Gillian Rhodes is an American dancer, choreographer, and storyteller. Through her work and her personal journey, she is constantly working in, through, and across boundaries of culture, discipline, and media. She started training in ballet at the age of five and majored in dance at Columbia University in New York. Since 2012, she has been living in Cambodia, South Korea, and now Pakistan, and integrates the experiences and learnings of navigating new societies, languages, cultures, and artistic styles into everything she creates. 

Due to her unique position in the places she lives and the work she does, Gillian’s work is inevitably the product of the dynamic tension of boundaries: understanding them, respecting them, challenging them, blurring them.

In Cambodia, she introduced musical theatre and contemporary dance to a government TV channel. Her performing group, which included both classically trained folk dancers and a breakdancer, performed at an international festival in Malaysia. In South Korea, she was one of the only foreign dancers in the contemporary dance scene. As a member of Second Nature Dance Company, Gillian was involved in the creation of Bit Sapiens, a multimedia performance speculating on the future of humanity. The performance was awarded the 2018 Dancevision “Frontier Spirit Award.”

Now in Pakistan, Gillian is a leader of the budding contemporary dance scene. She co-taught the first accredited choreography course in a Pakistani university and helped introduce the first monthly choreography exhibition. She has performed Punjabi bhangra and kathak with Versatile Dance Company all around the country, and has appeared in numerous commercials and campaigns as a model and actress. 

In 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gillian dove into the world of digital creations, developing dramatic, site specific live Instagram performances, finding stages in everything from her stove top to her closet. She has continued this research experiment with self-made short films, which has – as usual – generated into new collaborations and disciplines. 

Find out more about Gillian below, or click here to see her full CV. 


Extras

  • In 2017, Gillian recorded two seasons of an original podcast “It’s an artful life!” For this, she interviewed 24 people from all over the world and all kinds of industries 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 Pakistani 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.