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Sarah Foster-Sproull to Complete Dance Residency at W&L The New Zealand-based choreographer will teach a master class for the campus community on Jan. 30.

Sarah-FosterSproull-600x400 Sarah Foster-Sproull to Complete Dance Residency at W&LPhoto courtesy of Billy Wong, University of Auckland

Washington and Lee University welcomes choreographer Sarah Foster-Sproull to campus as the Pemberton Visiting Scholar in the Department of Theater, Dance and Film. Her week-long residency begins on Jan. 29, and she will give a master class in contemporary dance technique that is open to the campus community on Jan. 30 from 6:30-8 p.m. in the W&L Dance Studio located at 109 South Jefferson Street.

Foster-Sproull is a senior lecturer in dance studies at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and the artistic director of Foster Group Dance, which has been funded by Creative New Zealand since 2015. She was also appointed choreographer in residence at the Royal Ballet of New Zealand in 2020 and has previously worked with the Centre for Ballet and the Arts at New York University and the New York Choreographic Institute, affiliated with the New York City Ballet.

Foster-Sproull’s choreographic research ranges from large-scale works designed for up to 100 performers to intimate performances involving only one or two dancers. Her teaching practice focuses on movement as a tool for connection, humor and self-expression, and her Jan. 30 masterclass will emphasize conversation, experimentation and practice. Participants will work through a range of release-based phrases using creative analogies and music to encourage engagement with their own movement interests.

The rest of Foster-Sproull’s residency on campus will be spent working with 20 students in the W&L Repertory Dance Company, teaching them an intricate and long piece of choreography work titled “Forgotten Things.” This piece was created by students at the New Zealand School of Dance, and the W&L Repertory Dance Company will perform it during their March 2024 program.

Foster-Sproull is a graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance and holds a doctorate in creative practice from the University of Auckland. Her choreographic work has been performed internationally, and during her career as a performer, she was a founding dancer and choreographer of the New Zealand Dance Company.

The Pemberton Visiting Scholar residency is made possible through a generous contribution from W&L’s Center for International Education.