Renowned Artist and Dance Educator Donna Faye Burchfield Named Director of the School of Dance
Served as dean of American Dance Festival since 2000
June 16, 2010
Following an extensive national search, award-winning dancer, choreographer and dance educator Donna Faye Burchfield (right) has been named director of the University of the Arts School of Dance. Most recently, Burchfield served as dean of the American Dance Festival (ADF), where she began as a student 28 years earlier. She has also served as artistic director of the Hollins (Va.) University/ADF Master of Fine Arts in Dance program and chair of the school's Dance department since 1993.
"We are thrilled that Donna Faye Burchfield, an internationally respected artist and dance educator, is joining the University of the Arts," said Michael Nash, the University's provost. "Her reputation in the dance community as an innovator is well deserved, and she brings her considerable talents and accomplishments to a program that is already recognized as a national leader in dance education."
Burchfield, who holds a BFA and MFA from Texas Christian University, joins the University of the Arts in late August. She succeeds Susan Glazer, who retired this month after 29 years as director of the School of Dance.
"I see my move to the University of the Arts as a personal journey towards a re-enchantment with dance," said Burchfield. "Over and over, I tell students about the mobility and circulation of knowledge, and how dance participates in this flow. I feel passionate about creating new situations where dance and dancers can thrive. There is a history within the School of Dance that allows for many possible futures to emerge. Any time there is the potential for a new future, there is a combination of magic and hard work ahead."
In 1990, Burchfield joined the faculty of the ADF, called "one of the nation's most important institutions" by The New York Times and "the world's greatest dance festival" by the New York Post. She was named dean in 2000. The ADF has served historically as an international model for dance training, and Burchfield has kept the school's curriculum at the forefront of modern dance, with recent innovations including MFA, Post-Baccalaureate and combined BA/BFA programs in collaboration with Hollins University.
She has traveled extensively throughout the world, visiting more than 150 colleges, universities, dance programs and dance companies, teaching master classes, auditioning students and giving lectures. She has received numerous grants and fellowships to extend her research of dance in Tunisia, Cuba, Hong Kong, Italy, France, Germany, Monaco and most recently, China. In 2006, Burchfield was named the North Carolina School for the Arts (NCSA) Outstanding Teacher in Performance for contributions to the dance program at NCSA as well as the state of North Carolina. In the fall of 2008, she hosted the Congress on the Research in Dance (CORD) international conference at Hollins University.
Burchfield's work has been commissioned by the Mallarme Players, North Carolina State's Center Stage, Contemporary Dance Fort Worth and New Works Project (Texas). She has received numerous awards and commissions for her choreographic work and research.