Profile Type: Artist
NEFA Grant Recipient
Connections Dance Theater


Boston based dance educator, Jenny Oliver uses choreography as advocacy through her dance collective, Connections Dance Theater. Her work raises awareness and funds for social justice issues affecting people on the margins. 

In 2019 she developed Hot Water Over Raised Fists, a socially conscious dance work that invites audiences to connect to the water crisis in Flint, MI and Indigenous communities fighting against oil pipelines using an unique appraoch to educate audiences while bringing support to people and communities (dance advocay method) affected by water injustice. As audiences enter the immersive in-the-roun performance space, featuring three 12-foot fringe curtains surrounding the stage and lighting design that creates an exciting transformative environment, they are invited to learn about the water issues by engaging with educational materials displayed on 10-trifold bulletin boards. Throughout the 80 min experience, dance translates the narratives of these crises into visceral choreography that uses themes of unity, empowerment, honor betrayal, loss and hope. This work is a continuation of the dance advocay method developed to impact and bloster communities on the margins. HWORF has already impacted audiences and affected communities, as the prelude to the premiere (2018) raised $1,171 for a health center in Leogane the premiere run of shows (2019) raised $2,275 for an early childhood center in Flint, MI and amplified the MA Indigenous legislative agenda containing 5 bills that reflect some of the key concerns within Massachusetts.  

I Have Worked With

  • January 2019

    Connections Dance Theater explores “Ansel Adams in Our Time.” The group choreographs visceral dance that interprets American sociopolitical landscapes and is currently participating in the Boston Dance Makers Residency where they are developing Hot Water over Raised Fists, an evening-long moving art installation inspired by the protests against water contamination at Standing Rock and Flint, Michigan. Says choreographer Jenny Oliver, “This residency [at the MFA] allows me to view my choreography from the vantage point of mapping and landscaping. Fusing the environmental motifs of Adams’ work with our choreographic language, we hope to create space for viewers to generate their own narrative from these themes.”

  • July 2018

    Boston Dance Maker Resident artist. During her residency, Jenny developed the choreography and set design for “Hot Water Over Raised Fists.” Sparked by the struggles of indigenous people at Standing Rock and the struggle for clean water in Flint, Michigan, “Hot Water Over Raised Fists” will invite artists and audience to understand the necessity of protest.

  • September 2016

    I am a guest artist for the department, teaching Haitian Folkloric Dance & Culture


  • NEFA Grantee
  • Artist

Contact Information

First Name: 
Job Title/Position: 
Artistic Director
Physical Address: 
15 Cottage Street
Boston, MA 02128
Last Name: 


Profile Type: 
Primary Discipline: 
Dance - Modern / Contemporary
Additional Disciplines: 
Dance - Ethnic
Dance - Jazz
Dance - Tap / Percussive
Year Founded: 
Populations Served: 
General Public
School Groups
Institution/Business Type: 
Artist (Individual)
Activities and Services: 
Arts for Social Change / Creative Activism
Arts Instruction / Lessons
Creation of a Work of Art (Including Commissions)
Performance / Concert / Reading
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
Seasons Active: 
Geographic Reach: 
Town / City

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Professional Associations: 
Boston Center for the Arts
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Dance Complex
Tufts University
Emerson College
Cambridge Youth Dance Program
Boston Dance Alliance
BA Degree in Dance, 2005 Dean College
Excellence in Achievement Award, Jacob's Pillow
Garth Fagan Summer Movement Institute
Boston Dance Makers Residency 2018/19
Choreographer in Residence, Museum of Fine Arts Boston 2019
New England Dance Fund
I am a NEFA Grant Recipient

I am a Teaching Artist

Teaching Settings: 
Private Studio
School / University
Subject Areas: 
Ages Served: 
Elementary School-age
Middle School-age
High School-age
Certifications / Training: 
Horton Pedagogy
Fee Range Minimum: 
Fee Range Maximum: