Raphaelle Ziemba Announced As Heidi Duckler Dance New Managing Director
The Board of Directors of Heidi Duckler Dance (HDD) announced today Raphaelle Ziemba has been named Managing Director. Ziemba will work alongside Heidi Duckler, Founder/Artistic Director in developing and executing a strategy for building strategic partnerships and maximizing relationships for the benefit of HDD's programming, development and overall organizational goals.
Since 2016, Raphaelle has served as Program Director for the company, where she oversaw and proactively drove forward all company programs and special events in collaboration with the leadership team. She served as a thought-partner to HDD's visionary leader Heidi Duckler, who says "The success of an organization is never about one person; it depends on the stability and vision of the team. Loyalty is a value that sustains the team and is innate. Raphaelle Ziemba's loyalty to the team forms the foundation of her leadership approach. I am honored to work alongside a woman with these values as our Managing Director of Heidi Duckler Dance."
Ziemba's hiring comes as HDD is about to celebrate its 35th year in 2020. As one of LA's beloved and respected dance companies, HDD has solidified its footprint on the arts ecology of LA. Given Ziemba's love for dance as a dancer and now as a steward of the company's legacy and future, she is perfectly suited to take the helm, strengthen its infrastructure and make sure the administrative/management underpinnings of the company are paralleled to the artistic excellence the company has been known for.
HDD Board Chair Jamarah Hayner states "We are thrilled to welcome Raphaelle as HDD's new Managing Director. As Chair, I've been deeply impressed with her professionalism, eagerness to dive into new challenges, and deep connectedness to HDD's mission and to the communities we serve. In her time with the company, Raphaelle has made a tremendous impact on our internal operations and external partnerships and has set us on a great path as we head into our 35th year."
Raphaelle is excited to begin her third year with HDD in this new role as Managing Director and says "I am thrilled and honored to step into this position and grateful for the support from Heidi, the HDD team and Board of Directors as I transition into this role. Sharing the arts and helping to facilitate transformative experiences with audiences & communities in Southern California and beyond is my passion. I feel lucky to have found an organization that aligns so well with my personal views & experience and I'm excited to drive HDD's mission forward alongside Heidi Duckler and the amazing women on our team."
Raphaelle grew up in Oak Park, Illinois and started dancing at the Academy of Movement and Music at age four. She attended Interlochen Arts Academy and after graduating, continued her dance training at the State University of New York at Purchase where she earned a BFA in Dance Performance. After graduation she worked with Instruments of Movement, starting as performer and choreographer before a promotion to Assistant Artistic Director and, later, Co-Artistic Director. Raphaelle co-produced five shows with IOM while also dancing with with Concert Dance, Inc., The Civic Ballet, Hedwig Dances, Chicago Opera Theater, Sarasota Opera Theater, The Lira Ensemble and as an apprentice with River North Dance Chicago.
In 2013, Raphaelle completed her Masters of Arts in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also performed and choreographed for MOMENTA, was a soloist, resident choreographer, and Associate Artistic Director of Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, and then took on the role of Community Engagement Manager for Audience Architects, a dance service organization in Chicago.
As a choreographer Heidi has imbued non-traditional sites with performances for over 30 years. The strength and distinctiveness of her work depends on a solid foundation of place, be it geographical, cultural, social, historical, architectural, environmental, political and/or personal. Location, history, and community have inspired her work, yet her choreography has evolved with each place. Sites are catalysts and collaborators within her choreographic process.
Working with a diverse range of dancers, she negotiate performers' movement styles around architecture, audience members, and each other. With input from creative partners and collaborators (dancers, musicians, architects and community members, among others), a truly site-specific and environmentally responsive work emerges, capturing the multiple dimensions of each place, performer, and collaborator.
"Choreographer Heidi Duckler long ago cemented her bona fides as L.A.'s mistress of site-specific dance theater, using movement to guide audiences to a deeper understanding of this city's geographic infrastructure, from Laundromats and the underground Red Car lines to historic jails and the cement walls of the L.A. River." --LA Weekly Best Site Specific Dance Company in Los Angeles