Friday, June 20, 2008
OU welcomes talented, innovative dance faculty
Oakland University’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance will welcome three new members to the dance faculty this fall, including an OU alumnus.
Rodney A. Brown, resident choreographer for the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company Second Company, will serve as special instructor. Brown earned his Bachelor of Arts Performing Arts at OU in 2000 and went on to the University of Michigan Master’s program, as a Rackham Merit Fellow. He began his career as a choreographer in 1999, and has since created works performed in Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, California and South Africa. Brown has also been a guest artist with companies including Dance Elixir in Oakland, Calif., and OU’s resident Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. He recently founded The Brown Dance Projects (BDP), whose mission is to explore the human condition and experience through dance.
Rain Ross, who is teaching ballet, pointe and ballet repertory this summer at Interlochen Center for the Arts, comes to the program as a visiting professor. She will direct the Oakland Dance Theatre. An MFA candidate at the University of Iowa, Ross earned her Bachelor of Arts at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She has served as rehearsal director at the University of Iowa and as a guest artist at Mount Holyoke. In 2007, she was invited to present at the Craft Critique Conference and in 2004, received the Amy Award for Emerging Artists, a financial award given by the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council. Ross is founder and artistic director of Lehua Dance Theatre, a mixed repertory dance company based in Seattle.
Ginger Thatcher, a special instructor, has a distinguished teaching resume that includes the University of Michigan, Barnard College, American Ballet Theatre and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company on national tour. Thatcher has danced with Lar Lubovitch, the Cleveland Ballet as soloist and with the Cincinnati Ballet. As choreographer, she has worked on numerous Broadway shows, including “Oklahoma,” “A Year with Frog and Toad,” “Big,” “Carousel” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” as well as national and regional television shows, regional theatre and dance companies. She will direct the OU Repertory Company.
These three dance professionals join a talented and innovative faculty, led by program director Gregory Patterson. For information about Dance at Oakland University, visit the Music, Theatre and Dance Web site or call (248) 370-2030.