Five College Professor of Dance
Professor Hill has taught at the Alvin Ailey School of American Dance, Conservatoire d'arts Dramatique in Paris, and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. As a choreographer, director, and mask specialist, she has worked with the French playwright Eugene Ionesco; Czech scenographer Josef Svoboda; Romanian director Liviu Ciulei, and Toni Morrison on her play Dreaming Emmett, directed by Gilbert Moses. Her writings have appeared in such publications as Dance Magazine, Village Voice, Dance Research Journal, Studies in Dance History; Discourses in Dance, and in such edited anthologies as Moving Words: Re-Writing Dance; Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African-American Dance; Ballroom, Boogie, Shimmy Sham, Shake: A Social and Popular Dance Reader; Taken By Surprise: A Dance Improvisation Reader, and Kaiso! Writings By and About Katherine Dunham. Her book, Brotherhood in Rhythm: The Jazz Tap Dancing of the Nicholas Brothers(2000) received the Deems Taylor ASCAP Award; and her most recent book, Tap Dancing America, A Cultural History (2010), for which she received the Tap Preservation Award from the American Tap Dance Foundation, was supported by grants from the John D. Rockefeller and John Simon Guggenheim foundations.
As a Five College Professor of Dance at Hampshire College, Professor Hill teaches courses in dance history, performance theory, jazz studies, choreography on camera, and feminist performance; and is working with her colleagues to establish a black studies core curriculum.
Moving nimbly between dance history and film theory, big mainstream movies and small experimental films, this course is an exploration of the choreographic in cinema. We will trace the history of the dance film form from its earliest manifestation in the silent film era, through the historic avant garde, musicals and music videos to contemporary short dance films, showing how the combination of dance and film produces cine-choreographic practices that are specific to the dance film form. This course, which combines theory and practice, invites video and film concentrators, dancers, and dance-makers interested in exploring new frontiers of choreography on film.
This course looks at the vast and diverse cultural and aesthetic landscape of dance performance in the millennium and the new breed of choreographers making cutting-edge works that pursue radically different methods, materials and strategies for provoking new ideas about dance, body, and corporeal aesthetics. Taking in the vast spectrum of new-age performance (live and virtualized), we will ask such questions as: How does non-narrative dance focus on the body as an instrument with unlimited possibilities, without the impetus of stories, emotions, ideas, specific external images? How do heterosexuality, homosexuality, and androgeny constitute a gender spectrum in new works? How do we watch and evaluate dances from culturally specific traditions? How, in improvisational performance, do we watch people moving with each other and in space when there is no clear beginning, middle, or end; and how is the viewer challenged to see the point of people balancing, lifting, falling, and rolling? How do community-based performances constitute a distinct sociopolitical theme in dance works? How do site-specific works illuminate the thematic content of a work and various spaces for the viewer? How do choreographers utilize technology, text, sets, and lighting in developing multidisciplinary performance art works? Lastly, and most importantly, how have millennial dance artists instigated new frames and viewing positions from which to understand how dance communicates; and how are they inspiring a new generation of self-and-socially conscious artists/activists who insist on speaking directly to their own generation?