Vanessa Nowitzky is the innovator of singdancing. She has composed and choreographed several works for singdancing ensembles, and performed both original singdances and classical songs on trapeze and her infinity ring, which she designed. Growing up with Renaissance musician parents gave her a solid ear for a cappella music, and her actor certificate training at the Pacific Conservatory for Performing Arts (PCPA) taught her storytelling and the power of intention.
Vanessa also studied music and dance at SOU in Ashland and Cornish College in Seattle, and in 2000 she earned her BFA in music (emphasis composition) from CalArts (California Institute of the Arts, Valencia), where she studied music composition and Icelandic folk song with Lucky Mosko. In her hometown Ashland, Oregon, she learned dance with Suzee Grilley and performed five seasons with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Before devoting herself to the development of singdancing, Vanessa performed in many plays and musicals, and wrote two original musicals and several choral pieces, including a composition for a poem by Icelandic artist Thorvaldur Thorsteinsson, which was played on the radio in Reykjavík.
Winning the Alden B. Dow Creativity Fellowship in 2005 enabled Nowitzky to compose and choreograph “Rosary”, a singdancing quintet which she presented the following year at Ballet Rogue’s 22nd Annual “Ballet in the Park” in Ashland. She also created “The Creek”, a singdance solo which she performed frequently to raise awareness of the need to preserve Ashland’s watershed and the purity of drinking water. Learning aerial arts from Peggy Paver empowered Vanessa to compose and perform the trapeze madrigal “Emerging Light” in collaboration with Peggy as choreographer. In 2009 Vanessa was commissioned by Hollywood producer Fred Caruso to cowrite a third musical, for animation, The Rainforest (awaiting production). In 2012 she translated, stage-directed and sang soprano in Bach’s Peasant Cantata for Jefferson Baroque Orchestra. By some hilarious twist of fate in 2015, she played Lord Edgar and Jane in The Mystery of Irma Vep at the Randall Theatre.
Vanessa enjoys a 95-100% raw vegan diet, to save animals, her health, and the planet. All her feats of strength are plant-based! She chooses to live in the small town of Ashland, Oregon, where she revels in trees, bodies of water, and viriditas (the greening power of nature).
photo by David Baldwin