Medicine, humanities, art to be explored at four April events

Poetry, dance, opera and otolaryngology are among the offerings in April from the Stanford Medicine and the Muse Program in Medical Humanities and the Arts.

Marine veteran Roman Baca, artistic director and founder of the dance company Exit 12, with dancer Lisa Fitzgerald, who is also his wife.
Courtesy of Exit 12

Four events at the intersection of medicine, the humanities and the arts are scheduled in April at Stanford.

First up is Honoring the Ghosts, an evening of poetry and dance exploring war trauma, hope and recovery. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 6:30 p.m. April 11 in Dinkelspiel Auditorium. Reserved seating will be available for military members and their families.

“This intersection of arts, trauma and healing is critically important, particularly today, as thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with visible and invisible wounds return to a society poorly informed about their experiences,” said Jacqueline Genovese, assistant director of the Stanford Medicine and the Muse Program in Medical Humanities and the Arts, which is organizing the events.

The evening will open with Alexander Nemerov, PhD, a professor of art and art history at Stanford, reading a Civil War poem by Walt Whitman and giving a talk about how this poem brings out the universality of battle trauma and loss in a way that powerfully relates to World War II and the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Then, Exit 12, a New York-based dance company led by Roman Baca, a former Marine and Iraq war veteran, will perform. Exit 12 and Baca have been featured on CNN and in The Washington Post, The Village Voice and The New York Times, which described the company’s performance as “an unusual union of dance and topicality.”

Exit 12 is comprised of dancers and military veterans, and they perform contemporary and classical ballet. Their performance at Stanford will mark their West Coast debut.

RSVP for Honoring the Ghosts by sending an email to Please indicate how many seats you would like, and whether you are a veteran or currently affiliated with the military.

Note and throat

To mark World Voice Day, baritone Eugene Brancoveanu; Kwang Sung, MD, an assistant professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery; and Elizabeth DiRenzo, PhD, assistant professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, will explore the physiology of singing and vocal health with a live performance and demonstration at 5 p.m. April 16 in Berg Hall at the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge. The event is free and open to the public. Via a projection of the view through a fiberoptic laryngoscope, the audience will witness the glottic structures, including the vocal cords, during the variety of vocal maneuvers required for operatic singing.

Dancing with Parkinson’s disease

The award-winning film Capturing Grace, about the Mark Morris Dance Group’s work with people who have Parkinson’s disease, will be shown on campus at 7 p.m. April 17 in Cubberley Auditorium and 1:30 p.m. April 18 in Cemex Auditorium.

Both screenings will be followed by a discussion and question-and-answer session with the film’s director, Dave Iverson; Helen Bronte-Stewart, MD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences and director of Stanford Movement Disorders Center; David Levanthal, program director of Dance for PD; and Maren Grainger-Monsen, MD, director of the Program in Bioethics and Film at Stanford.


The annual Stanford Medicine and the Muse Symposium, which will begin at 6 p.m. April 27 in the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, will feature musical and dance performances by medical students, as well as an exhibit of student art and photography. Award-winning author Perri Klass, MD, director of the Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, will be interviewed by Paul Costello, chief communications officer for the School of Medicine. A reception with light refreshments will follow the conversation.

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit

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