photos: V. Paul Vertucio
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The Company

Shapiro & Smith Dance has a reputation for performing tales of beauty and biting wit that run the gamut from searingly provocative to absurdly hilarious. Dancing with breathtaking physicality and emotional depth they have earned an international reputation for virtuosity, substance, craft, and pure abandonment.

Founded in 1985, the Company began as a collaboration between Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith. After meeting in the companies of Murray Louis and Alwin Nikolais, they went on to create their first choreography during a Fulbright Lectureship in Helsinki, Finland. Since then Shapiro and Smith’s blend of contemporary dance and dramatic theater has elicited enthusiastic receptions across the U.S., Europe, Asia and Canada. The Company has been presented by major festivals and venues including the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Dance Theater Workshop, St. Mark’s DanSpace Project, PS 122, Festival di Milano, Teatro de Danza in Mexico City, Recklinghausen RuhrFestSpiele, and the Korean International Festival.

Danial Shapiro died of complications from prostate cancer in 2006 and now Joanie Smith continues as sole Artistic Director.

The Company is grateful to count among its supporters The National Endowment for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation, The Target Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts, the Jerome, Harkness, Greenwall, Dance Magazine, and Joyce Mertz-Gilmore foundations. International touring projects have received support from the United States Information Agency, Arts International, ArtsLink International, the University of Minnesota, Open Society Foundation and a two year grant from Meet the Composer’s International Creative Collaborations. Live music productions have been supported consistently by grants from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and Meet the Composer.  

Shapiro & Smith wishes to extend special thanks to our individual contributors without whose assistance this artistic effort could not flourish.


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