College of Communication and Fine Arts Department of Theatre & Dance
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Holly Lau

Department Chair, Professor

Holly Lau
144 A Theatre Bldg
(901) 678-3193

Holly received her MFA from The Ohio State University in 1991. She joined the U of M faculty that same year and her teaching specialties are in the areas of performance, modern dance, dance history, and labanotation.

Holly has been a professor of dance and theatre performance at the University of Memphis for 21 years. She served as Director of Dance from 1999 – 2003 and Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Theatre & Dance from 2009 until 2012. As a choreographer, Lau has worked to expand the audience for modern dance. In 1993 she reconstructed The Negro Spirituals by Helen Tamiris while also publishing articles on the politics of race in conjunction with that reconstruction for which she received the Superior Performance in University Research (SPUR) award. Other significant danceworks include; Private Words; The Hiding of Anne Frank's Diary, Grandmas in Tennis Shoes and The Garden of Tranquility (in a Japanese Garden). Her solo show, Transgressions: Three Instances toured nationally and internationally in 2003- 2004 and received the Dean's Creative Achievement award in 2006.

Lau was a co-writer for the Dance Curriculum Guidelines for Tennessee and the former editor for the newsletter of The Society of Dance History Scholars. In 1996 she conceived, designed and implemented a thriving arts-infused education model for an inner-city Memphis school. In 2012, Professor Lau was awarded the prestigious Benjamin W. Rawlins, Jr. Meritorious Professorship Award recognizing her sustained contributions to scholarly-creative activity, teaching, service, and outreach. Lau is currently a company member of Playback Memphis, a professional improvisational theatre ensemble.

Department of Theatre & Dance
144 Theatre Building
Phone: (901) 678-2523
Fax: (901) 678-1350

Box Office: (901) 678-2576
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