Tere O’Connor was a ballet instructor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for nine years (1990-99). He has been an artist-in-residence at Ohio State University several times and has taught at the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Colorado Dance Festival, University of Minnesota, Arizona State University, University of Illinois, Ohio University; School for New Dance Development, The Netherlands; Impulstanz, Austria; among many others. In addition to teaching workshops in technique and composition, he has been a facilitator for Fieldwork and a Consulting Artist for Performance Space 122. He teaches regularly at Movement Research in New York City. O’Connor is currently a Center for Advanced Studies Professor in the Dance Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

Making Dances (Composition Workshops)

Tere O’Connor has developed a method for teaching choreography which grew organically out of his own auto-didactic research into the art form. Rejecting a “good/bad” paradigm, his desire is for artists to create problem-solving systems based on the structure of their own thought process and to rigorously pursue the “science” of their poetics. Through the daily creation of little dance works, the artist focuses his/her attention on developing an analytical eye for the fundamental metaphors in the work. The process involves locating, through a hyper-personal investigation, the seeds of a universal voice. To facilitate a method for developing a “vocabulary” and to extract meaning from it, a series of questions are posed. These are based on the emotional range in the body, internal music, dramatic structure, history, culture, aesthetics and the inter-relatedness of these elements in a work. Time is spent considering the elision of personal reference with common human themes and the particular way in which these co-exist in dance. The goal is to gain the objectivity necessary to scrutinize the referential arena of one’s work resulting in dances whose legibility is found in exactitude of structure – detached from denotative interpretation of “symbols”.

Repertory/Commissioned Works

Tere O’Connor creates original works for, as well as sets existing repertory on professional and university companies.