The collaborative team of past-carry-forward includes
Tanya Wideman-Davis is the Co-Artistic Director of Wideman/Davis Dance and is currently on faculty as an Assistant Professor at The University of South Carolina. Tanya has had an extensive and exciting career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Most recently, Ms. Wideman-Davis completed her Master of Fine Arts from Hollins University/ADF (2012).
Tanya has trained with many of the premier schools in the country including: The Academy of Movement and Music, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts, The Joffery Ballet School, The Pacific Northwest Ballet School, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Chicago City Ballet, and The Dance Theatre of Harlem. Ms. Wideman-Davis, has been noted by New York Dance Fax as “distinctive for the power of her secure pointe work and her personality.” She has received International acclaim and was given the honor of “Best Female Dancer of 2001-2002” by Dance Europe magazine.
As a dancer, Ms. Wideman-Davis has worked with the following companies: Dance Theater of Harlem (1993-1998), Principal Dancer Dance Theatre of Harlem (2000-2002), Cleveland San Jose Ballet, Guest Artist (1999), The Joffery Ballet of Chicago (1999-2000), Complexions Contemporary Ballet (1998-2001), Donald Byrd: The Group, Guest Artist (2000), Dance Galaxy: Fugate/Bahiri Ballet NY (2000-2001), Alonzo King Lines Ballet (2002-2004), Spectrum Dance Theater (2004-2005), Guest Artist (2006), Ballet Memphis, Guest Artist (2006), Quorum Ballet, Portugal, Guest Artist (2008-2009). In addition, Ms. Wideman-Davis has taught as a guest artist at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Allen University, Mississippi School of the Arts, University of Wisconsin Peck School of the Arts, Milwaukee Ballet, University of Iowa, Steps on Broadway, Goucher College, National Ballet Dominicana (Dominican Republic), Center of Creative Arts, Spectrum Dance Theater and Auburn University.
Currently, Tanya Wideman-Davis continues to perform, research, choreograph, collaborate and teach. Her research projects include Female Relationships: The Gender Gap in Dance (2012), and The queering of a life of dance and HIV/AIDS (2011). Tanya’s MFA Thesis work REVEAL was premiered at the American Dance Festival Thesis Concert in Durham, NC in 2012. Her research interests explore and examine race, gender, femininity, identity and location. This research grounds her choreographic method and performances and challenges the traditional methodologies and ideologies of classical Ballet.
Thaddeus Davis was born in Montgomery, Alabama. He is the Co-Artistic Director of Wideman/Davis Dance and is currently on faculty as an Assistant Professor at The University of South Carolina. He began his dance studies with The Montgomery Civic Ballet, Carver Creative Performing Arts Center, and the Alabama Dance Theatre. Following high school he studied and danced with Barbara Sullivan’s Atlanta Dance Theatre and Dyann Robinson’s Tuskegee Cultural Arts Center. Thaddeus has trained with many of the premier schools in the country including: Dance Theater of Harlem, Boston Ballet, David Howard Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, Atlanta Dance, Tuskegee Cultural Arts Center, Alabama Dance Theater. Davis earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Butler University in 1993 and his Master of Fine Arts from Hollins University/ADF in 2011.
Thaddeus Davis has received multiple honors and grants for his work including: 2013 Map Fund Grant, Jerome Robins New Essential Works Grant (2011), University of South Carolina Arts Institute, Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Reading/Dance Collaboration. Balance: Homelessness Project (2009), Canvas: The Master Class (2010), Cultural Envoy to Portugal, U.S. State Department (2007), Highlight of the Arts Season, Commercial Appeal, Memphis (2006), Winner of The New American Talent Choreographers Competition, Ballet Austin (2005), Choo San Goh Award for Choreography (2004), Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” (2002), Best Premiere of the Season, Dance Europe, Once Before, Twice After (2002-03), New York Times Top ten dance Highlight of the season, Once Before, Twice After (2002) calling it “reassuring evidence of New York dance’s promising future.” Butler University, 50 under 50 (2004).
