Lori Belilove, Artistic Director


 

Lori Belilove's direct lineage and prestigious performing career have earned her an international reputation as the premier interpreter and ambassador of the dance of Isadora Duncan. She has been hailed as "...one of the most impassioned and authentic Duncan interpreters around," by Janice Ross of the Oakland Tribune. Through her performances, master classes, and workshops, young children, college students, and professional dancers alike have experienced the purity, timelessness, authentic phrasing, and musicality that has been passed down to Lori through a direct lineage of Isadora Duncan dancers. Among her first Duncan teachers were 2nd generation Duncan Dancers Julia Levien, Hortense Kooluris, and Mignon Garland. She was coached for performance and technique by 1st generation Duncan Dancers Anna Duncan and Irma Duncan, two of the six adopted artistic daughters of Isadora, also known as the Isadorables.


Lori received a B.F.A. in dance, religion, and classical studies from Mills College.  She trained extensively in the modern technique of Doris Humphrey as a private student of both Eleanor King and Ernestine Stodelle, original members of the Humphrey-Weidman Dance Company. Lori has toured extensively both nationally and internationally including Brazil, Korea, West Africa, Canada, Mexico and Europe. She maintains a studio and school in New York City and is considered an important source for the documentation and interpretation of the Duncan technique and repertory. She is the leading dancer in the award-winning PBS documentary Isadora Duncan: Movement From the Soul narrated by stage and screen actress Julie Harris. As a master teacher she has held residencies at such distinguished institutions as Harvard University, The Juilliard School, Northwestern University, Smith College, University of Alabama, Ohio State, Drexel, and Franklin & Marshall among others. In 2010, Lori was the recipient of the Mills College Distinguished Achievement Award and she was featured with her Company for The Career Transitions for Dancers November Jubilee Gala at Manhattan’s City Center.

 

She is sought after as a unique contemporary artist who understands the essence of Isadora and who can create works in her own voice. In 2003 she staged and danced the leading role as Isadora in the new dance-theater work, Isadora… No Apologies. Held at the Duke Theater on 42nd Street, the show ran for two weeks to sold-out houses. Jack Anderson of The New York Times deemed the work “irresistibly joyous,” and noted, "Through her dancing, Ms. Belilove, a Duncan authority, makes this great choreography seem eternally fresh."  At Peter Norton Symphony Space in March 2004, Ms. Belilove premiered Isadora Into the 21st Century. Called “ingenius” by Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times, the evening featured two choreographic works; Perfumes of the Night, a modern Isadora waltz for four women set to a revised score of Valse Triste by Sibelius, and Wind Sail, a dance inspired by a friend’s voyage of 1,000 days at sea, set to a piano concerto by Michael Nyman.


Lori has toured to Brazil for over two decades and has established an affiliate Duncan school and performing Company there. Recent national tours include the Center for the Arts in Northern California, The Schubert Theater in Columbus, Ohio, and Philips Center at the University of Florida. Internationally, the Company recently appeared in Malta, Rome and Southern Italy. In Russia, the Company gave performances at the Moscow International Performing Arts Center and the Great Tchaikovsky Hall. Belilove’s evening-length choreographic endeavor The EveryWoman Series: The Red Thread premiered in 2007 at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater to critical acclaim. Recent New York appearances include concerts of The Art of Isadora in celebration of Isadora Duncan’s 135th birthday at the Judson Memorial Church Dance Theater and Isadora Goes Downtown: The Legacy, The Inspiration, The Women at Dance New Amsterdam.