photo by Lise Metzger*

Legacy &nAction: Donate Now

Hi and welcome to the website. And welcome to my new blog!
Please feel free to visit often.

Update: January 27, 2015
My foray into a project with a major regional theater, Arena Stage, for the premiere of Healing Wars last summer was full of productive surprises. But last night's announcement of the Helen Hayes Award nominations was a surprise of another level: it had never actually occurred to me that we'd be considered.

But there we are in six categories.

I'm especially grateful for the nominating committee's thoughtful acknowledgement of the collaborative and ensemble aspect of Healing Wars.

Our next stop with Healing Wars is March 20 & 21 in Blacksburg, VA, at the Virginia Tech Center for the Arts. I'd love to see you there.

Update: November 24, 2014
Healing Wars had a terrific run at Hancher in Iowa City! We had very moving and substantive talkbacks after each performance. I can't thank the college and theater staff enough for the warm welcome and incredible support they gave us.

Next stop for Healing Wars is the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech in March of 2015.

Healing Wars had a great run at Montclair's Peak Performances! Read Robert Johnson's review in The Dance Enthusiast.

And check out our Press Page to see the coverage we got while at Arena Stage in DC.

I had a wonderful time working with Jim Ross and the University of Maryland Orchestra again this year. Collaborating with Vincent Thomas and Martha Wittman was a joy. My sincere thanks to everyone involved, especially the brave and talented students! You can see our rendition of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring. We also got a couple of reviews of the piece. Thanks to Anne Midgette, Carmel Morgan and Andrew Malone for their thoughtful reviews.

I've recently launched a fund raising campaign, Legacy & Action. It has been almost three years since I left the Dance Exchange, and in that time, I've realized (among many other things) that I can't do it alone. I am seeking to develop an economic model, which involves my community of friends and supporters and enables me to work as an independent artist. Over the next five years, Legacy & Action will give me the time and space to develop and make available to others the tools and methods derived from the first 35 years, as well as allow me to conjure up the new. For more information on the campaign, visit Legacy & Action.

I'm thrilled to be receiving the 2014 Dance/USA Honor Award.

In March I had the honor of teaching at the Teaching Artist Institute in Hawaii. Here's a video that was made of the amazing two-day conference.

Last fall was full of travel and teaching: a wonderful trip to Scotland and London teaching Critical Response Process workshops; partner-teaching with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar at Wesleyan University for a special intensive course that furthers our joint project "Blood Muscle Bone: the anatomy of wealth & poverty"; lecturing and teaching master classes at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee; visiting scholar/fellowship residencies at both University of Iowa and Towson University; and teaching in the Creative Thinking course at Montclair State University. I even had a first-rehearsal for the new work I've been dreaming up with two marvelous older dancers - stay tuned for updates about that.

Now I'm staying (mostly) closer to home, co-choreographing A Civil War Christmas at Center Stage in Baltimore with Paloma McGregor, and developing Healing Wars in Florida and New York City towards its June 2014 premiere at Arena Stage.

Check the calendar for what's coming up in 2014.

It was a real treat to be interviewed by my good friend E. Ethelbert Miller for his series The Scholars. The Scholars is a television series that explores contemporary scholarship. We talk on a wide range of subjects near and dear to my heart.

I'm excited to be spending time this year at Towson University at the 2013-2014 Rosenberg Distinguished Artist. The Rosenberg Distinguished Artist Endowment was established in 2000 by the Henry and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation to support artist residencies in dance and/or theatre that foster opportunities for in-depth learning and substantive artist-student interaction.

I'm delighted and grateful to announce that Healing Wars is one of just 18 dance projects across the country to have been selected for support by the National Dance Project. Please take a look at this article from about the grant we've just received. I am thrilled to be a part of this excellent and interesting group of choreographers. When I am privileged to receive this kind of support, it makes me want to work that much harder. I look forward to welcoming you to the performances and saying thank you to the many who have helped make this possible. The grant will help finish the work, plus it provides assistance to presenters who take Healing Wars when it tours in '14-'15. Thanks so much to NEFA, Doris Duke, and the staffs of the organizations who helped make this possible.

And please come to see us at Arena Stage in June of 2014.

In late June, along with my intrepid colleague John Borstel, I taught two CRP intensives in Australia, one on the east coast at Ausdance QLD in Brisbane, the other on the west coast at STRUT Dance in Perth.

In late May the cast of Healing Wars spent six days at Arena Stage doing research and developmental work; some photos of that time are posted here.

My Critical Response Process book is now available as an e-book! Many thanks to my co-author John Borstel for making this happen.

