“Oskar Schlemmer’s Bauhaus Dances showed all the energy, wit, and understanding which made them important in the 1920s….McCall’s reconstruction was meticulous….The resulting dances were both beautiful and instructive.”Ithaca Journal
Debra McCall is a dance historian, choreographer, Certified Movement Analyst, and performer best known for her reconstructions of Oskar Schlemmer’s 1920s Bauhaus Dances. Recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, she also received the National Endowment for the Arts Rome Prize in Advanced Design from the American Academy in Rome and a Fulbright-Nehru Professional and Academic Excellence Award for her documentation of medieval reliefs of sacred dancers at the Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu.
McCall served on the graduate faculties of New York University and Pratt Institute where she was Mellon Lecturer. As Director for Curriculum at Ross Institute, and Dean of Cultural History for Ross School in East Hampton, NY, she was responsible for implementing its innovative Evolution of Consciousness Spiral Curriculum. Her kinesthetic lessons on Roman architecture there were included in the Smithsonian Institution/Annenberg documentary, “The Mind’s Intelligences” with Howard Gardner. An Honorary Board Member of Art Therapy Italiana where she directed the dance/movement therapy program, she also created the Body of Myth workshop series which led to a collaboration with the psychoanalyst and author, James Hillman. She began her career in movement therapy at Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, New York.
Recognizing the fragility of dance and dancers due to environmental devastation as well as political and religious zealotry and conflict, McCall founded Performing Matters (www.performingmaters.org), an organization dedicated to bringing awareness to endangered dance and dancers’ rights. Presently, she is engaged in writing about her Bauhaus reconstructions and the medieval reliefs of the sacred dancers of the Thillai Nataraja temple in Chidambaram, India.