The Performer: Dancer, choreographer, storyteller 2020-05-26T16:54:18+00:00

Dancer, Choreographer, Storyteller

Dancer, Choreographer, Storyteller

About Gillian

Gillian Rhodes is an American dancer, choreographer, model, and writer. She started learning classical ballet at the age of five. As a teenager, she focused more on musical theater and circus, and worked as a professional aerial circus performer and coach. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University, where she refocused on dance, studying Graham technique (with Donlin Foreman), contemporary, and various styles. After spending a year abroad in Paris, France, she brought the first American group to a university festival in Paris the following year.

Upon graduation, Gillian traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to teach a series of choreography workshops for the NGO Cambodian Living Arts. She stayed in Cambodia for three years, working primarily as a choreographer for Cambodian Television Network and as the senior management assistant at Cambodian Living Arts. During that time, she brought two original pieces to international festivals in Malaysia. In 2015, she choreographed a piece for Jolona Jongjam, a festival commemorating forty years since the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.

Gillian left Cambodia for South Korea in June 2015. Shortly after arriving, she performed at the Incheon International Dance Festival and the Jeju Fringe Festival. She trained regularly with Trust Dance Theatre in 2016 and in 2017 taught weekly classes as part of the company’s training program. In September 2015, she was invited to join Second Nature Dance Company as a guest dancer. After performing in three mainstage productions with Second Nature, she was named a member to the company and was a principle member in 2017. 

Gillian is currently based in Lahore, Pakistan. She shifted in February 2018 after being invited to the School of Tomorrow Conference in Islamabad in 2017. She has performed all around the country in a variety of styles, including her own contemporary and traditional Punjabi bhangra. Her evening-length work entitled “The Name I Give Myself” was invited to GIKI’s 21st Annual All-Pakistan Performing Arts Festival. She has appeared in multiple music videos with local singers, and has modeled for award-winning photographer Ashna Khan and top brands such as Sonya Battla. Gillian was the resident artist for both National College of the Arts and the Institute of Arts and Culture. She choreographed the upcoming film “Kamli’ by award-winning director Sarmad Khoosat and currently teaches at Beaconhouse National University.

“The only place I’ve found that truly feels like home is the stage.”

About Gillian

Gillian Rhodes is an American dancer, choreographer, model, and writer. She started learning classical ballet at the age of five. As a teenager, she focused more on musical theater and circus, and worked as a professional aerial circus performer and coach. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University, where she refocused on dance, studying Graham technique (with Donlin Foreman), contemporary, and various styles. After spending a year abroad in Paris, France, she brought the first American group to a university festival in Paris the following year.

Upon graduation, Gillian traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to teach a series of choreography workshops for the NGO Cambodian Living Arts. She stayed in Cambodia for three years, working primarily as a choreographer for Cambodian Television Network and as the senior management assistant at Cambodian Living Arts. During that time, she brought two original pieces to international festivals in Malaysia. In 2015, she choreographed a piece for Jolona Jongjam, a festival commemorating forty years since the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.

“I dance because I must; I have no choice. The world only makes sense to me when I move.”

Gillian left Cambodia for South Korea in June 2015. Shortly after arriving, she performed at the Incheon International Dance Festival and the Jeju Fringe Festival. She trained regularly with Trust Dance Theatre in 2016 and in 2017 taught weekly classes as part of the company’s training program. In September 2015, she was invited to join Second Nature Dance Company as a guest dancer. After performing in three mainstage productions with Second Nature, she was named a member to the company and was a principle member in 2017. 

Gillian is currently based in Lahore, Pakistan. She shifted in February 2018 after being invited to the School of Tomorrow Conference in Islamabad in 2017. She has performed all around the country in a variety of styles, including her own contemporary and traditional Punjabi bhangra. Her evening-length work entitled “The Name I Give Myself” was invited to GIKI’s 21st Annual All-Pakistan Performing Arts Festival. She has appeared in multiple music videos with local singers, and has modeled for award-winning photographer Ashna Khan and top brands such as Sonya Battla. Gillian was the resident artist for both National College of the Arts and the Institute of Arts and Culture. She choreographed the upcoming film “Kamli’ by award-winning director Sarmad Khoosat and currently teaches at Beaconhouse National University.

