'Intelligent Bodies'

Larson to speak at Luther Emeriti Colloquium Feb. 8

Through its existence, the Luther College dance program has evolved using innovative curriculum to combine creating art in the dance studio with real life. Luther College Professor Emeritus of Theatre Bob Larson, along with current Professor of Dance Jane Hawley, will present a program on the history and transformation of the Luther dance program at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in Baker Village as part of the Luther Emeriti Colloquium series.

The presentation "Intelligent Bodies" is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Larson and Hawley will dive into the emergence of Luther's dance curriculum and how it combines artistic movement with life outside the studio. A hallmark of Luther's program is accepting and embracing diverse body shapes, age ranges and abilities while focusing self-exploration and discovery of others and the world. Unique to Luther's program is Movement Fundamentals, a curriculum that "nurtures the birthright of moving efficiently, often and creatively." Hawley helped develop the curriculum and implemented it at Luther in 2001.

Larson taught in the Luther theatre program for 48 years, directing copious theatre productions and college-wide celebrations. He has also served as interim academic dean. Larson's research focused on "kinesthetic thinking as a stimulating premise for collaborative problem solving and work with the red nose mask as a way to open up vulnerability and trust in performance." He and his wife, Marilynn, led the Nottingham study abroad program three times and the Malta program once. Larson received a Bachelor of Arts in speech/theatre from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and a Master of Arts in directing from the University of South Dakota.

Hawley has been on the Luther faculty since 2000 and focuses on movement with an emphasis on skeletal initiation and alignment, improvisation and somatic practice. With Movement Fundamentals as a platform, Hawley uses dance as a way to explore and research how people relate to their bodies, specifically how the body is used as a form of expression. She is a 1987 graduate of Luther, earning a Bachelor of Arts in theatre under Larson's direction. She has a Master of Fine Arts in performance and choreography from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.