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Previous Projects

August 2023, Taught classes at Urbanity Dance’s Summer Intensive 

August 2023, Performed as an intern with Alleyne Dance at ImPulsTanz in Vienna, Austria 

July - August 2023, Choreographed The Boy Who Kissed The Sky with Company One Theater 

July 2023, Guest teaching artist with David Dorfman Dance

May 2023, Dancer within Omar produced by Boston Lyric Opera 

March 2023, Movement Direction for Bluebeard’s Castle/Four Songs directed by Anne Bogart produced by Boston Lyric Opera

November 2022, MasterClass at Brown University 

November  2022, Directed and Performed in ALIVE in collaboration with Haris Lefteri

September 2022, Performed in The Telling by Daniel Bernard Roumain

August 2022, Choreographed for Romeo & Juliet produced by Boston Lyric Opera & Commonwealth Shakespeare Company

March 13, 2022 Performed in Thresh & Hold with Marlanda Dekine and Castle of our Skins

November 2021 - March 2022 Head Dance Coach at Middlesex School

January 28, 2022 Performed as Milica "the bride" in Svadba the film directed by Shura Baryshnikov with Boston Lyric Opera

November 1, 2021 Contemporary open class hosted at Urbanity Dance

November 5 - Saturday November 6, 2021 Choreographed In The Space Between show with VLA DANCE

November 8, 2021 Contemporary open class hosted at Urbanity Dance

September 25 - December 18, 2021 Weekly classes with VLA DANCE

September 20 - October 3, 2021 Performed in Cavalleria Rusticana with choreography by Levi Marsman produced by Boston Lyric Opera

August 29 - September 4, 2021 Initiated a new work "Swelling" at The Croft Residency

August 11, 2021 Taught contemporary with  VLA DANCE at the Summer Movement Series

August 9, 2021 Taught open contemporary class hosted at Urbanity Dance 

August 2, 2021 Taught open contemporary class hosted at Urbanity Dance

August, 2021 Performed in a new work by Jenna Pollack at Boston Center for the Arts

June 17 - 25, 2021 In person and virtual premier of my choreography, IN THE SPACE BETWEEN with VLA DANCE

June 6, 2021 Guest teacher at Urbanity Dance

May 7, 2021 VLA DANCE virtual workshop with New Jersey KIPP

February 28, 2021 Guest teacher at Urbanity Dance

February  12, 2021 Taught a Pop-Up Class at MassBay Community College for their black history month celebration.

January 18, 2021 Performing in Harboring at Home: A Virtual Arts Series with Boston Harbor Now at 7:00 PM

January 17, 2021 Performing at "Get to Know David Halbert (Boston City Council) Student Q & A Event."

November 19, 2020 Guest artist with VLA DANCE at Hibernian Hall/Madison Park Development Corporation's Annual Gala.

November - March, 2020 Head Dance Coach at Middlesex School

November 13 - 15, 2020 Performed with VLA DANCE in Black Love produced by Castle of Our Skins, a show that explored themes of self-care, healing, and love through multimedia, spoken word, movement, and music

September - November, 2020 Guest teacher at Salem State

October, 2020 Guest teacher with Hybridmotion Training Program

August 14, 2020 Guest teacher at Urbanity Dance's 2020 summer intensive

August  2 - August 30, 2020 Led a VLA DANCE style warm-up for The Davis Sister's Summer Sunday's with The Sisters, a Variety Show. First showing can be seen here, the second here, and the third here

July 6 - August 12, 2020 Taught Conditioning, Contemporary and Youth Classes with VLA DANCE's Summer Online Movement Series

June 6, 2020 Presented a short dance film, SCRAPE, via Midday Movement Series as a part of the Cambridge Arts Council Stream Festival. The film will also be streamed on CCTV at 8 PM

May 15th, 2020 Performed in Create & Gather, Presented by Sound Hive Collective and Lady BOS Productions, on Friday May 15. 