Published Writing

Gillian is an accomplished and published writer. She writes poetry, novellas, short stories, and non-fiction essays.

Academic (2011)

Gillian’s undergraduate thesis “Owning the Dance: Michael Jackson’s Movement Signature” is available for download from the Academic Commons.

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Tell Me A Story: 104 Short Stories in 52 Weeks (2017)

Based on the prompts of an online writing blog, Tell Me A Story is a celebration of their unique creative perspectives. Dad limited his entries to 100 words (exactly), producing piercingly realistic snapshots taken over his lifespan. Daughter preferred fantasy, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic fiction, and futurism. Their strikingly different stories are a testament to ingenuity, imagination, and creative commitment.

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By The Angels’ Wings (2018)

Part fantasy, part dystopia, part post-apocalyptic fiction, By The Angels’ Wings is separated into three parts, each following a generation of the family that will change the course of history forever. Written over a decade as the author grew up in an increasingly fearful and chaotic world, By The Angels’ Wings is at once a plea for sanity and a manifesto of hope: for the power of love, the vitality of resistance, the endurance of the stories we tell, and the strength of our choices to influence it.

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Extras

  • In addition to the published work, Gillian has written numerous articles, essays, and poems on Medium
  • Gillian has performed twice at TEDx Events: TedxVannes in France, and TedxLahoreWomen in Pakistan.
  • In March 2017, Gillian was a panelist at the prestigious World of Tomorrow conference in Islamabad, Pakistan. Gillian spoke on the panel “Art Without Boundaries” alongside four others, including the driving force behind Pakistan’s well-known truck art and Pakistani dance legend, Ms. Sheema Karmani. (@SOTEvents on Twitter and Facebook).
  • In 2017, Gillian recorded two seasons of an original podcast “It’s an artful life!”, in which she interviewed 24 people from all over the world on how they engage with art on a daily basis. During the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, she released a special 8 episode season talking specifically to artists on their experience. 
  • In 2016, Gillian completed a year-long mentorship under Korean artist HeJin Jang and worked as a researcher at Jang’s Global Institute for Cultural Embodiment and Performing Arts (CEPA). She co-designed a three-month research project on immigrant artists in Korea, which included a survey and a community workshop. Her analysis of the survey results can be found here.
  • Gillian speaks five languages: English, French, Korean, Khmer, and Urdu.

Extras

  • In addition to the published work, Gillian has written numerous articles, essays, and poems on Medium
  • Gillian has performed twice at TEDx Events: TedxVannes in France, and TedxLahoreWomen in Pakistan.
  • In March 2017, Gillian was a panelist at the prestigious World of Tomorrow conference in Islamabad, Pakistan. Gillian spoke on the panel “Art Without Boundaries” alongside four others, including the driving force behind Pakistan’s well-known truck art and Pakistani dance legend, Ms. Sheema Karmani. (@SOTEvents on Twitter and Facebook).
  • In 2017, Gillian recorded two seasons of an original podcast “It’s an artful life!”, in which she interviewed 24 people from all over the world on how they engage with art on a daily basis. During the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, she released a special 8 episode season talking specifically to artists on their experience. 
  • In 2016, Gillian completed a year mentorship under Korean artist HeJin Jang and worked as a researcher at Jang’s Global Institute for Cultural Embodiment and Performing Arts (CEPA). She co-designed a three-month research project on immigrant artists in Korea, which included a survey and a community workshop. Her analysis of the survey results can be found here.
  • Gillian speaks five languages: English, French, Korean, Khmer, and Urdu.

Latest News

Watch all of Gillian’s performances, interviews, and much more on her creative YouTube, Gillian Rhodes The Performer.

You can learn contemporary dance through exercises, stretches, tutorials, and more on her teaching YouTube, Do It Like a Dancer.

Follow Gillian on Facebook and Instagram to hear about her upcoming performances.

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