- Emily Wexler is a choreographer, dancer, and educator. Her work shapes itself through an intense desire to uncover gravity of meaning by layering aspects of memory and time. Her motivation and perspective has been profoundly influenced through the practice of ballet and modern dance.
Wexler challenges herself to work with people in a highly physical, poetic, and responsible capacity in order to discover the possibilities of deconstructing our known realities to find what and how we are. She intentionally does not organize her work/process through a company model, but chooses to work collectively with those that lend themselves to her ideas. By honoring the collaborative relationships with the artists involved, significance can be revealed through a continual and ever-shifting investigation of space, time, and imagination. As dance and choreography tends to be a social and collaborative practice, Wexler's process is continually interested in expanding the ways in which performance can help connect the intersections and diverse experiences of those within an environment. Wexler is committed to dance as a form which has the capacity to dismantle the cultural/political constructs that uphold systems of white dominant patriarchy. This includes a forthright acknowledgment of the racist and misogynistic systems of power and privilege dance culture has historically perpetuated and a commitment to work which disrupts and shatters these systems.
Her work has been presented by MoMA PS 1, American Dance Festival, America Realness Festival, Movement Research at the Judson Church, The Knitting Factory, Center for Performance Research, Roulette, The Center, Draftworks at Danspace Project, CATCH at the Invisible Dog, Joyce SoHo, The Flea, Chez Bushwick, Dixon Place, Galapagos, AUNTS, Wuk (Austria), Carolyn Carlson Theater (Paris), and most distinctly in the living room of Communist/Activist Paul Robeson.
As a performer she has performed at the Whitney Museum, Guggenheim Museum, MoMA PS 1, Art Basel Miami, New Museum, Museum of Materials and Design, New York Live Arts, Danspace Project, Kaaitheater (Brussels), Theatere De La Bastille (Paris), SPRING dance (Utrecht), ImPulsTanz (Vienna), amongst others.
She has been supported for her choreography through various awards from academic, public, and private funding. She has been honored with the ACDFA/Dance Magazine Award for Outstanding Choreography, has been nominated for a Bessie Award in Outstanding Performance, received an ensemble cast Bessie Award, was a recipient of an Honorable Mention for the Gertude Claytor Award from the Academy of American Poets for a collection of her poems, received a Foundation for Contemporary Art Emergency Grant, and received an Artist Relief Grant.
Currently, she is on Faculty at School of Visual Arts and University of the Arts teaching Critical Dance Studies, Dance Technique/Improvisation/Composition, Performance Labs, Art and Social Justice, and a course investigating the pre-semiotic compositional parallels between dance and poetry. Previously she taught at Long Island University in Brooklyn before the President of the University shut the entire Dance Department down. For many summers she taught teenagers the love of dancing and making a dance at the Putney School in Vermont. Presently, she spends her summers on the Graduate Faculty through the Internationally situated University of the Arts MFA program in Dance Studies located in the South of France.
She has extended her work through teaching and making as an Artist-in-Residence with students at Hollins University, Dickinson College, University of Memphis, American Dance Festival, University City Arts League, American College Dance Festival, University of the Arts, and North Carolina State University.
She frequently teaches Senior Citizens the love of drawing an arc through space at the Senior League of Flatbush, the Senior League of Midwood, and the Park Slope Senior Center. The Brooklyn Arts Council awarded her with a 2014-2013 SPARC Grant to make dance, at the JASA Scheurer Senior Center in Coney Island, working with adults who were most affected by Hurricane Sandy. Both works received acclaim by the Seniors who attended the shows during their lunch hour. Previously she received a 2012 SPARC Grant to work with the Senior Citizens of the Grace Agard Harewood Senior Center.
As a performer and collaborator she has worked with Rebecca Brooks, Kim Brandt, Beth Gill, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Karinne Keithley, Jen McGinn, Ryan McNamara, Yvonne Meier, and Katy Pyle.
She was raised in New Jersey. She has a fraternal twin sister, older sister, and phenomenal parents.
She has a BA and MFA in Dance from Hollins University