Thaddeus Davis’ professional performance experience includes work with the following companies: Donald Byrd/The Group (1998-2002), Creative Assistant to Donald Byrd (2000-02), Dance Theater of Harlem (1994-98), Complexions Contemporary Ballet (1995-2005), Fugate/Bahiri Ballet NY Dance Galaxy (2000-02), Indianapolis Ballet (1991-93), Fukuoka City Ballet (1995), and Atlanta Dance Theater (1988). Davis has taught as a Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa (2008) and for the following professional dance companies and programs: Alley II (2012), Boston Ballet (2011), Dance Theater of Harlem (2011), Ballet Quorum, Portugal (2007), Northwest Professional Dance Project (2005-2007), COCA (2005-2007), Ballet Austin (2004-06), Ballet Classical Dominican, Dominican Republic (2004-2006), Spectrum Dance Theater (2005), Steps on Broadway (2003-2004). In addition, Thaddeus has taught as a Guest Artist at the following Universities and dance centers: North Carolina School of the Arts (2012), Florida State University (2012), Webster University (2011), Long Island University (2011), Mary Mount Manhattan (2011), University of Kansas City Missouri (2011), Goucher College (2007), Auburn University (2006), Alvin Ailey/Fordham University (2005), Butler University (2005), Arizona State University (2004), The Julliard School (2003).
Thaddeus and Tanya began Wideman/Davis Dance in 2003 and continue to create work together to date. They have collaborated in the creation of the following works: Etta and James, Balance, Voypas, Bosket Affair, Bends of Life, Based on Images, Fragmentation and Rock and My Soul. In addition, they have created numerous works for the University of South Carolina Dance Company, Ballet Memphis, Phrenic New Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Fugate/Bahiri Ballet NY, The Juilliard School, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Reflections Dance Company, and Nevada Ballet. Community engagement is an essential component to the work, research and integrity of Wideman/Davis Dance. Bends of Life (2006-2008) toured through the public school system of the impoverished “Black Belt Region” of Alabama; sponsored by The Alabama State Council on the Arts and in Cincinnati, OH, Durham, NC, and Austin, TX. Eau Claire High School in Columbia, SC hosted The Recession and its Affect on Teenagers residency in 2010. Wideman/Davis Dance has taught movement classes at the Family Shelter of Columbia South Carolina (2009) and performed multiple lecture demonstrations and performances at the Calhoun School (2005-2010) in New York.
Thomas F. DeFrantz is Professor of Dance at Duke University, and President of the Society of Dance History Scholars, an international organization that advances the field of dance studies through research, publication, performance, and outreach to audiences across the arts, humanities, and social sciences. He is also the director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, a research group that explores emerging technology in live performance applications. SLIPPAGE projects include “Monk’s Mood: A Performance Meditation on the Life and Music of Thelonious Monk” (2005) and CANE: A Responsive Environment Dancework (2013). His books include the edited volume Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance (2002) and Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey’s Embodiment of African American Culture (2004). A director and writer, his creative works include Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty (2006) commissioned by the Theater Offensive of Boston and the Flynn Center for the Arts. In 2005 he worked with DonnaFaye Burchfield to design the American Dance Festival/Hollins University MFA Program in dance. For many years, he taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.
Jamie Keesecker writes music across a broad range of styles for various ensembles, large and small. In recent years, his music has been performed by a number of wonderfully talented groups, including The Wet Ink Ensemble, The Atlanta Chamber Players, Quadre, Las Tubas de Tucson, Percussia, Sospiro, and the Duke New Music Ensemble, of which he is a regularly performing member. In 2010, he was featured as a composer in residence at the Monadnock Music Festival in southern New Hampshire. His music is among the works appearing on the Quardre album, Our Time, released in 2011. Jamie currently resides in Durham, North Carolina, where he is a James B. Duke Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. at Duke University, studying with composers Stephen Jaffe, Scott Lindroth, and John Supko. He holds a Master’s of Music Degree in composition from the University of Oregon (2009) where he studied with composers David Crumb and Robert Kyr, and a B.Mus in composition from the University of Arizona (2006) where he studied with Daniel Asia, Pamela Decker, and Craig Walsh. In 2008 he had the pleasure of working with composers Robert Livingston Aldridge and Kevin Puts at the Brevard Music Center, where he also served as the coordinator of the festival’s new music ensemble. Jamie is a hornist and aspiring bassist, performing regularly in and around the Durham area. He also enjoys playing the slide whistle, although performance opportunities are much less common. In recent years, he has become a user of the SuperCollider programming environment, and is increasingly interested in the possibilities afforded through the combination of live performers and computer music.