About

photo by Ros Kavanagh

photo by Ros Kavanagh

brooke smiley

brooke smiley is an indigenous artist and dance maker living in California. Her work engages a deepening of awareness in the body, with a dedicated practice of movement research in educational, choreographic, sculptural, and healing capacities. An advocate for Other, brooke supports choice, agency and freedom in the body, promoting diversity in community. With a strong background in earth architecture and indigenous justice, brooke held dances at Standing Rock, and returns to researching the role of women in ceremonial dances at the Osage Nation this Spring. She works as a freelance artist and educator, currently teaching at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). brooke is awarded a Masters of Arts in Performance Studies with Distinction from TrinityLaban in London, receiving a full Leverhulme Trust scholarship. Her dissertation, and improvisational research is published in London and Dance Research Forum Ireland (DRFI). brooke toured extensively in Europe and Australia creating and performing new work with Fabulous Beast Dance Theater of Ireland, Ventura Dance Company of Zurich, and Michael Clark Company of London, working in two residencies at the Tate Modern. Her choreography has premiered at Sadlers Wells Lilian Bayliss Theater, REDCAT, and Highways Performance Space, with residencies and solo shows at centre d’ art de passarelle, ritual and research, and sea and space explorations. brooke earned her BFA from CalArts, and was an arts representative to the board of directors. She is a graduate and long term apprentice of California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture (CalEarth), and has experience building earth domes for the Tarahumara women in Guachochi, Mexico, sculptural play gardens for the Festival of the World Exhibition on the Southbank, London, and was featured on an episode of HGTV. Her newest work Permission to Heal, a Superadobe lifesize Venus of Willendorf was made in situ downtown State Street, Santa Barbara as part of the 2018 State of the Art Gallery Exhibition, and was built with people recovering from addiction at Recovery Ranch, people living without homes, children, women, and her mother. Recently she worked with Anna Halprin to lead two reconstructions of her seminal protest piece “The Paper Dance" with performances at UCSB, TrinityLaban, Hunter College, and Memorial Union in Madison. Concurrently she worked with Simone Forti and led “Huddle,” with performances at UCSB, New York Public Library, and CalEarth.  brooke is a graduate of the Somatic Movement Educator program from Body Mind Centering® and is currently training as a therapist and practitioner (RSMT).