Dance Omi


About Dance Omi

Since 2005, the Dance Omi International Dance Collective has brought together ten accomplished dance artists from around the world for three weeks of creative exchange each summer. Though the program culminates in informal showings on the Omi campus, the emphasis is not a performance product; rather, a gently facilitated process of experimentation and collaboration.

This exploration is enhanced by providing resources that dancers and choreographers often lack: space, time and other artists with whom to work. Under the direction of the Dance Omi Director and an alumni Guest Mentor, residents learn from each other's creative process and the freedom to play. The result is a model of creative process and community building that envisions consequences for the participants beyond the sphere of art making.

Professional Dancers/Choreographers of ALL styles (Modern, Ballet, Improvisation, Ethnic Dance forms, etc.) who have the desire to share ideas and process with dancers from around the world are encouraged to apply. It is recommended that applicants do not have specific projects in mind, but come open to working with others on jointly conceived projects. It is imperative that all applicants have a genuine openness to collaborating with artists of different dance backgrounds.

All awarded fellows commit to remaining for the entire residency and to participating in the concluding showings. Everyone accepted to Dance Omi receives full room and board during his or her stay at Omi (note that Omi is unable to provide travel funds).


Upcoming Events

Dance Omi Choreographer's Talks

Friday, August 14, 7-8:30 PM
Omi's Visitors Center
1405 County Route 22, Ghent, NY 12075

The Friday Night Artist Talk is an opportunity for some of the incoming residents of Dance Omi to speak and share video excerpts of their individual work with an intimate, public audience. In conjunction with the Salon held on the following day, these talks are an essential part of the process-oriented residency, which gives context to each dancer's work before their collaborations begin at Omi. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited so it is essential that those interested in attending RSVP in advance. Omi members receive priority. Email with your details to confirm.

Dance Omi Salon

Saturday, August 15, 5-6:30 PM
The Studio Barns: intersection of County Route 22 and Letter S Road, Ghent, NY

With a diverse group of dancers from all over the world, the Dance Omi Salon allows residents to share their individual work with the public before exhibiting their collaborative projects later in the month. It is an intimate evening of live performance set in the studio spaces, and gives context to each individual artist's work at the start of the residency program. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited so it is essential that those interested in attending RSVP in advance. Omi members receive priority. Email with your details to confirm.

So You Think You Don't Understand (Modern) Dance?

An audience participation process with Dance Omi Alumni
Sunday, August 23, 2-4 PM

Off-premises location: PS21, 2980 NY Route 66, Chatham NY

Dance Omi Director Christopher K. Morgan will facilitate a showing of works-in-progress by Alumni of the Dance Omi Residency Program, including 2009 Dance Omi Alumna, and Keigwin and Company Co-Founder Nicole Wolcott. Using his extensive experience with the Liz Lerman Critical Response Process, Morgan will facilitate an exchange between the artists and the audience. The dialogue is intended to deepen the audience's understanding of the choreography, while providing valuable feedback to the choreographers as they develop their work. A reception for the dance artists will follow the showing. Free and open to the public.

Dance Omi Showing in The Fields

Saturday, August 29, 2-4 PM
The Fields Sculpture Park

Omi's Dance Residents show works created in collaboration with each other during their stay at Omi. As the residency does not emphasize creating a finished product, the artists will present the fruits of their exchange in the form of unique pieces. Each year's iteration varies, but almost always involve sight-specific performance events leading hundreds of visitors throughout Omi's beautiful sculpture park. Free and open to the public.

Made possible in part with support from Columbia County Tourism Board.


How To Apply

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2015 Dance Omi International Dance Collective.

Please check back in December, when the 2016 Dance Omi application will be available.

Announcement of the 2015 Dance Omi Residents will take place no later than May 1, 2015.



Omi International Arts Center is located two and a half hours north of New York City in the historic Hudson River Valley. Named for a neighboring village, Omi is close to the small town of Ghent, New York, as well as Albany and Hudson, which offer train connections only thirty minutes away.

