mission + history

Paufve Dance is a contemporary dance organization that honors the craft of choreography, the importance of teaching, and the value of community. Through its programs, Paufve Dance creates spaces for rigorous choreography, where movement has its own intelligence that we can only know through feeling; where trained and everyday bodies coexist; where unruly emotions collide with form, detail and precision, for dancing that wrestles with the contradictions of what it means to be human. Paufve Dance moves in this body, in this moment, in this place, with these people, offering physical presence as a form of political action and valuing dance as critical to our evolution.  

As a dance maker, performer and teacher, Paufve is always engaged in a conversation between geography and the body, articulating physical narratives informed by place. By drawing landscapes and elements into the body and back out again, Paufve’s work engages with place as a collaborator. Each dance considers the place in which it is made and performed, lending vibrancy to places both real and imagined.

Artistic Director Randee Paufve was recently awarded a 2019-2020 Fulbright Scholar Award to study dance in Tamil Nadu, India. Paufve, a featured artist on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, was named one of five dance artists in San Francisco Magazine’s 2017 “100 Artists Putting the East Bay On The Map.” Paufve received the 2015 Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Outstanding Individual Performance; previous works have received 7 nominations total, in multiple categories.  Paufve was awarded the inaugural Della Davidson Prize for Innovations in Dance-Theater and has been nominated for the Theatre Bay Area Choreography award for her work with San Francisco’s Cutting Ball Theater. A two-time recipient of the E.E. Ford award for dance research in Europe, Paufve’s choreography has also been supported by residencies at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California, Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, and Red Cinder Creativity Center in Hawaii. In 2016 Paufve traveled to Lisbon, Portugal for a choreography residency with Daria Kaufman at Polo Cultural Gaivotas. In 2010 Paufve Dance was awarded permanent company-in-residence status at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley.


Paufve’s choreography has been commissioned and produced by (select list) San Francisco’s ODC Theater, SummerfestDance and The West Wave Dance Festival, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, University of San Francisco, the Mondavi Performing Arts Center, Joyce SoHo Theater/Manhattan, Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts, On The Boards/Seattle, Max10 in Los Angeles, Dance Complex in Boston, Phantom Theater in Vermont and the Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival.


Paufve graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Elmira College, with a degree in Cross-Cultural Performing Arts. She spent her junior year in Madurai, Tamil Nadu through the University of Wisconsin’s College Year in India program.  She holds an MA in Dance from the State University of New York, Brockport, and an MFA in Dramatic Arts from the University of California Davis where she was supported by a full scholarship and the UC Davis Humanities Graduate Research Award. 

Paufve has served on the dance faculties of University of California Davis, Lewis & Clark College, University of San Francisco, and California State Universities East Bay and Sacramento.  She currently teaches in the MFA program at Saint Mary’s College of California, at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, and directs the Marin Academy Dance Company.