Skip to main content

David Dorfman Dance



David Dorfman reaches his right arm up and looks into the camera. Photo by Cat Evans.

David Dorfman (Artistic Director and Founder of David Dorfman Dance, 1987), has been Professor of Dance at Connecticut College since 2004. Dorfman received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005 to continue his research and choreography in the topics of power and powerlessness, including activism, dissidence, and underground movements. DD has been honored with four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, three New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships, an American Choreographer’s Award, the first Paul Taylor Fellowship from The Yard, and a New York Dance & Performance “Bessie” Award. David was a 2019 United States Artists Fellow in Dance. His work has been commissioned widely in the U.S. and in Europe, by Dancing Wheels (Cleveland), AXIS Dance Company (Oakland), and Bedlam Dance Company (London). 

His forays into theater include choreography for the Tony Award-winning play, Indecent, by Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman, for which DD received a Lucille Lortel Award and Chita Rivera Nomination for best choreography for the play’s Off-Broadway run. David traveled to London in March 2020 to set choreography for Indecent’s UK premiere at the Menier Chocolate Factory. In addition, David has contributed his choreography for Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People at Yale Rep; Our Town, a co-production of Deaf West and Pasadena Playhouse; Assassins at Yale Rep; and the original musical Green Violin at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia, for which he won a 2003 Barrymore Award for best choreography. 

Dorfman tours an evening of solos and duets, Live Sax Acts, with dear friend and collaborator Dan Froot, most recently in New York City and at the Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe. As a performer, he toured internationally with Kei Takei’s Moving Earth and Susan Marshall & Co. DD hails from Chicago and holds a BS in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis (1977). He appeared on several episodes of A Chance to Dance, a reality show on OvationTV starring Dorfman’s pals, the BalletBoyz who invited David Dorfman Dance to make a three minute video for RandomAct/Channel 4UK. We Don’t Own a Dog came out of that invitation—click here to watch it.

DD continually thank the spirits of Martha Myers and Daniel Nagrin, for being his dance mom and dad; his parents, Oscar and Jeanette, for inspiring him to dance to heal and instilling the importance of a good joke; and his in-house “family project,” Lisa and Samson, for sharing with him the practice of unconditional love.

Lily Gelfand squats in a sun dress in a wide open field.

Lily Gelfand (Company Member) is a Brooklyn-based dancer, experimental cellist, composer, and teaching artist. Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Lily received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College. While at Ohio University, she also began her dance musician training under the mentorship of Andre Gribou. As a dancer, Lily has had the pleasure of performing works by Kyle Abraham, Joanna Kotze, Kendra Portier, David Dorfman, Jasmine Hearn, Thryn Saxon, Serena Chang, and Ani Javian. As a cellist, Lily is currently on staff as a dance musician at The Juilliard School, and has composed and performed original collaborative works for Christina Robson, Jasmine Hearn, Dance Lab NY, Toscana Dance Hub, Venza Dance, The Wooden Floor, Douglas Gillespie, and Nik Owens. Additionally, Lily is a 200 Hour RYT through the Yoga Alliance, and uses cello as a source of sound healing for a variety of meditations and restorative practices throughout the city. Her favorite color is green.

Headshot of Kashia Kancey smiling as she looks into the camera. Photo by Valentina Perez.

Kashia Kancey (Company Member) is a Miami-born performer and choreographer, who earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from New World School of the Arts. She has had work presented in The Carnival Studio Theater at the Adrienne Arsht Center with Peter London Global Dance Company, CreateART Performance, and Dixon Place. Kashia has performed in spaces like Perez Art Museum Miami, South-Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, ACE Hotel in BK, Dance Place DC, the American Dance Festival, The Yard, and New York Live Arts. She has danced with Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre, and is currently working with Adele Myers and Dancers and Abby Z and the New Utility. Kashia is currently based in Brooklyn, NY, and continues to pursue her career as a performer and choreographer. Kashia is thrilled to begin her first season with DDD!

Headshot of Nik Owens looking directly into the camera. Photo by Stephanie Crousillat, courtesy of Helen Simoneau Danse.

Nik Owens (Company Member) began his movement experience as a competitive gymnast for 15 years and began his dance training in his senior year of high school and continued at Wesleyan University, where he received a BA in Dance and a certificate in Environmental Studies. He has worked with Nicholas Leichter, Tania Isaac, and Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion and has performed works by The Dance Exchange, Raja Kelly/The Feath3r Theory, Bryn Cohn and Artists, Helen Simoneau Danse, The Bang Group, Kayla Farrish- Decent Structures Arts, Dual Rivet, 10 Hairy Legs and others. He has worked on several duet projects and has been commissioned to create works at Rivertown Dance Academy in New York and The Wooden Floor (under David Dorfman Dance) in California. He currently collaborates and performs with Tiffany Mills Company, Kyle Marshall Choreography, and David Dorfman Dance. In 2021 he began working on a solo of his own creation called The Right Kind and plans to continue that project’s choreographic journey. 

