Master Classes and Residencies
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Through their affiliations with local Universities (Cleveland State University, Kent State University, University of Akron, The Ohio State University, Ohio State University, and Lake Erie College) and professional dance organizations such as Dancecleveland and Ohiodance, dance students are able to augment their training through master classes and residencies with professional artists on the local and international level. Since 2007, Hathaway Brown School has hosted The Young Choreographers Brown Bag Series, a series of four all-day workshops designed to bring young dancers and professional choreographers together for a day of making dance.
LUCKY PLUSH PRODUCTIONS
JULIA RHOADS is choreographer and founding Artistic Director of Chicago-based Lucky Plush Productions. Her independent work has been commissioned by River North Chicago Dance Company, Alaska Dance Theater, Mordine and Company Dance Theater, and she has choreographed for theater companies including Lookingglass Theater, Redmoon Theater, and Walkabout Theater, among others. Julia is the recipient of the 2013 Alpert Award in Dance, a Cliff Dwellers Foundation Award for Choreography, two Illinois Arts Council Fellowships for Choreography, a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award, and a fellowship from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, and her collaborative work with Lucky Plush has been awarded a National Dance Project Production Award and a National Performance Network Creation Fund Award. In 2010, she was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” and has been included in NewCity’s feature “The Players: The 50 people who really perform for Chicago” in 2010 and 2012. Julia is formerly a company member of the San Francisco Ballet and collaborating ensemble member of XSIGHT! Performance Group. She earned a BA in History from Northwestern University and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute Chicago, and is currently the Theater and Performance Studies Dance Advisor at University of Chicago, and part-time faculty in the theater department at Columbia College Chicago.Julia's classes draw upon extensive training and professional experience in diverse dance forms, improvisation, and choreography. She approaches every class as a laboratory where connections between movement, ideas, and performance skills are fostered, and she facilitates a collaborative environment that is both rigorous and playful to support risk-taking and growth. In technique classes, Julia emphasizes moving with weight, momentum, and dynamics, as opposed to prioritizing codified positions, and she helps students to pinpoint how movements are initiated, sequenced, and can be executed more efficiently. An attention to presence underpins all of Julia's classes. She believes that being available to authentic experiences refines intuition and supports embodied learning.
MEGHANN WILKINSON is a graduate of Northwestern University and is in her tenth season as a collaborating ensemble member with Lucky Plush Productions. She is a former company member of Mordine and Company Dance Theater and has appeared in Chicago with Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts, Cie Felix Ruckert, Raizel Performances, NU Group, and Peter Carpenter Performance Project. Meghann has been a guest teacher and choreographer for the Cecchetti Council of America, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, and the Evanston Dance Ensemble. She served as Assistant Choreographer for Lookingglass Theater’s The Great Fire and was a Movement Director for Walkabout Theater's Crow. Currently on faculty in the theater and dance programs at Columbia College Chicago, she has taught at Northwestern University, Dance Center Evanston, and Visceral Dance Chicago and has organized for the Chicago Seminar on Dance and Performance and the Society of Dance History Scholars.
Drawn to performance work that allows for humor and relies on being “in the moment,” Meghann strives to create a class environment that promotes mindfulness and allows for play. She prioritizes musicality and anatomical efficiency and uses a dynamic voice and imagery to encourage students to embody, not imitate, each experience.