Dean Moss

Undergraduate Discipline


Graduate Program

MFA Dance Program

A dance-based, interdisciplinary director, media artist, curator, and lecturer, Moss investigates—through his company, Gametophyte Inc.—the process of assimilation, fluidity of self, and perceptions of other through transcultural, multimedia performance collaborations often incorporating audience participation. He is the recipient of a 2014 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Choreography, the inaugural Doris Duke Impact Award in Theatre, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Artists Grant Award, multiple MAP Fund and NEFA National Dance Project grants, plus fellowships in both choreography and multidisciplinary works from The New York Foundation for the Arts. He received a New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for his work Spooky action at a distance. Moss came to New York from Tacoma, Washington, on a Dance Theatre of Harlem scholarship in 1979. He danced with David Gordon for 10 years and has had a long relationship with The Kitchen, serving as the curator of dance and performance from 1999-2004 and then as a curatorial advisor through 2009. In 2012, Moss curated Black Dance as part of the Parallels 2012 at the Danspace Project. His practice employs collaboration and audience participation as a means to disrupt and enrich both his life and his practice. Past premieres include: Nameless forest (2011), a collaboration with Korean sculptor and installation artist Sungmyung Chun—referencing Chun’s imagery, the performance investigated existential narratives while engaging the audience in experiential rites of passage; Kisaeng becomes you (2009), with Korean traditional and modern dance choreographer Yoon Jin Kim, where audience members were invited to embody the discipline and poetry of kisaeng—artist/courtesans of Korea’s Joseon Dynasty; and figures on a field (2005) with the visual artist Laylah Ali, incorporating a docent-led tour of the work during the performance. Moss’ most recent premiere was johnbrown (2014). The work used its presentation and preperformance production to reflect not only on the controversial legacy of the white abolitionist but also on the racial, gender, and generational processes at play in the inquiry. His current performance project, based on the Rainer Fassbinder film The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, is titled Petra: a meditation on desire, individual and institutional. Petra examines race, sex, and power through the lens of service and unrequited love. The work is commissioned by Performance Space 122 and will premiere at its newly renovated theatre in January 2018. SLC, 2017–

Previous Courses

Dance Making


Prerequisites: Dance Composition, Lighting Design and Stagecraft for Dance, and permission of the instructor.

In this class, graduates and upperclass undergraduates with a special interest and experience in dance composition will design and direct individual choreographic projects. Students and faculty will meet weekly to view works-in-progress and, in conferences taking place the following afternoon, discuss relevant artistic and practical problems. Music, costumes, lighting, and other elements will be discussed as integral and interdependent elements in the choreographic work. This will culminate in performances of the works toward the end of the semester in the Winter Performance and Spring Performance programs. Performances will take place in the Bessie Schönberg Dance Theatre or elsewhere on campus in the case of site-specific work.


Rotating Guest Artist Lab

Graduate Seminar—Fall and Spring

This course is an experimental laboratory that aims to expose students to a diverse set of current voices and approaches to contemporary dance making. Each guest artist will lead a module of between three and seven class sessions. These mini-workshops will introduce students to that artist and to his/her creative process. Guests will represent emergent, as well as established, practices.