Internationally known performer, choreographer and dance educator Ruth Barnes taught at the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York before moving to France in the mid-1980s – and then back to the US in 2000. The first American choreographer to benefit from a Fulbright Fellowship to work in the United Kingdom (1974-1975), she has toured worldwide as a soloist and created works for professional companies and with independent performers in the US and in Europe. Thanks to a Summer Faculty Fellowship and an extended residency at Dance Base, Edinburgh, Ruth spent the summer of 2008 in Edinburgh, and created Homing/In, a duet for dancers and live-feed video that also incorporated aerial work, and a solo, In the Garden: Out of Sight. Both pieces were presented on the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In 2009, she directed actor/writer Sheila Gordon in Folding House, a one-woman show that received a FronteraFest (Austin, TX) “Best of Fest” award and appeared on the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Barnes’s interest in mixed-media work (live dance and video) has been seen in Springfield in several projects: Angela/Christina (2009) was restaged in 2010 for Wylliams/Henry Dance Company as Chloé/Christina; Solace (2007); and Remember the Ladies, a collaboration with media artist, Professor of Art and Design Vonda Yarberry, first seen in Coger Theatre in 2006, and then at the Gillioz Theater on the Encore! Black Tie gala. Most recently, Barnes, Yarberry and CIS Professor Sheryl Brahnam were awarded a Provost’s Futures grant for their 3-year research project that combines dance, digital media and computer technologies, Exploring Artificial Intelligence in Artistic Process.