Matthew Westerby Company was formed in 2009 and has since been presented around the tri-state area, at Dixon Place, the DUMBO Dance Festival, the Wave Rising Series, Dancewave, the College of Mount St. Vincent, Greenspace Blooms, Movement Research, Staten Island Modern Festival, the Great Friends Dance Festival (Rhode Island), Westfest, the Hudson Guild Theatre and at DNA.
The Company was been in-residence for Project Poetry Live! in partnership with Litchfield Performing Arts from 2009-2017, working with public school children across Connecticut. The Company has presented three New York seasons, at University Settlement (2011) and at the Hudson Guild Theatre (2014, 2017), with recent musical collaborations with Matei Varga & Matt Van Brink on A Swan Lake Fantasy (2014), and with Bryan Senti & Rick Smith on Letters to the End (2017). Three Company premieres have been presented by Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn in recent years - Insides Out (2014), Strata (2016) and Save Me (2018). The Company has been in residence at CUNY York College (Queens) through the CUNY Dance Initiative for both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
The Company works extensively in education, providing year-round dance programs at the Far Brook School (NJ), with public school students across Connecticut and with the Hudson Guild Theatre Company (Chelsea). In 2016, Matthew Westerby initiated The Harlem Project, a community dance project that brings together a multi-generational cast of performers each summer to work alongside MWC’s professional dancers, including children, teens and apprentice dancers from Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx. The project culminates each year with free performances in Marcus Garvey Park (Harlem) and at monuments and landmarks in the surrounding neighborhood. The project has received funding from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Creative Engagement Program (2016, 2017 & 2018) and the UMEZ Arts Engagement Grant from the upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (2018).
The Company is motivated to create projects that foster community, building works that are accessible to all as participants and audience. Westerby’s choreographic approach is inclusive yet challenging by nature, asking each performer for unique contributions to the process, ensuring the work has the imprint of each participant.
The Company has been collaborating with the Hudson Guild Theatre Company and producer/director Jim Furlong since 2012, creating contemporary dance adaptations of both familiar stories (The Sleeping Beauty & Romeo and Juliet) and new works (Jazz by Shakepseare & La Pazza Vita). This spring MWC is embarking on Romanzas de Zarzuela, working alongside pianist Matei Varga and soprano Lori Phillips.