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BIOGRAPHY

Ani Javian is a movement artist and educator. Her work has been presented in New York City, the Midwest, Los Angeles, Paris, Bangkok, and Yerevan with support from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Dance New Jersey, MidAtlantic Arts, an Emergency Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The Greater Columbus Arts Council as a 2015 Individual Artist Fellow, and the Ohio Arts Council through a 2016 Individual Excellence Award in Choreography. Ani received a 2024 Fulbright Scholar Award for a teaching and research residency in Yerevan. 

 

She has danced with Paige Phillips, Molly Lieber, Joanna Kotze, Betsy Miller, Gladys Bailin, and Natalie Desch, among others. In NYC, she was a member of Naomi Goldberg Haas' Dances for a Variable Population, with whom she led community-based, multi-generational dance and wellness classes. 

She is an Assistant Professor of Dance at The Dance Department at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts. She has previously held positions at Ohio University, Denison University, and The Ohio State University. She has also taught master classes around the country at numerous universities and studios including Santa Barbara Dance Theater (Santa Barbara, California), AS220 (Providence, Rhode Island), OhioDance Festival (Columbus, Ohio), Dance Factory (Bangkok, Thailand), and CoChoLab (Yerevan, Armenia). She has presented her research on the pedagogy of improvisation at the National Dance Education Organization annual conferences, recently sharing “The Personal is Political: The Pedagogy of Improvisational Composition as Action” and “Reconsidering Hierarchical Structures: Promoting Agency in Pedagogical and Artistic Practices.”

She is a board member of the American College Dance Association and Lieber and Smith, Inc. Javian holds an MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University where she was awarded a University Fellowship and a BA in Dance and English with concentration in poetry from Connecticut College.

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ARTIST STATEMENT

My work is rooted in my ideas about humans as story-tellers, story-holders, and story-makers. It honors our pasts, exists deeply in our present, and looks to our potential futures. It navigates archetypes and iconographies, both real and imagined. It purposes and re-purposes the fragile, the powerful, and the sensual. It is a convergence of the formal and the passionate, the refined and the coarse, the forceful and the yielding. We are, always, at once, all of these - the work is a space to hold these multiplicities and complexities.

 

I make movement-based art that aims to contextualize experiences – to create a space or place in which they can exist, become magnified, turned upside down, and illuminated – so that we, as viewers, may interpret the world differently, if only for a moment. To do so, I utilize improvisational inquiry to guide us toward personal and collective excavation of past and creation of new, thinking of my work as an architecture of sensation. Through a range of nuance and attention, and a commitment to (un)knowing, I engage in physical research that locates and identifies states of being through a practice of listening to the body and its environments. From this improvisational space, I work to establish fundamental movement ideas, and to choreographically situate and contextualize them as we evolve into meaning-making.

 

Collaboration is integral to my process. All of my choreographic works have been made in concert with those who perform it. I offer my lived history and those with whom I collaborate offer their own, and I aim to work from a place that honors those lived experiences as we shape choreographic worlds together.

 

I am invested in seeking out alternative performance spaces and in shifting audience viewpoints, configuring proximity and intimacy. My choreography is aware of its surroundings, conscious of seeing and being seen, and mindful of the public and private nature of performance. Much in the way that a camera works for film, I work to orient and disorient the viewer, suggesting scale, perspective, and time in a multitude of ways.

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