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Dance professor Tere O'Connor one of 20 named a Doris Duke Artist

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Dance professor Tere O'Connor has been named a Doris Duke Artist.

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4/30/2013 | Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor | 217-333-0568;

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Tere O’Connor, a professor of dance at the University of Illinois, has been granted a Doris Duke Artist Award. The awards represent a deep investment in the potential of the 20 recipient artists, who each receive an unrestricted $225,000 grant, plus $25,000 to fund an audience-development project and another $25,000 to invest in a retirement account that will allow them to continue their creative work later in life.

Artists in the fields of contemporary dance, jazz, theater and related interdisciplinary work are selected as Doris Duke Artists through a rigorous anonymous peer review. No one can apply for these awards; instead, candidates are culled from a pool of artists who have won at least three designated national accolades during the preceding decade.

O’Connor has been named a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow (2009) and a Guggenheim Fellow (1993), and has won three New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Awards. He has received multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Harkness Foundation for Dance and other organizations.

O’Connor has been making dances since 1982, and has created more than 35 pieces for his New York-based company, Tere O’Connor Dance, which has toured the world. He has created commissioned work for Lyon Opera Ballet, the White Oak Dance Project and its artistic director, Mikhail Baryshnikov.

O’Connor’s colleagues in the U. of I.’s College of Fine and Applied Arts recently gave him one of two research awards (landscape architecture professor William Sullivan received the other one).

“Tere is a great example of an artist who maintains an active, cutting-edge practice while also being highly engaged on our campus,” said Ed Feser the dean of the college. “He very much helps put Illinois ‘on the map’ in dance.”

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