The facilities, situated on three hundred acres of open land, include a large two-story barn with indoor studios; contemporary residence buildings designed with a vernacular reference to local barns, surrounded by abundant perennial beds, expansive lawns dotted with fruit trees, adjacent to The Fields Sculpture Park.

A Federal Period farm house serves as a gathering center, providing a full kitchen, television room and library; while the front porch overlooks rolling hills and the majestic outline of the Catskill Range. A swimming pool, bicycles, WiFi access and several state of the art computers are available on the premises.

Columbia County, and the nearby Berkshire Mountains, are popular destinations because of their historical, natural and cultural riches. From bird sanctuaries to modern dance, presidential mansions to farmer's markets, the environs offer a singular blend of rural quiet and cultural stimulation. Staff and friends in the neighborhood are often available for excursions of interest to residents. The local library has a modest collection, but is a member of the Mid-Hudson group, calling on the resources of libraries within much of eastern New York.

2014 Dancers in Residence

2014 Dance Omi Residents

Erin Crawley-Woods (Maryland)
Erin Crawley-Woods received an MFA from the University of Maryland where she created Visible Seams, a site-specific sound/dance/video installation for the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. From 2007-2011 she was a Company Member and Director of Community Outreach at Keshet Dance Company in Albuquerque where she managed Keshet's nationally-recognized Outreach Program for Incarcerated Youth. She has taught creative movement for children, pre-professional training for teens and physically integrated dance for all ages. In 2006 she completed the Wholistic Bodywork program at NM Academy for Healing Arts. From 2001-2005 Erin lived in NYC where she was Company Manager for PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER. She has performed in the US and abroad with Nancy Meehan Dance Company, Leslie Satin & Dancers, Sara Rudner & Company, Russell Dumas, Anneke Hansen, and Irish Modern Dance Theater. Erin received a B.A. in theatre, dance and French from Sarah Lawrence College in 2001. In September she will begin a year-long position as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Dickinson College.

Aleksandr Frolov (Russia)
Aleksandr has been a contemporary dancer, choreographer, and teacher for the last 4 years. He was born in 1985 and grew up in the village near the city of Yekaterinburg, but had no opportunity to dance until the age of 20. Aside from his time at university, the past three and a half years have served as his primary time of training and experience. Presently, Aleksandr is working as a dancer and choreographer of the dance duet group Zonk'a with Anna Shchekleina in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The group has been together since 2010, and their most recent works include Place and Chocolate, among others. 

Kokou Gbakenou (Togo/USA)

For over fifteen years Kokou Al’nuzan Patrick Gbakénou has honed his professional dance and performance skills. Originally from Togo, West Africa, Kokou has toured in Germany (Steptext Dance Project, Helge Letonja and Opiyo Okach) , France and Belgium (Dunia Dance Theater, Harold George) with various groups, and was twice in residency at l’Ecole des Sables in Senegal (Germaine Acogny). He led an artistic association called Circuit Cinéma et Arts Vivants (CCAV), and collaborated extensively with the French Cultural Center of Lomé, the Goethe Institut, and the dance companies such as Brin de Chocolat and Théâtre Oriki. Prior to moving to Seattle in December 2013, he taught dance in Togo at the Lycée Français de Lomé and two primary schools. Since 2010 Kokou has worked on an original movement technique called “Magan.” Kokou integrates elements of Capoeira, Hip Hop, Yoga, Tai Shi and pan-African contemporary dance styles into his repertoire, in addition to his mastery of the traditional dances of Togo. He currently works with Gansango Music and Dance based in Seattle.

