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Deborah Riley interview, 2020-06-04

Identifier: dcpl_dcohc021

Scope and Contents

Director Emerita of Dance Place Deborah Riley reflects on her life and leading Dance Place, the organizing host of DanceAfrica, DC. Riley talks about her career as a professional choreographer, performer, and teacher and how her love for dance fuels all she does. Riley describes the magic of DanceAfrica, DC and its importance to the community. Riley also discusses her legacy and what she hopes to see continue in the dance field post COVID-19 as Dance Place celebrates its 40-year history as a dance presenter and school for dance in Ward 5’s Brookland/Edgewood neighborhood.


  • Creation: 2020-06-04


Biographical / Historical

Born in 1950 in East Cleveland, Ohio, Deborah Riley is a life-long dance artist and more recent practitioner of Laban Movement Analysis, the basis for teaching movement arts to people of all ages and abilities. As a touring artist and educator, she has performed throughout Europe and the US as well as choreographing over 40 original works for her company, Deborah Riley Dance Projects. She was an artist-in-residence at Dance Place from 1988-2017 and retired as Co-Director in 2017. In addition to many prestigious awards and accolades, she was honored in 2016 with the Pola Nirenska Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance.


From the Collection: 1.13 Terabytes

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001