David Samuel Stern©
Rebecca Arends began dancing at Denise Sabala Dance Studios in Arlington Heights, IL. She earned a B.A. in History and Afro American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she was a Powers-Knapp Scholar. Following graduation, Rebecca attended The Ailey School under the direction of Denise Jefferson and was awarded the Oprah Winfrey Foundation Fellowship.
Based out of New York, Ms. Arends has been a member of the Seán Curran Company for nine seasons. Chosen to perform and teach throughout Central Asia as cultural ambassadors of the U.S. State Department, the Company toured Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan through DanceMotion USA (produced by the Brooklyn Academy of Music). The following year, SCCo embarked upon a U.S. tour of Travel Songs, a collaborative project with British a cappella, Grammy Award winning vocal ensemble, The King's Singers.
Rebecca was a dancer in the original cast of Champion (Opera Theatre of St. Louis); libretto by Pulitzer Prize winner, Michael Cristofer, composed by Grammy Award winning jazz musician, Terence Blanchard. She served as Dance Captain during Washington National Opera's production of Champion at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Additional notable performance credits include Anybodys in El Paso Opera's production of West Side Story and interpreter in Tino Sehgal's Kiss Exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NYC.
In addition to working with Mr. Curran, Rebecca danced with Ana Isabel Keilson Company and Rosario—performing in experimental dance venues such as Judson Church, Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts), Dixon Place, Joe's Pub, P.S. 122, 92nd Street Y and Roulette. She has also been a guest artist with Trainor Dance (The Yard and Jacob's Pillow).
Ms. Arends has set Seán Curran repertory on Darrah Carr Dance, the BFA programs at The Ailey School/Fordham University, New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and Coker College. Ms. Arends also assisted Mr. Curran with his commission for the José Limón Dance Company, Nocturnes for Ancestors, Deke Sharon's Vocalosity, as well as a commission for Periapsis Music and Dance.
Rebecca has been a guest teacher at California Ballet Opera (Palm Desert, CA), Academy of Ballet Arts (Temecula, CA) and A Step Above Dance & Music Academy (Monona, WI). She taught Modern Dance at The School at Peridance at Peridance Capezio Center during the 2015-2016 school year in New York City. Ms. Arends is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Drexel University teaching Jazz and Modern Dance Performance courses and was the Assistant Director of the Drexel Dance Ensemble (2017-2018) and FreshDance (2016-2017). She is also the resident Jazz & Contemporary Dance instructor for Sparks Dance Company at the University of Pennsylvania and dance faculty at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York City.
In 2014, Rebecca founded RAREdancework, a non-profit organization, dedicated to the production of collaborative & innovative performing arts projects. Her choreography has been presented in New York City at Dixon Place and Green Space, Constellation-Chicago alongside Red Riding Hood String Quartet, Drexel University, University of Wisconsin-Madison and The Barnes Foundation. She is also a longstanding member of SAG-AFTRA and continues to work in film and television. Rebecca is the director, choreographer and co-creator of The Unwritten Law with collaborator and Drama Desk Award winner, Chesney Snow, which Victoria Ordin of Broadway World hailed as "65 minutes of the most powerful theater I've ever witnessed."