University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Dance Program


Faculty Research

Paul Besaw: In addition to frequent choreographic ventures, Besaw brings a great deal of attention to his work with Agnes Table, a performance collective that devises original movement theatre projects. In this work, Besaw's dance and theatre training/experience come together with his interest in original performance creation and collaboration across art forms. Actors, dancers, designers, musicians, and visual artists contribute to each piece. A founding member of Agnes Table, Besaw has served as creative leader in each of its collective endeavors, including 1905, an exploration of turn-of-the-century life for immigrants in rural Nebraska, and The Destination, an adaptation of Thomas Bernhard's fascinating and rigorous novel, The Lime Works. More recent projects have woven Paul's interest in traditional Korean dance and his connection to Korean artists into the devising process. This has resulted in two bilingual works: Momma at the Gate /문 앞에 선 어머니, inspired by examinations of Park Wan-Suh's Momma's Stake and Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children: A Chronicle of the Thirty Years' War, and Good Dirt /아름다운 흙: an international folk musical, a performance created for rural settings that explores back-to-the-land work and dreams through music, dance, and storytelling.

In her creative work, Clare Byrne delves into overlapping interests in movement, ritual, music, narrative, and potent archetypal images. Pieces exploring these connections have included the Poor Sister Clares Traveling Dancing Monk Show (2010-2013), which brought gospel dancing and foot-washing to the stage; Rounds: The First Last Dance, The Last First Dance, or an Ordination (2007) and White Witch (2006-2016) exploring images of communion and sacrifice, as well as To the Tree (2007), Letter to the Church (2008), and Kneelings (2007-2010), danced prayer-poems which took place in chapels and streets of New York City. Her five-year weekly improvisation practice, Weekly Rites (2007-2012), was filmed in sites all over the world, using the camera as an ongoing experiment in performance as intercession. Byrne collaborated with the Burlington Chamber Orchestra in creating a new choreography of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring in 2010. Byrne was the artistic director of Clare Byrne Dance from 1999-2008, and is currently a member of Dance Tramp, a choreographic collective based in Burlington which has performed in various locations in Vermont. She has performed for many years in the work of Nicholas Leichter and Paul Besaw, among other choreographers. When not dancing on the stage, Byrne can be found in Burlington on the second Sunday of each month singing original songs at Radio Bean's Acoustic Brunch, as well as other music venues in Vermont.

Last modified August 16 2016 01:04 PM