> U.S. choreographer Liz Lerman wins Blaney Award

U.S. choreographer Liz Lerman wins Blaney Award

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Contact:
Lorena Dexter, Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue, 778.782.7885; dexter@sfu.ca
Julie Ovenell-Carter, PAMR, 778.782.3210; joc@sfu.ca


October 13, 2009
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Celebrated American choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, Liz Lerman, is this year’s winner of Simon Fraser University’s Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue.

The international humanitarian award, named after former SFU president Jack Blaney, is given every two years to a world figure who exemplifies the spirit and programs of SFU’s Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

“Liz Lerman has spent a lifetime building bridges between diverse communities, using dialogue as a tool in dance and cross-disciplinary arts projects,” says Mark Winston, academic director of the Wosk Centre.

“She reaches out to those who may not normally have a voice, and she inspires others with her vision, her passion and her desire to raise awareness on pressing social and environmental issues.”

Lerman will accept the award at an invitation-only event on Oct. 19 in Vancouver. As a Visiting Fellow at the Wosk Centre from Oct. 13-22, she will participate in a number of workshops, dialogues and public performances.

Her activities are co-sponsored by B.C.’s LINK Dance Foundation, the International Centre of Art for Social Change and SFU Contemporary Arts.

Backgrounder:

Who is Liz Lerman?

The Washington Post described Liz Lerman as “the source of an epochal revolution in the scope and purposes of dance art.” Her dance/theatre works have been performed internationally, and her aesthetic approach ranges from the abstract to the personal and political. Her working process emphasizes research, translation between artistic media, and intensive collaboration with dancers and communities.

She founded the Maryland-based Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976 and has cultivated the company’s unique multi-generational ensemble (her dancers span six decades) into a leading force in contemporary dance.

Community partners:

SFU’s Wosk Centre for Dialogue is sponsoring Lerman’s visit in partnership with:

LINK Dance Foundation:

Yukon-born and Vancouver-based, LINK Dance explores the connection between social movement and physical motion. LINK is working with the Wosk Centre to create Experiments, a dance performance that connects the creativity of science with the rigor of dance. Lerman will serve as an artistic consultant to the production, which will be featured as part of the SFU Contemporary Arts at Woodward’s inaugural cultural program in 2010.

The International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC):

Founded by Judith Marcuse, an internationally recognized leader in the field of art in community work, ICASC is a global communications, research and learning hub, designed to nurture and support this diverse and growing field.

-30- (Digital photo available by request)

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