“Some of the dance steps, phrases and constructions by the choreographer Pam Tanowitz are among the finest being made anywhere today. They feature memorable footwork, strikingly elegant and witty combinations of lower- and upper body movement, and complex, subtle, fascinating uses of stage space.” - Alastair Macaulay, New York Times
“Pam Tanowitz's dances are a lot like diamonds: They dazzle with compositional brilliance, reveal even more facets when you look closer, and are the products of an unusually intense creative force.” - Helen Rolfe, Dance Spirit Magazine
“Ms. Tanowitz has long been one of the most formally brilliant choreographers around.” - Brian Seibert, New York Times
Pam Tanowitz is a celebrated New York based choreographer and collaborator known for her unflinchingly post-modern treatment of classical dance vocabulary. In 2000, she founded Pam Tanowitz Dance to explore dance-making with a consistent community of dancers.
In 2016, Tanowitz was presented with the Juried Bessie Award for “using form and structure as a vehicle for challenging audiences to think, to feel, to experience movement; for pursuing her uniquely poetic and theatrical vision with astounding rigor and focus.” Other honors include an Outstanding Production Bessie award in 2009 for her dance “Be In the Gray With Me”, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts award in 2010, Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011, the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University in 2013-14, a Fall 2016 fellowship at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU, and named a 2016-2017 City Center Choreography Fellow. Her work was selected by The New York Times Best of Dance series in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018.
When awarding Ms. Tanowitz the 2017 BAC Cage Cunningham Fellowship, Mikhail Baryshnikov, the center’s artistic director, said in a statement that “her work is not an imitation of dance history, but is a distinct intellectual journey.” Her 2017 dance “New Work for Goldberg Variations”, created for her company in collaboration with pianist Simone Dinnerstein, was called a “rare achievement” (The New York Times). Her most recent work, the 2018 creation Four Quartets, inspired by T.S. Eliot’s literary masterpiece and set to music by Kaija Saariaho, was called "the greatest creation of dance theater so far this century” (The New York Times).
She has been commissioned by The Joyce Theater, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Bard Summerscape Festival, Vail International Dance Festival, New York Live Arts, The Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series, Danspace Project, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Chicago Dancing Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Duke Performances, Peak Performances, FSU's Opening Nights Series, and the Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston.
Tanowitz has created or set work for City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, The Juilliard School, Ballet Austin, New York Theater Ballet and Saint Louis Ballet; and has been a guest choreographer at Barnard College, Princeton University, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Marymount Manhattan College and Purchase College.
Originally from New Rochelle, New York, Tanowitz holds degrees from The Ohio State University and Sarah Lawrence College, and is currently a visiting guest artist at Rutgers University.
Upcoming commissions from Paul Taylor American Dance, the Graham Company, and the Kennedy Center’s Ballet Across America will expose new audiences to her work.
Photo: Erin Baiano