Dance Prof’s Work Chosen for International Festival

Online Competition Features 7 Works From Which Viewers Choose Winners

Sept. 21, 2009

A choreographic work by Arts and Humanities faculty member Michele Hanlon has been honored as one of seven featured in the 2009 SideBySide international online dance festival.

The festival received 156 entries this year. Hanlon's acceptance makes her the first American nominee.

Hanlon and the other nominees introduced themselves and their work live at the festival opening on Sept. 19 in Dusseldorf, Germany.  Each performed a three-minute modern dance piece expressing his or her choreographic style.

“I’m a bit nervous but also excited,” she said. “I am more of a choreographer and teacher these days. Solo performances are now a rarity for me.”

The festival then shifted online, where beginning Sept. 20, viewers could vote for their favorite pieces. Audience favorites will receive cash prizes totaling €3,000, or about $4,900. Voting ends Nov. 14.

Jennifer Mabus, a former guest choreographer at UT Dallas, performed the piece that is online. Arts and Humanities Ph.D. student Luis Midence completed the videography and editing work. The final product was a four-minute edited piece that compiles several performances of “The Guitarist/Outside In.”

Hanlon’s project was also a family affair: Husband and Southern Methodist University professor Kevin Hanlon created the soundtrack with improvisational group B L Lacerta.

SideBySide Art Center, located in Dusseldorf, supports and cultivates art and culture, stage-play and dance.

Locals can see the piece performed live at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) this fall. “The Guitarist/Outside In” will be performed by Jennifer Mabus at the DMA six times in conjunction with its All the World’s a Stage: Celebrating Performance in the Visual Arts exhibition: 

  • Sept. 18 at 11 p.m.
  • Sept. 26 and 27 at 2 p.m.
  • Oct. 16 at 11 p.m.
  • Dec. 5 and 6 at 2 p.m.

The piece grew out of a collaboration between UT Dallas and the DMA in which choreographers were inspired by artworks - Pablo Picasso's “The Guitarist,” in Hanlon's case. The painting is part of the DMA’s collection and will be on exhibit during Mabus’ performances.

In reworking the piece for the video project, Hanlon said she focused on an individual's struggle to belong. “The soloist in this version represents an individual who is trying to understand and find her place in the world,” she said.


Media Contact: Karah Hosek, UT Dallas, 972-883-4329, karah.hosek@utdallas.edu,
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Michele Hanlon

Michele Hanlon’s work was one of seven nominated.

Peroformance of "Guitarist Outside/In"

Viewers can see Hanlon's work online at the SideBySide Festival site.

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