Makeda Thomas


New York/Trinidad based artist Makeda Thomas has emerged as a dancer, choreographer, educator and curator on three continents. Graça Machel, Former First Lady of South Africa and Mozambique is the Honorary Patron of her internationally acclaimed 2005 work, A Sense of Place, which was commissioned by 651 ARTS Black Dance: Tradition & Transformation. Her 2008 solo FreshWater was embedded into MIT's Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies and toured the U.S., Mexico, Zimbabwe, and Trinidad. She has served as a Cultural Envoy for the U.S. Dept. of State and is the Director of the Dance & Performance Institute. Makeda’s choreography has been presented at HARLEM Stage/Aaron Davis Hall, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Caribbean Contemporary Arts, the Chicago Women’s Performance Arts Festival, Harare's 7 Arts Centre, Teatro de la Ciudad, among others. Her films have been shown at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, T&T Moves Film Festival, MadLab’s 1st International Film Festival, the Congress on Research in Dance and BRIC Arts|Media|Brooklyn. As Artistic Advisor, Thomas remounted FIN (2008) by late contemporary African dance choreographer Augusto Cuvilas which saw performances from the Centre Culturel Franco Mozambicain in Maputo to the Baltoppen in Copenhagen. Thomas' 2012 site-specific work Sighting Freedom, premiered at the Buffalo Canalside Harbor. She has received international commissions and awards, most recently earning a Creative Capital award (US), a Young Maverick Award from COCO (Trinidad) and induction in the Caribbean Hall of Fame (Jamaica). As a dancer, Thomas performed internationally with Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, Urban Bush Women, and Rennie Harris/ Puremovement.