Dance Masters at Chapman returns for a four-day extravaganza filled with lectures, guest artist master classes, and performance. This year the program will focus not only on dance but music and architecture, and how they work together on stage. “[Dance Masers] is an energy of collaboration,” says Julianne O’Brien, department chair for dance. “The purpose is to encourage students to reach out [to other artists]… and see how ideas work together.”

The genesis of Dance Masters came about three years ago with internationally acclaimed dancer/choreographer Ido Tamor, who was recently named Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. As O’Brien recalls, Tadmor “brought many ideas to Chapman… and wanted students not to just see [dance] but work intimately with artists.”

Seniors will have the opportunity to perform their BFA Dance Showcase solos before each guest artist and receive immediate feedback on their choreography, technique, and use of music. In addition, music composition majors will get the chance to work with concert pianist Daniel Gortler in a master class on Romanticism and 19th-century topics. “Students are not just watching masters but masters watching students.”

Dance Masters is not only designed for dancers but for the Chapman community as a whole. Acclaimed architect Charles Renfro will lead a discussion with parents and locals about the new dance facility on North Cypress Street, opening in fall 2021, as well as tour the the site. Additionally, the Department of Dance will host regional auditions for Peridance Summer Intensives led by Peridance Capezio Center founder Igal Perry. Auditions are open to dance students (ages 15–25).

The event includes a collaborative public performance on Friday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Waltmar Theatre, featuring an improvisational piece by 18 select dancers based on a presentation given by Renfro, as well as music by concert pianist Daniel Gortler and Chapman’s own Daniel Alfred Wachs, choreography by Perry and Tadmor performed by O’Brien, Tadmor, and Colin Heininger of Peridance. Tickets are on sale now at

“Dance Masters exists to expose students what dance could be and open people’s eyes outside the box.”

Guest artists include:

  • Igal Perry (Founder, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company)
  • Ido Tadmor (Chapman University Presidential Fellow in Dance)
  • Daniel Gortler (Concert Pianist)
  • Charles Renfro (Architect/Partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfro)

Along with:

  • Colin Heininger (Peridance Contemporary Dance Company)
  • Julianne O’Brien (Chair, Chapman University Department of Dance)
  • Daniel Alfred Wachs (Music Director and Conductor, The Chapman Orchestra)