I hail from the Wild, Wild West where I couldn’t cut on the dotted black line, so I read Steinbeck and became a modern dancer instead. Now I move by wild and literary standards. I enjoy perfectly stuffed burritos, magical realism tomes, and windowsills with the good view of a crescent moon. Incidentally, those are also my dance ingredients, along with 24 years of teaching barefoot in a studio. I earned my BFA at SUNY Purchase and my MFA at University of Maryland. By day, I’m a Professorial Lecturer at American University and Education Coordinator for BlackLight Summit. By night, I’m a teaching artist at Dance Place.
I teach and choreograph social modern dance – a combination of social consciousness, communal tune-in, and the invitation for each individual to dance her own history and artistic expression. Then I like to mix all of these ingredients with stellar technique and rambunctious physicality that moves large and tears through space.
Career highlights include dancing in forsaken storage closets, one criterion film set, and performing for Baryshnikov with kale in my incisors, along with gigs at Tacheles, Dance Omi, Ponderosa Ongoing Research and Collaborative Happenings, The Kennedy Center, The Duke on 42nd St., Marfa, TX, on top of the Chelsea Hotel, Dance Place, the American Dance Institute, the Hawaiian Room at U.S. Botanic Garden, the Rothko Room at National Gallery of Art, and secret performances in Lincoln Center’s Koch Theater when I was done cleaning up at the end of the night.
I have lived and danced in Berlin, New York, and Washington DC, studied in the international dance centers of Brussels, Budapest, and Tel Aviv, as well as continued professional training at Juilliard, American Dance Festival, Tanz im August, Impulstanz, Doug Varone and Dancers, David Dorfman Dance, Ponderosa, and MELT. My performance career spans principal roles with renowned choreographers to collective work with emerging artists including: Donald McKayle, Doug Varone, Ohad Naharin, Paul Taylor, Nicholas Leichter, Kevin Wynn, Mark Morris, Clint Lutes, alex/xan: the meridian movement, Janessa Clark/KILTERBOX, and Nora Petroliunas. I was a founding member and danced for ten years in Nelly van Bommel’s nøa dance in New York City. I also danced on Sam Bassett and Noah Baumbach film sets until I heard Virginia is for Lovers, and my relocation there introduced me to the DMV Dance community, where I have lovingly navigated the country’s worst traffic to drive to rehearsals for Tzveta Kassabova, Stephanie Miracle, Sharon Mansur, Robin Neveu Brown, Colette Krogol and Matthew Reeves’ Orange Grove Dance, Candace Scarborough, and Kendra Portier’s BAND|kp.
My company Heart Stück Bernie (HSB) makes site-specific performance art with exposed seams and a highbrow/lowbrow zeitgeist cocktail. My dances deliver warnings, promises, and gut sparks somewhere between genuine tempo and swift kicks one heart attack to the left. HSB is the recipient of a 2009 Brooklyn Arts Council Regrant, Dance Metro DC’s 2015 Choreographer’s Commission, the Kennedy Center’s 2016 Local Dance Commissioning Project, a 2018-2019 Individual Artist Grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and the Maryland Creativity Grant for Wren Print Cess Pool Cutty Sark. Recent commissions and performances include work for SylviDances, the Inaugural DC Dance Summit, Dance Omi, Velocity DC, McLean Project for the Arts, Purchase Dance Company, U.S. Botanic Garden, National Gallery of Art, American University Dance Company, and Dance Place.
As an inaugural Artist in Residence at Dance Place from 2018-2020, I programmed and facilitated community events for students and choreographers, created new works exploring hypermagicalrealism, politics, and systemic deconstruction experiments, and I established a research practice of land, music, and movement acknowledgement. Current research includes site-specific meaning making, social justice community engagement, acknowledgement practices, and subversive and durational studio pedagogy.
I live in Silver Spring, MD where I subject my family to artistic procedurals and paper extravaganza reckonings, but they secretly love it. And I think you would, too.