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Winter 1999

All the World's a Stage
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Waterman, for example, worked as a jazz bassist before earning a doctorate in anthropology and becoming an ethnomusicologist. He's happy to be working outside the confines of standard disciplines. "The intellectual openness of WAC -- the fact that it originates from an interdisciplinary impulse -- is powerfully attractive to those of us who see our work as residing in the interstices between the arts, humanities and social sciences." Nabokov, whose position is half in WAC, half in American Indian Studies, agrees: "When you are required to wave a banner for a particular discipline, it can begin to feel restrictive."

Savigliano worked in public policy before earning her doctorate in political science. Now she writes on tango and post-colonial theoretical issues, and she is in the midst of creating a new tango opera called Angora Matta. This is a time of enormous creative expansion for her, as she works toward performing her scholarship on a grand scale.

The same creative misfit status applies to the new choreographers on the faculty: David Rousseve, whose Love Songs was performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival in mid-December, and Victoria Marks, who is currently devising a community-wide celebration of the millennium for the city of Lincoln, Neb., as well as preparing a weekend of theory and public performance in the WAC Department Jan. 27-29.

Rousseve feels stretched: "Working with students from such a wide array of cultural backgrounds has profoundly influenced my own aesthetic."

For her part, Marks references a new attentiveness to issues of culture, to the extent that for the first time in her life she recognizes the modern/postmodern dance world as a cultural system unto itself. "It feels like dance is being 'invented,' rather than 'taught' in WAC," she says. "We are all, faculty and students, finding out what it is and what it can be."

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