Miriam Roskin Berger, pioneer in dance therapy, receives award from Bard College

Miriam Roskin Berger, an adjunct assistant professor in the dance education program and a pioneer in the field of dance therapy, has been awarded Bard College’s Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters.  The award, named in honor of Charles Flint Kellogg — a Bard College alumnus, trustee, and internationally respected historian and educator — is given yearly to a Bard alum in recognition of a significant contribution to the American artistic or literary heritage.  Berger, who earned her BA from Bard in 1956, was honored for her “crucial role in expanding the technique of dance therapy to treat a wide sampling of psychological situations and conditions.”

Berger, who teaches dance therapy in the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, served as director of Steinhardt’s dance education program from 1993 to 2002.  She has directed dance therapy programs in the United States and abroad, and is the recipient of American Dance Therapy Association’s Marian Chace Award for fostering the international growth of dance therapy, as well as the organization’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2005, the Dance Library of Israel inducted her into its Hall of Fame.

Berger, who credits Isadora Duncan with the founding principles of freedom of expressiveness through movement — the key to effective therapeutic technique — is currently working on a book about the roots of dance therapy.

The award was conferred at Bard College’s 149th commencement exercises on May 23, 2009.

(Photo:  Bard President Leon Botstein congratulates Berger at awards ceremony.  Karl Rabe, photographer.)