Alia Simon Montijo is an internationally recognized performer and creator based in Chicago, Illinois. She earned her BFA from The Ohio State University in Dance and Arts Administration with a minor in Women’s Studies. While at OSU, she studied dance with Bebe Miller, Ming-Lung Yang of the Trisha Brown Dance Company and Susan Dromisky of BalletMet Columbus. As an undergraduate, Alia received scholarships to the American Dance Festival summer and winter intensives and performed with award-winning choreographers, David Dorfman, John Jasperse and Neta Pulvermacher. In April, 2020 Alia earned her MFA in Choreography from Jacksonville University, summa cum laude curtesy of an esteemed Career Development Grant from the American Association of University Women. There, Alia produced a thesis based on the possible correlations between subatomic behavior and social choreographies with emphasis on the indeterminate characteristic of the electron to shape movement habits of dancing and observing bodies.
Alia began her professional career with Eisenhower Dance Detroit and has continued her career in Chicago with Inaside Chicago Dance, the Joel Hall Dancers and as a project-based guest-artist with Thodos Dance Chicago. She has worked with choreographers, Doug Varone, Eddy O’Campo, Elijah Gibson, Joel Hall, Kiesha Lalama-White, Larry Keigwin and Laurie Eisenhower among others. Alia has participated in projects like the dance film Stormy Weather Rhapsody, by Jesse Charbonier, and installation productions: Wake Up! Waltz, and Hear/Here a collaborative project with Nick Cave, Visual Artist. In 2019 Alia performed at the Venice International Arts Festival, Painting Dance an exploration that challenges the ephemerality of movement where she was awarded ‘Best in Live Performance.’ In 2020, Alia created and produced the dance film, The Blood Harvest created in response to the perpetual injustices committed against the Black American community that has been received to acclaim by domestic and international film festivals. Most recently, Alia has been involved in the restaging of two historical works by Charles Weidman and The Humphrey-Weidman Company under the tutelage of Anne Marie Loesch.
From September 2015 - June 2018 Alia was Artistic Director and resident choreographer of Chicago based repertoire company, Noumenon Dance Ensemble (NDE). Under her leadership, NDE became an exclusively female organization, committed to exclusively employing women and minorities as: choreographers, dancers and production staff. Since 2015, Alia has set 5 original works on NDE that have earned recognition from New York City Dance Week, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Spring to Dance in St. Louis and have been showcased at Dance Chicago, self-produced evening-length dance concerts, and other regional dance festivals.
In 2017, Alia established Dance Avondale a dance school partnered with the Chicago Park District with the mission to provide the highest quality of dance education available to all interested students based on financial accessibility and cultural sensitivity. Through Dance Avondale, Alia hopes to build community by creating an insulated environment of creativity, engagement and support. Based on her commitment to dance and community, Alia has earned 3rd Place in the Denman Undergraduate Forum for her research on the impact of after-school dance programming for high school students in under-served socio-economic neighborhoods and most recently a nomination for the 2020 Young Alumni Achievement Award from The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences.
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