BIODANCE is a non-profit contemporary dance company in Rochester that collaborates with multi-disciplinary artists and explores social, political and environmental issues through its works. For 10 years, BIODANCE has been offering weekly limited mobility dance classes for seniors free of charge at Community Place for Greater Rochester. The company has collaboratively developed a number of free community performance series and activities including BIO/DANCE & Social Justice, Wander and Wonder, BeCAUSE and more, many of which also served to benefit local service organizations. Most of these performances have been offered completely free of charge as part of the company's commitment to make the art of dance accessible and to encourage community conversations. Other recent projects have included BIODANCE's “Elemental Forces” in collaboration with the Dave Rivello Ensemble, "Aria," in collaboration with media artist W. Michelle Harris, soprano Kearstin Piper Brown and chamber ensemble fivebyfive at the Lyric Theatre, the sold out shows of "The Fragile Corridor," "Labyrinth" and "Anomaly," award winning site-specific shows in the 4-story dome of the Strasenburgh Planetarium with digital media artist W. Michelle Harris; Bach Without Boundaries, a sold out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland; Liebeslieder, a large-scale collaboration with Eric Townell and the Rochester Oratorio Society; Compartmented, a multi-arts and multi-generational performance installation at Rochester Lyric Theater; and performances in Heidi Latsky Dance's On Display/Rochester at the Memorial Art Gallery. City News claimed, "'Aria' opened on Sunday to a nearly full audience. This year’s iteration of what’s come to be an annual collaboration between BIODANCE choreographer Missy Pfohl Smith and digital media artist W. Michelle Harris, every bit of the performance was an absolute masterpiece."
The company’s next large scale project will be part of the Eastman School of Music‘s Centennial, a free concert on March 6, 2022 in collaboration with Cordancia Chamber Orchestra.
Committed to artistic excellence, BIODANCE reaches out to its community members in a variety of ways through donated and paid performances, benefit concerts (most recently for Volunteer Legal Services), interactive lecture-demonstrations and classes at venues such as Monroe Community Hospital, Geva Theatre Center's Fielding Stage, Community Place of Greater Rochester, Lyric Theatre, Hochstein Performance Hall, MUCCC and more. The company is also dedicated to dance education and sharing the many facets of contemporary dance with a wide audience through traditional and alternative performance venues. Established in 2002 in NYC, and re-established in Rochester in 2006, BIODANCE performs the work of internationally known choreographers Missy Pfohl Smith, Heidi Latsky, Bill Evans, D. Chase Angier, Ivy Baldwin, Katherine Kramer, Jeanne Schickler Compisi, Courtney World and more. BIODANCE has received various grants from the Arts and Cultural Council of Greater Rochester with support from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature, administered through the Livingston Arts Council, the Fred and Floy Willmott Foundation and from The Max and Marian Farash Foundation, among others.
Missy Pfohl Smith is the Artistic Director of BIODANCE and the Director of the Institute for the Performing Arts and the Program of Dance and Movement at University of Rochester. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, her BS from The College at Brockport, and is certified in the Evans Method of teaching Laban/Bartenieff-based modern dance. She has taught and performed across the US and abroad with BIODANCE, Randy James Dance Works, Paul Mosley, among others. Smith is currently dedicating her creative energies to collaborating with multi-disciplinary artists in music, visual art, sculpture and technology. Her areas of interest include site specific performance, socially conscious choreography, improvisation, community-based dance work and dance on camera.
Rochester City News claimed "All of Rochester could have been lit by the energy BIODANCE exuded at GEVA's Nextstage..." The Democrat and Chronicle called BIODANCE "Marvelously entertaining." The company is made of up of 8-10 of "some of the area's top modern dancers" (Democrat & Chronicle) and relies on the support of grants and individual supporters. BIODANCE is very grateful for the continued and generous support that has made the work possible since its inception.
We focus on: Arts and Culture, Education
Where we are: Monroe
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