Maris Wolff

Maris Wolff
Maris Wolff
Performing Arts
McClelland Hall, Room 121
Academic History: 
Dance training New York City at the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre School and Harkness House for Ballet Arts
Massage therapy training and body awareness techniques Swedish Institute in New York City, Johnson State College, Community College of Vermont and various workshops
Training in acting Uta Hagen School of Acting in New York City, Iowa Theatre Lab, with Philip Walker of the Afro-American Drama Company, and various workshops and private lessons
Advanced studies in costuming University of Vermont

About Maris Wolff

Professional Activities

  • Founder and artistic director of the Vermont Dance Collective and founder of solo repertory company

  • Lead role in the dance-oriented film Brujo, shot in central Vermont

  • Performed as a soloist with the Milwaukee Ballet and Ballet Repertory (New York) and as an independent artist and guest artist throughout North America, Europe, England and Africa at venues including the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.; Jacob's Pillow, Lee, Mass.; Lincoln Center, the Symphony Space on Broadway, The Dance Theater Workshop, the Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; and museums in Boston, Atlanta, Tulsa and many other cities.

  • Performed historical dance with the Historical Dance Foundation (New York City), The Court Dance Company of New York, Amherst Early Music at Amherst College in Massachusetts, Renaissonics of Boston, Ensemble Soliel of New London, N.H., the Jonquil Street Foundation Dancers in Washington, D.C., and Ken Pierce Dance Company of Boston

  • Besides JSC, has served on the faculty of Hunter College and Clark Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, the Aegean School of the Arts in Greece, the International Early Dance Institute and the Amherst Early Music Program at Amherst College, Amherst, Mass.

  • Artist-in-residence at many schools and universities in North America, England, Europe and Africa

  • Over the years, has taught ballet, modern dance, jazz, folk dance, pointe, lyric jazz, children's classes, classes for the elderly, composition, improvisation, creative movement, historical dance (Renaissance, Baroque, 19th and early 20th century), repertory, body awareness/stress reduction/therapeutic exercise/exercise balls/massage, costume, fundamentals of dance, tap, dance pedagogy, dance history and topical seminars

  • Choreographed hundreds of dance pieces as well as numerous reconstructions of historical and multicultural dances; guest choreographer for dance companies in the U.S. and abroad; choreographed for and acted in many theater and musical theater productions, including Dido & Aeneas, a Baroque opera by Henry Purcell; African Sanctus (choreography, sets, masks, costumes); Beatitudes (worked with composer Rip Jackson and librettist Jan Ash to create a dance/theater/musical; also, designed and made costumes, sets and masks); and Leonard Bernstein's Mass, a dance theater musical (directed, choreographed, designed and built masks and costumes)

Research Interests

  • Dance, including modern dance techniques (Humphrey, Limon, Graham, Horton, Cunningham, Duncan and Denishawn as well as composition, improvisation and jazz, tap, and folk dance) and Renaissance, Baroque, 19th century and early 20th century dance

  • Massage therapy and body awareness techniques

  • Acting

  • Costume design

Awards & Honors

  • Faculty development grants and Faculty Fellowships
  • Two Vermont Council on the Art's Fellowships
  • JSC Distinguished Faculty of the Year Award, 1998
  • Cultural Ambassador