Janis Brenner

Moving, Sounding and Acting: Improvisation into Choreography

July 21- July 27, 2024

Janis Brenner workshop 2019, Photo by Elise Klysa

This workshop intensive is open to all who improvise, teach, choreograph and perform as dancers or interdisci­plinary artists. We will explore the process of integrating movement, voice and speak­ing by delving into the mind/body con­nection, sensations and experiences through structured improvisation into “composition”. We’ll be involved in “Serious Play!” with solo as well as group struc­tures, looking at how the art forms of Theatre, Voice, Movement and Writing influence and enhance one another to create unique artistic statements.

Each class incorporates a physical warm-up as well as a vocal warm-up, with the group also learning songs to be sung together in “rounds.” This creates a great sense of community and unified purpose within the group from which we can move into explora­tions together and individually. *If you are already working on new material, please feel free to bring it with you. These workshops are a synthesis of Janis’s many years working with such artists as Meredith Monk, Murray Louis and Alwin Nikolais, and the development of her own, unique teaching, performing and choreographic aesthetic over the last 35 years.

Janis Brenner is an award-winning dancer/choreographer/singer/teacher/collagist and Artis­tic Director of Janis Brenner & Dancers in NYC. Known for her “meticulous artistry,” she has toured in 36 countries and is recognized as a “singular performer.”

Janis Brenner in Inheritance: A Litany photo by Judith Stuart Boroson

Awards include: 2018 “Best Production” Award and 2019 Critics’ Choice Award for Inheritance: A Litany at the United Solo Theatre Festival Off-Broadway, NY Dance & Performance Award (“Bessie”) for performance in Meredith Monk’s work, Lester Horton Award for Choreography in L.A., Copperfoot Award for Lost, Found, Lost at Wayne State, Fund for US Artists at International Festivals, Asian Cultural Council, Trust for Mutual Understanding, O’Donnell Green Music & Dance Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance, US Embassies in Moscow, Bosnia, Jakarta and Dakar, and a commission for The Memory Project from the Whitney Museum of American Art. Work has been commissioned/restaged on more than 50 companies and colleges worldwide. Performed with Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensem­ble from 1990 to 2005, 2014, recording on ECM Records. Soloist with Murray Louis Dance Com­pany (1977–84), working with Rudolf Nureyev, Placido Domingo, Dave Brubeck Quar­tet, Joseph Papp, Bat Sheva Dance Company, and Alwin Nikolais. On faculty at The Juilliard School 2009-21, mentoring Choreographers and Composers Collaborations, and has taught her dance and interdisciplinary workshops throughout the world.  Janis Brenner & Dancers has performed throughout the US, Asia, Russia and Europe since 1989. Janis has had two Visual Art exhibits in NYC since 2022. Her second one-woman show She Remembers her Amnesia has received critical acclaim and is continuing to tour, as is Inheritance: A Litany.

Please note Janis is offering an additional $25-$50 tuition discount to anyone who needs it, this can be combined with other discounts, please email janis at janisbren (at) gmail.com if interested.

Video created by Janis Brenner in 2021 for the Bearnstow Dance Map honoring our founder, Ruth Grauert, and Bearnstow’s 75 year anniversary.

Get more logistical details about Bearnstow’s workshops.