Rebecca Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Dance who teaches studio courses in modern/contemporary dance, improvisation, composition, and pedagogy. She specializes in the creation of multi-disciplinary danceworks and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
Bryant began her artistic training at an early age, studying and excelling in the visual arts; she holds a BA in Visual Art from the University of California San Diego, where she specialized in photography, painting, film, and installation. She received an MFA in Dance from the University of California Los Angeles, where she focused on performance theory, somatics, and dance education in addition to her choreographic and improvisational work.
Rebecca Bryant’s danceworks combine set and improvised movement with sound, text, video, and objects. Originally trained as a visual artist, Bryant’s unique approach to dance includes an emphasis on improvisational methods and performative states, as well as non-hierarchical collaboration within and across disciplines. Known for her “wonderful insistence on making art about complex ideas” (Janice Steinberg, San Diego Union Tribune), Bryant tackles current societal phenomena using motifs that are both visceral and ironic. With roots in postmodern dance, dance-theater, and performance art, her work is performed in both traditional theaters and site-specific locations, including art galleries, warehouses, and public parks.
Bryant has performed and shown her work across the U.S., including engagements in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut; her international credits include engagements in Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. In addition to numerous solo projects, Bryant is an active collaborator; she is a co-founder of PMPD (dance/percussion/new media) and worked extensively with the Lower Left Performance Collective (dance/theater) for 13 years. Bryant’s frequent projects with musicians, visual artists, theater artists, poets, and dancers have brought her into creative relationships with over 100 artists from diverse backgrounds, including multi-national music collective Trummerflora, poetry group Collective Purpose, The Taco Shop Poets, hip hop choreographer Grace Jun, choreographer/improviser Sandra Mathern-Smith, Argentine filmmaker Paula Zacharias, Polish theater director Jurek Sawka, and German visual artist Fabian Winkler. Her projects have received support from residencies at Djerassi Resident Artist Program (California) and Guapamacátaro Art and Ecology Residency (Mexico), as well as multiple travel, research, and equipment grants. Her work has been selected for regional and national festivals, as well as Gala Concerts at the Baja Region (2016), Central Region (2013), East Central Region (2012), and Southwest Region (2000) American College Dance Festivals; additionally, her piece ASKQUESTIONSLATER was selected for the 2016 National College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Bryant has danced for many renowned and emerging choreographers including Nina Martin, Wally Cardona, Kim Epifano, Shelley Senter, Lionel Popkin, Liam Clancy, Marianne Kim, Randé Dorn, and Manuelito Biag. She has set work on U.S. dance ensembles GROUP, Kacico Dance, Big Rig Dance Collective, and Brazos Dance Collective, as well as Scandinavian ensemble Flight/Discovery, Canada’s aLOFT Project, and students at California State University Long Beach, California State University Fresno, University of California San Diego, Purdue University, Winthrop University, University of Florida, Florida State College at Jacksonville, and Western Washington University.
Bryant has taught both nationally and internationally, in workshops and classes at festivals, universities, K-12 public schools, and in the community. Before joining the faculty at California State University Long Beach in August 2014, she was an Assistant Professor of Dance at Purdue University (2008-2014) where she co-directed the Purdue Contemporary Dance Company, mentored students in composition, and taught contemporary technique, improvisation and contact improvisation. From 2006 to 2008, Bryant held an adjunct faculty position in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Missouri State University. Bryant has taught workshops in New York, Stockholm, Oslo, Berlin, Buenos Aires, San Diego, and at the Los Angeles Improvisational Dance Festival, West Coast Contact Improv Festival (Berkeley, CA), Texas Dance Improvisation Festival (Houston, TX), Contact Festival Freiburg (Germany), TransContact Festival (Romania), Kontakt Budapest Festival (Hungary), and at 23 universities across the US. Her subjects include contemporary technique, solo/ensemble/contact improvisation, somatics, performance praxis, composition, and site-specific dancemaking.