Words On Dance…. founded in 1994, by producer, Deborah M. Kaufman, began with a simple vision to offer dance artists a live platform to share personal stories, and inspirations that have shaped their lives in dance. Words On Dance quickly developed a captive and growing audience as dancers embraced their profound desire to share the creative intelligence that has formed some of the most brilliant careers in the art form. A hallmark of Words On Dance is the screening of rarely seen dance footage from the artist's collection, and various private resources to illuminate the conversations. This component lends an immediacy to the dialogue, to create a fresh insight into the historical significance of the work.
The roster of legendary artists who have generously graced the stage, include Violette Verdy, Edward Villella, Maria Tallchief, Cynthia Gregory, Helgi Tomasson, Mark Morris, Peter Martins, Merrill Ashley, Rita Moreno, Michael Smuin, Eliot Feld, Gover Dale, Robert La Fosse, Joe Goode, Martine Van Hamel, Twyla Tharp, Allegra Kent, Tina Le Blanc, Yuri Possokhov, among numerous others. Eminent dance artists who have hosted conversations include Ashley Wheater, Kristine Elliott, Christopher Stowell, Julia Adam, Mikko Nissinen, Evelyn Cisneros, Joanna Berman, Damara Bennett, Wayne Hazzard, and Donald Williams.
Words On Dance is extremely proud to be at the forefront of documenting the most legendary dance artists of our time. All programs have been filmed for placement in cultural institutions. Words On Dance is dedicated to remastering our collection to digital format, so this compelling and scholarly information may be further utilized, and made accessible for various platforms that are becoming available to entertain and educate a wide audience
While Words On Dance maintains a home presence in San Francisco, programs have been presented at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and Nevada Ballet Theatre, Stanford University, and iThe Paley Center for Media in New York. Words On Dance launched a series of programs at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York in the Spring of 2016.
Words On Dance is generously funded by The George Balanchine Foundation, Barbara Horgan, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, The John and Lisa Pritzker Family Fund, and numerous individuals patrons.