About Gillian 2018-07-01T11:41:20+00:00

Biography

Gillian Rhodes is a multidimensional artist primarily working as a dancer and choreographer. She started learning ballet at the age of five and studied intensively as a girl. As a teenager, she focused more on musical theater and circus, becoming a professional aerial circus performer and coach. She refocused on dance in university, completing her Bachelor’s of Dance at Columbia University and graduating Magna Cum Laude. There she studied a variety of styles, but focusing especially on Graham (with Donlin Foreman) and contemporary technique. During a year abroad at Columbia’s campus Reid Hall in Paris, France, she studied under Anne Debaecker, a pupil of Dominque Mercy (Pina Bausch). For her senior project, she brought the first American group to a university festival in Paris.

Upon graduation, Gillian traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to teach a series of choreography workshops for the NGO Cambodian Living Arts. Much to her surprise, she ended up staying for three years, working primarily as a choreographer for Cambodian Television Network and the senior management assistant at Cambodian Living Arts. During her time there, she also brought two original pieces with Cambodian dancers to international festivals in Malaysia, the Sibu International Dance Festival and the Tari International Dance Festival, and choreographed a piece “The Things They Carried” for Jolona Jongjam, a festival commemorating forty years since the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.

Gillian left Cambodia for South Korea in June 2015. She performed with the Incheon International Dance Festival and the Jeju Fringe Festival shortly after arriving. She worked with CEPA, a Global Initiative for Embodied Culture and Performing Arts, on a research project on immigrant artists in South Korea, and designed a workshop to bring immigrant artists together with Korean artists. In September 2015, she was invited as a guest dancer to join Second Nature Dance Company for their new creation. After performing in three main stage shows with Second Nature she was named a member to the company, and in 2017 was one of the company’s principle members.

Gillian is currently based in Lahore, Pakistan. She has conducted workshops with Harsukh, Lahore Grammar School, and the University of Sargodha. She has performed with some of the top dance artists in Pakistan, including Adnan Jahangir and Wahab Shah, and performs cultural dances regularly with Versatile Dance Company. She presented a collaborative work with Rehan Bashir at River in an Ocean, a collateral event of the Lahore Biennale 01.

“Dance for me is a language of its own. It is a therapy and I believe everybody has it in them. People move naturally to a beat.”

“Dance for me is a language of its own. It is a therapy and I believe everybody has it in them. People move naturally to a beat.”

Biography

Gillian Rhodes is a multidimensional artist primarily working as a dancer and choreographer. She started learning ballet at the age of five and studied intensively as a girl. As a teenager, she focused more on musical theater and circus, becoming a professional aerial circus performer and coach. She refocused on dance in university, completing her Bachelor’s of Dance at Columbia University and graduating Magna Cum Laude. There she studied a variety of styles, but focusing especially on Graham (with Donlin Foreman) and contemporary technique. During a year abroad at Columbia’s campus Reid Hall in Paris, France, she studied under Anne Debaecker, a pupil of Dominque Mercy (Pina Bausch). For her senior project, she brought the first American group to a university festival in Paris.

Upon graduation, Gillian traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to teach a series of choreography workshops for the NGO Cambodian Living Arts. Much to her surprise, she ended up staying for three years, working primarily as a choreographer for Cambodian Television Network and the senior management assistant at Cambodian Living Arts. During her time there, she also brought two original pieces with Cambodian dancers to international festivals in Malaysia, the Sibu International Dance Festival and the Tari International Dance Festival, and choreographed a piece “The Things They Carried” for Jolona Jongjam, a festival commemorating forty years since the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.

Gillian left Cambodia for South Korea in June 2015. She performed with the Incheon International Dance Festival and the Jeju Fringe Festival shortly after arriving. She worked with CEPA, a Global Initiative for Embodied Culture and Performing Arts, on a research project on immigrant artists in South Korea, and designed a workshop to bring immigrant artists together with Korean artists. In September 2015, she was invited as a guest dancer to join Second Nature Dance Company for their new creation. After performing in three main stage shows with Second Nature she was named a member to the company, and in 2017 was one of the company’s principle members.

Gillian is currently based in Lahore, Pakistan. She has conducted workshops with Harsukh, Lahore Grammar School, and the University of Sargodha. She has performed with some of the top dance artists in Pakistan, including Adnan Jahangir and Wahab Shah, and performs cultural dances regularly with Versatile Dance Company. She presented a collaborative work with Rehan Bashir at River in an Ocean, a collateral event of the Lahore Biennale 01.

