To Kneel and Kiss the Ground


Today, like every other day, we wake up empty

and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study

and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

                                                            Rumi (1207-73)

This solo was created in response to my 2019 hip replacement surgery, and the experience of awakening in a foreign body.  The morning after the procedure I began creating the gestural series that open this dance, and from which the rest of the piece was generated, over the days, weeks and months of healing. 


Premiere February 2020, Gandhi Museum Amphitheater, Madurai; South and Central Asia Fulbright Conference, Kochi, Kerala


Choreographed and performed by Randee Paufve

Music:  Originally performed with the ambient sounds of the South Indian cities where it was presented, but which was not recorded.  Music was later added by composer Victor Spiegel

Costume:  Madurai Nagaraj

Where are you going, where did you go?


West Quoddy Head, Maine

East Cape, Florida

Northwest Angle, Minnesota

Cape Alava, Washington

Lebanon, Kansas

Bay Area premiere November 2021

Performer:  Randee Paufve

Choreography and Direction:  Christy Funsch, Erin Malley, Andrew Merrell, Randee Paufve, Nadhi Thekkek

Lighting Design:  Kaveri Seth

Where Are You Going, Where Did You Go is a multi-phase dance project exploring personal and geographical thresholds, created through a series of dance-based rituals. The research includes five dance events taking place on the seasonal solstices, in the furthest points, in each direction, of the continental US.  In each place, I and my collaborators are listening to space and place, to the people who live there and their stories.

XO: eXquisite Orientation


Woven from the vocabularies of the diverse collaborating artists, XO orients the performers, collaborators and audience by creating a world based on empathetic interactions and more sustainable ways of moving through our lives than current social/political circumstances present.


Premiere September 2018, Joe Goode Performance Annex, San Francisco


Choreography and Direction:  Randee Paufve

Dramaturg and Performance Coach:  Beth Harris

Guest Choreographer:  Nol Simonse

Dancers: Randee Paufve, Nol Simonse, Crystaldawn Bell, Anna Greenberg,Rogelio Lopez, Andrew Merrell, Juliana Monin, Karla Quintero, Nadhi Thekkek, Mechelle Tunstall

Lighting Design:  Kaveri Seth

Costume Design and construction:  Rogelio Lopez

Set Design:  Lauren Elder

Composer:  Peter Whitehead


*Dancer Crystaldawn Bell was nominated for the Isadora Duncan Dance Award, Outstanding Individual Performance, for XO: eXquisite Orientation

Strangers Become Flowers


Conceived during a 2012 research trip to Europe, this evening-length dance investigates how movement fosters connections between people, provoking ideas about mutual understanding, the paradox of touching and being touched, and the potential for narrowing social chasms, one chance encounter at a time.


Premiere February 2016, ODC Commons Studio B, San Francisco


Choreography:  Randee Paufve

Dancers:  Rogelio Lopez, Elizebeth Randall, Andrew Merrell, Nadia Oka, Mechelle Tunstall, Juliana Monin

Lighting Design:  Gabe Maxson

Costume Design:  Keriann Egeland


East Bay Express preview by Claudia Bauer

San Francisco Chronicle review by Allan Ulrich

Oregon Arts Watch review by Jamuna Chiarini

Blessed Unrest


A collaboration between Paufve Dance, Oakland’s Bandelion, and Theater Grottesco of Santa Fe, NM.  Blessed Unrest brings together three ensembles, four directors, and thirteen differently-abled performers.  Blessed Unrest is an evening length work that reveals itself as itself; a live performance about creating a live performance, that blurs the boundaries between dancers, actors, musicians and audience, between styles, abilities, aesthetics and artistic values, through a rigorous process exploring presence and direct communication.


Premiere November 2015, New Mexico School for the Arts, Santa Fe, NM; December 2015, California State University East Bay, Hayward, CA;  


Directors:  Randee Paufve, Eric Kupers, John Flax, Kent Kirkpatrick


 ABQ Journal article

EB Express Fall 2015 Arts Express Preview by Sarah Burke

The Mirror Does Not Know You


The Mirror Does Not Know You draws focus to an intimate, lustful space between new lovers. This duet embodies the heat and intensity of a couple dancing back to back.  Through floor work, sharp pivots and fleshy, effortful weight bearing and sharing, this dance suggests a relationship coming into focus.


