Mission Statement

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre (HDDT) creates innovative dance experiences in non-traditional places and provides learning opportunities in diverse neighborhoods, inviting audiences and artists to engage with one another and connect with their communities in ways they have never experienced.

Company History

Founded in 1985 by Artistic/Executive Director and choreographer Heidi Duckler, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre has created memorable dance experiences in extraordinary locations for over two decades.

Originally named Collage Dance Theatre, we began our site-specific work with Laundromatinee, a piece staged in a local laundromat. As dancers performed alongside whirring washers and dryers, Laundromatinee captured our collage ethos, mixing art, movement, pop culture, and interactivity in found spaces.


Drawing from the success of Laundromatinee, we continued to create small and witty site-specific works. Experimenting with the outdoor environment as a theatre, Duckler animated locations ranging from a baseball diamond (Stealing Home, 1993) to an empty swimming pool (Life in the Lap Lane, 1994) and the concreted Los Angeles River (Mother Ditch, 1995). Duckler also began creating immersive experiences that included viewers as adventurous, mobile participants.


Works created in the Subway Terminal Building (Subversions, 2000), Herald Examiner Building (Cover Story, 2002), and the former Ambassador Hotel (Sleeping with the Ambassador, 2003) reimagined legendary locations with fresh, relevant art that responded to each site’s colorful history.

In 2010, we launched the Expulsion series, a collaborative performance in which we partnered with local companies and community groups to tell stories of home, origins, and immigration, using vacant lots across LA as our stages.


Our recent performances at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf and the Brisbane Festival in Austrialia (both in 2014) serve as testaments to Duckler’s constant new experimentation in site. As we look forward to animating new locations within the vast landscape, one thing is certain—expect us in unexpected places.

Read full company history  |  30 year visual timeline

Awards and Honors


  • Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival Emerald 20th Anniversary recipient of the MAVERICK AWARD


  • Distinguished Alumnus – University of Oregon School of Music & Dance


  • Certificate of Commendation Awarded by Councilwoman Jan Perry on behalf of the City of Los Angeles State of California
  • Panelist for Director’s Lab West and the Theatre Communications Group


  • National Endowment for the Arts, American Masterpiece for “Laundromatinee”


  • National Endowment for the Arts, Artistic Excellence for “A Guide to an Exhibitionist”
  • Featured in the anthology, “Choreographers and the Lure of Alternative Spaces”


  • Los Angeles County Arts Commission Arts Leadership Initiative
  • Finalist, Sherwood Award, Center Theatre Group
  • Panelist, Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission
  • Mayor’s Cultural Master Plan Advisory Committee for the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs


  • Invited Showcase for Performance West, Western Arts Alliance Conference
  • Panelist for L.A. County Arts Commission
  • Leslie Horton Dance Awards nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design, Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design, Outstanding Achievement in Music, and Outstanding Achievement in Choreography Long Form for C’Opera


  • Panelist, Site-Specific Symposium, Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, NYC


  • California DanceMaker Grant (James Irvine Foundation)
  • National College Choreography Initiative
  • Panelist, Durfee ARC Awards


  • California DanceMaker Grant (James Irvine Foundation)
  • Landmark Award, Backstage West
  • Southern California Development Forum Award


  • City of Los Angeles Individual Artist’s Fellowship (C.O.L.A.)
  • Lester Horton Award for Outstanding Company Performance
  • Lester Horton Award nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Music for Dance, Set Design, and Performance—Small Ensemble for Cover Story
  • Back Stage West Landmark Award


  • Director, Dance in the Workplace, film commissioned by Grand Performances and Arts Partners
  • Lester Horton Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography, Performance, Music, and Lighting Design for After Eden
  • Lester Horton Award nominee for Sustained Achievement


  • Lester Horton Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Set Design and Costume Design
  • California Choreography Fellowship from the California Arts Council


  • Peer Panelist for Cultural Affairs Department, City of Los Angeles
  • Member of Cultural Planning/Arts for L.A.
  • Member Dance/USA


  • Lester Horton Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography, Outstanding Achievement in Performance, Outstanding Achievement in Production, Outstanding Achievement in Music for the production of Most Wanted
  • Lester Horton Awards nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Set Design, Lighting Design, and Sustained Achievement for the production of Most Wanted
  • Peer Panelist for Los Angeles County Music and Performing Arts Commission
  • Selected participant of On Site Performance Network, Dancing in the Streets
  • Editor of Dance Zine; Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles, CA


  • Member California Plaza Task Force, Los Angeles, CA
  • Speaker on Interdisciplinary Performance at California Institute of the Arts

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