MTSU Dance Program is pleased to hosts a wide range of Nationally and Internationally recognized Guest Artists residencies. Guest artists make meaningful contributions to the development and growth of our students throughout the year. The Guest Artist Program at Middle Tennessee State University creates an environment that is supportive, substantive and inclusive of diversity. The guest artist series actively engages the dance program, campus and the community in special activities and programs that focus on multicultural issues within art and society. The extended residencies by innovative and acclaimed artists give students, faculty, and staff new materials and perspectives to integrate into their professional work and development. Select students will have the opportunity to perform in dance works choreographed by each artist in residence.
Windship Boyd - October 17 - 21, 2016
Raised in the USA, Windship has a classical background. She graduated High School from North Carolina School of the Arts then danced professionally with Kansas City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and with Mary Oslund in Portland, Oregon while attending Reed College. In Europe, she received a Dance Diploma from the Laban Center in London before moving to France. Welcomed into the world of hip hop despite her former training, and touched by the solidarity of this community, she danced with the company 'Impact', selected to dance in the famous festival at La Vilette in Paris before creating her own company Itchy Feet in 1998.
Between 2000 and 2014 she choreographed for the opening parade of the bi-annual Lyon dance festival, La Biennale de la Danse, which is the largest dance parade outside of Rio de Janeiro https://youtu.be/QcXO66gK5g0. With her team she trained amateurs for six months to dance in the streets of Lyon for the big event. In 2014 her group was composed of amateurs from four cities totaling 500 participants. She also had the honor to assist Dada Masilo in her African Swan Lake, also dancing before thousands of spectators with the dancers from Masilo's South African company and Lyon's CNSMD students ( le Centre National Superieur de Musique et Danse).
Between 2005 and 2010 she was the choreographer in residence for the city of Vaulx en Vélin, (East Lyon), where she presented six commissioned works and brought dance to the general population, organizing workshops and regular classes and inviting different dance professionals to her studio. Today she continues to collaborate with her adopted city, populated in majority by Algerian and West African immigrants, and many of her works reflect identity issues and a search for harmony between different communities and different dance cultures. Her most recent work was Papalagui , co-created in November 2015 with an actor, dancer and musician and performed in the city's library, retirement home, school and social/cultural center. The theme, based on a book with the same name, humorously questions the fact that we consider our Western civilizations to be more civilized than others.
In recent years she has spent more time collaborating in Dance-Theatre works such as Papalagui and traveling to learn more about African dance in West Africa. In 2005 she received a 3 month scholarship from UNESCO to create work in Senegal which she then toured throughout Senegal and Gambia. Since then she has returned each year to West Africa : Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Chad for dance exchanges as a student, teacher and choreographer, organizing workshops for French students, creating works and/or performing her solo Skinny White Girl. In February 2015 she co-created a work between dancers and musicians, amateurs et professionals from France and Burkina Faso with the musician Sory Diabaté which was performed at the Institut Francais and later in France.
She has also regularly taught afro-contemporary dance for the past 15 years in private dance studios as well as in schools and universities in Lyon. She has developed artistic activities in different institutions : Prisons of Lyon for male and female prisoners since 2002, Institution for Adolescents with learning difficulties (IME), Music Conservatories in Vaulx-en-Velin and Avignon, and Elementary and Junior High Schools in and around Lyon. Since her arrival in Nashville this fall, she has already invited two international musicians - Sory Diabate (Guinea Conakry) and Agathe Moubembe (France) - to teach and perform with Global Arts Center, New Dialect, MTSU, WO Smith, Belmont University, Metro Parks, University School as well as the African dance and percussion community. She projects to re-invite them and others to help form musicians and dancers in Nashville, but also to promote African art as well as creating friendships and understanding between people of France, Africa and America.
Our Past Guest Artist: