Our company is a diverse collective of dancers and musicians who hail from a multitude of disciplines and backgrounds. The majority of our company members are celebrated artists in their own right, having toured internationally as leading performers and choreographers in shows such as "Riverdance" and "Swing!". Many of our dancers grew up dancing in our own dance institute.
Livia Drapkin Vanaver
LIVIA DRAPKIN VANAVER (Co-Founder/Artistic Director/Performer) For the past 47 years Livia has been traveling throughout the US and abroad with her musician/composer husband Bill Vanaver, and company of extraordinary dancers and musicians, collecting and performing traditional dance and music from many cultures. They are acclaimed for utilizing traditional sources in the creation of original works and presenting them for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Her commitment to creating community through the vehicle of dance has lead her to work with Friendship Ambassadors Foundation in their Balkan Peace and Reconciliation project in Eastern Europe and their program working with families of the victims of 9/11.
Ms. Vanaver holds a BFA in Dance from NYU School of the Arts (Tisch). For the past 40 years she has been on the cutting edge of Arts Education programs throughout New York State. A leading authority on dance education, she has pioneered the teaching of world dance styles and Global Citizenry in schools. She was on the faculty of the Academy for the Love of Learning, working closely with Aaron Stern in the initial Teacher Renewal Project. Livia taught dance at Columbia University in the Graduate Theater Program and currently teaches World Dance at Hofstra University. Ms. Vanaver was also one of the founders of Mountain Laurel Waldorf School in New Paltz, NY.
Well known musician and symphonic composer, Bill has been playing to audiences throughout the world for the past 60 years. He is known for his stellar instrumental work on 5 string banjo as well a myriad of other folk instruments. With his vast knowledge of traditional song and musical styles, Bill performed at the Newport and the Philadelphia Folk Festivals.
Bill has taught World Dance and Music at Bard and Skidmore Colleges. Since 1985, he has brought his American and World Music and Dance into the classroom as a lead Teaching Artist with The Vanaver Caravan.
He has worked closely with students as well as classroom and music teachers to broaden their multi-cultural music, song and movement repertoire. Bill's varied arrangements from swing to bluegrass and beyond on "Pastures of Plenty", (an album of Woody Guthrie's American folk songs) won WKZE's Best Independently Produced Folk Album of the Year Award in the year 2000.