Rebecca Bryant’s danceworks combine set and improvised movement with sound, text, video and objects. Originally trained as a visual artist, Bryant’s unique approach to dance includes an emphasis on improvisational methods and performative states, as well as non-hierarchical collaboration within and across disciplines. Known for her “wonderful insistence on making art about complex ideas” (Janice Steinberg, San Diego Union Tribune), Bryant tackles current societal phenomena using motifs that are both visceral and ironic. With roots in postmodern dance, dance-theater, and performance art, her work is performed in both traditional theaters and site-specific locations, including art galleries, fountains, warehouses, and public parks.
Bryant has performed across the U.S. and in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. In addition to numerous solo projects, Bryant is an active collaborator; she has worked extensively with the Lower Left Performance Collective (dance/theater) and as a co-founder of the Past Modern Performance Duo (dance/percussion/new media). Bryant’s frequent projects with musicians, visual artists, theater artists, poets, and dancers have brought her into creative relationships with over 100 artists from diverse backgrounds, including multi-national music collective Trummerflora, poetry group Collective Purpose, The Taco Shop Poets, hip hop choreographer Grace Jun, choreographer/improviser Sandra Mathern-Smith, Argentine filmmaker Paula Zacharias, Polish theater director Jurek Sawka, and German visual artist Fabian Winkler. Her projects have received support from residencies at Djerassi Resident Artist Program (California) and Guapamacátaro Art and Ecology Residency (Mexico), as well as multiple travel, research and equipment grants. Her work has been selected for regional and national festivals, as well as Gala Concert at the Central Region (2013), East Central Region (2012), and Southwest Region (2000) American College Dance Festivals. Bryant has danced for many renowned and emerging choreographers including Nina Martin, Wally Cardona, Kim Epifano, Shelley Senter, Lionel Popkin, Liam Clancy, Marianne Kim, Randé Dorn, and Manuelito Biag. She has set work on American dance ensembles GROUP, Kacico Dance, Big Rig Dance Collective, and Brazos Dance Collective, as well as Scandinavian ensemble flight/discovery, Canada’s aLOFT Project, and students at California State University Fresno, University of California San Diego, and Purdue University.
Bryant has taught both nationally and internationally, in workshops and classes at festivals, universities, K-12 public schools and in the community. In August 2014, she joined the faculty at California State University, Long Beach. From 2008-2014, Bryant was an Assistant Professor of Dance at Purdue University, where she co-directed the Purdue Contemporary Dance Company, mentored students in composition, and taught contemporary technique, improvisation and contact improvisation. From 2006 to 2008, Bryant held an adjunct faculty position in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Missouri State University. Bryant has taught workshops in New York, Stockholm, Oslo, Berlin, Buenos Aires, San Diego, and at the Los Angeles Improvisational Dance Festival, West Coast Contact Improv Festival (Berkeley, CA), Texas Dance Improvisation Festival (Houston, TX), Contact Festival Freiburg (Germany), TransContact Festival (Romania), Kontakt Budapest Festival (Hungary), and at numerous universities across the US. Her subjects include contemporary technique, improvisation, somatics, performance praxis, composition, and site-specific dancemaking.
In addition to her ongoing study of the Alexander Technique, Bryant has cultivated her dancing style by training in modern dance forms (Humphrey/Limon, Cunningham, Hawkins), postmodern forms (Release Technique, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Developmental Movement, Body-Mind Centering, Hamilton Floor Barre, Irene Dowd’s work), improvisation practices (Mary Overlie’s The Six Viewpoints, Bogart/Landau Viewpoints, Re-Wire: Dancing States, Barbara Dilley’s Red Square), contact improvisation (with Nita Little, Ray Chung, Andrew Harwood, Karen Nelson, KJ Holmes, Martin Keogh, and others), performance art (with Eleanor Antin), yoga (Ashtanga, Iyengar), and ballet. Bryant began her artistic training at an early age, studying and excelling in the visual arts; she holds a BA in Visual Art from the University of California San Diego, where she specialized in photography, painting, film, and installation. She received an MFA in Dance from the University of California Los Angeles, where she focused on performance theory, body modalities, and dance education in addition to her choreographic and improvisational work.