Andrea Hackl (The Netherlands)
Andrea Hackl is a freelance choreographer, dancer and video artist based in Amsterdam. Her work has been influenced by artists such as Emanuel Gat, Gabriella Maiorino, Ime Essien, Anouk van Dijk, Tony Vezich, as well as philosophers such as Stephen Nachmanovitch & John Dewey. Various methods of energetic & somatic work have enriched her understanding of dance & movement. Hackl describes her vision as "standing for a paradigm of co-existence - the fact that all of Life is intrinsically connected. My wish is to let others re-connect to an essential level on which it is possible to experience this connection. The focus of my work frequently shifts onto the subjects of human-nature relationships." She has been dancing with various companies across of Europe (e.g.: Emanuel Gat Dance, United-C, Suzy Blok & Fabian Chyle) and has been invited to residencies as well as festivals in and outside of Europe.

Zoe Rabinowitz (New York)
Zoe Rabinowitz is a freelance dance artist based in New York City, interested in movement as a discourse on social and political issues. Originally from Vermont, Zoe earned her BFA in Dance from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program, and studied abroad at De Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Holland. She has since performed with companies such as INSPIRIT, JoAnna Mendl Shaw/ Equus Projects, MBDance, Nia Love/ Blacksmith's Daughter and Urban Bush Women. Current projects include collaborations with Anne Zuerner, the Movement Party, and Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre, a contemporary dance company based between New York and Palestine, where Zoe is a founding member and Associate Director. Her own choreography has been shown at the Women in Motion Salon Series in New York City and the Fleet Moves Dance Festival in Cape Cod. In addition to her work as a performer, Zoe is also a certified yoga instructor.

Gabrielle Revlock (Pennsylvania)
Gabrielle Revlock is a performer/dance-maker. The Philadelphia Inquirer calls her a "gifted comedian." Her latest project The Dance Apocalypse, a collaboration with Nicole Bindler was supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Their previous collaboration, I made this for you, won a finalist prize in the 2011 A.W.A.R.D. Show and has toured to DC, Seattle and Pittsburgh. In 2012, she was selected for SCUBA National Touring Network for Dance. In 2010, she received a Rocky Award for her signature piece, Indivisibility, performed with a hula hoop and premiered at the Korzo Theater in The Netherlands. Her work has been supported by a Fresh Tracks Residency at New York Live Arts, a LAB Fellowship through FringeArts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Susan Hess Choreographers' Project. An active performer, she has danced for Lucinda Childs, Susan Rethorst, Christopher Williams, Katsura Kan, Mark Dendy, Lisa Kraus, Leah Stein, Jane Comfort, Sylvain Émard, Willi Dorner and Matthew Neenan for the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Interested in bridging experimentation and populism, she directed and edited the online video So You Think You Can’t Understand Contemporary Dance? starring her favorite 5 year old. 

Sydney Schiff (New York)
Sydney Schiff, originally from Washington, D.C., graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in History of Science and a Certificate in Dance and is now an NYC-based freelance dancer and choreographer. Choreographic highlights include: Eugene Onegin (Guest Artist, Princeton 2012), CHALOM: A Dream Opera (NYFringe 2012) and Dry Bones: Resurrection of the Living (New York 2014). In collaboration with the dancers of Sydney Schiff Dance Project as well as composer Cheryl Krugel-Lee, Schiff began developing Dry Bones while a 2012-2013 Arts Fellow enrolled in a full time biblical Hebrew language and text study program at Drisha Institute for Jewish Education in Manhattan. Over the last year, she has shown excerpts of Dry Bones at over 10 venues including Socrates Sculpture Park, Green Space, Dixon Place, Judson Church and Congregation Ramath Orah (premiere of the complete 60-minute work). As a performer, she has worked with Patricia Hoffbauer, Silas Riener, Emily Faulkner and H.T. Chen & Dancers, among others. She is currently an apprentice with Zvidance and a member of the Parparim Ensemble of the Israeli Dance Institute. Schiff also teaches dance, choreographs and performs in observant Jewish communities. For more information, please visit

