Site Specific to Immersive Dance Theater: Choreographing for Unconventional Formats and Spaces
As an educator, Russo is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa and an Adjunct Professor at New York University. Previously, she was on faculty at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, SUNY Purchase, CUNY Queens College, Hollins University, and The Joffrey Ballet School’s BFA and Professional Divisions. She teaches a range of studio, practicum, lecture, seminar, and hybrid courses for both undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. Her course load includes choreography, choreography for site-specific to immersive dance theater, critical theories, dance as social practice, decolonizing dance history, history of art and performance-based activism, improvisation, movement techniques, and somatic research. In 2022, she was recruited by the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase to teach on behalf of the Departmental Chair, Professor Darrah Carr, while on sabbatical. Also in 2021 - 2022, she was selected by the Dean and the Office of the Provost to create and teach a brand-new course, entitled Performance as Protest, in the progressive Big Ideas Course Series at New York University. At the time, she was the only Adjunct Professor selected out of New York University’s global faculty for the Big Ideas Course Series, for which she worked with 68 international students and led 7 guest faculty members. Outside of her work in universities and collegiate programs, she has taught numerous workshops at international institutions and festivals across Europe, and North and Central Americas.
As a choreographer, Danielle Russo (she/her) has been presented nationally at the American Dance Festival, Detroit Institute of Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, and The Yard; and internationally in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Mexico, Panama, South Korea, Spain, and Sweden. Residency and fellowship awards have included C.N.N. - Ballet de Lorraine (France), Danscentrum Jette (Belgium), Nadine Laboratory for the Contemporary Arts (Belgium), Independent Artists Initiative WUK (Austria), Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation (U.S.) , LEIMAY (U.S.), Mana Contemporary (U.S.), Performing Arts Forum (France), and Springboard Danse Montréal (Canada), among others. Local (NYC) highlights have included Armory Arts Week, Julian Schnabel’s Casa del Popolo, Domino Park, Governors Island, HERE Arts Center, The High Line Nine, Lincoln Center for Performing Arts at Damrosch Park, Moynihan Station, and The Oculus at the World Trade Center, to name a few. She is a multi-year grant recipient of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs through the Brooklyn Arts Council, Carnegie, Dance/NYC, Harkness Foundation for Dance, One Brooklyn Fund, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. She and her work have been featured in The Creators Project by VICE, as well as in Cultured Magazine, Dance Magazine, Refinery29, and The Village Voice, where acclaimed dance critic Deborah Jowitt commended Russo for her “dramatically eloquent athleticism."
Her creative practice is driven by social and civic impact, founded on a deep belief in local art activism that responds to neighborhood-to-nationwide urgencies and emergencies. Since founding Danielle Russo Performance Project (DRPP) in 2010, she has been producing large-scale performances and experiential artwork in public spaces, for public audiences, and frequently, through public collaborations. This emphasis on the intersection of local arts and public access aims to bridge existing gaps between the arts and the larger, multi-cultural milieu that is New York City―her home base. DRPP praxis exists in three symbiotic parts: open performances, creative workshops, and interactive programming. The lifespans of said projects are ongoing with priority placed on its community engagement, mutual aid, and activism practices. Her Care to Dance series has supported the American Civil Liberties Union, Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, Black Lives Matter Global Network, Houston Food Bank, New York Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, RAICES — The Refugee & Immigrant Center for Education & Legal Services, and the U.S. Caribbean Strong Relief Fund, to name a few. Recent commissions include Solange Knowles/Saint Heron; The Metropolitan Opera’s Dancers, Chorus, and Orchestra for Open Culture NYC; New York Choral Society; Climate Week NYC; LMCC's esteemed River to River Festival for Amy and Jennifer Khoshbin's THE SUN SEEKERS; and NYU Langone Hospital and the Grossman School of Medicine for The Ten Tensions—a somatic study and interdisciplinary project regarding physician welfare, particularly in the wake of COVID-19. For more information, please visit www.drpp.nyc.
Outside of DRPP and independent commissions, she performed with The Metropolitan Opera for several seasons, having been casted in both iconic and original repertories ranging from the classical to the avant-garde.
Russo holds a BFA in Dance and a BA in Anthropology from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and an MFA in Dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival where she attended on fellowship
Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant Recipient
The Creators Project Featured Artist
U.S. Representative at the inaugural PRISMA Festival de Danza Contemporánea (Panama) alongside John Jasperse