Faculty In the News

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...

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,...

Welcome new ballet faculty, Vitor Luiz!

The UCI Department of Dance announces the hiring of Vitor Luiz as a new ballet faculty. Vitor is an international dancer, choreographer and ballet master. Since 2009 he has been a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet. He has also performed with the Ballet of Rio de Janeiro, English National Ballet and others. During his time at San Francisco Ballet, he danced major roles in classical and contemporary ballets, while also performing as a regular guest artist with English National Ballet, and many other esteemed companies, galas, and productions around the world. His strong balance between dancing and partnering, artistic versatility, and strong stage presence has made him an important asset to these companies.

Dr. Stephen Tucker: UCI Chair of Music & Conductor of the UCI Symphony Orchestra

By Terry Schilling | September 19, 2019

Over the past several years, the UCI Symphony Orchestra has delighted me with many exhilarating performances.

Maestro Dr. Stephen Tucker is the newly appointed chair of the music department at UCI (Marjorie Rawlins Chair of Music).  This comes on top of Stephen’s comprehensive career of conducting accomplishments. Along with teaching conducting, he also teaches orchestration and music analysis....

Art of Social Change

Two more UCI faculty and alumni receive Guggenheim Fellowships

When a shiny sculpture of a rabbit by the most commercially successful living artist sold for a record-breaking $91 million at auction earlier this year, UCI art professor Daniel Joseph Martinez shrugged.

“We don’t remember the people who sold the most,” he says. “We remember the people who changed the trajectory of ideas.”

Two UCI artists were recently honored for doing just that. Martinez, a UCI professor for 29 years, and alumna Hồng-An Trương ’08, were among the 168 artists, writers and scholars selected from 3,000 applicants to receive The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship this year, recognizing both “prior achievement and exceptional promise.”

“To be in the legacy of all of the artists and scholars who have received the Guggenheim over the years, that’s an...

Paul Taylor American Dance Company Pays Special Tribute to Donald McKayle

As a tribute to the passing of world-renowned choreographer and former UCI Dance Faculty Member, Donald McKayle, Paul Taylor American Dance Company (PTDC) will include three of McKayle’s most notable choreographic works in their fall season at the Lincoln Center: Crossing the Rubicon (2017), Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder (1959), and Songs of the Disinherited (1972).  PTDC will be collaborating on this concert with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Juilliard Dance, and Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, all of whom will perform these most beloved works.  This tribute concert is free and open to the public. The performance takes place on Tuesday, November 12, at 7:00 p.m. EST. Tickets for this performance can be obtained from www.boxoffice.dance. 


Summer Dance ‘Intensive’ Embodies Improvisation

S. Ama Wray, Ph.D., associate professor of dance, was featured in the El Paso Herald-Post for her work conducting an Embodiology workshop at The University of Texas at El Paso's Fox Fine Arts Center.

"A half dozen or so pairs of bodies set in a circle moved in tandem though almost never in sync during impromptu conversations that ranged from the silly to the mundane to the flirtatious.

The goal of this dance exercise at The University of Texas at El Paso was to weave a person’s reason, instincts and imagination."

Read the full story.

Choreographers Get Lab Time to Experiment Without Restrictions

Professor Molly Lynch, chair for the Department of Dance, is featured in "Voice of OC" for her upcoming National Choreographers Initiative 2019 showcase.

By Kaitlin Wright
"Molly Lynch, professor and chair of UC Irvine’s Department of Dance, has over 35 years experience creating, producing, and presenting dance. She is an artist. But she’s also a scientist of sorts, and proof of that is in the National Choreographer’s Initiative (NCI) which she founded in 2004 as a non-commissioned and non-competitive setting for creating new dance works..."

WHEN: 8 p.m. July 27, 2019
WHERE: Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine
TICKETS: $20-$45
INFO: TheBarclay.org