Skip to main content

Heidi Duckler

Heidi Duckler is the founder and artistic director of Heidi Duckler Dance in Los Angeles, California and Heidi Duckler Dance/Northwest in Portland, Oregon. Titled the “reigning queen of site-specific performance” by the LA Times, Duckler is a pioneer of place-based contemporary practice. Her methodology emphasizes how dance, born from individual experience, can be a tool for awareness. 

Duckler’s 2019 short film “Where We’re Going” was recently selected for the 2023 Aphelion Film Festival, and her 2022 film “The Tender Bondy Sings” was selected for the 2023 IndieFEST Film Awards Festival. In September, Duckler will speak at the Creatives in Conversation Conference held by the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles chapter. Currently, Duckler is on faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Film and Media Studies Department.

Duckler earned a BS in dance from the University of Oregon and an MA in choreography from UCLA. She also served as a board member of the University of Oregon’s School of Music and Dance Advancement Council. Her awards include the Distinguished Dance Alumna award from the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance; the Dance/USA and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Engaging Dance Audiences Award; and the National Endowment of the Arts American Masterpiece award.

Artistic Process

Heidi Duckler is a pioneer of site specific place based contemporary practice. Through the use of expanded techniques and a methodology that encourages us to understand how dance, born from our experience, can be a tool for awareness, Duckler has contributed to redefining the field. Her dances invite us to reconsider the space we live in, the space we take up, and this helps us to communicate our personal experience to others, to speak up, to inspire, to incorporate hard truths into the vulnerable body and pursue the search for empathetic connectivity. Duckler leads an award winning company, by pushing away from cultural voyeurism, seeking civic engagement and recognizing emotional sincerity. Her choreography and movement is revealed in the landscape and community response in which it is created and both triggers memory and embodies a current condition.

Awards for Inhabit the Dream

  • Official Selection – The IndieFEST Film Awards

Awards for Body is Home

Awards for Fort the Time Being

  • Official Selection – Demetera International Film Festival


Awards for Body is Home

  • Festival Pick – Portland Dance Film Festival

Awards for Alice in the Nite Hawk

  • Official Selection: Klamath Independent Film Festival
  • Official Selection: EXCHANGE: Choreography Festival ONLINE
  • Official Selection: Trans(m)it: Lost Dances
  • Official Selection: {C}Screen – Spring Dancefilm Festival
  • Official Selection: Opine Dance Film Festival
  • Official Selection: Tiny Dance Film Festival
  • Official Selection – Spring Grove International Film Festival
    Official Selection – Moving Images Videodance Festival
    Official Selection – Flatlands Dance Film Festival
    Official Selection – Bogota Music Video Festival

Awards for Fort the Time Being

  • Festival InShadow Loop Installation
  • Official Selection – Moving Body Festival
  • Official Selection – Los Angeles Dance Shorts Film Festival
  • Official Selection – Local Sightings Film Festival

Awards for Alice in the Nite Hawk

  • Official Selection: IMARP – Mostra Internacional de dança – Imagenes en Movimento – Video dança
  • 2nd place winner: Verve Dance Film Festival
  • Best choreography for the lens: Verve Dance Film Festival
  • Official Selection: Canby Film Festival
  • Audience Award: Portland Dance Film Festival
  • Oregon Dance Commission/Film: Portland Dance Film Festival


  • Lester Horton Award, Artist Appreciation
  • Panelist, Santa Monica Artists Fellowship
  • Oregon Art in Public Places Roster


  • TedxUCLA speaker
  • Panelist, Santa Monica Artists Fellowships for 2016


  • Los Angeles County Art Commission Civic Artists Prequalified List


  • Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival Emerald 20th Anniversary recipient of the MAVERICK AWARD
  • Dance/USA and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Engaging Dance Audiences


  • Distinguished Alumnus – University of Oregon School of Music & Dance


  • Certificate of Commendation Awarded by Councilwoman Jan Perry on behalf of the City of Los Angeles State of California
  • Panelist for Director’s Lab West and the Theatre Communications Group


  • National Endowment for the Arts, American Masterpiece for “Laundromatinee”


  • National Endowment for the Arts, Artistic Excellence for “A Guide to an Exhibitionist”
  • Featured in the anthology, “Choreographers and the Lure of Alternative Spaces”


  • Los Angeles County Arts Commission Arts Leadership Initiative
  • Finalist, Sherwood Award, Center Theatre Group
  • Panelist, Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission
  • Mayor’s Cultural Master Plan Advisory Committee for the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs


  • Invited Showcase for Performance West, Western Arts Alliance Conference
  • Panelist for L.A. County Arts Commission
  • Leslie Horton Dance Awards nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design, Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design, Outstanding Achievement in Music, and Outstanding Achievement in Choreography Long Form for C’Opera


  • Panelist, Site-Specific Symposium, Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, NYC


  • California DanceMaker Grant (James Irvine Foundation)
  • National College Choreography Initiative
  • Panelist, Durfee ARC Awards


