dance in a global context. Roh is the recipient of two grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea and the 2010 Outstanding Research Award of the Korean Society for Dance Studies. She has presented papers at various international conferences, such as the Congress on Research in Dance, the Society of Dance History Scholars, International Federation for Theatre Research, Women’s Worlds: International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women, and International Symposium of the Korean Society of Dance. Roh published articles and reviews in The Korean Journal of Dance Studies, Dance Research Journal of Korea, and The Performing Arts & Film Reviews. Roh also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Korean Society of Dance, the Editorial Board of the Korean Society for Dance Studies, and the Busan International Improvisation Dance Festival Steering Committee.

 

Anthony Shay

Anthony Shay

Ph.D., 1997
anthony.shay@pomona.edu

Anthony Shay is currently Associate Professor of Dance and Cultural Studies in the Theatre and Dance Dept. at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. Over the past two years he received a Whig fellowship and a Hirsch grant from Pomona College to conduct research in Turkey, France, and England. Shay’s new book (2014) is The Dangerous Lives of Public Performers: Dancing, Sex, and Entertainment in the Islamic World (Palgrave Macmillan). He is currently co-editing (with Barbara Sellers-Young) the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity (2015). He has also completed a book, tentatively entitled Folk Dancing for Sex, Fun, and Profit: Ethno-Identity Dances, about what impels individuals to participate in ethno-identity dances, that is dances with ethnic roots that are prepared for purposes presentation and self-presentation.

www.anthonyshaydance.net

Adrienne Stroik

Ph.D., 2007

Dr. Adrienne Stroik received a Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from the University of California, Riverside in 2007 and a B.A. in Theatre Arts: Dance from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point in 2000. Her research focuses on staged performers and fairgoers at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. She examines ways that movement presented inside and locomotion through the fairgrounds produced bodies and cultural meanings linked to issues of imperial expansion, cultural ranking, identity politics, city planning, and consumer society. Stroik has presented her research at conferences hosted by the Society of Dance History Scholars and Dance Under Construction. She is currently a faculty member of Mt. San Jacinto College, Menifee Valley Campus, where she has taught courses including dance history, dance appreciation, jazz technique, modern technique, and conditioning and alignment. She has also directed the course, Dances of the World, and has choreographed for the College’s Dance program concert. Stroik has previously taught at Mt. San Jacinto College, San Jacinto Campus; the University of California, Long Beach; UC Riverside; and for the Osher program through the UCR Extension program.

 

Minerva Tapia

Minerva Tapia

Ph.D., 2014
minerva@minervatapia.net

Minerva Tapia is a Mexican-American choreographer, educator and company director of the Minerva Tapia Dance Group. Tapia holds a Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside. Tapia received a Master of Fine Arts in Dance at the University of California, Irvine in 2006, and in 1986, she received her B.A. at the Escuela de Danza Gloria Campobello in Tijuana, Mexico. She has honed her art at dance studios in Mexico, New York, Los Angeles, Brazil, Canada, Turkey, and in Cuba, where she studied for seven years. In 1995, she formed the Minerva Tapia Dance Group, which has established important cross-border artistic collaborations. Her work has been performed in Argentina, Spain, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, and the United States. Among its most notable choreographies are Borderline Bodies, Juana's Little Machine, Flaquita, and Ellas danzan solas/Illegal Border. Tapia is also the co-founder of the U.S.-Mexico Binational Choreographic Showcase, The San Diego/Tijuana Dance on Film Festival and “La Medalla al Arte Dancístico,” an award bestowed upon notables from the dance world. Her research interest focuses on the production of contemporary dance at the U.S.-Mexico border. www.minervatapia.net

photo credit: Juan Cedeño

 

Premalatha Thiagrajan

Premalatha Thiagrajan

Ph.D., 2012
premalatha@yahoo.com

Premalatha Thiagarajan received her Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside in Summer 2012. She was offered a Fellowship by the government of Malaysia to pursue her doctoral studies in UCR. She also holds a Masters degree in Performing Arts (Dance), which she received from the University of Malaya in 2007. While pursuing her doctoral studies at UCR, she was awarded the Gluck Fellowship for two consecutive years (2010/2011 and 2011/2012). Thiagarajan is currently employed as a lecturer at the dance department of the Cultural Centre in the University of Malaya, Malaysia.

