Joanna Kotze

Joanna Kotze is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, dancer, and educator who has been part of the New York dance community since 1998. She creates highly physical dance performances through a collaborative, multi-disciplinary process, presenting ways to look at work, humor, violence, unpredictability, and beauty through movement. Her evening-length piece, ‘lectric Eye, with dancers Wendell Gray II, Molly Heller, Symara Johnson, and Anna Thérèse Witenberg, and composer/musician Ryan Seaton, will premiere in the 2021-2022 season. She is also currently working on a short film project called Nothing’s changed except for everything with Tallahassee-based filmmaker, Chris Cameron, and New York-Based composer, Ryan Seaton. Her previous evening-length work, What will we be like when we get there, was nominated for a 2018 New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for Outstanding Music Composition and Sound Design by collaborator Ryan Seaton.

Joanna received the 2013 New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer. Her work has been supported by New Music USA, the Jerome Foundation, Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance, New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) BUILD, Brooklyn Arts Council, Yellowhouse, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. Her choreography has been presented at The Yard, Bates Dance Festival, Stonington Opera House, New York Live Arts, The Wexner Center, Velocity Dance Center, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Danspace Project, American Dance Institute, Bard College, Industry City, Show Room Gowanus, Lu Magnus gallery, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Dance New Amsterdam, Roulette, Dixon Place, 92nd Street Y, WAXworks, Soho20 gallery, and Movement Research at the Judson Church.

Joanna has upcoming residency support in 2020/2021 from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) at Florida State University and the Alan M. Kriegsmann Creative Residency at Dance Place in Washington, D.C. She has had residencies at Dance Program Malmö (Sweden), Exploring the Metropolis (EtM), Loghaven (Tennessee), The Bogliasco Foundation (Italy), The Yard (Martha’s Vineyard), New York Live Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), Movement Research, The 92nd Street Y, Milvus Artistic Research Center (Sweden), Jacob’s Pillow, Bennington College, Sedona Arts Center (Arizona), Marble House Project (Vermont), The Camargo Foundation (France), Baryshnikov Arts Center, and Djerassi (California). She has had commissions to create new works on Gibney Dance Company (NYC), Toronto Dance Theatre (Toronto), Ririe-Woodbury (Salt Lake City), Zenon Dance (Minneapolis), and the James Sewell Ballet (Minneapolis) and has created original works on students at Barnard, The New School, Purchase, LIU, Ohio University, Southern Utah University, and Miami University.

Joanna danced with Wally Cardona from 2000-2010 and again in 2018. She currently dances for Kimberly Bartosik/daela (2009-present), and has worked with Kota Yamazaki, Stacy Spence, Netta Yerushalmy, Sam Kim, Sarah Skaggs, Christopher Williams, the Metropolitan Opera ballet, Daniel Charon, Nina Winthrop, and others.

Joanna has served on panels for New York Live Arts’ Fresh Tracks, The Bogliasco Foundation, New Music USA, Marble House and Dance New Amsterdam and has curated performances for at the 92nd Street Y and Sundays on Broadway. She is on teaching faculty at Movement Re-search and has taught at Amherst College, Melbourne University, Toronto Dance Theatre, Gib-ney Dance, Sarah Lawrence College, Barnard College, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, The New School, LIU, Southern Utah University, Ohio University, Miami University, Salt DanceFest and the American Dance Festival.

She is originally from South Africa and has a BA in Architecture from Miami University.

Visiting Artist | December 8 - 16, 2020 // Second Residency 2021

'lectric Eye

Joanna Kotze came to MANCC in December 2020 to work on her film called Nothing’s changed except for everything with Tallahassee-based video artist and MANCC Media Specialist Chris Cameron and remotely with New York-based musician/composer Ryan Seaton. This film takes solo movement from her larger project,’lectric Eye, that she has been working on for the past two and a half years, to tell a digital story of personal and collective loss and the human body’s potential for persistence, resistance, and power. Kotze and Cameron visited multiple sites in Tallahassee, from city parks to campus garages, to film footage. Kotze looks forward to engaging with School of Dance students via Zoom in January, during which she, Seaton, and Cameron will discuss the residency and their process.

In 2021, Kotze will return with her group of collaborators to continue creating ’lectric Eye. This ensemble residency, originally scheduled for spring 2020, had been postponed due to the pandemic. An evening-length piece, ‘lectric Eye highlights collaboration between movement and music while exploring how humans keep going, day to day, surrounded by conflict and bias, yet celebrating connections and beauty while fighting to put one foot in front of the other. A diverse group of dancers and musicians, this cast asks: How do very different people experience boundaries with joy and struggle as they push to physical and sonic limits? How do they come together to traverse something difficult and how do they see themselves in these situations? How do they see others? ‘lectric Eye is personal and communal, intimate and exposed, social and political. It is an ensemble work that highlights the individual. It is violent and playful, intrusive and inclusive, calm and chaotic. It highlights the desire for privacy along with the desire to be seen. In a life full of contradiction, what rises to the surface and how does each person decide what is meaningful? These crucial questions will be asked through the prism of this particular group’s experiences and physicality.

This residency was funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • Video still of Joanna Kotze on location in Tallahassee for <em>Nothing’s changed except for everything</em>.
  • Video still from filming of <em>Nothing’s changed except for everything</em>.
  • MANCC Media Specialist Chris Cameron and Joanna Kotze. Photo by Scott Lindenberg.
  • Kotze and Cameron. Photo by Scott Lindenberg.
  • Kotze and Cameron. Photo by Scott Lindenberg.
  • Video still of Kotze during filming process.
  • Video still of Kotze during filming process.
  • Video still of Kotze during filming process.
  • Kotze in studio for <em>'lectric Eye residency</em>. Photo by Joanna Kotze.
  • Kotze in studio. Photo by Joanna Kotze.
  • Kotze in studio. Photo by Joanna Kotze.
Collaborators: Ryan Seaton [Composer]

Archive Residency
2020 - 21

Emily Johnson


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