Lisa Race in a white boatneck shirt looks over her left shoulder with her hands up towards her right shoulder. Photo by cat Evans.

Lisa Race (Guest Artist) danced in NYC for many years before moving to Connecticut, where she is a Professor of Dance at Connecticut College. Race first began dancing with DDD in 1989, and received a Bessie in 1995 for her dancing with the company. Her choreography has been seen at the former DTW, Danspace Project, Dancenow and MR at the Judson Church. She has been fortunate to teach at dance festivals, including Bates, ADF and ImPulsTanz, and has given workshops at many locations around the globe. Race has collaborated with Shawn Hove on three dance films, and is currently in the midst of a collaboration with Rachel Boggia and Sydney Bryan, centered on Race’s mother Beverly (1920-2022).

Headshot of Claudia-Lynn Rightmire, gently smiling as she looks into the camera.

Claudia-Lynn Rightmire (Company Member) spends her days writing stories, drawing faces, and creating dances. Claudia-Lynn holds an Honors summa cum laude BA from Roger Williams University and is a certified health coach. She has taught, created, and collaborated in Florida, Australia, and NYC. Claudia-Lynn moves with David Dorfman Dance, INSPIRIT Dance, Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre, and Kinesis Project Dance Theatre. She has worked with New York City Children’s Theater, Third Rail Projects, Moving Ethos Dance, Sarasota Contemporary Dance, and others. In 2021, she formed c|s movement projects alongside her partner, Simon Thomas-Train. She is driven by storytelling, voice, and shadow. 

Designers and Collaborators

Sam Crawford sits at a soundboard smiling into the camera.

Sam Crawford (Composer/Musician) completed degrees in English and Audio Engineering at Indiana University in 2003. His compositions and sound designs have included works for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company (Venice Biennale, 2010), A.I.M by Kyle Abraham (Untitled Love, 2022), Camille A. Brown and Dancers (BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play, 2016), and David Dorfman Dance (Aroundtown, 2017). La Medea, a live film collaboration with director Yara Travieso for which he composed the music and wrote the libretto, premiered at P.S.122’s Coil Festival in 2017. Crawford is a lecturer in sound design at the University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies.

Elizabeth de Lise wearing metallic eye makeup gazes into the camera.

Elizabeth de Lise (Composer/Musician) (they/them) is a Philadelphia-based artist. Their edgy-pop band, Lizdelise will be touring their sophomore album in the US and Canada this summer, releasing on Sheer Luck Records. de Lise performs in Yara Travieso’s experimental film/theater works, as a company musician with David Dorfman Dance, and is a music contributor to NPR’s Invisibilia. Their sound design work with Material Feels podcast will be on display at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn this June.

Zeb Gould looks happily into the camera

Zeb Gould (Composer/Musician) is a New York based composer and guitarist, born and bred in Indianapolis, IN where he began playing the guitar at a young age. After graduating from Indiana University in 2003 he moved to New York City and took a position at the downtown recording studio of composer Philip Glass. Soon after, he began creating and performing his own music as a solo artist and with his bands, Bowery Boy Blue and Swojens. In addition to performing with David Dorfman Dance, he has also worked with director/choreographer Yara Travieso.

Jeff Hudgins looks seriously into the camera holding his saxophone.

Jeff Hudgins (Composer/Musician) a transplanted Texan whose music has been described as “somewhat menacing” (New York Music Daily), is a founding member of local NYC group Bombay Rickey. He has toured in the US and Europe, has premiered John Zorn, Tim Berne and John Harbison, has performed in Kamala Sankaram’s award-winning steampunk murder mystery opera, Miranda (2012), and most recently in Yara Travieso’s dance/live-video show, La Medea (2017). In addition to Bombay Rickey, he writes for the NYC groups Anti-Social Music and Opera On Tap, and performs with Matt Bauer and Lizzie & The Makers, amongst many others. Jeff’s first home in San Antonio, with its vibrant Tejano, Country and early 80s local punk scene, would prove to be a continuing musical inspiration, but a move to Boston prompted focusing on jazz, Hindustani, Yiddish, Brazilian and classical music in his studies at Berklee and New England Conservatory. Moving to Brooklyn in 1998 led Jeff to meet members of Anti-Social Music, in which he and Sankaram would later meet. Sankaram revealed her plans to perform the works of Yma Sumac in the inaugural form of Bombay Rickey, and found an immediate and enthusiastic band member in Hudgins, who has added Mediterranean and Balkan flair to the ensemble. Jeff is currently working with Bombay Rickey on their followup to their debut record, 2014’s award-winning Cinefonia.

