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About Us

Open Dance Ensemble explored, developed and promoted improvised dance strategies and offered young dancers the opportunity to create new work. Our seven year history seems to fall into three sometimes over-lapping phases.


First, we initiated a new technique, one in which dancers conduct each other while dancing with a set of gestures and hand signals to bring compositional coherence to the individual improvised movements of dancers, and created and presented dozens of new, structured improvised performances using this self-conducting technique. A clear although later example of this technique is “Demonstration”, as performed outdoors at Bohemian Hall in Queens in September, 2021.


Then, in a second phase, we devoted our time and energies to creating new works by members of the ensemble, some of which employed self-conducting but all of which were based on improvisation. The form and structure of these dances varied considerably as each piece was originated by a different member of the ensemble. A good example is “Swipe Right” choreographed by member Sara Pizzi, performed at Green Space Studio in Queens in November, 2021.


In our third, most recent phase we pay homage to major works from twentieth-century dance by resetting them in structured improv formats. Our latest such piece was “Appalachian Summer”, a retake of Martha Graham’s “Appalachian Spring”, performed at Eden’s Expressway in May, 2024.


In sum, since 2017 the Open Dance Ensemble has created and presented over forty new dances at multiple venues, from abstract pieces to dances with narrative content, each with a new or diverse way of dance improvisation.

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