Dana Salisbury choreographer and multidisciplinary artist


Dana Salisbury turned to performed work after 20-plus years as a visual artist. The transition took place in 1993 when she was invited to create a site-specific performance installation for Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. This was followed by pieces for New York City’s Lower East Side Tenement Museum (awarded a Bessie in 1999 in conjunction with the collaborative Red Dive) and the Old American Can Factory in Brooklyn (2001). Her dances and videos have been seen in NYC at PS 122, Judson Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Dixon Place, University Settlement, and the 92nd Street Y.

Inspired by an article by Oliver Sacks, she became interested in non-visual perception. Her 2004 dance, “Whole-Body-Seer,” led to the creation of Dark Dining Projects in 2005, an on-going series of sensory feasts served to blindfolded guests based in NYC. Many have taken place at Camaje Bistro in NYC’s West Village. Other venues include the Art Beyond Sight conference held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC in 2007, the KO Festival of Performance in Amherst, MA in 2008, and The Science Gallery of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, in 2010. She has created many private parties; corporate clients have included Benjamin-Moore, Proctor and Gamble, International Flavors and Fragrances, Johnson and Johnson, Kellogg’s, Nike, and Smart Design.

In 2009, she launched Dana Salisbury and the No-See-Ums to create dances to be experienced non-visually. Dancers reveal themselves and the space through sound, scent, touch, vibration, temperature and air currents. Audience members are placed within the action and periodically moved, causing shifts in their relationship to the environment, the performers, and one another. Each dance is site- and audience-specific.

The company has performed for blindfolded and blind audiences in NYC at the Figment Festival on Governor's Island, Performance Mix at Joyce Soho, Movement Research at Judson Church, Green Space, The Tank, X Initiative Gallery, and in MA, at the conference, art on the Brain: Exploring the Intersections of the Arts, Neuroscience & Society, held at Mt. Holyoke College. BARK! was presented in 2011 at The Rover Soho, four New York City Public Libraries (sponsored by Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library), and The Performance Project at the Lower East Side University Settlement. Field took place at Dixon Place in June 2012.