Gina Gibney

2017 Ernie Award Recipient

Gina Gibney is a choreographer, director, and entrepreneur. She founded Gibney Dance in 1991 as a performing and social action dance company. Today, the organization has rapidly emerged as a cultural leader that operates through three fields of action: Company, Community, and Center.

Gibney’s work is featured in the repertory of the organization’s resident dance ensemble, Gibney Dance Company. Gibney has created over thirty dances for the Company, including fourteen evening length works. Called a “poet of modern dance” by The New York Times, her work has been featured in recent years by such venues as Baryshnikov Arts Center (NY), Florence Gould Hall (NY), Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum (NY), Danspace Project (NY), White Bird (OR), the Yale Repertory Theater (CT), DANCECleveland (OH), L'Agora de la Danse (Canada), and Internationale Tanzmesse (Germany). Through recent Global Community Action Residencies, Gibney’s work has traveled to Mimar Sinan (Turkey), Magnet Theater (South Africa), Danscentrum (Sweden), Theater of the Young Spectator (Armenia), and Sevgi Gönül Cultural Center (Turkey).

Gibney was recently named to the Out100 2016 list of influential members of the LGBT community. In 2008, she was named to the Vanity Fair Hall of Fame for "making art and taking action." She has been honored with the Arts & Artists in Progress Award from Brooklyn Arts Exchange, the Northern Ohio Live Arts Award for the Food for Thought program, the Copperfoot Award for Choreography from Wayne State University, the Case Western Reserve University Young Alumni Award, Alpert Award (Finalist), the Our Town Thanks You Arts Award, and by Sanctuary for Families, Safe Horizon, and The Retreat. Gibney has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Observer, Vanity Fair Magazine, Dance Magazine, and many other publications. Her work and the organization have been widely supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, and many others.

Gibney is a frequent panelist and speaker on topics of dance, entrepreneurship, and arts-community partnerships, and she serves on a number of cultural boards and advisory groups. She holds a BA and MFA from Case Western Reserve University where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. While there, she studied with Kathryn Karipides, Kelly Holt, and David N. Brown, and her early work also was influenced by such artists as Pat Graney, Hanya Holm, Penny Hutchinson, Jocelyn Lorenz, Mark Morris, Bessie Schönberg, Pam Schick, and Kei Takei.

She lives in New York City with her partner Pam, her dog Ginger Margaret, and a cat named Clementine.



The 'Ernie' goes to an individual working “behind the scenes” within the infrastructure of the dance field, whose achievements have significantly empowered artists and supported their creativity individually or as a community.

Return to Dance/USA Opening Night Celebration & Honors webpage.