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Miryam Coppersmith (she/they) is a Philadelphia-based performance artist and educator who aims to create spaces for transformation for her collaborators, audience, and greater community.

Photo: Johanna Austin

Performance& Projects

Miryam creates eclectic performances using movement, speech, and sound coming from her own body and drawing from a variety of trainings.

Through structured improvisation and audience interaction, Miryam's work acknowledges that performance is co-created in real time with an audience. Her performances often explores the tender, embodied, emotion-ful reality of living within our societal systems and the impact of history on the body. Whether explicitly playing with Jewish themes or not, Miryam's work is always deeply rooted in her experience as a queer Ashkenazi Jewish woman born on unceded Lenape land in America.

Mirele Lernt Zich Yiddish, a "one-woman cabal" delves into her reclamation of Yiddish language and dance and the whitening process of Ashkenazi Jewry that squeezed the Yiddish out of her and many others' livesMirele premiered in the 2023 Cannonball Festival where it was hailed a "must-see performance" by The Dance Journal. Mirele will be opening up SoloFest at The Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, NY this March. 

ArtDates, an ongoing project started in 2019, takes Miryam's interest in immediacy and collaboration to its extreme. For each ArtDate, Miryam meets with a new collaborator for 3 hours and they make something from scratch. 

In addition to her own work, Miryam has collaborated with and dance for Vervet Dance, Janna Meiring, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, and others. She was a 2023 Mitsui Collective Kollelnik and a 2020 Get What You Need artist in residence. You can view her full resume here.

teaching & training

Miryam has trained in a variety of performance and social dance techniques and loves to share her work through teaching.

Six Viewpoints
In 2014, Miryam began training in Viewpoints with SITI Company and has continued with Deborah Black, who was a student of the creator of Six Viewpoints, Mary Overlie. Miryam had the privilege of interviewing several of Overlie's collaborators and students in tribute to her legacy for thINKingDANCE. Miryam has taught Six Viewpoints for all ages, including workshops for performers and non-performers.
CONTACT IMPROVISATION
Miryam began her Contact Improvisation training in 2012 under Ann Cooper Albright at Oberlin College in the same studio where Steve Paxton's Magnesium premiered. She has studied with various teachers in America, Germany, Poland, and Israel. Miryam organizes and teaches regular all-levels classes through CI Philly.
Yiddish dance
Miryam has apprenticed with master Yiddish dance teacher Steven Lee Weintraub since 2019. Together, they have created several performances together and taught at the Yiddish New York festival. Miryam teaches Yiddish dance workshops and leads social dancing at concerts, Jewish holidays, simchas/celebrations, and more!
black american social dance
Miryam has been dancing Lindy Hop and Blues since 2011, with deep respect for the improvisation, musicality, and technique she has learned from these forms and the joy they've brought to her dance life. She has taught for Powerhouse Blues for many years, in addition to leading classes in other scenes. Most recently, she placed third in the Mix & Match Competition at Blues Muse!
Jewish education & ritual leading
Miryam has worked as a Jewish educator and ritual leader in a variety of settings and with all ages.
Miryam has been a B'nei Mitzvah tutor and Jewish Educator since 2015, working with Kol Tzedek, Makom Community, Rodeph Shalom, LabShul, and others. She has also served as a ritual leader for Shabbat services and B'nei Mitzvah ceremonies. Miryam loves leading creative, embodied text study and artistic workshops with groups and has done so at PTBAS in New York City, KKBE in Charlottesville, Kesher Israel in West Chester, PA and at the 2019 URJ Biennial in Chicago.
dance writing
Miryam writes performance criticism for thINKingDANCE, serves on their Editorial Board, and as the Operations Manager. She has taught workshops on dance writing and criticism for thINKingDANCE, Rowan University, Theatre Philadelphia, and the Cannonball Festival.
 
 
Interested in bringing me in for a performance, workshop, class or event?
Please get in touch with me over email. I would love to plan a unique event with your community!

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