The Dance Program faculty represent a breadth of professional experience, expertise, and engagement with the dance world.
Professor of Dance, Dance Program Director
Maria Simpson, directorDirector of Bard’s Dance Program since 2008, Maria has also taught at Mount Holyoke College, Middlebury College, University of Washington, Bates Summer Dance Festival, the 1997 Seattle Summer Dance Festival, the 2007 Vassar College Summer Workshop, and Gibney Dance Center in New York City. Maria teaches all levels of ballet and anatomy. Maria currently teaches anatomy to Bard students as part of the Bard Prison Initiative. Maria has performed with dance companies and independent artists in Seattle and New York including Peter Schmitz and Dancers, the Pat Graney Company, Gina Gibney Dance, and the Chamber Dance Company. Since coming to Bard Maria has performed with, or for: Aileen Passloff, Jean Churchill, Peggy Florin, Sondra Loring, Peter Kyle and Peter Schmitz. Maria has been a rehearsal director for dances by Zvi Gotheiner, Trisha Brown, Hannah Kahn, Doug Varone, Mark Dendy, José Limón, and Marjani Forté-Saunders. Maria received a B.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts and an M.F.A. from the University of Washington.
Artist in Residence
Souleymane BadoloSouleymane ‘Solo’ Badolo is a Brooklyn-based choreographer and dancer born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He started his professional career as a dancer for the DAMA, a traditional African dance company. In 1993, he founded his own Burkina Faso-based troupe, Kongo Ba Téria, which fuses traditional African dances with western contemporary dance and continues to tour internationally. Mr. Badolo has danced with world-renowned contemporary African dance company Salia ni Seydou, worked with French choreographers Elsa Wolliaston and Mathilde Monnier, and performed with the National Ballet of Burkina. He and Kongo Ba Téria are featured in the widely-screened documentary Movement (R)evolution Africa which documents the continent’s emergent experimental dance scene. Since moving to New York City in 2009, Badolo has created a number of solo projects commissioned and presented by Danspace, New York Live Arts, Dance New Amsterdam, Harlem Stage, the 92nd Street Y, the Museum of Art & Design, Mount Tremper Arts, and the sprawling River to River Festival (R2R). He has collaborated with Nora Chipaumire, Ralph Lemon, Reggie Wilson, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women. His ongoing research in Africa has been supported by The Suitcase Fund of New York Live Arts. Mr. Badolo was nominated for a 2011 New York Dance & Performance (Bessie) Award as Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and in 2012, received the Juried Bessie Award (from jurists Lar Lubovitch, Yvonne Rainer and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar). In summer 2013, he was named Artist-In-Residence at the Institute for Curatorial Practice and Performance at Wesleyan University and Mount Tremper Arts. Badolo was commissioned to create a dance for Philadanco as part of James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, produced by The Apollo Theater for presentation there in October 2013, followed by national and international touring dates. Mr. Badolo was the recipient of Wesleyan University’s 2014 Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award. Badolo was selected to be the Harkness Foundation Artist-in-Residence at the BAM Fisher for summer 2015 and was commissioned by BAM to create Yimbégré, an evening-length work for presentation in the renowned Next Wave Festival. Yimbégré, a dance for Badolo, Sylvestre Koffitse Akakpo-Adzaku, and Mamoudou Konate, was reprised at the 2016 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Badolo is currently on faculty at Williams College and Bennington College, and has previously taught at The New School, the University of North Carolina Asheville,Performance Yimbegré February 15, 16, 17 18 Berlington Vermont. He graduated with an MFA from Bennington in June 2013.
Professor of Dance
Jean ChurchillStudied modern dance at Connecticut College Dance Festival. Member, Boston Ballet Company (1966–72); artistic director, New England Dinosaur (1976). Performed works by James Waring, Trisha Brown, Carolyn Brown, George Balanchine, Norman Walker, and in classical and modern ballets. Choreography in Choreographer’s Showcase, Split Stream, Fresh Tracks, Men Dancing, Performance Mix, and To the Pointe festivals; venues in Scotland; and many venues in the United States. Choreography and direction for Cinderella’s Bad Magic, opera composed by Kyle Gann, premiered in Moscow (2002). (1980– ) Professor of Dance.
Visiting Assistant Professor in Dance
Lindsay ClarkLindsay Clark has been performing and teaching in NYC and internationally since 2005. She has had the pleasure of working with Shen Wei Dance Arts, Faye Driscoll, Jennie Mary Tai Liu, Yve Laris Cohen, Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People, Vanessa Anspaugh, Jack Ferver, John Jasperse, Yasuko Yokoshi, Michelle Boulé, Pontus Lidberg, and Xavier Le Roy. She is currently working on a new project with Juliana May and is enrolled in the Alexander Technique teacher training program at the Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique. Lindsay has taught professional and open ballet classes in NYC and modern dance, composition, and improvisation at the University of the Arts, Hollins University, and the American Dance Festival. Lindsay attended High School at the North Carolina School of the Arts as a ballet major, holds a BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase and an MFA in dance from Hollins University.