Premiere November 2014, Spoke the Hub, Brooklyn NY; January 2015, 8x8x8 at The Uptown, Oakland, CA; September 2015 Pushfest, ODC Theater


Choreography:  Randee Paufve

Dancers: Tony Nguyen, Elizebeth Randall 

Sound Composition:  Teddy Hulsker


 ABQ Journal article

EB Express Fall 2015 Arts Express Preview by Sarah Burke


A site-specific concert of intimate solo works performed by Paufve, created in collaboration with choreographers, musicians and designers. Soil begins at dusk and moves from fading sunlight to stage lighting and video installations creating environments that shift with the passage of time to reveal each dance, rendering a mythic journey through dreamland, mortality and a reemergence into light and life.


Premiere October 2013 Hillside Swedenborgian Church, El Cerrito, CA; August 2014, ODC Theater Music Moves Festival


Dancer:  Randee Paufve

Choreography:  Gregg Bielemeier, Della Davidson, Randee Paufve, Kate Weare

Dramaturg and Performance Coach:  Beth Harris

Music composed and performed live by Chris Evans and Elijah Wallace

Lighting and Set Design:  Jack Carpenter

Costume Design and Construction: Keriann Egeland

Video installations: Olivia Ting


*Randee Paufve received the Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Outstanding Individual Performance for Soil; Randee Paufve and Beth Harris were also nominated in the category of Direction and Design



East Bay Express preview by Claudia Bauer


Critical Dance review by Heather Desaulniers

Sarah Genta Preview

So I Married Abraham Lincoln…

So I Married Abraham Lincoln… features an ensemble of seven women who highlight ideas about Mrs. Lincoln as a fractured self - a highly visible, often unbalanced woman who was objectified throughout her life. The work is based on ideas about Mary Todd Lincoln as the original First Lady body, a prism-like surface upon which the American public projects adulation, fear and judgment, setting the stage for the love and mistrust of American first ladies through history.  Aided by a chorus of ten additional performers, the piece includes other characters:  former First Ladies, from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama; a host of male ghosts, including Abraham and Willie Lincoln; and a cadre of Civil War-era soldiers.

Premiere January 2012, Dance Mission Theater, San Francisco; June 2012, Conduit Dance Inc., Portland, OR


Choreography:  Randee Paufve

Dancers: Valerie Gutwirth, Rebecca Johnson, Katie Kruger, Mo Miner, Nadia Oka, Jill Randall, Christy L. Thomas

Lighting Design: Gabe Maxson

Set Design: Jack Carpenter

Costume Design and Construction: Keriann Egeland

Sound Composition: Heather Heise


The Oregonian review by Catherine Thomas

Artscatter review by Martha Ulman West

Oregon Arts Watch review by Barry Johnson

The Not To Be Forgotten

The Not To Be Forgotten is inspired by Sternefall, a painting by Anselm Kiefer, of a man lying on the ground under a star strewn sky.  The dance features a poetic movement vocabulary of supplicating gestures punctured by explosive moments which sends the dancer hurtling through space. 


Premiere April 2011 Sacramento Dance Sampler, California State University Sacramento; September 2011 Harvest Chicago Dance Festival, Chicago IL; January 2012, 8x8x8, the Uptown, Oakland, CA;


Choreography:   Randee Paufve

Dancer: Leandro Glory Damasco

Spasm/ That Obscure Subject of Desire

Spasm, later titled That Obscure Subject of Desire, is an evening-length dance exploring the history and paradoxical nature of romantic love, with a particular focus on women and desire. Featuring a cast of intergenerational dancers, the work weaves together images and ideas from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Luis Bunuel’s That Obscure Object of Desire.


