Research

National Endowment for the Arts

Kim Jones, UNC Charlotte Department of Dance

The UNC Charlotte Department of Dance has received a 2016 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The grant, in the amount of $10,000, will support Tracing Modern Dance: A Reconstruction Residency for Paul Taylor’s Lost "Tracer." The reconstruction residency is the culmination of an 18-month research project by Associate Professor of Dance Kim Jones. 

Renowned modern dance choreographer Paul Taylor has given Jones the unique opportunity to reconstruct a seminal early work not performed or seen in more than 50 years. Tracer, choreographed by Taylor in 1962 with set and costumes by the artist Robert Rauschenberg, does not benefit from the existence of video or audio rehearsal or performance records. Jones will complete her scholarly reconstruction in September 2016 during a three-week residency at UNC Charlotte with the Taylor 2 Dance Company. During the residency, Jones, in close consultation with former Taylor dancers Liz Walton, Tom Patrick and Ruth Andrien (Taylor 2 Rehearsal Director), will set Tracer on the Taylor 2 dancers, working also with UNC Charlotte dance students, who will learn the work for future performance demonstrations. The Taylor 2 Dance Company will premiere the reconstructed Tracer, with a new Rauschenberg inspired sculpture by artist Jeff Crawford, in a performance at UNC Charlotte on September 30.

Taylor in TracerTracer is the 10th work created by Taylor and Rauschenberg, whose partnership began in the mid-1950s. It is for four dancers and premiered in Paris in April 1962, followed by its New York debut in November. Tracer was Taylor’s 29th work and directly precedes Aureole, which launched his career as one of the most celebrated, influential, and enduring figures in modern dance; other contemporary pieces are considered masterpieces of the genre.

The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields. UNC Charlotte was one of 12 grant recipients in North Carolina and the state's only grant recipient in the "dance" category.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from UNC Charlotte Department of Dance offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

Read the announcement from the NEA here.

AGA Collaborative

Gretchen Alterowitz, UNC Charlotte Department of Dance
with Alison Bory, Davidson College Dance Department, and Amanda Hamp, University of New Mexico, Theatre and Dance Department

AGA Collaborative is a trio of artist-scholars who work across geographical distance, rigorously exploring the possibilities of co-creating. Our choreographic collaboration emphasizes the processes of dancemaking and the possibilities of de-centering creative authorship. We approach choreography as practice-based research — investigations into the experience of being, what the language of the body can communicate, and how bodies on stage can speak to the world. 

Each of our projects respond to thematic concerns or areas of interest. Current research questions we are considering include:

  • How do ideas of accomplishment and productivity structure our lives?
  • What does it mean to win?
  • How do cooperation and competition co-exist?
  • How do we understand ourselves within hierarchical structures?

Through each of our projects, we are committed to considering:
  • How do intimacy and connection respond to and work with technological mediation?
  • How are collaboration and shared practices useful and meaningful in today's world?

AGA CollaborativeIn our choreography, we are dedicated to investigating different ways of thinking about and viewing dancing bodies on stage. Prioritizing intimacy and connection over experiences of diversion or spectacle, we aim to create compositions that allow for audience reflection and reflexivity. We approach the stage as a multidimensional space and a site for community building — amongst ourselves and with everyone in the room. 

To learn more about our work and view videos and photographs, please visit our website: www.agacollaborative.org.