Faculty In the News

The Spirit of Revolution Thrives in UCI Performance of Hollywood and the Red Scare

Scott Feinblatt, from the Irvine Weekly, reviews "Hollywood and the Red Scare" presented by the Department of Drama's Prof. Robin Buck and a creative team from the opera community at UCI's Winifred Smith Hall.

Faculty Research: Embodying Humanity

What if dance could make us all better people? S. Ama Wray, associate professor of dance, believes it can.
“The world needs dance to connect with our bodies in terms of rhythm (since the constraints of time impact everything), and to connect with empathy to one another,” Wray says. “These things are innate with dance, and though they might sound trivial, these interstitial qualities in our humanity are sorely missing today.”

While her expertise in jazz and improvisation techniques makes her an internationally in-demand artist and scholar, Wray sees elements of her work applying to fields outside of dance. Through her nonprofit JazzXchange, she aims to use the principles of jazz performance to help people connect with their own creativity — and with each other.

Recently, Wray led a series of classes for the UCI community, teaching participants to use movement and patterned time to cope...

Triple Jubilee Brings UCI Music to Downtown Santa Ana This Spring

Triple Jubilee Brings Longstanding Partnership between UC Irvine Department of Music and Santa Ana High School Music Program to Downtown Santa Ana This Spring

Having developed a partnership spanning seven years, and serving hundreds of high school and college students, the team of educators behind the collaboration between the UC Irvine (UCI) Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Ana High School (SAHS) music program has decided they need to go bigger in 2020.

But what does bigger mean? SAHS musicians already work with Dr. Stephen Tucker, Director of the UCI Symphony Orchestra and Robert and Marjorie Rawlins Chair of the Music Department at UCI’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA), at least three times per year when he comes to SAHS to work with them on their music pieces. They visit UCI twice a year for side-by-side rehearsals with the UCI Symphony Orchestra, and workshops and information sessions designed to show them what is available in a university music...

‘Changing Tides II’ Has Musicians Respond To Climate Change

Prof. Michael Dessen collaborates with Prof. Mark Dresser (UC San Diego) for a "Telematic Translocational Concert" with musicians from South Korea’s Seoul Institute of the Arts in the Experimental Theatre at UC San Diego. Read the article from KPBS to learn more.

H. Colin Slim (April 9, 1929 – October 22, 2019)

H. Colin Slim (1929–2019), music historian, conductor and pianist, founded the Department of Music at UC Irvine in 1965 and served as its chair until 1978, and several times thereafter. He had previously taught as an Assistant Professor at The University of Chicago. In 1968–69 he was a Fellow at Harvard’s Villa I Tatti in Florence. He later taught as a visiting professor, again at Chicago (1972–73), then at UC Santa Barbara (1984–85) and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York (1985–86). He was named Distinguished Research Professor at Irvine in 1976 and rose to the rank of Full Professor Above-Scale in 1983. Taking advantage of the VERIP program, he retired early from UCI in 1994, remaining an actively publishing scholar, before suffering a debilitating stroke early this year. He died in Berkeley, California on October 22, 2019.

After earning a B.A. at the University of British Columbia in 1951 and a Ph.D. in music history from Harvard...

Faculty Research: Lighting and Sound Labs Enhance the Drama

When the lights fade and the music builds, an audience of theater-goers can feel transported—before the action even starts. That’s why drama faculty in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts focus on creating high-tech sound and lighting labs that help students produce top-quality shows and then excel professionally. “The lighting and the sound design together create the rollercoaster for the audience to go on, moment to moment,” explains Jaymi Lee Smith, professor of drama and head of the lighting design program at UCI. “We set the atmosphere and emotions for a production.”

Unique Sound Studio

Most people passing by the Contemporary Arts Center at UCI have no idea that one of the most impressive sound design studios anywhere in the U.S. is right under their feet. Tucked underground, the Meyer Sound Design Studio plays multiple roles for the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. It’s a recording studio that produces music and sound for theater and dance performances in...

The Dance Scientist

View the full pictorial in CONNECT, the quarterly magazine for UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts

Dr. Kelli Sharp is not your typical dance professor. She spends her days collecting and analyzing motion-capture data to investigate movement patterns, responses to stimuli, and the acceleration of movement. By working with real-time motor functions of the human body, she can understand the relationship between the control system and what reinforcement training can do to improve those functions.

Dr. Sharp is currently working with her team of interdisciplinary researchers on a study to understand motor learning patterns in dancers to aid their performance, and then apply this knowledge to understanding various neurological disorders. Hours of working with tape measures, bodysuits and marker sensors may just redefine what you...

11 Jazz Songs That Spoke Truth To Power In 2019

Mark Dresser Seven
"Let Them Eat Paper Towels"

Remember the paper towel incident? Two years ago, in Puerto Rico, during the grave aftermath of Hurricane Maria? It may have been many news cycles and nearly as many scandals ago, but bassist and composer Mark Dresser hasn't forgotten the raw anger it triggered. On his excellent Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You, he devotes a composition to the subject, making the most of an avant-garde septet with Nicole Mitchell on flute, Marty Ehrlich on clarinet, Keir Gogwilt on violin and Michael Dessen on trombone. In Dresser's title, there's a rejoinder not only to a would-be, but wasn't, consoler-in-chief but also to rampant income inequality, via a nod to Marie Antoinette. --Nate Chinen

Vitor Luiz guest stars in Festival Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker" at the Irvine Barclay Theatre

Festival Ballet Theatre’s family-friendly breathtaking production features superb colorful scenery and dazzling costumes, which make this age-old tradition sparkle like new. Be swept away by Tchaikovsky’s iconic score as the Sugar Plum Fairy, our heroine Clara, and a cast of hundreds take you on a magical journey to mystical lands. This full-length traditional production is choreographed and directed by Festival Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director, Salwa Rizkalla, and features world-renowned guest artists, FBT’s professional company dancers, and exceptional young talent from across the Southland.

Vitor Luiz, former San Francisco Ballet member, will perform the following showtimes:
Saturday, December 7 at 7pm
Sunday, December 8 at 1pm
Friday, December 20 at 7pm
Saturday, December 21 at 2pm & 7pm
Sunday, December 22 at 1pm
Sunday, December 22 at 6pm

Project Orthogonal: UCI’s Professor Simon Penny

In hopes of promoting a more efficient and sustainable future in seaward exploration and travel, UCI Department of Art’s Simon Penny is developing a contemporary model of a proa —  a Micronesian, multi-hull sailcraft used for both short and long-distance expeditions. Penny first began designing the proa in 2014 and constructing it in 2016. Titled, Orthogonal, this project aims to combine elements of design and pedagogy, specifically looking at the orthogonal elements of traditional proas and utilizing modern building materials for these practices.  Project Orthogonal is just one of the many projects that Penny has undertaken in his understanding of Pacific Islanders and their experience in ocean navigation. In 2016, Penny directed the A Body of Knowledge conference held at UC Irvine and in 2017 directed An Ocean of Knowledge, an interdisciplinary symposium that tackled themes of “Pacific seafaring, cultural survival, and...