Dance Faculty

Rebecca Lazier

Rebecca Lazier headshot

Professof of the Practice, Dance, Rebecca Lazier. Photo by Jon Sweeney


Rebecca Lazier is a choreographer and educator based in New York City and Nova Scotia. She has choreographed more than eighty works presented in six countries. Recognized as an audacious experimenter, Rebecca creates dances of explosive physical vitality inspired by the thinking and problem-solving that is possible through collaboration. She continually reaches outside of dance—towards experimental music, engineering, architecture, visual art, and anatomy—to ask how the questions and methodologies that drive invention in other fields can open up new frontiers of choreographic knowledge. Her work has increasingly emphasized the coming together of disciplinary forms in continuously adapting, emergent systems on stage and in the studio.

Rebecca began her choreographic career collaborating with popular avant-garde composer/activist Fred Ho, and two-time Tony-award winning theater director Bartlett Sher. Other notable collaborators include scientist and MacArthur fellow Naomi Leonard, composers Daniel Trueman and Paul Lansky; new music ensembles Newspeak, Mobius and SŌ Percussion; visual artist Janet Echelman; and dance artists Raja Feather Kelly, Cori Kresge, Jennifer Lafferty, Rashaun Mitchell, and Silas Riener.

Rebecca’s performance project There Might Be Others won a 2016 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award before touring internationally. Commissioned by New York Live Arts, this international collaboration involved 12 percussionists and 15 dancers from five countries, and produced a book of intra-disciplinary scores for music and movement published by Brooklyn’s Operating System Press. Her current project Everywhere the Edges is supported by The National Creation Fund and The Canada Council for the Arts.

Among her many honors, Rebecca is also the recipient of a Bessie Schönberg Choreography Residency at The Yard; an honorary fellowship to Djerassi; Artist­-in-­Residence awards from The Joyce Theater Foundation and Movement Research; and major funding from New Music USA, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and Harkness Foundation for Dance.

Her work has been performed extensively in performance spaces throughout New York, as well as Canada, Greece, Russia, Turkey and Poland; with recent performances at The La MaMa Moves! Festival, Invisible Dog Art Center, New York Live Arts; Canada’s Scotia Festival of Music and Live Art Dance; and Poland’s prestigious Malta Festival. A film adaptation of her work was presented at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Rebecca is Professor of Practice and Associate Director of the Program in Dance at Princeton University. In 2019, she was awarded Princeton’s prestigious grant, Innovation Fund for Research Collaborations with Artists and Scientists or Engineers.

Rebecca was born in Halifax, Canada and graduated from The Juilliard School.

We Roar Podcast June 2020

Dancing with Ourselves: Performing Arts and Movement in the COVID Era

Social distancing has devastated the performing arts and changed how we move through public spaces. Princeton senior lecturer in dance Rebecca Lazier considers the impact on artists, theaters and venues, and how we’re all navigating a new concept of togetherness.

Read the transcript

Spinal Tap 2016

lazier bookshelf

Princeton professors unpack their summer reading lists

What are we looking at?
The books in the photo are part of my “go-to” collection. I have read each many times and they remain in my office as inspiration and a resource when working with students. The books fall into three general categories: creation, anatomy and context. These three spheres are the philosophic center of my teaching. I hope students will link their creative voices with their physical discoveries, their intellectual pursuits with improvisational tangents. Whether meeting with a student to discuss their thesis, helping them discover ways to move with less restriction, or exposing them to the wealth of dance history and research, together these books guide us to new territory.

What’s on your summer reading list?
The moment the semester ends in the spring I give my brain — and my feet — a break and go on a fiction binge. During the academic year I focus on books and journals related to the courses I am teaching and try and keep up with The New Yorker.

Books collect in piles by my bed throughout the year. Right now there is three-foot high stack waiting for me. This summer I’m looking forward to delving into Edith Pearlman’s collection of short stories, Binocular Vision. I find there is a piercing clarity to her prose.

Last summer I read Salman Rushdie’s memoir Joseph Anton, his chronicle of living under death threat for nine years, and it inspired me to put Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses on my list for this year. It seems an apt political time to revisit controversy.

Come August I will dig into newly published books in the dance field as well as catch up on recent journals and articles. I have been saving choreographer Meg Stuart’s Are We Here Yet? and Kathan Brown’s John Cage, Visual Art: To Sober and Quiet the Mind until I have the time to savor each page. That time is coming.

This content is courtesy of Michael Hotchkiss and Jamie Saxon, Princeton University Office of Communications.

Coming Together / Attica

News & Links

Short films from Spring 2015 dance tour in Turkey | 3.Açık Dans Stüdyosu

What I Think: Rebecca Lazier” | Princeton University, March 2016

“Improvised dance embodies complexities of social decisions” | Princeton University, Feb. 21, 2019

“Relationships That Endure” | Princeton Alumni Weekly, June 5, 2019

“Funding the next big idea: New projects receive Dean for Research Innovation awards”
— NODES: Net tOpology and Dance Exploration Systems with Rebecca Lazier and Sigrid Adriaenssens | Princeton University, June 8, 2020

“Dancing with Ourselves: Performing Arts and Movement in the COVID Era” | We Roar Princeton podcast, June 18, 2020

Lazier a Finalist for 2024 National Dance Project Production Grants | New England Foundation for the Arts, May 20, 2024




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