Rebecca Lazier is a choreographer and educator based in New York City and Nova Scotia. She has choreographed more than eighty works presented in six countries. Recognized as an audacious experimenter, Lazier creates dances of explosive physical vitality inspired by the thinking and innovation that is possible through collaboration. She continually reaches outside of dance towards experimental music, engineering, architecture, anatomy and visual art to ask how methodologies that drive invention can open new frontiers of choreographic knowledge. Over three decades, her work has increasingly emphasized the coming together of disciplinary forms in continuously adapting, emergent systems on stage and in the studio.
Lazier began her choreographic career collaborating with popular avant-garde composer and activist Fred Ho, and two-time Tony-award winning theater director Bartlett Sher. Her distinguished collaborators have included scientist and MacArthur fellow Naomi Leonard, composers Daniel Trueman and Paul Lansky; new music ensembles Newspeak, Mobius and SŌ Percussion; visual artist Janet Echelman; and dance artists Cori Kresge, Raja Feather Kelly, Jennifer Lafferty, Rashaun Mitchell, and Silas Riener. Lazier’s recent project, There Might Be Others, commissioned by New York Live Arts, included an international research project spanning three-years and five countries; and a book of intra-disciplinary scores for music and movement published by Brooklyn’s Operating System Press. In 2016, Lazier, and her collaborators, received a New York Dance “Bessie” Award for their artistic achievement.
Among her many honors, Lazier is also the recipient of a Bessie Schönberg Choreography Residency at The Yard, an honorary fellowship to Djerassi, Artist-in-Residence awards from The Joyce Theater Foundation and Movement Research; and major funding from New Music USA, Canada Council, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and Harkness Foundation for Dance. Her work has been performed extensively in performance spaces throughout New York, as well as Canada, Greece, Russia, Turkey and Poland with recent performances at New York Live Arts, The La MaMa Moves! Festival, Invisible Dog Art Center, Canada’s Scotia Festival of Music and Live Art Dance, Poland’s prestigious Malta Festival. A film adaptation of her work was presented at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.
Lazier is a Senior Lecturer and Associate Director of the Program in Dance at Princeton University. In 2019, she was awarded Princeton’s prestigious grant, Innovation Fund for Research Collaborations with Artists and Scientists or Engineers, for her current project, The Understory.
Lazier was born in Halifax, Canada and graduated from The Juilliard School.
“Lazier transformed her introductory speech into zany performance art. She carried on, careened and crashed to the floor in an over-the-top routine that astonished with its audacity.” Tony Anganaro, The Hartford Courant