Jodi Melnick


Doris Duke Impact Award, 2014
Dance

New York, NY

Through her performance and choreography, Jodi Melnick researches nuance, gesture, and the emotion and drama inherent in the physical form. Her choreography has been commissioned and performed in New York and abroad- most recently, October 2014, at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in the Next Wave Festival. She has worked with a vast array of choreographers and dance artists including Twyla Tharp (1990-1994, 2009), Mikhail Baryshnikov (2005-2008), Sara Rudner, Vicky Shick, Susan Rethorst, and John Jasperse. She created One of Sixty-five Thousand Gestures (2011) with Trisha Brown, investigating their deep exploration and love of movement, and the slippage from casual to formal. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship (2012), a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant (2011), a Jerome Robbins New Essential Works Grant (2010-2011), and two Bessie Awards for sustained achievement in dance. Currently, Melnick teaches at Barnard College, New York University, and Sarah Lawrence

  • Credit: Maggie Picard
    Moment Marigold (2014)
  • Credit: Maggie Picard
    Moment Marigold (2014)
  • Credit: Maggie Picard
    Moment Marigold (2014)
  • Photo Credit: Erica Martin
  • Jodi Melnick- Solo, Deluxe Version (2012): http://vimeo.com/89928803
    Solo, Deluxe Version (2012)
  • Photo Credit: Alex Escalante
    Solo, Deluxe Version (2012)
  • Jodi Melnick- One of Sixty-five Thousand Gestures (2012) : http://vimeo.com/89927188
    One of Sixty-five Thousand Gestures (2012)
  • Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes
    Suedehead (2009)

Artistically, what do you do & why do you do it?

I am a choreographer, dancer, collaborator, and teacher. I design intricate movement to explore the exquisite nature and dynamic relationships between human beings. My dance language can be quietly nuanced and pedestrian, at times wild and reckless, flooded with imagery, accumulating into dramatic content unmistakably constructed through choreographic means. I use the profound expression of the dancing body and my lucid performing instincts to drive the creative process. The work is transformed through the phenomenon of dancing; it comes into being through the dancing of it. I create work that occupies a position somewhere between written and spoken language, a living text, a series of moving ciphers. I do this because my desires to express the possibilities and uniqueness of human interactions, for me, can only be realized through performing and dance making. This is how I give voice to the full range of my thoughts, feelings, and physical self. This is how I connect with people outside my environment, individually, and on a larger scale.