HEIDI DUCKLER is the Artistic Director and founder of Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre. Since its inception in 1985, she has choreographed more than 200 original dance works at unique sites in Australia, Germany, Russia, Hong Kong, Montreal, San Francisco, New York, Miami, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle, and throughout Southern California. Titled “the reigning queen of site-specific performance,” by the L.A. Times, her work has been commissioned by the Brisbane Festival, Miami Light, Grand Performances, REDCAT, Aben Dans in Denmark, Brookfield Properties, the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, and Reed College among others. She earned a BS in Dance from the University of Oregon and an MA in Choreography from UCLA, and is currently a Board Member of the University of Oregon’s School of Music and Dance Advancement Council. Duckler was recognized with an American Masterpieces Award from the National Endowment for the Arts to tour Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre’s signature work “Laundromatinee,” and was awarded two Dance/USA Engaging Dance Audiences grants. She has most recently been honored with the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival’s Maverick Award,and LA Weekly’s Best Site-Specific Dance Company Los Angeles, was featured as a TedxUCLA speaker in 2015 and guest lecturer for UCLA in 2018. Duckler is married to Dan Rosenfeld. They have three children and a cat.
As a choreographer I’ve imbued non-traditional sites with performances for nearly 30 years. The strength and distinctiveness of my work depends on a solid foundation of place, be it geographical, cultural, social, historical, architectural, environmental, political and/or personal. Location, history, and community have inspired my work, yet my choreography has evolved with each place. Sites are catalysts and collaborators within my choreographic process.
Working with a diverse range of dancers, I negotiate performers’ movement styles around architecture, audience members, and each other. With input from creative partners and collaborators (dancers, musicians, architects and community members, among others), a truly site-specific and environmentally responsive work emerges, capturing the multiple dimensions of each place, performer, and collaborator.
The nature of site-specific work reimagines the possibilities for the connection between performance and participants. Within the range, breadth, and scope of diversity in Los Angeles, engagement and access are prime considerations within my creative direction. Site-specific work is a creative and conceptual platform, and is also a tool of social justice, learning, and meaningful civic engagement.
For three decades, and over 200+ performances, I’ve worked within the realm of public engagement. I animate physical spaces, translate the energy of their literal and conceptual movement into choreography, and explore the nature of temporary public art. I choreograph with the intention of subverting the original function of a place. My choreography makes the ordinary extraordinary and inspires audiences to look at what they think they know and see it differently.