CityDance Ensemble was founded in 1996 and is a contemporary repertory dance company based in Washington, D.C. and North Bethesda, Maryland. CityDance Ensemble, Inc, is composed of the dance company and three other divisions: an outreach education arm that teaches and performs to over 25,000 students annually, the CityDance Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland, and the dance for camera division, CityDance FilmWORKS. The company is directed by co-founder and Artistic Director Paul Gordon Emerson and Executive Director Alexandra Nowakowski. The organization's studio education division and Conservatory program is led by Lorraine Audeoud Spiegler.
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CityDance has been described as "Washington's preeminent modern dance company." In 2003, the company was named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch". FilmWORKS was awarded the 2005 Washington, DC Mayor's Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts in January, 2006. The Washington Post praised the company in 2007, saying "finally, we have a home-grown modern dance company that can compete with the best." 
CityDance Ensemble, the dance company, performs dances by choreographers from around the world. Using three signature series, the company keeps both historic and cutting edge choreography on the stage throughout its concert season.
The Legacy Series reconstructs great and significant works of modern dance from the first 100 years of modern dance's history. In 2007 the company was awarded a prestigious "American Masterpieces: Dance" grant by the New England Foundation for the Arts to re-stage "Folksay," a dance made in 1942 by the late Sophie Maslow. Set to a score by Woody Guthrie, "Folksay" is considered among the most significant modern dances of the period. CityDance has also staged "Dust Bowl Ballads," by Maslow. "Dust Bowl Ballads" reflects upon the American Experience during the 1930s dust bowl which swept through many parts of the American Midwest, causing the dust bowl migration made famous by John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath." Also in the Legacy Series canon is "Harmonica Breakdown" by Jane Dudley. A 1938 work set to the "Harmonica and Washboard Blues" by Sonny Terry and Oh Red, "Harmonica Breakdown" is 4 minute solo work.
The NextGen effort seeks out choreographers on the cutting edge of the contemporary dance field, emphasizing new artists whose work is not yet well-known. The Originals Series is an ongoing partnership with composers to create new music for new choreography and also to perform historic works live.
CityDance Ensemble directs and operates a school for the study of dance. The CityDance Center at Strathmore is located in the state-of-the-art Music Center at Strathmore in suburban Maryland. CityDance is also the dance education partner at the prestigious Madeira School for Girls in McLean, Virginia, directing the dance education programming at Madeira.
CityDance Early Arts is the company's second education division, with extensive year-round after-school programs for children throughout the Washington, DC area. The program has a special emphasis on at-risk students in the District of Columbia, and partners with the NBA Washington Wizards, The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation and others to bring the art and joy of dance, literacy and social skills to elementary and middle school children year-round.
CityDance FilmWORKS is the organization's award-winning dance-on-camera group. FilmWORKS creates original works of dance for the camera for presentation in movie houses, festivals and on the web. FilmWORKS also specializes in documentary work, taking people inside the creation of its dances and offering insight into the making of dance. FilmWORKS expands the audience for, and the reach of, dance by taking it out of the concert hall.
CityDance Ensemble is also working aggressively towards becoming a "green" dance organization, focusing on reducing the company's carbon footprint, building awareness of climate issues, and partnering with other organizations both in the arts world and in government and industry to develop sustainable practices in its concerts, travels and daily operations. The company's lead partner in this effort is the World Wildlife Fund.
CityDance is in partnership with many of the Washington areas leading arts organizations, including the Harman Center for the Arts, home of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the Music Center at Strathmore, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Levine School of Music. These partnerships expand the opportunities for dance in the Washington area, and for collaborations between music and dance.
- "An Art is Born" - The Washington Times, June 11th, 2003, page B1
- The Washington Times, September 12, 2003
- "CityDance Celebrates," With Talent to the Corps" - the Washington Post, June 18, 2007, page C2.