This Is Albuquerque: Keshet

From Contemporary Dance To Community Change Maker... 20 Years And Counting

3 min read
(Pat Berrett)
Share ::

What started as nine students learning from Keshet Dance Company dancers in 1996 has grown with the mission to inspire and unite community by fostering unlimited possibilities through dance, mentorship and a creative space for the arts.

What is contemporary dance?

Aesthetically—contemporary dance is an art form that deconstructs the rules of symmetry associated with ballet; redefines the floor as a space for the whole body to engage with, beyond the feet; explores and expands the use of gravity, balance and imbalance. Philosophically and socially, contemporary dance is just that—contemporary—reflective of our current times.

What is a contemporary repertory dance company?

A company of professional artists who create and perform a scope of dance works: the repertory. Keshet Dance Company is Albuquerque’s longest running contemporary repertory dance company; one of only 6% of professional dance companies nationally to pay dancers a full-time salary. Keshet Dance Company’s repertory is comprised of dance works created by Artistic Director Shira Greenberg in addition to work by choreographers from around the world. This work is then performed locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Keshet’s repertory dancers are committed to the development of their art while equally invested in the contemporary application of their art through community engagement and mentorship. As is Keshet’s model, the artistic staff are active mentors for community dancers of all ages and abilities, while connecting and collaborating with artists in local and global communities.

Dance Education for ALL

Keshet’s Education and Outreach programming cultivates personal growth and technical excellence by mentoring, challenging and empowering students through the experience of dance in an inclusive and nurturing environment.

Providing community dance classes in ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, creative movement and Adaptive Dance, as well as fitness classes, Keshet reaches over 1,000 students each year, and approximately 50% of students utilize Keshet’s scholarship programs for dance classes. These scholarship programs include unlimited noncompetitive scholarships for youth and an adult Work/Study program.

For the past 10 years, Keshet’s Pre-Professional Program (KP3) has provided a comprehensive training curriculum for dancers ages 8-18 who are committed to intensive dance training or planning to pursue a professional dance career. The KP3 program combines rigorous training in contemporary, ballet, jazz, hip hop and pointe to create well-rounded and versatile dancers who are also leaders and mentors.

Engaging with the community where they are

For the past two decades, Keshet has partnered with New Mexico’s Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD) teaching incarcerated youth life skills and academics through the medium of dance. Together with APS Title 1 Homeless Project Partnership, Keshet continues to offer after-school dance programming for homeless youth.

Embracing ALL Artists…Don’t Starve. Make Art.

In 2013, Keshet launched the Keshet Ideas and Innovation Center (KIIC) to support New Mexico arts entrepreneurs on their path of sustainability, championing the value of the artist and the arts economy through multiple tracks of programming including arts business workshops, mentorship and support with national partnerships such as Fractured Atlas.

A Creative Community Space

In August 2013, Keshet opened the Keshet Center for the Arts, located at 4121 Cutler Ave NE, home to Keshet Dance Company, Keshet’s education and outreach programming, KIIC and KIIC tenants including Siren 13 Media, First Eye Films, Mother Road Theatre Company and TIASO Artist Cooperative. Keshet Center for the Arts educates, entertains and engages the community; housing and uniting the arts, the artist and the audience.


Susie Greenberg




1 2 3 13