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Assistant Professor of Choreography/Performance
School of the Arts and Architecture
is an art without words. But to create her postmodern dance pieces,
which feature mothers and daughters, a troupe of both able-bodied
and disabled dancers and even a cross-section of a Nebraska city
performing on a football field, Victoria Marks begins with conversation
I worked with able-bodied and disabled dancers, I asked them, 'How
do you want to be represented? How do you move? Teach me,' "
says Marks, 42, who teaches in the Department of World Arts and
resulting works, Marks says, are portraits that capture and communicate
the character of relationships -- fathers and daughters, for instance
-- or the essence of a city, as in her current: a "communitywide
site project," which explores themes of home and diversity
in Lincoln, NB. Sometimes Marks works with professional dancers,
but also likes to use lay people who are intrigued by movement.
explain that everybody is a dancer," she says. "I like
to work with people who don't know they're dancers."
Outside In, a filmed dance that has brought Marks critical acclaim,
three dancers in wheelchairs interact with three dancers "on
their feet," as Marks puts it. The piece was praised for its
dynamism and in-your-face exploration of disability. In watching
the film, "you reform your feelings about disability,"
studied dance at Sarah Lawrence College and earned a B.A. in liberal
arts there. She received a Fulbright Fellowship, as well as grants
for her work from the National Endowment for the Arts and the London
Arts Board, among others. In 1997, she received the Cal Arts Alpert
Award for choreographic achievement and recently completed a three-year
stint as director of choreography for the London Contemporary Dance
addition, a number of her original works, including Mothers and
Daughters, Men and Outside In, have been filmed and broadcast on
television in Europe, Australia and North America and have won several
films, in a single airing, have reached more of an audience than
I would have in a lifetime of stage work," she says.