Aretha Aoki

Affiliation: Theater and Dance
Associate Professor of Dance, on leave for the 2023–2024 academic year

Aretha is a choreographer, performer, editor, and occasional curator. She works collaboratively with artists across disciplines to make performances that explore the intersection between dance and other media, while being grounded in a deep physicality—in movement experimentation and research, and in the intuitive logic of the performer. Her current research is an exploration of the body as a medium for the residue of family history.

Aretha's work has been presented at various venues throughout New York City, New England, and Canada. The New York Times described her solos as “contemplative and probing.” As a performer, she has collaborated with Emily Johnson/Catalyst Dance for over seven years. She has also worked with robbinschilds, Rebecca Serrell Cyr, devynn emory, Vanessa Anspaugh, Heather Kravas, Juliette Mapp, Daria Fain, Maura Donohue, Elizabeth Ward, Martin Lanz, Faye Driscoll, Lisa D’Amour & Katie Pearl, and many others.

Her writing has been published in Contact Quarterly, where she was Associate Editor for three years. She was a co-curator of the 2016 Movement Research Spring Festival Hand Written Note(s).

Aretha Aoki headshot


  • MFA, Smith College
  • BFA, Simon Fraser University