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BIOGRAPHY

"... the sure touch of poet".

                             -Eva Yaa Asantewaa

MAKEDA THOMAS is a dancer, choreographer, artistic director, curator, and scholar. Her work in dance theatre, film, performance, and installation has been created through collaboration with artists around the world. She is a Creative Capital Awardee, with commissions and awards from 651 ARTS Black Dance: Tradition & Transformationthe National Endowment for the Arts, NYS Council on the Arts, and many others. Her 
choreography has been presented internationally, including at The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York Live Arts, HARLEM Stage/Aaron Davis Hall (New York), Brooklyn Academy of Music, Teatro Africa (Moçambique), CCA7 and Queen’s Hall (Trinidad), The National Gallery and 7 Arts Centre (Zimbabwe), Teatro de la Ciudad (Mexico), El Barrio Artspace (New York), the Delaware Museum of Art, and in the context of Carnival. Makeda is the founding director of The Dance & Performance Institute - a site of creativity, experimentation, and critical thought about dance, performance, and community making based in Trinidad & Tobago. Since 2010, the Institute has engaged over 800 artists from around the world in the multiplicity of the Caribbean historical and cultural context. She has taught as a Lecturer at the University of the West Indies, on faculty of the American Dance Festival, and been a Visiting Artist at Yale University, MIT, Ohio State University, Middlebury College, University of Minnesota, and many others. A founding board member of the Collegium for African Diasporic Dance (CADD), Thomas has been described as “belonging to that new breed of contemporary artists, the postmodern African Diasporan dancer-scholar whose work goes beyond stereotype and the market appetite for clichés regarding the black dancing body”(Gottschild). As a dancer, Makeda Thomas performed internationally in the companies of Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, URBAN BUSH WOMEN, and Rennie Harris/ Puremovement. She began her study in New York with Michael Goring and Eleo Pomare, continuing on scholarship at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, The Paul Taylor School, and Hofstra University where she earned a B.A. in Dance and English. She also holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University and an MA in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, where she is currently pursuing a PhD in Performance Studies. Recent projects include mas performance work in collaboration with Berlin-based visual artist, Shannon Lewis and Trinidad-based visual artist, Brianna McCarthy. Thomas lives and works between NYC, Chicago & Port of Spain. 

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