Magazine article Dance Magazine

CORPS De Ballet International Combines Body, Mind, and Sightseeing

Magazine article Dance Magazine

CORPS De Ballet International Combines Body, Mind, and Sightseeing

Article excerpt

As professional venues and companies struggle to weather current cultural and economic storms, the role of ballet in academia continues to evolve. CORPS de Ballet International provides a forum for ballet educators to examine teaching practices and outcomes while keeping an eye on the bigger picture. The organization was spearheaded by Florida State University professor Richard Sias in 1998, and began with a small group of teachers asking such fundamental questions as "What is ballet's function in higher education?" and "How can students place the study of ballet into a functional perspective?" CORPS, which stands for Council of Organized Researchers for Pedagogical Study, has now grown to include 130 members. This July the organization will take on the existential questions--and the eternal question of turnout--with an accomplished roster of speakers and participants attending its 11th annual teacher conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Hosted by Texas Christian University's School for Classical and Contemporary Dance, which boasts the United States' first university program for ballet majors, CORP's summer conference is titled "Ballet Pedagogy as Embodied Practice: The Art and Craft of Teaching." Attendees will put theory into practice as they take to the roomy studios of TCU under the guidance of master teachers Kim Abel (longtime favorite of New York professionals), Jennifer Jackson (University of Surrey/The Royal Ballet School), Raymond Lukens (ABT/NYU Master's Program), and Ben Stevenson (artistic director, Texas Ballet Theater).

Author Sandra Noll Hammond, who was instrumental in founding the dance major at The University of Arizona in Tucson, will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive work as both scholar and teacher. …

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