BIODANCE donates performance for Art of Lawyering

On Thursday, Oct. 19, BIODANCE is honored to perform for a Benefit entitled The Art of Lawyering at Village Gate in Rochester, NY.  This event also holds a silent auction to benefit Volunteer Legal Services Project. The group was created to supplement the efforts of the two legal service agencies in the community: Monroe County Legal Assistance Corporation and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester. The two agencies had never been able to fully meet the needs of the low-income community for free legal assistance and VLSP was created to call upon members of the private bar in Monroe County for pro bono work to help people in need of legal assistance.

LABYRINTH at KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival 2017

BIODANCE Sold Out the Premiere of the All-New Show “Labyrinth” at Strasenburgh Planetarium

“The highly anticipated Sunday night premiere of “Labyrinth” at RMSC’s Strasenburgh Planetarium did not disappoint.”

— Rochester City News Review by Rebecca Rafferty here.


ROCHESTER, NY— Choreographer Missy Pfohl Smith, director of BIODANCE, and video artist W. Michelle Harris return to the Rochester Museum & Science Center’s Strasenburgh Planetarium for an all new work, “Labyrinth,” created for the 2017 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival. The same artistic collaboration produced the sold-out phenomenon “Anomaly,” presented at the Planetarium as part of the Rochester Fringe Festival in 2013 and 2016, called ” …a brilliantly crafted world of beauty, melody and calmness” by City News. Labyrinth is not your typical dance or music concert, nor is it your typical visit to the planetarium, it is something entirely new, imaginative and immersive.

Photo by W. Michelle Harris

Photo by W. Michelle Harris

Joining the expressive performers of BIODANCE, including Jeanne Schickler Compisi, Sarah Dearstyne, Sarah Johnson, Natalia Lisina, Nanako Horikawa Mandrino, Laura M. Regna, Julie Schlafer Rossette, Jean Michael Rubingu, and Missy Pfohl Smith, is W. Michelle Harris with live cinematic mix. Live music performance by Emlyn Johnson (flute), Zach Stern (saxophone(s)) and Henry Myers (cello), with advising from conductor Eric Laprade, all from Eastman School of Music, and the young vocal talent of Lyric Voices under the direction of Vince Salvadge will round out this large scale collaboration. Stanzi Vaubel, the site-specific visual and performance artist who is also an accomplished cellist, is joining the team of creatives, alongside costume designer Jennifer Rubens.
Pfohl Smith says “The Planetarium has nooks and crannies yet to be explored. The scale of this collaboration is thrilling for all of us, and this coming together of different perspectives is what makes hope possible in the maze of our world. I am astounded by the new ways in which we have been able to play in one of the most intriguing venues in Rochester.”


Photo by W. Michelle Harris

“Missy and Michelle consider the Planetarium environment with fresh eyes and ears and create work that makes the Star Theater’s unique capabilities an integral part of the artistic product,” says Steve Fentress, Planetarium Director at RMSC. “An innovative and highly professional production like this keeps Rochester’s Planetarium on the cutting edge. We are proud to be a part of this new creation for 2017.”

BIODANCE sold out four of the five performances (with only 20 seats left for the entire run) of “Labyrinth,” Sunday, September 17 through Thursday, September 21 at 6pm each day.  Tickets were $12, available at

Phone: (585)-201-1002

BIODANCE Social Media: and Twitter: @BIODANCE1

NOTE TO MEDIA: Interviews and photos are available upon request.

BIODANCE is a Rochester-based repertory dance company under the direction of Missy Pfohl Smith, who also directs the Program of Dance and Movement at University of Rochester. BIODANCE collaborates with multi-disciplinary artists, such at W. Michelle Harris, an Associate Professor in Interactive Games and Media at RIT. BIODANCE made their debut at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2017 to sold out houses, and has shared its work nationally and internationally. Visit and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo and Instagram.

Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum with more than 200 interactive exhibits, Planetarium with a 65-foot dome and Nature Center on 900 acres, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of Rochester’s past including its rich history of innovation and invention. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. 



