Shenandoah University and Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater (SPDT) are partnering to present a 10-day arts integration residency in Winchester, Virginia, from Monday, Jan. 29, through Wednesday, Feb. 7. The project, which reaches a range of populations on Shenandoah University’s campus and in the local community, is supported in part by an Art Works award of $15,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts, granted to SPDT in fall 2017.
The project is made possible by Shenandoah Conservatory’s Performing Arts Live series and Dance Division as well as the Shenandoah University School of Health Professions and Center for Public Service and Scholarship. It kicks off with a welcome reception and continues with artist-led workshops, masterclasses, a lecture demonstration and additional engagement opportunities, which integrate the arts into educational, healthcare and community settings. Campus workshops are designed to engage a vast range of Shenandoah University students and pre-professionals in dance, music therapy, health professions and pharmacy, among others.
SPDT is at the forefront of the arts and health care field. It has been cited as a “National Model” by The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and recognized for “Best Practices” by the National Endowment for the Arts, for its unique brand of community-inclusive work and innovative programs, such as Caring for the Caregiver; Meaning in Movement, a program for stroke survivors and their care partners; and Transforming the Doctor-Patient Relationship℠, which is designed for physicians and medical students.
Karen Schultz, Ph.D., professor of interdisciplinary studies and director of Shenandoah University’s Center for Public Service and Scholarship (one of the residency partners), was immediately drawn to the project and the company’s innovative approach to using movement to enhance learning objectives.
“Last year, I collaborated with dance faculty to integrate movement into my teaching, and I witnessed a measurable impact on student learning and retention, so I was pleased to lend the support of our center to such a robust and vital initiative,” Schultz said.
During the residency, the artists will also work with a range of community members, including local dancers, the staff of Sinclair Health Clinic and students at Garland R. Quarles Elementary School and the Kids Club of the Northern Shenandoah Valley.
“The company’s workshops explore the power of the arts to reveal our own humanity and transform our thinking, whether it’s empowering a young student to tell a story through music and movement, or transforming how a health practitioner connects to their work and the patients they serve,” said Courtney Reilly, managing director of Shenandoah Conservatory.
The project also includes an opportunity for campus and community members, 9 years of age and up, to perform with the company in “Terra Incognita,” a new work by SPDT Artistic Co-director Suzanne Costello, which blends movement, video and voice to explore the emotional underpinnings of the natural seasons as metaphors for the stages of life. This new work features SPDT company artists and an intergenerational chorus of community members that harken the change of seasons. V. Paul Virtucio’s film design and Merritt Rodriguez’s scenic elements elaborate on this movement montage that travels from fiercely physical to serene and sublime. Individuals interested in being a part of this new work should contact Alisa Daum at email@example.com for further details.
The community-wide residency culminates on Tuesday, Feb. 6, and Wednesday, Feb. 7, with performances of “Terra Incognita” and an evening of works that span the company’s 40-year history.
For a schedule of public residency activities, visit su.edu/performs/event/stuart-pimsler-dance-theater.
Event: Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater
Where: Glaize Studio Theatre, Shenandoah University (Winchester, Virginia)
When: 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6, and Wednesday, Feb. 7
Tickets for the performance are $28 general admission, $26 senior citizens and $12 for military, students, and youth. Tickets and information are available at the Shenandoah Conservatory Box Office, (540) 665-4569, located in the lobby of Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre and online at conservatoryperforms.org.
- High-resolution photography, including artist headshots and a selection of production images, are available upon request. Full artist biographies are also available upon request.
Shenandoah Conservatory is home to more than 700 students enrolled in baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs in the areas of music, theatre and dance. Virginia’s oldest and premier center for performing arts training, the conservatory is led by a dynamic faculty composed of performers and scholars of national and international repute.
Shenandoah University was established in 1875, and is headquartered in Winchester, Virginia, with additional educational sites in Clarke, Fairfax and Loudoun counties. Shenandoah is a private, nationally recognized university that blends professional career experiences with liberal education. With nearly 4,000 students in more than 100 academic programs in seven different schools, Shenandoah promotes a close-knit community rich in creative energy and intellectual challenge. Shenandoah students collaborate with accomplished professors who provide focused, individual attention, all the while leading several programs to be highly nationally ranked. Through innovative partnerships and programs at both the local and global level, there are exceptional opportunities for students to learn in and out of the classroom. Shenandoah empowers its students to improve the human condition and to be principled professionals and leaders wherever they go. For more information, visit su.edu.