Arts & Life Editor

In the fall semester, the Department of Dance looks forward to both the new in the classes being taught by Carlton Pope and guest artist Coco Loupe, and the familiar in the return of one of Denison’s alumni, Molly Shanahan ‘90.

This semester, Carlton Pope, an African drummer and dancer from Columbus, will teach African/Diasporan dance courses. 

The dance form Capoeira is part of the class.

Sandra Mathern-Smith, Chair of the Department of Dance, describes it as “an Afro-Brazilian dance/martial arts form in which two people ‘play’ with music accompaniment, singing, and a soft, combative aesthetic in which the players miss and swipe  and kick without sitting on the earth, but using their hands and feet to propel and dance through the space, usually surrounded by a circle of players,  It is improvised, fast-moving and athletic.”

For these unique dances, Pope will also be the drummer,

Another new face on campus, Coco Loupe, the Vail Guest Artist in Residence, will work with the students on her own choreography. 

In her statement offered about her work, Loupe describes her style as “based on and in the thinking body.  It is bolstered by external information, but it begins and ends with the moving body – its languages and its effects in space and time. That is enough.”

Loupe will have a chance to teach students and work with faculty in classes and performances.  Her artist talk will be held on Sept.30 at 5 p.m., nearly at the end of her residency,but she will return to campus near the end of the semester to join in the fall dance concert with faculty such as Michael J. Morris and Sandra Mathern-Smith.

Then Molly Shanahan ‘90 will return to her alma mater to share her experiences as a contemporary dancer. 

Shanahan “was a smart, creative and fantastic student,” as Mathern-Smith  recalls from when she taught her.

“I arrived as she entered her Junior year and brought a lot of new information in dance training that she was both challenged and fascinated with,” Mathern-Smith added,  “She is still a gorgeous mover who has deep focused dance practice developing her own unique voice as a mover,”

The details of Shanahan’s residency are not planned out completely but it is likely that she will give an artist talk and teach in some classes.

More events and visitors are still being planned, but already the Department of Dance has many great opportunities in the works.