Marjani Forté-Saunders

Lecturer in Acting

Marjani Fortè-Saunders is a native of Los Angeles and a resident of Harlem. A recipient of the 2014 Princess Grace Award for her work as a choreographer, she traveled for five years as a performer with Urban Bush Women Dance Company and is co-founder of LOVE|FORTÈ A COLLECTIVE []. In New York, her choreography has been presented at Dance Theatre Workshop, Danspace Project/St. Marks Church, Movement Research at Judson Church, Harlem Stage, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Hunter College, and more recently at Queensborough College as a recipient of the CUNY Dance Initiative Residency. Nationally, her work has been performed at The Pillsbury Theatre (Minneapolis), Spelman College (Atlanta), Pomona College (CA), Princeton University (NJ), Mckenna Museum (New Orleans), and the Kelly Strayhorn Theatre (Pittsburgh). In August 2016, she will premiere new work with the urban Latin dance theatre CONTRA TIEMPO at the Ford Theatre (Los Angeles). As an extension of her choreography, Fortè-Saunders recently curated a three-month exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art in Brooklyn, NY: being Here… in Memory presented the work of installation, visual, media, and sound design artists and partnered with local organizations offering workshops in creative writing, self-care, and youth empowerment. Fortè-Saunders also created Here…: a trilogy of dance works that examined the intersections of mental illness, addiction and systemic poverty. The final section of the trilogybeing Here…/this time—was chosen for a Director’s Choice Dance In Process Residency and premiered at the new Gibney Dance/Agnes Varis Performance Lab in New York to sold out audiences in May 2015, and is currently on tour. Marjani has taught master classes and workshops for American Dance Festival both here and in China, and she has served as a Guest Lecturer/Choreographer at Hunter College and Princeton University. She is also a member of Urban Bush Women’s BOLD Teaching Network, offering UBWs unique approach to dance training and community engagement. She received her BA in Marketing and Dance from Loyola Marymount University.