Liz Lerman


Liz Lerman is a MacArthur Award-winning choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker. Described by the Washington Post as "the source of an epochal revolution in the scope and purposes of dance art," her dance/theater works have been seen throughout the United States and abroad. Her aesthetic approach spans the range from abstract to personal to political.

She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976 and cultivated the company' s unique multi-generational ensemble into a leading force in contemporary dance. Recently, she handed the artistic leadership of the company over to the next generation of Dance Exchange artists, and will be pursuing many new projects with fresh partnerships. The first of these new projects will take place this fall, when she will be artist-in-residence at Harvard University. Liz has been the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur " Genius Grant" Fellowship. Liz' s work has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, American Dance Festival and the Kennedy Center, among many others. Her newest critically acclaimed work, "The Matter of Origins," examines the question of beginnings through dance, media and innovative formats for conversation. "Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer," her new collection of essays, was recently published by Wesleyan University Press.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Milwaukee, Liz attended Bennington College and Brandeis University, received her BA in dance from the University of Maryland, and an MA in dance from George Washington University. She is married to storyteller Jon Spelman. Their daughter, a recent college graduate, is in Thailand working at the Shanyouth Center in Cheng Mei.

Liz Lerman will be a keynote presenter at our October, 2012 symposium: Information, Space and Time: The Arts, Creativity and Learning in the 21st Century.