Current Board of Directors, Beverly Blossom Foundation
Michael Blossom, the son of dancer/choreographer Beverly Blossom and actor/poet/writer Roberts Blossom, was born in New York City and grew up in Urbana, Illinois. He took care of Beverly for the last few years of her life in Chicago, and while he was a fan of her performances all his life, only upon her death in 2014 did he realize that the trove of materials she left behind was far too rich and important to neglect or throw away. Currently the owner of a retail fashion boutique in Chicago, Florodora (where Beverly was a regular customer) he also has past experience as a database designer for an art cataloging system at the Art Institute of Chicago. He plans to combine his knowledge of Beverly's work with his expertise to turn Beverly's legacy into something useful to the dance community and beyond, with the help of BBF's board members.
Pat came to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1973, six years after Beverly Blossom joined the faculty, and served as department head and producing director for department concerts from 1977 until her retirement in 2001. She worked closely with BB for seventeen years and had the pleasure of performing in two of her works--Kitsch and Brides. She was instrumental in organizing the exhibits of Beverly’s photographs, props and costumes at UIUC in November, 2015, both in the Music and Performing Arts Library and at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
Her service to the profession includes leadership in the American College Dance Festival Association, the Council of Dance Administrators, and the National Association of Schools of Dance. Professor Knowles was the recipient of the 2005 Alma Hawkins Award for Excellence in Dance Education, awarded by the Council of Dance Administrators. She resides in Urbana, IL.
Peter McDowell is Managing Director of four-time Grammy-award winning sextet Eighth Blackbird. Eighth Blackbird, a vibrant Chicago-based nonprofit organization and touring ensemble, recently completed a unique and highly successful year-long residency at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art and received a prestigious $400,000 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Peter is an arts manager and speaker who has built a 20-year career working with high level performing artists and arts organizations. He has held leadership positions at Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs, New York’s Opera America, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and is Founder of Peter McDowell Arts Consulting, a company that provides the performance field with public relations, website development and career coaching. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; serves on the board of the Beverly Blossom Foundation and is a documentary filmmaker, currently in production with Jimmy In Saigon - www.jimmyinsaigon.com. He was recently named a 2016-18 DeVos Institute Fellow, where he is one of 13 arts managers from six countries to be selected for this highly competitive program that provides practical training in arts administration in Washington DC for four weeks each summer. www.petermcdowell.com
Henning Rübsam is the artistic director and choreographer of SENSEDANCE. Since 1992, he presents annual New York seasons with his company and has toured within the US and as far afield as Peru, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and his native Germany. Rübsam is on faculty at The Juilliard School (since 2006) and is a visiting guest artist at Texas Academy of Ballet (Carolyn Bognar, director). He produced the BEVERLY BLOSSOM MEMORIAL GALA at The Kaye Playhouse in NYC in honor of his late mentor on November 1, 2015.The rehearsal process of his new collaboration “And There was Morning” with composer Beata Moon was one of the first projects to be selected for documentation by the Contemporary American Dance Museum. He received his M.A. in dance education from Hunter College and earned his B.F.A. degree in dance from The Juilliard School, where mentors included Martha Hill and Elizabeth Keen. While at Juilliard, he performed as the Faun in the Nijinsky/Debussy ballet, worked extensively with Anna Sokolow, and toured internationally with the Limón Dance Company. Upon graduation he founded his own ensemble SENSEDANCE and continued to dance with many other choreographers. During his tenure with Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis Dance, Rübsam had the good fortune to have been taken under the wing of the delightful Beverly Blossom. He danced in her company in the 1990's and currently performs her duet "Invitation" as well as her solo "Shards."
Betsy Fisher has performed and presented her choreography throughout the US, Europe and Asia. Her repertory includes works by Wigman, Hoyer, Holm, Chladek, Vogelsang, Berger, Gosler, Nikolais, Louis, and Beverly Blossom. She is currently Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance and Professor of Dance at University of Hawai’i at Mānoa where she teaches dance technique, composition, and history. She also taught at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, UC Santa Cruz, as a Fulbright Scholar at The Theatre Academy of Finland, and at the Nikolais-Louis Dance Lab in NYC. She was a leading member of The Murray Louis Dance Company from 1980-88, and dance captain of that company 1984-88. Betsy holds a Doctorate of Arts from the Theater Academy of Finland, an MA from NYU, and a BFA-Dance from The Juilliard School. Her DVD, The German Lineage in Modern Dance, is available through Dancetime Publications.