Featured Facts About Alanna Morris, Creator of “Black Light a re:Search performance”

January 12, 2022
Alanna Morris
Alanna Morris wears a top made from an American Flag has her hands up and head back with eyes closed and mouth open

Alanna Morris (formerly Morris-Van Tassel) started her career as an award-winning dancer in TU Dance (under Artistic Directors Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands). From 2007-17 she danced in leading roles by Kyle Abraham, Gioconda Barbuto, Camille A. Brown, Ronald K. Brown, Gregory Dolbashian, Katrin Hall, Francesca Harper, Dwight Rhoden, and Uri Sands. Morris received a McKnight Dancer Fellowship in 2015 for her star-studded work within the company’s eclectic repertoire.

Morris was named City Pages Artist of the Year and Best Choreographer in 2019 for her solo project, "Yam, Potato and Fish!" where “she delved into notions of home, displacement, race, and memory to create a personal cultural history that rang with universal truths … she generated a movement vocabulary infused with muscular power and soul-soothing prayer.” —City Pages

The Julliard School building

Born in Brooklyn, Morris is a graduate of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (NY) and holds a BFA in Dance (with academic honors) from The Juilliard School.

Morris in a back bend with one arm raised up and head looking at the viewer

In 2018, Morris was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch!” where Camille LeFevre noted, “Wherever you find her, Morris-Van Tassel embodies the power of dance to create deep and lasting connections where words cannot.”

Three dancers in darkness stand around a circle of light letting white grainy substance fall from their fingers into the light.

Morris is a co-choreographer and dancer in Ashwini Ramaswamy’s Let the Crows Come, a project that deconstructs and recontextualizes Bharatanatyam classical Indian dance using Morris’ Modern dance technique and Berit Ahlgren’s Gaga dance technique. The work was hailed by the Washington Post as one of the best dance performances of 2021.

Morris holds her hand to her ear, eyes closed and hugs a boquet of white flowers to her chest

In 2017, Morris launched AMVTP, whose mission is to produce collaborative solo dance works and global commissions that uplift and inspire our humanity; to produce educational programs that utilize the creative arts as a tool for self-development; and to spearhead community-building initiatives that assist mid-career women Creatives with resources to thrive.