Gwendolyn Bye has spent 40 years in the performing arts. She was mentored by Nadia Chilkovsky Nahumck and Mary Anthony, and has worked with some of the most powerful and legendary artists in this country, including Martha Graham, Charles Weidman, Anna Sokolow, and Pauline Koner. She founded Dancefusion in order to carry the rich history of modern dance into the 21st Century; reconstructing historic works, creating new and vibrant choreography and training the next generation of dancers.
In 1984, she returned to Philadelphia, opened the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center and became artistic director of Penn Dance at the University of Pennsylvania. Gwen 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 27 years of concerts and programs, including the junior company fusion2. She has been a movement specialist on the roster of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Artists-In-Education Program, teaching in over 100 schools throughout Greater Philadelphia, including work as director/choreographer with Jacques d’Amboise in a four-school residency program. In 1996 and ’98 Gwen was invited to dance the lead rolls in Mary Anthony Dance Theater’s 40th Anniversary Season in New York City and in 2000 she danced with Jeanne Ruddy Dance in a work by Igal Perry. In 2001 she received an Award of Recognition from the City of Philadelphia and in 2007 she received the “Rocky Award” for her contribution to the Philadelphia Dance Community. Currently Gwen is very active as a director, teacher and administrator, for all the programs of Dancefusion and the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center.
A native of Philadelphia, Gwen attended and graduated with honors from the Philadelphia Performing Arts School (University of the Arts) under the direction of Mrs. Nahumck, where she received a Ford Foundation Scholarship. Her early training included the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet and performing in their junior company. Gwen joined the Mary Anthony Dance Theater in New York and became a principal dancer, performing for fourteen years in seasonal concerts and tours throughout America. Two dances were created for her: Tides by Ross Parkes and Lady of the Sea by Mary Anthony. She danced in Dreams and Rooms choreographed by Anna Sokolow and partnered Charles Weidman in Fables of Our Times. Gwen 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.