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Jenny Oliver | Modern Connections Collective

“For me, dance is everything. It has given me a career in which I can integrate self-expression with a disciplined lifestyle. I find that dance, despite its technical demands, is infinitely emotional. I feel most happy when I’m dancing -- performing in theaters, traveling, teaching dance technique and motivating young people. My hope is that one day, dance will be viewed as a vital source of communication and a highly focused and fulfilling way of life."

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JENNY OLIVER

 Artist | Dancer | Teacher | Choreographer 

Jenny Oliver has spent the past decade navigating a dance career in performance, teaching and research. Her experiences with Dance have shaped her into a compassionate artist who is always investigating and looking for more, more to learn and more to give back.  

A Magna Cum Laude graduate with a BA degree in Dance from Dean College and having received the Excellence in Achievement Award from the School at Jacob’s Pillow, Jenny has used her years of extensive training in Ballet, Modern (specifically Horton), Jazz, Tap (specifically Hoofin') and Haitian Folkoric Dance, to create interesting choreographies and develop integrated teaching practices. She has trained at the Garth Fagan Summer Movement Institute and completed the Horton Pedagogy Program at the Alvin Ailey School in NY. She is currently on Faculty at Emerson College, Deborah Mason Performing Arts Center and The Dance Complex teaching Modern Dance. At Tufts University she teaches a course on Haitian Folkloric Dance & Culture and designed a workshop course called African Dance in the Diaspora where students explore the Africanist movement as it has transitioned throughout the Trans Atlantic Slave Route. For 2 years she had worked at Esh Circus Arts, where she taught Dance for the Professional Preparatory Program.

From 2005-2007 she performed with Nailah Randall-Bellinger’s company Roots Uprising, in New England and Ohio. From 2007-2011 she co- choreographed and danced with the Boston Tap Company (BTC), collaborating with Sean C Fielder (of the National Tour “Noise Funk”). Her role as the Dance Captain and Assistant Choreographer, allowed her to create thought provoking and engaging dance works that furthered the BTC's mission of presenting dance as people-positive and artistically respectful expression. In 2009 she performed in Brenda Bufalino and Josh Hilberman's Clara’s Dream: A Jazz Nutcracker production at the Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH. She worked as the Assistant Artistic Director and Principal Soloist for Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE) from 2011-2014. Her work with them focused on editing choreography, performing and communicating with the dancers of the company. JAE’s mission is to advance Haitian Cultural expression. She has also worked with artists such as Tezz Yancey, Danny Swain and Adrienne Hawkins, Director of Impulse Dance Company.

Over the past few years Jenny has begun to focus on her own Artistic statements and the creation of her repertoire. Her mission is to raise awareness and monies for marginalized people by creating compelling artistic choreography that relate to people of color in the African Diaspora and tell stories based on the development of her Caribbean-based research of Art &Culture. In developing her artistic palate , she has worked in Residence at the MultiCultural Arts Center with Brigette Dunn Korpela, Director of B.Dunn Movement; in Residence at the Boston Center for the Arts with Lane Gifford, Director of LaneCo. Arts; in Residence at the Institute of Contemporary Art as well as the Atlantic Center for the Arts, FL with Reggie Wilson, Director of Fist & Heel Performance Group. In the Fall of 2016, she is began her own collective performance group called  Connections Dance Theater, providing opportunities for dancers in Boston to work in a rigorous creative environment.

Jenny also has a passion for youth and is a sought after teacher whose expertise and successful focus on student development has brought her into many studios and organizations throughout Massachusetts. She worked with the Alvin Ailey Summer Camp Boston in 2008 + 2009 and Boston Ballet’s Education & Community Initiatives Department (ECI) in 2013 + 2014. Both organizations provide programming in Boston’s inner city schools. She has given workshops for the Dance Master’s of America and Greater Brockton Dance Teacher’s Association. Her students have gone on to institutions such as Joffrey Ballet School, Pace University, Elon University, George Mason University, Penn State, Oklahoma City University, Skidmore College and the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive to name a few.

Her choreography has been set on the pre-professional dancers of the Cambridge Youth Dance Program and Franklin School for the Performing Arts’ Electric Youth Touring Company (Europe). While choreographing for the youth she also enjoys choreographing on adults, which led her to create a performance Rep Class for her students at the Dance Complex in Cambridge and to create a piece commissioned by the Across The Ages Dance Project, an inter-generational dance group in Boston. In addition to teaching in the classroom, Jenny has adjudicated for various dance competitions within Massachusetts and continues to be involved in her Alma Mater in varying capacities including; Panel Discussions, Choreography and Career Planning Initiatives.

 

She began training and performing with Haitian Folkloric Dance Troupe, ArcEnCiel, under the direction of Marlene Edouard in 2005. Over the next 7 years, she learned a tremendous amount about the many dances, traditional of Haitian Culture. In 2013, her passion for teaching and her desire to learn took her abroad to teach in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti where she was on faculty with JAE Summer Dance Institute. An article was written about her time working for JAE’s Program and can be read here (www.dancestudiolife.com/2014/03/heat-horton-and-happiness/). Inspired by her ability to connect with people through the dance, Jenny returned to Haiti in the fall of 2014 to continue her independent teachings expanding beyond Port-Au-Prince into Petionville where she was working with, Compaigne de Danse Jean Rene-Desolin. In the summer of 2015 she helped establish the dance studio, Art Locus Studio in Delmas. Her work in Haiti has brought her to the Petite Riviere Health Center in Leogane where she currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Rasin Foundation whom support the daily operations of the clinic.

As she continues to pursue meaningful work in the arts the International Dance Council CID, headquarter in Paris, France has recognized her efforts. This prestigious organization has been established since 1973 and is acknowledged in 40 countries worldwide.