Gwen Welliver is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher known for her range and depth across formats from performance installation to opera. Her works in movement and drawing explore the expressive potential of line and figure in the mutable spaces that separate abstraction from representation.
As a New York Dance and Performance ‘Bessie’ awardee for Sustained Achievement in Dancing with Doug Varone and Dancers, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Choreography, and former Rehearsal Director for the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Welliver’s work has been presented in renowned venues worldwide: American Dance Festival, Center for Performance Research, City Center, Festival Aix-en-Provence, Gibney, Kennedy Center, La MaMa, La Monnaie/De Munt, Lincoln Center Festival, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Museum of Arts and Design, New York Live Arts, Palais Garnier, Sadler’s Wells Theater, Singapore Festival of Arts, Spoleto Festival USA, and Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Theater, among many others.
Recent commissions for new work include: On its Face (Gibney); Couple Riding (Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung’s Guggenheim Works and Process); a co-commission by the Martha Graham Dance Company and Opening Nights for The Welliver Variation, a Lamentation Variation; What a Horse! (La Mama); Beasts and Plots (New York Live Arts). In 2015 Welliver was invited to choreograph Paradise Interrupted, a new installation opera conceived, designed, and directed by Jennifer Wen Ma with music by Huang Ruo. Paradise Interrupted premiered at Spoleto Festival USA, with subsequent performances at Lincoln Center Festival, Singapore Festival of Arts, National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts and the National Concert Hall (Taipei).
Support for Welliver’s works and process has come from numerous sources: Mertz Gilmore Foundation, New Music USA, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Department of Cultural Affairs, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, New York Foundation for the Arts Artist’s Fellowships, New York Live Arts, La MaMa, Gibney, New York State Council for the Arts funded Movement Research Artist-in-Residence Program, Center for Performance Research’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Artist in Residence program, Florida State University’s Office of Research, Bennington College, Museum of Arts and Design, Barnard College, Dance Theater Workshop’s Studio Series, 92 Y Harkness Dance Festival, Nasher Museum, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and the Suitcase Fund.
Welliver’s teaching experience spans decades. She has taught in universities, conservatories, and festivals across four continents and is now on the faculty of the School of Dance at Florida State University. Her choreographic work is based in New York City.