Zornitsa Stoyanova (Director) is a performance artist, curator, writer, lighting and video designer based in Philadelphia, PA. A native of Bulgaria, she holds B.A. in Dance and Sound Design from Bennington College, VT. After concluding her studies, she moved to Philadelphia, PA where she started creating, producing and presenting performing art and video under the name Here[begin] Dance.
She is deeply inspired by artists like Anthony McCall, James Turrell and Japanese choreographer Naoko Tanaka. She questions the ideas of the constructed structures of performance and pushes the boundaries of social propriety. Mylar reflective material and custom lighting are integral part of her most recent work. Since becoming a mother in 2013 her work has focused on abstracting the female body, feminist ideas and imagery.
In 2008 Zornitsa was a fellow with Headlong Performance Institute, where she focused on abstract character building, clowning and interactive theatrical performance. Later, her studies with Deborah Hay sparked an interest in performance presence and deconstruction of communication thorough posture and gesture. Since then, Zornitsa has sought out professional development opportunities researching art practices in abstracting the body and looking for emotional content and potential for meaning. Her most influential teachers include Miguel Gutierrez, Michelle Boule, Ishmael Houston Jones, Susan Rethorst, Fay Driscoll, Luciana Achugar, Danny Lepkoff amongst others.
While an artist in residence at Meet the Next Generation program, part of eXplore Dance Festival 2011 in Bucharest, Romania, she studied with Meg Stuart. This influenced her tremendously and furthered her research in extreme emotional presence. To this date Zornitsa uses Stuart’s methodologies in working with power dynamics and physical states in performance.
In September 2015, she started a yearlong residency at <fidget> space in Philadelphia exploring personal narratives from the female perspective along with custom lighting and Mylar multimedia interaction. Her residency brought her to producing a collection of photography and dance on camera she calls Body Etudes. Culminating the residency Zornitsa will present a multimedia interactive performance event called Explicit Female last weekend in April, 2016.
Zornitsa is a supporter for a sustainable dance community. From 2006 until 2010, she was a member of Mascher Space Cooperative and is deeply invested in helping further conversation and collaboration. As Here[begin] Dance she has curated and produced Current: an evening of dance and art and Dance Cinema Projects from 2007 until 2011. She has hosted and organized multiple workshops for the community and taught free workshops in making web sites for artists and budgeting. In February 2015, she started a community dance workshop in collaboration with <fidget> space called Get What You Need. Along with fellow artist Kristen Shahverdian and Jacelyn Biondo, Zornitsa is curating an ongoing festival called Move Dance Think Fest. She teaches improvisation technique for performance, dance on camera and composition and has done so in Philadelphia, France, Hungary and her native Bulgaria. Zornitsa is also a writer for thinkingdance.net.
Her latest project is Moms Make Art residency in partnership with Mascher Space Cooperative and Fidget Space. She is presently raising funds and organizing the four month flexible residency for young mothers who create performance.