Joanie Smith and Danial Shapiro founded Shapiro & Smith Dance in 1987 and developed a collaborative method through which they created their work, taking turns developing material and directing the choreographic process. Danial Shapiro died in the Fall of 2006 and now Joanie Smith serves as sole Choreographer and is honing that process in new ways with the members of Shapiro & Smith Dance.
Shapiro & Smith’s choreography has been commissioned by companies as diverse as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Phoenix Dance Company of Leeds, UK; and the PACT Dance Company of Pretoria, South Africa. The Company has toured all over the U.S. and abroad including four times at The Joyce Theater in New York City. Over 600 dancers in professional and university dance companies have performed, “To Have And To Hold,” aka, “Bench,” and S&S’s production of ANYTOWN, with music by Bruce Springsteen, has had more than 40 performances across the U.S.
Joanie Smith and Shapiro & Smith Dance have received continued support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation, and The Target Foundation. S&S received a Sage Award in 2012 for “Outstanding Performance.”
Smith was recognized as an “Artist Of The Year,” in 2011 by City Pages, Minneapolis, and was named a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Dance to Helsinki, Finland. Smith holds the Barbara Barker Endowed Chair in Dance at the University of Minnesota, an MA in Dance from UCLA, and toured the world in the companies of Murray Louis and Alwin Nikolais before founding Shapiro & Smith Dance.