ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CO-FOUNDER
Melisa Putz Clark is a dancer, choreographer and educator based in Philadelphia, PA. She is co-founder and artistic director of PIMA Group, a non-profit dance and music performance company founded in 2001 (www.pimagroup.org). She received dance training through the Professional Training Program at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio in New York City and received a full dance scholarship to attend the Strictly Seattle Dance Intensive in Seattle, WA. Notable teachers include choreographer Anouk Van Dijk (Amsterdam/Melbourne) and Jeanine Durning (NYC). She has studied Brain-Compatible Dance Education with Anne Green Gilbert and the Kestenberg Movement Profile with Suzanne Hastie. Melisa is a certified yoga instructor through the Yoga Alliance and Child Light Yoga. She recently earned her MFA Degree in Dance/Choreography at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
As a dance educator, she has presented as a panelist at the National Dance Education Organization 2012 conference The Cultured Teacher: Exploring Possibilities from a Practitioner’s Perspective as well as the Fall 2014 conference to present Collaboration in Development: Listen, Witness, Observe sharing my developmental movement research and observations of her infant daughter and its influence on her creative and teaching work.
She has been awarded a Leeway Foundation Grant Award (2002), a Rocky Dance Award (2003), Temple University Space Grant (2002 & 2004), Professional Development Grant Awards from Dance Advance (2004, 2007, 2009), and selection for the Susan Hess Choreographer’s Project (2004-2005). She has been Dance Artist-In-Residence at the Community Education Center in Philadelphia (2006-2007) and The Historic Powel House in Philadelphia through Bowerbird and the Philadelphia Society for Preservation of Landmarks (2007-2008). Melisa was a member of Mascher Space Dance Co-op in Philadelphia (2008-2009) and Team Office, a cooperative management support system with funding support from Dance Advance, an initiative of the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage (2008-2009). She has received funding from the Puffin Foundation, Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Project Stream, and the New Stages Fund from Dance/USA Philadelphia (2010).
PIMA Group has performed at venues nationally and internationally including the Painted Bride Art Center, the Performance Garage, Powel House Museum, Vox Populi Gallery, Mobius, The Cunningham Dance Studio, Joyce SOHO, 92nd St. Y, The Red Room, Mobius and Bucharest National Dance Center, among others.