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Artist Bio

Alia Simon Montijo is an accomplished performer and creator based in Chicago, Illinois, with international recognition. She holds a BFA in Dance and Arts Administration from The Ohio State University, where she studied under esteemed figures such as Bebe Miller, Ming-Lung Yang (Trisha Brown Dance Company), and Susan Dromisky (BalletMet Columbus). Alia received scholarships to the American Dance Festival's summer and winter intensives during her undergraduate years, where she worked with renowned choreographers like David Dorfman, John Jasperse, and Neta Pulvermacher.

In April 2020, Alia achieved a summa cum laude MFA in Choreography from Jacksonville University. Her thesis focused on exploring potential correlations between subatomic behavior and social choreographies, with an emphasis on the indeterminate nature of electrons shaping movement habits in dancing and observing bodies.

Alia's professional journey began with Eisenhower Dance Detroit, followed by her contributions to Chicago's dance scene with Inaside Chicago Dance, the Joel Hall Dancers, and as a guest artist with Thodos Dance Chicago. She has danced in phenomenal works by notable choreographers like Doug Varone, Eddy O’Campo, Elijah Gibson, Joel Hall, Kiesha Lalama-White, Larry Keigwin, and Laurie Eisenhower, and has been involved in diverse projects including the dance film "Stormy Weather Rhapsody" by Jesse Charbonier and installation productions like "Wake Up! Waltz" and "Hear/Here," a collaboration with visual artist Nick Cave.

Alia's accomplishments include winning 'Best in Live Performance' at the Venice International Arts Festival in 2019 for her work "Painting Dance," an exploration challenging the ephemerality of movement. In 2020, she created and produced the acclaimed dance film "The Blood Harvest," addressing injustices against the Black American community. Alia has also been engaged in the restaging of historical works by Charles Weidman and The Humphrey-Weidman Company under the guidance of Anne Marie Loesch.

From September 2015 to June 2018, Alia served as the Artistic Director and resident choreographer of Noumenon Dance Ensemble (NDE), a Chicago-based repertoire company. Under her leadership, NDE became an exclusively female organization, committed to employing women and minorities as choreographers, dancers, and production staff. Alia has set five original works on NDE, gaining recognition from prestigious events like New York City Dance Week, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, and Spring to Dance in St. Louis.

In 2017, Alia founded Dance Avondale, a dance school in partnership with the Chicago Park District. The school's mission is to provide top-quality dance education accessible to all students, prioritizing financial accessibility and cultural sensitivity. Through Dance Avondale, Alia aims to foster a supportive and creative community. Her dedication to dance and community has earned her notable recognitions, including 3rd Place in the Denman Undergraduate Forum for her research on the impact of after-school dance programming in under-served socio-economic neighborhoods, the Career Development Grant from the American Association of University Women, a nomination for the 2020 Young Alumni Achievement Award from The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences, and in 2023 the prestigious Individual Artist Program presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for her choreographic piece called "The Third Culture."

In the fall of 2023, Alia will join the faculty at Loyola University Chicago as a part-time professor in Ballet, furthering her commitment to dance education and sharing her expertise with students. For a more in-depth look at Alia's work, visit the Professional Portfolio section on her website.





Alia Simon Montijo

Photo capture: Danny Howard

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