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Mary Cochran

About Me

My name is Mary Cochran. I danced for Paul Taylor for a dozen years and Nikolais Dance Theatre for two years before that. I thought I finished performing in 2008, dancing five brilliant works by Sara Hook with David Parker as my partner at the Harvard Dance Center. Recently, and much to my surprise, I began performing again in my own work incorporating text, song, sounding, movement, and dark comedy.

I have been full-time in the academic "arena" since the fall of 1996.

For the past decade, I have mainly focused on running a huge department (2,000 students), serving the field by work on boards and granting panels, writing as an outside reviewer in many contexts, and supporting artists and their work through direct employment, free studio space, or helping with other needs.

This year, during my sabbatical, I am continuing R&D into my methodologies of embodied creative explorations to unlock creative powers, deepen leadership skills, and as therapeutic practice.

I am passionate about the healing and revealing power of movement, vocal work, and, of course, laughter. Over the years I have used what I call "the methodology of mystery" with 3rd graders, professional dancers, basketball players, seniors with Parkinson's disease, businessmen, Chinese professional folk dancers, inner city high schoolers - many different populations - and it works. I always hear that people feel a renewed sense of curiosity about the inner and outer world, a new and subtle awareness of their soma, and a delightful sense of surprise at what they and their fellow human beings can create individually and collectively. It is life affirming and thus enhances self-esteem, courage, community, collaboration and leadership. When people find their voices together, much good can happen.

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