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Choreographer | Founder | Dancer

Reggie Wilson

Reggie Wilson founded his company, Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, in 1989. The company’s name is derived from enslaved Africans in the Americas who reinvented their spiritual traditions as a soulful art form that white and black authorities dismissed as merely ‘fist and heel worshipping'. Wilson draws from the cultures of Africans in the Americas and combines them with postmodern elements and his own personal movement style to create what he calls "post-African/Neo-HooDoo Modern dances." Wilson is a graduate of New York University, Tisch School of the Arts (1988, Larry Rhodes, Chair). He has studied composition and been mentored by Phyllis Lamhut, and performed and toured with Ohad Naharin before forming Fist and Heel. He has lectured, taught, and conducted workshops and community projects throughout the U.S., Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean. He has traveled extensively to the Mississippi Delta to research secular and religious aspects of life there; Trinidad and Tobago to research the Spiritual Baptists and the Shangoists; and Southern, Central, West, and East Africa to work with dance and performance groups as well as diverse religious communities. He has served as visiting faculty at several universities including Yale, Princeton, and Wesleyan Universities. Wilson is the recipient of the Minnesota Dance Alliance's McKnight National Fellowship (2000-01). Wilson is also a 2002 Bessie Award recipient for his work The Tie-tongued Goat and the Lightning Bug Who Tried to Put Her Foot Down, and a 2002 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. He has been an artist advisor for the National Dance Project and Board Member of Dance Theater Workshop. In recognition of his creative contributions to the field, Wilson was named a 2009 United States Artists Prudential Fellow and is a 2009 recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in Dance. In 2012, New York Live Arts presented a concert of selected Wilson works, theRevisitation, to critical acclaim and the same year he was named a Wesleyan University’s Creative Campus Fellow, received the 2012 Joyce Foundation Award for his new work Moses(es), and was named a Doris Duke Performing Artist and a 2015 New York City Center Choreography Fellow.