Alexandra Bodnarchuk understands dance as tool for unpacking social and political experiences, climates, and constructs. She believes in work that allows participants to identify, explore, and address social problems and challenges. She is a Minneapolis based, Carpatho-Rusyn-American dance artist who hails from Pittsburgh. She creates original works and frequently collaborates with sound designer Brandon Musser. Alexandra is also in her second season with Black Label Movement and Ethnic Dance Theatre.
Alexandra began her formal training in ballet, jazz and tap at Benvin Dance Academy at the age of two. She left to study ballet with Leonid Lubarsky, former principal dancer with the Kirov Ballet, for several years before attending community classes at Point Park University where she later participated in their summer intensive program in 2006. She later graduated from Bodiography Contemporary Ballet’s College Preparatory Program in 2008. While attending Ohio University Alexandra spent a semester in Avignon, France, training at the Conservatoire d’Avignon under Cyrille de la Barre, and ultimately earned a BFA in Modern Dance and Choreography and a BA in French (2012).
In addition to her classical training, Alexandra has studied a wide range of ethnic dances. A member of the North Hills Junior Tamburitzans, she was taught by the renowned Željko Jergan with a primary focus on Croatian dances. She performed with Slavjane Folk Ensemble, the sole Carpatho-Rusyn children’s dance ensemble in the United States. Under the direction of Jack Poloka, she toured Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine in 2005, exploring the diasporic homeland and cultural landscape of the Carpatho-Rusyns. In college she studied Ghanaian dance and drumming under the direction of Paschal Yao Younge and Zelma Badu-Younge and was a member of their group Azaguno African Dance Ensemble during her senior year.
In Pittsburgh, Alexandra worked with Attack Theatre and STAYCEE PEARL dance project. She originated roles in Bricolage Production Company’s production STRATA (2012), an immersive theater show in which she played ‘the girl left at prom,’ and in Mark Conway Thompson’s Kimono (2016) in which she played the role of ‘Predator.’ Since relocating to Minneapolis, Alexandra has assisted Carl Flink on his work Animal Velocity : An American Fantasy which was commissioned for James Sewell Ballet/Ballet Works Project 2017, and performed with Jeffrey Peterson Dance.
As Alexandra has explored her artistic boundaries as a choreographer, she has continued to pursue opportunities to learn from renowned choreographers and teachers in communities other than her own. She has attended the Bates Dance Festival and American Dance Festival, as well as company intensives with Black Label Movement, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, and Gaga Intensive Course 2018. During these intensives she has been able to learn from incredible teachers such as Katarzyna Skarpetowska, Carl Flink, Tom Weinberger, Eddie Oroyan, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Lauren Grant, Shahar Binyamini, Nancy Stark-Smith, Nicole Sabella, and Ohad Naharin.
The body of Alexandra’s choreographic work stems from an exploration of the circumstances that led to her experience with an eating disorder at age fifteen. Her art explores perceptions of our bodies that shape our actions and choices; she unpacks notions of conformity, acceptance, and honesty. Alexandra’s beliefs and philosophies solidified with the creative process that culminated in her evening length work, Something Pretty (2016), a physical exploration of the mental and emotional struggle that individuals with eating disorders face on a daily basis.
Alexandra has produced, directed, and choreographed original works that range from evening length shows to shorter pieces which have been presented in Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and New York City, as well as in Durham (NC), Athens (OH), and Columbus (OH). These works include CONNOTATIONS: unknown (2014), … and counting (2015), Dance! From the Inside Out (2015), Something Pretty (2016), Shell Game (2017), Why We Have Mountains (2018), and Where I Live (2018). She has been supported by the Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts, Threads Dance Project, Performing Institute of Minnesota, Candy Box Dance Festival/Arena Dances, Catalyst Arts, Zenon Dance Zone, Future Interstates, The Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, and Mary Lipple Memorial Fund.
Alexandra is looking for opportunities to create with inspiring artists and organizations who value bringing high quality, socially responsible, provocative work to their space. She is interested in curating experiences that resonate. To contact Alexandra, please click HERE.