Paula Frasz “has the talent and vision made infinitely clear in the sharpest and best-designed work” announced Sid Smith in the Chicago Tribune. Tribune critic Lucia Mauro calls her, “…a standout”. Her many achievements include: Mordine & Company featured dancer and featured dancer at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has been named Resident Choreographer of the Bosphorus Dance Company in Istanbul, Turkey and at the Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown, MA. Her choreography has been commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra. She is one of the founding choreographers of Chicago’s Next Dance Festival, whose work has been called “powerfully modern” by Lynne Voedisch of the Chicago Sun Times. She received the 1999 Ruth Page Award for Artistic Achievement in Choreography from the Chicago Dance Coalition, and the 2002 Artists Fellowship Award in Choreography from the Illinois Arts Council. From 2002 to 2015 Frasz was the Artistic Director of DanszLoop Chicago, a professional dance company which the Chicago Tribune calls “…a driving force on the Chicago dance scene.”
Ms. Frasz was a faculty member at the Dance Center of Columbia College for eight years. She is currently Professor of Dance at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Nominated for the 2012 and 2013 Presidential Teaching Fellowship, this master teacher has also been in residence at many colleges and universities, including St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN., the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, Southern Illinois University, Winona State University and St. Mary’s College in Minnesota, Harper College and College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. In 2002, she started DanszLoop Chicago (nfp), a theatrical modern dance company performing in Chicago and the surrounding Metropolitan area. They performed at nearly 50 venues in their first year. The company made its New York debut in September of 2012, where critics said “Frasz's powerful choreography brought an intriguing twist to this, and left me wanting more.” ”
In 2013 Frasz made her acting debut in “The Chorus Girl Plays” at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival. Frasz also received the 2002 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Excellence in Choreography. After a broken leg sidelined her in 2015, she taught dance for 3 months on a scooter, recorded her learning experiences as a handicapped dancer and then presented the findings at the International Fine Arts Conference in Athens, Greece. An article recounting her experience will appeared in the March 2017 edition of Dance Teacher Magazine.
In 2018 Frasz brought her dance ENUF to the American College Dance Regional Festival. It was selected as best in the Midwest and will be performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC at the National American College Dance Festival. The adjudicators described the work in the following way:
ENUF reflects on the present and imagines a future rooted in the long Civil Rights movement, from the abolishment of slavery to Black Lives Matter. Through urgent athleticism, it creates collective and individual bodies of protest and power.
Ms. Frasz holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Butler University. She graduated from the University of Illinois with an M.F.A. She is also a member of Actor’s Equity Association and has served several terms on the Illinois Arts Council Dance Panel. Ms. Frasz is an active and vital member of Chicago’s dance community. She has performed, choreographed and taught at several locations internationally. “A tongue-in-cheek choreographer with a spunky stage presence” as Lucia Mauro of the Sun Times insists, Paula Frasz continues to produce her work around the United States and abroad. As one critic wrote: “This review is full of superlatives, but she deserves them. Thank you, Paula Frasz!”
Modern dance, jazz dance tap dance, composition, choreography
Education: MFA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Office: GA 117B