The Department of Theater and Dance is deeply honored that UC Santa Barbara has selected Professor Alice Condodina as Dickson Emeriti Professor for 2023. Professor Condodina has now been awarded this prestigious title for the third time, having previously been named in 2012 and 2018.
Professor Emerita Alice Condodina retired in 1994 after nineteen years as an esteemed member of UCSB’s Dance faculty. Since then, she has won international recognition as a re-constructor of the work of the great Mexican-American choreographer, José Limón (1908-1972), staging his repertoire for top professional companies in Italy, Russia, Puerto Rico and the United States. In 2014, she re-constructed Limón’s best-known work, The Moor’s Pavane (1949) for Santa Barbara Dance Theater, and in 2015 staged it for the Los Angeles Ballet. Each year the department has invited Ms. Condodina to restage a legacy work by José Limón, and as Dickson Emeriti Professor in 2018-19, she reconstructed The Unsung (excerpts), with a mixed male and female cast, the first time it has been restaged in this way, a groundbreaking change that is being followed more widely today. The work was performed by the UCSB Dance Company locally, regionally and internationally, reaching approximately 3,000 audience members. In 2019-20, Professor Condodina restaged another of Limón’s monumental works, Missa Brevis, and her superb reconstruction efforts were able to be filmed and archived with the Limón Foundation in New York City. In recognition of Professor Condodina’s accomplishment, she was nominated in 2021 for the Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award for outstanding and exemplary service to the University of California and beyond.
In 2023-2024, Professor Conodina will once again reconstruct one or more of José Limón’s important works for the UCSB Dance Company’s 12th European tour. In May 2024, following the tour, the company will perform in the New York City studios of the José Limón Dance Company, a space now shared with the Dance Theater of Harlem. The UCSB Dance Company will offer a final presentation of the reconstructed work along with a roundtable discussion with Professor Condodina, Dante Puleio, Artistic Director of José Limón Dance Company, and Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem. In addition, during the company's European tour, Professor Condodina will serve as a mainstay of the International Dance Legacy Project, continuing this year in Norway, Prague, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, and Italy.
The UCSB Dance Company is the only undergraduate dance company in the UC system that tours internationally, made possible by Professor Condodina's exceptional contributions to the company for many years. Primarily due to Professor Condodina’s continuing excellence abroad, the company has been honored with an invitation by the Valmiera City Council (Latvia) to headline the Valmiera Art Month 2023. Titled “United by Dance,” the Valmiera Art Month will open with the UCSB Dance Company performance and offer American Contemporary Dance educational workshops, curated by the head of the Department of Contemporary Dance at the Latvian Academy of Culture. Supported by a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Riga, Latvia, the project aims to strengthen cross cultural knowledge and to establish opportunity for long-term USA/Latvian creative partnerships. Master classes in José Limón Repertory will be offered by Professor Condodina.
Dance depends upon direct transmission from generation to generation to carry forward its legacy of discovery and innovation. Professor Condodina’s expertise and knowledge present a golden opportunity for our students to connect with a direct lineage through a master teacher. Such intergenerational integration strengthens identity, deepens cultural memory and amplifies the potency of the art form as well as our curriculum. Alumni who have worked with Professor Condodina carry with them a meaningful heritage to support their creative endeavors and share with future generations. Professor Condodina’s contributions have made a lasting impact on the Department of Theater and Dance and its graduates, along with so many international artists who share in the International Dance Legacy Projects. The Department of Theater and Dance looks forward to another year of meaningful and exciting work by Professor Condodina, an artist and teacher who embodies professionalism, dignity and undying commitment to her craft.