Thiagarajan’s research interest focuses on Indian dance forms in Malaysia. Her Ph.D. dissertation examines minority Indian dance practices (classical and contemporary) in Malaysia in relation to issues such as ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and globalization. Over the years of her graduate studies, she has published several journal articles and presented conference papers on this topic. Her latest publication is a chapter entitled “Bharata Natyam in Malaysia” in the book Sharing Identities (Routledge Publication).

Thiagarajan is trained in Bharata Natyam and Odissi. As the artistic director of her Malaysia based dance company, Premalayaa Performing Arts, she has staged numerous Bharata Natyam dance productions in Malaysia as well as performed in India and the U.S.A. She has also conducted lecture-demonstrations, and dance workshops, and has actively involved in Malaysian dance festivals both as a working committee and participant over the past one decade.

 

Freya Vass-Rhee

Freya Vass-Rhee

Ph.D., 2011

Freya Vass-Rhee is a Lecturer in Drama and Theatre at the University of Kent, where she is also affiliated with Kent's Centre for Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance. Her primary research interests are in cognitive dance studies, visuo-sonority in dance, dance dramaturgy, performativity, and arts-sciences interdisciplinarity. Following a 16-year career as dancer, ballet master, choreographic assistant and choreographer, she obtained a BA in Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed a PhD in Dance History and Theory in 2011 with the dissertation Audio-Visual Stress: Cognitive Approaches to the Perceptual Performativity of William Forsythe and Ensemble. As Dramaturg and Production Assistant with The Forsythe Company from 2006-13, she collaborated with William Forsythe in the creation of over 15 works. She has also been a freelance dramaturg to choreographers including David Dawson. She has instructed at UC Riverside, St. Mary's College of California, the University of Music and Performing Arts (Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst) in Frankfurt am Main, and Hollins University (European MFA Program). She is currently collaborating with cognitive scientists on experimental dance research designs drawn from her dissertation and lectures worldwide on Forsythe's works and working methods.

Yutian Wong

Ph.D., 2001

Yutian Wong earned her Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory from the University of California, Riverside in 2001. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Music and Dance at San Francisco State University where she directs the Dance Program. She is the author of Choreographing Asian America (Wesleyan University Press, 2010).

 

Natalie Zervou

Natalie Zervou

Ph.D., 2015
zervou.natalie@gmail.com

Natalie Zervou holds a Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside. She also has an M.A. in Dance Studies & Cultures from the University of Surrey, a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Athens, and a Diploma in Dance and Dance Pedagogy from the Higher Professional Dance School Morianova Trasta. Her doctoral thesis concerns contemporary dance in Greece during the current socio-political and economic crisis, and focuses on the ways that dancing bodies negotiate national identity construction in this fluctuating landscape. Zervou’s current research interests concern the aesthetics of precarity, immigrant performances and performance as a site of advocacy for the European refugee crisis. Zervou’s scholarly work has been published in the International CHOROS journal and the CORD conference proceedings.

Zervou has been the recipient of the Graduate Division Fellowship Award, a Dissertation Year Program Fellowship, and the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation Scholarship. In 2015, she was honored with the Outstanding Teaching Award, from the Graduate Division of University of California, Riverside. As a performer, Zervou has trained in classical ballet and modern dance technique, as well as Greek folk dances and European character dance. She has choreographed and performed works in Greece, Amsterdam, the UK and the USA and maintains an active artistic agenda, constantly experimenting with new media and art forms.

www.nataliezervou.com

photo credit: Meghan Quinlan

More Information 

General Campus Information

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Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Department of Dance
121 Arts Building

Tel: (951) 827-3944
Fax: (951) 827-4651

Graduate Program Inquiries: danceadvising@ucr.edu

Undergraduate Program Inquiries: judith.llausas@ucr.edu

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