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Bard College Dance Program Presents a Celebration of Aileen Passloff (1931–2020)

On Saturday, April 24, the Bard College Dance Program presents A Celebration of Aileen Passloff (1931–2020). For over 40 years, Aileen Passloff was the L. May Hawver and Wallace Benjamin Flint Professor of Dance at Bard, in addition to her numerous contributions to the field of dance. In celebration of her life and work, Passloff’s former students Arthur Aviles ’87, Charlotte Hendrickson ’07, and EmmaGrace Skove-Epes ’08 will give tribute performances.

“I was strong and tireless and full of passion and loved dancing as deeply as one could ever love anything.”—Aileen Passloff

The free, live-streamed event takes place at 4 p.m. and will feature guest speakers, as well as pre-recorded messages and video archives of Aileen’s work. The celebration is presented in collaboration with the Fisher Center at Bard, the President’s Office, the Dean’s Office, and the Office of Development and Alumni/ae Affairs. For more information and to watch, please visit the Fisher Center’s virtual stage, UPSTREAMING, by clicking here.

“I am thrilled to help to create an event to celebrate my mentor and inspiration, Aileen Passloff,” said Bard Professor of Dance Jean Churchil. “All of my work in the dance studio, as a teacher and as a choreographer, is informed by her passion for the arts, and I know that I am only one of so very many people. By her example, she taught us to understand that the arts are essential to our lives. She taught many aspiring artists to understand that to try to make art is to try to make a profound difference in the world. For Aileen, and for many of us whose lives were enriched by her, to try to make art is to discover, to uncover, and to cultivate the courage to be fully alive.”

Aileen Passloff, Professor of Dance at Bard College for over four decades, was born in New York City in 1931. She began performing professionally at the age of 14 for the renowned modern dance choreographer James Waring, and was passionately committed to the art of the dance for 67 more years. Whether it was ballet, experimental dance, or “dance theater,” Aileen was devoted to learning more about the art of the body moving through space; she continued to dance and to choreograph until her death in November, 2020.

Passloff studied dance at Bennington College; she then led her own company for ten years in New York City. During her performing career she danced with, amongst others, Katherine Litz, Toby Armour and Remy Charlip. She also developed a passion for the art of Flamenco, which prompted her to travel annually to Spain to study. Recently, she appeared in two films by Marta Renzi: “Her Magnum Opus” (2017), in which Passloff portrays the beloved teacher of a group of artists, and a short documentary, “Arthur & Aileen” (2012).

As a beloved teacher of many generations of Bard students and professional dancers, she continued to choreograph until the very last weeks of her life. The Celebration of Aileen Passloff will feature several recordings of her dances as well as live performances by three of her former students, Charlotte Hendrickson, EmmaGrace Skove-Epes, and Arthur Aviles. Other students of Aileen Passloff have included the choreographers Joanna Haigood, David Parker, Dusan Tynek, costume designer Liz Prince, and the director Ann Bogart.
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This event was last updated on 04-14-2021