Lisa Wymore


Lisa Wymore completed her graduate study at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she was awarded a Creative and Performing Arts Fellowship, an Outstanding Achievement Award, and a Moe Family Award for her creativity. After graduating with an M.F.A. in Dance in 1998, she moved to Chicago and continued her career as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She was a faculty member within the Northwestern University Dance Program from 2000 to 2004.

Wymore is a Professor in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. She teaches classes in choreography, dance technique, pedagogy, improvisation, collaborative innovation, and performance. She is Co-Artistic Director of Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts (SWDA) with Sheldon B. Smith. The company creates multimedia dance theater works and experimental performances. Their work has been presented and hosted by numerous national and international festivals. SWDA completed a three-year artist-in-residence program (2015-18) at ODC Theater, San Francisco which culminated in an evening-length work entitled Six Degrees of Freedom. The piece explored computer augmented performance interfacing with explorations around body memory, sensation, power, and perception. For more information, visit Disappearing Acts’ website.

From 2005-2009 Wymore worked with Professor Ruzena Bajscy (UCB) and her team on Tele-Immersion technology exploring virtual meeting places, co-presence, and virtual connection. In 2015 Wymore worked with Adrian Freed from the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) on a project called the Digital Intermedia Collaborative Platform (DICP) which investigates human-computer interactivity. The DICP project was funded by a UC Berkeley Digital Humanities grant. Wymore is an ongoing member of Metabody, a group of artists and researchers exploring the homogenization of expressions induced by current information and control technologies.

In 2012 Professor Wymore was invited to participate in the Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute in New Orleans that had the theme of "Soul Deep: Why are People Poor? Demystifying the Opportunity Gap in America." From this experience, she worked with TDPS colleague Amara Tabor-Smith and former Urban Bush Women member and Leadership Institute Facilitator Paloma McGregor to create a five-week long residency within the department. The residency culminated in a series of performances entitled From the Field to the Table. The project centered on food justice issues and community art-making practices. For more information, visit the blog that Professor Wymore created for this project.

From 2012-2014 she was honored to be an organizer of Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration in the Bancroft Studio—a daylong series of events, performances, talks, and participatory activities honoring California Native Americans and indigenous peoples from around the world. In August 2019 she sponsored a performance with Miriki Performing Arts entitled Bayal Kaymanen (Dancing Smoke), a full-length dance performance exploring the relationship of fire between Yidinji Nation (Cairns, Australia) and Northern Pomo Dancers (Northern California). The performance took place in the Memorial Glade and Ohlone land honoring protocols were performed in preparation for the performance.

During the academic year 2022-23, Wymore co-organized a campus-wide project entitled A Year on Angel Island with Susan Moffat from the Future Histories Lab. The project involved a series of music and dance performances, exhibitions, public conversations, and affiliated courses using Angel Island’s historic immigration station as a jumping-off point for discussion about race in America, global migration, and architectures of incarceration. In January of 2024, Wymore was invited to the University of San Francisco, in Ecuador to set a new improvisational dance on the contemporary dance company Talvez. The new work is entitled Perder la conexión con nuestras historias (losing connection to our stories). 

Wymore continues to teach for the Big Ideas program with regular courses entitled Theater 100: From Imagination to Innovation: Activating Creativity for Transformational Change (which she will co-teach with Professor Dave Rochlin from the Haas School of Business) and L&S 25: Thinking Through Arts and Design (which she will co-teach with Professor Ken Goldberg). Professor Wymore is currently the Faculty Advisor for Creative Discovery in the Division of Undergraduate Education.

Research interests: 

Modern Dance Technique
Dance and Technology
Collaborative Innovation