Director of Dance and MFA Dance Coordinator
Penelope Hanstein, former Chair of the Department of Dance and Director of the School of the Arts at Texas Woman’s University, earned the PhD in Art Education from The Ohio State University, the MFA in Dance from the University of California, Irvine, and the BA in Dance from Arizona State University. Having spent the majority of her career as a dancer and choreographer, she teaches and writes from the perspective of the working artist. She is well known for her work exploring artistic processes, the nature of artmaking in dance, and the aesthetics of leadership and has presented her work in numerous national and international teaching and scholarly forums.
From 1986-1998, Dr. Hanstein was a Visiting Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City, where she taught transdisciplinary courses as part of the summer faculty and in 1998 and 2011 she presented the Keynote Address at the annual meetings of the Korean Society for Dance in Seoul, South Korea, and in 2002 was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Japan Society of Dance Research. She is the co-editor/author of Researching Dance: Evolving Modes of Inquiry and has taught at several universities in Seoul, as well as Mukogawa Woman’s University in Japan. In 2013 and 2015 she taught workshops in theorizing artistic practices for the low-residential MFA program at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and in 2014 taught online courses at Rutgers University. She is a Past-President of the Congress on Research in Dance, and during her tenure at TWU, was active in university governance, having served as Speaker of the Faculty Senate and participated in a wide range of university policy, strategic planning, and cross-disciplinary initiatives.
Drawing on her nearly 30 years of experience in doctoral education at TWU, in 2005 Dr. Hanstein designed the first Low-Residential PhD in Dance program in the U.S. and the only program to focus specifically on theorizing artistic practice. Along with dance faculty colleagues, the Low-Residential PhD curriculum was developed and implemented in June 2006. She served as a member of the National Association of Schools of Dance Commission on Accreditation from 2004 – 2012, chairing the Commission from 2009-2012, member of the NASD Board of Directors, and visiting evaluator for schools seeking national accreditation. She has served as a program review, curriculum, and assessment consultant for numerous college and university dance programs throughout the U.S. In April 2011 Dr. Hanstein was named the 2011 Cornaro Professor, the highest honor awarded to a Texas Woman’s University faculty member, and was granted emeritus status by the TWU Board of Regents. After nearly 40 years in higher education, Dr. Hanstein retired in August 2011 in order to pursue new creative opportunities, among them, continuing to serve as a higher education consultant and teaching a course in the aesthetics of artmaking as part of the new MFA program at Montclair State University.
Allen H. Maniker
Allen H. Maniker, MD, FAANS, is the retired Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. He is a retired Professor of Neurosurgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
A diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgeons, Dr. Maniker has served as President of the Peripheral Nerve Task Force of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He is the author of Operative Exposures in Peripheral Nerve Surgery as well as 48 peer reviewed papers and 18 book chapters. He has been an invited visiting Professor at several Universities both in the United States and abroad and has made presentations both in the United States and abroad on neurosurgery and peripheral nerve surgery topics.
After graduating from the Juilliard School Department of Dance under Martha Hill he performed with the Sophie Maslow Dance Company, the Bat Dor Dance Company of Israel, The New York Baroque Dance Company and the Joyce Trisler Danscompany. He performed for one season as a guest with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Dr. Maniker then went on to receive his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. He completed an Internship in general surgery and a Residency in Neurological Surgery at The New Jersey Medical School.
Trebien Pollard is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a BS in Mathematics Education and a MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He received training at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Florida A & M University, Florida State University, Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, and from a number of gifted teachers and choreographers. Trebien has performed with many dance companies, including Tania Isaac Dance, Nia Love, Martha Graham Ensemble, RIOULT, Pearl Lang Dance Theatre, Rebecca Stenn Co., Erick Hawkins Dance Co., the MET (Metropolitan Opera Ballet), Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, Bebe Miller Company and Pilobolus. He has also worked as a guest artist with Urban Bush Women.
As a choreographer, Trebien’s work has been performed throughout United States, England and Japan. He has choreographed and toured, nationally and internationally, with RASA recording artist ‘Nomad’. Trebien has also choreographed William Electric Black’s The Hamlet Project, The Damned: A Rock Musical and Frankenstein: The Rock Musical.
Trebien appeared in Mannic Production’s feature film “Ghostlight”, starring Richard Move as ‘Martha Graham’. As well as appearing in several photography books; In My Stairwell (Mark Seliger), Twisted Yoga (Pilobolus), Body Knots and Passion & Lines (Howard Schatz). He has been on faculty at the American Dance Festival, Queens College, Adelphi University, the University of Southern Mississippi, Goucher College, Middlebury College and Marymount Manhattan College, as well as a licensed certified GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® personal trainer. Currently, Trebien is an Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo.
Claire Porter, choreographer/performer/writer, known for her comedic text and movement work and her skilled teaching, has performed her work, Claire Porter / PORTABLES, in Scotland, India, Germany, Holland, England, Latvia and Korea and in the New York City area at DTW, Danspace St. Mark’s Church, PS 122, Joe’s Pub, The Kitchen, The Joyce Theater, Joyce SOHO, 92nd St. Y, Town Hall, The Bottom Line, The NY Horticulture Society, NJPAC and Liberty Science Center. PORTABLES has also showcased at the American Dance Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center, The Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy, Bates Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, Florida Dance Festival, The Kennedy Center, Woolly Mammoth Theater DC, Tampa Bay Off Center Theater, Duncan Theater Palm Beach FL, Center Stage Raleigh NC, The Southern Theater Minneapolis MN and at The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard. Porter appears at fundraisers and special events and created and performed Namely, Muscles, recipient of the NYC Fringe Festival 2010’s Overall Excellence Award, at festivals, conferences, theaters, medical schools and universities. Intrigued by syntax Claire created Sen-tence performed at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater produced by DanceNow that included Falling for Prepositions, Witnessing Adverbs and Pronoun Emergency. At Montclair State University she created Sentenced to Sentences, at NYU, Having Conjunctions and at Purchase College, Out of The Question.
Porter is the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Residency in Bellagio Italy 2016, a Guggenheim Fellowship 2013, several National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowships, New Jersey State Council for the Arts Choreography Fellowships, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Awards, NewMusicUSA Awards and Commissions from Dance Theater Workshop’s First Light Project, The 92nd St Y Harkness Dance Festival, Art Matters, Meet The Composer, VOGUE Magazine, University Dance Companies and Domino’s Pizza Company. Porter has an MA in Dance from Ohio State, a BA in Mathematics from The College of New Rochelle, is on the Advisory Board of DanceNJ and is a Laban Movement Analyst. Claire is represented by Jodi Kaplan and Associates.
Apollinaire Scherr is the New York-based dance critic for the Financial Times. She has written regularly for the New Yorker, The New York Times, and Newsday, and contributed to Salon, New York magazine, the Village Voice, Elle, the San Francisco Chronicle, Barnard magazine, and Flash Art International. She gave the 2010 keynote address for the Dance Critics Association and received a New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dance Research Fellowship in 2019. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley and an MA in English Literature from Cornell University. As a graduate student at Cornell University, she was funded by a five-year Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities. She currently teaches undergraduate seminars on writing on the arts at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Manhattan and the MFA course Performance Perspectives at Montclair State University. She lives in Sunnyside, Queens.