Fall 2021 Artist-in-Residence
Nailah Randall-Bellinger is a dance educator, scholar, and choreographer. For over 35 years, she has taught modern and contemporary classes throughout the United States and abroad at national conventions and universities. She has studied, performed, and lectured in Brazil, Ghana, Haiti, The Czech Republic, and Senegal.
Randall-Bellinger began her professional performing career in Los Angeles. She has worked with film director and poet S. Pearl, and performed as a member of Karen McDonald’s New Age Dance Workshop dance company and Jamie Nichols Fast Feet, Inc. After receiving a Masters degree from Lesley University with a concentration in Interdisciplinary Studies: Dance and African American literature, she began to focus and develop the concept of the “dancing text” as a means to explore the corporeality of dance. In 1998 Nailah presented her work Dancing Beloved as part of the Gendered Resistance Conference at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where her company RootsUprising retold Toni Morrison’s story of Margaret Garner through movement. Randall-Bellinger is one of the contributing artists/writers to the book Gendered Resistance, a written account of the conference, published in 2013.
In 2015, Randall-Bellinger collaborated with a group of artists in Cambridge to give voice to the voiceless in the production of Stories Without Roofs: Transitions, a show consisting of the essays, monologues, poetry, songs, dance and general musings of residents of shelters in the city of Cambridge. She has created original works for Boston-based contemporary dance company Urbanity and was choreographer for the Boston production Ragtime at Wheelock Family Theater. In 2020, she was awarded the Alorie Parkhill Learning and Travel Grant to study expressions of dance in South East Asia.
Randall-Bellinger was Assistant Professor of Dance at Dean College in Franklin, MA, where she taught courses in modern dance, dance composition, dance history, and dance in film survey. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the Dance Department at The Cambridge School of Weston, in Weston, MA, where she has taught for the past ten years. She has been Teaching Artist faculty at Harvard Dance Center for over a decade and continues to teach contemporary and body conditioning classes throughout the year. In Spring 2021, Randall-Bellinger facilitated the first of a series of virtual artist-led discussions around artistry, identity, and advocacy, where she presented her film works #shesstillbreathing and Women’s Work, both inspired and constructed within the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Randall-Bellinger is one of seven artists commissioned by the Harvard University Committee on the Arts (HUCA) in 2021 to create a new work on campus. The work, titled Initiation– In Love Solidarity, explores the embodiment of the Middle Passage, and the resilience and evolving identities of women in the African diaspora. The Harvard Dance Center is supporting Randall-Bellinger in her research and process and will be programming showings and conversations over the Fall '21 semester.