Tag Archives: Rothrock Residencies

Rothrock Residency: tUnE-YaRdS

April 2-4, 2021

Proposing student: Francis Shiner ’23

tUnE-YaRdS is an American, Oakland, California-based music project of musician Merrill Garbus, with long-time collaborator, bassist Nate Brenner. Garbus’s music draws from an eclectic variety of sources and utilizes elements such as loop pedals, ukulele, vocals, and lo-fi percussion. Garbus described their sound as “a patchwork of sound snippets, of history in a present tense. It is a composer’s commitment to the preservation of stories, however small and unassuming.” Merrill Garbus is a musician, producer and composer who slams, wails, strums and shakes with her band, tUnE-YaRdS and will speak to students about composition, music making during the pandemic, decolonizing Western music, and much more. 

Details on residency activities coming soon.

Rothrock Residency: Sara Shelton Mann

Tuesday, February 18–Sunday, February 23, 2020
Sara Shelton Mann Rothrock Residency
Proposed by Sam Kann ’20

Sponsored by the Rothrock Family Residency Fund, Middlebury Dance Program, and Middlebury Department of Music.
More information at go/mann.

Being in the Body – 3 Day Workshop
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; February 18, 19, and 20 – 4:30-6:30 PM

Mahaney Arts Center, Dance Theatre
What is holding the being? What is holding the body? What is your set point? What is your zero point? Participants in this 3 day workshop will engage in communication through touch, sensing, energy exploration, physical puzzles and what can be imagined. The process is directed, specific and open for your uniqueness. Come bask in the weight body, sensing body and spirit in space. Open to all. Registration at go/mann and participation in all sessions required. 

Solo Neutral Follow: A Study in Choice – Performance Lab
Friday, February 21, 2020 – 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Saturday, February 22, 2020 – 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Performance: Saturday, February 22 – 7:30 PM

Mahaney Arts Center, Dance Theatre
Are you in your body? Someone else’s? Or in the “in between?” Sara Shelton Mann will lead students in an intensive, 2 day performance lab, culminating in a presentation the evening of Saturday, February 22. Solo Neutral Follow is a basic study in creating radical space. It is a training of focus and concentration and multidirectional attention. You will sweat. You will find freedom. Registration at go/mann and participation in all sessions required. 

The Edge of Balance – Master Class
Sunday, February 23, 2020 – 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Mahaney Arts Center, Dance Theatre
San Francisco-based choreographer, performer and teacher Sara Shelton Mann leads a two hour class open to all levels. The study of bones, muscles and weighted nuts and bolts teach us the delicacy and strength of weight and space. We slow down action until it becomes silence in and of itself. The breath moves the heart, and we move with it. No registration required.

Saturday, February 22, 2020 – 7:30 PM
Sara Shelton Mann, “Raine/Vortex” + “Middlebury Performance Lab”

Mahaney Arts Center, Dance Theatre
As part of the her Middlebury College Rothrock Residency, San Francisco-based choreographer Sara Shelton Mann presents two works in one evening: the culmination of an intensive performance process with Middlebury College students followed by “Raine/Vortex,” an evolving collaboration between Sara Shelton Mann and Jesse Zaritt. Sponsored by the Rothrock Family Residency Fund, Middlebury Dance Program, and the Middlebury Department of Music. Free.

Rotimi Agbabiaka: Student-Initiated Rothrock Residencies 2017

Rotimi Agbabiaka’s Middlebury visit is a student-initiated residency spearheaded by Akhila Khanna ’17, supported by the Rothrock Family Fund for Experiential Learning in the Performing Arts, established in 2011, which supports opportunities that broaden the scope of Middlebury students’ experiences in the performing arts. This residency is also supported by Chellis House–Women’s Resource Center, Women of Color, and Q&A: Queers and Allies.

March 9, Thursday

Performed by Rotimi Agbabiaka

8:00 PM, Wilson Hall, McCullough Student Center

A queer, black actor dreams of a dazzling career on the American stage but first he’ll have to leap over obstacles placed by an industry that isn’t always welcoming to applicants who are neither white nor straight.  Based on Rotimi Agbabiaka’s real life experience as a professional actor, Type/Caste is a fast paced and humorous journey into the peaks, pitfalls and hallucinations of a young artist’s quest for success in a gentrified and commercialized industry. Agbabiaka shape-shifts from character to character and uses monologue, song, dance, and drag to embody, explore, and expose the battles minority artists fight in the exclusive world of mainstream American theatre. Hailed as “a spectacular, neon-drenched coup-de-theatre” by 48 Hills magazine. Agbabiaka’s Middlebury visit is a student-initiated residency spearheaded by Akhila Khanna ’17, supported by the Rothrock Family Fund for Experiential Learning in the Performing Arts, Chellis House–Women’s Resource Center, Women of Color, and Q&A: Queers and Allies. Free. Open to Middlebury ID card holders only.