More Stories

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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Not This Day! Special Features (2014)

Co-authored with her father, Kevin Rhodes, this book follows the two’s adventures of creating a multimedia stage show in 2006-2007. By turns entertaining, bold, challenging, honest, hopeful, reflective, revealing, rueful, and self-effacing, this collection of Special Features reveals that Not This Day! continues to be as entertaining, inspiring, and engaging it was at its beginning.

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The Book of Noah (2014)

In the not so very far future, in a galaxy very close to home, a young politician faces an impossible choice, with impossible consequences that ripple down history through complete destruction and recreation to a new world and a new religion. Part sci-fi thriller, part Orwellian dystopia, The Book of Noah is the result of a seven-year collaboration with Gillian’s sister, novelist Hilary Rhodes.

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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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On Community – A Modern Manifesto (2017)

What does it feel like to find community for the first time? How do we build community across cultures and geographies? Why does community matter to us, now? Along with 27 co-authors, Gillian contributed an essay on curating and maintaining digital communities.

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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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More About Gillian

  • In March 2017, Gillian was a panelist at the prestigious World of Tomorrow conference in Islamabad, Pakistan. The conference was a gathering of over 140 speakers, both Pakistani and international, to discuss five dimensions of building a better future. 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 June 2017, Gillian performed her solo “Parce Domine” at TEDxVannes in France.

  • In 2017, Gillian recorded two seasons of an original podcast “It’s an artful life!” She interviewed 24 people from all over the world on how they perceive and engage with art on a daily basis.
  • In 2015 Gillian was accepted into Sandbox, a global community of innovators and leaders under 30. She served 2 years as ambassador of the nomad hub and in 2016 she created and organized the first ever Virtual Summit for the community on “New Archetypes of Peace” with 3 panels and 12 panelists across 12 cities. In 2017, she organized the 2nd annual summit on the theme “Making the Future,” which involved 12 panels and 50 panelists. In August 2017, she was elected Secretary of the Board of Trustees and participated in a focus group designing a new governance structure for the community.
  • 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, including a survey and a community workshop. Her analysis of the survey results can be found here.
  • Gillian has modeled for a variety of shoots, both as a dancer and in fashion. She was featured in the June 2014 fashion editorial ‘Allegro ma non troppo’, photographed by Balazs Maar, in Ladies Magazine Cambodia, and in the September 2014 editorial ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, photographed by Sophea Ke and styling by Don Protasio, of Fashion Lab Magazine in Phnom Penh.
  • Gillian speaks four languages: English, French, Korean, and Khmer. She is currently learning Urdu.

More About Gillian

  • In March 2017, Gillian was a panelist at the prestigious World of Tomorrow conference in Islamabad, Pakistan. The conference was a gathering of over 140 speakers, both Pakistani and international, to discuss five dimensions of building a better future. 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 June 2017, Gillian performed her solo “Parce Domine” at TEDxVannes in France.

  • In 2017, Gillian recorded two seasons of an original podcast “It’s an artful life!” She interviewed 24 people from all over the world on how they perceive and engage with art on a daily basis.
  • In 2015 Gillian was accepted into Sandbox, a global community of innovators and leaders under 30. She served 2 years as ambassador of the nomad hub and in 2016 she created and organized the first ever Virtual Summit for the community on “New Archetypes of Peace” with 3 panels and 12 panelists across 12 cities. In 2017, she organized the 2nd annual summit on the theme “Making the Future,” which involved 12 panels and 50 panelists. In August 2017, she was elected Secretary of the Board of Trustees and participated in a focus group designing a new governance structure for the community.
  • 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, including a survey and a community workshop. Her analysis of the survey results can be found here.
  • Gillian has modeled for a variety of shoots, both as a dancer and in fashion. She was featured in the June 2014 fashion editorial ‘Allegro ma non troppo’, photographed by Balazs Maar, in Ladies Magazine Cambodia, and in the September 2014 editorial ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, photographed by Sophea Ke and styling by Don Protasio, of Fashion Lab Magazine in Phnom Penh.
  • Gillian speaks four languages: English, French, Korean, and Khmer. She is currently learning Urdu.