Marjani Forté-Saunders is a three-time Bessie award winning choreographer, performer, teaching artist, and Mother. She is a recent awardee of the prestigious Dance Magazine Harkness Award (2020) and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Fellowship. She is an inaugural recipient of 3 distinguishing fellowships including Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center Initiative Fellowship (2017), the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship (2018), and the DanceUSA Artist Fellowship (2019). Saunders is founding member of the collective 7NMS, alongside composer/sound designer Everett Saunders. They are recent recipients of New Music USA and the National Dance Project Production & Touring award for their latest work Prophet: The Order of the Lyricist. In 2022, Saunders made her off-broadway debut as choreographer of Dreaming Zenzile, written and starring Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Somi Kakoma, and directed by Drama League Founder’s Award-winning artist Lileana Blain-Cruz. Commercially, Saunders has worked with Sundance Award-winning director Kahlil Joseph, Kevin Willmott, Kevin Everson, and Tracee Ellis Ross’ product launch video campaign for PATTERNS. Saunders is pleased to join as faculty for the Music Academy's 2023 Summer School and Festival. Humbly, she defines her work by its lineage stemming from culturally rich, vibrant, historic, loving, irreverent conjurers.
photo credit: Maria Baranova