artist
Jodi Melnick

“Trying to convey Melnick’s brilliance is like trying to grasp a silver trout in a running stream. She is indeed a force of nature.”  

– Village Voice

Biography

Jodi Melnick - NYC based choreographer, dancer, and teacher graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance. Melnick is the recipient of the Jerome Robbins New Essential Works Grant (2010-2011), The Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant (2011), and has been honored with two Bessie Awards for sustained achievement in dance (2001 and 2008). 

Her works Fanfare and Suedehead, were presented February 2009 at The Kitchen in NYC. Fanfare, in collaboration with artist Burt Barr, was chosen as one of TIMEOUTNY’s best in Dance 2009 and opened the Dublin Dance Festival (2011), performed at The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). In NYC, other works have been presented at Dance Theater Workshop, and La Mama. Additionally, Melnick’s choreography has been commissioned by: OtherShore Dance Company (NYC), Dance Box (Kansai, Japan), Barnard College (NYC), George Washington University, Rex Levitates (Dublin, Ireland), Maiden Voyage Productions (Belfast, Ireland), Bates College (Maine) Monmouth College (Oregon), and throughout Estonia, Russia, and Japan,.

Melnick was a member of Twyla Tharp Dance Company (1990-1994), and worked with her again in 2009.
She continues to perform with choreographers: Sara Rudner, Susan Rethorst, Jonathon Kinzel and Vicky Shick. In 2005, she revisited working with Donna Uchizono, creating and performing in a trio with Mikhail Baryshnikov. 
Since 2007 Melnick has been working with John Jasperse creating/performing/and restaging current versions of Becky, Jodi, and JohnBecky, Jodi, and John’ was included in the New York Times top 5 dance gems of 2007 worth bringing back, and as one of the New York Times 2008 highlights of the coming year.

Melnick has worked as an assistant director to Trisha Brown, creating and restaging two operas, Schubert’s Winterreise, and Scrainno’s De Gelo a Gelo. Currently, Melnick is thrilled to be working with Trisha Brown again, creating a new solo. 

Spring 2007, she was privileged to be the dance mentor in NYC for the Young Arts award winners through the NFAA scholarship based in Miami, Florida

In 2004, in collaboration with choreographer Joachim Schloemer, composer Olga Neuwirth, and nobel-prize winning playwright and novelist Elfriede Jenilek, Melnick created her role, singing mezzo soprano, in David Lynch’s opera based on his film “Lost Highway’.

She has performed in the video/film works of Burt Barr and Charles Atlas.

As a teacher, Melnick has taught master classes, technique, improvisation, and composition workshops throughout the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia.Currently, she is teaching at Barnard College/Columbia University in NYC.

Artist Statement

I am truly, madly deeply, in love with movement. I am also acutely aware of stillness and how a narrative may unfold from either place.

My choreography is grounded in an ongoing interest in the body. My investigation is of nuance and gesture, and the emotion and drama inherent in the physical form. 

While creating this dance language, I am both terrified and inspired. The dance emerges out of this process, not from a pre- determined notion. I trust my intuition as I am drawn into a world dislocated from something I know. 
My desire is to find what is inherently necessary to the work, to meticulously extract, to choose fiercely, to use necessity as a driving force. 

The experience of performing is crucial to the work. Each time I want to find anew the spontaneity and immediacy as if I am discovering the piece for the first time.

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