Visiting Associate Professor of Dance
Peggy FlorinChoreographer, performer and teacher who has taught at Oberlin College, Ohio University, Williams College, Bennington College and at summer residencies at the Bennington College July Program, Pro Danza Italia and the White Mountain Dance Festival. She teaches modern and ballet technique, dance composition, repertory and experiential anatomy. Trained as a child in classical ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House by Anthony Tudor and Margaret Craske, she performed with the Atlanta Ballet and as a soloist with the Manhattan Festival Ballet. She has appeared in the work of many choreographers including Anna Wyman, Muna Tseng, Albert Reid, Phyllis Lamhut, Janet Panetta and Charles Moulton, touring nationally and in Europe. Her choreography has been presented at Dance Theater Workshop, the Cunningham Studio, DIA, Movement Research and the Marymount Manhattan Theater in New York City, and at Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out in Massachusetts, the Bennington College Martha Hill Performance Space, the Bard College Fisher Center of the Performing Arts, and the New England Artists Conference. Peggy’s creative work and teaching is influenced by her on-going study of movement through the Alexander Technique, clowning techniques learned from Yuri Belov, Eric Trules and Bill Irwin and experiential anatomy from Lulu Sweigart, Irene Dowd, Nancy Topf and Andrea Olsen. An AmSat certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, she is on the faculty of the teacher training program at the Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique in New York City. She studied in the BFA program at Juilliard, holds a BA from Empire State College and an MFA from Bennington College.
Tara LorenzenTara Lorenzen (Dancer) is originally from the hills of West Virginia. Upon graduation from SUNY Purchase, she became a member of the Repertory Understudy Group under Merce Cunningham where she created an original role in “EyeSpace” as well as reconstructing earlier works such as “Rune” and “Summerspace". She went on to work with Stephen Petronio Dance Company from 2008-2011. She has also worked with Kimberly Bartosik, Christine Elmo, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Ashleigh Leite, Todd Williams, Christopher Williams, Rene Archibald, Anna Sperber, Beth Gill (“Electric Midwife” Bessie award for Outstanding Production 2011), and Maria Hassabi (“Plastic” Bessie award for Outstanding Production 2016). Tara has taught master classes and workshops for the Trisha Brown Dance Company all over the world and is truly honored to work with the students at Bard College. She has recently assisted in the reconstruction of Trisha’s “O zlozony/O composite” (originally created for the Paris Opera Ballet), on the Pennsylvania Ballet. She joined the Company in 2011.
Teaching Artist, Gibney Dance
Amy MillerAmy Miller is a NYC-based dancer, choreographer, educator and advocate. Formerly with the Ohio Ballet, she was also a founding member and artistic associate of Cleveland-based GroundWorks DanceTheater. Now a Gibney Company Director alongside Nigel Campbell, and a performing member of Gibney Company, Miller has facilitated numerous teaching residencies at Oberlin College, Brown University, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and Bates Dance Festival among many others. Miller also focuses on Gibney’s Community Action initiatives through facilitating movement workshops with survivors of trauma, conducting both local and international trainings for artists interested in engaging in social action, developing healthy relationship workshops for young people and raising awareness about the role of the arts in violence prevention. She has conducted Gibney’s Global Community Action Residencies at Mimar Sinan University and Koc University (Istanbul), University of Cape Town (South Africa), DOCH: School of Dance and Circus (Stockholm), MUDA Africa (Tanzania) and most recently in Gisenyi, Rwanda. She is an active member of the National Dance Education Organization’s Access, Diversity and Equity Committee, as well as Dance/USA’s Dance & Disability Affinity Group working toward National Initiatives. Miller has twice been a Dance/USA Mentor through their Institute for Leadership Training. Miller was honored to receive an Arts & Artists in Progress “Pay it Forward” Award from Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Miller holds a BFA in Dance and is a recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for her choreography.
Teaching Artist, Gibney Dance
Maleek WashingtonA native New Yorker from the Bronx, Maleek Washington is a performer, choreographer, and teaching artist. He began his dance training at Harlem School of the Arts, Broadway Dance Center, and LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, and attended The Boston Conservatory on a full scholarship before beginning his professional career with CityDance Ensemble (Washington DC). While there he worked with Paul Taylor, Kate Weare, and Alex Noeral, and as a SpringBoard Danse (Montreal) participant, Washington also worked with Jose Navas & Rubberband. Upon his return to New York City, Washington collaborated with McArthur Genius awardee, Kyle Abraham, and his company Abraham.In.Motion for four seasons before becoming the first African-American male to perform in the critically acclaimed immersive show Punch Drunk's Sleep No More. He has also performed for musical sensations, such as Sia, Phish & Rhianna for her immersive AntiDiary Campaign. Washington's performance and commercial choreographic talent has been recognized nationally at prestigious venues such as The White House, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Jacob’s Pillow, and internationally in Australia, Jordan, Mexico, and Sweden. In addition to his performance career, Washington is a sought after national and international teaching artist at the Joffrey Ballet School, LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, Broadway Dance Center, and Brent Street in Australia. With multidisciplinary, experiential performance works that investigate the people, practices, and spaces shaping Washington's black identity, he is proud to present his art in 2017 at the Boston Dance Festival, Pepatian and BAAD!, Periapsis Dance and Music Noesis, and at the legendary Movement Research at Judson Church in Spring 2018. Washington is also a 2017-18 Dancing While Black top 10 choreographic finalists. Gibney granted Mr. Washington an evening length show in 2019. Alongside his creative work, Washington has entered his second season with Camille A. Brown & Dancers in collaboration for her work “Ink” that premiered at the Kennedy Center in December 2017, went international to NYU Abu Dhabi and The Joyce NYC in 2019. Maleek was a part of the ensemble for NBC “Jesus christ Superstar” starring John Legend as Jesus. Performed at 2018 Ted Talk Conference in Vancouver British Columbia in Camille A.Brown “New Second Line”. Performed with ASAP Rocky “Testing” Album release installation at Sotheby’s NYC. Recently Maleek was the assistant to Camille A. Brown on her theatrical endeavors with the staging of “Porgy and Bess” at the Metropolitan Opera.