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Ellen Forman Memorial Award Presented to Choreographer Kareem Goodwin

June 13, 2023

The Ellen Forman Memorial Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation and Drexel University announce choreographer Kareem Goodwin as the 2023 Ellen Forman Memorial Fund Award winner. Goodwin will receive a $2,500 cash award and will have his proposed piece Treading Water performed by Drexel Dance Ensemble at their Winter performance in the Mandell Theater. The award honors Ellen Forman, who was a dancer, choreographer, and educator for over twenty years in the Philadelphia area.

Goodwin obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Jazz Dance from the University of the Arts in 2011 and received the Choreographic Excellence Award during his studies. Goodwin is currently working as a choreographer and Second Company Director for Grace Dance Theater of Philadelphia as well as a Resident Choreographer for Dissonance Dance Theatre in Washington D.C.

“I am determined to build a strong visual statement that speaks to the audience through the emotion behind the story of the work, but also puzzles them by way of the quirky movement and transitions. I want to create a shared world in the space of movement, where we stumble upon something together, and find each other through the language of the body,” notes Goodwin on his hopes for the anticipated production.

Goodwin’s performance is titled Treading Water and honors his late teacher and mentor, Faye B. Snow. Snow is credited with being one of the pioneers of the Lester Horton Technique and was an integral part of the Philadelphia Dance community up until her retirement as a result of her dementia diagnosis. Snow sadly passed away in 2017, leaving an incredible legacy in Philadelphia and beyond.

Goodwin discussed the impact Snow had on others and how she inspired Treading Water: “It was difficult for those of us who were close to her to grapple with her condition and new situation and her ultimate passing. We were a community of grief and support, brought together by this beautiful woman. This work is dedicated to Faye. She had a hard situation and at the end I wanted to give her memory--her spirit-- peace; something I believe that she always wanted to convey in her teaching and her choreographic works.”

Goodwin received the award on June 2, 2023 at the conclusion of Sites of Dance, Drexel University’s Dance Ensemble and FreshDance site-specific performance throughout Drexel’s campus.

Learn more about the Ellen Forman Award here.