  • coming soon


  • California DanceMaker Grant (James Irvine Foundation)
  • Landmark Award, Backstage West
  • Southern California Development Forum Award


  • City of Los Angeles Individual Artist’s Fellowship (C.O.L.A.)
  • Lester Horton Award for Outstanding Company Performance
  • Lester Horton Award nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Music for Dance, Set Design, and Performance—Small Ensemble for Cover Story
  • Back Stage West Landmark Award


  • Director, Dance in the Workplace, film commissioned by Grand Performances and Arts Partners
  • Lester Horton Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography, Performance, Music, and Lighting Design for After Eden
  • Lester Horton Award nominee for Sustained Achievement


  • Lester Horton Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Set Design and Costume Design
  • California Choreography Fellowship from the California Arts Council


  • Peer Panelist for Cultural Affairs Department, City of Los Angeles
  • Member of Cultural Planning/Arts for L.A.
  • Member Dance/USA


  • Lester Horton Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography, Outstanding Achievement in Performance, Outstanding Achievement in Production, Outstanding Achievement in Music for the production of Most Wanted
  • Lester Horton Awards nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Set Design, Lighting Design, and Sustained Achievement for the production of Most Wanted
  • Peer Panelist for Los Angeles County Music and Performing Arts Commission
  • Selected participant of On Site Performance Network, Dancing in the Streets
  • Editor of Dance Zine; Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles, CA


  • Member California Plaza Task Force, Los Angeles, CA
  • Speaker on Interdisciplinary Performance at California Institute of the Arts

The HDD Team

  • Andra Georges – Treasurer
  • Barbara Lima
  • Conrad Kaczor
  • Heidi Duckler, Founder & Artistic Director
  • Raphaelle Ziemba, Managing Director
  • Zeljka Carol Kekez, Principal, PLACE
  • Antonio Carnell
  • Barbara Lima
  • Carla Mann, Advisory Associate Artistic Director
  • Charles Roy
  • Colleen Loverde
  • Conrad Kaczor
  • Crystal Quartez
  • Daniel Giron
  • Javan Mngrezzo
  • Kiel Moton, Advisor
  • Debra J.T. Padilla, Senior Advisor
  • Hacienda CDC
  • Kiel Moton, Advisor
  • Pacific Northwest College of Art
  • PLACE Studio
  • Reed College Music and Dance Department
  • Armando Tarula
  • Hannah Fuerst


Heidi Duckler Dance Northwest is proud to be supported by the contributions of these generous individuals and organizations. HDDNW has received grants and commissions from Oregon Arts Commission, RACC and Reed College. HDDNW receives support from the Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency funded by the State of Oregon and the National Endowment for the Arts.

* HDD & HDD/NW Funders

  • 2020
    Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles, CA
    LA Opera, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2019
    NoMad Hotel & Please Do Not Enter, Los Angeles, CA
    MATT Construction, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2018
    Palos Verdes Art Center & Amadi Carpets, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2017
    Culver City Centennial & City of Culver City, Culver City, CA
  • 2016
    Autry Museum of the American West & Trust for Historic Preservation, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2015
    Canal Convergence, Scottsdale, AZ
  • 2014
    Brisbane Festival, Brisbane, Australia
    ODC Walking Distances Dance Festival, San Francisco, CA
  • 2013
    Reed College Center for the Performing Arts, Portland, OR
    Flux Projects, Atlanta, GA
  • 2012
    Barlow Respiratory Hospital, Los Angeles, CA
    Van Nuys FlyAway Terminal, Van Nuys, CA
  • 2010
    Long Beach Arts Council, Long Beach, CA
    9th International Festival on the Volga, Yaroslavl, Russia
    “Meet Me at the Metro” Watts Village Theatre Company, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2009
    Brookfield Properties, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2008
    Saint Joseph Ballet, Santa Ana, CA
    Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA
  • 2007
    Hong Kong Urban Dance Festival
  • 2006
    City of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2004
    Yiddishkayt Festival, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2001
    On Site Network (Dancing in the Streets in partnership with Miami Light)

*HDD & HDD/NW Commissions

Liliane Corzo
Teresa ‘Toogie’ Barcelo
Sylvia Drew Ivie
Olga Garay-English
Zeljka Carol Kekez
Lorcan O’Herlihy
Jan Perry
Sarah Pillsbury
Yolanda Vera
Craig Watson
William Jay YIvisaker

*HDD and HDD/NW Advisory Board

Heidi Duckler Dance/Northwest

May 30, 2018
Heidi Duckler Dance Northwest (hddnw) redefines relationships between artists and audiences by presenting bold choreography in extraordinary places, and through collaborations with artists and communities of the pacific northwest, cultivates public engagement to create meaningful, multidisciplinary performances with exceptional artistic standards.

Dancers on-site in Portland for 10 years running! Since its inception in 2010 Heidi Duckler Dance Northwest has been creating captivating storytelling through site-specific dance choreography in Portland, OR and the surrounding metropolitan areas. hddnw performers have animated iconic Pacific Northwest locations such as a hip co-working office space, the paths through local forests, and the graffiti-decorated ruins of a burned out building.