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Dance launches Big Ten collaboration

Dance launches Big Ten collaboration

Photo credit: John Evans

Rutgers dancers aren’t in the studio this fall, but they are engaging in a robust training experience, one that draws on opportunities offered by the Big Ten consortium.

Dance Department chair and artistic director Julia M. Ritter is helming an initiative called the Big Ten UniDanceHub as a way to provide a substantive learning experience and to enhance alumni, faculty, and student ties across the Big Ten.

UniDanceHub opens virtual masterclasses to students at Rutgers, The Ohio State University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Maryland College Park, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin–Madison, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and University of Minnesota.

On the masterclass roster for this semester from Rutgers: Broadway Dance with Stephanie Klemons, BA Mason Gross alum, associate choreographer and original dance captain of the Broadway musical Hamilton; Dance Technique with Kyle Marshall, BFA Mason Gross alum, Bessie Award-winning choreographer, and member of Trisha Brown Company; Dance Composition with Pam Tanowitz, Mason Gross faculty member, Bessie- and Guggenheim award-winning choreographer, 2019 Herb Alpert Award winner; and Afro-Fusion with Kimani Fowlin, Mason Gross faculty member, founder of BLACK DANCE STORIES on Instagram and Boom!Beep!Bop!, a series of classes for young children exploring African Diasporic dance forms.

“This is a way to enliven the offerings, to let our students know that we are trying to work within the restrictions of COVID to make them have a really rich and full learning experience,” Ritter says in a recent issue of Dance Magazine.