Choreography:  Randee Paufve

Dancers: Frank Shawl, Diane McKallip, Brian Rundstrom, Jane Schnorrenberg, Rebecca Johnson, Katie Kruger, Laura Marlin, Marlena Oden, Jill Randall, Christy L. Thomas, Stephanie Ballas, Randee Paufve

Lighting Design: Gabe Maxson

Costume Design: Rachel Stone

Sound Design: Heather Heise

Spasm Premiere February 2008, Mondavi Performing Arts Center, Davis, CA

That Obscure Subject of Desire premiere July 2009, Dance Mission Theater, San Francisco


*That Obscure Subject of Desire was nominated for Isadora Duncan Dance Awards for Outstanding Ensemble Performance, and for Costume Design




SF Dancer’s Group, In Dance review by Sima Belmar (PDF)

Culture Vulture review by Joanna Harris




Due creates a raw afterlife for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, asking ‘What if Romeo and Juliet had lived?’  ‘What would their lives be like as a middle-aged couple?’  ‘How might Romeo and Juliet help each other NOT die?’ and/or, ‘Might they have wanted to kill each other by the time they reached middle age?’  In Due, a middle-aged Romeo and Juliet walk side-by-side, grownups struggling to have a human relationship in an inhuman world.  The dancers stagger and hold each other up; they fight, hurt, and fall; they fantasize about killing each other; they love passionately and ultimately they carry on. 


Premiere April 2009, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco


Choreography:  Randee Paufve

Performers: Anatoly Soshilov, Randee Paufve, Sara Zimmerman

Costume Design: Rachel Stone

The Big Squeeze 


The Big Squeeze is a site-specific performance featuring six dances about love, home, space and place. Delving into love’s illusions, The Big Squeeze explores the friction between reality and vision that precipitates both heartbreak and human compassion.


Premiere April 2006, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center; July 2006, Joyce SoHo Theater, New York City


Choreography:  Randee Paufve

Dancers: Katie Faulkner, Rebecca Johnson, Marlena Oden, Shaunna Vella, Diane McKallip, Frank Shawl, Stephanie Ballas, Randee Paufve, Lisa Bush

Lighting Design: Steven Clifford



Cleave is a movement driven triptych depicting three couples in the throes of coming together, being together, and going apart, set to live music performed by San Francisco’s Terese Taylor. 


Premiere May 2004, Western Sky Studio, Berkeley, CA; August 2004, Dance Complex, Cambridge, MA; Phantom Theater, Warren VT


Choreography:  Randee Paufve

Dancers: Jennifer Wright Cook, Erin Gottwald, Stephanie Ballas, Rebecca Johnson, Sima Belmar, Randee Paufve

Music composed and performed live by Terese Taylor


In Exhale 

A collection of Paufve Dance solo and group works, premiere and repertory dances


Premiere September 2002, Dance Mission Theater, San Francisco


Choreography:  Randee Paufve

Dancers: Rebecca Johnson, Josie Alvite, Frances Sedayao, Nina Haft, Frank Shawl, Diane McKallip, Jill Randall. Lisa Bush, Jane Schnorrenberg, Jill Randall, Christine Chen, Randee Paufve, Alisa Rasera, Shelley Senter

Lighting Designer: Steven Clifford



This sharp, kinetic trio mines the explosive territory of an intimate triangular relationship


Premiere July 2000, Cowell Theater, San Francisco; 2015 Summerfest Dance Festival, ODC Theater, San Francisco; 2006 Joyce SoHo Theater, New York


Choreography by Randee Paufve

Original Cast:  Randee Paufve, Mike Barber, Jenn Gierada

Second Cast:  Leandro Damasco, Windy Kahana, Inertia DeWitt

Third Cast:  Nol Simonse, Peiling Kao and Mechelle Tunstall

Music:  Joshua Fried

Costume Design:  Keriann Egeland



A collection of new solo and group works


Premiere June 2000, Echo Theater, Portland OR; June 2001, Unitarian Universalist Church of Oakland; October 2001, Mondavi Performing Arts Center, UC Davis


Choreography:  Randee Paufve

Dancers: Randee Paufve, Jenn Gierada, Michael Barber, Lisa Bush, Jane Schnorrenberg, Jill Randall, Rebecca Johnson, Christine Chen

Field of Brooms and Other Dances


A collection of premiere and repertory dances

Shared program with Bay Area choreographer Nina Haft

Premiere April 1999, Conduit Theater, Portland, OR; March 2000, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR


Choreography:  Randee Paufve

Dancers:  Randee Paufve, Gayle Kyhos, Nina Haft, Tere Mathern, Tracy Broyles, Dawn Joella Jackson