Keely Garfield

Keely Garfield

Fellow: Awarded 2017
Field of Study: Choreography

Competition: US & Canada

Keely Garfield joyfully participates in the great body of the world as a choreographer, dancer, teacher, and curator. Born in London and based in New York City, Garfield is the artistic director of her company, Keely Garfield Dance (KGD), which has been widely presented at theaters and festivals nationally and internationally. Garfield obtained her MFA in Choreography from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and she has taught at many colleges and universities. Adjacent to her artistic career, Garfield is an integrative yoga therapist focusing on wellness for dancers, and works in oncology and hospice. A spirit of philosophical inquiry and compassionate concern unites her engagement in all her endeavors.

Garfield’s work has been hailed in The New York Times as, “Resonantly individual, defiantly uncategorizable, an emanation of things deep within.” She crafts ritualistic and askew tales characterized by aching and ironic invention. These “mini-epics” are meticulously organized and immediately disrupted. Her dances playfully articulate and warp matters of politics, spirituality, intimacy, corporality, autobiographical domain, and theatrical constructs. For Garfield, making dances is a highly optimistic pursuit as the inevitable dissolution of all thought, all shape, and all particularity of expression necessarily imbues the act of dancing with valor.

Alongside her choreographies for KGD, Garfield has made work for other modern dance companies, theater, musicals, ballet, film, MTV, site-specific projects, schools and universities. Highlights include: Deep (The Joyce Theater, NY), Twin Pines (Danspace Project, NY), Iron Lung (Groundworks Dancetheater, OH), Disturbulance (DTW, NY), Sinister Slapstick (Queen Elizabeth Hall, London), My Father Was A Spanish Captain (Tanzmesse, Frankfurt), Scent of Mental Love (A film for Radio Bremen/Canal Arte), Damsel (Dance Theater of Harlem, NY), Body Wisdom (Rubin Museum of Art, NY), and Gypsy (Sundance Theater, UT). KGD has garnered numerous, grants, commissions and awards including New York Dance and Performance Awards (Bessies) for performance, lighting design and original music as well as a nomination for Outstanding Production (Twin Pines). Garfield is a NYFA Fellow, Harkness Foundation for Dance Fellow, and a recipient of UWM’s Chancellor’s Award.

PERFECT PIRANHA, Garfield’s latest work, will premiere at The Chocolate Factory (NY), in 2017. Currently, Garfield is engaged in a creative residency with The Wooden Floor (TWF), a non-profit arts-for-youth organization in Santa Ana, California, that will culminate in performances at Irvine Barclay Theatre, CA, in June, 2017.

Photograph credit: Jeff Berman

Watch Keely Garfield’s work on Vimeo

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