Joanie Smith

2014 Choreographer Fellow

Joanie Smith founded Shapiro & Smith Dance with Danial Shapiro in 1987 developing a collaborative method to create their work. Danial Shapiro died in 2006 and now Joanie Smith serves as sole Artistic Director and Choreographer and is honing that process in new ways with the members of Shapiro & Smith Dance.

Shapiro & Smith’s work has been commissioned by companies as diverse as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and the PACT Company of South Africa. The Company has toured all over the U.S. and abroad including performing four times at The Joyce Theater in New York City, ten years at The Southern Theater in Minneapolis and now three seasons at The Cowles Center For Dance And The Performing Arts. Over 600 dancers have performed, To Have And To Hold, and S & S’s production of ANYTOWN had more than 40 performances across the U.S., including The Joyce Theater and The Guthrie Theater.

Smith was recognized as an “Artist Of The Year,” in 2011 by City Pages and received a Sage Award for, “Outstanding Performance,” in 2012. She has received a Bush Fellowship in Choreography, a McKnight Choreographer’s Fellowship, and was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Helsinki, Finland. Smith holds the Barbara Barker Endowed Chair at the University of Minnesota and the John Black Johnston Distinguished Professorship. Shapiro & Smith Dance has received continued institutional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation, and The Target Foundation.
Joanie Smith created The Danial Shapiro Fund in 2008 and annually awards funds to Twin Cities’ choreographers.

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