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February 2024

MSP 169: Julie Lemberger

By Podcast

PODCAST 169: Julie Lemberger

Julie Lemberger, photographer. Photographed by Miguel Anaya, December 2020.

Release Date: 2.26.24


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Enjoying the Art, Expression, and Freedom of Dance with Julie Lemberger

Episode 169: Show Notes.

Welcome to the latest episode of the Movers and Shapers podcast, where today we’re delighted to welcome our guest, Julie Lemberger. Julie is a multifaceted individual — she’s had a life as a dancer, dance photographer, and educator. She has dedicated over 15 years to capturing the ephemeral beauty of concert dance. Her lens has encapsulated the essence of New York City’s dance scene at the turn of the 21st century. Julie’s stunning dance photography has graced the pages of prestigious publications like The New York Times, Dance Magazine, and numerous national and international journals and websites since 1993. Join the conversation to hear about what sparked her interest in dance, why she was initially turned off of modern dance, and how her ballet journey led her to places like The Netherlands, Germany, and New York.  We delve into her diverse dance ventures and then pivot to hear about her transition to Plan B: starting college. Julie shares the fascinating intersection of her worlds; photography and dance, and articulates the emotions she experiences when capturing dance through her camera. Don’t miss out on this intriguing discussion! Tune in now to hear all this and much more. Thanks for listening!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • We discover how The Nutcracker sparked Julie’s interest in dance.
  • Her thoughts on being more of an artist and enjoying ballet for the artistry of it.
  • Why she decided to stick to the discipline of ballet while growing up.
  • She delves into a side story of why she became turned off from modern dance.
  • Julie highlights her other interests as a kid.
  • She shares her ballet journey and her aspirations to become a ballerina after school.
  • How Julie ended up in New York City.
  • She tells the story about lying on her application.
  • Julie shares a turning point, and realization, in her dance career.
  • She delves into her time in Europe (The Netherlands, Germany, England).
  • We are transported forward, back to New York, and her other endeavors at the Graham School, Jacob’s Pillow, and more.
  • Her Plan B: starting college.
  • Why starting college was the saddest day of her life.
  • She recalls the time she got her first camera, at age 23.
  • Julie shares the journey to becoming an art major.
  • When the two worlds collide: dance and photography.
  • What Julie enjoyed most about dance photography: her master’s degree experience.
  • She expresses what taking photos of dance makes her feel.
  • Julie highlights what she’s excited about, and what gives her energy, these days.

“I realized that having my photographs judged was so much easier than having my body and my dancing judged.” — Julie Lemberger


Originally from Berkeley, CA, Julie Lemberger is a former dancer, who photographs dance in N.Y.C. for 30 years. She received a fellowship from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts to study historic dance photography. She earned two BA degrees in fine art, and dance studies, and an MA in dance education. She is certified to teach dance in public schools in New York State. Since 2020, Lemberger has been a member of the School of Hard Knocks. Her photographs have appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Dance Magazine and many national and international journals, websites and books including Yoga Bones. Additionally Lemberger’s work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions at Norte Maar, Micro Museum, 92NY and Dance Theater Workshop. Notable dance collaborators include: Molissa Fenley, Edisa Weeks/Delirious Dances, Jody Sperling/TimeLapse Dance, Jody Oberfelder, Esme Julien Boyce, Cori Kresge, Eiko Otake, Sean Curran, Stephen Petronio, Yoshiko Chuma, and Carlos Fittante/Balam among others. She created, along with editor and consultant Elizabeth Zimmer, the coloring book Modern Women: 21st Century Dance, whose illustrations are based on her photography of living women, the largest and often least recognized population of the dance community, available HERE.

Connect with Julie Lemberger

Julie Lemberger

Julie Lemberger on Instagram

Julie Lemberger on Facebook

Julie Lemberger on LinkedIn

Julie Lemberger’s Coloring Book


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Podcast produced by: The Moving Architects
Interviewer: Erin Carlisle Norton