Nicole Klaymoon



Nicole Klaymoon

Klaymoon is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Embodiment Project. Klaymoon is currently a resident choreographer at the ODC Theater a recipient of Gerbode and Hewlett Foundation’s Commissioning Choreographer’s Award and the Headlands Center for the Arts’  Artist in Residence program award. She has collaborated with G.R.A.C.E. Africa (Grassroots Alliance for Community Education) an NGO in Nairobi, Kenya, to use street dance and poetry to raise awareness around sexual health and the stigmatization of the HIV/AIDS.

As a solo performer, Klaymoon created the dance theater production, Sixth Vowel, which toured nationally and was choreographed by Rennie Harris and directed by Kamilah Forbes of the New York City Hip Hop Theatre Festival. Miami New Times art critic Chuck Strouse wrote “Nicole Klaymoon’s Sixth Vowel was THE BEST small theatrical production I have seen in this city in a decade.”

Klaymoon has worked as a guest choreographer and arts educator in over thirty schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Klaymoon teaches at the University of San Francisco, Dance Mission Theater, Destiny Arts Center, Marin Academy High School, as well as the ODC Dance School. She received a B.A. in Dance from UCLA and an M.F.A. from the California Institute of Integral Studies.  Klaymoon is passionate about community organizing, Hip-Hop Feminism, humanizing education, and using dance as moral action.


Artist Statement

In my analysis of the ways that dance can ‘speak’ and language can ‘move’, I have learned that bodies are walking vessels of history.  I draw not only from the physicality of each dancer, but also the complexity of their identity and the invisible stories that their bodies carry.  My work uses street dance traditions (i.e., popping, waacking, classic hip-hop, house, and bgirling/bboying), places them squarely in the context of concert dance, and subverts traditionally masculine modalities by exploring trauma, healing, race, womanist histories, and gender role dissolution. My choreographic works are rooted in a reverence for hip-hop dance history, cultural preservation, and the forgotten struggles of African American and Latino hip-hop dance pioneers.