March 5th, 2020 Performed with VLA DANCE in Art on The Rox: Hibernian Hall's 2020 Season Preview, 6 PM

November 22nd, 2019 Performed with VLA DANCE in a collaboration with Irresponsible Birds Poetry in Urbanity X, 6:30 PM & 8:30 PM

October 25th - 26th, 2019 Performed with Jessy Zizzo Productions and Eliza Malecki in Laugh Track, 8 PM

September 21st, 2019 Performed with VLA DANCE in #HellaBlack

September 15th, 2019 Performed with Toni Lester at Boston Nature Center, 2 PM

August 23rd - 25th, 2019 Performed with VLA DANCE in Bare Velvet, 8 PM

July 31st, 2019 Performed with Ruckus Dance & Dance Complex at The Canal District Kendall Square, 2 PM

June 1st, 2019 Performed with Ruckus Dance at Cambridge, MA River Festival, 12 PM

April 26th -27th, 2019 Performed with VLA DANCE in Sand, 7:30 PM

April 10th, 2019 Performed with Davis Sisters at the MFA, 7 PM

March 25th, 2019 Performed with Heather Stewart at The BDA Gala, 8 PM

March 8th, 2019 Performed with ATTN: Dance by Erin Dimson-Doyle and Molly McLaughlin, 8 PM

January 11th - 12th, 2019 Performed with VLA DANCE in Sand, 7 PM

November 29th - December 1st, 2018 Performed All By Myself by Ruckus Dance, 8 PM

Through movement I aim to inspire people to pause and reflect on their actions towards themselves, their community and their environment. Dance is uniquely positioned to ignite this multi-layered focus through asking participants to be active within a rapidly changing environment through heightened awareness of their physical body, while dancing with others, and navigating shared space. This full bodied mindfulness is often new to those who don’t engage with movement practices and can create a lived embodiment of awe. Further dance class takers, audiences, and alike that are willing to embody change and note it as inspiring, are more likely to be familiar with the discomfort of transformation and subsequently be more willing to fight for change within our families, communities and systems. 

 

Although dance is a large portion of my artist identity I’ve long called myself a multi-hyphenate creator to the point that when I went to college I built my own degree program to focus on Visual and Performing Arts Education. It is with this vantage point I founded and now direct VLA DANCE. Since 2019 we have created shows that are deeply enriched with immersive set design, cinematic lighting, original compositions, and placed in non-traditional “concert dance” spaces. My performances are deepened through advocacy work and educational programming for youth creatives through professional artists. The mission of VLA DANCE: utilizing contemporary dance as a conduit to communal care and building pathways to Freedom, is inspired by the many queer and BIPOC individuals who have led the work in building the world we want to see. 

 

I am committed to utilizing dance to investigate the world around me while also actively analyzing dance practices, especially those of concert dance forms. Contemporary dance has a layered lineage, one that is often tied to aesthetics that highlight harm to the psycho-bio experience, conformity, independence at the expense of collective good, and resources devoted to the few rather than the many. I push back against these norms and remind contemporary dancers of the aesthetics that encourage care of body/mind/community, diversity as key to a healthy community, resource abundance, and individuality that can support the collective. This latter style of contemporary dance is one I’m excited to champion. In the actionable care of my community, I find myself having so much more space to claim ownership of my own body. I work with a diverse group of individuals because it’s important that people of all identities, especially those with more privileges - and perhaps more emotional capacity, create a fiercely inclusive dance community. 

 

As a Queer Black Artist I’m honored to dance. To take up space. To state “I am here, and you will not forget me, you will not forget us.”

"Awkward herself danced a solo toward the end of the first act. Gaze initiated exploration of her spine’s possibilities. On a few occasions, she executed a virtuosic 'wow' moment — falling all the way on to her back from standing, heels raised and never touching while legs smoothly curved into a 'z' sit shape at some point in the air." - Kathryn Boland, Dance Informa

Director Victoria L Awkward

"And then there is Victoria herself. I love hearing what Victoria has to say about her work– especially with regard to themes like persistence through change — and then seeing these notions play out in her real life. Watching her grow as a choreographer and put on more events like this is encouraging and exciting. Whether it’s a show popping up somewhere I wouldn’t expect, or the fact that she is putting art into a world that does not always welcome it." - William Kryjak, Boston Hassle

Victoria is currently a Boston Foundation’s Brother Thomas Fellow, Next Steps Grant recipient and in residence at The Theater Offensive

Yet another striking element includes the work of Victoria L. Awkward, director and choreographer of Alive. Dressed in a pleated earth-tone gown, Awkward’s solo performance illustrates Sima’s significance as a figure of care. Indeed, by crafting a series of movements and gestures that create a language of corporeal lyricism and bodily rhythm, Awkward communicates ideas of guidance that represent Lefteri’s idea that Sima is an anchor and grounding presence for Ayo. Here, Awkward’s roles as director of Alive and VLA DANCE shine as a result of her contemporary dance practice, offering some of the show’s most emotive, heart-felt, and viscerally captivating moments. - Jessica Hernandez, Boston Compass

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Photos by Craig Bailey
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