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Mary Wohl Haan / HAAN Dances

Mary Wohl Haan, modern dancer and choreographer, is artistic director of Boulder’s HAAN Dances, which serves as a vehicle for her creative work as a soloist and as a pick-up company for group pieces and projects.  Since moving to Boulder in 1990, her creative work and productions have garnered both local and regional recognition including numerous Boulder Arts Commission grants, an AHAB/Neodata Artist Fellowship, a CO Council on the Arts Recognition Award, and a “Best of Boulder” for Best New Choreography.  Commissions and invitations to perform and choreograph have included work with Chicago’s Links Hall ‘Strange Bedfellows Series’, DanceLoop Chicago’s ‘New Dances,’ and Bob Eisen/ Dance; in Denver with Deborah Reshotko/Speaking of Dance, Hannah Kahn Dance Company, Jan Justis, and Paul Fiorino /Ballet Arts Theatre; in Ft. Collins with Dance Connection Performance Network, Impact Dance, Canyon Concert Ballet, and CO State University; Salt Lake City’s Brolly Arts, Kinetic Café and Utah Choreographers Lab; and Boulder’s Lyra Mayfield, Turning the Wheel Productions, Interweave Dance Theatre, Open Door Dance Theatre, Rebekah West, and most recently, with Nancy Cranbourne’s 40 Women Over 40 Dance Company.

portrait Mary Haan
Mary Haan performing modern dance O Mio

Before moving to Colorado, Mary spent nine years teaching at Chicago’s Columbia College Dance Center and performing as principal dancer and assistant artistic director of Mordine & Company Dance Theatre.  Performing throughout the Midwest, in New York City, and at the World Expo in Brisbane, Australia, she won Chicago’s 1989 Ruth Page Award for “Outstanding Dancer of the Year.”  Mary also has an MFA degree in choreography from the University of Utah, and has taught in colleges and universities in Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Connecticut, Utah, and Colorado.

She has been an active member of the Colorado dance community serving on a variety of arts service organizations including the board of the Arts & Humanities Assembly of Boulder (now Boulder County Arts Alliance), the CO Dance Alliance as an Advisory Board member, board president, PR & Marketing coordinator for the Boulder Dance Alliance/Space for Dance and advisory board for the Dairy Center for the Arts.  She has served on grant panels and adjudications for awards in Colorado, Oregon, and New York, and is currently Coordinator of the Boulder Arts Commissions’ Dance Bridge, a resource and networking project for dance and the Boulder community.

Artist Statement

I grew up relishing the idea (first out of necessity and then desire), that one-among-the-many could truly speak of the human condition and our commonality, and still develop a uniquely individual voice. As one in a family of twelve children this wasn’t always easy to prove – until I began to dance. Though the eldest daughter, I was essentially raised in a pack, with fierce loyalty as well as competitiveness. I attribute this to my heightened sensitivity to the feelings of others - thankful that at a young age I gradually realized that each individual within the group was just as important as the group itself, no matter what the groups’ dynamic. Through my exposure to dance and the arts, I also realized how tactile this was for me; the power of a body in motion spoke to me.

These beliefs have informed my artistic expression and mission as I use dance to touch people –creating dance that is dynamic, immersed in sensation, and emotionally evocative, yet always served with a side of tender. Through creative exploration I play to the extremes, using full expansive movement that either devours space and is shaped by an infectious musicality, or mines stark, minimal moments, and movement images - each helping me to develop a unique voice on this artistic path.

To this end, HAAN Dances embraces new collaborations and technologies with an inquisitive and soul searching nature. HAAN Dances serves as a vehicle for my creative work as choreographer, using a pick-up company for group pieces and projects. It also serves as a springboard for solo ideas I choreograph for myself, use in multimedia projects, or commission from other artists. An important element of my creative work is also the development and pursuit of community projects, stemming form a genuine interest in the field, and the work I do for the Boulder Arts Commission.

HAAN Dances embodies the artistic and creative work of Mary Wohl Haan.
To touch a cord with bold compassion, cutting deep and clear like a gleaming sword.
With a clear and conscious voice, I use dance to speak.

Haan dancing in orange dress
   Photos by Rebekah West
HAAN Dances has received grants from the Boulder Arts Commission, an agency of the city of Boulder, the Boulder County Arts Alliance (including an Individual Artist Fellowship), the first Colorado Council of the Arts Co-Visions Artist Recognition Award, and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.
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