Ellen Bartel

Artist in Residence 

ELLEN BARTEL received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from S.U.N Y Potsdam in 1993 and in 2012 her M.F.A. in Dance at the University of Texas focusing on the pedagogical methods of contemporary dance and choreography of site-dance. For her thesis Ellen was interested in examining the different choreographic ways in to the creation of dances in alternative spaces. This led to a site-work about spaces of transition and site-inspired dances. Ellen’s independent artistic-scholarly pursuits also include observing and learning different choreographic methodologies, somatics, and butoh dance. 


Ellen Bartel Dance Collective, formed in 2014, is a project-based contemporary dance performance group. In two decades of dancing in Austin, Ellen has managed a small dance studio (‘97-‘06),  directed a slow-motion improvisation group (’95-’01), directed non-profit Spank Dance (’00-’13), created 47+ new dance works, directed 55+ butoh improvisations, spearheaded community dance events such as the annual Dance Carousel (’04-’12), Big Range Austin Dance Festival (’08-’12), Hot September Flurries (05-07), and co- founded the Austin Independent Choreographers. She has choreographed for T. V. commercials, theater, fashion shows, as well as Performance Art events, and has collaborated with local composers: Graham Reynolds, Andy Hadaway (now NYC), Adam Sultan and Peter Stopschinski among others. Ellen has danced in 20 original new works from local choreographers including Ariel Dance Theater who she performed extensively with until 2001. Ellen's choreography has been shown in many venues in Austin, and also Houston, Dallas, Waco, San Antonio, Edinburgh, Scotland, and in Brooklyn, NY.


In local press, Ellen has been most recently been accepted into the City of Austin's Creative Ambassador program, and been called a Dance Mobilizer, Dance Phenomenon, chosen for Austin’s Fortunate 500 for several years, nominated for Best Dance Concert and Best Choreography for numerous Critics Table Awards, Best of the Fest in HPT’s Frontera Festival, and a chosen for many Top Ten Dance Events. Ellen has been awarded scholarships for education, funding to create new work, generous contributions both monetarily and time from members of the Austin community, and, Ellen also gets invited to fancy art parties now and again.