Zornitsa Stoyanova (USA/BUL) is an award-winning performance artist, curator, writer, lighting, and video designer. Based between Sofia, Bulgaria and Philadelphia, US, she directs her company BodyMeld which along with presenting her choreographic and digital work, focuses on creating programs in support of independent choreographers in both her locales.
Her stage, video, and photographic work centers around themes of otherness, womanhood, feminism, power dynamics, and vulnerability. She is influenced by surrealism and science fiction and often engages the audience by inviting them on stage or choosing a non-traditional venue and format for her work. Mylar reflective material and compositional improvisation are integral parts of her most recent stage, video, and photography work. She researches gesture and emotion in the body seeking potential for meaning.
Light is often an integral part of her stage work and she is deeply inspired by artists like Anthony McCall, James Turrell and Japanese choreographer Naoko Tanaka.
In 2008 Zornitsa Stoyanova was also a fellow with Headlong Performance Institute (Philadelphia), where she focused on abstract character building, clowning and interactive theatrical performance. Later, her studies with Deborah Hay sparked an interest in performance presence and deconstruction of communication through posture and gesture. Since then, Zornitsa has sought out professional development opportunities researching art practices both digital and analog in abstracting the body and looking for emotional content and potential for meaning in the body. Her most influential teachers include Meg Stuart; Miguel Gutierrez; Michelle Boule; Ishmael Houston Jones; Susan Rethorst; Fay Driscoll; Luciana Achugar; Danny Lepkoff amongst others.
Stoyanova’s performance AndroMeda (2020) was commissioned and presented by The Philadelphia Museum of Art and her solo Explicit Female (2016) was awarded the Philadelphia Contemporary Dance Award “Rocky”. Her choreographic work has been shown at festivals around the U.S. as well as in Bulgaria and France. She’s been invited to choreographic residences in Poland, Romania, the United States, and Bulgaria. As a dancer, she has performed for Eiko & Koma, Sasha Waltz & Guests, Boris Charmatz, Cie. Willy Dorner, Lionel Popkin, Group Motion and improvisation companies Emergent Improvisation Project, and Graffito Works.
Her screendance films have been shown in festivals across the U.S. and in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Bulgaria, Ireland, Germany, and Bangladesh.
Zornitsa Stoyanova is a supporter for a sustainable dance community. From 2006 until 2019, she was an on and off member of Mascher Space Cooperative in Philadelphia USA, where throughout the years she served as Membership, Space, Programs and Finance Administrator. She is deeply invested in helping further conversation and collaboration in the local and global dance community. As BodyMeld (previously known as Here[begin] Dance) she has curated and produced Current: an evening of dance and art and Dance Cinema Projects (2007 – 2011). She has hosted and organized multiple workshops for the community and taught free workshops in making web sites for artists and budgeting. In February 2015, she started a community dance workshop in collaboration with <fidget> space called Get What You Need that has since expanded to an 8-month-long residency and is going to this day. Along with fellow artists Kristen Shahverdian and Jacelyn Biondo, Zornitsa curated Move Dance Think Fest in 2016. She has created and administered a guest artist residency Polish dance artists in Philadelphia in 2018 and 2019 in collaboration with Movement Research.
Some of her partners include Art Station Foundation, Poland; Movement Research, USA; Philadelphia Dance Projects, USA; The Fidget Space, USA; Mascher Dance, USA; and others.
She teaches Improvisation Technique for Performance, Dance on Camera, and Composition and has done so in Philadelphia, France, Hungary, her native Bulgaria, and now virtually. Zornitsa writes periodically for thINKingDANCE.net, where she is an editor. As a mother of two children, she continues to work to promote the needs of parent artists in the dance field.
She is a huge fan of sci-fi, loves dark chocolate, and up until recently lived in the trendy Fishtown neighborhood in Philly. Now she dances in her home studio at the bottom of Vitosha Mountains, right outside Sofia, with her much more famous artist husband Greg Dunn and their two boys.