Award-winning choreographer lent expertise to dance students

Headshot of choreographer Pam Tanowitz

Pam Tanowitz was in residency this fall for the Department of Dance.

Graduate students in the Department of Dance recently studied under internationally acclaimed choreographer Pam Tanowitz, who was in residency at Mather Dance Center for 10 days in September. Her assistant, Lindsey Jones, taught two master classes for undergraduate dance majors and minors.

Tanowitz is a celebrated New York-based choreographer and collaborator known for her unflinchingly post-modern treatment of classical dance vocabulary. She founded Pam Tanowitz Dance in 2000 to explore dance-making with a consistent community of dancers.

Tanowitz created a 10-minute work, “Like Fragments from an Old Song,” for the CWRU graduate students, who performed it in the the dance department’s fall production, Avanti.  Set to and inspired by ​“Broad and Free,”​ a composition for violin and piano by contemporary composer Caroline Shaw, the work pays homage to Mather Dance Center, where Avanti. was performed.

For the past 20 years, we’ve been giving students the opportunity to dance already established masterpieces by seminal artists of the 20th century like Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins and Doris Humphrey as well as remounted works by renowned contemporary artists like Mark Morris and Pascal Rioult,” says Department of Dance Chair Karen Potter. 

“To have arranged for such a highly recognized and award-winning choreographer like Pam to actually create a work especially for CWRU dancers, in an aesthetic that is quite different from anything we’ve done before, really sets us apart in additional ways. Pam was a true delight and her work is absolutely beautiful.”

In January 2019, Tanowitz was named the first-ever choreographer in residence at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.  Among her many other honors, Tanowitz received the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts in May 2019.