Choreographer Liz Lerman speaks at King University's Memorial Chapel, Bristol, Tenn., Monday, March 3 at 9:15 a.m. and again that evening at Southwest Virginia Higher Education at 7 p.m. in Abingdon, Va., as part of the Buechner Institute's 2013-14 Lecture Series. The series is co-sponsored by the Bristol Herald Courier.
Noted as a dance choreographer, performer, writer and educator, 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 until 2011, when 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.
Miriam Perkins, Ph.D., is an associate professor of theology and society at Emmanuel Christian Seminary in Johnson City, Tenn. She said of Lerman, "Liz Lerman's choreography proves that every person, of any body type, of every age, can communicate something powerful about human experience through dance. 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."
Lerman is recognized for her transformative approach to dance and has received many awards, including the MacArthur Grant Fellowship and a United States Artists Ford Fellowship in dance. She has received commissions from the Lincoln Center, American Dance Festival, BalletMet and the Kennedy Center, among other organizations.
In addition to her career in dance, Lerman is also an author. Her most recent book is "Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer." In this wide-ranging collection of essays and articles, she reflects on her lifelong exploration of dance as a vehicle for human insight and understanding of the world around us.
Born in Los Angeles and reared in Milwaukee, Wis., Lerman attended Bennington College and Brandeis University, received a Bachelor of Arts in dance from the University of Maryland, followed by a Master of Arts in dance from George Washington University.
Lerman presents "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 Monday, March 3. Both events are free and open to the public. Contact Dale Brown at 423-652-4156 or visit www.buechnerinstitute.org.