Kensaku Shinohara (Japan)
Born in Sapporo, Japan, Shinohara started dancing and creating his own work while studying anthropology at International Christian University in Tokyo. After dancing and touring nationally and internationally, he moved to NYC in 2009 to further his creative work. Since then, Shinohara has collaborated with Jennifer Muller, Tiffany Mills, Daria Faïn, Chuma Yoshiko, Philippa Kaye, Giada Ferrone, Lynn Neuman and others. He has presented his works for New Museum presents Dance for DNA, Movement Research at Judson Church, One Bryant Park/Bank of America Tower by chashama, Dumbo Art Festival, WAX Series, and more. His works have been described as ''A spirited and fun take on urban experience,'' (Art Values Education) and ''Filled with humor''( He has been a residency artist at The Field, MANA CONTEMPORARY, E|MERGE. He is a producer and curator of CRUSHED MUFFINS, an artists gathering in NYC.

Osías Yanov (Argentina)

From Argentina, Osías Yanov's works are placed in an interdisciplinary threshold between dance and sculpture. In his works, issues such as gender identity, reconfiguration of body induced by environment and pain as a way of ecstasy and release are addressed from manner, gestures and symbols. He was trained at the most reputable study center of fine arts in Argentina. In the performing arts, dance and choreography, he studied in workshops belonging to renowned choreographers and dancers. Looking for an extension of the concept "art collective" in 2006, he creates the art team called Rosa Chancho together with other 4 members of different specialties. They use performance for the creation of narrative moments in order to remove any difference between group and individual. Since 2006, he has been exhibiting in art centers in Argentina, Spain, France, Brazil and Russia. He is currently carrying his research processes (dance-sculpture) to educational area.

Paola Ponti - 2014 Guest Mentor, Alumni 2012 (Italy)
Paola is a  dancer, choreographer, teacher and bread maker. She is a member of Compagnia IRIS and Studio28 Dance Factory (Perypezye Urbane). She collaborates with cooks, experts of languages and sounds, of somatic and Chinese medicine, always searching for new intersections and point of views for dance research. In 2013 she present her solo Umano at Festival Monoplay in Zadar, Croatia, and she attended The Human Empowerment Through Video Production Workshop in Malta. Since 2011, Compagnia IRIS, In Ocula and Menoventi are organizing WAM!, a festival dedicated to contemporary performing arts Faenza, Italy. She is also developing a community dance project, Corpo e Azione (Body and Action), with the desire of getting all kinds of people actively involved with contemporary performing art. In 2011 her solo Zolfo was a finalist at the GD'A prize, a competition for emerging choreographers. Paola graduated in 2008 from SEAD (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance).


Dance Omi Sponsors:

Omi's residency programs are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts

Program Board of Directors

Maria Mitchell

Lynn Neuman

Amber Sloan

Nicole Smith

Gus Solomons, Jr.

Christopher K. Morgan, Director

Christopher K. Morgan - Director (Maryland)
 has directed Dance Omi since 2006. Christopher is also the Artistic Director of Washington DC area contemporary dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, and the Dance Artist in Residence in the School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland. His Native Hawaiian ancestry and a diverse, international performing career as a modern dancer influence his choreography. Said to be "charming and poignant" by The New York Times, his work has addressed issues including sexual and gender identity, race, climate change, and water conservation and been presented in 18 countries on 5 continents. Dance Magazine profiled him in 2011 as one of six breakout choreographers in the United States. His 2010 work +1/-1, commissioned by the US State Department, a US and a Palestinian Dance Company, opened the Ramallah International Dance Festival, and won the Dance Metro DC award for Outstanding New Work that year. Known as an advocate and eloquent speaker, Morgan regularly adjudicates for the American College Dance Festival and has served on panels for the NEA, Maryland State Arts Council and McKnight Foundation. Recent awards include a 2013 Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Fellowship, 2014 NPN Creation Fund Award and a 2014 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award for Solo Dance Performance.