Sean Thomas Boyt
"Not only did they move through the five arabesques as well as chaines and piqué turns, but they also repeatedly changed levels with grace and ease. Boyt especially made getting onto and off of the floor become a flowing part of the dance"
- Melissa Strong, Broad Street Review of Nora Gibson Contemprary Ballet's HUMAN
Sean Thomas Boyt is a dancemaker, dancer, and dance advocate based out of Iowa City, Iowa. Currently, they are working toward a Master of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis on Choreography at the University of Iowa. Having recently lived in Philadelphia, They danced for The Naked Stark, Nora Gibson Contemporary Ballet, Vervet Dance, and Anne-Marie Mulgrew & Dancers Company; collaborated with percussionist Dr. Andy Thierauf as stb x at (awarded artist in residence at Soundspace 1525); and worked on projects with Dana Powers-Klooster, Lauren Linder, Lyons and Tigers, Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Ballet 180, Antonia & Artists, SKI BALL, Meredith Stapleton, and Kat J. Sullivan.
"There are two things that dance can never be again: beautiful and cheerful." - Suspiria, 2018
Sean's work has been presented by Omaha Under the Radar Festival, Triskelion Arts CollabFest, Comedy in Dance Festival, Summer Shake-Up (NYC), Philadelphia Fringe Festival, The Barnes Foundation, Spoke The Hub's Solo Fancy and Winter Follies (NYC), Orchestra 2001, Links Hall's THAW (CHI), Dixon Place (NYC), Sh*t Gold (SEA), Petworth First Friday (DC), Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Get Pegged Cabaret (PHL), Third Life Series (BOS), Collage Festival, LOUi (IA), Ten Tiny Performances, 60x60 Dance (NYC), dadamobile (BOS), SCI New Music Symposium, WAXWorks (NYC), The Wilma Theater, The Brick (NYC), The Creators Collective (NYC), Dissolving Doors Festival, Ready or Not (NYC), Old City Fest (PHL), Cross Rhythms (PHL), SoLow Fest (PHL), Future Interstates (MN), Leah Stein Studio Works (PHL), IC Open City, The Ethical Society, Koresh Artist Showcase (PHL), thINKingDANCE, 24+24 (IA), NACHMO, Dance Exchange (DC), H-O-T Series, new music|OLD CITY, Philadelphia Free Form Festival, the Icebox Project Space (PHL), Four Tuesdays, Movement Research (NYC), iHearIC, Jennifer Muller's Hatch Presenting Series, IUCC Experimental Microcinema (IC), Artblog, ETC. Series (PHL), Border Conjure Dazzle at Vox Populi, A Series of Informal Events, IDA Black Box Showcase, Green Space's Fertile Ground (NYC), InHale Performance Series (PHL), FringeArts Scratch Night (PHL), Social Distancing Festival, Base Art Space (SEA), The Painted Bride Arts Center, You Can't Fail, August Dance Festival (DSM), and OCGOPF, as well as at various colleges and universities in concerts and tours.
Their work consists of a shifting combination of classical composition structures, nontraditional material generation, and theatrically-inclined performances. Sean enjoys collaboration with other artists and working with video, improvisation, and text. By using performance as a vehicle for art-making, Sean is interested in finding new ways to ask questions and upcycling old methods to create different perspectives within dance as a medium. As a choreographer, they operate under the phrase, "Dance like no one likes you."
"If you are going to be a dancer, you must learn French." - also Suspiria, 2018
Sean also works as a movement instructor at the University of Iowa. They have regularly taught ballet and pointe classes at First Position Dance Arts in Philadelphia, and ballet, tap, and jazz at the University of Iowa Youth Ballet and School of Dance, improvisation at Capital City Dance Center, and master classes at Bryn Mawr College, Ursinus College, Temple University, University of Iowa, URJ 6 Points Creative Arts Academy, Philadelphia Dance Day, and for Version Excursion Dance Company.
Sean holds a B.F.A. in Dance (with Honors) and a Certificate in Performing Arts Entrepreneurship from the University of Iowa, where they were a member of the touring dance troupe Dancers in Company, the events coordinator for the Undergraduate Dance Organization, and a writer for the Dance Department's Halsey Herald newsletter. While there, they danced for guests Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Jennifer Muller, and Nicholas Leichter; faculty members Alan Sener, Charlotte Adams, Armando Duarte, Jennifer Kayle, Deanna Carter, and Eloy Barragan; and graduate students Chris Masters, Melinda Jean Myers, Paula Lamamié De Clairac, Jeremy Blair, Jingqiu Guan, Maurice Watson, Zoe Bennett, Joseph Cox, and Michael Medcalf.
Previously, they danced with Ballet Minnesota under the artistic direction of Andrew Rist. There, Sean performed in soloist roles such as the Nutcracker Prince in The Classic Nutcracker and the Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, as well as danced in Mozart's 40th Symphony and George Gerschwin's Rhapsody in Blue. With Ballet Minnesota, Sean also worked with Kari Jensen Milich's Moving Arts Ensemble in A Single Thought, Amplified.
"You're mistaking physical weakness with artistic preference" - still Suspiria, 2018
Prior to dancing professionally, Sean Thomas Boyt trained at Capital City Dance Center in Des Moines, Iowa with Emery and Melissa Uyehara. There, they danced the roles of Basilio in Don Quixote, Solor in La Bayadere, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, James Ruben in La Sylphide, the Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle, and Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty. Sean spent summers across the nation on scholarship training at various intensive courses including School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, and Milwaukee Ballet School.
"Boyt has an uncanny ability to move seamlessly between movements and roles that are traditionally “masculine” and “feminine.” For instance, Boyt’s pirouette in “L’Amour” was as good as a ballerina’s."
- Melissa Strong, Broad Street Review of AMM&DCO's Strange Dreams
Sean Thomas Boyt's collection of choreographic, artistic, and collaborative work.
Photos by David Harwi and Ceclia Schmidt