Photo curtesy of AJ Wattamaniuk
Kelli Miles is a Minneapolis-based dancer, choreographer, teacher and arts administrator. Her training began at Central Wisconsin School of Ballet where she performed principal roles in Alice in Wonderland, Carnival of the Animals (with choreography by George Balanchine), Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. In high school, Kelli attended Interlochen Arts Academy under the direction of Cameron Basden, graduating with academic and artistic honors. While
at Interlochen, Kelli had the privilege of working
with guest choreographers Gina Patterson and Matthew Prescott. She has spent summers training with Milwaukee Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, TU Dance, Alonzo King LINES Contemporary Ballet, New Dialect and DanceWorks Chicago.
Kelli graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Leadership in the spring of 2018 after having spent a final semester dancing in the contemporary hub of Israel. During her collegiate career she trained in ballet, modern, jazz, African, improvisation, composition, somatics and Gaga. She has created numerous works of her own, as well as performed works by nationally renowned artists: Joanie Smith, Carl Flink, Martha Graham, luciana achugar, Angharad Davies, Banning Bouldin, Uri Sands and Ohad Naharin. Additionally, Kelli co-produced Work Sighted: Emerging Dance, Heightened Research, a showcase for emerging choreographers and interned with arts organization, Springboard for the Arts, on their leadership team. She has danced professionally with Karen L Charles' Threads Dance Project, Borealis Dance Company and Rhythmically Speaking: The Cohort. Kelli is also currently the Managing Director of Mathew Janczewski's ARENA DANCES, a contemporary company with a 23-year history
I am a dancer - an intellectual being with a heigtened bodily awareness and ability to access the unverbalized, as well as the more easilby told, stories of human experiences that manifest within our bodies and minds. I share in the retelling and reframing of these stories through performing works by myself and other choreographers. I share my artistic voice through performance as a dancer and through the finished product of movement as a choreographer. Asethetically, I am drawn to work that blends the boundaries between abandonment and classical technique. Subtleties versus unapologetic rigor intrigues me. Focus and presence are extremely important in the work I perform. This work is an invaluable, powerful vehicle for social change by connecting to people in visceral, empathetic ways. Through movement, I offer different viewpoints on our experiences to spark compassion in humanity; as an artist, I also use my medium to question social narratives in hopes of provoking productive, diverse conversations.