The UWM Department of Dance has announced the second four-year cycle of the New Work Award program, made possible by the generous contribution of an anonymous local donor for the amount of $20,000. This award will allow us to continue with two important missions of the UWM Department of Dance - supporting the artistic growth and vision of our dance alumni while at the same time creating exciting original works to be performed by our current students.
This new cycle will bring to campus four contemporary artists with diverse views of dance. In their residencies with the UWM Department of Dance, they will have the opportunity to interact closely with our student dancers while they share their passion for the field. We consider this exchange of knowledge and views a centerpiece of our commitment to the artists we are creating, while acknowledging the excellence of the young artists we are graduating.
The program has had an exciting history in its first four-year cycle, which began in 2009. The first award was to Suniti Dernovsek (UWM BFA 2003), now based in Seattle, who premiered her dance work "Always Merry and Bright" in Winterdances: Identity in February 2010. The second award was to Gerald Casel (UWM MFA 2007), now on the faculty of the California State University, Long Beach; his "Mount Hope" premiered in 2011 for Summerdances: Essential/Essensual. The third award was to New York City-based artist Colleen Thomas (UWM MFA 2003), who premiered "The Year of Unremarkable Laughter" in Summerdances: Destiny/Chance & Circumstances in June 2012.
The final award of this series was given to Oregon-based artist Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner (UWM MFA 2010). "A VERY OLD Man with Enormous Wings," based on the Gabriel García Márquez short story, will premiere at Winterdances in January 2013 as part of the Department of Dance 2012-13 season entitled Crossed Currents.
The new cycle of New Work Awards will debut in the 2013-2014 academic year. A call for applications will be posted late this fall with application guidelines and details on eligibility.