Choreographer Liz Lerman to Speak at King University, Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center on March 3

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Choreographer Liz Lerman will speak at King University’s Memorial Chapel on Monday, March 3 at 9:15 a.m., and again at 7 p.m.at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va., as part of the Buechner (Beek-ner) Institute’s 2013-14 Lecture Series. The series is co-sponsored by the Bristol Herald Courier.

Noted for her work as a dance choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, Lerman founded the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, based in Takoma Park, Md., in 1976. Lerman cultivated the company’s unique multi-generational ensemble into a leading force in contemporary dance, with performances at the National Cathedral, the Kennedy Center Opera House, Harvard University, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and other venues. In 2011, she handed the artistic leadership of the company to the next generation of Dance Exchange artists. Since that time, she spent a semester at Harvard University as an artist-in-residence.

Lerman is recognized for her transformative approach to dance, and has been described by the Washington Post as “the source of an epochal revolution in the scope and purposes of dance art.” Her aesthetic approach spans the range from abstract to personal to political. Lerman is the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship and a 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellowship. Her work has been commissioned by the Lincoln Center, American Dance Festival, BalletMet, and the Kennedy Center, among other organizations.

“Liz Lerman’s choreography proves that every person, of any body type, of every age, can communicate something powerful about human experience through dance,” says Miriam Perkins, PhD, Associate Professor of Theology and Society for Emmanuel Christian Seminary in Johnson City, Tenn.  “She puts communities in motion to raise social awareness and inspire social change. Her methods of collaborative creation will change how you think about innovation in everything from writing, to community leadership, to living in the tensions between faith and risk. Her visit to the Buechner Institute is a rare opportunity not to be missed.”

In addition to her career in dance, Lerman has authored several books, articles and reviews. Her collection of essays, “Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer,” published last year, reflects on her life-long exploration of dance as a vehicle for human insight and understanding of the world around us.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Milwaukee, Wis., Lerman attended Bennington College and Brandeis University. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of Maryland and her Master of Arts in Dance from George Washington University.

Liz Lerman will present “The Discipline of Creative Research: Using Artistic Practice in Pursuit of Knowledge, Communication, and Engagement” at 9:15 a.m. at King University’s Memorial Chapel, and “Hiking the Horizontal: Making Rules and Breaking Rules” at 7 p.m. at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, on Monday, March 3. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dale Brown at 423.652.4156 or visit www.buechnerinstitute.org.

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King University is a Presbyterian, doctoral-level comprehensive university.  Founded in 1867 as King University, the University offers more than 80 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities.  Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing.  A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available.  King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports.  For more information about King University, visit www.king.edu.  King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability.  King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia.  For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community University, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.