RICHARD POWERS Biography
Dance historian and choreographer, working primarily on the research and reconstruction of early European and American social dances.
Principal focus since 1979 has been the dances of the Ragtime Era, circa 1910-1914. Resources include a personal collection of three hundred historic dance manuals, archival films and a twelve thousand-title collection of period dance music.
Choreographed ragtime era dance for Faye Dunaway and Richard Widmark in Turner Productions Cold Sassy Tree (1989). Choreographed and directed the 19th century ballroom dances for the Warner Bros./ABC film North and South (1985). Choreographed the ragtime era dances for the CBS film Spring Awakenings (1994). Trained dancers in 19th century ballroom dances for the Tri-Star film Glory (1989). Choreographed the Victorian ballroom dances for the public television film Mrs. Perkins'Ball (1986).
Numerous stage choreographies include Bill Irwin's Scapin (off Broadway, 1997), work as dance historian for the musical Titanic (Broadway, 1997), choreographies for regional theater including Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Shakespeare's King Henry VIII, Massenet's Cendrillon, Benjamin Britten's Gloriana, Monteverdi's Madrigals of Love and War, Monteverdi's Orfeo, Berlioz's Beatrice and Benedict, and Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes.
Founded the Flying Cloud Academy of Vintage Dance (1981) to produce large-scale monthly recreations of Victorian and Ragtime Balls. Formed the Flying Cloud Troupe, a 30-member performing company (1982) and co-founded the supporting Fleeting Moments Waltz & Quickstep Orchestra.
Founded the 70-member Stanford Vintage Dance Ensemble (1992), Recipient of the Post-Corbett Award, Cincinnati's foremost arts recognition (1992).
Selected by the Centennial Issue of Stanford Magazine as one of Stanford University's most notable graduates of its first century, noted primarily for the creation of a new field in historic dance 1992).
Historic dance performances include 19th century and ragtime dance at the Smithsonian Institution, Henry Ford Museum, the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival, the National Governors Conference, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet Company, leading the Palace Hotel's Valentines Ball, St. Moritz, Switzerland (featured on CBS "60 Minutes"); performance for Prince and Princess Mikasa of Japan; and a tour of the Soviet Union.
Workshops and performances of period dance have been sponsored by the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (New York City); National Endowment for the Humanities; The Fine Arts Fund; American Studies Association; The Omega Institute, N.Y.; National Stephen Foster Conference; Goethe House New York; The Ethnic Dance Theatre, Minneapolis; Arts et Mouvement, Paris; Danses de Bon Ton, Paris; The National Folk Dance Federation of Japan; the City of Kharkiv, Ukraine; and the Beseda Dance Theatre in Prague.
Contact: Richard Powers, Dance Historian, Stanford University
Stanford Dance, 375 Santa Teresa, Stanford, CA 94305
(415) 725-0739 Fax: 725-7242