Black and white headshot of Mark Watter

Mark Watter (Musician) is a multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer, and producer based out of Philadelphia. When he’s not working on new records, you can find him on tour with Lizdelise or David Dorfman Dance!

Black and white headshot of Andrew Schneider smiling into the camera, his front tooth chipped.

Andrew Schneider (Visual Designer) is mostly interested in how humans telling stories about ourselves to each other can make us better at being humans. And how much the second law of thermodynamics and grief have in common. He is an OBIE award-winning, Drama Desk nominated performer, writer, and interactive-electronics artist creating original works for theater, dance, sound, video, and installation since 2003. Original work includes: »remains« (2020 – Sasha Waltz & Guests commission); AFTER (2018 – Under the Radar, The Public Theater); YOUARENOWHERE (2015 OBIE award, 2016 Drama Desk nom); among others. Upcoming: time-based immersive light / sound installation dealing with grief, loss, and presentness, “N O W I S W H E N W E A R E” (2023 anticipated).

Headshot of Peter Leibold VI

Peter Leibold VI (Lighting and Video Supervisor) is a lighting and projection designer based in New York City. Peter has worked across the country at theatres including The Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Ford’s Theatre Society, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Andy’s Summer Playhouse, The Spoleto Festival, and many more. Peter won the New Hampshire Theatre Alliance award for Best Lighting for his work with Orange Grove Dance at Andy’s Summer Playhouse and was a finalist for Live Design’s Design Achievement Awards, also for his work with Orange Grove Dance. See more of his work at

Headshot of Sarah Lurie smiling, looking off to the right

Sarah Lurie (Associate Designer) is a New York based lighting designer and manager whose work has been seen around the city. Recent works include design at Abrons Arts Center, The Barrow Group, Bushwick Starr, Cherry Lane, La Mama, and Target Margin. Collaborators include Miguel Gutierrez, Haruna Lee, and Sibyl Kempson. Selected credits: No More Shimmering Cowboys (Out of Line Festival, Yara Travieso), High Winds (LAX Festival), Dog Gone Day/Memory Retrograde (BAX/Ars Nova/Under the Radar), So Long Boulder City (SubCulture), American Realness at Weiner Festwochen, Mourning Becomes Electra (TMT), A Cabaret for Dark Times (ETW), The Children’s Hour (FSSA), Infernal Machine (ETW), Hasan Minhaj’s Homecoming King (Cherry Lane Theater), Colin Quinn’s The New York Story (Cherry Lane Theater)

Headshot of Morgan Grant smiling into the camera

Morgan Grant (Stage and Production Manager) is a NYC based Production Stage Manager. She is thrilled to be touring (A)Way Out of My Body with David Dorfman Dance. Morgan is currently the Assistant Stage Manager on Off-Broadway’s The Office! A Musical Parody. Morgan has worked with Brooklyn’s Smith Street Stage, artist Jim Watt, TedxAsbury, and edits films in her spare time. Morgan earned her BA in Theater and Film Studies from Connecticut College, and is currently on track to receive her MFA in Stage Management from Columbia in 2025. Favorite Stage Management roles include: The Office!, (A)Way, 1000W, ART, Fun Home, Peter & Wendy, and No Exit.

Anne Davison (Dramaturg) is a NY ­based theater and dance dramaturg. She has collaborated with David Dorfman Dance since the development of Come, and Back Again (BAM Next Wave 2013). Other projects include Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman’s musical adaptation Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare in the Park) and Timbers and Friedman’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Public Theater and Broadway), doug elkins choreography, etc.’s o, round desire, Mo(or)town/Redux, and Fräulein Maria, and Jane Comfort and Company’s 40th Anniversary Retrospective and Beauty. She also works in film and television casting.

headshot of Oana Botez with large silver necklace and earrings and red lipstick

Oana Botez (Costume Designer). LCT3: In the Green, Bull in a China Shop, Luck of the Irish. Off-Broadway: An Oresteia (CSC); Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Public); Master and Margarita (Bard Summerscape); A House in Bali, texts&beheadings/ElizabethR, Alan Smithee Directed This Play, Supernatural Wife (BAM). Regional: Macbeth (Old Globe); Angels in America (Wilma); Man in a Case (Hartford). International: Bucharest National; Old Vic Theater; Théâtre National de Chaillot, Maison des Arts Creteil (Paris); Les Subsistances (Lyon); Budapest National; International Festival of Contemporary Theater (Turkey); Le Quartz (Brest); La Filature (Mulhousse); Tanz im August Festival (Berlin); Centro Cultural Universidad del Pacífico (Lima); Edinburgh International Festival; Singapore Arts Festival. She is teaching in the Design Department at David Geffen School of Drama at Yale.

Back to Playbill homepage