After completing a B.F.A in Theater (Ohio University) and an M.A. in Dance (University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana), Diane Frank taught for four years in the Dance Department at the University of Maryland, where she was a founding member of the Maryland Dance Theater. She then moved to New York City to begin an eleven-year career with Douglas Dunn and Dancers, touring nationally and internationally. As a scholarship student, she was invited by Merce Cunningham to join the teaching staff of
What did the Fellowship or Laureate mean to you at the time you received it?
This award was a validation of the quality of work I was doing, as well as a sense of belonging to the community of artists to which I aspired to belong.
What do you do now? Has your art evolved or changed?
I am still choreographing, teaching, and organizing within both the professional dance community and within dance education at the university level. I am more aware of the kind of through-line and lineage to which my work belongs. I am aware that my work with young dance artists is a contribution to the ongoing emerging generation. I am still working project to project. I am, after a long stretch, involved in performing again - differently, of course, from my years as a young dancer.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an emerging artist?
Work daily and persist. Go see everything that your peers are doing, and put yourself next to master artists whenever you can - as teachers, collaborators, co-conspirators - because they will elevate your work by challenging you to dig deep.
Briefly, how would you describe the state of the arts locally, as well as national and beyond?
Evolving, tech-savvy, urban, culturally diverse.
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