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Allegra Fuller Snyder is Professor Emerita of Dance and former Director of the pioneering Graduate Program in Dance Ethnology at UCLA. She has also served as Chair of the Faculty, School of the Arts and chaired the Department of Dance as well as directed the World Arts and Cultures, inter-college, interdisciplinary program intermittently from 1974 until her retirement in 1991. She was Visiting Professor of Performance Studies at New York University 1982-83, and Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey, Guildford, England 1983-84. She has also taught at CalArts and at Naropa Institute.
She has a comprehensive perspective of dance as she has been not only a performer and choreographer, but she has been involved with dance from the anthropological, historical, and therapeutic points of view. All of these concerns she feels can be explored and communicated through the use of film and video. Recent (2006) prestigious Marion Chace Foundation lecturer for the American Dance Therapy Association; and recipient of an award for Outstanding Leadership in Dance Research from the Congress on Dance Research, Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles (2006) Gary Bates Service to The Field Award (2006), as well as the 1992 Honoree of the Year, American Dance Guild,
Her research interests in Dance Ethnology have led her to serve as Chairperson of the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) 1975-77. She has directed or co-directed numerous national conferences such as the one on "Dance and Anthropology" for CORD (1972). She work has included field observation among certain American Indian tribes particularly the Yaqui, and research in Africa and Asia, including a brief Fulbright Visiting Lectureship in Bombay, and three months of research in the State of Kerala, South India. She was recipient of a Fulbright-Western European Regional Research Scholarship 1983-84. In Nov.'86 she was delegate of the American Institute of Indian Studies to attend the inauguration of the Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts in New Delhi, India and in Dec.'87 was participant in the Eleventh Taniguchi Foundation International Symposium, sponsored by the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan. She was a selected presenter at the Hong Kong International Dance Conference, July 1990. The summers of '88, "92 and 2000 took her to Copenhagen, Denmark; Naplion, Greece and Korcula, Croatia where she delivered papers at meetings of the Study Group on Ethnochoreology of the International Council for Traditional Music. She served as conference co-organizer for the 1994 meeting in Poland.
Her firm commitment to the important and unique relationship, which exists between film, and now other visual media, and dance, was crystallized through her work with the International Film Foundation, in New York City, in 1949-1951. She was one of the few people in the field of dance to recognize the critical importance of film to all aspects of dance, a literature as well as a creative form. She organized and presented "A Look at Dance and Its History," a series of seven lectures with extensive use of film, including the first showing on the West Coast of Martha Graham's "Night Journey," New Dance Theatre, Los Angeles 1961 Created the series, "Dance-Film" for Committee of Fine Arts Productions, UCLA Royce Hall, (6 programs) January - February 1966 Her concern for the relation between dance and media caused her, in the Spring of 1968 to take a Leave of Absence from UCLA, to be a staff member of the National Endowment for the Arts - Office of Dance Programs - as an "Expert" to do an evaluation of the role films were now playing in connection with dance. The resulting conclusions were reflected in a report for NEA in 1968, which has served as a model for future developments in the field. She co-directed the first "Dance/Television Workshop" held at the American Dance Festival (1973) and a conference on "Researching Dance Through Film and Video" sponsored by the Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution (1986).. She has directed a number of films on dance including BAYANIHAN, (which won a special award as the best folkloric documentary at the Bilboa, Spain Film Festival, and also won a Golden Eagle Award), GESTURES OF SAND, REFLECTIONS ON CHOREOGRAPHY. A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities allowed her to make BAROQUE DANCE, 1675-1725, and WHEN THE FIRE DANCES BETWEEN THE TWO POLES, a film on Mary Wigman, was funded by the NEA. She more recently finished THOUGHTS ON THE ART OF DANCE-ISADORA DUNCAN 1877-1927. She served as a Core Consultant for DANCING, an eight-hour series for PBS. She currently continues work on projects which concern themselves with documentation and preservation of dance through media and as a Board Member of Dance Camera West since its founding.
She served in various capacities on the Dance Program of the National
Endowment for the Arts almost since its inception. She has been a Seminar Director of the Summer Programs for College Teachers sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities on several occasions. She has also served as panelist and reader for the organization, and on the Advisory Screening Committee, Council for International Exchange of Scholars. . From 1971 – 76 she served on the Executive Committee, Western Division, of the Association of American Dance Companies which was the precursor of the Los Angeles based Dance Resource Center
Since 1983 she has served, first as Exec. Dir. and then as President and Chairperson, now Honorary member of the Board of Directors, of the Buckminster Fuller Institute. She is cited in The Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Society, Who's Who in the West, World Who's Who of Women in Education, and others.