headshot photo of Dr. Brynn Shiovitz

Dr. Brynn Shiovitz

College of Performing Arts; Department of Dance
Office Location: Partridge Dance Center


Brynn Shiovitz received her PhD in Culture and Performance from UCLA and an MA in Performance Studies from NYU. She is the editor of the recently-published volume, The Body, the Dance, and the Text: Essays on Performance and the Margins of History (McFarland, 2019).  Additionally, her writing on dance can be seen in Dance ChronicleTheatre Survey, Women and PerformanceJazz Perspectives, and Dance Research Journals, DanceDance Spirit, and Dance Teacher Magazinesand a forthcoming anthology on African Diaspora Dance edited by Thomas DeFrantz.  Brynn’s research intersects at the crossroads between critical race studies and tap dance. She is primarily interested in the ability of Africanist performance to narrativize diasporic identity by simultaneously attending to fields of vision, aurality, and embodied practice.  Her current work asks readers to consider multiple forms of masking at play in twentieth-century American tap dance performances of the stage, screen, and sound cartoon.  While her research historicizes tap’s relationship to minstrelsy and other means of masking, her current work in documentary film calls attention to the relevancy of this conversation today. Brynn is the sole creator of The Rhythm Project, a series of documentaries that take up questions regarding the relationship between rhythm, race, and diaspora, as it exists for contemporary tap dancers living in Los Angeles and New York City. Aside from her research, Brynn has danced professionally with the Oakland-based Mills College Repertory Dance Company and the New York-based tap dance company TapOle.  Most recently she has performed with Meredith Monk at the Freud Playhouse, the Trisha Brown Dance Company at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, and was in the Los Angeles cast of Jérôme Bel’s Bessie Award Winning show, The Show Must Go On.  She has taught movement and theory across the country at schools such as UCLA, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), and Brooklyn College. In addition to dance, Brynn is a certified Mat Pilates and Hatha yoga instructor.