Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

Artist-In-Residence Brings Broadway Experience to Manhattanville College

Peter PucciTo make it to Broadway performers need more than just talent, they need to be responsive and punctual as well, something Peter Pucci, artist-in-residence for the Dance & Theatre Department at Manhattanville College, knows and tries to pass on to his students.

“It’s the real thing,” the professional choreographer and movement director said explaining the hard work and dedication it takes to make it in show business. “It’s a tough business, but it is very gratifying.”

Pucci first came to Manhattanville after Prof. Ara Fitzgerald, a friend of his wife’s, told him the Dance & Theatre Department was looking for someone to teach a class.

“That is how it started and they have slowly reeled me in,” he said with a laugh. His role has expanded to teaching more classes and directing productions as he enters his seventh year at the college.

He explained that he has loved his time at the College and is grateful that the department allows him to work in the field as well as at Manhattanville. His most recent work can be seen in “The Old Friends,” which is playing at the Signature Theatre in New York City.

“I have one foot in the academic world and one foot in the professional world is kind of what I do as an artist-in-residence,” Pucci said.

He also tries to mix his roles by offering his students experiences outside of the classroom. This year he is giving them a chance to go to two of the films being shown during the “Dance on Film” series at the Jacob Burns Film Center.

Pucci will be moderating the discussion segments after the two films, “To Dance Like a Man,” on Oct. 14, and “An Evening With Pilobolus,” the company he was principal dancer, co-choreographer, and rehearsal director for, on Oct. 16 and helped put the series together. His relationship with the film center has allowed him and Fitzgerald the opportunity to show one of the films in several of their classes the week of the series and hopefully start a “Dance on Film” collection in the College’s library.

Other companies and productions he has worked with include the Joffrey Ballet, Michael Wilson’s “The Orphans' Home Cycle,” Paul Simon’s “Dream on By,” The Big Apple Circus’ “Dance On!” and has his own dance company Pucci Plus.