Alumni Video Project
For the love of dance
RDT began as a unique modern dance company, a bold experiment whose story can be told in many ways. The success of the company is made evident by hearing how the RDT experience affected the lives of company dancers. Their artistry was nurtured by the process and by the guest artists and instructors who choreographed work, trained, and coached these dedicated performers. More than 100 RDT dancers have built a dance institution that has served the local and national community in countless ways and created the nation’s first successful modern dance repertory company.
As part of our 55th Anniversary EMERALD season, we asked Lynne Wimmer, a former company dancer and board member, to interview 25 RDT alumni who were invited to share their memories. Each was asked when and why they began to dance and how the RDT experience influenced their artistry or affected other areas of their life. They were also encouraged to describe pivotal experiences or advice offered by a guest artist.
We appreciate the dancers’ willingness to be interviewed. During the filming, many favorite stories were archived. These edited versions will give audiences an intimate view of RDT history. Recollections of rehearsing, touring, and performing provide a varied and candid look into the life of a professional dancer.
Photo essay created by Lynne Wimmer
RDT wishes to thank the many outstanding photographers who have documented our history: Martha Swope, Jack Vartoogian, Leon Reese, Ross Terry, Doug Bernstein, Mark Wagner, Mort Rosenfeld, Nathan Sweet, Mickey Hoelscher, Jeff Zhang, Jeffrey D. Allred, Scott Peterson, Chris Peddecord, and Sharon Kain.
Lynne Wimmer was a professor in the Department of Theater and Dance from 1983-2010 at the University of South Florida where she taught modern dance, choreography, kinesiology and Laban Moment Analysis. She received a BFA from the Julliard School in New York City and an MFA from the University of Utah.
Her professional career includes nine years as a member of Repertory Dance Theatre from 1968-1977, and a year and a half with the Ballet Felix Blaska in Paris, France. Lynne directed her own company, Wimmer Wimmer and Dancers, for five years and is the recipient of two Fulbright Lecturer awards, one to teach and choreograph in Mexico and one to teach and choreograph in Costa Rica. She has received choreographic grants from the arts councils in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Utah as well as from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work has been performed by various university and professional modern dance companies in the U.S. and internationally by companies in Europe, Costa Rica and Mexico. Her current research lies in the field of dance for camera and documentary video.