Theatre Arts & Performance Studies

TAPS Appoints a New Head of Dance


Patricia Seto-Weiss HeadshotProvidence, RI – Brown University's Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies, steeped in a rich history of fostering artistic exploration and interdisciplinary studies, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Patricia Seto-Weiss, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, as the Head of Dance.

Brown University has an ambitious vision for the arts as an integral presence throughout the liberal arts education. Brown believes the arts are fundamental to critical inquiry into the most important questions facing humanity around the world and that the arts create a spark that cultivates creative expression in all forms, stimulating discovery and fueling innovative thinking. At Brown, artists operating at the highest levels of their craft learn from and inform scholars and students in disciplines across the sciences and humanities. The Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies, with a tradition dating back to the 19th century, has led Brown in providing a comprehensive and interdisciplinary education in dance, theatre, speech, and playwriting. 

Patricia Seto-Weiss, an accomplished choreographer and ballet instructor, brings her passion for dance and dedication to artistic excellence to Brown University. Since she arrived at Brown in 2018, Seto-Weiss has made significant contributions to the dance program, introducing a range of curricular ballet classes, showcasing her choreography at various dance concerts, and curating a diverse array of visiting artists, enriching the University’s dance community.

In response to a request for comment, Seto-Weiss noted that she is "honored to take on the role of Head of Dance at Brown University and work towards expanding curricular dance offerings and integrating dance as an important and empowering component of the educational experience at Brown."

Seto-Weiss's vision for dance at Brown University centers on innovation, creativity, and inclusion. She is committed to broadening the Theatre Arts & Performance Studies dance concentration by incorporating new dance forms and techniques not traditionally offered at universities. Through inclusive practices and accessible introductory courses, she intends to ensure that dance is open to students from all backgrounds. Seto-Weiss aims to integrate dance as a crucial component of the educational experience at Brown, fostering a dynamic environment where creativity and artistic exploration thrive. Her focus on cross-disciplinary work, exploration of new technologies, and examination of innovative ways to think about movement align with Brown's values of academic exploration and interdisciplinary studies.

"I believe Brown is uniquely positioned to offer a dance program distinct from our peer institutions," said Seto-Weiss. "With Brown’s open curriculum, we can be at the forefront of exciting, cross-disciplinary work in dance teaching and research."

"We are excited to welcome Patricia Seto-Weiss and look forward to the dynamic contributions she will bring to the dance program and the Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies at Brown University," said Jayna Brown, Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies.

About Patricia Seto-Weiss
Patricia Seto-Weiss
is Head of Dance and Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University. Since coming to Brown in 2018, she has introduced several curricular ballet classes into the course catalog, ranging from introductory to advanced offerings. Seto-Weiss has presented original choreographies for various departmental shows and produced Brown’s 2023 Spring Festival of Dance. She has brought a range of visiting artists to campus, including Suki Schorer, Margaret Tracey, and—in collaboration with the Physics Department—SYREN Modern Dance. In addition to her work at the University, Seto-Weiss serves on the Board of Rhode Island Women’s Choreography Project.

As a choreographer, Seto-Weiss has presented work at the Juilliard School (Music Division), Columbia University (Department of Music), and The Ailey Citigroup Theater. Her work has also explored connections with visual art and architecture. She collaborated with painter Annegret Hoch and sculptor Susanne Thiemann in New York and Germany, and has published several articles for the Society of Architectural Historians’ Archipedia.

Seto-Weiss is a passionate ballet instructor dedicated to making the art form more accessible, inclusive, and body-positive. She began her teaching career at Ballet Tech under the directorship of Eliot Feld, and created and taught the Teen Ballet Series at the Ailey Extension, the open dance program of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, under its former director, Yvette Campbell. Prior to Brown, she was on faculty at Chrystie Street Ballet Academy in New York City and New Haven Ballet.

Originally from Germany, she received her diploma in dance performance and pedagogy from Iwanson International School of Contemporary Dance in Munich. While still a student, Seto-Weiss made her professional debut in the Bavarian State Opera's production of Verdi's Falstaff. Upon graduation, she continued her studies at The Ailey School in New York City.

About Brown University's Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies:
The Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies at Brown University, has a longstanding history of providing a comprehensive and interdisciplinary education. Rooted in the tradition of fostering artistic exploration and critical thinking, the department prepares students to make meaningful contributions to the arts and society. With a commitment to innovation and collaboration, the department continues to evolve, shaping the future of performing arts education.

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