Janis Brenner is artistic director of New York City based Janis Brenner and Dancers. Her work has been commissioned and restaged by more than 45 companies and colleges in Germany, Sweden, France, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Russia, and the U.S. She has performed with Meredith Monk and the Vocal Ensemble since 1990 and has also worked with Theo Bleckmann and Michael Moschen, was a soloist with dancer Annabelle Gamson’s company, and with the Murray Louis Dance Company (1977 to 1984), where she worked with Rudolf Nureyev, Plácido Domingo, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Joseph Papp, Batsheva Dance Company, and Alwin Nikolais. She has also written two memoir essays published by DanceView magazine (1998). Brenner served on the board for the Gender Project in New York, which seeks to empower women in dance, and is also on the advisory board of the Yard in Chilmark, Mass. Awards include the 1997 New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”) for outstanding creative achievement, the 1996 Lester Horton Award for outstanding achievement in choreography, and a Leach fellowship for outstanding achievement in the performing arts from Empire State College in 1993. She joined the Juilliard faculty in 2009.
Janis Brenner is an award-winning dancer/choreographer/singer/teacher and is artistic director of Janis Brenner & Dancers in New York. She attended Adelphi University as a dance major (1972-74) and Empire State College (BFA ’95). She received her MFA degree from the Hollins University/ADF graduate program in 2009, the same year she joined Juilliard faculty, where she serves as choreographic mentor for the Choreographers and Composers collaboration course and Creative Process instructor.
Her awards include a best choreography award from United Solo Festival for Eva Petric’s eden, transplanted, a New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”) for creative achievement in Meredith Monk’s The Politics of Quiet, a Bessie nomination for her performance in Solo for Janis choreographed by Richard Siegal, a Lester Horton Award for choreography in Los Angeles, a Copperfoot Award for Lost, Found, Lost at Wayne State University, a Leach Fellowship from Empire State College, and a New York Dance On Camera Festival award./p>
Brenner’s work and company have been honored with grants from renowned arts and governmental institutions from around the world including a commission for the interdisciplinary work The Memory of All That from the Whitney Museum. In 2011, she and her company were awarded a major grant from the O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation for the premiere of The Mind-Stuff Variations, with a commissioned score by Jerome Begin; in 2016 there was another grant from O’Donnell Green, for Once You Are Not A Stranger, with composer Svjetlana Bukvich. Her work has been commissioned/restaged on more than 50 companies and colleges worldwide, and her company version of “heartSTRINGS” for 18 dancers premiered at New Dances: 2004 at Juilliard and was restaged in 2008 for the North Carolina School of the Arts. She gives workshops worldwide in technique, improvisation, composition, repertory, and vocal work.
Brenner performed with Meredith Monk and the Vocal Ensemble and has performed an acclaimed vocal suite from Monk’s Songs From the Hill in concert. She and composer/vocalist Theo Bleckmann recorded their collaborative vocal score Mars Cantata; she has been co-choreographer for Michael Moschen; a soloist with Annabelle Gamson’s company performing historic repertory of Mary Wigman, Duncan, and others; and a soloist with the Murray Louis Dance Company working with Rudolf Nureyev, Plácido Domingo, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Joseph Papp, Batsheva Dance Company, and Alwin Nikolais. She has restaged Louis’ repertory throughout the world, including the revival of his Four Brubeck Pieces at Juilliard, in 2013.