Leah Wilks is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher currently based out of Brooklyn, NY (Munsee Lenape and Canarsie land) and originally from Durham, NC (Eno, Lumbee, Shakori, Sissapahaw, and the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation land). At times, she is also a gardener, an elder-care companion, a musician, and a writer. Her research revolves around embodied memory, death and dying practices, ritual, and endurance. Leah has taught and shared her work in a variety of locations including the American Dance Festival, Elon University, University of Michigan, Ponderosa Tanzland festival, Gibney Dance, the Hemispheric Institute, and PROTEO|media+performance’s Post/Futures Festival. Her published work can be found in print in Issue 19 [Requiem] of Dark Mountain, and online at PROTEO|media+performance. Leah holds a certificate in Integrative Thanatology, and has continued her studies around memory, aging and end-of-life practices through work at Senior Centers, within a movement for Parkinson's program, and one-on-one as an end of life companion.
Leah has been a performer/collaborator with Okwui Okpokwasili, real.live.people, BAND|portier, Sara Hook, and Tommy DeFrantz/SLIPPAGE among others. She holds an MFA in Dance and a Certificate in Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. During her time at UIUC, she received the Wanda M. Nettl Prize for Choreography with collaborator Mauriah Kraker (L+M), and the University-wide Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. L+M are also recent recipients of a MacDowell Fellowship for research and development of a new duet. You can find out more about Leah’s work HERE.