laura elaine ellis: ruminations. [re] visited.

April 27 – May 7, 2022 in the SFArtsED gallery at 1275 Minnesota st.


San Francisco Arts Education Project is thrilled to host dancer, choreographer, and SFArtsED Master Artist laura elaine ellis in residence in the SFArtsED gallery at 1275 Minnesota Street.

Journey to making ruminations. [re] visited.     

Commissioned in 2019 by Dimensions Dance Theater’s Deborah B. Vaughan, laura elaine ellis collaborated with members of the dance company to create a dance project in five parts – run. witness. cycle. ash. fly… During the pandemic, this dance project became a film project – ruminations. Co-directed by ellis and filmmaker Desiree Galvez, ruminations. features members of Dimensions Dance Theater with text by poets Jordon E. Dabney and Atiya Ziyad.

As SFArtsED Artists-in-Residence, laura elaine ellis and visual artist Tiersa Nureyev partner to continue and expand the artistic collaboration with an exhibition in the SFArtsED gallery at MSP, featuring the film ruminations. as a multi-channel installation. For ellis, this body of work “traverses moments in time, in body memory, in fever dreams” as she addresses “resilience, grief, loss, and hope in being black, woman, mother, child.” Tiersa Nureyev designs the costumes worn by members of Dimensions Dance Theater, with the activation of the Minnesota Street Project atrium on May 7.

“The stairs in the Minnesota Street Project Atrium I will envision as pews, as a gateway… the sort of gateway that goes through lineage, through ancestry, maybe it is a portal for my ancestors that have made a way for me. ” – laura elaine ellis.

Mark Your Calendars!

Community Choreo & conversation with artists:
April 30, 4–6pm in the SFArtsED gallery at 1275 Minnesota St project

Performance: ruminations. [re] visited.
May 7, doors open 7:00 pm + performance begins at 7:30 ($20 donation)
1275 Minnesota st, Atrium.



About the Artist:

As SFArtsED artist-in-residence, choreographer and artistic director laura e. ellis presents a collaborative performance project and art installation, ruminations. [re]visited. in the SFArtsED gallery and Atrium at Minnesota Street Project. Laura has choreographed and artistically directed numerous projects in the Bay Area including her first large-scale project: Pieces of Me (2002) which was commissioned by ODC Theater and was awarded the Creative Work Fund. This project was presented in collaboration with composer/musician Wayne Wallace and featured choreographers Robert Moses, Silfredo La O Vigo, Aisha Jenkins with performers Robert Henry Johnson, Clairemonica Dixon, Nora Chipaumire, Valerie Nozipho Sanders, and Marc Bamuthi Joseph.

Other notable dance projects created by laura include Shadows, Whispers, and Sighs (2003) and When Strength is My Weakness (2005) which was commissioned by Robert Henry Johnson and nominated for an Izzie Award. In 2017 ellis worked on Of Flesh & Bone and for Soul to Soul: An Artistic Response to Baldwin & Coates, ellis collaborated with choreographer Gregory Dawson and featured poet/musician Jordon E. Dabney. The all-male cast included Dazaun Soleyn, Isiah Bindel, Byb Chanel Bibene, Alex Diaz, Frankie Lee Peterson, and Alex Vargas and the project was awarded the Kenneth Rainin Foundation’s New Program Funding.

In 2005, laura with arts partner Kendra Kimbrough Barnes co-founded and co-presented the Black Choreographers Festival: Here & Now (BCF).  laura currently curates programming at SF’s Dance Mission Theater.  BCF is an award-winning festival, recognized by Best of the Bay (2009); Bay Area Spirit Award (2012); Izzies for Sustained Achievement (2020); Commendations by California State Senate and Alameda County Arts Commission for 15 years of preserving African American Art & Culture (2019).

laura is an arts educator, with 28 years of service, designing and directing dance and performance programs for the Athenian School and Cal State University, East Bay (Hayward). She is currently a performer for Dimensions Dance Theater and FlyAway Productions, and serves as a board member for CounterPulse Theater, Robert Moses’ Kin, and Oaktown Jazz..