Alumnus & Dancer Graces Campus

Posted on September 1st, 2009 by

Flickinger taught "Fundamentals of Modern Dance" for general education students and intermediate and advanced level dance classes, and a beginning acting class.

Flickinger taught "Fundamentals of Modern Dance" for general education students and intermediate and advanced level dance classes, and a beginning acting class.


By Maren Balk ’09

Philip Flickinger, a professional dancer and ’01 Gustavus graduate, returned to campus to share his dance expertise. He mentored students and taught various dance classes on-campus March 4-10. Flickinger taught “Fundamentals of Modern Dance” for general education students and intermediate and advanced level dance classes, and a beginning acting class.

In these classes, he worked interactively with students on a physically athletic form of modern dance technique. Flickinger discussed the extreme athleticism of dance and the physical demands of his position in the Diavolo Company. Flickinger credited the supportive dance community and positive atmosphere at Gustavus for introducing him to the profession and making it appealing as a career.

Students appreciated working with the prestigious actor/dancer. “I enjoyed having Philip at Gustavus because not only did it give us a great opportunity to learn from an experienced professional dancer with a unique dancing style, but it was also amazing to dance with a Gustavus dance alum,” said junior nursing major and dance minor Katelyn Pedersen. “I feel that we were able to connect and learn at a much different level, and wish that we had more opportunities to learn from alumni,” said Pedersen.

“Having Philip guest-teach our Advanced Modern Class was wonderful on so many levels. His guest stay at the college provided an opportunity for dance students at Gustavus to experience exciting and new things from across the country. It also allowed those of us who are considering dance after leaving Gustavus to see what options are available,” stated senior sociology/anthropology major and dance minor Ryan Mather.

Flickinger graduated from Gustavus in the first class of the regular dance major. Coming from a very small hometown, where he played baseball and basketball, Flickinger had no intention of dancing. Interest grew after a friend convinced him to take a beginning ballet class. He was one of three students to graduate with an individualized major in dance.

Flickinger pursued dance further at the University of Colorado-Boulder where he received his M.F.A. in ’05. During this time, he danced with the Frequent Flyers Productions and the Hannah Kahn Dance Company. He has also danced with many professionals including Katie Elliott, director and professional ballerina of Third Law Dance/Theater, and Deborah Reshotko, executive director of Speaking of Dance Company in Denver, Colo. Currently, Flickinger is one of 10 members performing in the internationally known Diavolo Dance Company located in Los Angeles, Calif.

There are a number of students, like Philip, who discover and become passionate about dance over their time at Gustavus. Having a guest artist that has achieved in dance, gives students optimism about their future. Philip also has helped beginning dance students realize in an up close and personal interaction, that dance isn’t impossible. Most people don’t understand it and Philip has shed light on the basic elements of dance for anyone” said Michele Rusinko, professor of theatre and dance and head of the Gustavus Dance Company.

The Diavolo Dance Company, founded by Jacques Heim in 1992, takes an inter-disciplinary approach to acting and dance. The Diavolo Company has developed a movement vocabulary that creates an almost cinematic experience of powerful images that develop abstract narratives of the human condition. The programs have been compared to “Cirque de Solei” with a twist.

 

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