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I grew up dancing in Illinois and came east to study dance at Middlebury College ’05.  Since then I’ve worked with many artists, including Jane Comfort & Company, Lida Winfield, Kate Elias, Rebecca Pappas, Hannah Dennison, Pauline Jennings, Polly Motley, El Circo Contemporaneo, Amy Chavasse, David Appel, and Tiffany Rhynard’s Big APE.  I’ve had the opportunity to perform and teach throughout Mexico, Cuba, Qatar, Europe and the US.  With grant support from NEFA, Dance Films Association, Ucross Foundation, The Field, VT Arts Council, Flynn Center, VT Arts Endowment Fund, Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, I’ve shown my work in venues such as Dance on Camera Festival/Film at Lincoln Center, Bates Dance Festival, Dixon Place, the Flynn Theater, AVA Gallery & Arts Center, the Middlefield Community Center, the Ionion Center of Kefalonia and the Rococo Theatre in Prague.  I live with my family in New Hampshire, where I continue to work as an independent artist and practice social work and community organizing.

My dances live at the intersection of movement, storytelling and nature. I’m always curious about how dance making can be a journey for both the dancers and the viewers – can we relate to one another’s stories and bodies?  Can we build worlds together that neither exclude nor confine?  Can traces and echoes of these art worlds follow us out into our daily lives, infusing them with humor and unexpected color, illuminating new truths and raising new questions? I explore these questions through live performances and dance films which I share in schools, community centers, arts walks, public parks, theaters and film festivals. With respect to all the folks that make my work possible, I seek out venues that serve as community hubs, including a wider array of people than might otherwise feel welcomed into traditional dance spaces.

Posted October 12, 2010 by ellensmithahern

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