Labyrinth Email PDF

Bach Without Boundaries in Edinburgh Fringe’s 70th Anniversary


Missy Pfohl Smith (BIODANCE) and Bridget Kinneary (violist) brought their Bach Without Boundaries to  Edinburgh, Scotland Aug. 17 and 19, 2017 at Gallery 23 at 12:30pm, WITH AN UNPRECEDENTED SELL-OUT of both shows for their first appearance in the 70th Anniversary of Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The relationship between musician and dancer is turned on its head during this unique, intimate gallery performance of Bach Cello Suite No 4 by violist Bridget Kinneary and dancer/choreographer Missy Pfohl Smith (BIODANCE). Experience this classical work like never before, embodied by both performers and the audience alike. The show also features a premiere of Candle Dances with music by California composer Alan Terricciano, interspersed with playful stories of the development of the work and the relationship of the artists. New York, USA.

Gallery 23 is located on 23 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH3 8HQ.

Tickets and information are available here:

Bach Without Boundaries first premiered in 2016 in the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival in Rochester, NY, marking the first iteration of this ongoing collaboration between Missy and Bridget.  It has also been performed at the Eastman School of Music and the Elwanger Estate.  The artists are thrilled to be premiering a new work, Candle Dances, in Edinburgh Fringe 2017, alongside Bach’s Cell Suite #4.

Photo by Ralph A. Thompson

Photo by Ralph A. Thompson

Premiering new work in Dances at MUCCC on June 20 and 21

BIODANCE will preview a new duet for Jean Michael Rubingu and Julie Schlafer Rossette choreographed by Missy Pfohl Smith on June 20 & 21, 2017, at Dances at MUCCC (Multi-Use Community Cultural Center, Atlantic Ave. Rochester NY).

Dances at MuCCC 2017 is coordinated by Laurie MacFarlane and Ruben Ornelas

June 20 – 24

A festival of contemporary dance by regional, national and international artists.

This year’s festival includes five nights of performance as well as open classes/workshops.

Tuesday, June 20 @ 8 PM includes: BIODANCE, Gina Bonati (NYC), Karsten Brooks (music), Valerie Carew (performance video, Canada), Donna Davenport, Laurie MacFarlane, Ruben Ornelas, Paula J. Peters, Zhonghui Sun

Wednesday June 21 @ 8 PM includes: BIODANCE, Gina Bonati (NYC), Carly Cerasuolo (NYC),  Marisa Garber, Hanlon Dance & Company, Leigh Ann Kabatra (NYC), Laurie MacFarlane, Katherine Marino, MaryLee Miller, Ruben Ornelas, Amy Sullivan

*All programs are subject to change.* Admission $8 advance sale, $10 at the door; $8 for students and seniors | All classes/workshops: $10 suggested donation at the door.



National Dance Week’s Atrium Concert, City Hall, Rochester, April 26

BIODANCE shared Jeanne Schickler Compisi’s “Possible Side Effects” at National Dance Week’s Atrium Concert at City Hall, Rochester, on Wednesday April 26th at 7pm.  The FREE concert was open to all in the community and also included various dance groups, dance studios and artists from Rochester, including Pam Schickler Compisi’s 25North.

Possible Side Effects

Possible Side Effects

Circus Maximus at Eastman Theater’s Kodak Hall Feb. 3, 2017!

Circus Maximus

Join BIODANCE and the Eastman Wind Ensemble under the direction of Conductor Eric Laprade on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017 at 8pm for a FREE collaborative performance!  With 18 musicians and 12 dancers, Darius Milhaud’s La creation du monde will come to life with a new interpretation of this seminal work.

The piece will be repeated on Wed. Feb. 8 at 2pm in the new Eastman Wing, in EEW-415 on the 4th floor above the RPO Box Office.  The Wed. performance will feature digital media projection by W. MICHELLE HARRIS that is not to be missed.

Both shows are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

Eastman Wind Ensemble Explores Artistic Collaboration in Works of Milhaud, Etezady, and Corigliano

BIODANCE at Community Place Senior Center

Celebrating another year of dancing with the seniors at Community Place of Greater Rochester at 145 Parcels Ave, BIODANCE brought their BIO/DANCE & Social Justice performance to the Senior Center to share three works – Katherine Kramer’s “The Hand We’re Dealt,” Jeanne Schickler Compisi’s “Possible Side Effects” and Missy Pfohl Smith’s “Tiny Parts of a Whole.”  The seniors also performed one of their favorite dances from our weekly classes and vibrant discussion was shared!


