12/5 – Symposium – Celebrating 65 Years of Rooms

Drawing: Carol Prud’homme Davis*

A virtual symposium,
“Celebrating 65 Years of Sokolow’s Rooms
Saturday, December 5, 2020
2:00 – 3:30 pm EST

This free Zoom webinar was moderated by Dance Enthusiast founder and Editor-in-Chief, Christine Jowers. Featured speakers included Professor Neil Baldwin, Library of Congress dance curator Libby Smigel, and Library of Congress senior musicologist Loras John Schissel. Panelists included dancers who have performed Rooms across a half-century.

Watch the recording

Artistic Director Samantha Geracht, Associate Artistic Directors Eleanor Bunker and Lauren Naslund, and company members have been teaching—virtually—sections from Rooms this fall to college dance departments around the country. 

“The pandemic is still with us and we are all in uncharted artistic territory. The creativity and determination with which the dancers, faculty, and staff have met these new challenges have been inspirational.”

Students at seven colleges are studying and presenting excerpts of Rooms this year, and no two schools produced the piece the same way.  In attendance at the symposium will be members of each college, including Kansas State University, Loyola University Chicago, CSU Fullerton, Williams College, College of Southern Idaho, Kanopy Dance, and Ailey/Fordham.

Panelists also included film makers from the colleges, creators of virtual Rooms performances. The event incorporated a collage from the videos made this fall.


Neil Baldwin, PhD, is Critic in Residence at The Blended Campus,  Professor Emeritus of Theatre & Dance in the College of the Arts at Montclair State University, and the author of Martha Graham: When Dance Became Modern, forthcoming from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

Loras John Schissel is a senior musicologist at the Library of Congress and a leading authority on the music of Percy Aldridge Grainger, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor Serge Koussevitzky. 

Libby Smigel MFA PhD is the dance curator at the Library of Congress. Previously, Libby was Executive Director at Dance Heritage Coalition, where she initiated programs and archival assistance directed specifically to the dance field’s practitioners and performers: Artist-driven archiving, the Artist’s Legacy Toolkit, and outreach to artists to digitize obsolete format videos to national preservation and access standards.  


Students who studied Rooms this fall, film makers, and dancers who have performed Rooms over half a century, including:

Dancers: Jim May, Hannah Kahn, Nancy Alfaro, Susan Thomasson, Eleanor Bunker, Pablo Francisco Ruvalcaba, and Luis Gabriel Zaragoza.

Film makers and producers: Sarah Rara (Williams College), Tom Badoud (CSU Fullerton), Laura Keener (Kansas State University), Jake Snell (Loyola University Chicago), and Lauren Naslund.


*To see more drawings from Rooms by Carol Prud’homme Davis, visit our virtual gallery.