VDA Artist Profile #76

Rachel Bernsen

Rachel Bernsen is a choreographer, dancer and educator now living in Vermont. Current projects include the upcoming Ceremony of Strangers (working title), a traveling curatorial improvisation project where local artists from a range of disciplines come together for a series of performances. A recent collaboration with the writer Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, I Know You So Well, is a multi-disciplinary work that weaves together text, choreography and song to relay the real lives and emotions of a choir of healthcare workers and caregivers. Rachel recently performed with Yvonne Rainer and Emily Coates in a reconstruction of Rainer's Parts of Some Sextets (a seminal work from 1965) at Performa 19.

Other projects include the sound/movement collective, Masters of Ceremony a quartet of two dancers and two musicians with choreographer and performer Melanie Maar, and composers/multi-instrumentalists Taylor Ho Bynum and Abraham Gomez Delgado; multiple collaborations with visual artist Megan Craig including Traveling In Place (2017) for The Yale University Art Gallery and Colorada (2015) for Kunstverein Grafschaft Bentheim in Neuenhaus, Germany. Rachel's done several projects as choreographer and performer with legendary composer Anthony Braxton, including his immersive Sonic Genome, the opera Trillium J, and his interdisciplinary Pine Top Aerial Music ensemble.

Rachel's performed and taught internationally and throughout the US. She's a certified Alexander Technique teacher, M.AmSAT and teaches dancers, performing artists and individuals of all ages, abilities, and professional backgrounds. She is a 2020 recipient of the Connecticut State Artist Fellowship and has received support for her work from NEFA's New England Dance Fund, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant and the New Haven Mayor's Community Arts Grant. She has been a guest artist-in-residence at Montalvo Arts Center, an NEA Honorary Fellow at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and a NYLA Fresh Tracks artist-in-residence. Rachel holds an MFA from Tisch School of the Arts, NYU and a BA in English Literature from Macalester College.
- See recent drawings and animations on Insta: @rachelbernsen