Movers & Shapers: Jacqulyn Buglisi

By June 5, 2019Podcast



Choreography: Jacqulyn Buglisi
Dancer: Jacqulyn Buglisi
Photo: Jack Mitchell ©


Jacqulyn Buglisi


Release Date: 6.5.19


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In her four decade long career, Buglisi has made an indelible impact on the field of dance.  Renowned forhighly visual, imagistic dances that use literature, history and heroic archetypes as a primary source, Buglisi’s ballets are sweeping, passionate and always rooted in a strong physical technique.   She is a prolific choreographer creating more than 100 ballets for Buglisi Dance Theatre and commissioned worldwide including Suspended Women on the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre;  Butterflies and Demonsin partnership with the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women; Ninfee for the Richmond Ballet; The Four Elements for the Flamenco Festival presented in Madrid, Sadler’s Wells, London and New York’s City Center; Prague International Festival, Ananda Shankar Performing Arts Company, India; the Shanghai Song and Dance Ensemble, China; the Martha Graham Dance Company, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Joyce Trisler Danscompany, Teatro Danza Contemporanea di Roma for which she was a co-founder in 1969; American Repertory Ballet; Ailey II;  and Ice Theatre of New York. Currently, she is creating a new dance for the UCSB Dance Company and the Marymount Manhattan College Dance Company. Buglisi’s ballet Threshold had its Italian premiere in Milan with Carla Fracci’s Italian Ballet Company at the Teatro Nuovo and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Opera House.  In 2001, she created Requiem to the soaring music of Gabriel Fauré,a transcendent experience and amplification of the human spirit. Anna Kisselgoff raves in The New York Times of the ballet’s powerful images, stunning…extravagant and beautiful.Breaking new ground, Buglisi collaborated with Venezuela’s leading environmental artist Jacobo Borges to create her trilogy Blue Cathedral, Rain, and Sand.  She has collaborated with composers Paola Prestini, Libby Larsen, Tan Dun, Glen Velez, Jennifer Higdon, Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), Daniel Brewbaker, Reza Vali;Andy Teirstein; cellist, Maya Beiser; Flamenco Guitarist, Gerardo Nunez, the Cassatt String Quartet, the Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra and Singers; lighting designers Clifton Taylor and Jack Mehler; mannequin maker Ralph Pucci; and Italian artist Rossella Vasta on the Table of Silence Project 9/11,a site-specific performance ritual for peace performed at Lincoln Center by 180 dancers, six musicians and chorus of nine, and seen via live stream across the U.S. in all 50 states and worldwide in 129 countries.  For uniting the dance community through the Table of Silence Project, Buglisi was named a “New Yorker for Dance” by Dance/NYC and received Proclamations from NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.  The Dance Notation Bureau is creating a Labanotation score of the Table of Silence Project.

During her 30 year association with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Buglisi was a Principal Dancer for 12 years, performing the classic roles and those created for her by Miss Graham. She danced in Ms. Graham’s honor on the nationally televised CBS Presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors and the PBS film An Evening of Dance and Conversation with Martha Graham. Buglisi’s duet Sospiriwas performed by the Martha Graham Company at New York City Center (1989).  Coached by Jane Sherman, she performed Ruth St. Denis’ solos internationally including Lyon Biennale De La Danse and on film in Trailblazers of American Modern Dance, andThe Spirit of Denishawn.

A master teacher committed to arts-in-education, she received commissions from UC, Santa Barbara, the University of Richmond, CSU/Long Beach, George Mason University, SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, Interlochen Arts Academy, the State Ballet College of Oslo, Ailey/Fordham University B.F.A. Program, Oklahoma Arts Institute, the Juilliard School’s Emerging Modern Masters Series, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Boston Conservatory of Music, Randolph-Macon College and the National Dance Institute, among others. In 1970, she founded the first school of contemporary dance for the community of Spoleto, Italy and was the Master Artist-in-Residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.She has taught for the Dance Aspen Festival from 1990-95,the Julio Bocca Center in Argentina, the 97-98 Victoria College Melbourne, and the Chautauqua Institution and Festival. She is Chairperson of the Graham-based Modern Department at The Ailey School for 25 years, served on the faculty of The Juilliard School 91 -05, The Martha Graham School since 1977 and guest teaches at the famed Performing Arts High School (alumna), Steps on Broadway, and Peridance Capezio Center. She was named Honorary Chair for the Marymount Manhattan College ‘05 Gala and served as panelist for the Heinz Awards and the New Jersey State Council for the Arts. She served as a Grand Marshal of the 2013 Parade in NYC.

Buglisi’s repertoire is archived in the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.  Awards and honors include: 2016 Fini Italian International Lifetime Achievement Award, Kaatsbaan International Playing Field Award, American Dance Guild Award for Artistic Excellence, Fiorello LaGuardia Award for Excellence, The Gertrude Shurr Award for Dance, Altria Group’s 2007 Women Choreographer Initiative Award, National Endowment for the Artsfellowships, commissioning grants from the Harkness Foundation for Dance and The O’Donnell-Green Music & Dance Foundation, and challenge grants from the Arnhold Foundation, among others.   Ms. Buglisi served for three terms on Dance/USA’s Board of Trustees as Chair, Artistic Directors Council (2010-2013).




INSTAGRAM: @buglisidance

Women/Create! A Festival of Dance



Jan Veen

Mary Wigman

High School of Performing Arts 

Martha Graham

Pearl Lang

“Hard to be a Jew”

Christine Dakin

Joyce Trisler 

Jacob’s Pillow

NEA Dance

Donlin Foreman

Primitive Mysteries

Fonteyn and Nureyev and Martha Graham

Gertrude Bell

“Go to the Limits of Your Longing” Rilke

“Threshold” by Buglisi

“Moss” works by Buglisi

9/11 Table of Silence Project

Gabriel Fauré “Requiem”

Rossella Vasta

Lincoln Center

“The House of Belonging” David Whyte


Podcast produced by: The Moving Architects
Interviewer: Erin Carlisle Norton
Theme Music: Adam Crawley whose music can be found at

This podcast episode is in partnership with JAM.  JAM is the home of dance entrepreneur Jessica Marino, providing artist management services and industry shopping., networking for dance and bringing ideas to the spotlight.