UC Santa Cruz associate professor of dance Ted Warburton will present the Arts Division’s 2013 Outstanding Faculty Research Lecture on Thursday, May 16, with a talk entitled So You Think When You Dance?
The lecture begins at 6 p.m. and will take place in the UCSC Media Theatre (adjacent to the Theater Arts Center). Admission is free and open to the public.
Warburton said that his lecture will explore the “thinking behind the doing” of dance. He became interested in cognition and creativity after a professional dance career, while studying for a doctorate in human development and psychology at Harvard University.
“Despite the centrality of dance in human experience and the proliferation of dance studies, there has been little effort to advance a psychology of dancing,” Warburton noted.
“How do dancers construct and integrate all the necessary information to perform highly sophisticated physical tasks, lined up in hour-long choreographies that have to be flawlessly remembered, at the same time producing expressions of deep emotional quality that have the power to communicate to others?” he asks.
His answer is to address a problem central to his research: the mystery of how dancing emerges from the physical sensation of organized movement.
“My goal is to unpack the ways dancing shapes the embodied mind through a series of examples derived from my recent performance projects and published studies.”
Warburton’s creative work focuses on issues of aesthetics and arts practice that surface in dance and digital media performance and has received critical recognition from the New York Times and The New Yorker magazine.
His research has been published in Dance Research Journal, the Korean Journal of Dance, Leonardo, Pós, Psychological Science, and World Literature Today.
Warburton has danced professionally with American Ballet Theatre and holds a doctoral degree in psychology from Harvard, as well as a master’s in technology.
He came to UCSC in the summer of 2004 from New York University, where he served as the director of its dance program.
Beginning on May 24 and running through June 2, Warburton will also be directing Blueprints—a full-length dance concert featuring UCSC faculty choreographers, as well as guest choreographers from the Bay Area and student dancers, performing traditional and contemporary dance.
“I'm curating a faculty and alumni dance showcase that brings to the UCSC Mainstage some energetic and visually compelling choreographic works, each of which examine an aspect of what we find to be fundamental in our lives--connection to the earth and each other,” said Warburton.
“These works take as inspiration diverse topographies, from the savannas of Africa (Yankadi-Makuru by Mandjou Kone) to the uplands of Estonia (Ice Road by Cid Pearlman), and bring personal perspectives on alienation (The Stranger by David Herrera) and astrophysics (Three Bodies by Ted Warburton).”
He added that in addition to working closely with choreographers Koné and Pearlman, who both teach dance at UC Santa Cruz, the student dancers will also have the opportunity to meet with UCSC alumnus David Herrera, whose company will perform his new work, The Stranger (Part 1).
"This is a great opportunity for them to meet David's company," said Warburton. "Our students will have the chance to watch them rehearse and perform, as well as talk with David about the dance scene in San Francisco and beyond."
The six performances of Blueprints will include live music, featuring West-African drummers, plus an improvisational group featuring students from UCSC’s Music Department.
Tickets for the Blueprints shows are available at santacruztickets.com, the UCSC Ticket Office (831-459-2159) or at the SC Civic Auditorium box office (831-420-5260).
UC Santa Cruz associate professor of dance Ted Warburton will present the Arts Division’s 2013 Outstanding Faculty Research Lecture on Thursday, May 16, with a talk entitled So You Think When You Dance? The lecture begins at 6 p.m. at the UCSC Media Theatre. Admission is free and open to the public. Blueprints—a dance concert featuring UCSC faculty choreographers, plus guest choreographers from the Bay Area and student dancers, takes place May 24 through June 2 at the UCSC Mainstage Theater. Tickets are available at santacruztickets.com, the UCSC Ticket Office (831-459-2159) or the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium box office (831-420-5260).