It is with great sadness that we share news that Dr. Beth Mehocic, UNLV Professor of Dance died on Sunday, January 2 at 1:43 a.m. Beth was the Composer-in-Residence, Music Director, and one of the first full-time faculty members of the Department of Dance. She was hired as a full-time member of the faculty in August 1985, serving for 36 years amongst the professorial ranks.
Beth was a musician who had an intimate love of music, dance, and the arts. She trained generations of dancers in music theory for dance, dance music literature, and dance history--challenging young minds to experience the aural world of music and how this world marries the world of motion becoming - The Dance. A published composer of over 100 works for orchestra, concert band, chamber music, dance ensemble, theater, and film, her works were performed throughout the United States, Japan, China, Korea and Europe. She was a founding member for the International Guild of Musicians of Dance. Her works are published broadly, most notably by Parma Records.
Beth was an artist who worked in multiple media, and was not afraid of coloring outside the lines. When you asked her about her music, she would say, "When I hear music--I see movement." She also created visual art, film, and poetry. She was an originator of the curricular idea of the BFA in Dance Production and Management, a unique degree at UNLV that is training dance production artists who are transforming the world of dance production and stage management.
Many of the choreographers on faculty at UNLV have had the unique pleasure of collaborating with Beth. I have met no other composers who could so quickly transform an idea into an aural environment for motion. In Spring 2018, Beth wrote a wonderful work called Interactions for Viola and Synthesized Sound, for Violist and Dean of the UNLV College of Fine Arts, Nancy Uscher. When I asked Beth what inspired her to write this piece of music, she said, "It reminds me of space and weightlessness." As I created choreography that danced alongside this music and the vibration of the strings of the viola, I decided to call the dance Resonant String. It reminded me of String Theory, which explains the universe in terms of one-dimensional strings, smaller than atoms, that line up and vibrate like a kind of music, to produce all of the things we see, all that we experience, and all that we feel. The universe is simply an orchestra of music and motion.
Beth Mehocic's music, knowledge, teachings, passion, and guidance, like the strings of the universe, will continue to resonate and produce a music and a dance that will forever be part of the fabric that underpins our great Dance Department at UNLV. We will forever miss you Beth, and we will forever be thankful for our time dancing with you.
Louis A. Kavouras
Chair, UNLV Dance