is a transnational choreographer, artistic director and scholar who has lived and worked in the US, Europe, and Asia. As a Fulbright Scholar, Henry Luce Scholar, Kate Neal Kinley Fellow, and US Embassy Artist Research grantee, she has been recognized for her innovative engagement of dance across discipline: working in computer science research as a movement consultant, developing interactive performance and founding the international Experimental Film Virginia residency and festival.
A researcher who investigates interdisciplinary and innovative methods of art-making, engagement and digital technologies, her work includes a diverse range of media: dance, film, photography, social media, crowd-sourcing and participation, installation, performance, video, sound and interactive design. She is a performer, choreographer and certified Laban Movement Analyst. She uses elements of body, architecture, materials, light, projection, and sound in her choreographic "living sculptures” which often happen in unexpected, site specific locations or on the screen. She continues to pioneer the way that dance and body intelligence intersect with research, social media, human behavior and public interactives. She also choreographs for the stage, film and site specific work. She has presented her work and research internationally in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, Tunisia, India, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, Canada, and throughout the US. She has been invited for choreographic residencies and lectures at the New School of Media in New York, Culture Hub NYC, Bogliasco Foundation Italy, DanceBridge Chicago, Links Hall Chicago, Dance Omi, Summer Stages Dance, Planet Arts Exchange in Liverpool, Kolkata, and Tunisia, Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, Taiwan National University of the Arts, Seoul Institute of the Arts and European Video Dance Heritage project in Spain at the Reina Sofia Museum.
She is the recipient of numerous awards, nominations and grants across disciplinary domains: nominated for a Lemelson-Illinois Technology Innovation award while a graduate student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, she was also awarded the coveted Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship of $20,000 to pursue post-graduate studies and thus obtained her certification in Laban Movement Analysis at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York. In Chicago, she has been a Links Hall Residency artist and a Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs DanceBridge Residency artist, presenting her works at the Building Stage, Dumbo Dance Festival New York, Summer Stages Dance, and as a selected artist for the Dance Omi Residency in New York. As a Henry Luce Scholar she spent a year living and working in Taipei where she taught at the Taipei National University of the Arts under the direction of Yunyu Wang. As a Henry Luce Scholar in Taiwan, she also guest taught at the Chinese Culture University and was commissioned to create a new work for Body Expression Dance Company which premiered at the Avant Garde Guling Street Theatre in Taipei. In Italy, the US Embassy granted her funding to extend her Fulbright Fellowship and thus collaborate with Lumiq Studios and Virtual Reality and Multi Media Park to create an evening-length interactive dance, FraMESHift, which premiered at Teatro Astra, Torino, during the Teatro a Corte’s Summer Festival in 2012. She has engaged in performance collaborations in India through Banglanatok Dot Com Theatre and in Tunisia at the Mediterranean Cultural Center for Music in Sidi-Bou Said, both through Planet Arts eXchange under the direction of Lotfi Kaabi. She has presented her academic research in tele-immersion environments under the direction of internationally-known computer scientist, Klara Nahrstedt (in collaboration with Ruzena Bajcsy) and movement/body-centered interactive design and human-computer interaction at international conferences through the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) in Canada, Germany, Australia and the USA.
She currently resides between the United States and Italy where she continues to direct and curate Experimental Film Virginia, guest teach and work on several projects including Campo Largo, Plein Air Danse, Cloud Nine and Matita/Perfect Broken. She is also serving as the Creative Director for Balletto Teatro di Torino.
Renata Sheppard (1982) è un'artista multimediale che ha sviluppato la sua carriera negli Stati Uniti, in Europa e in Asia.
Ha conseguito il Master of Fine Arts in "Dance Performance and Choreography" presso la University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, specializzandosi in tecnologia, cinema e interattivitá, ottenendo inoltre il "Laban Movement Analysis Certificate" presso il Laban Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies a New York.
È stata Fulbright Scholar, Henry Luce Scholar, Kate Neal Kinley Fellow, ricevendo inoltre supporto artistico dall’Ambasciata americana.
È riconosciuta a livello internazionale per le sue metodologie innovative che uniscono la danza a diverse discipline, creando opere per il palcoscenico, per lo schermo e per performance site-specific lineari e interattive. I suoi lavori sono il riflesso di un percorso che unisce creatività e innovazione, con particolare attenzione rivolta all’audience development e alla creazione di un futuro sostenibile per l’arte.
Cittadina americana e italiana, al momento risiede tra gli Stati Uniti e l’Italia dove insegna, crea nuove opere e sviluppa progetti. Ha presentato i suoi lavori e ricerche in Italia, Francia, Spagna, Germania, Regno Unito, Tunisia, India, Taiwan, Corea del Sud, Australia, Canada e negli Stati Uniti. É stata invitata come coreografa e insegnante a New York presso la New School of Media, Culture Hub/La Mama, e Dance Omi; in Chicago per DanceBridge, Links Hall e l’Art Institute di Chicago; Bogliasco Foundation (Italia/New York), Summer Stages Dance (Boston), Planet Arts eXchange, Chinese Culture University (Taiwan), Seoul Institute of the Arts e European Video Dance Heritage, dove ha presentato il suo film al Museo Reina Sofia di Madrid.
E' fondatrice e direttrice artistica di Experimental Film Virginia, evento che ospita artisti da tutto il mondo con l’obiettivo di definire nuovi linguaggi della sperimentazione cinematografica attraverso l’interazione tra danza, spazio e suono.
Renata considera i propri lavori performativi come 'sculture viventi', una collezione di ingredienti coreografici raccolti grazie a un'indagine che ri-contestualizza e giustappone luce, corpo, materiale, architettura.