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An intimate duet exploring absence and presence.

Music: Verses, Ólafur Arnalds & Alice Sara Ott
Premiere: 2017 Synapse Contemporary Dance Theater, The Broad Stage, Santa Monica CA

Subsequent Performance: ACDA, Baja Region, Long Beach, CA


The mysterious and elusive qualities of beacons and searchlights inspired this 30 minute one act ballet for five dancers. This work explores contrast and the nature of light and fire, and the potential of each to reveal, blind, devastate, or guide.

Music: Descent, by Scuba & I Thought he was a Journalist, by Swod
Premiere: 2014, DUMBO Dance Festival, Brooklyn NY

Subsequent Performance: Take Root, Greenspace, Long Island City, NY
REVERB Dance Festival, Baruch Performing Arts Center, NY, NY
REVERB Tour, Boston, MA
Steps Performance Lab, NY, NY


“Vanessa Van Wormer's choreography naturally pulls the audience in with its strong imagery, thoughtful dynamic choices, and clear, beautiful aesthetic.”

— Kate Griffler Artistic Director, REVERBdance


Music: Andrew Alden, Violin Beltron del Campo
Premiere: The Yards, Rochester NY (The Memory Project)

Subsequent Performance: Ticino in Danza, Mendrisio, Switzerland 

Infinito Gallery, Tribeca, NY

 “We also talk about the beauty of nature and lightness in Vanessa Van Wormer’s work.”


"Lightness is the keyword for the performance of Vanessa Van Wormer. A moment of pure poetry danced and ethereal beauty. A Venus by Botticelli that remembers all the magic of nature."

iodanza magazine

“Genuine innocence of discovery with The Nature of Firsts by Vanessa Van Wormer”

— Roberta Nicolo, Fai-informazione


Music: Julia Kent
Premiere: 2011, Hochstein, Rochester NY

Subsequent Performance: Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester NY
Morning Dances, Monroe Community Hospital, Rochester NY 

“Ms. Van Wormer’s work for seven dancers was a well-designed mix of more codified movement vocabularies and organic shapes...The work presented a community of dancers moving from sculptural moments to more linear movement and phrases. The dancing was lush and balanced, creating wraithlike moment of stillness and action.”

— Rubén Graciani, Associate Professor of Dance Skidmore College, on Second Sight, Hochstein, Rochester, NY


Finding beauty in age, and observing the textured, aging surface of canvas and stone initially inspired this piece. This 10 minute trio explores how we interact with former and future versions of ourselves. How do remnants from our past exist as ghosts in our present? What lingers and what fades with time, and how do we find beauty in the subtle changes inevitable with time?

Music: Kodaly Sonata Op. 8: mvt. 1

Live Cello: Hilary Glen 

Restaged Music: Lamentate: Fragile e conciliante, Arvo Pärt

Premiere: 2014, Commissioned by Hochstein Music Hall, Rochester NY

Subsequent performances: The American School in Switzerland Cultural Performance, Lugano 
ACDA Faculty Concert Brockport NY

“Ms Van Wormer is masterful at crafting the 2+1 sections in which one dancer responds and mirrors what the duet is doing. The movement is luscious, constantly swirling and transforming...The dancers seamlessly transform and partner each other in waves of

undulating formations.”

— Balinda Craig-Quijade, Kenyon College


A contemporary dance theater work for seven dancers exploring social expectation, affected mannerisms, and situational discomfort of assimilation. 

Music: Le premier bonheur du jour, TASIS Ensemble, 

Original Accordion composition: Jami Reimer

International Premiere: 2016, Commission for the American School in Switzerland, Lugano 

Premiere: Synapse Contemporary Dance Theater, The Broad Stage, Santa Monica, CA


Ebbs and flows of time, episodic changes of the sea, and gravitational pull.

Music: Symphony No. 3 in F, Brahms

Premiere: 2016 Chamber Ballet Brockport, NY 

Subsequent Performance: Pasadena Dance Festival, Pasadena, CA


A complex intertwining qualities and structure of Vivaldi’s complex score, the movement blends liquid curves contrasted with accented pulses and nimble footwork. This work reveals a thoughtful relationship between dance and music. Three dancers and two cellists respond to one another’s energy, inviting the viewer along an introspective journey that explores complex layering and qualitative movement drawn from the textures and colors of the music.

Music: Cello Sonata in E minor, Vivaldi. (Largo, Allegro, Largo, Allegro) 

Premiere: 2011, Eastman School of Music Kilbourne Hall, Rochester NY

Subsequent Performances: Triskelion, NYC

Ulster Ballet Festival, Kingston NY

Rochester Contemporary Dance Collective Showcase (RCDC), RIT, Rochester, NY

“The movement had a pleasing, liquid quality... Among the events that stood out for me were the impulse-driven movements towards the end, which infused that section of the dance with a soft, quicksilver energy.” 

— Robert Bingham, on Impulse in RCDC, Rochester NY 


A fluid calligraphy of limbs and spirits, Sky in a Room is a light spirited duet for two women. This duet challenges the relationship of the pas de deux, or “step of two,” investigating the delicate balance between the roles of the supported vs supporting. Moments of verticality and suspension are counteracted with off-center support and weight sharing, strewn together with playful interactions. The vocabulary maintains a recognizable relationship to the ballet idiom, yet exudes a grounded strength juxtaposed with a softness of the upper body.


Music: Sous le Dôme épais, “Flower Duet,” by Delibes 

Premiere: 2011 Dance New Amsterdam, Works in Progress 

Subsequent Performances: Elmwood Arts Festival, Buffalo NY
Pasadena Dance Festival, Pasadena CA    


An introspective work exploring the transition from one state of being to another. 

Premiere: 2019 Max10,  Electric Lodge, Venice, CA

Subsequent Performance: Dance Film Screening, University of Utah


to outline clearly or sharply; delineate, as a person's features or character.

to fix vividly imprint on the mind; root in the memory.
to engrave or cut into a surface.

Music: Dame que je n’os noumer, Composer: Anonymous, Artist: Anonymous 4 

Premiere: Going Dutch Festival, Chicago, IL

Subsequent Performances: Infinito Gallery, Tribeca NY
Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY
Morning Dances, Monroe Community Hospital


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