Richard Powers       


Full-time instructor in dance history and contemporary social dance forms, Stanford University Dance Division, Department of Theater and Performance Studies.


Principal focus since 1975 has been social dance forms, from the Renaissance to today.  Specializations include 19th century American and European social dance, dances of the Ragtime Era and Jazz Ages, and currently evolving vernacular dance forms.


Resources: Research is drawn from a personal collection of over two thousand historic dance manuals, the largest personal collection in the world, supplemented with a twelve thousand-title collection of period dance music.  Other resources include ongoing exchanges of information with dance historians in the U.S and Europe.


Studied historic dance with Ingrid Brainard, Elizabeth Aldrich, Julia Sutton, Shirley Wynne, Angene Feves, Wendy Hilton, Catherine Turocy, Elaine Biagi Turner, Ann Jacoby, Charles Garth, Frantisek Bonus, Yvonne Vart, Michelle Nadal, Frankie Manning, Norma Miller and Juan Carlos Copes.


Founded the Clifton Court Dancers (1976, Renaissance and Baroque dance).  Founded the Flying Cloud Academy of Vintage Dance (1981, 19th and 20th Century dance).  Formed the Flying Cloud Troupe, a 30-member performing company (1982) and co-founded the supporting Fleeting Moments Waltz & Quickstep Orchestra.  Founded the 70-member Stanford Vintage Dance Ensemble (1992-2002).


Choreographed and directed the 19th century ballroom dances for the Warner Bros./ABC film North and South (1985).  Choreographed the Victorian ballroom dances for the public television film Mrs. Perkins' Ball (1986).  Trained the dancers for the Tri-Star film Glory (1989).  Choreographed ragtime dance for Faye Dunaway and Richard Widmark in Cold Sassy Tree (1989).  Choreographed the dances for the CBS film Spring Awakenings (1994).

Numerous stage choreographies include Bill Irwin's Scapin (off Broadway, 1997), Alma Deutscher's Cinderella for Opera San Jose (2017), dance historian for the Tony Award-winning musical Titanic (Broadway, 1997), choreographies for Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Shakespeare's King Henry VIII, Massenet's Cendrillon, Benjamin Britten's Gloriana, Monteverdi's Madrigals of Love and War and Orfeo, Berlioz's Beatrice and Benedict, Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes, and choreographies for the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

History Consultant for Ian Whitcomb's Grammy Award-winning album Titanic and other CDs.


Awarded the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for distinctive and exceptional contributions to education at Stanford University.

Selected by the Centennial Issue of Stanford Magazine as one of Stanford University's most notable graduates, noted primarily for the creation of a new field in historic dance.

Recipient of the Post-Corbett Award, Cincinnati's foremost arts recognition.


Historic dance performances include 19th century and ragtime dance at the Smithsonian Institution, Henry Ford Museum, the National Governors Conference, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet Company, the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival, leading the Palace Hotel's Valentines Ball, St. Moritz, Switzerland (featured on CBS "60 Minutes"); performance for Prince and Princess Mikasa of Japan; and a tour of the former Soviet Union.


Workshops of period dance have been sponsored by the Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome; The Spoleto Festival, Spoleto Italy; University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music; the Historical Dance Workshop at Goucher College; Lincoln Center, N.Y.; the National Endowment for the Humanities; The Fine Arts Fund; American Studies Association; The Omega Institute; Early Dance Circle, London; Roma Ottocento, Rome; Fêtes costumées de Genève, Geneva; Sano Dance Center, Tokyo; Arts et Mouvement, Paris; Carnet de Bals, Paris; ZigZag Steps, Paris; the City of Kharkiv, Ukraine.


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