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New Mexico State University

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Renowned dance professional to visit NMSU

Daniel Nagrin, whose career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher spans more than five decades, will be a distinguished visiting professor at New Mexico State University Oct. 4-8.

Nagrin, an Arizona State University professor emeritus of dance, will conduct workshops for students on movement improvisation and will lecture on jazz and modern dance during his five-day visit. Public events include a lecture on "Dance as Art, Dance as Entertainment" on Wednesday, Oct. 6, and Stanislavsky-based "Acting Technique for Dance Performance" on Thursday, Oct. 7. The free lectures will run from 5-6 p.m. both days at NMSU's Readers Theater in the English/Speech Building. The public also is invited to participate in a movement improvisation class from 2-4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8, in Studio 228 of the NMSU Activity Center.

Nagrin has performed on Broadway and in solo performances throughout the United States, Europe and the Pacific. His range includes modern dance, jazz, acting and the use of film, video, computerized slides and audio tapes.

The 82-year-old artist achieved fame as a dancer in such Broadway productions as "Up in Central Park" (1945), "Annie Get Your Gun" (1946), "Touch and Go" (1949) and "Plain and Fancy" (1954).

Nagrin studied modern dance with Helen Tamiris, one of the founders of modern dance in America, and with Martha Graham. He and Tamiris co-directed the Tamiris-Nagrin Dance Company, and he later directed The Workgroup, an improvisational dance company. According to the International Encyclopedia of Dance, all of his choreographies are studies in human behavior that provoke audiences to share and ponder.

NMSU instituted a bachelor of arts degree program in dance last spring, in addition to an existing academic minor in dance. Nagrin's visit is an important milestone for NMSU's growing dance program, said Helen Myers, an assistant professor of dance. "Exposure to such a renowned professional will help performing arts students increase their skills and develop an appreciation for dance as an art form. Furthermore, this is a chance for students and the public to encounter a man who has made an exemplary, lifelong commitment to his field," she said.

Nagrin lives in Tempe, Ariz., where he taught at Arizona State University from 1982-92. He is the author of three books, including "How to Dance Forever," which since its publication in 1988 has become a handbook for dance professionals. In 1992 he was awarded a Distinguished Teaching Chair by the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C. In 1993 he received the Master Teacher/Mentor award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information about Nagrin's visit to NMSU, call Ruben Ornelas at (505) 646-2215 or Helen Myers at (505) 646-2070, at the NMSU physical education, recreation and dance department.