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, un-predictability, and beauty through movement. Her evening-length piece, ‘lectric Eye, made in col-laboration with dancers Wendell Gray II, Molly Heller, Symara Johnson, and composer/musician Ryan Seaton, and with lighting design by Kathy Kaufmann, will premiere at The Irondale Center in Brooklyn, NY in February 2022. She is also currently working on a short film project called Noth-ing’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 Founda-tion, Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance, New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) BUILD, Brooklyn Arts Council, Yellowhouse, and the Foundation for Contempo-rary Arts Emergency Grant. Her choreography has been presented at The Yard, Bates Dance Fes-tival, 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 had residency support 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, which supported a residency at Mount Tremper Arts (NY). 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, Mil-vus 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), Ze-non 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 Research and has taught at Amherst College, Melbourne University, Toronto Dance Theatre, Gibney 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 Dance Fest, Bates Dance Festival, and the American Dance Festival. She is originally from South Africa and has a BA in Architecture from Miami University. www.joannakotze.com

Visiting Artist | December 8 - 20, 2021

'lectric Eye

Visiting artist Joanna Kotze returned to MANCC in December of 2021 to delve back into ‘lectric Eye, an evening-length dance performance choreographed in collaboration with dancers Wendell Gray II, Molly Heller, and Symara Johnson, and Ryan Seaton as composer/performer, with lighting design by Kathy Kaufmann. ‘lectric Eye responds to collective and personal loss and isolation and draws attention to the human body’s potential for persistence, resistance, and power. ‘lectric Eye is an ensemble work that is personal and communal, intimate and exposed, highlighting 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 are asked through the prism of this ensemble’s experiences and physicality.

During this residency, Joanna worked with Florida State University’s  School of Dance students, Ruth Allen, Katie Garrepy, Cameron Kay, Sherrod Reid, Rafael Tillery, and alumna Annali Clevenger, to help develop this work by seeing what a larger version of existing movement could offer, and shared the work in development, along with the completed film. Joanna also used this time to work with Kaufman to solidify lighting design and hone production elements of the work.

Joanna and her collaborators were joined by writer and artist Lauren Slone, at the invitation of Joanna, supported through the Embedded Writer Program. Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation since 2015, the Embedded Writer initiative is designed to support the re-imagining of dance writing conventions to better respond to and engage with a wider range of ever-evolving contemporary forms.

Nothing’s changed except for everything will premiere January 11th on Kotze’s Vimeo channel, and additionally here, on MANCC’s website. Kotze’s evening length work, ‘lectric Eye, will be premiering at The Space at Irondale, Brooklyn, NY, Feb. 9-12, 2022 at 7:30pm ET. There will be a live stream option to view ‘lectric Eye on Feb. 12, 2022 at 7:30pm ET.

irondale.org/show-lectric-eye

This residency for ‘lectric Eye is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (Embedded Writer Program).

  • Symara Johnson, Wendell Gray II, and Joanna Kotze
  • Gray and Molly Heller
  • Kotze
  • Lauren Ree Slone, Ryan Seaton, and Heller
  • Kotze
  • Seaton and Johnson
  • Gray
  • Gray
  • Heller
  • Johnson
  • Johnson
  • Kotze
  • Heller and Gray
  • Seaton and Gray
  • 'lectric Eye cast rehearses with FSU School of Dance students
  • 'lectric Eye cast rehearses with FSU School of Dance students
  • 'lectric Eye cast rehearses with FSU School of Dance students
  • Joanna Kotze
  • Wendell Gray II
  • Gray
  • Symara Johnson
  • Johnson
  • Johnson
  • Molly Heller
  • Johnson, Gray, and Kotze
Collaborators: Wendell Gray II, Molly Heller, Symara Johnson [Dancers], Ryan Seaton [Composer/Performer], Kathy Kaufmann [Lighting Designer], Lauren Ree Slone [Writer]

Student and alumni cast during residency: Ruth Allen, Annali Clevenger, Katie Garrepy, Cameron Kay, Sherrod Reid, and Rafael Tillery

Visiting Artist | December 8 - 16, 2020

Nothing's changed except for everything

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 engaged with School of Dance students via Zoom in January 2021, during which she, Seaton, and Cameron discussed the residency and their process.

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.
  • Kotze speaking with remote collaborator in residence, composer Ryan Seaton.
  • Video still of Kotze during filming process.
  • 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.
  • Kotze in studio. Photo by Chris Cameron.
  • Kotze in studio. Photo by Chris Cameron.
  • Kotze in studio. Photo by Chris Cameron.
  • Kotze in studio. Photo by Chris Cameron.
  • Kotze in studio. Photo by Chris Cameron.
Collaborator: Ryan Seaton [Composer]

World Premiere

Ronald K. Brown

The Equality of Night
and Day (TEND)

June 29 - July 3
Jacob's Pillow Dance
Festival (MA)

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