Robert Moses was born in 1963. Robert practices and teaches dance and choreography through RMK Dance Company as well as at Mills as a professor. He incorporates athletic techniques, rhythmic complexity, and gestural details. Taking influence from ballet, jazz, hip hop, and gospel, he uses dance to convey and explore social identities such as race, class, and gender. He also makes films and music. Sometimes he uses his own music in the performances that he has choreographed!
Moses is primarily based in San Francisco teaching classes and putting on performances there. In 2019 he joined the Mills community as a visiting professor in dance.
Below is a quote about why Moses chose to work at Mills:
Why Mills, why now? Because art in action is needed now, says Mr. Moses. Mills, with its proximities to populations of abundance and absence, is in a way a return to my roots and represents new ground to till and grow new ideas. I’ve engaged in university systems for over two decades and see Mills as a place for cultivating local artists who have become cultural icons and artists of individual vision. (I think immediately of Mills graduates Laura Ellis and Nora Chipaumire.) Mills is ideal for the next chapter in my community, cultural, and intellectual lifelong journey. (“Mills College Welcomes Distinguished Visiting Professors”)
Academia: He worked at Stanford in 2005 as both Choreographer-in-Residence and Artistic Director of the Committee on Black Performing Arts. Prior to receiving those titles, he had been on the dance faculty at Stanford since 1995. Since 2019 he has been Melody and Mark Teppola Distinguished Visiting Professor in Dance and Theater Studies at Mills, as also mentioned previously.
Apprenticeships: RMK Dance Company’s received funding from many groups, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to name a few.
Travel: He has traveled to many college campuses to teach, including Goucher College, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, the University of Texas, and the University of Nevada. He has also been at festivals, including the Bates Dance Festival and the Colorado Dance Festival.
Robert Moses has been in the dance world for quite some time and has been a part of many dance groups, including Twyla Tharp Dance, ODC/San Francisco, Long Beach Ballet, Walt Disney World Productions, and Gloria Newman Dance Theater to name a few. Before he had his own company, these could be considered some of his beginnings in the professional world of dancing. In 1995 Moses started the Robert Moses’ Kin Dance Company, which has been going on since. Moses’s works include Word of Mouth in 2002 and Biography of Baldwin in 2003.
- Oakland Ballet, 2201 Broadway #LL17, Oakland, CA 94612. It is a non-profit dance organization started in 1965 that focuses on both classical ballet and contemporary choreography. It’s located on Broadway in Oakland. Moses has been commissioned by Oakland Ballet to choreograph dances. There’s no doubt that Moses’s relationship with the company has influenced many new emerging dancers.
- Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94613. As of 2020 he teaches Dance Technique II, Repertory Dance Company, and Sources and Invention at Mills College in the basement of Haas Pavilion. As noted in the quote above, he’s drawn to Mills as a way of going back to his roots while taking the next steps in his career and craft. Mills seems like the ideal space to foster new emerging local artists with the school’s renowned dance department and social justice ideas.
~ by Natalie Jue ~
“Mills College Welcomes Distinguished Visiting Professors in Dance and Biology.” Mills College, 12 Apr. 2009, https://www.mills.edu/news/news-stories/mills-welcomes-distinguished-visiting-professors-in-dance-and-biology.php.