Ani Javian is a movement artist and educator. Her choreography has been presented at various New York City venues such as JoyceSoho, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and Triskelion Arts. She has also presented work at REDCAT (Los Angeles), Urban Arts Space (Columbus, Ohio), The Ohio State University, Ohio University, and in Bangkok, Thailand. Her work has received funding from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Greater Columbus Arts Council as a 2015 Individual Artist Fellow, and The Ohio State University. Javian received a 2016 Individual Excellence Award in Choreography from The Ohio Arts Council.
She has danced with Molly Lieber, 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 currently works with Philadelphia-based artist Paige Phillips.
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), and Dance Factory (Bangkok, Thailand).
Javian’s research is rooted in her ideas about humans as story-tellers, story-holders, and story-makers. Through choreography, interdisciplinary collaboration, and improvisation, her work excavates and unearths our unique histories. She has presented her research on the pedagogy of improvisation at the National Dance Education Organization annual conferences, most 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 was a member of OhioDance’s Board of Trustees (2017-18) and Dance/NYC's Youth Advisory Committee (2008-09). 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 from Connecticut College.
My work is situated between the images and stories of ancient mythology and the complexity of contemporary structures. It navigates archetypes and iconographies, nodding to classicism and gesturing to grand spectacle. It purposes and re-purposes the fragile, the powerful, and the sensual. It embodies both tradition and the present.
I think of my work as an architecture of sensation. Through a range of nuance and attention, and a commitment to specificity, I engage in physical research that locates and identifies states of being. These felt states often emerge from improvisational structures, and ultimately merge sensation with weight and form as dynamic starting points. From this improvisational space, we work to establish fundamental movement ideas, and to situate and contextualize them as we evolve into making-meaning.
Collaboration is integral to my process. I work with performers who honor the human spirit: seeking, exerting, mourning, and restoring. Recently, my work calls for collaboration across disciplines into visual art and sound design.
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.
The theatrical is the dramatic, and the drama in my work emerges out a convergence of the formal and the passionate, the refined and the coarse, the forceful and the yielding. Through these conflicting points of view and physicalities, my choreography exists as something taut across the space, releasing into performance.