As our faculty, students, and staff prepare for an unusual spring quarter of remote teaching and learning, the lyrics to Barbra Streisand’s “People” keep swimming through my mind. “People, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.” In a world facing an international pandemic, it seems that now is the time when we need to rely on our people, and we are lucky to have the incredible connection of people through the UCI Arts community. Connection can be a phone call, a virtual meeting, a solo performance, a shared piece of art, or a fun social media post. It means staying connected in a virtual world during this period of isolation.

This week the Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) launched #UCIArtsAnywhere, a social media campaign responding to restrictions and changes in the face of COVID-19. The goal is to keep our UCI Arts community connected and to share the ongoing creative and academic work happening at CTSA.
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An important update from Dean Barker

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, we want to keep you, our valued supporters and community members, updated on how the Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) in collaboration with the greater UCI community are responding. We are working diligently to quickly adapt to the rapidly developing circumstances in order to protect our students, staff, faculty, patrons, and the world-class academic and creative work we do at CTSA.

Below are some courses of action we are currently implementing;

  • All CTSA courses will be taught online for the spring quarter; including studio, laboratory, seminar, and larger classes.
  • All performances, exhibitions, and events have been postponed, canceled, or will be reimagined in virtual ways.
  • All CTSA staff and faculty are working remotely, for the next few weeks or until further notice.

Even though our efforts are temporarily shifting to a remote and digital platform, our community of
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Molly Lynch: UCI Dance Department Chair

By Terry Schilling for the Irvine Commnity News

"Molly Lynch is a petite woman with a ready laugh and eyes which frequently sparkle behind her signature neon red-rimmed eyeglasses. Before coming to UCI, Molly spent 16 years as the Director of Ballet Pacifica.  She became Chair of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, Dance Department in 2018 and is the artistic director of the annual Dance Visions performance at the Barclay.

Though I’ve met Molly before, sitting in her office for the first time I got an insight into her deep well of knowledge about dance and dance education."

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COVID-19 Update | Spring Quarter Arts Events

March 12, 2020

While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at UCI at this time, the greatest priority at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) is the health and well-being of our students, faculty, audiences, and staff. CTSA is taking all appropriate precautions as it monitors the public health concerns with campus leaders and in collaboration with the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA).

In keeping with the decision released by UCI, attendance at all CTSA productions for the Spring 2020 quarter will be audience-free.

If you have purchased a ticket through our box office, you will receive an email shortly with instructions to receive a refund or to donate your ticket purchase.
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Anteaters in the Arts: Michelle Caumiant Zehnder

Michelle Caumiant Zehnder, B.A. Dance, ’76, continues to inspire students with clever choreography and carefully crafted lesson plans. Zehnder has taught ballet and jazz for the past nine years at the OASIS Senior Center of Newport Beach, for students ages 50 and up. Zehnder states that “it is a joyful experience to be able to dance and see the enthusiastic faces of my students, who feel pleased to take a class.”

Zehnder credits professors at UCI in the ’70s, James Penrod, Janice Plastino, and Antony Tudor, for awakening her love of dance. She enjoys choreographing for classmates and being inspired by their pieces. Zehnder recalls surprising moments at UCI, such as when a T.A. suggested thinking of being in church to feel calm and thus achieve balance on pointe. She remembers that Plastino nurtured individuality, Tudor graciously imparted his experience in the dance world, and Penrod encouraged kindness by example.

Having taught all ages, Zehnder says that seniors
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Faculty Research: Embodying Humanity

What if dance could make us all better people? S. Ama Wray, associate professor of dance, believes it can.
“The world needs dance to connect with our bodies in terms of rhythm (since the constraints of time impact everything), and to connect with empathy to one another,” Wray says. “These things are innate with dance, and though they might sound trivial, these interstitial qualities in our humanity are sorely missing today.”

While her expertise in jazz and improvisation techniques makes her an internationally in-demand artist and scholar, Wray sees elements of her work applying to fields outside of dance. Through her nonprofit JazzXchange, she aims to use the principles of jazz performance to help people connect with their own creativity — and with each other.

Recently, Wray led a series of classes for the UCI community, teaching participants to use movement and patterned time to cope with
Read More: Faculty Research: Embodying Humanity