I was honored to present the graduation speech for Louisiana State University College of Music and Dramatic Arts in Baton Rouge. You can watch the ceremony here; my talk begins around 15:00.

Arena Stage will premiere my new work “Healing Wars” for 3.5 weeks as part of their 2013-14 subscription series. Dance never gets to run this long unless it's The Nutcracker. In late May we spent six days at Arena doing research and developmental work; Arena has posted some photos of that time here.


The first half of the year was busy. Here are some highlights:

A national project that I instigated and which has been brewing for a couple of years, to bring together artists & arts-institutions with neighboring scholars & academic institutions through a focus on our Civil War, officially launched in late February. It’s called the National Civil War Project and you can read a bit about it in the New York Times. As part of this work, I’ve been guest-teaching in classes at George Washington University, and will have a mini-residency on-campus with some of my “Healing Wars” cast in April: we’ll interview nurses and veterans, and develop new material.

I've been a Creative Campus Fellow at Wesleyan University since 2010. This February, in collaboration with Pam Tatge, Michael Weir, Laura Grabel, and Elizabeth Johnson, I curated Wesleyen University's "Innovations: Intersection of Art and Science" symposium, bringing together teams of artists and scientists from across North America to share approaches, skills, and outcomes of their work together.

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and I led a plenary session at APAP on the great convergence of arts and activism, and then together we co-taught a week-long intensive at Harvard called The Discipline of Creative Research.

Over the winter I taught in Montclair State University's innovative new course "Creative Thinking," keynoted at Goddard College's MFA program in Creativity, taught Critical Response Process and choreographic tools to students at Sonoma State University, and visited Rutgers University to guest-teach in Keith Thompson's classes there.

Here at home in Baltimore I got to teach local practitioners my Critical Response Process in a weekend workshop hosted by Akimbo Dance, and led a seminar for students at MICA.

I re-convened with my Dance Exchange colleagues around my 2005 piece "Small Dances About Big ideas" when the Covenant Foundation invited Dance Exchange, myself, and our “Small Dances” commissioner Martha Minow (dean of the Harvard Law School) to a retreat where a new documentary about “Small Dances” was shown.

In the music world I’ve continued my consulting with the Boston Conservatory, and am engaged in deeply interesting conversations with conductor Jim Ross at University of Maryland – College Park about another orchestral/movement collaboration for 2014, to follow our 2012 experiment with "Afternoon of a Faun".


2012 was busy. Here is some of what I was up to:

Revising this website: come back to see the new design in a few weeks.

Developing new work with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar: at APAP in NYC, at the Manhattan JCC, in performance at Symphony Space (NYC), at Center Stage in Baltimore, in residence at Florida State University, and back at the Manhattan JCC this fall and next spring.

Developing my work "Healing Wars" (set to premiere at Arena Stage in 2014) in Florida at the Atlantic Center for the Arts; on the battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam; in Yaroslavl, Russia, at the International Festival of Movement and Dance on the Volga; in Baltimore, hosted by Performance Kitchen; through research with roundtable participants at American Repertory Theater's "Civil War and Medicine" meeting, and with neuroscientists at Virginia Tech.

Collaborating with other artists: with conductor James Ross to animate "Afternoon of a Faun"; co-teaching with David Gordon at Dance Base in Scotland.

Teaching my Critical Response Process in England at the London Sinfonietta; in Cork, Ireland at the Theatre Development Centre; in Chicago with the League of Chicago Theatres; and in Lincolnshire, Illinois, with high school teachers.

Intensive academic residencies at Wake Forest and at University of Georgia

Teaching twice at Haystack on Deer Isle, in Maine; at the National Orchestra Institute in College Park, MD; at Urban Bush Women's Summer Leadership Institute in New Orleans; at Montclair State University to help develop their new coursework in Creative Thinking; at Carnegie/Juilliard's Academy program for professional musicians and public school music teachers in NYC.

Keynoting at the Bealtaine conference in Dublin, Ireland; at Interlochen Academy 50th anniversary; for the NAMESU (National Association of Music Executives at State Universities) annual meeting in Washington, DC; and for the faculty conference of Higher Order & Thinking Schools, Hartford, CT.

Leading a group session at the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT)

Consulting at the Boston Conservatory (Boston, MA), and for Luminate (Age Scotland) in Edinburgh.

Walking & talking to create a new Treadmill Tape with the president of Wesleyan University

In December I'll be co-teaching a special one-week intensive at Yale School of Drama with James Phills of Stanford (Graduate School of Business); and in January I'll co-teach an intensive Harvard with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.

Stay tuned for more!