About the Choreographer

Robert Bettmann is the choreographer of Quis Custodiet, and the founder of Bettmann Dances, and the non-profit Day Eight.

He attended Oberlin College and received his BA in Environmental Studies in 1997. As a sophomore he received an A. W. Mellon Foundation grant to complete research in ecological design, and between his sophomore and junior year he spent a year working in Washington, D.C. – first as an intern for the Inter-American Dialogue, and subsequently as a research assistant for the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environment and Security Program. After graduation from Oberlin Mr. Bettmann spent a year on scholarship at the Alvin Ailey School in New York City before joining W.W. Norton as an Editorial Assistant for Science books. In 1998 and 1999 he danced for Sudden Enlightment Theater, a fusion contemporary/traditional Korean dance company for which he performed traditional bara dances.

Mr. Bettmann received a Fellowship to pursue his Masters in Dance at American University in 2002, receiving his MA in 2004. He was awarded Young Emerging Artist grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for his choreography in 2002 and 2004. In addition to his own projects, Mr. Bettmann has danced for: Maida Withers Dance Construction Company, Alexandria Ballet, Jane Franklin and others. As a choreographer his work has been presented at the Dance Complex (Boston), Dance New Amsterdam (NYC), Gallapagos Artspace (Brooklyn), SUNYPurchase (Doug Varone Intensive), Washington Ballet Studios (D.C.), Jack Guidone Theater (D.C.), and The Ark at the American Dance Festival (North Carolina.)

In 2005 he founded the arts magazine Bourgeon, and continues as Managing Editor. His writing has been featured in: Somatics, Contact Quarterly, Bilerico, Ovationtv.com, Dance Enthusiast, the Mid-Atlantic Almanac, and Bourgeon. As a scholar he publishes on the history of the human body and the history of Ballet. Since 2007 Mr. Bettmann has served as the Chair of the DC Advocates for the Arts. He is the author of the book Somatic Ecology: Somatics, Nature, Humanity and the Human Body (2009, Verlag), and is a leading thinker connecting dance and environmentalism. He has an abiding interest in technology and the cultural evolutions driven by changes in publishing; he designs websites for businesses, and in 2011 was a #DCWeek Fellow. In 2011-2012 he is a Jeremiah Fellow with Jews United for Justice.

To learn more about the dance company Bettmann Dances, click through and become a fan on facebook. Here’s an excerpt from the review of the company’s first evening length show, which premiered in July, 2009:

“Somewhere over Washington, D.C. this week Dylan Thomas is smiling. Robert Bettmann took Thomas’s film script, The Doctor and the Devils, and churned it with his creative sensibility until the cream rose to the top. Skimming off the lyricism he created a new work, “All Good Men”… It is truly a jewel and a tribute to the commonalities between poetry, literature and dance…. Bettmann has created a work of art that establishes his ability to mine gold out of our literary vaults and craft his discoveries into complex and beautiful pieces… Its a work that serves as an example of artistic craftsmanship and one that should inspire writers and poets to think of their work in terms of dance.”