Elisabeth Motley

  • Nick Benson Photography, 2014


Associate Professor of Dance








Elisabeth Motley, MFA, is a choreographer, scholar, and teacher whose work is concerned with neurodivergence, crip theory and disability as choreographic sites. Motley is a 2019-2021 Movement Research Artist in Residence and was a recipient of the 2018-2019 Fulbright US-UK Scholar Award. Elisabeth has received grants from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Her work has been presented at Center for Performance Research, Danspace Project, Dixon Place, Gibney Dance, HERE, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Movement Research at Judson, Chocolate Factory Theater’s THROW, Festival Oltre Passo – Italy, Springboard Danse Montreal, and The Whitney Museum among others. Motley was a BAX Parent Space Grantee and has been an Artist in Residence at Center for Performance Research, Chez Bushwick, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and with Fresh Tracks at New York Live Arts.  She has performed the works of Yvonne Rainer, Pat Catterson and collaborated with Trisha Brown on a series of improvisational structures. Motley served as Asst. Director to Chinese Opera Director Shi-Zheng Chen for the Opera production of Vespers.

Elisabeth has been an Assistant Professor of Dance at Marymount Manhattan College since 2015. She has been on faculty at the Juilliard School Summer Dance Intensive and has been commissioned twice by the college to create works. She has been a Guest Artist at Snow College, Bowdoin College, SUNY Purchase College, and Lafayette College in PA. Motley has been an Adjunct Professor of Dance at Manhattanville College, and Improvisation Faculty for the Certificate Program at Peridance Center. She has taught at Gibney Dance, Dance New Amsterdam, The Playground, Peridance Capezio Center and Centro Dimensione Danza in Italy. Elisabeth is a Certified Pilates Mat and Apparatus Instructor specializing in an aging population with neurologic disorders. 

Elisabeth holds a BFA from the Juilliard School and MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. 



B.F.A.,  the Juilliard School

M.F.A. Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College

Recent Work

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.


Carson Hall, Room 516