Aviva Geismar - Department of Health, Physical Education, and Dance

Aviva Geismar - Department of Health, Physical Education, and Dance

Professor Aviva Geismar
Title: Assistant Professor
Office : RFK room 216
Telephone: 718- 281-5276
Email: Ageismar@qcc.cuny.edu

BFA: New York University, Tisch School of the Arts
MFA: University of Wisonsin-MIlwaukee   

Classes taught:
Intermediate Modern Dance
Intermediate Ballet
Advanced Beginning Modern Dance
Advanced Beginning Ballet
Beginning Modern Dance
Beginning Ballet
Jazz dance
Dance Workshop

Teaching Philosophy:
My goal is to help students build the creative and technical tools that they need to shape their own artistic voices. As I work toward this goal, I candidly share my own values and interests. My joy in moving, my fascination with the body, my appreciation of the role of dance in the broader culture, my dedication to technical training and my inquiry into the choreographic process all come into play, I consider the dance studio a place for creative partnership between students and educators. I too am growing and evolving, and I often gain new insights in reexamining the elements of dance with my students.

The skills and sense of self that students develop in my classroom will serve them in all their future pursuits, artistic or non-artistic. Through the practice of technique, composition or as they prepare for a performance, they learn about ongoing commitment to a process and build self-esteem. Through written and verbal analysis of dance they strengthen their abilities to observe and communicate and develop sensitivity to the diverse expressive voices in the world around them.

Research Interest:
Aviva is the director of the New York City-based modern dance company, Drastic Action. Her choreography has been performed throughout the US and Germany. Her highly theatrical works are grounded in a full-bodied physicality. They are inspired by the nuances and paradoxes of human nature. Some of her works explore conflicting internal impulses, the clash between the individual and society or social systems gone awry. Tom Strini of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote in 2006 "Geismar's dead-on understanding of social realities is like a poke in the ribs.... In life and in Geismar's dances tragedy and comedy can be hard to sort out."

Geismar’s choreography has been performed for over 25 years at at such nationally and internationally prominent venues as:
Inside/Out at Jacob’s Pillow (Becket, MA)
The Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center (DC)
Symphony Space (NYC)
Merkin Concert Hall (NYC)
Dance Place, (DC)
Danceworks (Milwaukee)
University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)
Brown University (Providence, RI)
Dance New Amsterdam (NYC)
Dance Theater Workshop (NYC)
Studio 303 (Montreal)
Willhelma Theater (Stuttgart, Germany)
City Theater (Freiburg, Germany)
Haus der Berliner Festspiele (Berlin, Germany)

Academic and Professional Organizations

Geismar has received grants to develop her choreography from:
The Bossak/Heilbrin Charitable Foundation
The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
Dance Theater Workshop’s Outerspace residency
The Puffin Foundation

She has been an artist in residence at:
HERE Arts Center
The Djerassi Resident Artists

Her dances have been commissioned by:
Dance New Amsterdam
Dancing in the Streets
The University of Maryland
Rutgers University
James Madison University
Thomson and Trammel
Fernando Maneca


Geismar is a licensed Massage therapist and a certified GYROTONIC and GYROKINESIS instructor.

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art Gallery

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.