Anomaly Returns to The Fringe! Sept. 15 and 17, 2016

Photo of Anomaly by Kevin Colton

Photo of Anomaly by Kevin Colton


BIODANCE, Sound ExChange, and W. Michelle Harris interact with 4-story dome at the

Rochester Museum & Science Center

ROCHESTER, NY – BIODANCE, Sound ExChange, and W. Michelle Harris return to RMSC’s Strasenburgh Planetarium with the sold-out phenomenon from Rochester’s 2013 Fringe, Anomaly. This multi-art, experimental show that tests the boundaries between audience and performer will take place on Thursday, September 15 at 7PM, and Saturday, Sept. 17 at 2pm and 7pm at the Rochester Museum and Science Center Strasenburgh Planetarium.  Eric Rezsnyak, then editor of City News, claimed that “It was so lovely to behold that I found myself dreading its inevitable conclusion.” Missy Pfohl Smith, Artistic Director of BIODANCE and Director of the Program of Dance and Movement at University of Rochester, says, “I could not be more thrilled to collaborate again with Sound ExChange and W. Michelle Harris bring this special show back to life for the first time in three years, and to give it a new life of its own. In a time of climate change and broad social unrest, this piece offers a respite from the storm, inviting a peaceful center to bring back and share with the world.”
Anomaly brings together the artistry BIODANCE, hailed by City Newspaper as “Visually stunning,” and Sound ExChange, a music collective described by the Rochester Business Journal as a group that “turns the classical music concert on its head.” Live cinematic mix by visual artist W. Michelle Harris (Rochester Institute of Technology) envelopes the musicians, dancers and audience in a completely immersive experience inside the 4-story dome of the Planetarium. The virtuosic musicians from the Eastman School of Music ensemble, Ossia New Music, led by Dustin Seo, will perform live music from today’s leading composers, providing a narrative thread for the 45-minute show. Original choreographic work by Missy Pfohl Smith/BIODANCE, including the premiere of a new dance to the recorded music of Eastman alumni and Sound ExChange percussionist Kurt Fedde, the dancers from BIODANCE join the musicians in a collaborative and multi-sensory arts experience transports the audience to a deeply reflective state about existence within our larger universe. “…a brilliant merging of modern dance, classical music and eye-popping visuals…’Anomaly’ is a true sensorial experience.” (City News)

The show embraces the irregular nature of such an extensive collaboration and promises to be, as the traditional definition ‘anomaly’ suggests, “a deviation or departure from the normal or common order, form, or rule.” The show features Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw’s Limestone and Felt for cello and viola, with a surprising interior view of the landscape of self and of the planetarium. Arvo Part’s classic duo Spiegel im Spiegel (mirror in a mirror) concludes the show with a special feature from the planetarium’s most impressive display instruments, and one of Rochester’s best-kept secrets.
The Strasenburgh Planetarium, a 4-story dome at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, is one of greater Rochester’s most unique assets and has a 40-year-plus culture of unusual creativity among planetariums.

Anomaly: BIODANCE, Sound ExChange, and W. Michelle Harris takes place on September 15 at 7:00 PM, and September 17 at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM at the Rochester Museum & Science Center Strasenburgh Planetarium, 657 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, 14607. Admission is $15. Tickets can be purchased at


Follow and learn more about BIODANCE, Sound ExChange, W. Michelle Harris, RMSC and Ossia New Music:;;; ;;
For hi-res photographs or more information, contact Missy Pfohl Smith at [email protected] or (585) 201-1002 or Emily Wozniak at [email protected] or (314) 973-6479


Photo of Anomaly by Kevin Colton

Photo of Anomaly by Kevin Colton

Photo of Anomaly by Kevin Colton

Photo of Anomaly by Kevin Colton

Photo by City News/Matt DeTurck

Photo by City News/Matt DeTurck

Photo by City News/Matt DeTurck

Photo by City News/Matt DeTurck

Anomaly at the Planetarium!

Anomaly at the Planetarium!

Photo of Anomaly by Kevin Colton

Photo of Anomaly by Kevin Colton



BIODANCE at University of Southern Mississippi

BIODANCE heads to University of Southern Mississippi Feb. 9-12, 2016, to teach and perform two duets, “Absent Presence” from 2004, and “Amidst Crossed Wires in Parallel Paths” from 2015. Courtney World and Missy Pfohl Smith will perform these and other works together for this tour, as well as teaching four master classes. (Photos of Courtney and Missy in “Absent Presence” by Ralph A. Thompson)

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 8.57.35 PM

Absent Presence  Photo by Ralph A. Thomspon

Absent Presence
Photo by Ralph A. Thomspon