Kelly Donovan is a Co-Founder of De Facto Dance and Co-Artistic Director of Improvisational Arts Ensembles, a nonprofit presenting organization devoted to the development of improvisational choreography. She was a member of the Richard Bull Dance Theatre (RBDT) from 1994-1998. Her own choreography draws from an eclectic array of sources, producing unpredictable dances. Her movement training includes structured improvisation, modern, ballet, tap, West African, Korean martial arts, stiltwalking, several years as a soccer goalie, and multiple stints as a life-size puppeteer. Her work encourages the dancers to imbue the performance with their own unique presence; and while the kinesthetic quality is often athletic, raw-edged, and high energy, the choreography always maintains a vivid and clear use of space.
The Alfred University dance program, through its Marlin and Ginger Miller Dance Residency Program, was thrilled to host New York-based dance artist Kelly Donovan on April 6, 2007. During her one-day residency, Kelly taught a master class in choreographic improvisation and presented two new solos. Both events were very well attended. The master class introduced students to techniques for performing improvised dances, focusing in particular on ensemble work and spatial clarity—elements that are essential to high quality performing. The presentation of solos included her performance of TrackStar//Mermaid, a witty dance that linked disparate characters and images in surprising ways; and Abe Dream Johnny Flow, a four-section piece danced authoritatively by AU dance faculty member Robert Bingham.