ShaLeigh Dance Works, under the artistic leadership of ShaLeigh Comerford, was first founded in 2005 with a premiere of Returning at the Broach Theater in Greensboro, NC. Since then, the intimate ensemble ranging from 2 to 6 performers have toured their growing repertory worldwide.
Dedicated to creating socially conscious works, the diverse repertoire builds on an intense collaborative, choreographic process with the performers and often explores deeply personal themes of the individual in relation to the collective. A deep comprehension of abstract artistry and emotional nuance guides the company’s choreographic thought to that which both resonates and transcends our most inward natures. The company’s multi-layered work often interweaves dance and theatre with gesture and mime while cultivating a movement vocabulary that enhances sensitivity to our physicality. Comprised of individually unique performers including, dancers, actors, writers, martial artists and dance-makers, the international ensemble demonstrates virtuosity and versatility in a wide range of techniques and forms. http://www.shaleighdanceworks.com/
ShaLeigh Comerford received a Masters degree in Visual and Performing Arts from Hollins University as well as a Bachelor’s with honors in Painting and Poetry. She began her formal dance training on scholarship with the Roanoke Ballet Theatre in VA. She also trained on scholarship under numerous master teachers at the American Dance Festival. Comerford continued her training in NYC and at P.A.R.T.S in Brussels, Belgium. In addition, Comerford was personally invited to train in the Gaga movement language with Ohad Naharin and the Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel for their inaugural teacher training program.
Comerford’s professional dance career began with the Roanoke Ballet Theatre where she performed and toured principle roles with the company from 2000-04. She relocated to NYC in the fall of 2005 where she performed as a member of Tina Croll & Company and apprenticed with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Comerford left New York in 2009 to perform leading roles with the Virginia Ballet Academy. Ms Comerford has also performed guest roles with Keigwin & Company, the Dendy Dance Theater, Carolina Ballet, Martha Clarke, as well as a restaging of Batsheva Dance Company’s Minus Sixteen and an Official Music Video for Blind by Christian Loffler. Comerford continues to perform and choreograph internationally with Cirque USA.
In 2005, Comerford founded ShaLeigh Dance Works, a dance theatre company dedicated to creating socially conscious works. Comerford’s choreography has been described as dance theatre with a “stark and inventive” physical language. The company made a successful New York debut receiving a standing ovation at Judson Memorial in May of 2007. She was featured as an emerging New York choreographer at Chen Dance Center’s 2007 newsteps series and was a recipient of Dance Theatre Workshop’s 2007-2008 Creative Residency. Most recently, the company was selected for the North Carolina Dance Festival’s 2013-14 season tour offering performances and master classes throughout the state.
Comerford’s choreography and commissions have been presented throughout the United States and abroad, most notably at Tokyo Wonder Site Shibuya, Keio University’s Noguchi Room, The Week of Foreign Female Dancers in Tokyo, Cambridge University, Serendipity Gallery Berlin, The Ailey Citygroup Theatre, Washington and Lee University, The American Dance Guild and The Flea Theater. Most recently her contemporary choreographyThe Within was selected by the World Ballet Competition International to be featured alongside of Momix and several other award-winning dancers and choreographers in the 2014 Gala.
She has been a guest teacher for Even Yehuda Dance [Israel], Virginia School of the Arts [VA], Sadie Nash University [NY] and Purelements Center of Artistic Refinement [NY]. She is currently adjunct faculty at Elon University and Faculty at Legacy Studios for the Performing Arts, Ninth Street Dance and Campaneria Ballet.