Ray Eliot Schwartz graduated high school from the North Carolina School of the Arts and received a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA from University of Texas-Austin. He acknowledges the deep influence of Nancy Stark Smith on his understanding of Contact Improvisation. He is the founder of Performática: Foro Internacional de Danza Contemporánea y Artes del Movimiento, serves on the board of directors of ISMETA, and is a research associate at the Center for Mind Body Movement. He co-founded four contemporary dance projects in the southern U.S.: Sheep Army, The Zen Monkey Project, Steve’s House Dance Collective, and THEM. He has been a guest artist for diverse populations in the US, South East Asia, South America, and Mexico and has served on the faculty of the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, MELT, the ZMP Summer Dance Intensive, the Colorado College Summer Dance Festival. and SFADI, among others. Somatic studies include certifications in Body-Mind Centering® and the Feldenkrais Method®. He is a published scholar who writes about the interface of somatic movement education and contemporary dance practice and served as Academic Coordinator of the Dance Program of the University of the Americas-Puebla in México from 2008 to 2018.
Classes: Mapping Functional Geographies: Dancing together through complex terrain
Photo by Gabriel Morales