Gabriella Wiltz is a dance artist, writer, and filmmaker from the south side of Chicago. She grew up studying dance around the city at different schools and programs until she graduated from Whitney M. Young Magnet High School (WYHS) in 2013 and headed to The Ohio State University to pursue a degree in Dance.
During her time at Ohio State, Gabriella deepened her contemporary dance training while working closely with choreographers such as Susan Rethorst, Stephan Koplowitz, Joshua Manculich, Teena Custer and Daniel Roberts among others. Dance film became a growing interest as well as other production elements of performance in addition to choreography and performance. Her research projects such as Project Playtime (2015) and OSU Dance to Brazil (2016) set the stage for the kind of interdisciplinary storytelling Gabriella had a growing interest in. Her senior thesis project Revitalize, Rehumanize (2017) took an intermedia approach to sharing the Black experience with an audience-participation driven work. In May of 2017, Gabriella graduated with a BFA in Dance with a Focus in Dance Film and Technology with Distinction.
After receiving her degree, Gabriella moved back to Chicago to begin her career as a visual storyteller and arts advocate. In addition to her roles in dance and arts education, her professional career continued to evolve in dance and film with the co-creation of the film WHITE NOISE. (2018) with collaborator Talia Koylass on dancers at WYHS. She also performed in the Koylass-led dance film The Good Christian (2018) which premiered at Going Dutch Festival as the first project under the dance film production company Motion/Pictures Dance Project (MPDP). In August 2018, Gabriella and Talia set out to co-produce the first installment of a dance film series about the effects of the U.S. prison system on communities of color entitled Bleeding Backwards. In December 2018, the duo premiered MPDP’s second film, Better Off Dead (2018) at Links Hall’s Co-Mission Festival.
Gabriella has also been choreographing and performing in addition to dance film. She’s created original work for the dance department at WYHS (2018) and performed in Jasmin Taylor’s evening length work Shift Your Paradigm (2018). In January 2019, Gabriella and fellow Buckeyes Kylee C. Smith and Frank Johnson launched Ashé: An Artists Collective—a digital dance collective dedicated to fostering authentic relationships and creative collaboration.
Gabriella is heading to Los Angeles, California this fall to attend UCLA for her MFA in Directing/Producing. Her current interests involve researching how to marry her dance background with visual storytelling in a new way.