Faculty In the News

Why Arts Administration Matters: An Interview with UCI's Molly Lynch

Dance Plug, Interview by Keira Whitaker - 20 February 2019

"As I pulled into the University of California, Irvine to park my car I couldn’t help but be transported back in time. I graduated from UCl in 2016, and poured all of myself into four years of dancing, reading, and writing. My degree was in Dance Performance and English and I’m happy to report that I get to use both of them on a daily basis. 

A part of me couldn’t help but feel nostalgic as I started walking towards the Dance Department office of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. Another part of me was ecstatic to be interviewing the Chair of the department, Molly Lynch. She was one of my favorite professors and one of the main reasons I became a dance journalist. Professor Lynch is not only a teacher of dance, but she also specializes in arts management, business, and administration."

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What They Found: Our Contributors Share Their 2018 Discoveries

"Ashley Clark, film programmer and critic

In March, acting on a recommendation from the website Screen Slate—an increasingly essential resource in this rep coverage–starved age—I took myself to Manhattan’s Electronic Arts Intermix to see a shorts program by a grandly named video and performance artist whose work had hitherto escaped my notice: Ulysses S. Jenkins. The L.A.-based Jenkins was an early adopter of consumer-grade video cameras and used this emergent technology to conjure idiosyncratic portraits of African-American life that challenged dominant—that is to say largely racist and reductive—depictions. “Idiosyncratic,” it must be said, barely begins to describe the pick of the program, Two-Zone Transfer (1979), a discombobulating fever dream starring Jenkins and friends (including artist Kerry James Marshall), and involving blackface and minstrel imagery, hideous rubber masks (Richard Nixon!), religious preaching, an indefatigable smoke machine, and...

Assistant professor of drama wins NEH grant

Tara Rodman, UCI assistant professor of drama, has won a 2018 Fellowship for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The $60,000 grant will enable her to research and write a book about the international career of Japanese dancer and choreographer Ito Michio (1893-1961). The Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan are a joint activity of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission and the NEH. Awards support research on modern Japanese society and political economy, Japan’s international affairs and U.S.-Japan relations.

- Pat Harriman, UCI News

All Hands on Deck for Boat Building

by Gustavo Arellano, Alta

With his proto-Fu Manchu mustache, bright eyes, salt-and-pepper hair, sporty brown vest and Australian accent, Simon Penny seems like he should be a BBC documentarian.

But he’s actually a UC Irvine professor. And a boatbuilder. And the boat he’s building is not just some pleasure craft.

For the past two years, Penny has been constructing — from scratch — a modern-day version of a proa, the Micronesian outrigger boat renowned in the sailing world for its dexterity and speed.

“To call them ‘canoes’ is a misnomer,” Penny says excitedly. “We’re not talking a kayak here. It’s the craft that humans explored a third of the planet in. We forget this. The colonial narrative is that the Micronesians just were blown to other islands. But they knew where they were going. These are humans, right?”

He has named the boat Orthogonal, and he describes the project as “a case study in decolonialized, sustainable design practice.”...

UCI Chamber Singers Premieres New Work at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Seth Houston, Director of Choral Activities and Associate Chair for Performance, led UCI Chamber Singers and a consortium of other performers in a world premiere performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Tuesday, October 9. The work, Oscillations: One Hundred Years and Forever, by New York-based composer Ellen Reid, was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic as part of its centennial celebration. UCI Chamber Singers was joined by singers from USC Thornton School of Music and the Donald Brinegar Singers, video artists Keith Skretch and Hana S. Kim, vocalists Kelci Hahn, Angelica Rowell (UCI ’18), Jodie Landau, and Joel Nesvadba, percussionist Sidney Hopson, and sound design elements. Twelve members of UCI Chamber Singers also played bell plates, which were custom made for the work. In addition to the premiere, which was presented as part of LA Fest: LA’s Newest Music and the Green Umbrella Series, the ensemble performed the work again on Thursday, October 11, as part...

Charles White’s Students on Why They—and the Art World—Wouldn’t Be the Same Without His Work

"But his impact extended beyond what White as an individual made himself. White was an instructor at the Otis Art Institute, where he taught a number of artists who have not only made names for themselves—in some instances, by continuing to work with the themes that White pioneered—but who now regularly break records at auction. Among them are megastars David Hammons and Kerry James Marshall, performance and video artist Ulysses Jenkins, and L.A.-based muralists Richard Wyatt Jr. and Judithe Hernández. All credit White with an undeniable influence on their work and life."

At the Joyce, a Rearranged Theater Brings Mystery and Orthodoxy

The “NY Quadrille” format reconfigures the Joyce Theater by turning auditorium and stage inside out. The square stage becomes the theater’s centerpiece: The audience is on both sides, as at a tennis or snooker match.

One side of the stage leads straight to a rising slope of tiered seating, with a proximity the Joyce usually lacks. But the other side ends with a sharp drop. Dancers on that side look as exposed as if on a cliff’s edge, with a gap between them and the seats.

Everything about this is so refreshing that I wish it happened more often. In 2016, when the “NY Quadrille” had its first iteration, four companies appeared in a two-week season. This year, five troupes will contribute over three weeks. The idea came from the choreographer Lar Lubovitch, who has curated both seasons.

1888 Center will feature a reading and showing of artwork by Antoinette LaFarge

This presentation focuses on Burning Time, a graphic book collaboration between writer Jonathan Alexander and artist Antoinette LaFarge, UCI Art Faculty that explores the intimacies of imagined memory and sexuality. The book consists of cycle of 8 poems and 8 associated panoramic paintings to tell the story of a young gay man arriving in New Orleans in the late 1950s to start a new life. Text and image interweave to evoke a particular time and place while also summoning the timelessness of self-exploration and desire— experience reimagined as mythic adventure. In this presentation, Alexander and Lafarge read poems and present art from the book, discuss their collaboration, and consider the possibilities of multimedia for queer storytelling.

Fall Dance Preview: From Ballet to Bach

One of J.S. Bach’s most iconic works, the Brandenburg Concertos, will be presented as a dance at the Park Avenue Armory this fall. It is one of several new works of dance to be presented throughout New York City starting this month.

WNYC’s dance critic Marina Harss spoke to Richard Hake about the upcoming season. She highlighted this North American premiere set to the music of Bach created by Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.

"She’s a modern dance choreographer with a strong influence of minimalism," Harss told Hake. "She’s really interested in the structures underlying the music. What she sort of does is break apart all the layers, and Bach has many layers."

Harss also discussed the dances of Kyle Abraham who is presenting his first-ever work for New York City Ballet. It will debut as part of the ballet’s Fall Gala on Sept. 27.

Abraham’s company, A.I.M., will also be on stage at the Joyce Theater as part of its three-week, dance...

Joyce Theater Begins Fall/Winter 2018-2019 Season with NY QUADRILLE

After a season of thrilling and diverse programming,The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc. (Linda Shelton, Executive Director), New York City's premier presenter of dance, proudly kicks off its 2018-2019 Fall/Winter Season with the return of the wildly popular NY Quadrille, which had its debut in the fall of 2016. The three-week engagement, performed in a transformed Joyce Theater performance space, is conceived and curated by famed choreographer and UCI Dance Faculty Lar Lubovitch, and features works by some of today's most acclaimed and celebrated choreographers/companies including John Jasperse Projects, Kyle Abraham's A.I.M, former Merce Cunningham dancers Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, Donna Uchizono Company, and Beth Gill.

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