Miller Rothlein, dance company member, Philadelphia, PA

In 2004, dancer and choreographer Amanda Miller and video and visual artist Tobin Rothlein decided to create and explore the “intersections of contemporary dance, video, and visual art” through the formation of Miller Rothlein. The company’s vision to be recognized in the international dance field as a leader in cross disciplinary approaches, to be an example of a healthy and creative work environment, to be seen as a valuable cultural asset to communities, and to serve as a cultural ambassador for arts communities. Core values of Miller Rothlein’s intentions include: artistic integrity; risk taking; flexibility, mobility, and freedom; a healthy work ecology; and never holding back progress.

1.    Describe your organization’s mission and its work in 3 adjectives. Please explain the adjectives you selected.

Provoke. Make. Break.   These are verbs, we know, but Miller Rothlein is invested in action.  We ask challenging questions, create dialogue in and around performance, and mash up conventions to make something new.

2.    What inspires the work of your organization and why?

Collaboration.  Miller Rothlein was founded by dancer Amanda Miller and visual artist Tobin Rothlein.  Since the Company’s founding in 2004, we have found inspiration in investigating and synthesizing our respective art forms. The company’s work is based on our conceptual art practice in our classical/technical foundations, an experiment that we reinvent with each new collaborator and project.

3.    What accomplishment from the past year is your organization most proud of and eager to share with Dance/USA’s membership and the field at large?

Miller Rothlein has a new name, new brand, and new website! The Company has placed itself squarely at the intersection of the performance and gallery worlds. Artistically, we are in the midst of a multi-year partnership with Khmer Arts Ensemble of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Working cross-culturally, the Company recognizes the parallel struggles contemporary artists face no matter their background.  On the education front, we have expanded the work we’ve done with middle-school students at Philadelphia’s Girard College – offering our conceptual, practice-based, and idea-generating programs to other high schools, universities, corporations, and community groups.

4.    Where do you see dance in the future and how does your organization fit within that vision?

Dance – like much of culture, politics, and life on our planet – is at a crossroads: we must change our old habits, cross boundaries, and work across sectors, disciplines, and technologies to make a lasting impact. By consistently creating works at the intersection of visual art and performance, Miller Rothlein seeks to expand the definitions of both.  We make performance pieces in museums, art installations for the stage, as well as local and international site-specific works.  We encourage our audiences to continually re-consider and re-evaluate what work can be and where it can go.

5.    As an organization, what do you hope your dance legacy to be?

We hope to foster a legacy of artists who work within but are not bound by traditional foundations.  We believe in cross-platform performance, collaborating, and crossing disciplines to create a shared language for a diverse and global generation of art makers and theater goers.