Maria Gillespie is a choreographer, performer, dance, and somatic educator. She directs MG/The Collaboratory and Hyperlocal MKE, dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration and improvised performance practice. She directs the community teaching project Parts of the Whole-The Body Is Home, sharing expressive experiences with youth impacted by the carceral system. As her research is grounded by collaboration, she continues to make work with long time collaborators, Nguyễn Nguyên and Kevin Williamson. She is Associate Professor and Chair of department of dance at UW-Milwaukee.
In the Midwest, Gillespie has collaborated with Present Music, Nirmal Raja, Lois Bielefeld, Portia Cobb, Sonja Thomsen, Glenn Williams, Nathaniel Stern, Joelle Worm, Christal Wagner, Tim Russell, Mike Rea, and Renaissance Theaterworks. Gillespie founded LA-based Oni Dance (2003-2015) and was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch”. Her work has been presented nationally and internationally at venues including The Ford Amphitheatre, The Getty Museum, REDCAT, UCLA, Cal Arts, Highways Performance Space, and Joyce SoHo. Gillespie has performed and taught in Beijing, Guangzhou, Tokyo, and Mexico City and taught at several universities including UCLA Department of World Arts & Cultures/Dance, Cal Arts, Loyola Marymount University, and was a choreographic and teaching resident in Mexico City with Apoc Apoc.