School of Dance Says Goodbye to Some, and Welcomes New Faculty

28 April 2017 Published in News and Announcements

The University of Utah School of Dance would like to welcome our new faculty members, Pablo Piantino and Kate Mattingly!

Kate Mattmattingly headshotingly

Kate Mattingly has taught and written about dance for two decades. Her writing about dance has been published in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Dance Research Journal, Dance magazine, Pointe Magazine, and many other journals and publications. She has served on nominating committees such as the New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards and was invited by the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington DC to serve on the Dance Panel determining funding for U.S. companies, choreographers, and schools. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her Master’s of Fine Arts degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In May of 2017 she will receive her doctoral degree in Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

“I am very much looking forward to joining the School of Dance: when I visited the campus in February I was impressed by the caliber of the faculty, their investment in teaching, and the spirit of community and curiosity that is encouraged. As a dance scholar and historian, I have studied the important role that the University of Utah has played in creating an academic environment that honors the distinct aspects of ballet and modern dance. I am particularly looking forward to the development of a MFA degree for ballet dancers since this perfectly illustrates the ways that the School of Dance continues to be at the forefront of preparing students for enriching careers. “


Pablo PhotoPablo Piantino

Pablo Piantino is originally from Mendoza, Argentina, where he began dancing at the age of 14. His training includes private seminars with Héctor Zaraspe and studies at both the Colón Theatre Ballet School and The Juilliard School where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts. After dancing with both the Colón Theatre Ballet Company and the Juilliard Dance Ensemble, Pablo joined the San Francisco Ballet in 1999 where he danced a broad span of classical and neo-classical repertory. In 2005, he joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Jirí Kylián, Ohad Naharin, and Twyla Tharp, among many others. Pablo received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance Education from the University of Washington in June 2015, where he was also a member of Chamber Dance Company. During the past years, he has taught at the University of Washington, George Mason University, West Virginia University, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and The Joffrey Ballet Trainee Program among several other institutions. Pablo has remounted works by Hubbard Street’s Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo at Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Ballet Arizona, George Mason University, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Tulsa Ballet. He has also restaged, with his wife Penny Saunders, Jardí Tancat by choreographer Nacho Duato, both at the University of Washington and at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Pablo is very excited to be joining the faculty of the School of Dance at the University of Utah as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2017.

“Before I decided to apply for the position, I was already aware of the caliber of the School, and the challenge it would be to join such an accomplished institution. During the interview process at the University of Utah, I was touched by the faculty's generosity and kindness. It will be a great honor to collaborate with such a distinguished group of individuals in the guidance and inspiration of talented young artists. “

The School will also be saying goodbye to some beloved faculty members: Michael Bearden, Sharee Lane, Steve Rasmussen, Katie Scherman and Jennifer Weber

Michael ArtisticDirectorsmallMichael Bearden

Michael Bearden received his early training at the Academy of Ballet Arkansas and then became a student in the University of Utah Ballet Department. From there, he was hired by Ballet West where he had a distinguished fourteen year career. Michael Joined Ballet West in 1999, was promoted to Soloist in 2004, and to Principal in 2008.  While dancing for Ballet West, Michael taught as an adjunct faculty member at Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University and was a guest teacher at Ballet Arkansas. In 2011 he became Artistic Advisor for Ballet Arkansas and in 2013 was appointed Artistic Director for Ballet Arkansas. Michael is an active choreographer. Most recently, he created and expanded a new work for Ballet West Artists, the Company’s 2010 and 2012 “Innovations” program — Descent, set to the music of Dmitri Shostakovich.  Micheal has a strong interest in project management. In 2005, Michael led a team of Ballet West dancers in organizing a special performance to benefit Utah Cancer Foundation. The event, “A Dance for Life,” raised more than $20,000. In 2007, he was the project manager for Ballet West’s 2007 calendar, which highlighted the Artists of Ballet West in some of Utah’s most memorable settings

“When I walked through the doors of the Marriott Center for Dance in August of 1998 as a freshman, I didn't know what to expect. I had never been to Utah and did not know one person here. I was excited for a new adventure and scared about the unknown with no smart phone to google myself to comfort. The support I have received in this building both as a student and now as a member of the faculty have helped to shape me into the person I am. I have learned so much about the art form of Dance from the students, staff and faculty but more importantly, I have learned about the unity that dance has the power to bring through those people who are passionate about it. Ultimately, I have been inspired to learn more about dance itself and I will always treasure that gift that I received here at the U. I am very sad to leave this School of Dance and Salt Lake City, but will take everything I have learned with me on my new journey at the University of Oklahoma. The words "thank you" are not enough to express how I feel towards everyone in the school of Dance here at the U!"

