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Liz Lerman

Hailed by the New York Times as “One of the most articulate and compassionate of social commentators in the arts today,” choreographer Liz Lerman has drawn inspiration from such unlikely sources as the US defense budget and a Department of Energy report on nuclear waste. Lerman earned a master’s degree in dance from George Washington University before founding the Dance Exchange in 1976. The exchange was novel for both producing performances with professional dancers and offering classes that welcomed community members, including seniors. Her choreography regularly explores science through dance and often touches on the intersection of science, politics, and creativity, with pieces like Still Crossing (for the Statue of Liberty Centennial in 1986), Atomic Priests and Other Dances, Ferocious Beauty: Genome, and Nine Short Dances about the Defense Budget. Among her many honors, Lerman was awarded a MacArthur grant in 2002. In 2011 she stepped down from leadership of the Dance Exchange and published a collection of essays, Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer.

More on: Dance, Journalism, Memoirs
Liz Lerman
Full image
Liz Lerman.
Courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation/Wikimedia Commons.
Date of Birth

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Liz Lerman." (Viewed on November 13, 2018) <>.


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