Niles Ford ’10

Niles.jpgDance choreographer Niles Ford is the founder of the Urban Dance Collective. This production of In Search of the Invisible People, in collaboration with fellow choreographer Nathan Trice, is the culmination of several years of research and exploration into the urban dance scene from the ’s70 and ’80s. Owing to the effects of the aggressive actions by the Giuliani administration and the advent of AIDS, the New York House scene became an endangered species forced to go underground in order to survive. Ford’s hope in revisiting this difficult time in the dance community is to bring awareness to the crippling effects of the mayoral resurrection of the Cabaret Licensing Laws and pay homage to a lost generation of dancers, dj’s and musicians.

Ford holds an MFA from New York University’s Tisch Dance Program and a BFA from the University of the Arts. He began his professional dance career in 1977. In 2003 his piece, A Dream Deferred, was performed at PS 122 and received critical acclaim from New York Times’ reviewer, Jack Anderson.

His 30-plus years in the professional dance world have filled his dance card with such note worthy names as the Boston Ballet, Bill T. Jones, Ron Brown, Gabri Christa’s dance on film project Savonetta, Danny Sloane and Company, the Rod Rogers’ Dance Company, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Philadanco, and a recent collaboration with Marlyse Yearby on her piece, Brown Butterfly, a tribute to boxer, Mohammed Ali.

Throughout his career, Ford’s work has received grant support from the Jerome Foundation, NY State Council for the Arts, the Harkness Foundation for Dance and the Puffin Foundation. He has also received grant awards from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Asian Cultural Council. In 1998 Ford was granted a residency at Djerassi. And for his outstanding performance in Merian Soto’s, Historias, Ford was awarded the prestigious Bessie Award in 1993.