Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art – movement

Leah Wilks

Discipline: Interdisciplinary Art – movement
Region: Brooklyn, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2023

Leah Wilks is a dancer, choreographer, musician, and teacher, originally hailing from North Carolina and currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Her research revolves around embodied memory and the creation of monumental spaces through movement.

She has taught and shared her work in a variety of locations including the American Dance Festival, Elon University, University of Michigan, Ponderosa Tanzland festival, Gibney Dance, the Hemispheric Institute, and PROTEO|media+performance’s Post/Futures Festival. Wilks has been a performer and collaborator with Okwui Okpokwasili, real.live.people, BAND|portier, Sara Hook, and Tommy DeFrantz/SLIPPAGE, among others.

During their MacDowell Fellowship, Wilks and collaborator Mauriah Donegan Kraker (L+M) began developing a new choreographic duet slipstrikefault (working title). This new piece is the next chapter following their 2019 work Armageddon or Sunrise or Something. Investigating the subterranean, how to unknow, slime-molds, and shifts in material/mass/light, L+M worked with durational physical scores, vocal yell|sing practices, intuitive choreographic decision-making processes, and soundscore creation to sweat-shout-sing-breathe a new world into being.

Portrait by Anna Maynard



Leah Wilks worked in the Nef studio.

Nef Studio, the first entirely new studio built after 1937, was donated by esteemed photographer, explorer, author, and MacDowell Fellow Evelyn Steffanson Nef in 1992. Endowed funds for the studio’s maintenance in perpetuity and an annual Fellowship for photographers were given in addition to funds for construction. Mrs. Nef said she had known about MacDowell all her…

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