Victoria Marks Associate Dean

An accomplished choreographer, filmmaker, scholar, and activist, Marks creates dances for the stage, film, and in community settings. Her choreography has long considered the politics of citizenship, as well as the representation of both virtuosity and disability.  Her projects migrate between ‘choreo-portraits’ for individuals who don’t identify as dancers and dances for and with dancers that fuel her inquiries into movement.

Amongst the many interests and themes that underpin her body of work, Marks conceived and designed Action Conversations, a process based methodology that builds relationship between two groups of people who would not otherwise be in a room together. Considering “conversation” in the broadest sense, movement exchange yields talking and movement. Culminating in stage and film performances, Action Conversations empower their subjects to build empathy across difference. Her inaugural Action Conversations focused on four military veterans struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in conversation with three artists, who came together in a series of workshops and performances to explore and share the veterans’ very harrowing human experiences. Subsequent projects in the series include Action Conversations: Bellows Falls, a civic conversation that paired at-risk unwed teen mothers with an older generation of women from a rural Vermont community; and her most recent Action Conversations project, which invited eleven members of UCLA’s sorority and fraternity community to examine the unwritten social scripts of hook-up culture.

Over the course of her career, Marks has received Rauschenberg and Guggenheim Fellowships, has twice been a Fulbright Fellow, and has earned the prestigious Herb Alpert Award for choreographic achievement. She has been the recipient of multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the London Arts Board, the Los Angeles Country Cultural Affairs Council (COLA), and the Irvine Foundation, amongst others.

For her work in film (with fellow filmmaker Margaret Williams), she has received numerous international awards including the Grand Prix from the Video Danse Festival (France), the Golden Antennae Award (Bulgaria), the International Music and Media Centre (IMZ) International Dance/Film Festival Grand Prix (Austria), and the Best of Show in the Dance Film Association’s Dance and the Camera Festival (US).

Marks has been a professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance since 1995 where she also has served as vice-chair for undergraduate affairs (2010–2017) and chair of the Disability Studies minor (2012– present).

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UCLA Department of World Arts Cultures/Dance
Box 951608, 150 Kaufman Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1608
Tel 310.825.3951