SMU Fall Semester 2016

The first day of classes of the fall semester is about two weeks away. I have a lot to do. My teaching load is not as heavy as it has been in the past. I teach Jazz II and the third unit of Comp I when I do the “Elements” Project. I am again the Artistic Director of Brown Bag ( the student choreography showcase) and will be reconstructing an old work of mine, AVALON. It has wonderful music by Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich and will be played live for the fall concert. AVALON was commissioned by The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 1985 when I was guest teacher in summer jazz dance workshop. The workshop was directed by Lynn Simonson. It will be a challenge since it is extremely athletic and has a lot of movement I can’t do anymore, but my great students will help me figure it out. On the last Friday of Brown Bag, I head out to the Twin Cities to restage one of my favorite dances, Song Awakened set to the sensual voice of Cesaria Evora.


We are just finishing up the third week of classes and the second week of AVALON rehearsals. The opening section is put together as well as Hamhock Blues, the middle section. We are now into the finale, Air Mail Special. Things are going well. I have a great cast. The photo above is Jane Blount and Robert Smith in a studio shot by Jack Mitchell of AVALON. The costumes were designed by Susan Schifano. We are having a new set made at SMU. The originals are long gone.

Finished AVALON on Wednesday night. It is going to be wonderful. As usual, I made a lot of improvements and I’m sure there will be more as I can now relax and really see the choreography. The dancers in my company had a 48 hour rule – no more changes! Our costume “Diva” found beautiful stretch satin in all the right colors. It is Armani and it costs $100/yard.

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