(BA, Dance, ’05)
Q & A:
- What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
My most cherished memories at Hofstra were with my fellow dance majors. In addition to our coursework, dance classes, and trying to have some kind of social life, we would rehearse for long hours every semester. No one else understood the dedication and time we invested into our artform, so we really relied on each other during those long and grueling rehearsal runs. We spent so much time together that we became a family.
- What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing learned in that position?
My first dance gig/job was ironically with a Hofstra alum, Larry Keigwin, for a site-specific dance piece at The Tobacco Warehouse in Dumbo, Brooklyn. I learned how important it is to make a great impression and how to be a really good collaborative artist. People will remember how they felt around you, so it’s important that you add to a positive environment and make sure you are bringing something to the table. That has proven to be the best way to network and get recommended for other projects/jobs in the future.
- What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
I am a dance artist! I perform, choreograph, and teach but also work as a performance curator. That means I work on collaborative performance projects with other artists with a focus on audience engagement. I am currently the programs manager at the Center for Performance Research (CPR) in Brooklyn, NY, and I just wrapped a performance series in December with my latest project, Yes! Yes! Yes! that explores club culture, house music, and the legacies of The Loft and The Garage in NYC.
- What advice would you give Hofstra students?
Take care of yourself! There is so much going on with coursework, being away from home, and adapting to your new surroundings, and it’s important to do things that make you feel good and will have a positive impact on your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Also, find your tribe! Find people who are into the same things you are and be open to trying new things. Four years go by faster than you think.
- In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
- What is your favorite part of your job?
I get to work with artists and be an artist every day! My work allows me to meet new people and provide platforms for others to tell their stories, plus I get to work collaboratively with incredible artists I admire on my own projects. It has been a lot of hard work getting to where I am, but I get to do what I love every day.
- How has your degree from Hofstra University helped you in your career?
My dance degree did more than teach me dance technique. We were given an education that translated to the full scope of a dance career, particularly how to create one that is specific to you. My education taught me skills that I was able to adapt to teaching, producing performances, performance curation, community organizing, and collaboration in all forms. At the time, I wasn’t mature enough to grasp how these skills would serve me, but I feel so fortunate to have had the environment to explore, experiment, and work creatively.
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you see your career progressing in the future?
Ten years from now will see me working as an independent performance curator as well as continuing creative collaborations with movement, live performance, and virtual reality in the U.S. and abroad! I want my life and career to find a natural balance in which I feel grounded and walking in my purpose.
Remi Harris is a multidisciplinary movement artist and performance curator, exploring the intersectionality of dance, new media, and black female representation.
Under dbr projects, a project-based choreographic, collaborative, and performance venture helmed by Harris, her work manifests in forms of movement improvisation, choreography, site-specific work, movement for video, installations, performance, and art programming. Her projects have been featured at Abrons Art Center, Brooklyn Studios for Dance, Danspace Project, Teatro La Tea, Triskelion Arts, The Mark O'Donnell Theater, The Brick Theater, Thalian Hall, and several site-specific areas in NYC. Her video and virtual reality work have been presented as part of the Spark Dance Film Festival, Triskelion Dance Film Festival, and Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, NC.
Past curatorial work includes the Adaptable Apple series (a multidisciplinary series with visual artist Michelle Golden) and the 2019 Dance NYC Symposium along with Stephanie Acosta.
She advocates for dance equity as a member of several art collectives such as the Artists of Color Council under Movement Research. As a creative consultant, she has project-managed Katie Workum’s latest project, Anna, Darrin, David, Eleanor, jess, Katie, Leslie & Weena: The Door’s Unlocked, in February 2020.
Born in Barbados and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Harris is currently the programs manager at CPR - Center for Performance Research. She graduated from Hofstra University (on scholarship) with a BA in Dance.