The MFA program in Dance offers the opportunity to study with some of the best dance faculty in the country. Current guest faculty include Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen, Martha Eddy, Bill Evans, Janice Garrett, Debra Knapp, Doug Nielsen, Randee Paufve, and James Sutton.
Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen is the developer of Body-Mind Centering® and the founder and Educational Director of the School for Body-Mind Centering®. For over fifty years, she has been a movement artist, researcher, educator and therapist. An innovator and leader, her work has influenced the fields of dance, bodywork, movement, yoga, body psychotherapy, childhood education and many other body-mind disciplines. She is the author of the book Sensing, Feeling, and Action and numerous DVDs. More information available at www.bodymindcentering.com.
Bill Evans is artistic director of the Bill Evans Dance Company, founded in 1975. The company celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2004, and has performed in all 50 states as well as many other countries and was the most-booked company in this country for several years under the Dance Touring and Artist-in-the-Schools Programs of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Evans has choreographed more than 200 works, which have been performed by more than 70 professional dance companies as well as by college, international and regional pre-professional dance ensembles. He received the Guggenheim Fellowship and numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as state, regional and private arts agencies. He received the National Dance Education Organization Lifetime Achievement Award, the New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, two Albuquerque Arts Alliance Awards for Excellence in Dance, the Dance TeacherMagazine Lifetime Achievement Award, an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the Cornish College of the Arts and the Distinguished Dance Alumnus Award from the University of Utah.
He earned a BA in English/Ballet and an MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah and is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst with both Integrated Movement Studies and the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. He is distinguished professor emeritus at the University of New Mexico, permanent guest artist in the Senior Professional Program of Winnipeg's School of Contemporary Dancers and artistic director of the Bill Evans Summer Institute of Dance, which just celebrated its 35th anniversary. www.billevansdance.org
Janice Garrett is an internationally active choreographer and dance educator. She currently co-directs the San Francisco based performing arts organization Garrett + Moulton Productions with fellow choreographer Charles Moulton. Honored in 2004 as one of Dance Magazine’s top “25 to Watch,” Garrett has choreographed more than 20 original works for her company as well as receiving commissions to create dances for companies and performance groups throughout the US and Europe. As a young dancer, she was a member of Dan Wagoner and Dancers, with whom she performed and toured extensively from 1984-89. In 1990, she began choreographing, performing, and teaching her own work. Since that time she has been a guest artist at universities across the US as well as for international dance companies that include London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Rambert Dance Company, DV8 Physical Theatre, and Matthew Bourne’s Adventures in Motion Pictures. Garrett’s choreographic grants include awards from the James Irvine Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Fleishhacker Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission, and San Francisco Grants for the Arts. Honors include a 2010 Isadora Duncan Dance Award (“Izzie”) for “Best Company Performance” for her collaboration with Charles Moulton on The Illustrated Book of Invisible Stories, three 2011 Izzie nominations for The Experience of Flight in Dreams, and recognition by the San Francisco Chronicle for StringWreck as one of the “Top 10-Best Performances of 2008.” She is a graduate of Stanford University (BS, Mathematics 1975) and Mills College (MA, Dance 1978).
Dr. Debra Wright Knapp is a Professor and the Director of Dance at New Mexico State University. She has danced professionally with the Bill Evans Dance Company, the Dresden Germany Semperoper Ballet Company, the Nora Reynolds Dance Company, the Danzantes Dance Company, In Motion Dance Company, and the Windfall Dancers. She has also been on the dance faculties of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Palucca School Academy of Performing Arts in Dresden Germany.
Debra has received national choreographic recognition from the American College Dance Association, the National Dance Education Organization, and the National Dance Association. She has choreographed over 50 dances and produced 40 dance concerts as director of the NMSU dance program. Her choreography has been commissioned by dance companies, university dance programs, and theater companies. Debra has also been a keynote speaker at conferences and festivals both in the USA, China, Switzerland, and Mexico. Debra received the 2013 Scholar/Artist Award and the 2012 University Dance Educator of the Year Award from the National Dance Association. She received Donald C. Roush award for teaching excellence and the Research Council’s award for creative scholarly activity both from NMSU. She is also a New Mexico Kennedy Center artist.
Douglas Nielsen, Professor and Graduate Advisor at the University of Arizona, has been a guest teacher and choreographer at more than 40 universities throughout the United States and abroad. He has served as the Rufus Putnam Professor in residence at Ohio University and as the Sage Cole Chair at the University of Minnesota, and guest faculty at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Former member of the Batsheva Dance Company in Israel and Gus Solomons, Pearl Lang, and Paul Sanasardo dance companies in New York, he has performed solo works by Viola Farber, Beverly Blossom, Anna Sokolow, Murray Louis, and Charles Weidman. Douglas began dancing shortly after earning a B.A. in psychology at Augsburg College, Minneapolis. He studied dance at the California Institute of the Arts in the early 70's with Donald McKayle, Bella Lewitzky, and Mia Slavenska. Honors include the 2003 Lester Horton Dance Educator Award for excellence in teaching, and the 2007 American Dance Festival Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching.
Nielsen has served on adjudication panels for The American College Dance Festival Association in Virginia, Texas, Idaho, Kansas, Connecticut, California, and Ohio. He has also served as a distinguished panelist for the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards, The National Association for the Advancement of the Arts, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the McKnight Foundation.
Originally from New York State, choreographer Randee Paufve has been based in the Bay Area for more than two decades. Dance critic allen Ulrich has weritten in Voice of Dance "Randee Paufve is a name to take seriously in Bay Area dance circles" and Jennifer Dunning described her work in the New York times, Ms. Paufve's choreopgraphy does not fit any of the stereo types about laid-back California or hyper New York dance."
Randee graduated from Elmira College, Magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cross-Cultural Performing Arts. She spent her junior year in India, studying Tamil, Bharata Natyam, South Indian folk dance, and Karnatic music. Randee holds a Master of Arts degree in Dance Choreography and Performance from the State University of New York, Brockport and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dramatic Arts from the University of California, Davis. Randee recently received the Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Best Individual Performance. Paufve|dance
James Sutton is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer, who has appeared as principal dancer with Houston Ballet, Chicago Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet and DANCERS. Formerly Associate Director of the Kathryn Posin Modern Dance Company, Jim formed his own company in New York in 1983. His choreographic commissions span all aspects of theatre, from the Dallas Opera to musical productions at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut to his current position as resident choreographer for New York Theatre Ballet. A frequent guest instructor around the US, he has worked on the faculty of the American Dance Festival, as ballet master for Ballet Hispanico of New York, and, for five years, as company teacher for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Internationally, he has been a guest teacher at the Maly (now Mikhailovsky) Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, Cloud-Gate Theatre in Taipei, Taiwan, and the Cullberg Ballet and Balett Akademien in Stockholm, Sweden, among other venues across Europe and Asia. Jim was Associate Prof at NYU for 14 years and is also a contributing writer for Ballet Review.