In the spring of 2012, the Department of Modern Dance again participated in a cultural exchange with the Berlin State Ballet School in Germany. This two-part program brought students, teachers and musicians of both schools to each others’ institutions to engage in creative inquiry, investigation and intercultural dialogue on dance and dance pedagogy.
For two weeks in April, members of the Berlin State Ballet School visited the Department. Berlin faculty members Olaf Hofer (ballet) and Assohoto Jean-Hughes (modern) taught multiple classes to University of Utah students with musician Winni Rogel playing accompaniment on piano and djembe. Berlin State Ballet students also had the opportunity to take class from University of Utah faculty and observe many classes across the curriculum.
In May, faculty members Sharee Lane, Rob Wood, Eric Handman and Donna White along with nine modern dance students from the Department traveled to Berlin for two weeks. The University of Utah faculty members taught classes and showed choreography, while Utah students trained alongside dancers from the Berlin State Ballet School.
With each exchange, the partnership has grown, expanding to include more teachers, musicians and faculty, deepening relationships already established, and providing a more fertile ground for creative development. Plans for the next exchange are already underway and may include the creation of a collaborative performance work between the two institutions.