Kim Brooks Mata / Dance

As the Head and Artistic Director of the Dance program at U.Va., it is my job to engage our students with the field of dance as a creative performance art, as well as a field of socio-cultural study. This involves exposing our students to dance in its various roles primarily through the lens of Western concert dance. While the majority of our dance students enter U.Va. with a firm grasp of the genres of ballet and jazz, many of them have not yet been exposed to modern and contemporary dance – except, perhaps, through the narrow lens of “So You Think You Can Dance”. Though our students are incredibly passionate about dance, they tend to have a fairly limited understanding of contemporary dance and its potential as a form of artistic and socio-cultural expression.

When teaching courses such as the Art of Dance and Dance History, I capitalize on the abundance of online digital copies of major dance performances via sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. I hold class discussions on the works viewed and we note individual impressions, make critical observations, and derive meaning from this data. However, viewing dance intended for a live audience via a two-dimensional screen inhibits our students’ abilities to fully appreciate the impact of this type of work when experienced as intended. Additionally, there is rarely enough time to watch a choreographic work in its entirety, and discussions are frequently prematurely ended due to the limited amount of time we have in class.

Although I frequently encourage our students to venture out to Richmond or D.C. to attend major contemporary dance performances, few manage to surpass the barriers of transportation and ticket prices to get to these performances. For this reason, my dream idea is to be given the opportunity to remove some of these financial and logistical deterrents so that my students will be given the opportunity to experience the powerful kinesthetic and visceral experience afforded when attending a live professional dance performance.

I propose to take 8 to 11 students actively involved in the Dance minor program to up to 3 live professional dance performances in the area. Prior to each performance I will provide students with resources to introduce the company and/or choreographer to them. These resources will come in the form of short scholarly articles or reviews of the company or of the choreographer’s artistic style/work. I may also provide a few questions for the students to reflect on as they view the performances, to inform our subsequent discussions.

I would like to rent a 12-person van to drive to the events so that students are able to attend without being hindered by transportation challenges. Riding together in the van also provides the opportunity for us to discuss the performance and our impressions during the ride home, and to reflect on what we learned from our experiences. In addition, after attending the performances I would like to gather as a group over a shared catered meal at my home, once in the fall and once in the spring semesters. This will enable us as a group to hold a longer discussion about our observations and deepen our understanding and analysis of the choreographic work.

I am including a list of performances that we could attend in the area, along with ticket prices. I require funding for the tickets, the rental of a van, the cost of fuel, and food for 9-23 people for each of the two gatherings at my home. I anticipate that students may not be able to attend all three performances, however, any student who attends at least one of these performances will be invited and encouraged to partake in the group meal and discussion.

The number of students who participate in these events may vary. There may be an instance where only 5-7 students are able to make a performance in which case we would save on the ticket costs. Depending upon the number of students interested in attending the performances and the dinners, I can adjust to accommodate cheaper ticket options or decide to make the dinners at my house potlucks.
Possible performances are listed below. These may change depending upon ticket availability and student schedules:
The Modlin Center/University of Richmond/Alice Jepson Theatre

Keigwin + Company
October 3rd & 4th @ 7:30p
$36 per person

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and SITI Company
A Rite
January 23rd & 24th @ 7:30p
$40 per person

The Kennedy Center/Washington D.C.
November 18th & 19th
$20-62 per person

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
February 3rd-8th
Free Explore the Arts Post-Performance Discussion Saturday, February 7 matinee
$30-125 per person

Estimated Budget
24 hour, 7-person minivan rental @ $60/day ($180)
24 hour, 12-person van rental @ $80/day $240
(estimates from: 6/30/14)

230 miles roundtrip from Charlottesville to D.C. $65
136 miles roundtrip from Charlottesville to Richmond $36
136 miles roundtrip from Charlottesville to Richmond $36
( fuel cost calculator estimate)

Subtotal $437


Keigwin + Company
Minimum 9 people @ $36/person ($324)
Maximum 12 people @ $36/person $432

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and SITI Company
Minimum 9 people @ $40/person ($360)
Maximum 12 people @ $40/person $480

Minimum 9 people @ $62/person ($558)
Maximum 12 people @ $62/person ($744)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
Minimum 9 people @ $125/person ($1,125)
Maximum 12 people @ $125/person $1,500
Subtotal (reflects 1 D.C. and 2 Richmond performances) $2,412

Semester with 2 performances
Minimum 17 people @ $10/person ($170)
Maximum 23 people @ $10/person $230
Semester with 1 performance
Minimum 9 people @ $10/person ($90)
Maximum 12 people @ $10/person $120

Subtotal $350

Total Cost $3,199