“Fusion doesn’t begin to describe what’s going on here; Elam is annealing his influences, creating a taut, intense movement language.” - Zimmer, The Village Voice
Founded in 1998 by Artistic Director and CEO Chris Elam, Misnomer has been hailed as one of the most original and dynamic modern dance companies in the performing arts today. Whether moving people through art or building transformative platforms for engagement, we create experimental, unexpected, and powerful ways for artists and audiences to create and find meaning together.
Misnomer’s works have been recognized as “one of the top ten dance performances” of the year by The New York Times and have earned the company a position as one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine. Misnomer has performed in over 300 theaters in fourteen countries, and has presented nine NYC seasons with support from frequent residencies, most notably at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, NYC’s Skirball Center, and The Joyce Theater Foundation. The company has conducted large-scale, cross-medium collaborations, ranging from choreographing for Bjork’s “Wanderlust” video to creating an 8,000 square foot labyrinth with the Danish Dance Theater.
Misnomer's work includes the creation, research and presentation of original dance and the development of boundary-crossing innovations in audience engagement to bring people closer to the arts.
AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS
An innovator in connecting people with the arts, Misnomer has created GoSeeDo.org, a web platform and community to give audiences ways to directly interact with artists and their art. GoSeeDo.org (formerly known as AEP) has received wide recognition and support in the business, technology, and arts communities. These efforts both complement and advance the company’s core artistic vision, which is, broadly, to engage its dancers and audiences in the experience and understanding of human interaction and intimacy. We hope you will enjoy exploring Misnomer's Portfolio on GoSeeDo.org, and discovering some of the many artists and arts organizations at GoSeeDo.org.
Misnomer has been selected to take part in a groundbreaking new arts initiative, “Leading for the Future: Innovative Support for Artistic Excellence” created by the Nonprofit Finance Fund and funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Misnomer is by far the youngest of the ten organizations (including Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Cunningham Dance Foundation, Jacob’s Pillow Dance, and The Wooster Group) to receive this funding for innovative projects that address challenges facing the arts. Misnomer has also received essential support from: the Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and Dance/USA’s Emerging Dance Audiences initiative.
MISNOMER DANCE THEATER - MISNOMER, INC. - LEGAL AND FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS
501(c)3 Certificate of Incorporation
FY12 - Audit
FY12 - 990
FY11 - Audit
FY11 - 990
FY10 - Audit
FY10 - 990
FY09 - Audit
FY09 - 990
FY08 - Audit
FY08 - 990
Misnomer Profile on Guidestar.org
MISNOMER DANCE THEATER - SOCIAL AND WEB PROFILES
“A true original, … Mr. Elam is one of the most individualistic of modern dance voices today.” - The New York Times
Chris Elam, Founding Artistic Director and CEO
Heralded as “a true original” (The New York Times), whose “clarity of vision delights the soul” (The Village Voice), Elam’s work for Misnomer has toured to over 300 theaters in fourteen countries, and the breadth of his creativity is exhibited by artistic collaborations and projects with Bjork, the Sundance Channel, Apple Computers and the Danish Dance Theater.
Having choreographed since the age of 14, Elam founded Misnomer during his senior year of college. He graduated from Brown University in public policy, focused on federal involvement in the arts, and computer science, before receiving his MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch. An active teacher, he has served as faculty at Brown University and The State Conservatory for the Arts in Turkey, and has been a guest choreographer and teacher at over twenty universities.
An advocate for the smart use of technology for audience engagement in the arts, Elam has been an invited speaker at many of the country’s foremost arts, business and technology conferences, including Fortune Magazine’s Brainstorm: TECH, the National Arts Marketing Project, and TEDxEast. Elam serves on the advisory board of the Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Marketing Project, and frequently participates in panels to provide advocacy for the arts.
An active traveler, Elam’s contemporary choreography is informed by inter-cultural research and exploration. In Elam spent seven months with a Topeng dance master in Indonesia, training and performing in temple ceremonies. Misnomer accompanied him to Brazil in 2001 to perform and teach. The following year, Elam taught for six months at the Conservatory in Turkey; and in 2004 he spent three months in Havana choreographing on DanzAbierta, a national dance company of Cuba. In 2005 he performed in Ireland on a European Cultural City Commission, which led to a commission in Holland in with the interactive technology group Blue Noise Dept.
“Chris Elam has fashioned a distinctive, engagingly bizarre choreographic style. His skill and clarity of vision delight the soul.” - The Village Voice
“Wonderfully strange and unpredictable choreography.” - The New Yorker
Misnomer Dance Theater finds tenderness, humor, and absurdity in peoples’ efforts to relate to one another. Whether between adolescent sisters, estranged lovers, business partners, or animalistic creatures, Artistic Director Chris Elam invents characters that work hard to form meaningful exchanges, sometimes producing poignant and awkward tenderness, at other moments yielding fiercely dismal misunderstandings.
Elam uses physical illusions as a tool to investigate personal and group transformation. An arm sprouts out of an ear, a person becomes an ostrich, five dancers appear to share a single head and dance a maudlin jig. Assertive contact partnering in which dancers climb upon each other to form improbable human architectures serves to fuse performers into unusual entities.
Drawing from his extensive training in both traditional Balinese and Modern Dance, Elam establishes the human body as a site for cultural exchange. This is achieved by creating wildly kinetic movement that integrates the tense and sculptural quick-action style of Balinese dance with Chris’ own broken-flow modern movement.
Call us at 1-855-Misnomer (855-647-6663)
Artistic Director and CEO
VP Marketing and Business Services
855-647-6663, Ext. 708
Programs Management and Business Development
855-647-6663, Ext. 713
Production and Creative Services
855-647-6663, Ext. 709
Event Management and Marketing
855-647-6663, Ext. 714
Event Sales and Artist Management
855-647-6663, Ext. 718
Growth Hacker and Digital Media
855-647-6663, Ext. 710
Event Sales and Partnerships
855-647-6663, Ext. 717
GoSeeDo Chicago Community Liason
855-647-6663, Ext. 716
855-647-6663, Ext. 704
Project Management and Artist Support
855-647-6663, Ext. 702