Virtual DELving into Dance History:
Scholar and Artist Perspectives on Dance and Culture

Sunday, January 9 & Sunday, January 16, 2022 | 2-5pm Eastern
Facilitated by Ann Biddle and Felice Santorelli, with guest artist Melanie George

Join Ann Biddle (Director of DEL at Jacob’s Pillow), Felice Santorelli (DEL Facilitator), and Guest Artist Melanie George in this online workshop series highlighting resources from the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive site. Re-envision dance history as embodied inquiry using the extensive video and multimedia resources of the Jacob’s Pillow Archives. DELving into Dance History is an ongoing series and is designed for K-12 dance educators and college dance history enthusiasts to enhance remote and in-person teaching. 

Guest Artist Melanie George, Jacob’s Pillow’s Associate Curator and Director of Artistic Initiatives, will share her extensive expertise in culturally responsive dance history and engage participants to apply new perspectives and voices to their pedagogical and artistic practice and “deconstruct traditional hierarchies in dance.” Pulling from the extensive resources on the Pillow interactive site, participants will DELve into Dance History and gain new skills and understanding to broaden the teaching of dance history in a more inclusive, accessible, and equitable manner.

In this interactive, movement-based workshop, DELving course participants will:

  • Experience aspects of the DELving into Dance History model with a focus on applied LMA, embodied dance history research, and culturally responsive pedagogy centered around deconstructing hierarchical dance structures.
  • Receive classroom resources and discover how to make educational spaces more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible in an engaging, culturally responsive way. Participants will also explore the extensive video resources of the Pillow interactive site.
  • Deepen understanding of the history, meaning, and significance of the work of a diverse array of dance genres and artists.
  • Learn how and what content to present when introducing cultural dance forms in a culturally responsive manner to their students.

Melanie George

Headshot of Melanie GeorgeMelanie George is an educator, dramaturg, choreographer, scholar, and certified movement analyst. Named one of Dance Magazine’s “30 over 30” in 2021, she is the founder of Jazz Is… Dance Project and Associate Curator and Director of Artist Initiatives at Jacob’s Pillow. As a dramaturg, she has contributed to projects by David Neumann and Marcella Murray (on the Obie Award winning Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed), Kimberly Bartosik/daela, Raja Feather Kelly, Susan Marshall & Company, Urban Bush Women, Machine Dazzle, and Alice Sheppard/Kinetic Light, among others. Current projects include new works by Helen Simoneau Danse, Ephrat Asherie Dance, and Caleb Teicher & Company.  An in-demand teacher and choreographer of the neo-jazz aesthetic, her jazz choreography is regularly commissioned by colleges throughout the United States. George is a featured contributor and consultant for the documentary UpRooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance, and she founded the global jazz dance advocacy website jazzdancedirect.com. Publications include chapters in Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches and the forthcoming Rooted Jazz Dance: Africanist Aesthetics and Equity in the Twenty-First Century (University Press of Florida). George has worked as a consultant in the arts for over a decade, applying her expertise in scholarship and education to assist artists and arts organizations in articulating language and facilitating the development of creative work. In addition to her work with independent choreographers and dance educators, George has provided professional services for The Joyce Theater, The Guggenheim Museum, BAM, Gibney, and Dance/NYC among others. She is the former Dance Program Director at American University, and has guest lectured at Harvard University, The Juilliard School, and The Yale School of Drama. George is the recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Leadership Award from the National Dance Education Organization.

Event Dates

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Virtual Event:
DELving into Dance History:
Scholar and Artist Perspectives on Dance and Culture

At Zoom.com: Jan 9 - Jan 16