Davalois Fearon is a critically acclaimed choreographer, dancer, and educator. Her work is driven by an aim to confront complex social problems and compel a profound contemplation of these issues by audiences – whether in renowned New York City venues such as the Joyce Theater or Metropolitan Museum of Art or academic venues from New York to Florida. She has explored a wide range of social crises and challenges, from water rights to white supremacy, often coupling performances with awareness-raising events that broaden the impact and sustainability of her work.
Born in Jamaica and raised in the Bronx, Fearon draws deeply on her experience as an immigrant, which has shaped her distinctive approach to dance-making and her unique movement vocabulary. This manifests in choreography that is said to reflect a “tenacious virtuosity.” Her artistic lineage also extends from a 12-year career (2005–2017) with the Stephen Petronio Company, where she was a favorite of Petronio audiences for her bold performances. Fearon has received numerous prestigious grants and awards, including a MAP Fund Grant and a 2017 Bessie Award for her performance in “the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds” ensemble. She was also recognized among “7 Up-and-Coming Black Dance Artists Who Should Be On Your Radar” by Dance Magazine in 2018 and, more recently, was a 2021-22 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow finalist. Fearon has been featured in publications such as The New York Times and Ntozake Shange’s Dance we Do: A Poet Explores Black Dance and the film If the Dancer Dances. In addition, she has been invited to participate in various panels, including the 2021 DanceNYC Symposium and the International Association of Blacks in Dance 30th Anniversary.
In 2016, Fearon founded the Davalois Fearon Dance Company to push artistic and social boundaries and cultivate the next generation of dance artists. Her work often highlights structures of inequities that affect people of African descent. When the global COVID-19 pandemic amplified such inequality in 2020, Fearon launched the Davalois Fearon Dance Virtual Theatre. The DFD Virtual Theatre is an online platform for new and work-in-progress performances commissioned by rising choreographers. It represents a space where social, educational, and cultural initiatives can be introduced and classes and workshops hosted. It also serves as an archive for the work of the DFD Company, and DFD’s Time to Talk Initiative is now on the Virtual Theater platform, offering resources to help people take immediate and long-term action to combat structural racism. In the newest phase of this initiative, Time to Talk with Davalois Fearon, Fearon speaks with guests on issues of race to highlight structural racism within dance, academia, and society at large, using both art and informed discourse to educate about the scope and harm of racial disparities.
Fearon recently unveiled the DFD Commissioning Initiative, providing developing dancers and choreographers an onramp through the DFD Virtual Theater. This reflects the mission of DFD to cultivate the next generation of artists, offering not only a forum to share and premiere their work but granting each commissioned artist a stipend, mentorship from Fearon, and administrative and production support. Fearon herself is a commissioned artist – completing works for the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Harlem Stage, and Barnard College, among others – and is currently working on commissions for the Stephen Petronio Company and Carnegie Hall.