Amy Diane Morrow
Amy Diane Morrow (she/they) is an Austin based artist-citizen, teacher, dance-maker, consultant, tiny-home owner, producer, and life-long learner. She found a home for her projects under the non-profit Fisterra, where she was invited to become Artistic Director in 2019 and Executive Director in 2020. Known as the edge of the earth, Fisterra uses art and technology to face the unknown with optimism and belong more deeply to ourselves and the people and places that made us who we are. Projects are led by a cohort of polymaths of both emerging/established housed/unhoused artists.
Photo © Rino Pizzi
Morrow directs Fisterra’s XYZ Atlas placemaking project, founded by collaborator Jennifer Chenoweth. The XYZ Atlas asks “where do you feel a sense of belonging?’ and utilizes art, VR, AR, and GIS technologies to create hedonic maps of cities. In 2022, the project was nominated by Austin Mayor, Steve Adler, NEA Our Town. Morrow has helped Chenoweth present iterations of project sponsored by Southwest Airlines, Downtown Austin Alliance, Texas A&M, and Niantic & McKnight Foundation's inaugural Augmenting Cities Conference at the Oakland Museum of California.
Her journey began at the age of eight when she trained on scholarship at North Central School of Ballet. Eight years later, she performed as a guest artist for Regional Dance America at the International Ballet Competition. The same year, she received the Nikolais/Louis Legacy Workshop scholarship from Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company to train directly under Murray Louis and company alumni. In 2010, Morrow completed her B.F.A. Dance with honors. Her thesis used grounded theory and field work to “Re-contextualize Dance Cross-Culturally” and was guided by the mentorship of Jesse Zaritt and Caleb Mitchell. The project connected her to communities across the deep South, Berlin, India, and Israel/Palestine and continues to influence her research and practice today. She was awarded the 2017 Austin Critic’s Table Award for Best Dance, Dance Council of North Texas Artful Dance, Austin Emerging Arts Leadership, Community Initiatives, CORE, & Capacity Building funding from the Austin Cultural Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and Mid-America Arts Alliance.
Since 2013, Morrow produced 80+ professional TBX [ Toolbox ] residencies to provide professional development with internationally lauded artists. Presenting partners have included The University of Texas, Texas Performing Arts Center, Tapestry Dance Company, and Wood Haven ATX. Movement research includes Gaga, CounterTechnique®, Fighting Monkey®, Repertoire with Black Grace and visual artist Olaniyi Akindiya Akirash, Multi-media Labs with Jason Akira Somma, Jamal Hussein, as well as eight residencies with the legendary Deborah Hay. Morrow facilitated screenings of Hay’s project Down to Raw in London, Austria, Melbourne, and Singapore. The videos are now part of the archives at the University of Texas Ransom Center.
Morrow is a veteran teacher of the movement language, Gaga. Trained and certified in 2012 by Ohad Naharin, Morrow guides workshops internationally. She has taught Ballet, Improvisation, and Gaga on faculty at UT Austin, and consulted Dallas ISD Booker T. Washington (BTWHSPVA) faculty on student engagement through improvisation and folk dance. Teachings invitations include Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance, Arts Umbrella, Addo Platform, Compañía Nacional de Danza, Foramen, ConArte Festival, Esquela Nacional de Danza, and Foramen, American Dance Festival, American College Dance Festival Association, Alabama Dance Festival, and The Dance Gallery, workshops for The Seldoms, New Dialect, Keshet Center for the Arts, and master classes at the National Dance Institute, LINES Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Center, Movement Invention Project at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Chapman, Vassar, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, University of South Florida, Texas Women’s University, California State University Fullerton, University of Maryland at College Park, University of California Berkeley, University of Houston, Sam Houston State University, University of Washington, University of New Mexico, Colorado University Boulder, Spellman College, & Emory University.
In 2015, Morrow established The Theorists, a nexus for multi-disciplinary international artists to train, collaborate, perform, and ask “What if?” Collaborators come from diverse backgrounds from physics to psychology, geology, and technology with ages ranging from 14 to 94 and movers of mixed abilities. They hail from México, Guatemala, Brazil, Columbia, Richmond, Korea, NYC, India, The Middle East, and deep in the heart of Texas. Their collaborations have been shared extensively across the Southwest, México, and from New York to Delhi. Through Fisterra, Theorists were artists in residency at the ESB-Mexican American Center 2019-22 and George Washington Carver Museum 2023/24. Morrow was invited to attend International Exposure TLV in 2018 and 2020 as a presenter for The Theorists. Their annual festival, Theorist Fest has featured 150+ artists from across five countries featuring Ido Tadmor (Israeli Ballet), Ballet Hartford, tap dancer Matthew Shields, mixed media artist Topher Sipes, Manuelle Vignoulle, and Princess Grace Awardee Maleek Washington. In 2022, the festival was reimagined as REST Fest with co-curator and unhoused art activist, Denver Gonzales. Together they produced a four-day multi-disciplinary festival of dance, mixed media art, live music, and comedy improv all centering rest as a revolutionary art of solidarity.
The Theorists were invited to be immersive performers for Meow Wolf’s Austin debut during SXSW 2018 and co-hosted interactive performances for Live Action Set and The Deep Dive Immersive Theater at the Historic Wooldridge Square. With a passion for interactive installations, Morrow has performed site-specific work in Austin on Congress Avenue, at City Hall, Barton Green Belt, in living rooms, rooftops, kitchens, cemeteries, lawns, garden beds, and trees. For traditional theaters, Morrow was commissioned to choreograph world premieres for Ballet Dallas, Detroit Dance City Festival Gala, The Bell House, and Avant Chamber Ballet in collaboration with the Dallas Symphony, three for McCallum Fine Arts, and two for Wanderlust Dance Project in both Dallas and Houston.
“Carry On” received the DDCF Artist Exchange award to perform at both Dumbo Dance Festival & the DDCF 2017 Gala. Nancy Wozny selected “The Lady of” portrait as one of Texas Arts & Culture’s standouts for the 2015 season, “a sassy mix of precision & abandon, something we rarely see on contemporary dance stages.” The Dance Dish raved the performance as an autobiographical breath of fresh air. “It was her authenticity that held me; real people & real stories are captivating.” Hireath’s “spine-tingling finale” (Dallas Morning News) premiered July 2016 at the Majestic Theater reviewed as a “delightful mess…ends brilliantly with all 55 dancers” (Theater Jones). It has since remounted at Gelsey Kirland Arts Center in Brooklyn and The Dance Foundation in Birmingham. Avant Chamber Ballet commissioned her for the inaugural Women’s Choreographic Voices series, debuting String Theory in collaboration with Dallas Symphony members. It was noted as “the most emotional work, making clever use of the title prop (Dallas Morning News) & “magic…making the biggest splash…seldom do we see a work so fascinating” (Theater Jones). It has since toured the Performing Arts Centers for Tulsa, Austin, and Dallas, Tulsa Ballet’s Studio K, Zilker Hillside Theater, Fort Worth Modern Museum, Barnstorm Dance Festival, Dallas Performing Arts Center, & Grace Street Theater in Richmond.
In 2018, Morrow launched Theorist Practicum as an exchange mentorship for artistic ambassadors from Texas and México to collaborate on workshops and performances across borders. During the Inaugural Season recipients of the FONCA Creadores Escenicos Grant in México nurtured deep relationships during 12 workshops, 15 master classes, 9 performances, and 4 festivals in Austin, Tel Aviv, CDMX, Cuernavaca, Monterrey, Chihuahua, Vera Cruz, Puebla, Hermosillo, Dallas, San Antonio, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Seattle, and Vancouver.