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Artistic Director

iyunharrisonphoto by Larry Rosalez

Iyun Ashani Harrison (St. Andrew, Jamaica) is the artistic director/founder of ASHANI DANCES. ASHANI DANCES was relocated to Baltimore, MD in 2015 (founded 2011: Seattle, WA). Harrison earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Juilliard School and Masters of Fine Arts degree from Hollins University/American Dance Festival. Over the 13 years of his performing career in New York City, he danced with Arthur Mitchell’s Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ballet Hispanico of New York and Ailey II. He has also performed with the Seattle Dance Project and National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica.

Harrison has danced choreography by George Balanchine, Jiri Kylian, Jose Limon, Paul Taylor, Michael Smuin, Alvin Ailey, Lar Lubovitch, Donald Byrd, Talley Beatty and George Faison. His television credits include PBS’ Setting the Stage 2007, NBC’s ‘20th Hispanic Heritage Awards, PBS’ Who’s Dancin’ Now? – Arts Education in Your Community and The South Bank Show in England. Additionally, Harrison has taught/choreographed for the Juilliard Dance Ensemble, Ailey School, Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Dance Festival, Jamaica School of Dance, University of the West Indies at Cave Hill – Barbados, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, American College Dance Festival and on the full-time faculties of Webster University and Cornish College of the Arts.

Harrison’s choreography was selected for the regional gala performance of the American College Dance Festival at the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign and for the national American College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Harrison is a freelance performer, choreographer and a tenure-tracked faculty member at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. For more information visit www.iyunharrison.com.

iyunharrisonPhoto by Larry Rosalez
ASHANI DANCES was relocated to Baltimore, MD in 2015. The organization had its first three concerts in Seattle, WA where it was founded in 2011. ASHANI DANCES is a project-based, professional dance company that is also committed to education. The company provides exceptionally talented young dance artists guidance and support as they navigate the transition from pre-professional student to professional artist. These dancers experience highly professional rigors during the creative process with Harrison; however, the company devotes additional resources toward nurturing their artistic and technical development partnering them with returning professionals who act as their mentors.
Photo by Eric Woosley
Photo by Chris Bennion
Advisory Board  
The ASHANI DANCES’ Advisory Board has been established to help support and guide the company’s artistic, organizational and fiscal development. The board is comprised of notable artists, business people and educators who are committed to the growth of the institution. These individuals include:  
Matthew Craig Brenner
Ava Brown, Esq
Rainbow Fletcher
Dr. James Anthony Frazier
Jason Ohlberg
Melanie Person
Case van Rij
Christine Ann Bell (in loving memory)

Photo by Jose Louis Bustamante