"My work is concerned with athleticism and the potential of the human body; its capacity for deep physicality and emotion. I comment on Europeanist conceptions of beauty by placing Africanist movement aesthetics onto the ballet and modern dance vocabularies I most often utilize."
Iyun Ashani Harrison is the founder and artistic director of Ashani Dances, a Baltimore-based dance company founded in 2011. Alice Kaderlan of the Seattle Times reports that, "Ashani Dances showcases an artist [Harrison] of diverse talents with sophisticated musical tastes and an understanding of how to use a bare stage to full effect." Mr. Harrison is a graduate of The Juilliard School and received his MFA from Hollins University/American Dance Festival. He has danced professionally with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ballet Hispanico of New York, Ailey II, Seattle Dance Project and National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica. Mr. Harrison’s television credits include PBS’ Setting the Stage 2007, NBC’s ‘20th Hispanic Heritage Awards, PBS’ Who’s Dancin’ Now? – Arts Education in Your Community and The South Bank Show in England. Mr. Harrison has taught on the faculties of Pacific Northwest Ballet School, The Ailey School, Cornish College of the Arts, Webster University and he is currently an assistant professor of dance at Goucher College.
External Awards, Honors, Grants
Ashani Dances’ Love Me, Now Leave Me Alone nominated for Best of Baltimore (Best Dance Performance) - The Baltimore Sun
American College Dance Association (West Virginia University) – choreography, Paganini Variations, selected for Mid-Atlantic Regional Gala performance
Ashani Dances named resident dance company for Goucher College’s Center of Dance, Music & Theatre
Hollins University - Featured as a “Notable Graduate” of MFA/Dance Program,
BOOST Dance Festival - choreography, Union, featured for its “exceptional artistic merit” (as defined by curatorial panel)
Hello. I AM A Dancer - BLOG FOR DANCERS OF COLOR – featured artist
American College Dance Festival: Choreography (Union) selected for National Gala at the Kennedy Center; selected for Regional Gala Performance at University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign