Dance artist, educator, choreographer, and arts facilitator Rachel Dodson resides in the Pacific Northwest where she offers studio courses in contemporary modern, classical ballet, improvisation and Progressing Ballet Technique to both pre-professional and recreational students. Her community-based classes welcome participants of all levels and encourage both novice and seasoned movers to experience diverse movement practices and somatic modalities. Current creative pursuits are driven by deepening dialogue and communal action towards equitable conversations in art making and movement events.
Dodson holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in somatic movement The Alexander Technique from the University of Colorado Boulder 2017 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in Choreography from the University of California Irvine 2007, She holds additional certificates in Women and Gender Studies and College Teaching from the University of Colorado Boulder and The Healthy Dance Practice certificate from SAFE in Dance International and in 2019 she added a teacher certification in the four tiered program Progressing Ballet Technique with Marie Walton-Mahon.
Dodson's research lives at the intersection of somatic theory, performance studies, queer theory
and history, examining the cultural influence on the body and its causal relationship to both self-identity and community identities. Using dance as a lens to critically analyze and reveal socially absorbed hegemonic belief systems, she combines improvisational and embodied somatic practices as a means of decolonizing the self. She was recently commissioned by artsIDAHO and the National Endowment for the Arts to produce a screendance inspired by original scholarly research using queer theoretical framework to analyze media perpetuation of sex-based binaries.
Dodson has performed with various companies and artists as a soloist, duet, and corps dancer as both a permanent and guest artist for over 20 years--including but not limited to performances with Merce Cunningham, Loretta Livingston, Gesel Mason, Nada Diachenko, Mel Wong, Donald McKayle, Israel "El" Gabriel, Architexture Dance Company, Boston Ballet, and the Gilbert Reed Ballet. Her original scholarly and creative research has been invited for presentation at the Hawaii International Conference in Arts and Humanities and FEM + FEST Feminist Art Festival while movement research has been presented at the Colorado Dance Education Organization and American College Dance Association Northwest Conference in 2019 and 2020. Her choreography has been commissioned and featured nationally and internationally in Kyriat Ono and Herzliya Pituach, Israel; Boulder, Longmont, Louisville, Paonia, and Lafayette, Colorado; Templeton, Arroyo Grande, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, Irvine, and Santa Cruz, California; Spokane, Washington; and Moscow, Idaho. In 2020 the Idaho Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts awarded her with a competitive grant to produce "To the Girl I Was: An Annotation from the Margin" which is scheduled to be screened in the Cascadia Dance & Cinema Festival's 'Future in Focus 2021' program.
Photo credits (top to bottom): Daniel Beahm, Wojciech Mochniej, Daniel Beahm