Stefanie Weber, Action-based Dance Artist
Stefanie is an action-based artist that has been working in her profession as a self-employed agent since 1997 based out of western Massachusetts in the US. Action-based artistry for Stefanie includes movement, choreography, performance, dance and community centered projects that utilize the breadth of her creative skills as an educator, performer and choreographer. She creates unique physical poetry and percussive dance performance pieces for people of all ages and abilities. Stefanie is a certified Gyrotonic trainer and movement educator. She is an active maker and designer of all graphics, video, props, costumes and set pieces that are needed to complete her expression in a piece. She collaborates frequently with other artists and musicians. Stefanie often works with materials and concepts inspired by her background in and understanding of the Environmental Sciences and community service.
As a Tap Dance artist specifically, she has trained privately and received mentorship with master educators, luminaries and leaders of the form such as Dianne Walker (Boston) and Heather Cornell (Manhattan Tap). She has learned from legendary dancers such as Jimmy Slyde, Buster Brown, Cholly Atkins, Levaughn Robinson, and Brenda Buffalino. Her study has also included major voices and movers of the form; Lane Alexander, Sarah Petronio, Acia Gray Roxane Butterfly, Max Pollack, Ted Levy, and Savion Glover to name a few. Regional grassroots leaders and comrades in Tap such as Claire O’Donnell (Hartford, CT), Sharon Arslanian (Greenfield, MA) and Tina Baird (Saratoga, NY), have been an influence and source of support. She has pursued further through exploration of the form in Cuba, Barcelona, St. Louis, New Orleans, Boston, New York, Austin, and Montreal. She has successfully led (and continues to develop) grassroots outreach tap dance projects in Nairobi, Kenya with arts-for-social-change organizations (THEY DANCE FOR RAIN). She is an accomplished Jazz Tap improviser and has a robust roster of musical talent to draw from for her collaborations. Stefanie is the leading artist and educator of Jazz/Rhythm Tap in Berkshire County. Her present project with Delta Blues woman Robin O'Herin, Tap&Blues, dives deep into the rich traditions of Tap Dance and Blues expression.
As a Performance Artist and maker, Stefanie had blazed her own trail by utilizing numerous traditional and experimental techniques coupled with a lifelong practice of contemplation and intuition. She brings a vast level of skill to her pursuits including areas of interest such as: Butoh, Flamenco, Middle Eastern Dance and Percussion, Continuum Movement, Qigong, Sufi Movement, Viewpoints, West African and Afro-Cuban Dance and Percussion, Burlesque, Body Percussion, Somatics, Modern, Jazz and Contemporary, Dance, Sweat Lodge, Poetry, Spoken Word, Creative Writing, Nature, and Healing.
She performed with LiquidBody Dance Co. for six years working alongside visionary Caryn Heilman on the integration of pioneering movement techniques into creative interactive performances. Stefanie performs now with Nutshell Playhouse where she sings, dances, play ukelele, acts and learns the art of commedia dell'arte.
In addition to more than three decades of experience in various movement and dance forms including study as a scholarship student at the School at Jacob’s Pillow, Stefanie is certified as a Gyrotonic trainer. After three years of mentorship with trainer and somatic movement therapist, Megan Reisel and advanced study with master Gyrotonic trainer Tim McMinn, Stefanie completed the vigorous certification process in Miami, FL in 2006. She sees clients privately for movement training, re-patterning and healing in Berkshire County at Kinesphere Studio and in the Pioneer Valley at The Pilates Studio. Stefanie previously worked as a Gyrotonic instructor in Boston for Core De Vie, a leading studio spa in Beacon Hill for healing arts and physical training.
Stefanie is the founder and director of the wildly successful summer movement-arts festival, Pittsfield City Hoopla, which highlights the accessible and inclusive use of the hula/hoola hoop as a method for fitness, community building and artistic expression. She also directs the near-to-her-heart Creatures Of Habitat Physical Poetry Public Performance Project, a peformance collective investigating nature and psyche to provoke an opening of minds.
Stefanie’s performance work has been seen at: Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Made in the Berkshires Festival, Berkshire Opera Company, LaMaMa Etc., Jacob's Pillow, The New York Dance Center, The Audobon Society, DanceSpace Center, Dance New Amsterdam, WhiteWave, Williamsburg Art Nexus, Topia Arts Center, Puffin Cultural Forum, Bowery Poetry Club, St John’s Cathedral, Kenya National Theater, and various festivals and non-traditional venues. She is a faculty artist for CATA: Community Access to the Arts, where her work with artists “with disabilities” was featured in the documentary film Rhythm & Hues.
In Spring of 2007, Stefanie was recognized as a “Young Woman Moving the Berkshires Forward” by the Berkshire Eagle newspaper and awarded certificate as an asset to the community by Massachusetts State Senator Benjamin Downing. Stefanie has been the recipient of numerous Local Cultural Council grants through the Massachusetts Cultural Council and she has raised over $14, 000 for her creative projects from individual donors.