When “Necessary Beauty,” Bebe Miller’s multimedia dance piece about the unexpected, artful moments of daily life, debuted on a Columbus, Ohio, stage in 2008, one newspaper reviewer described the performance as the most flawlessly constructed of the five pieces Ohio State has presented since alumna Miller joined its faculty.
For nearly 35 years, Bebe Miller, a veteran choreographer and dancer who performed professionally for decades, has been developing dances that reach into the heart and psyche of people as they go about their daily lives. She says her choreography “is rooted in exploring the human condition,” and explains, “My work depends on the permission we’re granted to reveal the sub-context of our interactions, and I build new dances by finding strategies to unearth that subtext. Our bodies, focus, intention and awkward grace hold all the evidence we need.”
Since she formed Bebe Miller Company in 1985, Ms. Miller has created more than 50 dance works that have been performed in nearly 400 engagements worldwide. Her company encompasses choreography, writing, film, video and digital media. Ms. Miller expresses a faith in the moving body as a record of thought, experience and beauty. The Village Voice described Miller as “a tender visionary, a subtle social political commentator.”
Miller has earned numerous awards and fellowships including four New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards, and significant support from the National Endowments for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.
After she graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in dance, Ms. Miller danced with the Nina Wiener Troupe before she formed her own dance company, where she relentlessly pursued “an interest in finding a physical language for the human condition.” Miller taught at her alma mater for 17 years before she retired as distinguished professor of dance in the College of Arts and Humanities.
Her dance company’s latest project, Vault, is a series of national gatherings where artists share innovative methodologies for documenting, archiving, and sharing the dance-making process. She serves on the board of directors for New York City’s Dance Theater Workshop and Danspace Project.
Bebe Miller, for your creativity and vision for an art in motion, for your insights into the human condition that you flawlessly express in movement, and for your passion of encouraging innovative collaboration in the world of dance, Franklin & Marshall College bestows upon you the Honorary Degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa.