maria gillespie      artistic director / choreographer



the company


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Oni Dance is a dance ensemble led by the choreographer and artistic director Maria Gillespie. Oni Dance is a pick-up company of LA’s finest contemporary performers that seeks to investigate movement concepts and human experience that elevates dance into a physical world ripe with kinetic volume and wit. With idiosyncratic movement and poetic punch, Oni Dance transfixes the eye on complex and sublime movement puzzles that seethe with intense physical skill and kinetic extremes. 2005 marked Oni Dance’s first season and included the premiere of works at The Getty Center and The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT). Oni Dance thrives on collaborating with dance artists, photographers, film makers, composers, musicians, costume designers, writers, lighting designers, and anyone with imagination and curiosity in order to generate new ideas or deconstruct old ones. As a choreographer, Gillespie is intent on stripping conventional movement of its comforts and making idiosyncratic movement feel like a first language. She is at once seduced and wary of the body's expressive potential, enjoying the blurry state before creativity become a complete product. The movement language of Oni Dance is fueled by the imagined futures and remembered histories whose alchemy fuels our lives, on stage and off. These dances unfold to reveal the inevitable kinetic underpinnings and responses of the heart and mind.



“…ricochet between vulnerability and strength with razor-sharp shifts in intensity and intent…”

(Sara Wolf, LA Times)



the company


artistic statement

artistic director