2020 Guggenheim Fellow Shamel Pitts is a performance artist, choreographer, conceptual artist, dancer, spoken word artist, and teacher. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Shamel began his dance training at LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts and, simultaneously, at The Ailey School. He is 2003 YoungArts Finalist and a first prize (level 1) winner of the YoungArts competition. Shamel then went on to receive his BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and was awarded the Martha Hill Award for excellence in dance. He began his dance career in Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen Dance and BJM_Danse Montreal. Shamel danced with Batsheva Dance Company for 7 years, under the artistic direction of Ohad Naharin and is a certified teacher of Gagamovement language. He is an adjunct professor at The Juilliard School, a guest faculty member at Princeton University, New York University, Wesleyan University and has been an artist in residence at Harvard University. He is the recipient of a 2018 Princess Grace Award in Choreography, a 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Award winner in Choreography, a 2020 Jacob’s Pillow artist in residence and a 2021 New York Dance Award winner (The Bessies). Shamel is the Founding Artistic Director of TRIBE, a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary arts collective. TRIBE is a 92Y Harkness Dance Center’s Artist In Residence for the 2020-2021 season. Shamel Pitts | TRIBE is also a New York Live Arts Live Feed artist in residence. For more information, visit www.shamelpitts.com or www.itsatribe.org.
Photo by Itai Zwecker