Sarah Beth Oppenheim
Sarah Beth Oppenheim hails from the Wild Wild West where she never could cut on the dotted black line, so she read Steinbeck and became a modern dancer instead. She's most at home teaching barefoot in a studio -- dancing around with layers on layers of intricate phrasework and super-challenging-mammoth tasks. Career highlights include dancing in forsaken storage closets and performing for Baryshnikov with kale in her incisors, along with gigs at Dance Omi, Ponderosa, the Kennedy Center, Dance Place, The Duke on 42nd St., Marfa, TX, on top of the Chelsea Hotel, the Rothko Room at the National Gallery of Art, the Hawaiian Room at the U.S. Botanic Garden, and secret performances in Lincoln Center’s Koch Theater when she was done cleaning up at the end of the night. Now nighttimes are spent rehearsing with her company Heart Stück Bernie - a highbrow/lowbrow cocktail of quirky luscious movement and unusual bitters with a compass that navigates site-specific intimacy, proscenium avant-garde, subversive practices, and community engagement. And late nights are reserved for her growing family in Silver Spring where they fit beds and a crib between too many bookshelves and a construction paper bear rug. May she have the next dance with you? Instagram @HeartStuckBernie
Current Outside Position
Aside from adjuncting at GW, Oppenheim is Artistic Director of Heart Stück Bernie, Artist in Residence at Dance Place, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer at American University, and Community Organizer with 120 Project - a social justice arts activism platform that uses dance, comics, and dialogue as a premise for community building.
Current research includes site-specific meaning making, social justice community engagement, and subversive and durational studio pedagogy.
This Fall, Oppenheim is presenting a Social Justice Comic Book Making Workshop at the Bowie State University Conference Build. Serve. Unite. And she's been commissioned by the Kennedy Center to mark the opening of the new campus The REACH by presenting a line dance on National Dance Day. She'll premiere Dance 1 to Oh (Still Seeking Better Title) at Dance Place in April 2020, and a new site-specific work for a storage facility and 28 dancers in Summer 2020. She will host the second annual DMV College Dance Colloquy this Winter.
Distinctions & Publications
Oppenheim is an inaugural Artist in Residence at Dance Place, where she is spending her multi-year tenure developing new proscenium and site work, in addition to implementing community-engaged practices in support of a growing DMV citizen artist community. Her company HSB is the recipient of Dance Metro DC’s 2015 Choreographer’s Commission, the Kennedy Center’s 2016 Local Dance Commissioning Project, the U.S. Botanic Garden’s inaugural artist residency in 2018, a 2018-2019 Individual Artist Grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery Country for Snake Telegram, and a 2019 Maryland State Arts Council Creativity Grant. Recent commissions include work for Dance Place, Purchase Dance Company, Joe’s Movement Emporium, DancEthos, U.S. Botanic Garden, National Gallery of Art, and the Kennedy Center’s new space, The REACH.
BFA in Dance Performance from SUNY Purchase, 2005
MFA in Dance from University of Maryland, 2017