Nannette Brodie, Artistic Director of Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre, has an incredibly diverse career background that she has brought to her contemporary dance company as director and choreographer for the Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre.
Brodie’s education is composed of extensive training in modern, ballet, jazz, musical theatre, voice and acting. Her professional training was established at California State University at Los Angeles (CSULA) where she earned her Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Fine Art in 1965 and Masters Degree in Dance in 1968. The University provided her with opportunities to work with some of the most talented choreographers modern dance has to offer. The bulk of her training at CSULA stemmed from her work with Murray Louis, Janice Day and Bella Lewitzky. However, Ms. Brodie’s training was enriched with several other dance masters such as Daniel Nagrin, Jeff Slayton, Marcia Sakamoto and Rebecca Bobele to name a few. She is also an alumnus of the Nikolais-Louis Dance Lab in New York City.
Upon graduation, Ms. Brodie embarked on her career as a dance professional with the nationally acclaimed Los Angeles modern dance company, The Moving Company in the 1970’s. In her 8 years with the Moving Company, Ms. Brodie performed in the National Endowment for the Arts Touring Program, Artists in the Schools and the Los Angeles Performing Tree Program. The Moving Company not only provided Ms. Brodie the opportunity to perform but with teaching and choreography experience as well.
Ms. Brodie’s exceptional education background and performance experience provided her with the tools to become a skilled dance educator. Nannette became committed to reaching all ages with quality performances and hands-on arts education opportunities through unique programs, activities and venues. She is proud to have sat on the steering committee of the Center Dance Alliance, which planned the Educational Outreach in Dance for the Orange County Performing Arts Center long before the theater was even built. Her dance education background provided her with opportunities to teach on the faculties of California State University Chico and Long Beach, Loyola-Marymount University, and Long Beach City College. Nannette became the director of dance at Golden West College where she has had an incredible impact. She has directed over 100 student productions, concerts and musicals. For 30 years Ms. Brodie has made her mark on thousands of students of dance. Wherever she travels in the world, she seems to meet former students who thank her for what they learned in her classes. She has produced annual Invitational Festivals with numerous college dance departments and with professional companies. Numerous dancers and actors attribute their training and vision to Nannette’s instruction at GWC. Students have risen to fame after study with Nannette including Michelle Pfeiffer ,Viveca A. Fox and Wendi McLendon Covey. She was recently nominated for a Lester Horton Dance Award in Los Angeles for outstanding teaching.
In order to expand her artistic vision, in 1978 Nannette founded the South Coast Dance Arts Alliance, a nonprofit arts umbrella organization and developed a lasting Mission Statement: To present and promote quality dance experiences to people of all ages primarily throughout Southern California, with a special commitment to educational outreach for school-aged youth. To achieve this the organization presents concerts, workshops, after-school programs, free classes, intensive teaching residencies and a touring children’s show in the schools. Under Nannette’s leadership as executive director, SCDAA has successfully supported two primary programs, which have both seen tremendous growth and community impact: the Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre and the HeARTS for Youth after-school outreach programs for at-risk youth.
The Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre (NBDT) was established in 1986 as a contemporary modern dance company. NBDT participated in the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s “From the Center” educational touring project for 7 years, performed for Junior Programs of Southern California and her choreography has been performed in more than 300 venues in New York, California, Nevada, Arizona, Finland, Mexico, Czech Republic and France. Her choreography spans from humorous, jazzy, blues-ey and lighthearted to heavier themes such as trials of immigrants in Émigré, to tribal, lyrical and modern works on pointe. Nannette has a broad range of talent to share with her company and audiences. With a vision to inspire young minds and bodies through dance, but to also incorporate poetry, geography, world cultures, social cultures, history, music styles and language arts, Nannette created a classroom curriculum to accompany her different educational touring shows. The current show entitled “Flight of the Imagination” has been very well received by thousands of Orange County and Long Beach students, grades K-12, teachers and administrators. Ms. Brodie’s choreography is now being presented in a touring production entitled, Heartland—The Immigrant Experience, which debuted in Hollywood in June of 2004. Her company of dancers is available for national and international touring. She received the Else Loudon Solo Award for her choreography at the Palm Desert Choreography Festival in 2002. Also during that year, Ms. Brodie was nominated for the Arts Orange County Award for Arts Visionary.
Nannette’s organization provides many public performances and school/youth center programs free of charge in response to the compelling need for arts education and positive after-school programs for low-income kids and adults. Because so many believe in her work, Nannette’s non-profit organization, her dance company and her educational outreach programs have been funded by many foundations, corporations and local government agencies over the last 20 years. The Arts Council for Long Beach has believed in Nannette’s leadership in the arts by providing the South Coast Dance Arts Alliance with grants for projects and operating funds for 22 consecutive years. In addition South Coast Dance Arts Alliance has received funding from such notable foundations as the Orange County Community Foundation, the Cannon Family Fund, the James Doolittle Foundation, the Dwight Stuart Foundation, the Samueli Foundation, the William Gillespie Foundation Disney Community Foundation, Target, Wells Fargo and many more. A recent undertaking for Ms.Brodie was the inauguration of the South Coast Dance Arts Festival, which is designed to showcase Southern California choreographers. The festival was presented in March 2005 and again in February 2006. The new name for the festival this year is the So-Cal Dance Invitational. The festival will continue this next season and will include a South Coast Dance Arts Youth Festival, which will showcase the talents of high school age dancers in the Long Beach area.
The outreach and dedication of the South Coast Dance Arts Alliance has been a tremendous gift to the Southern California community. The leadership of this organization and the visionary behind it is, of course, Nannette Brodie. During 2007 Nannette was honored to be selected the Distinguished Artist of the Year by the Arts Council for Long Beach. In addition, her company, Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre, received a Milestone Award from the Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles for 25 Years of Outstanding Service and Leadership in Dance.
Company Website: www.nannettebrodiedance.org