Dana Reitz

Dana Reitz

Dana Reitz, choreographer, dancer, and visual artist, often uses silence as a means to reveal the musical nuance of movement itself. On her own and in her collaborations with lighting artists, she has pioneered the use of light as a physical partner. Her woven movement and light scores—essential, spare, and fleeting—create a continually shifting perception of time and space. She performed her recent solo work, current, meant to “happen in a mutable light stream, somewhere in a current of time” at Roulette Intermedium, Brooklyn, in October 2023.


Dana Reitz in Latitude. Photo by Kate Enman.
Dana Reitz in Latitude. Photo by Kate Enman.

For her work, Latitude, Reitz designed a mutable light field at moments altered and punctuated by the presence of several long and varied wooden sticks. Performed by Reitz with Elena Demyanenko and Yanan Yu, Latitude was produced and presented by Lumberyard Contemporary Performing Arts at New York Live Arts in February 2018. 

Performance projects, among many, include Necessary Weather, a work made with lighting designer Jennifer Tipton and dancer Sara Rudner; Unspoken Territory, a solo she created for Mikhail Baryshnikov; Shoreline; Private Collection; Lichttontanz; Suspect Terrain; Circumstantial Evidence; Severe Clear; Sea Walk; and Field Papers. She and Mikhail Baryshnikov toured together with a program of solos; she later created Cantata for Two, a duet for Baryshnikov and Kabuki master Tamasaburo Bando (Tokyo). Earlier in her career, her collaborators with light included (chronologically) Beverly Emmons, James Turrell, Jennifer Tipton, David Finn, and Rick Martin.

Reitz has toured, as a performer and mentor, throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and the US. Since 1973, she has been commissioned/produced by multiple venues including The Festival d’Automne (Paris), The Hebbel Theater (Berlin), The Gulbenkian Foundation (Portugal), The Dance Umbrella (London), PepsiCo Summerfare Festival (Purchase, NY), BAM’s Next Wave Festival (Brooklyn), and the Lincoln Center White Light Festival (New York).

Furthermore, she performed internationally at Spazio Zero (Rome); Rovereto International Festival (Italy); The Holland Festival and Spring Dance, Utrecht (Holland); Festival d’Avignon and The American Center, Paris; Andere Avant Garde Festival (Linz, Austria); Dance Festival (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane, Australia); Kunsthalle Basel, Kunsthaus Zürich, and Salle Simon I. Patiño (Switzerland); New Dance Festival (Munich); Rivoli Teatro Municipal, Porto, and Culturgest, Lisbon (Portugal); and The International Festival of Dance (Montreal), among others. Additional U.S. engagements include The Spoleto Festival (Charleston, South Carolina); Jacob’s Pillow (Becket, Massachusetts); The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis); MoMing (Chicago); The Wexner Art Center (Columbus, Ohio); Atlantic Center for the Arts (New Smyrna Beach, Florida), Colorado Dance Festival, (Boulder); LACE (Los Angeles); and Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace at  St. Mark’s Church, and The Kitchen Center (New York City). 

Reitz has taught in residencies at UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures (Los Angeles), Dongguk University (Seoul, South Korea), The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Contredanse (Brussels), Philadelphia Dance Projects/Arts Bank, Japanese Asia Dance Event and International Summer School of Dance (Tokyo), American University (Washington, D.C.), University of Maryland, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis), University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (Vancouver), Sarah Lawrence College (New York), Dancer Studio West (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), and York University (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), to name a few. 

Her choreographic drawings were exhibited in group shows at the Paula Cooper Gallery and Franklin Furnace (New York City), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), and Les Musées de Marseille (France). She collaborated on independent dance films with Rudy Burckhardt, David Gearey, and Phill Niblock. In the seventies, she performed as a member of Twyla Tharp and Dancers and Laura Dean and Dance Company and was a member of the original cast of Einstein on the Beach by Robert Wilson and Philip Glass. 

Reitz and her projects have received numerous awards, including two Bessies (The New York Dance and Performance Award), a Guggenheim Fellowship, support from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, Inc., and multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, one as part of American Masterpieces, sponsored by the Flynn Center in Vermont. Many of her projects have been supported in part by Field Papers, Inc., for which she serves as the artistic director. She has taught at Bennington College since 1994.