by Tom Lee
The house was full at the Harvard Dance Center last Saturday night, December 4, as the Harvard Radcliffe Modern Dance Company celebrated the retirement of OFA Dance Director Elizabeth Bergmann during their performance of "Traces Of," a showcase of student choreography that also included two works by Bergmann.
The latter pieces—"Bach Étude" and "Solitary/Solidarity"—were restaged by Dance Program instructor Jodi Leigh Allen, and exquisitely performed by the students. Bergmann's significant influence as an artist, teacher and mentor was evident in some of the student-created works, which had "traces of" her signature wit, precision and power.
At a post-performance reception, Bergmann's students—some current, some alums—her partner Carol Pettengill, family members, friends, colleagues and fans toasted her extraordinary career with tributes and anecdotes. Our dear Liz may be retiring to a full and less frigid life in Florida, but it's clearly evident that her generous spirit and dedication will keep us all warm for years to come.
[Caption: Elizabeth Bergmann takes a bow with student dancers at the December 4 performance.]
[Caption: OFA Dance Program staff members Marin Orlosky Randow '07-'08 and Jessica Berson, instructors Katie Ulissey, Brenda Divelbliss and Jodi Leigh Allen, and staff member Christine Bennett share a laugh with Bergmann at a post-performance reception (Tim Byrne photos).]