Renowned Choreographer and Dancer Dianne McIntyre Named Spelman College Distinguished Visiting Scholar
ATLANTA (Sept. 22, 2015) – Acclaimed performing artist Dianne McIntyre brings her aesthetic blend of history, culture and contemporary dance to Spelman College as the 2015-2016 Distinguished Visiting Scholar. During her yearlong residency at the College, McIntyre will create and collaborate in the classroom and the dance studio as well as on the stage.
“It is a privilege to have Dianne McIntyre, a revered dancer, choreographer and art historian, as our new Distinguished Visiting Scholar,” said Myra Burnett, Ph.D., Spelman interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Her innovative and pioneering work has inspired generations. We look forward to the creative energy and expertise she will bring to Spelman as a scholar and artist.”
Beginning with the fall semester course, “Performance and Investigation!” McIntyre and students will explore the artistic expression of social issues and philosophies through dance, theatre and music. McIntyre will also take part in performance projects and panel discussions with faculty and students across several academic disciplines such as English, drama, philosophy, music and women’s studies. In spring 2016, McIntyre will direct a production that incorporates music, dance and theatre performed by faculty, students and guest artists.
“During my residency, my general goal is to plant seeds of interest or awareness at the College through my dance arts passion and allow sprouts to grow from those seeds,” said McIntyre. “This will occur through my visit to classes — sharing my history, insights, and lessons learned from the numerous celebrated artists I have had the privilege to work with over the years. At the end of the day, my hope is students will understand they have tools within themselves for spontaneous creativity, for working creatively and respectfully with others, for digging deep in research, and for moving forward with confidence in any new pursuit.”
McIntyre’s creativity, confidence and individualistic movement style are evidenced by her career, which spans more than 40 years. Since 1972, she has choreographed numerous concert dances, four Broadway shows, 30 regional theatre productions, a London West End musical, three feature films, three television productions, stage movement for recording artists and five original full-length dance dramas. Distinguished dance companies, such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco!, Cleo Park Robinson Dance, GroundWorks Dance Theater, Dancing Wheels, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, as well as more than 40 university ensembles and major dance festivals have commissioned her choreography and teaching residencies. She has also partnered often with playwright and poet Ntozake Shange.
Her rich legacy as an artist was recently acknowledged with the Doris Duke Impact Award presented by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The prestigious acknowledgement honors artists in contemporary dance, theatre, jazz and related interdisciplinary areas with grants in support of their creative efforts.
“I am grateful for the Doris Duke Award because it brings recognition of me and my work to a broader public,” said McIntyre. “The grant will allow me to develop my own self-produced choreography with a company of dancers and musicians that I assemble. I will be able to experiment and re-imprint my style on a new generation of performers, as I did ‘back in the day’ with my former dance company, Sounds in Motion, in the 1970s and 1980s. I am excited about moving forward with that production.”
Spelman formally welcomes McIntyre to campus Wednesday, Sept. 23. She will present “Dancing on Solid Ground: Reflections of a Choreographer’s Journey,” which will examine what the Cleveland, Ohio, native describes as “a colorful life centered around a passion for dance, theatre, music and film.” The event, free and open to the public, will be held at 6 p.m. in the Baldwin Burroughs Auditorium of the John D. Rockefeller Fine Arts Building. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.
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About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children's Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman, Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer, Former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, Harvard University professor Evelynn Hammonds, author Pearl Cleage and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.