Stories of Collaboration

 

 

 

The best way to grasp our impact is through the voices of people with whom we have worked. Past collaborators tell these stories.

Arizona State University Gammage Residency, Tempe, AZ
In conjunction with Dance Theater of Harlem, this residency involved lecturing on the Great Migration and teaching dance and choreography both on and off campus, around our work past-carry-forward, based on the Great Migration. The story of what happened, as told by Michael Reed, Senior Director of Programs:
 
Wideman/Davis’s work went far beyond our initial discussions to include lecturing on race, gender, class, the Civil Rights Movement, and multiple culturally specific historical perspectives. Their work was enthusiastically received in academic, dance, and community settings.

I found their work to be truly extraordinary. Besides helping to create a much deeper experience for our audience for Dance Theater of Harlem, Tanya and Thaddeus’s residency week here was, in and of itself, and an extremely enriching and educational experience for members of Phoenix’s largest Baptist church, the local community, and multiple ASU academic areas including history, theater, dance, and critical inquiry in dance techniques. Their classes, lectures, and interaction on and off campus were very thoughtfully conceived and brilliantly realized. Their ability to fuse research/academic rigor with communication and instruction styles that were at once deeply insightful, challenging, and accessible is something that I have seen very few artists or academics able to achieve in my time here at ASU. It resonated strongly with our faculty and students to have such accomplished artist in university assistant professors of this high-caliber sharing their knowledge in such a unique and innovative ways.

  Ballet Austin: The Monologue Project, Austin, TX
The goal was to capture the voices of students from five unique secondary school campuses in the Greater Austin area, to inspire further thought and dialogue about discrimination and bullying. Michelle Martin, Associate Artistic Director, conveys the results:

Wideman/Davis Dance was integral to the success of Ballet Austin's The Monologue Project. On each campus, Tanya and Thaddeus were able to build an environment of trust and respect which led to authentic commitment and participation from the students. This was essential to the success of the project. In particular, they were able to make significant connections with students on campuses such as Breakthrough Austin and KIPP Austin, campuses with majority populations of students from low-income families and those underrepresented on college campuses. Tanya and Thaddeus work in a highly collaborative way, offering both creative and innovative thought, and understanding the dynamic balance that defines and drives productive exploration and true collaboration between multiple artists and organizations.

Hollins University, Roanoke, VA
We were brought to campus to advise MFA students, helping guide their thesis work and independent research projects. Gina Kohler, Visiting Assistant Professor and Assistant Director, MFA in Dance Program shares impressions and the impact on students:

Wideman/Davis Dance is working in radical and progressive ways. A shared vision and commitment to antiracist work has offered many opportunities for our continued collaboration. Wideman/Davis Dance has participated as key facilitators during the New York January Retreat (2015) with Hollins University and has been invited to return to Hollins to perform in the MFA Alumni Concert (2014). Their continued critical investigation, critique and hope for the future are essential to the development of the dance field at large.