Ethnomusicologist, Fulbright scholar, musician, dancer, certified Labanotation teacher, and creator of Greenotation, a system for writing percussion instrument music and aligning it with accompanying dance moves into a single integrated score. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, did her undergraduate work at Brooklyn College and did her graduate studies on a doctoral fellowship at New York University. She has been a faculty member at Brooklyn College, New York University, Teachers College at Columbia University, the New School for Social Research, and Adelphi University. For her work in African music and dance, she has received three faculty research awards from the City University of New York (CUNY), enabling her to teach and conduct research in nations across Africa, from Tanzania to Senegal. She won the coveted Fulbright Prize and spent a year teaching her notation system in Côte d'Ivoire and the Gambia. After retiring, she returned to Africa as a State Department Cultural Specialist to teach Ghanaians how to write computer dance at the University of Ghana at Legon. Her master work, Greenotation: Manuscripts of African Music and Dance, will be published later in 2022.
Acclaimed dance artist and movement consultant. A dynamic practitioner and pioneer of contemporary developments of Laban's principles and practice, contemporary choreological studies and movement for wellbeing. Expert in creative pedagogy, performance enhancement, movement directing, choreography, contemporary technique and choreological practice.
Artistic Director of award-winning Summit Dance Theatre and leading exponent of Rudolf Laban's dance theatre works. Research includes re-imagining Laban’s "Die Nacht", "Drumstick" and "Ishtar’s Journey into Hades" with Summit Dance Theatre. "Green Clowns" with Transitions Dance Company, performing in Canada, Switzerland and the UK. Filmed and screened by Swiss TV, German ARTE TV and featured in The BBC documentary "Dance Rebels".
Programme Leader for the Specialist Diploma in Choreological Studies at Trinity Laban, London, UK. Published in Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan, Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices, Movement and Dance Magazine. Leading expert in contemporary choreological practice, teaching in Croatia, South Korea, Japan, Beijing, China, Singapore and Switzerland, and presenting conference papers and practical research internationally.
JoAnna MendI Shaw
Choreographer, dance educator, and arts advocate, JoAnna Mendl Shaw creates performance works for stage, rural and urban landscapes. With her company the Equus Projects, Shaw tours throughout the States and Europe creating site-specific performance works devised as an immersive community engagement process in collaboration with the local community. Shaw's choreography often includes equines. Her Physical Listening practice, developed from years of inter-species research has brought Equus Projects into teaching residencies at the Naval War College, Training Magazine, NYU Medical School and into corporate think tanks, dance conservatories, colleges, elementary schools and into extensive work in the equestrian world. Shaw has taught on the faculty at NYU/Tisch, The Juilliard School, Ailey BFA Program, Marymount, Princeton, Mount Holyoke, and Montclair State. Shaw and the Equus Projects have been funded by grants from the NEA, Harkness, Jerome Robbins, RSF, Rockefeller, O’Donnell Green, and Oppenheimer Foundations, DCA, LMCC, NYSCA and commissioned by numerous festivals including Bates Dance Festival, Saratoga Arts Festival, and NYC River to River Festival.
Sarasvati has been a faculty member at UGA since 1991, is the artistic director of the CORE Concert Dance Company and was director of the department of dance’s Concert Dance Company from 1992 to 2000. She has choreographed more than 30 full-length pieces, and her work has been performed at venues across the United States and internationally. In her final year as Jane Willson Professor in the Arts at the University of Georgia, USA, Bala looks forward to the shift into the world, once again as a free-lance artist/teacher. A Certified Movement Analyst (CMA), Bala specializes in the application of LMA/BF theories to dance technique and creation. In addition, she is a certified Yoga Trapeze teacher/trainer. Since 2007, Bala also serves as a graduate faculty member for Nacionale Universidad, Heredia, Costa Rica specializing in BF application to dance. Her dance and movement approaches have been presented internationally throughout the world and well as her choreography, of which she for the past twenty years has integrated aerial and contemporary dance with film to create unique multimedia events.