JORDAN RYDER

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & FOUNDER

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Artist Statement

 

My dance practice is inspired by the combination and juxtaposition of the natural human experience with humans’ physical and athletic capabilities. I contrast emotions with raw movement, left brain with right, and push the limits of instinct. In practice, this duality is housed in the dancers that I work with. Each artist possesses extensive physical training and discipline as well as emotional and spiritual selves, personalities and lives. The collision of these differing forces is the root of my motivation to move within myself and to choreograph on others. The interplay drives my research. I wrestle with the question of how physicality can define the human experience. 

The movement language I am drawn to is one that explores this relationship between these concepts of physicality and humanity. I utilize and value my dancers’ training, athleticism and power as well as their everyday gestures, habits and personal lives, for I believe all are honest and meaningful. The dialogue between these truths creates rich and layered movement, complex power dynamics, relationships and connections between the dancers and a distinct energetic flow. This current that travels through space and rhythm creates the trajectory of my works. The vast amount of information and inspiration I receive from my dancers becomes shaped by this overall energetic flow that I see connecting and moving between them. The symbiosis of these concepts is the foundation of my creations. 

My work spans across stage and screen. It dances on the edge of both the commercial and concert worlds, bringing them together, in order to create more spaces in which I can share my practice with others. I believe that bridging the gap between the audiences of commercial and concert dance is imperative to the future of the dance world. Therefore, I actively work to expand my creations’ reach and accessibility by exploring new audiences and mediums in order to nurture the life of live performance art. I believe dance can be expansive, exhilarating and personal all at once and that is something that should be shared. 

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BIO

I am a choreographer, dancer, and graphic designer based in New York, New York. 

 

My early training began with the LoMastro Performing Arts Academy, Extensions Dance Company, and the scholarship program at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. After high school, I moved on to the New York University Tisch School of the Arts BFA program where I graduated in 2018 with a BFA in Dance and a double minor in Sociology and the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology. While at NYU, I reinforced my dance training with several programs abroad in Israel, Ireland and Germany. 

 

NYU’s dance syllabus places a heavy emphasis on composition and creativity, something I took full advantage of during my time there. I choreographed at least one piece each year and directly after graduation, continued my by immediately forming my company, RyderDance. Since then, I have shown work at 10+ venues in the tri-state area including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Loew's Jersey Theatre, and the Martha Graham Studio Theater, to name a few. I was a recipient of the 2018 Eryc Taylor Dance New Choreographer Grant and most recently the 2021 Brooklyn Arts Council Foundation Grant. In addition to my company, I have set original works on the Eryc Taylor Dance Company, NYU Tisch Dance Summer Residency students, and the dance company at Adlai E. Stevenson High School. My piece on the Eryc Taylor Dance Company was featured on PBS.

Throughout my choreographic career I have had the privilege of being mentored by Phyllis Lamhut, Gus Solomons, Rashaun Mitchell, Giada Ferrone, Cherylyn Lavagnino, and Eryc Taylor, among others. Their wisdom and advice helped to open my eyes to the world of choreographic possibilities and encouraged me to become the artist I am today. 

As a dancer, I have had the privilege of dancing in original works by Crystal Pite, Guanglei Hui/ Cross Move Dance Lab, Pamela Pietro, James Martin, Richard Chen See (Paul Taylor Dance), and others. I was also a featured dancer The Exorcist, a Fox original show.