Dance professor Kim Jones awarded NY library fellowship

Kim Jones, associate professor of dance, has received a research fellowship from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ Jerome Robbins Dance Division. Jones was one of six fellows chosen for this prestigious grant, which this year focuses on modern dance pioneer Martha Graham and her company as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.

For several years, Jones’s research has centered around “lost” works and aspects of modern dance. In 2012-13, she reimagined Martha Graham’s Imperial Gesture (1935), and in 2016’ she reconstructed Paul Taylor’s Tracer (1962). In 2019, Jones began to research the life and work of Choi Seung-Hee, an artist who is regarded as the first Korean modern dancer. Part of this project has been a reimagining of Choi Seung-Hee’s work, which was presented at the Dance Department’s 2023 Faculty Dance Concert.

During her research, Jones learned that Choi Seung-Hee and Martha Graham were connected: In a visit to the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at Lincoln Center, Jones discovered a 1930s program that listed both Choi Seung-Hee and Martha Graham as performers.

Jones, with support from the fellowship, will continue to explore the connection between Choi and Graham, more deeply investigating Choi’s American tour in the 1930s. She will expand upon her Choi-inspired choreographic work, “Dance for Freedom,” and will begin to write about her process of combining artistic and scholarly methods with her personal background to reimagine, reinvigorate, stage and disseminate works of the 20th century.

The six-month research fellowship will conclude with a symposium Jan. 26, 2024, at which Jones will present her findings.

Learn more about Jones’s creative investigations into the life and legacy of Choi Seung-Hee in the digital feature, Memory Becomes Movement.