leadership

Hannah Cullen

founder and artistic director of cullen+them

Hannah Cullen is a New York based choreographer, writer and director. She holds a BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and is the founder of cullen+them. Before attending Tisch, Hannah studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and was a founding member of the collaborative, choreographic company Young Dance Collective. In her early career, Hannah worked with choreographers and artists including Pascal Rioult, Johannes Wieland, Larry Keigwin, Gus Solomon’s Jr. and Noémie Lafrance. She wrote and choreographed her first evening length work in 2015, which also marked the formation of cullen+them.

Hannah presides as artistic director of cullen+them, running the adult performing ensemble, the youth performing group Young Dance Collective, as well as the newest collaborative group, Young Them. Hannah has created and directed five evening length live performances with the company, and is in the process of creating cullen+them’s first narrative dance film about the impact of technology on interpersonal relationships. Little Boxes is currently in post-production and set to premiere in 2023.

In addition to her work with the company, Hannah works as a director and choreographer for both live performance and for camera. Since 2019 she has collaborated with NYC composer and performance artist Mur, working on live musicals and films. Hannah also creates music and composed the score for young dance collective’s Everything I Was Never Taught as well as their upcoming work, forever for now.

Kim Cullen

board president and founder of YDC

In 1995, Kim Cullen opened a movement education facility Art In Motion in North Carolina formally beginning her exploration of a movement-based live gathering space. In 2001, Cullen moved home to New York City and became Education Director for the Pascal Rioult Dance Theatre, now Rioult. Concurrently, Cullen founded Young Dance Collective, now in its second generation, its mission to foster an intellectual, creative process driven by discussion and critical thinking among young people in a space where they create work while developing relationships.

Young Dance Collective was designed to create the energy of what Ray Oldenburg calls a “third place,” a setting for the creative exchange of ideas, grassroots politics and a community-gathering place outside of the realms of home and school (or work). Cullen believes that the opportunity for face-to-face dialogue, creative processing and spontaneity is incredibly important in our current cultural climate as is live gathering and live performance.

Cullen served as Education Director, General Manager and Producing Director at the Streb Lab for Action Mechanics and currently serves as Executive Director & CEO of New York Live Arts, home of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company.

Since 1989, starting out as a public school dance educator with a focus on dance and creative process as a medium to cross socio-economic, racial and gender barriers in NC, Kim has been committed to working with young people. To this day, she remains committed to the transformation that takes place individually and as a group as individuals of all ages delve deeply into their creative selves and the issues that surround them.

Board of Directors

  • Meera Al-Sayegh
  • Melanie Cohn
  • Hannah Cullen
  • Kim Cullen, President
  • Deborah Oster Pannell
  • Lev Ratnofsky, Treasurer
  • Daphne Rubin-Vega
  • David Taylor, Secretary
  • Lisa West