Avant-garde choreographer and performer Sara Rudner has been appointed to head the dance program at Sarah Lawrence College. Known as an inventive choreographer and eloquent dancer, Rudner follows in the footsteps of Viola Farber and Bessie Schoenberg to head the dance program at the liberal arts college that has educated acclaimed dancers Meredith Monk and John Jasperse among others.
President of the College Michele Tolela Myers said of Rudner, who begins her appointment August 1 as head of both the undergraduate and graduate dance programs: "Sara brings to the college community an impressive range of experience and artistic vision that will enrich students and colleagues alike. We welcome her and look forward to a new chapter in the lively and distinguished history of the Sarah Lawrence dance program."
Sarah Lawrence, founded in 1926, was one of the first programs in the country to incorporate dance as part of the liberal arts curriculum. In choosing Rudner to head the dance program the College's committee on appointments took into account the College's emphasis on creativity. "We are gratified to have found someone as talented and experienced as Sara, who also has a deep appreciation of the creative process - something that is central to this program," said Myers on behalf of the committee.
One of Rudner's most recent works "Heartbeats/mb" is a widely praised collaboration with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Christopher Janney. Rudner, who has been dancing for thirty-five years, participated in the development and performance of Twyla Tharp's modern dance repertory from 1965-1985 and was considered to be one of the greatest dancers in that company. During that time she began to choreograph for a small group of dancers known as the Sara Rudner Performance Ensemble and conceived and directed a series of dances intended to break with conventional time frames, spaces and occasions. Rudner is a graduate of Barnard College and received her MFA from Bennington College. She received a Bessie in 1984 and has been awarded grants or fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts.