Inspired by such vitality, Webb began choreographing in 1979 and quickly
proved herself to be a prolific and challenging choreographer.She
has created over 40 works, ranging from brief solos to evening-length
pieces to experimental dawn-to-dusk performances. Her work has been
presented throughout Europe and America, including such venues as
the Kitchen, PS 122, St. Mark’s Danspace, and Movement Research,
Inc. in New York City; the Los Angeles Festival; the American Center
in Paris; the Dartington International Dance Festival in England;
the Tanz ‘82 Festival in Vienna, Austria, and Zellerbach Hall
in Berkeley, California.
Ellen Webb Biography
Ellen Webb, Artistic Director of the Ellen Webb Dance Foundation,
was raised in the Bay Area, where she first studied dance.
She attended Bennington College, then left for New York to
study dance with Merce Cunningham and to perform with Carolyn
Brown (1973-1975) and Douglas Dunn and Dancers (1976-1978),
During her 12 years in New York, Webb witnessed and participated
in one of the most important eras of American dance—an
era of intense innovation and rigorous experiment.
In 1982 Webb founded the Ellen Webb Dance Company, which performed
in New York and on tour. She taught in and managed her own studio
and also taught for the School for Movement Research.
In 1984 Webb returned to the Bay Area, where she has continued
teaching and performing, and began seriously studying yoga. In 1986,
she founded the Talking Dance Project, an annual symposium series,
which she co-directed with dance scholar David Gere. The following
year, she re-established her company with acclaimed performances
in San Francisco, Berkeley, and New York. Wanting to establish deeper
roots in the community, Webb undertook the creation of a major dance
studio, which opened in 1989. Located in West Oakland, the Studio
provides a permanent home for the Ellen Webb Dance Foundation and
is rented to the community for rehearsals, classes, and informal
Webb has served on the Cultural Development Steering Committee
for the City of Oakland Strategic Plan. Her choreography was nominated
for an Isadora Duncan Dance award in 1989, and both she and her
Dance Foundation were just nominated for 1992 Oakland Business Arts
Awards, given by the Chamber of Commerce to artists who have made
a significant impact in their communities. A video of her Dance
Company’s performance at the UC Berkeley Art Museum won the
Golden Cassette Award of the 1st Annual East Bay Video Festival,
sponsored by the East Bay Media Center. The tape was broadcast on
San Francisco cable Channels 29 and 54 in November, 1991.
Watch excerpts of collaborations
in dance between Ellen Webb and Sandy Walker, 1987-1995.
See Ellen's 2013 performance
with Trio 3 at the Subterranean Art House in Berkeley, CA.