School of Communication

Annie Beserra

Department of Theatre

Lecturer of Dance
a-beserra@northwestern.edu
Marjorie Ward Marshall Dance Center
10 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208

Annie Beserra is the artistic director of Striding Lion Performance Group , a Chicago-based dance theatre company, recently hailed as the “new center of gravity for indie dance in Chicago” by Time Out. Under Beserra, Striding Lion is dedicated to making new work through the collision of live performance and new media, a stalwart commitment to original music, and the inventive use of both traditional and non-traditional performance spaces. Beserra choreographs and produces an annual performance season for SLPG, curates SLPG’s Salon Series and Night Roars Performance Cabarets, and teaches professional level modern and ballet classes for the community. Under her direction, Striding Lion has received grants from The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Arts & Business Council, The Arts Work Fund, and The Illinois Arts Council. Her dance theatre installations Remember the...(Alamo) (2011) and The Jenkins Farm Project (2012) have served as the cornerstones of SLPG’s 2010-2012 performance seasons. Hedy Weiss of The Chicago Sun-Times, reviewing The Jenkins Farm Project in its original 2008 incarnation was “hooked” by the “lyrical, often disturbingly hallucinatory multimedia installation-performance...[evoking] the joys and terrors of rural life,” and described the piece as an example of “some of the season’s most enthralling dancing.” Zachary Whittenburg of Time Out Chicago said of Remember The…(Alamo), “Beserra’s landscape of movement is varied and evocative, and she moves us into and out of (Alamo)’s more traditionally theatrical scenes with true skill.”

Beserra’s choreography has been presented: in NYC at the Henry Street Settlement, Harry de Jur Playhouse, and SoHo Rep; in Chicago at Links Hall, The Building Stage, The Vittum Theater, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, The Atheneaum, Stage 773, National Pastime Theater, Theatre Building Chicago and The Viaduct; in Columbus, OH at the EMMA Lab and The Riffe Center; and in Alaska at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, UA Anchorage and Discovery Theater. Her choreography for theater includes: Speed the Plow, Madforest, Abingdon Square, The Guys, and Gogol Stories for Piven Theatre Workshop; Some Explicit Polaroids for Roadworks Productions/Steppenwolf Garage; Bluebeard and Other Less Grisly Tales of Love for Toad Productions; The Perjured City for Street Signs; The Giver for Apple Tree Theater and Metropolis; Search for Odysseus for Adventure Stage Chicago; and Ill Met by Moonlight, Billy the Mountain and Other American Card Tricks, and Birdsongs (Remount 2010) for Striding Lion. In addition to performing in her own work and with Striding Lion, Beserra has danced for Meghan Durham, Ashley Thorndike-Youseff, XSIGHT! Performance Group, Lucky Plush Productions, Peter Carpenter, Asimina Chremos, and Billy Siegenfeld’s Jump Rhythm Jazz Project.

Beserra oversees SLPG’s extensive arts education program, where she has been training students and teachers in a collaborative approach to interdisciplinary performance development for 11 years. Beserra has been a guest artist/teacher at the Now and Next Dance Mentoring Project at Appalachian State University, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, The University of Alaska at Anchorage, Northwestern University, University of Houston, National High School Institute and Alaska Dance Theatre. Beserra’s choreography has been presented in Chicago, Columbus, New York, and Alaska. Beserra has an MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University where she was a University Fellow and teaching associate and a BA in Dance and Comparative Literary Studies from Northwestern University, where she is a full-time lecturer in the Dance Program teaching modern and ballet technique, movement for actors, history and theory courses, and serves as the artistic director of Danceworks.

Education

MFA Dance, The Ohio State University
BA Dance and Comparative Literary Studies, Northwestern University

Courses

101-2 Dance in Context
250 Modern II
270 Ballet II
325 Advanced Choreographic Study
335 Special Topics in Dance Research
350 Modern III
370 Ballet III