Assistant Professor of Modern/Contemporary Dance
Deborah Goffe is a performer, dance maker, dance educator, performance curator and intermittent video artist. She is founder of Scapegoat Garden, a Hartford-based collaborative dance theater company, which has served as a primary vehicle and creative community through which Deborah has explored the intersection of dance with other media. A graduate of the University of the Arts (BFA, Modern Dance) and California Institute of the Arts (MFA, Dance Performance and Choreography), Deborah earned a Professional Certificate from Wesleyan University's Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance in 2013 where she explored curatorial practice as a way to nurture the health and vitality of local dance eco-systems.
In 2012, the Connecticut Dance Alliance honored Deborah for Distinguished Achievement in Dance. In service to her work with Scapegoat Garden, Deborah has granted Artist Fellowships from the Connecticut Office of the Arts (2005, 2013), the Greater Hartford Arts Council (2007), and the Surdna Foundation (2008). In 2010, Deborah was invited to participate as New England Emerging Choreographer at the Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine. In that same year, she served as a yearlong Artist-in-Residence at Hartford’s Billings Forge Community Works.
From 2011-2012, Deborah served as dance coordinator at Charter Oak Cultural Center, working closely with area dance-makers to re-envision the Greater Hartford dance community through the Homegrown Dance initiative. As an educator, Deborah has taught dance and related courses in a several institutions, including California Institute of the Arts; CREC Center for Creative Youth; Trinity College; CulturArte, a youth arts summer residency program in Cape Verde, Africa; and was for ten years a faculty member of the dance department at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. In the fall of 2013 Deborah served as a visiting assistant professor of dance at Wesleyan University. Deborah is thrilled to have joined the Five College Dance Department this past fall as assistant professor of modern/contemporary dance at Hampshire College.
How does one sustain a life in the arts? While this question looms large for lovers of the arts, a host of other questions lurk just beneath the surface: How is success defined and redefined? Where are the points of entry and who are the gatekeepers? How do performance, making, educational, community-engaged, curatorial, and scholarly practices relate to one another and to the organizational structures that support them? What is the role of place? Drawing inspiration from the interconnectedness inherent in ecological frameworks, this course will function as a think tank of sorts, inviting dialogue around the evolution of existing arts infrastructures and our place in their futures. Through critical discourse, research and entrepreneurial strategies, and with special emphasis on performing arts, we will imagine holistic and innovative approaches to sustained arts engagement that are responsive to social, cultural and economic realities. Geared for upper Division II & III aspiring practitioners, administrators, entrepreneurs, curators, scholars, cultural critics, and advocates of the arts.
Modern-Contemporary Dance Technique 3 is an intermediate-level class, which will build on students' previous study of modern dance technique. The studio will be our laboratory for a semester-long exploration of a wide range of modern dance concepts with a focus on deepening sensation, clarifying points of initiation in the body, expansive use of space, connectivity and increasingly complex phrase work. Along the way we will give continued attention to alignment, spatial clarity, breath, increasing range of motion and the development of strength and stamina. Ultimately, the goal is for each student to engage a holistic approach to contemporary/modern dance technique - moving beyond rote mimicry toward dynamic, fully expansive movement exploration. The hope is that this will form the basis of a sustainable and deeply engaged movement practice - one that may inform a lifetime of embodied creative process. Variable Credit.
Making Dances 2 will build upon students' prior study of dance composition. The studio will be our laboratory as we identify and engage the tools of choreographic process, individual kinesthetic and aesthetic impulse, the relational nature of the art form and the negotiations these relationships engender (choreographer/performer/audience/community/place/identity), as well as the inherent societal implications of making art of/for/by the expressive body in space and time. We will begin by experimenting with formal structures and play, design and chance in support of the semester-long rehearsal processes students will direct outside of class (with groups of dancers they will select by audition). Culminating choreographic works will be shared informally at the end of the semester, and may be included in Hampshire's Winter Dance Concert (S19). Together members of the class will work to support one another in developing a nurturing space for curious investigation, boundary expanding rigor, generous feedback and playful discovery.
Creative Interventions will deeply explore the intersections between global environmental change, sustainability, the arts, education, and social action. In particular, we will highlight the essential role that creativity and art-making plays in organizing, strategizing and initiating powerful and effective social change. Through creative thinking and expanding on one's artistic practice, students will learn powerful and productive ways to be agents of social change. In this course consideration of how social, economic, cultural, political, and ecological concerns relate to identity and positionality. This project-based course will include engagement in a cycle process of making, assigned readings, guest speakers, group discussion, and individual research. Students will be expected to expand upon their research and develop a project that focuses on art as the anchor in exploring the intersections between education and social change. This course offers a bridge to the fall Innovations for Change: Problem Solving for the Future and focuses on Art and Activism and is co-taught by professors of theatre, dance and art education. Friday labs will occur at various times throughout the semester.
Modern-Contemporary Dance Technique 2 is an advanced-beginning level class, which will establish and build on students' foundational experience with modern dance technique. By practicing in-class exercises and phrase-studies, students will refine bodily awareness and articulation, hone spatial and rhythmic clarity, develop facility in perceiving and interpreting movement, and practice moving with our dance musicians' scores. The hope is that this consistent engagement in movement practice over the course of the semester will form the basis of a sustainable and deeply engaged movement practice-one that may inform a lifetime of embodied creative process. This is a half course. See additional information.
Modern-Contemporary Dance Technique 4 is designed for advanced-intermediate level dancers, as we continue to build on students' previous study of modern dance technique. As is true in Modern-Contemporary 3, the studio will be our laboratory for a semester-long exploration of a wide range of modern dance concepts with a focus on deepening sensation, clarifying points of initiation in the body, expansive use of space, connectivity and increasingly complex phrase work. Along the way we will give continued attention to alignment, spatial clarity, breath, increasing range of motion and the development of strength and stamina. Further, we will begin to consider the ongoing evolution of "modern" and "contemporary," as they relate to dance "training." What habits are you dismantling and what seemingly divergent histories are you weaving together in your quest to develop a unique dance voice all your own? The hope is that this will form the basis of a sustainable and deeply engaged movement practice--one that may inform a lifetime of embodied creative process. This is a half course.