I can’t tell you how many times a graduate has told me dance was one of the most meaningful parts of their Bucknell experience.

Dustyn Martincich

Professor Dustyn Martincich, theatre & dance, says one of her favorite things about teaching at Bucknell is the opportunity to collaborate with faculty across disciplines.

"There are no silos for me," she explains. "When my students rehearsed for the musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood, they not only worked with fantastic acting and music directors and designers, they also benefitted from the input of Professor Virginia Zimmerman's Dickensian expertise. For the dance installation Radiolarian Impulse, I was able to work with Joe Meiser from art and art history as part of the Bucknell Innovation Group. I've also worked with Barry Long from the music department and Carmen Gillespie from English. Bucknell is a great place for collaboration. "

Martincich's classes include musical theatre, American social dance, beginning acting and jazz dance. She explains that when she teaches jazz dance, she covers far more than technique. Martincich makes sure her students understand jazz from a historical, social and cultural perspective, expanding their definitions to include ring shouts, the Lindy Hop and even salsa. "Jazz dance is rooted in African and Latin rhythms and early American social dance," she explains, "so community is an essential part of understanding its place in American history."

Extreme Creativity is one of  Martincich's favorite classes to teach.  The intensive five-week course allows guest artists and faculty to share talents that include music, poetry, dance, creative theatre and the visual arts. The spring 2014 class, themed "Rhythm and Narrative," culminated in a performance called Baggage Claims: Unpacking the Past, which showcased the students' responses to personal, social and political issues.

Martincich says graduates of her department often stay in touch for years. She's even been known to recruit alumni for performances she directs, especially in her hometown of Chicago, where she is currently working with the movement-based interdisciplinary group Core Project Chicago and The Arc Theatre Company.

"Sharing a passion like dance or theatre really brings people together," she explains. "I can't tell you how many times a graduate has told me dance was one of the most meaningful parts of their Bucknell experience."

Posted Sept. 22, 2014