PAUL BESAW is currently Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance. He teaches courses in choreography, dance history, directing, performance, among others, and was awarded the University of Vermont’s Kroepsch- Maurice Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010. Born and raised in rural New Hampshire, he grew up having no idea there was ever such a thing as modern dance or experimental theatre. Now an active creator and performer, he is a dance and theatre artist with a primary interest in developing original performance works that integrate collaboration across art forms. His work has been presented throughout the United States and abroad, at a wide variety of places, venues, and sites. In recent times, his performances and performing have been seen in theaters (large and small), dance studios, art galleries, town halls, bars, barns, fields, forests, Korean city parks, empty power plants, an historic country tavern turned museum, and around a water fountain in Inner Mongolia, China. He has been a member of many groups that have been devoted to original, collaboratively devised performance projects. He remains active with Dance Tramp, a collective of contemporary dance artists based in Vermont, and continues to perform with sloDance, based in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Cradle to Grave Arts, which produces large-scale site performance projects in Vermont.
Paul has an ongoing interest in traditional Korean dance, having studied salpuri with Kim So Yi. He maintains a strong working relationship with artists from Korea and was a Fall 2016 Visiting Professor in the School of Drama at Korea National University of the Arts. Recent international projects include the creation of two full-length, bilingual, original theatre works that bring together traditional and contemporary dance, music, design, literature, and theatre. Each included international casts and were performed in both the U.S and Korea.
Before coming to UVM, Paul served as assistant professor at Sacramento State University, where he coordinated the 2006 American College Dance Association (ACDA) Southwest Region Conference, and Catawba College in North Carolina, where he coordinated the dance and musical theatre programs. Three of his dances on university dance students have been selected for regional ACDA conference culminating Gala Concerts. Paul is currently on the ACDA Board of Directors, serving as Regional Director for the New England Region.
Paul received his BA in Theatre and Dance from Keene State College and his MFA in Dance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He lives in Burlington, Vermont with his wife Chong Ho and two children, Lily Kim and Jeju.