077ab55046ce80eaf9a3ddea999597ca MSharee Lane

Sharee Lane was a soloist dancer and staff member with Ballet West, and the School Director of the Ballet West Conservatory. Currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Dance at the University of Utah, she teaches ballet technique, advanced principles of teaching, and co-directs, as well as choreographs for the Department’s Performing Dance Company. Her choreographies have been performed for the Berlin State Ballet School in Berlin, Germany, with her latest choreography Affinity, being restaged for the University of Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music in fall 2012. Professor Lane has been a recipient of three Thomas D. Dee Grants, and in 2006, received the prestigious Philip and Miriam Perlman Award for Excellence in Student Counseling and Advising. Nominated for he College of Fine Arts Scholars Program, Professor Lane has presented her research “Through the Looking Glass: Examining the Impact of Mirrors in Technical and Artistic Development in Female College Ballet Dancers” for the Corps de Ballet International Conference at Western Michigan University and the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities. Professor Lane, and colleague Professor Olaf Hoefer, has successfully initiated a cultural exchange program between the University’s Department of Modern Dance, the Berlin State Ballet School and Ballet West, for students, teachers, and musicians. As well as being a frequent guest teacher for the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Ballet West, Professor Lane continues to be an adjudicator for the Montana Dance Arts Association and for Music-Fest in Spokane, Washington. As of May 3rd, 2017, Lane has been awarded Professor Emeritus Status.

"My 28 years at the University of Utah, the Departments of Ballet and Modern Dance from 1989-2016, and now the newly formed School of Dance, again with both the Modern Dance and Ballet Programs from 2016-2017, has been both an honor and a privilege. It will be difficult to leave the “good” in my life, particularly students and colleagues that I have worked with who have continually inspired and influenced my ideas in regards to teaching dance in academia. From the first day of class to the last, it is the student artist that has empowered my toolbox for thinking, seeing, and living as an artist educator---I will never forget your lessons."

71f67488b0857639cee631943a3fc6fa MSteven Rasmussen

Steven Rasmussen has over twenty years of experience as a professional textile designer, writer, actor, artist, and interior designer. As the supervisor of the Marriott Center for Dance’s costume facility, Professor Rasmussen designed, built and supervised the construction of costumes for both modern dance and ballet productions and taught costuming for modern dance majors.

"I have really been inspired by the faculty and guest choreographers. I have had ideas for costumes based on the marvels sprung from the brains of great choreographic artists. I have really enjoyed many of the students in my classes over the years, as well as those students in both departments who I have gotten to know when they’ve come in for costume measurements, fittings, and looking for items to work with their own choreography. I’ve wanted to keep my retirement process as low key as possible, but I want every one to know that I will think about you all often and there’s a lot of history and fond memories I’ll take with me."

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Katie Scherman

Katie Scherman, originally from California, has performed with Houston Ballet, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Washington Ballet, Hubbard Street 2, Zhukov Dance Theatre, Terpsicorps Dance Theatre, Bodyvox, and in numerous festivals and galas around the world. In 2009, she was honored with a Princess Grace Award in Dance. Scherman holds a BFA in Dance from LINES Ballet/Dominican University and an MFA in Dance from the University of Oregon. She is the 2015 recipient of the UO Graduate Student Emerging Artist Award, and was awarded a 2016 Alembic Guest Artist Residency at PWNW. Her choreography and teaching have been presented throughout the US. Scherman has held guest residencies at Pacific University, University of Utah, LINES Ballet/Dominican University BFA program, and the Bodyvox Junior Artist Generator program.

"What a wonderful semester it has been. I wanted to express my gratitude and deep appreciation. You have made me feel at home. Thank you for your inspiration, encouragement, and beauty. I have so enjoyed working with you, learning from you, and sharing experiences throughout the past five months. I've been raving about the School of Dance, the students, and the work that I have has been an absolute pleasure teaching in both programs. The students are remarkable. I look forward to keeping this relationship in the future. Not a goodbye at all!"

Jennifer WeberJennifer Weber

Jennifer Weber is an active performer, choreographer, teacher and dance educator. With over 20 years of work in the dance field, Jennifer believes in educating communities about dance, as well educating dancers about the unique qualities of their art form. She is continually seeking new ways to communicate through dance.

“This upcoming transition is bittersweet for me. My time at Utah has been fruitful and life changing. Amidst the magnificent mountains and quirky ballerinas, I have conquered summits I did not think I could and I have witnessed students reach beyond what they thought possible. I created my greatest masterpiece here in Utah, my son. I have strengthened my love for my art form and I have been challenged to see beyond my perspective. My heart aches to know my time here has come to an end. I am excited for my upcoming opportunities and will watch from afar to see what amazing things Utah does. I will be joining an amazing group of artists at SUNY Brockport, where I will be an Assistant Professor of Dance in the Department of Dance. I am excited to see what new adventures the future holds."