Founding Artistic Director, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange
Liz Lerman is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker. Described by the Washington Post as “the source of an epochal revolution in the scope and purposes of dance art,” her dance/theater works have been seen throughout the United States and abroad. Her aesthetic approach spans the range from abstract to personal to political. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976 and has cultivated the company’s unique multi-generational ensemble into a leading force in contemporary dance. Liz has been the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship. Liz’s work has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, American Dance Festival, and the Kennedy Center among many others. Ferocious Beauty: Genome, commissioned by Wesleyan University is the first piece in a trilogy of Dances addressing scientific subject matter. The work was made possible by the collaboration at Wesleyan. Her newest work, The Matter of Origins, examines the question of beginnings through dance, media and innovative formats for conversation and is inspired by the work of the scientists at CERN and Hubble. Her collection of essays, titled Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer, is due out from Wesleyan University Press in spring of 2011. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Milwaukee, Liz attended Bennington College and Brandeis University, received her BA in dance from the University of Maryland, and an MA in dance from George Washington University. She is married to storyteller Jon Spelman. Their daughter Anna recently graduated from college.