Betsy Cooper- The Hartt School-University of Hartford
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Betsy Cooper

Professor; Dean of the Hartt School


Amy Manfredi biography photo

Professor Betsy Cooper is Dean of The Hartt School, University of Hartford. From 2012-2015, she served as Divisional Dean of Arts in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington and directed their Dance Program from 2001-2013. Prior to university teaching, she performed with classical and contemporary companies nationally and abroad, including Nationaltheater Mannheim, Matthew Nash Music & Dance, San Francisco Opera Ballet, Makarova & Company and Connecticut Ballet. Cooper is an artist/scholar who remains active as a performer, choreographer and dance educator. In Seattle, she was guest faculty at Cornish College and the Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and a frequent guest lecturer and panel moderator at Seattle’s major performing arts venues. For seven seasons, Cooper was a member of the Seattle Dance Project, premiering in works by Edward Liang, Molissa Fenley, Hilde Koch, Heidi Vierthaler and other renown choreographers.  Her choreography has been commissioned by Seattle Dance Project, Connecticut Ballet, Bucknell University, Western Washington University, and Arc Dance Company, where she was the resident choreographer from 2007-2011.  Cooper’s scholarly research probes at the intersections of dance, politics, and censorship of the body in mid-20th century concert dance and the Hollywood film industry. She has published articles on the Federal Dance Project in Theatre Research International, Dance Research Journal and The International Dictionary of Modern Dance. Her recent work, "The Body Censored: Dance, Morality and the Production Code during the Golden Age of the Film Musical," appears in Dance on Its Own Terms: Histories and Methodologies, published by Oxford University Press. Cooper is on the editorial review board of the Journal of Dance Education, where she has contributed articles on engaged learning and writing practices. She has also recently co-edited a special topics issue on writing and performing in the performing and visual arts for the journal, Across the Disciplines.  Cooper holds an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Washington, a B.A., with honors, in Archeological Studies from Yale University, and is a recipient of a 2004 Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Washington.