The MFA program in Dance offers the opportunity to study with some of the best dance faculty in the country. In addition to the faculty at Saint Mary's College, upcoming guest faculty include Bill Evans, Doug Nielsen, and Randee Paufve.
Dancer, teacher, and choreographer, 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.
Originally from New York State, choreographer Randee Paufve has been based in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than two decades. Dance critic Allan Ulrich has written 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 choreography does not fit any of the stereotypes about laid-back California or hyper New York dance.”
Prior to forming Paufve|dance, Randee spent 15 years developing a body of solo and smaller works, as well as a loyal and eager following for her work in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Portland, OR. In 2001 she formed Paufve|dance for which she has choreographed numerous works, including three evening length dances and several site-specific adventures, with biennial Bay Area seasons and extensive touring on both coasts.
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.
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.
In 1988, Douglas pioneered the founding of the first modern dance company of Mainland China (The Guangdong Dance Company). Other international assignments include L'ecole-Atelier Rudra Bejart Lausanne (Switzerland), The Beijing Dance Adademy (China), Palucca Schule (Dresden, Germany), University of the Americas (Mexico), and representing the American Dance Festival in Korea, Russia, China, Czech Republic, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Mongolia.
Nielsen is the recipient of four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Performing Arts Fellowship with the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Since 1979, Douglas has created over 100 dances for his own company (Douglas Nielsen Dances) and others including the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company (Salt Lake City), Dancers Unlimited (Dallas), The Repertory Project (Cleveland), Dances We Dance Company (Honolulu), Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, Chrysalis Repertory Dance Company (Houston), Harbinger Dance Company and the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble (Detroit), Tenth Street Dance Works (Tucson), Kauhsiung Contemporary Dance Company (Taiwan), Guang Dong Dance Company (Guang Zhou, China), Kathryn Ricketts Dance Company (Copenhagen), and the Scottish Dance Theatre (Glasgow).
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.
Bill Evans is artistic director of the Bill Evans Dance Company, founded in 1975. The company was based in Seattle and then Albuquerque, where it celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2004. The Company 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. BEDC now works on a project basis for performances in western New York, in national conferences and on summer national and international tours. Current company members are Evans, Don Halquist (chair of the Brockport Department of Education and Human Development), Mariah Maloney and several recent MFA graduates from the Brockport Department of Dance. Brockport undergraduate dance majors and MFA candidates sometime perform as guest artists.
He founded the Evans Rhythm Tap Ensemble in 1992 and performs solo tap concerts frequently throughout North America. He was formerly artistic coordinator, dancer and principal resident choreographer of Utah's Repertory Dance Theatre, which just celebrated its 45th anniversary, and artistic director and resident choreographer of Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers, Canada’s oldest professional modern dance company.
He has choreographed more than 200 works, which have been performed by more than 70 professional dance companies in several countries and by college and regional pre-professional dance ensembles throughout North America and in Europe. He received the Guggenheim Fellowship and numerous fellowships and 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 in Seattle 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. The annual Bill Evans Summer Dance Teachers’ Intensives and Evans Technique Certification Program, have taken place at The College at Brockport and in other national and international locations since 1999.
He joined the faculty of The College at Brockport in 2004, after taking early retirement from the University of New Mexico Dance Program. Here, he teaches Evans Modern Dance Technique and Improvisation; Evans repertory; choreography; rhythm tap technique, improvisation and repertory; Laban Movement Analysis/Bartenieff Fundamentals, and dance pedagogy in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. He has served as artistic director of the annual faculty concert, DANSCORE, of the NEW DANCERS’ SHOWCASE and of DANCE/Hartwell, and has choreographed or re-staged 24 works for Brockport student dancers.
Since 1981, he has served regularly as an adjudicator for the American College Dance Festival Association, for Regional Dance America and other organizations. He has served on the boards of the American College Dance Festival Association, the National Dance Association and the National Dance Education Organization and he produced the 2003 NDEO Conference in Albuquerque. A cover story on his impact in the professional and educational dance worlds was featured in the October, 2003 issue of Dance Magazine, and he was named one of three favorite tap artists in the most recent Dance Magazine Readers Poll. He has been the subject of several cover stories in Dance Teacher Magazine, most recently in July, 2010.
Visit www.billevansdance.org to find out more about his summer programs, his touring schedule, his book, Reminiscences of a Dancing Man, published by the National Dance Association in 2005, and other publications he has written of or which he is the subject.