March 10, Friday
Master Class by Rotimi Agbabiaka: Techniques of Telling your own Story

2:00-5:00 PM, MCA Room 232

Actor/writer/director Rotimi Agbabiaka offers a theatre master class for Middlebury College students following his Type/Caste performance the previous evening. Free. Middlebury ID card holders can sign up here>> to participate. 

Artist website>>

Artist bio:
Rotimi Agbabiaka was born in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to Katy, Texas at the age of fourteen where he stumbled upon a theatre audition while waiting for his mom to pick him up after school. He got cast in the pivotal role of “Hotel Clerk” in Douglas Carter Beane’s “As Bees In Honey Drown” and has never looked back.

After studying English, Economics and Plan II at the University of Texas – Austin, Rotimi reliquinshed all plans for future financial stability and braved the frozen cornfields of the mid-west to earn an MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University.

He then moved to sometimes sunny San Francisco where he has performed in a variety of venues – from historical musical revues (Beach Blanket Babylon) to local parks (with the San Francisco Mime Troupe) to museums (The DeYoung) to reknowned regional theatres (Cal Shakes, Marin Theatre Company, Magic Theatre) to smaller local companies and the occasional nightclub.

He has written a solo play, Homeless, that won Best Solo Performance at the SF Fringe Festival, directed plays in the SF One Minute Play Festival, writes articles for Theatre Bay Area , and teaches youth theatre programs through San Francisco Shakespeare Company, Each One Reach One, and the SF Mime Troupe, where he is a Collective Member.


Rothrock Residencies

When we learned that a gift had been made to help support Performing Arts Series residencies, and ensure Middlebury students would have greater access to our visiting artists, we were thrilled!

The Rothrock Family Fund for Experiential Learning in the Performing Arts, established in 2011, supports opportunities that broaden the scope of Middlebury students’ experience in the performing arts.

Residencies for the 2011-12 seasons: (click on the photos to enlarge the images)

January 13, 2012
Pianist Rustem Hayroudinoff worked with students in Professor Su Lian Tan’s composition class and recorded their works. Scheduled for a 3 hour session, Hayroudinoff generously gave the entire day to provide feedback and recordings to the students participating.

February 16, 2012
Balla Kouyate and World Vision presented a lecture/demonstration for Professor Damascas Kafumbe’s Intro to World Music class.  After Kouyate spoke about his family’s musical legacy and demonstrated the ensemble’s various instruments, the students started a lively discussion with Kouyate about his music and culture. The students then spent informal time with Kouyate celebrating his birthday.

March 6-10, 2012
Cellist David Darling‘s visit to campus was the first “student-initiated” Rothrock Residency.  It was a jam-packed week, which included…

  • Music, Meditation, and Yoga with Russell Comstock and David Darling, co-sponsored with the Yoga Club
  • Open music jam with students, faculty, and staff
  • “Music and the Environment” lecture as part of the Spring 2012 Woodin Environmental Studies Colloquium Series
  • David Darling in Concert (free)
  • Improvising Together: Music and Dancing

A student violinist, who had not played for a while but found success playing in Darling’s more improvisational style, is again performing (thanks to Darling’s encouragement during his residency) and sent the following message…

“I had an excellent time this afternoon working with David Darling and I wanted to thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of that experience.  I really feel as though I took a lot from his teaching!”

March 15, 2012
Choreographer Kyle Abraham and his dance company Abraham.In.Motion led a vigorous master class in intermediate technique for our students, and also presented a lunchtime lecture/demonstration investigating Abraham’s creative process and introducing elements of their touring work, The Radio Show.

April 9-10, 2012
Dancer/filmmaker Erika Randall was in residence for two days, and along with presenting a lecture/demonstration about her experiences with choreography from both  dance performance and film perspectives, she taught a modern technique master class to our dance students, and offered a screening of her film, Leading Ladies.

All in all, a very successful first year.  Next year will also include theatre and jazz residencies as well.