Creating dialogue through dance: Liz Lerman addresses the intersection of art and community

"Still Crossing: Expressing Identities, Building Communities"

Dancer, choreographer, and creative/performance artist Liz Lerman, together with WUSTL faculty, will participate in a panel discussion on the intersection of art and community called “Still Crossing: Expressing Identities, Building Communities” for the Assembly Series at 4 p.m. Thursday, October 30 in the Women’s Building Lounge, on the Danforth Campus.

The panel discussion, free and open to the public, includes Sunita Parikh, Ph.D., associate professor of political science in Arts & Sciences, and Robert Hansman, associate professor of architecture in the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts.

The event is part of a larger project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts for WUSTL’s Performing Arts Department and is the brainchild of David Marchant, senior lecturer in dance in Arts & Sciences. Marchant chose Lerman and her acclaimed piece, “Still Crossing,” to demonstrate the power of art to enhance social capital and civic dialogue.

Lerman created the dance, “Still Crossing” to address issues of immigration, transition and the meaning of “home” and “community.” Lerman will be in residence at Washington University to restage this now-classic dance for a student performance in December as the end piece of this project (see accompanying announcement for details.)

Lerman is a major figure in dance and has been recognized with a host of distinctions, including the MacArthur “genius” grant, the American Choreographer Award, and most recently, the National Foundation for Jewish Culture’s Achievement Award. Her work has been commissioned for national centers of art and culture, including Lincoln and Kennedy centers. In 1976 she founded the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, known for its multi-generational ensemble. Considered an expert dance educator, she has authored books and articles on the subject.

The reconstruction of “Still Crossing” was made possible by American Masterpieces: Dance, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, which is administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts with Dance/USA.

For more information regarding the Assembly Series panel discussion, contact the Web site at, or call 314-935-4620.

For more information on the “Still Crossing” open call auditions and PAD dance performance, contact the Web site at or call the department at 314-935-5858.