New Professor Mark Allan Davis Brings Broadway, Choreography Experience to Students

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Photo of Mark Allan Davis

Mark Allan Davis’ wide-ranging talents have taken him from national ice-dancing competitions to The Lion King on Broadway and beyond. His next stop is SF State’s School of Theatre & Dance, where he will be an assistant professor in musical theatre and studio voice beginning this fall.

Davis has choreographed many original dance and theatre works and taught and performed in more than 20 countries. He has performed the work of noted choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor, Jose Limon, Joyce Trisler, Bill T. Jones, Jessica Iwanson, Talley Beatty, Jerome Robbins, Jerry Mitchell and Anna Sokolow. He is most proud of his being an original cast member of the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of The Lion King, where he performed on the Grammy Award-winning cast album. An active fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Davis wrote and directed several of The Lion King cast’s benefit appearances, including Broadway Celebrates the Apollo.

As a youth, Davis won a U.S. Figure Skating Gold Medal in ice dancing. His choreography career took off at age 15, when PBS featured his work on Skating Spectacular. Four years later, Impulse Dance Company of Boston premiered his first modern dance piece, Youth in Asia.

In 1989 Davis formed his own company, Les Danses Dønsk in Munich, Germany. He was choreographer and a creative director for the Munich Avantgarde Fashion Fair for four seasons and worked extensively in fashion, advertising and commercial production for companies such as BMW, Mercedes Benz, Levi Strauss, Nino Cerruti, Helsapor and Loden Frey. Upon returning to the United States in 1995 after more than a decade in Europe, Davis performed with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Music videos that feature Davis’ choreography include Milli Vanilli’s Don’t 4-get My Number, The Real McCoy’s Come and Get Your Love and Rock Me Amadeus for the Vienna Symphony Philharmonic. Davis’ play The Last Blues of the Empress was selected by the 2013 National Black Theater Festival; a staged reading was held at the Count Basie Theatre in New Jersey in 2015.

Davis joins SF State after two years on the faculty at Ohio Northern University. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in theatre from Smith College and his Bachelor of Arts in dance and performance from University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


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