Dance Faculty Member's Choreography Previewed by Martha Graham Dance Company

January 29, 2019

Renowned dancer and choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith, a master lecturer in the UArts School of Dance, had her work Deo previewed by the Martha Graham Dance Company at the Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania this past weekend. The preview was presented as part of the company’s EVE Project, highlighting the work of female choreographers to commemorate the upcoming centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

A collaborative effort with choreographer Maxine Doyle, Deo is a work inspired by the myth of Demeter and Persephone, which speaks to themes of motherhood, separation and longing for reunion. Smith and Doyle created the work with Martha Graham Dance Company in November and December of last year.

This is hardly Smith’s first turn in the spotlight, having been featured in the cover story of last November’s issue of Dance magazine. Before that, she was the subject of the documentary film Bobbi Jene, which chronicled her return to practice in the U.S. after 10 years with Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company. The film swept the documentary category at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, winning Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Cinematography and Best Documentary Editing. Bobbi Jene can be streamed on Amazon Prime and Netflix; the UArts community can also watch it on Kanopy.