Long time dance-makers and collaborators Rosie Herrera and Leah Verier-Dunn (Sarasota’s own!) remix their decade-long relationship creating and performing choreographies together in an ongoing creative residency at The Ringling. In October 2020, they embarked on research for a new work in the Perret Performance Studio, and will have dedicated work time scheduled throughout 2021. Stay tuned for artist talks and work-in-progress updates from these two extraordinary women of dance.
Rosie Herrera is a Cuban-American dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Rosie Herrera Dance Theater in Miami. She is a graduate from New World School with a BFA in Dance Performance. She has been commissioned by The Miami Light Project, The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Ballet Hispanico, Jose Limon Dance Company, Moving Ground Dance Theater, Houston Met Dance, New World Symphony and the American Dance Festival (ADF) in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2018. Her company, Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre, has been presented by the Northrop Dance Series, New World Symphony, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami Light Project, Baryshnicov Arts Center, Texas A & M University, Duncan Theater, The Annenburg Center, Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Dance Place, Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans, The Yard at Marthas Vineyard, Alys Stephens Center, Wilson Center at Cape Fear University, The Rialto Center, Gotham Dance at Skirball and Focus Dance at The Joyce as well as by The American Dance Festival at the Joyce NYC in 2016 and 2018.
Rosie is also a classically trained lyric coloratura soprano and performs with the Performers Music Institute Opera Ensemble as well as works as an independent director and creative consultant throughout Miami. With over a decade of experience in both dance and cabaret, she has collaborated on productions with Walter Mercado, The South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, New World School of the Arts, The University of Central Florida, Six Floor Ensemble, Zoetic Stage and the New World Symphony as well as with the interdisciplinary performance ensemble/avant- garde cabaret Circ X. She has also collaborated with filmmakers Adam Reign, Lucas Leyva, Jonathon David Kane, George Echevarria and Clyde Scott to create original short films and music videos.
Rosie is a 2016 USArtist Sarah Arison Choreographic Fellow, a 2010 and 2018 MANCC choreographic fellow, a 2014 Bates Dance Festival Artist in residence, a 2016 Bessie Schoenberg Fellow and a 2011 and 2016 and 2017 Miami Dance Fellow. She was awarded a Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship for her work with Ballet Hispanico in 2013.
Where to find Rosie
Leah Verier-Dunn is a Sarasota, FL based artist committed to establishing connection among her community through dramatic reflections of real life. She received her BFA in Dance from New World School of the Arts followed by a professional career that took her from Miami to New York and eventually home to Sarasota where she co-founded Moving Ethos Dance in 2007. As a performer she’s worked with several companies, finding her home with Rosie Herrera Dance Theater in 2011; a company she continues to perform with while juggling her two children and the Artistic Direction of Moving Ethos Dance.
Her work has been described as “psychological dance theater” and she is recognized for creating performances that stir thinking and thrust people into conversation. Her process is intense, lengthy, and largely collaborative, providing space for deeper personalization of roles, and quickly creates a feeling of “I’m not alone here” for audience members. This approach, critics have said, “leads to pieces that are intriguingly complex and multilayered, yet still refreshingly accessible and relatable”.
In the 2018-2019 season, Leah was the Inaugural Spotlight Florida Resident at The Ringling; a six month residency focused on the development of her newest work, girlwoman, accompanied by community engagement programs. As with her performance work, Leah uses time with her community as an opportunity to invite people to travel inward and take pause to find worth in personal reflection and growth.