Jody Sperling

Jody-in-Arctic bio cropA dancer-choreographer from NYC, Jody Sperling is the Founder and Artistic Director of Time Lapse Dance. She has created 40+ works including many furthering the legacy of modern dance pioneer Loie Fuller (1862-1928). Considered the preeminent Fuller stylist, Sperling has expanded the genre into the 21st century, deploying it in the context of contemporary performance forms. She was nominated for a 2017 World Choreography Award for her work on the French feature film The Dancer (premiere 2016 Cannes Film Festival) inspired by Fuller’s life. Years of working in Fuller’s idiom, which involves kinesphere-expanding costumes, has influenced Sperling’s awareness of the body’s relationship with the larger environment. In 2014, she participated in a polar science mission to the Arctic as the first, and to date only, choreographer-in-residence aboard a US Coast Guard icebreaker. During the expedition, she danced on Arctic sea ice and made the short dance film Ice Floe, winner of a Creative Climate Award. Following that experience, Sperling developed programs transporting the icescape to the stage and incorporating climate literacy outreach. Current projects focus on creating visual-kinetic narratives merging choreography and climate science.

Sperling and company have performed or taught throughout the US and in Bahrain, Canada, France, India, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, and Scotland. Sperling and has been in residence at dozens of colleges and universities including The Ailey School/Fordham, Barnard College, Brenau University, Bloomfield College, DeSales College, Hobart & William Smith, Hofstra University, Hunter College, Montclair State University, Skidmore College, Vassar College, Wesleyan University, UC Irvine, UCLA Art-Sci Center, UMass Amherst, University of Nebraska, and University of Wyoming, among others. She holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Dance and Italian Studies as well as an M.A. from New York University Tisch School of the Arts in Performance Studies.

Sperling and Time Lapse Dance have received commissions from the Vermont Performance Lab with Marlboro College, The University of Wyoming through the NEA American Masterpieces Program, and the Streb Lab for Action Mechanics. Works have been featured in the repertory of The Netherlands’ Introdans ensemble and performed by Ice Theatre of New York.

Prior to founding the company, Sperling performed as a dancer in the works of other choreographers including Sarah Michelson and Yvonne Rainer. Sperling has served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS). Her dance writings have appeared online and in print in Dance Magazine, The Village Voice, The SDHS Conference Proceedings, The International Encyclopedia of Dance and the award-winning book Birds of Paradise: Costume as Cinematic Spectacle (British Film Institute, 2014). See publication page.