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Allyson Joy Yoder

Solo Artist & Educator


Allyson Joy Yoder is a movement artist, facilitator, bodyworker and educator based in the Sonoran Desert on Tohono O’odham land, now known as Tucson, Arizona.  Allyson’s movement is influenced by early training in ballet and classical modern techniques; later study of contemporary release techniques, yoga and mindfulness practices, groove-based movement languages, and social dance forms; and an ongoing curiosity with the movements of every-day life.  Her creative process is collaborative and research-based,  grounded by practices in movement and improvisation, and driven by a desire to strengthen the threads of connection binding inner to outer life, self to other, body to spirit, human to ecosystem.  Allyson’s work lives in shipping containers and on the Light Rail, in art museums, on the internet, and in her own home, and ranges from large group dances to intimate solo works.  As a teaching artist, Allyson works to expand access to meaningful dance experiences for movers across wide spectrums of age, physical abilities, and backgrounds.  Allyson currently directs the dance program at Rincon/University High School.

Learn a little bit more about Allyson....

ZUZI:  Tell us a little bit about the performance for this ZUZI! Winter Solstice show. What is the significance to the solstice?

Allyson:  "Stone Fruit" is a piece about the space between loss and laughter and the false binaries that restrict our thinking. In the first section of the piece, we work with the idea of grief and loss as something that sticks to the body. Performing this first section of the piece feels like a ritual around loss to me. In the second section of the piece, we explore the idea of polarity and opposites. This can be seen as an act of balancing, as well as an invitation to look for the gray area in between what may seem like opposing ideas.

ZUZI:  Tell us a little bit about your group, organization or, if you are an Independent Contractor-your personal experience as a solo Artist.

Allyson:  I will be performing in a duet with my collaborator, Angelica Hurst. As an independent artist, I have been engaged in moving and making work since graduating from Arizona State University with my BFA in Dance in 2016. I have worked and performed as an artist in residence at [nueBOX] in Phoenix, Arizona. 

ZUZI:  How did you learn about ZUZI! Dance? What draws you to ZUZI!??

Allyson:  I have been aware of ZUZI since I was a child growing up and dancing in Tucson. I performed at ZUZI in high school with the Esperanza Dance Project, directed by Beth Braun, and I remember the space felt very welcoming and alive. In general, I’m drawn to movement spaces that place a central importance on community and on the health and wellbeing of the dancers. ZUZI seems like such a space, and I am very excited to be back performing as an adult artist.

Thank you, Allyson, for being a new and wonderful addition to ZUZI! Dance and for bringing incredible talent to our special Solstice show!

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