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Amy Yopp Sullivan

Amy Yopp SullivanAssociate Professor,  
Department of Theatre Arts
College of Arts and Sciences

Amy Yopp Sullivan teaches, choreographs, directs, and develops research. She develops creative environments and structures which serve as territories for collaborative experimentation, diverse strategies and a wide range of disciplines. She values process, innovation, improvisation and revisions as catalysts for emergent works in education, performance, creative strategies and interdisciplinary research. During 2021 and 2022, Professor Sullivan will receive a faculty grant from the Center for Changing Systems of Power at Stonybrook University. This project, "Examining the Web of Dance and Machine Learning as a Means for Supporting Human Adaptation and Change", collaborates with Dr. Shubham Jain in the Computer Science Department. Also during the 2021/2022 year, Sullivan will be working with students and numerous areas on campus to find a wide range of applications within the project, "Courageous Acts of the Imaginative Soul". Through this project, Sullivan will be working with swarm intelligence and theories of Design thinking. Sullivan's project "Dancing in the Park" will continue to offer classes at Stonybrook University's Center for Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning for Parkinson's patients and their caregivers and/or spouses. Sullivan will also be collaborating with other artists for community outreach in the local communities and explorations in various new environments on campus. 

Sullivan is the Founder and Creator of the Center for Dance, Movement and Somatic Learning; and an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre Arts at Stony Brook University. Her education and training include a Bachelor of Science and an MFA in Choreography and Performance from UNC, Greensboro, an MREd (Theology/Religious Education) from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Certification as a Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst from the Integrated Movement Studies program based in the Dance Department at University of Utah. In the early 1970’s, she was most fortunate to be part of an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree at UNCG, which combined dance studies and courses from the life sciences. This early introduction to the collaborative nature of dance and science launches many directions of her creative and experimental work.

Sullivan is grateful for the teachers, colleagues and students with whom she has worked throughout her career. She was influenced early in her career by Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis, who offered her stunning examples of creativity and imagination as catalysts for new ways of thinking and devising dance, performance, collaboration and educational theory. She was also influenced by the analytical, mathematical, and interdisciplinary work of Irmgard Bartenieff and Rudolf Laban, as taught by Peggy Hackney, Janice Meaden and Ed Groff. In addition, she had the opportunity to study with Dr. Susan Stinson in the area of creative dance for children; and credits Stinson with teaching her how to bring the world of imagination and creativity into teaching classrooms and workshops for all ages and all purposes.

Sullivan uses the concept of user-driven innovation in order to examine vital practices that can emerge from specific need in human interaction. The process of revisions and iterations that emerge from the body’s changing needs to adapt and respond, have pointed her toward significant questions, strategies and translations in order to examine and support the adaptive potential of humanity. Throughout her 50+ years of teaching, she has expanded her drive for the translation of dance principles across new disciplines and domains. Sullivan’s training and experiences have directed her to examine the developed and adaptive potential within the human system.

Sullivan is influenced by post-modern principles in dance and dance theatre. She welcomes process, improvisation, conundrums, iterations and collaborative revisions into the process for the classroom, the stage, and therapeutic workshops. She seeks to bring purposeful, effective, responsive and creative operations forward.

Office115-C Nassau Hall, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794-6240
Phone:(631) 317 0058

Curriculum Vitae