KT Niehoff

MAP Fund Grant
Author: Hayley Young
Credits: Hayley Young

KT Niehoff (Lingo Productions) is Seattle based artist who makes events, dances, music, films, classes and spaces and fosters creative communities. She is a current MAP Fund recipient (supported by the Doris Duke and Andrew W. Mellon Foundations) for her 2012/13 project titled Collision Theory and commissioned by On the Boards (Seattle). She was a 2010 Artist in Residence with Seattle's ACT Theatre "Central Heating Lab", a 2006 MANCC Fellow (Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography in Tallahassee) and a 2001 Artist Trust Fellow. She was named "Dance Artist of the Year" by Seattle Magazine ('07), featured in Dance Magazine's "International Women in Dance" issue ('08) and on the cover of Dance Teacher Magazine ('12).

The major platform for her work has been Lingo Productions, the container for her creative works in all forms. Lingo expands and contracts depending on the demands of the work and has been presented at venues throughout the U.S. including ACT Theatre (Seattle), On the Boards (Seattle), The Joyce SoHo (NY), SUSHI (San Diego), The Southern Theater (Minneapolis), internationally in Japan, Ecuador, Germany and Canada, as well as dozens of colleges and universities throughout the country such as Texas Christian University, Vanderbilt, Oberlin, Mt. Holyoke and Kenyon. She has received funding from The National Endowment for the Arts, The National Dance Project ('05 Production, '06 Creation), The National Performance Network, Meet the Composer, Arts International, Bossak/Heilbron, and all of the city, county and state funding agencies in Washington State.

Since 2006 her interest has been audience/artist/art proximity – practically, metaphorically and psychologically. This research has led her off the stage. Inhabit ('07) and Glimmer ('10) used spaces where the audience was free to roam amongst the performance. The Lift ('08) pushed passers by up the hill from Seattle's Pike Place Market to 1st Avenue for a month. The 1-to-1 Solo Project ('10) tailored solos for 30 individuals, performed for them in public spaces. The You and Me Series ('10) embedded dancers throughout the Seattle Art Museum for five hour stretches.

KT is a veteran teacher of contemporary technique, composition and improvisation. For over 15 years she has taught throughout the U.S. and abroad – Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Oberlin College, Cornish College of the Arts, Tisch School of the Arts, University of Washington, The Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts, The SNDO – to name a few.

As an administrator, KT founded and ran Velocity Dance Center in Seattle from 1996-2006. In 2003 she created the project SCUBA, National Touring Dance Alliance with Seattle (Velocity), San Francisco (ODC), Minneapolis (The Southern Theater) and Philadelphia (Philly Dance Project). Thanks to the next generation of dedicated staff, both Velocity and SCUBA are still running strong today. She has served on panels for USArtists International and the National Endowment for the Arts and adjudicated the American College Dance Festival three times.

In 2011 KT opened her own creative performance space in Seattle's Capitol Hill called 10 degrees, which is the home for Lingo Productions as well as a space for select inter/national artists to engage in episodic creative residencies. Her first film titled Parts Don't Work was shot on location at the (now defunct) Fun Forest Amusement Park in the Seattle Center has been screened at the American Dance Festival, NEXT Dance Film Festival and the San Francisco Dance Film Festival.


Ivory Smith – musician (keys/piano), composer, music teacher and vocal coach – has been based in Seattle since 1993. Since then, she has worked extensively in theater, performance art, and music. In 2004, Ivory was an Artist in Residence with the Foot in Mouth project at On the Boards (Seattle/October-December) and Centrum at Fort Worden (Port Townsend/February). Foot in Mouth received Special Project Grants from 4 Culture in both 2004 and 2005 – along with a GAP Grant from Artist Trust in 2004.

Other theater and performance art credits include: In the Now/The Thrill of Not Knowing at Broadway Performance Hall – directed by KT Niehoff and commissioned by Velocity Dance Center (Seattle/2003), Bowie Inside-Out at On the Boards – performing David Bowie's music for choreographers Wade Madsen, Maureen Whiting, KT Niehoff and Amii LeGendre (Seattle/2003), Fraud at (and commissioned by) Consolidated Works – performing the music of David Bowie as lead vocalist (Seattle/2003), Vapor Trails at the Chamber Theater - commissioned by Butoh choreographer Helen Thorsen (Seattle/2004), amyo/tinyrage – performing too, a 34 minute score commissioned by Amy O'Neal – at PICA's TBA Festival (Portland/2009) and Northwest Film Forum (Seattle/2010), Daughters of Air at On the Boards – Northwest New Works Festival -- created and performed by Ivory Smith, Kelli Frances Corrado and Joseph Gray (Seattle/2010), Glimmer at ACT Theater – commissioned by Lingo/KT Niehoff – composed, performed and directed live band (Seattle/2010). I am the Daughter of at the Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women – commissioned by Pat Graney Company & directed by Micheala Leaslie Rule – composed 50 minute score working with 27 incarcerated women (Washington State/2011). In addition, from 2002 – 2009 Ivory was part of a music/theater improv duo with Actor Matt Smith – venues and presenters included On the Boards, Annex Theater, Boat House Theater, Carlotta's Wing Ding and Spin the Bottle.

Ivory's music/band credits include: solo performance as Ivory Smith at Seattle venues such as Consolidated Works, Graceland and the Showbox (1998 – 2010), bloodbunny – a pop/rock band feat. Timothy Young & Eryn Young – at Seattle venues such as the Bagley Wright Theater, The Crocodile, Sit and Spin and Ok Hotel (1999 – 2002), An Exaltation of Larks – a vocal improv group, alongside rotating members Amy Denio, Jessica Kinney and Eryn Young – at Seattle venues including Polestar Music Gallery and Consolidated Works (2002 – 2005), V – performing the vocal score for this rock/pop orchestra led by Timothy Young & Paul Moore – presented by On the Boards (Seattle/2003), Ivory in Ice World – a pop/rock band led and created by Ivory, feat. Zeke Keeble, Sara Edwards, Cameron Brownfield, Scott Adams and Jeremy Lightfoot – at Seattle venues and series including Chop Suey, The Sunset, On the Boards, The Georgetown Music Festival and Artopia (2007 – 2011), Under the Mirror Ball – a lounge act led and created by Ivory, feat. Zeke Keeble, Paul Moore, and rotating guests – presented weekly at Vito's (Seattle/2010 – 2011), and the score for Paper Trail in collaboration with KT Niehoff and Scott Colburn (Seattle/June 2012).

Currently, Ivory continues her long time focus as a private vocal coach – and is recording an EP with her brand new (2012) trip hop/indie pop duo White Metal Rabbit (feat. Zeke Keeble). 

Awards & Recognitions

  • National Endowment for the Arts: Project Support
  • The National Dance Project: Project Support
  • The National Performance Network: Project Support
  • Seattle and King County Arts Commissions: Project Support
  • Arts International: Project Support
  • The Bossak/Heilbron Foundation: Project Suport
  • Jack Straw Foundation: Project Support
  • MAP Fund: Project Support

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