Nick Benson Photography, 2014
TitleAssociate Professor of Dance
Elisabeth Motley (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, scholar, and teacher whose work is concerned with disability as a framework for choreography and creative practice. She recently received a 2021-2022 New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Choreography Commission grant, participated in Dance/NYC’s Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program and was featured in Dance Magazine: “How Neurodivergence Informs Elisabeth Motley’s Creations” (2021). Motley was a 2019-2021 Movement Research Artist in Residence, a 2020 Dance/NYC Disability. Dance. Artistry. Dance and Social Justice Fellow and a recipient of the 2018-2019 Fulbright US-UK Scholar Award. She has shared work at Movement Research at Judson, Center for Performance Research, Danspace Project’s DraftWork, Gibney Dance, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, HERE, Festival Oltre Passo – Italy, Springboard Danse Montreal, and The Whitney Museum among others. She was a BAX space grantee and Artist in Residence at Center for Performance Research and Chez Bushwick. Elisabeth has received the Mertz Gilmore Foundation Late Stages Grant (2012, 2013) and Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant (2013, 2021). Motley co-conspires with choreographer Kayla Hamilton on Crip Movement Lab: an improvisation-based movement workshop for disabled people and their non-disabled accomplices. She is an Associate Professor of Dance at Marymount Manhattan College and is studying toward a Dance Practice-as-Research Ph.D. at University of Roehampton, focusing on choreography and disability culture studies.
B.F.A., the Juilliard School
M.F.A. Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College
Currently, her choreographic practice explores an authorship of both music and movement. As part of her performance, Motley hones the skill of synthesizing disparate mediums, and moves toward a necessity to create and embody sound. Her practice includes the use of looping tools and midi machine, creating voice and sound scores. As part of her process Motley researches and identifies objects, voice, language, and dance that can be used as sound and choreography.