Jodi P Falk, MFA, CLMA, PhD, has had a 35-year career as a professional dancer, yogi, arts educator, international choreographer, as well as years of leadership and fundraising in the arts, community engagement, and social justice activism through the arts.
Jodi Falk, Founder and Director of Moving Wisdom, has had a 35-year career as a professional dancer, yogi, arts educator, international choreographer, as well as years of leadership and fundraising in the arts, community engagement, and social justice activism. As the former Founding Director of Dance at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School in South Hadley, MA, the Director of Choreography and creator of community-engaged programming at the Laban Centre, London, UK, (now Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance), and Coordinator of Community Engagement and Outreach for the Five College Dance Consortium in Amherst, MA, Jodi has created programs that build bridges, break down barriers, and reach across difference to promote equity and champion justice.
Researching and working with diverse communities in South Africa, Israel and Brazil, and in our own western MA backyard, Jodi recently earned a PhD that focuses on community activism and socially-engaged arts. As a developer of projects that serve diverse populations such as incarcerated young women, vulnerable seniors, adults with intellectual disabilities, teen mothers, and foster families, Jodi’s work has focused on nourishing bodies and nurturing lives.
As an author and teacher of dance, yoga, and consultant in arts and education, she has reached thousands of people throughout the US, Canada, Central and South America, South Africa, and the Middle East.
JODI FALK has performed, choreographed and taught dance and yoga throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Central America, Israel and South Africa. Jodi has a BA from Brown University, an MFA and PhD from Temple University, and is a certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst and Iyengar Yoga teacher.
International Dance Performance and Choreography
As a dancer she performed with Kei Takei’s Moving Earth, among others. As a choreographer she has received many commissions and grants for her work internationally. Companies she has choreographed for include Austria’s Theatre Ohne Grenzen, UK’s CandoCo, a company of able-bodied and disabled dancers, and the US’s Hartford Ballet in a project with the Hartford community. Jodi was chosen as one of New England’s top choreographers for the 2001 International Festival of Arts and Ideas with Stone Gardens, a performance about the cabarets that were created and presented in Nazi concentration camps. Jodi has received grants from the London Arts Board, the Bonnie Bird Award, the Austrian Cultural Institute, the Northampton and Massachusetts Cultural Councils, among others. Her choreography has been called “poignant” by The Guardian, full of “intense, still beauty” by The London Times and “mind-blowing” by The New Haven Advocate. Jodi’s work on Remix Dance Theatre, an integrated (wheelchair/non-wheelchair; race, age, mixed ability) company in South Africa has been called “remarkable” – The Johannesburg Star.
International Dance Educator and Researcher
Jodi was Founding Head of Choreography for over six years for the Laban Centre London, was Director of Dance at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School (MA) as well as adjunct faculty at the University of Hartford (CT) and at Lesley University (MA) where she taught throughout the country for the masters program in Creative Arts in Learning.
Jodi worked for the Massachusetts Arts in Education Center, teaching public school teachers how to bring dance into the curriculum, and was part of a two-year research team at Harvard University’s Project Zero investigating interdisciplinary education. This research project, specifically focused on the globalization of dance through hip-hop and how to teach this through dance, anthropology, and music, brought Jodi to Brazil to interview hip-hop youth, comparing them with the youth of the US and Japanese hip-hop culture. This research was published on the Project Zero website and in Journal of Dance Education. Her current research is on arts and conflict resolution, which has led her to interview artists in Israel and Palestine on “coexistence art.”
The Catalyst Dance Company
Jodi was the founder/director of the Catalyst Dance Company, a company of youth based at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School. Catalyst has performed all styles of dance and toured throughout the US – New York, Los Angeles, Providence, Miami, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. “Fierce”, “cooler-than-thou”, “awe-provoking”, “accomplished” are some of the accolades they have earned. Catalyst has led numerous view-and-do lecture demonstrations with local schools, encouraging the learning of art, music, history and important world events through interactive dance performances.
Jewish spirituality, dance and yoga
Jodi has led numerous yoga classes, authentic movement and movement for the spirit classes at Elat Chayyim in New York, Isabella Freedman in Connecticut, and at Temple Israel in Greenfield, MA. Jodi was a guest artist/educator at Orot College, Israel, a religious women’s college, focusing on the intersection of movement and prayer. Her classes, called Emuna ve Omenut (Faith and Art) were grounded in the philosophy that as we are created in the image of the Divine, so we create images, through the medium of our body, that are divine.