Jorge Vismara

David Roussève / REALITY



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Choreographer/writer/director/filmmaker David Roussève is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and a Guggenheim Fellow. He has written, directed, and choreographed 13 full evening works for David Rousseve/REALITY including three commissions for the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Roussève has also created 12 commissions for other companies including Ballet Hispanico (in collaboration with Eddie Palmieri), Dancing Wheels, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater, Atlanta Ballet (with a live performance by the Morehouse College Glee Club), Houston Ballet, Dance Alloy (in collaboration with Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock), and Ilkhom Theater Company of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 

In 2016 David created “Enough?”, a commission for San Francisco’s RAWDance, that asks whether dance can even begin to address social issues like the violence that birthed the Black Lives Matter movement.  In January 2016 he will choreograph Kurt Weill’s “Lost in the Stars” a musical work based on Athol Fugard’s “Cry the Beloved Country”, to be directed by Anne Bogart with music conducted Jeffrey Kahane of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. For REALITY he is currently working on the evening-length “Halfway to Dawn: The Strayhorn Project” exploring the music and life of Billy Strayhorn. He recently completed the writing of “Twit”, a feature screenplay version of his stage work “Stardust”.

As a filmmaker David has also created three short films including 2012’s Two Seconds After Laughter for which he served as director, writer, and choreographer. Shot in Java Indonesia, Two Seconds is a wholly original intersection of documentary, narrative short, dance-for-camera, and surreal fantasy. The film has screened at 35 film festivals in 12 countries and won or was a finalist for 13 festival awards including five for best short. David was twice a fellow in the Sundance Feature Film Development program’s Screenwriter’s Lab and is the recipient of First Place Screen Choreography at the prestigious IMZ International Dance Film Festival. In 2014 his screenplay adaptation of his dance/theater work Urban Scenes/Creole Dreams was a finalist for “Best Historical Screenplay” and a semi finalist for “Best Dramatic Screenplay” in the Feature Film Screenplay competition at the 2014 Nashville Film Festival. 

Roussève’s writing has published in collections by Bantam Press’ and Rutledge Press. Roussève’s awards include a “Bessie” (N.Y. Dance and Performance Award), three (LA) Horton Dance Awards, the Cal Arts/Alpert Award in Dance, seven consecutive NEA Fellowships, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Association of Black Princeton Alumni, 2 Irvine Fellowships in Dance, and a Creative Capital Fellowship.

Among others David has served on the faculty of Princeton University, Columbia College summer program, and Randolph Macon College.  In 1996 he joined UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance where he is Professor of Choreography and former Department Chair.  In 2014-15 David served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the School of the Arts and Architecture and is currently serving as Interim Dean until spring 2017.


photo: Yi-Chun Wu