University of Nebraska
Troika Ranch Residency and “Loop Diver” Commission
In a unique collaboration between the Lied Center for Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and international multi-media dance company Troika Ranch, (founded by artistic co-directors Mark Coniglio and Dawn Stoppiello), the Creative Campus project was born. They partnered with UNL’s Hixson-Lied College for Fine and Performing Arts, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET), Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, Clyde Malone Community Center, Community Learning Center Clinton/Hartley, Lincoln Arts Council, and the Project Room.
Investigating the theme of “the resonance of violence” from different perspectives became the core of the project. Emerging in the early stages of Troika Ranch’s creation of their new piece “loopdiver,” commissioned by the Lied Center as part of the project, the theme was highly influenced by the company’s work with patients at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. Troika Ranch created movement sections looped in intricate ways through the computer program Isadora, created by Coniglio. The dancers then learned the computer-manipulated loops, evoking the recovery process for rehabilitation patients, who often have to repeat minute movements over and over again. Troika Ranch and Madonna researchers and staff used their combined expertise in technology and rehabilitation, to develop a new tool for recovery, A.R.T., which allows patients to express themselves artistically during rehabilitation exercises.
Coniglio and Stoppiello visited Lincoln regularly over the two year period, delivering lectures, demonstrations and workshops to UNL students and community groups. In the summer of 2009, Coniglio co-taught a University Academy course, “The Resonance of Violence” for UNL students from different disciplines. Stoppiello, meanwhile, co-taught a choreography course for UNL dancers, which resulted in a student matinee performance for young people in the area at the Lied Center. In total, Troika Ranch worked with almost 1,500 students from UNL as part of the Creative Campus Project through these kinds of residency activities.
Local Teaching Artists, trained in using Isadora by Coniglio and Stoppiello, delivered Community Academy courses to children in two community centers, focusing on visual arts, dance, music and movement in conjunction with technology. The entire project was captured in a documentary film by created by UNL film students. In the week leading up to the world premier of “loopdiver” at the Lied Center, the company took part in numerous community and campus events. Two sold-out performances and packed talk-backs made “loopdiver” a highlight of the Lied’s 20th Anniversary Season. Because of the Creative Campus project, the Lied now enjoys a much closer relationship with the University and local community – a lasting legacy of this exciting process.