Karen Stokes (Head of Dance Program) danced in New York and abroad with David Gordon, Larry Clark, and Stephan Koplowitz. As a choreographer, Stokes has premiered eight evening length projects, and multiple repertory works that have performed in such venues as Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Wortham Center downtown, Barnevelder Theater, Discovery Green,the Kaplan Theater at the JCC, Miller Theater, Painted Bride in Philadelphia, Cleveland Public Theater, Weathervane Theater in Akron, Plays & Players Theater in Philadelphia, the Cunningham Studio in NYC, and at the University of Houston.
In January 2013, Karen Stokes Dance was the first contemporary dance company in Houston to receive a “Masterminds Award” by the Houston Press. The award recognizes progressive art makers in the greater Houston region. In 2011, Stokes received a commission from the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts for her collaboration “The Secondary Colors” with composer Bill Ryan. In 2010, Stokes was selected to premiere a new duet at the International Dance Festival Abundance 2010 in Sweden. She is a nine-time recipient of Houston Arts Alliance grants and was co-recipient for the 2008 Buffy Award in Best Evening Length work category (Hometown) for 2003-2008. Stokes choreography has been awarded grants from the Houston Endowment, the Anchorage Foundation, the Clayton Fund, various corporate matching grants, and numerous individual donations. Stokes’ documentary short on “Framing Dance,” received “Editor’s Choice” for best video from Dance Teacher Magazine in September 2010, and her dance for camera video “Gallery Construction 1” received “Editor’s Choice” for best video from Dance Magazine in March 2012. Stokes has also won the Distance Education Teaching Award at University of Houston, the ACHE Teaching Award, and the Ross M. Lence Teaching Award. In Fall 2010, Stokes was promoted to Full Professor at the University of Houston.
Stokes co-founded Travesty Dance Group in 1997, and is now Artistic Director of Karen Stokes Dance. Karen Stokes Dance, a non-profit organization, functions as the producing company for professional projects by Karen Stokes. Further information about the company can be found in the below link.