Doris Ressl, M.F.A.

Title: Professor and Chair
 Theatre and Dance
(310) 243-3732

Contact Preference: Any

Areas of Expertise

Dance, Ballet, Modern, Dance Composition, Dance History

Professional Background

Ressl draws on her eclectic dance background to create satisfying and poignant dance works. A foundation of classical ballet and jazz dance led her to studies in Humphrey-Weidman, Nikolais, and Cunningham modern techniques. Her concert and site-specific choreography blends these fundamentals with life experiences, meditation, authentic movement, and contact improvisation.

She received a B.A. from Columbia College Chicago and taught, danced and choreographed in the Chicago area. Upon receiving a MFA at Smith College, she taught for college and professional dance programs including Ball State University, the University of Minnesota Duluth, Radford University, and the Minnesota Ballet. She is also a certified Zena Rommett Floor-Barre instructor.

Her dance company, Freshwater Dance Collective, was formed as a nonprofit in Minnesota and thanks to Minnesota grants and fellowships, Ressl’s work has been produced throughout the U.S. In 2001, she received the Minnesota State Art Board Arts Leadership Award for her contributions to dance. She was recently invited to set a new work on Karlovsky & Company Dance in St. Louis and in 2022 served as Artistic Director for Dances on the Lakewalk a site-specific dance event that she created in Duluth, Minn.


M.F.A., Smith College

B.A. Columbia College Chicago

Related News Stories

In An Elevator with Merce Cunningham, Retrace Your Steps, 2021

Doris Ressl Brings Dance to The Lakewalk, The Playlist, 2016