Daniel Phoenix Singh
President and Artistic Director
Daniel Phoenix Singh is the Artistic Director and President of Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company. Working from a broad palette of styles such as Bharata Natyam, Modern Dance, and Social dance forms, Daniel creates vibrant dances that mirror the communities that inspire him. In modern dance, movement at its core, is a means of connecting to each other without the boundaries and burdens of text–an open to interpretation approach that allows the viewer to enter and leave with their own personal meaning. In Bharata Natyam, all movement (even abstract) leads towards an emotional transcendence, and is often grounded in the rich literary traditions of the many languages in South Asia. Daniel weaves together this confluence of South Asian and Modern philosophies, aesthetics, and movement styles to create his signature hybridized work.
Daniel attributes his love of dance to Pamela Matthews, a longtime friend, teacher, and advisor. He considers Karen Bernstein, Harriet Moncure Fellows, Mim Rosen (late), and Libby Smigel his cherished mentors. Daniel has worked closely with Lorry May of the Sokolow Foundation for many years and is deeply influenced by both Sokolow and May’s approach to dance. His initial training in Bharata Natyam was with Guru Meena Telikicherla, and he continues to train with leading choreographers from India. Daniel has studied the Cuban/Colombian variations of Salsa and Merengue with Javier Varela and Shawn Malone and has studied Tango with Sharna Fabiano. He continues to train at the Maryland Youth Ballet and with master teachers from India. Daniel draws on a diverse educational base with an MBA from Georgetown University, an MFA in Dance and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland, and a Laban Movement Analyst Certificate from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York City. He received a baccalaureate degree in Dance at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His current focus is on creating sustainable dance programs that support dancers both artistically and financially.
He is currently on the faculty at Maryland Youth Ballet, and often guest teaches at schools and Universities. Singh is affiliated with KhushDC, a Washington DC organization serving the South Asian LGBT community and its friends. The company received the Founder’s Award for Innovation in Dance in 2007 and received the Emerging Group and Excellence in Costume Design in 2008 from the Metro DC Dance Awards. In 2009, Dakshina received a prestigious touring grant and performed Anna Sokolow’s work in India and also was the first US based dance company to visit Bangladesh since the country’s founding 40 years ago. In 2010, Artistic Director, Daniel Phoenix Singh became one of the youngest finalists for the DC Mayor’s Arts Awards in the Innovation in the Arts category. In 2011, Dakshina was one of only two US based dance companies to be invited to perform at the prestigious Maximum India Festival organized by Kennedy Center. In 2012, the company is completed a tour through 6 Mid-Atlantic states in 9 theaters funded by the Arts Connect program of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. Also in December of 2012, Sarah Kaufman the Pulitzer prize winning dance critic at the Washington Post selected Dakshina’s performance as one of the top three local performances of the year. The company received a prestigious creation fund grant from the National Performance Network in 2014 for the commissioning of a new dance piece. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities recognized Dakshina with an Innovate Arts Award in 2015–Dakshina was the only dance company to receive this distinguished award which will support the community involved creation of this work.