Pilobolus Dance Theater has dedicated its 2010 season at The Joyce Theater (July 12–August 7) to co-artistic director Jonathan Wolken, who died in June. As a student at Dartmouth College, Wolken and three friends (Robby Barnett, Lee Harris and Moses Pendleton) created the company’s singular vocabulary—based on physical humor, athleticism and conforming dancers’ bodies into unique shapes––that has since made the company world-renowned. Wolken and Pendleton co-founded Pilobolus (the name was chosen by Wolken after a fungus he researched in his father’s
biophysics lab) upon graduation in 1971. Wolken has since choreographed many works for the company, including Pseudopodia (1973), B’zyrk (2007) and Razor: Mirror (2008), and he taught at Pilobolus’ Summer Workshops in Maine.
Kennesaw State University received a National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpiece Grant to fund an upcoming production of D-Man in the Waters and additional activities throughout the academic year. D-Man in the Waters, choreographed by Bill T. Jones, examines issues of race, faith and politics.
Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida, has introduced a new MFA program in dance particularly geared toward established artists. The two-year low-residency program emphasizes choreography and the creative process. Students begin with a six-week summer intensive, including an immersive 10-day residency at White Oak Plantation, followed by two non-resident semesters and an additional one-week mini-residency on campus. Info: http://mfa.ju.edu
Dayton Ballet’s New Music for New Dance competition pairs emerging composers and emerging choreographers with dancers and performers culminating in a world premiere ballet
performance March 24–27 at Dayton, Ohio’s Victoria Theatre. Fifteen-minute choreography samples must be submitted by September 15 for consideration. Info: www.daytonballet.org
The Surdna Arts Teachers Fellowship Program, a national initiative to support arts teachers, is now open to include arts teachers working in specialized public arts high schools and arts-focused magnet and charter high schools. Teachers can apply for grants up to $5,500 to support artistic growth. Letters of intent to apply are due November 12. Info: www.surdna.org
Peter Stark was named chair of Patel Conservatory’s dance department in Tampa, Florida. Stark was formerly school director of the Orlando Ballet where he supervised Patel’s Youth Ballet. Info: www.patelconservatory.org
The Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative 2010–2011 pairs six young artists from across the globe with yearlong mentors in several fields. In dance, mentor Trisha Brown chose Lee Serle, from Australia, as her protégé. Serle, 28, has contributed to the work of Melbourne-based companies, including Lucy Guerin Inc. and Chunky Move. In addition to the mentorship, protégés receive grants of $25,000 and are eligible for another $25,000 toward a project following their mentor year.
Flint Youth Theatre (FYT) in Flint, Michigan, has named Jeremy Winchester as artistic director and Laura Kinney as managing director. Previously, Winchester was assistant professor of design and lighting designer at University of Evansville, Indiana. Kinney has been serving as FYT’s general manager since 2008.
Desmond Richardson, co-founder and co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company in NYC, has joined the YoungArts board of trustees. Richardson won a YoungArts award in Modern Dance and was a Presidential Scholar in the Arts in 1986.
The Georgia Ballet in Marietta, Georgia, has added Theresa Lee Crawford to its teaching faculty for the 2010–2011 academic year. Crawford was a faculty member for 12 years at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, founded by her aunt Marcia Dale Weary.
The Washington Ballet has named Monique Meunier as its new ballet mistress. Meunier is a former principal with New York City Ballet and former soloist with American Ballet Theatre. Info: www.washingtonballet.org
Donald McKayle, legendary dancer, choreographer and 2005 Dance Magazine Award recipient, is retiring from the faculty of UC Irvine. However, at 80 years old, he has no intention of slowing down. He plans to continue choreographing for the student dance group he founded, Etude Ensemble; aid in the musical White Hot, Black Spice being developed from his 1962 work, District Storyville; and cultivate several other choreographic projects.
Photo: Pilobolus perferms Hapless Hooligans (by Joseph Mehling, courtesy of Pilobolus)