Department of Theatre and Dance Associate Professor Charles O. Anderson has been named the recipient of the 2017 College of Fine Arts Distinguished Teaching Award, the college’s most prestigious teaching accolade. Anderson’s contributions were formally recognized at the College of Fine Arts 2017 spring commencement ceremony. He will receive a monetary prize and is invited to present the keynote address for the 2017 winter College of Fine Arts commencement.
"Winning the College of Fine Arts Distinguished Teaching Award is a powerful statement by the college about the extraordinary talent of this artist/educator," said Department of Theatre and Dance Chair, Dr. Brant Pope. "Charles has vitalized the dance program at UT and the quality of studio instruction and concert performance has increased in a remarkable way. The high level of professional standards both in the classroom and in performance is the direct result of his teaching and mentorship. He truly deserves the title of master teacher in dance."
Anderson is head of the Dance program at The University of Texas at Austin and co-artistic director of Dance Repertory Theatre, the university’s student dance company. He serves as artistic director of the critically acclaimed afro-contemporary dance company, Charles O. Anderson Dance Projects (formerly dance theatre X), which he founded in 2003. Among his achievements in afro-contemporary choreography and dance theatre, Anderson was selected as one of "25 Artists to Watch" by Dance Magazine and is a Pew Fellowship in the Arts recipient. His choreography, set upon undergraduate students, has been nationally showcased twice at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts through the American College Dance Association. He has also been recognized for outstanding achievement in experimental dance theatre by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
Most recently, Anderson was awarded the National Performance Network’s 2017-2018 Creation & Development Fund in support of his work (Re)current Unrest. Presented in parts by Dance Repertory Theatre in Momentum (2017) and Bodies & Souls (2016), (Re)current Unrest is a multimedia dance work that explores the African American cultural and historical experience and transforms the way African Americans are portrayed and/or erased in literature and the arts. Built on the sonic foundation of Steven Reich’s works, (Re)current Unrest is politically motivated in ways reminiscent to the art of the 1960s and 1970s Black Arts/Black Power Movement. Co-commissioned by Fusebox Festival and 651Arts (Brooklyn, New York), (Re)current Unrest will premiere in April 2018.
Lower right photo: (Re)current Unrest presented by Dance Repertory Theatre in Bodies & Souls (Photographer: Lawrence Peart)