Photo Credit: Ron Williams
Gwendolyn Bye has spent 35 years in the performing arts and has worked and danced with legendary artists Martha Graham, Charles Weidman, Anna Sokolow, Mary Anthony and Pauline Koner. As a native of Philadelphia, she graduated with honors from the Philadelphia Dance Academy’s Performing Arts School, directed by Nadia Chilkovsky Nahumck. Ms. Bye joined the Mary Anthony Dance Theater in New York and became principal dancer, performing in seasonal concerts and tours throughout America for fourteen years. Two dances were created for her: Tides by Ross Parkes and Lady From the Sea by Mary Anthony. She danced in Rooms and Dreams choreographed by Anna Sokolow and partnered Charles Weidman in Fables of Our Times. Ms. Bye studied and taught at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center as well as at the Martha Graham School, where she was awarded a Helena Rubenstein Scholarship. Her first choreographic work was commissioned with Juilliard composer Michael White and was presented at the Walnut Street Theater in 1976. She continued to set her choreography on companies and in Colleges and Universities. In 1983 Ms. Bye started acting, she performed in New York City and appeared in several independent movies, including The Alter Boy, which was presented in the New York City Film Festival.
In 1984 Ms. Bye returned to Philadelphia and opened the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center and became Artistic Director of Penn Dance at the University of Pennsylvania. She has been a Movement Specialist on the roster of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Artists-In-Education Program, which included work as director/choreographer with Jacques d’Amboise in a four-school residency program. Ms. Bye formed Dancefusion, in 1987 where she choreographs and performs up to the present. She has directed, choreographed and restaged numerous dance works on Dancefusion for twenty three years of concerts and programs, including the junior company fusion2. In 1996 and 1998, Ms. Bye was invited to dance the lead rolls in Mary Anthony Dance Theater’s 40th Anniversary season in New York City. In 2000, she danced with Jeanne Ruddy Dance in a work by Igal Perry. Ms. Bye is very active as a teacher and administrator, directing programs at the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center and in 2001 received an Award of Recognition from the City of Philadelphia. In 2007 she received the “Rocky Award” for her contribution to the Philadelphia Dance Community.