Wendy Woodson is a choreographer, writer, director, and video artist and Artistic Director of Present Co. Inc., established in 1980 in Washington D.C. and now based in Amherst, MA. To date Woodson has created more than 100 works for the stage, screen and exhibition that have been presented throughout the US and in Europe, Australia and New Zealand at such venues as the Washington Project for the Arts, Dance Place, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, the Emerson Majestic Theater, LaMama NYC and LaMama Melbourne, Wolf Trap, Jacob's Pillow, the DeCordova and Virginia Museums of Art, the Victoria Immigration Museum of Melbourne, among others, and at various colleges and universities in the US and abroad.
Woodson has received numerous awards and grants for her choreography, video and writing including fellowships from the National Endowment from the Arts (two choreography fellowships, and one interarts grant), choreography and company grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, choreography and playwriting fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, video fellowships from the Boston Film and Video Foundation the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and Amherst College. Her well-known films Trout and The Third Day received numerous prizes and awards including Grand Prize Winner at the San Francisco Video and Poetry Film Festival, at the U.S. Super 8 Film and Video Festival at the New England Film and Video Festival, and at the Deutscher Video Kunstpreis in Germany. She has received artist residencies at such places as the Bogliasco Foundation, Italy, the Rockefeller Bellagio Center, the Yard, Sienna Arts Institute, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Blue Mountain Arts Center, and Ragdale. She was also a Fulbright Senior Scholar/Artist in Residence at Monash University and Victorian College of Arts, Melbourne Australia.
In addition to her work as Artistic Director of Wendy Woodson and Present Company Inc., Woodson has been a guest artist with numerous dance and theater companies in the U.S., The Netherlands, Australia, Portugal and New Zealand where she has made work for other organizations. As an arts educator, Woodson was an artist in the schools with the National Endowment for the Arts and at numerous public schools, colleges and universities before joining the Theater and Dance Faculty at Amherst in 1987. She is the Roger C. Holden Professor of Theater and Dance at Amherst College and a member of the Five College Dance Department.
My interests as an artist and teacher are interdisciplinary and collaborative. I am consistently drawn to tensions between different voices, desires and agendas within and between individuals as they struggle to live in and also transcend specific bodies, times and places.
Concepts of mediation, reconciliation and translation are important in my artistic pursuits both in terms of the content and in the interaction of different media. I strive to create an environment on stage or in video that emphasizes kinesthetic empathy and reciprocity between different simultaneously occurring perspectives and between sensation, memory, action, reflection and imagination.
I rely on improvisation and collaboration to develop work. I like to respond to the moment, to think on my feet and to work with the responses and input of collaborators and I am always grateful for this interaction.