Dianne McIntyre


Doris Duke Artist Award, 2016
Doris Duke Impact Award, 2015
Dance

Cleveland, OH

Dianne McIntyre’s trailblazing career has influenced the genre of dance for over 40 years. Her work combines the elements of dance, music and theatre. She has collaborated with numerous pioneering artists including musicians Olu Dara, Cecil Taylor, Lester Bowie, and Onaje Allan Gumbs. Her collaborative works include many “choreopoems,” or poems with choreography, with poet-playwright Ntozake Shange. In 2015, she choreographed lost in language and sound, the work-in-progress of Shange’s newest choreopoem. Her honors include a Doris Duke Impact Award, a 2015-2016 Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Spelman College, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two honorary doctorates, and funding from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation’s ArtsCONNECT and National Dance Project. She recently premiered three new works: a solo with ensemble yMusic at New York Live Arts; a dance piece set to Maya Angelou’s A Brave and Startling Truth for Dance St. Louis Ensemble (featuring Alicia Graf Mack, Antonio Douthit-Boyd, and Kirven Douthit-Boyd); and Change for Dance Theatre of Harlem.

  • Photo Credit: Larry Coleman
    Dianne McIntyre
  • Dianne McIntyre- When We Come to It (2016): http://vimeo.com/161538406
    When We Come to It (2016)
  • Dianne McIntyre- Time is Time (2014): /126967630
    Time is Time (2014)
  • Photo Credit: Ian Douglas
    Time is Time (2014)
  • Photo credit: Ian Douglas
    we carry our homes within us which enables us to fly (2015)
  • Photo Credit: Jeff Cravotta
    CHANGE (Dance Theatre of Harlem, 2016)
  • Photo Credit: Daryl Peveto at the Kimmel Center
    A Forgotten Moon-Song (Philadanco, 2015)
  • Photo Credit: Jeff Cravotta
    CHANGE (Dance Theatre of Harlem, 2016)

Suppose you just met someone who didn't know your work. What project from the past 10 years would you direct them to as an entry point to you and your work, and why?

Time is Time (2014) is a work that embodies all my creative singularities. It was choreographed for New York Live Arts’ 2014 Live Ideas Festival celebrating James Baldwin. As a dance artist first, I merge other elements into the dance so it has multiplicities – live music, speaking, singing, a set, and consciousness raising themes. This work also illumines my penchant toward intentional choreographic structure – specificity in use of space, theme and variation, diversity in dynamics. In contrast I revolt against planning with improvisational moments. For me words are music, as well as arrows to pierce their underlying meanings through movement. A favorite rehearsal practice is developing the dance and music simultaneously. Pianist/composer Onaje Allan Gumbs and I collaborated to marry our “voices” with Baldwin’s poetry. Also I like to change the empty space with something – so these quilts reminded me of Baldwin’s elegance and bold social statements about now and the past. History is paramount for me.