Emeritus Faculty

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Mary A. Brennan

Mary Alice Brennan, Ph.D.,CMA Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison, joined the faculty/staff of the Dance Program in 1967 and has served as chair of the program three times since then. Her research articles on creativity in dance and the movement analysis of dance style have appeared in publications such as the Journal of Creative Behavior, Research Quarterly of Exercise and Sport, Perceptual Motor Skills, Dance: Selected Research, Dance and Technology and Researching Dance: Evolving Modes of Inquiry. She was the 1985 National Dance Association Scholar and has twice been a Fulbright Scholar to India. She co-coordinated the first International Dance and Technology Conference in 1992 and is one of five arts faculty who developed the new Interarts and Technology degree program at the UW-Madison. During 1993-1995 she served as a member of the Dance Task Force that developed the National Standards for Dance in Education. She is a former Board Member on the Wisconsin Dance Council, Hancock Center for the movement Arts and Therapies and the Call for Peace Drum and Dance Company.



Claudia Melrose

Claudia Melrose, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison, has performed in major cities of Europe, South America, North Africa and the U.S. as a member of the Alwin Nikolais Dance Co., as choreographer/director of the Melrose Motion Company, and as performer/choreographer in the Melrose & Morgan Duo. Prof Melrose has been a perennial advocate of African dance and music on the Madison campus for the past 15 years. Ms. Melrose's affinity for African-derived dance forms evolved from the profound influence guest artist Pearl Primus had on her when she was a young dance student. This was later rekindled when, as a teacher in the UW-Madison Dance Program in the 1980s, she collaborated with Clyde Morgan, a specialist in Afro-Brazilian dance. She studied dance at the University of Ghana-Legon in the summer of 1993, returning in 1994 as a Fulbright Fellow. She shared her experiences and passion for West African dance with her colleagues and students in Madison by bringing in the exciting Ghanaian dance and drummer, Habib Idrissu, as guest artist in the fall of 1995, and by continuing to teach her popular elective class in West African Dance and Music.



Anna Nassif

Anna Nassif, Emeritus Professor, MFA, UW-Madison, joined the dance faculty in 1967 and served as chairperson 1979-1981.  Her dance education includes working with Martha Graham, Louis Horst, Erick Hawkins, Nina Fonaroff and Alwin Nikolais.  During her MFA she studied music alongside dance leading her to work as an instructor in music in 1956-1957.  She has received numerous grants to pursue research in performance and choreography in South East Asia, Spain and India.  She has presented approximately 200 choreographic works, master classes and lecture demonstrations. She published five articles in 1990 and is the author of an unpublished manuscript, Choreographing the Wisconsin Dance Idea.  She has founded, developed and taught all levels of dance repertory, along with having taught various levels of technique. She has taught and developed advanced courses in composition, history, theory, philosophy, production and criticism that live on in the University Dance Program today. More information can be found on Anna Nassif's website.




Tibor Zana

Tibor L. Zana, Emeritus Professor, MFA, UW-Madison, (Television Production and Direction) joined the Dance Faculty in 1964. He established ballet courses in the department and served as Chair of the Dance Program on two occasions. Along with four other colleagues in the 1980s, he collaborated to create the innovative major in Interarts and Technology (IATECH). The IATECH program was instrumental in bringing students from various departments together to learn about the fusion of dance composition, electronic music, video, and computers. During his undergraduate years (Carroll College, BA, 1961) he founded ballet schools and taught in several Wisconsin communities. These experiences lead to a vision of how to create more opportunities for dancers and audiences throughout the State. First, he founded the Madison School of Ballet in 1961 and co-directed it with his wife, Betty (Bess) Zana, until 1990.  Second, he founded the non-profit Wisconsin Ballet Company, incorporated in 1961. Third, he established ballet courses at the University within the Dance Department. As of today, the performances of the “Nutcracker” ballet, which he established in 1964, lives on in Madison through the current Madison Ballet.

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