Joan Merwyn has been an independent choreographer and a co-creator of numerous experimental movement and theater projects since 1973. Her choreography has been seen on Great Performances in Spike Lee's Do It A Capella and on The Tonight Show, The Regis Philbin Show, BBC and PBS. She has lived and worked in California, Europe and Montreal creating original Movement Theater works, performing and teaching. She received an Independent Artist Choreography Fellowship from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. A native of Rhode Island, she moved to New York City in 1983. In New York, Joan has been commissioned to choreograph singers and musical groups, such as Rockapella and Doo Wa Zoo; opera and a Slim Goodbody television series for PBS. She received a Choreography Space Grant from NY State Council on the Arts and the Brooklyn Arts Exchange to develop group work with her own company, Sound Image Theater. Joan Merwyn was commissioned by the Empire State Building to perform a site-specific work in the lobby, with Sound Image Theater.

“Not long ago, we saw the PBS special ‘Spike Lee & Co: Do It A Cappella’…The liveliest performance is an over-the-top rendition of ‘Zombie Jamboree’ by Rockapella. …and their act includes those wonderful skits that one associates with a cappella…Everyone cavorted onstage in a lot of wonderful choreography”

The New Yorker, December 3, 1990

“...A kinetic act that works visually as well as it does musically…Rockapella maintains such a high activity level that the show flies by, and each number stands on its own.”

—Bob Harrington, New York Post

“The inventive choreography, which scaresly allows for a moment of rest, is by Joan Merwyn.”

—Michael Sander, Drama-Logue, Hollywood, CA

“...Physically interesting choreography by Joan Merwyn. It’s not just five people standing next to each other, snapping their fingers. They move about and act out bits of business for each song.”

—John Michael Koroly, CAB Magazine

“Doo Wa Zoo...quite possibly the finest vocal and physical simpatico of any group on today's musical scene.”

—A. Martin, CAB Magazine

 

 

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