About Kara Jhalak Miller

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Kara Jhalak Miller is an Associate Professor of Dance in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She is an artist/scholar, director, choreographer, performer, movement based media artist, and yoga practitioner. Her research in dance and performance studies has been published nationally and internationally. Her creative work has been commissioned and presented in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. For over 30 years, she has performed, choreographed, and collaborated with dancers and companies, touring extensively. Her dance and theatrical works have been performed in theaters, exhibited in galleries, presented as interactive installations, and screened for television, film festivals, and feature film productions.

Jhalak’s primary area of specialization is dance performance, choreography, and embodied media arts. Her research interests include Screendance/Dance For Camera/Video Choreography, Dance Performance, Performance Art Installation, Choreography, Improvisation, Contemporary Dance Technique, Yoga, Somatic Practice, Dance Studies, Performance Studies, Performance/Practice as Research (PaR), Gender/Women's Studies, and Environmentalism. Her published doctoral dissertation is titled "Reimagining Modern Dance as Transnational Phenomena Through the Lens of Yoga." Her journal articles have been published by Diálogos com a arte: revista de arte, cultura e educação, Dance Magazine, The Journal of Performance As Research, The Global Performance Studies Journal (GPS), and, the Contemporary Pacific.

Jhalak holds a PhD in Performance Studies (Performance and Practice) from the University of California, Davis, an MFA in Dance (Performance, Choreography, and New Media) from the University of California, Irvine, and a BFA from The Juilliard School (Dance) in New York City. Exposed to classical, modern, postmodern, and contemporary dance training from childhood through teen and young adult years, she trained in New York City, and began working as a dance professional there in the early 1990s where she performed at Lincoln Center theaters and other stages, museums, cathedrals, galleries, and off broadway venues. She has served on the dance faculties of the University of California, Irvine, California State University, San Marcos, Palomar College, and Mira Costa College prior to UHM. She has taught contemporary dance technique, choreography, improvisation, and screendance classes and workshops as a visiting artist at The Korea National University of the Arts, IÉSEG College, Poitiers University, the University of Boulder, and the University of Hawai‘i, Hilo.

Jhalak engages in creative projects in the Honolulu performing arts community, having choreographed for the Hawaii Theater, Hawaii State Art Museum (HiSAM), Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Museum of Art, Downtown Art Center, Arts at Marks Garage, ArtZone, Ong King Art Center, Shangri La Museum, Mid-Pacific Institute, Paliku Theatre, KOA Theater, and the Honolulu Biennial. 

She is the recipient of the Jacob K. Javits Arts Fellowship, CALIT2 Dance and New Media Performance Residency, Hawai‘i Po‘okela Award for Choreography, Medici Scholars Award, MAP Fund Award for Live Performance, and the National Endowment for the Arts Award.