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Kathryn Roszak | Artistic Director 

Danse Lumière Artistic Director Kathryn Roszak is the daughter of Theodore Roszak (author The Making of a Counterculture) and feminist poet Betty Roszak (Masculine/Feminine). Her great uncle is the visual artist Theodore Roszak. Roszak trained as a dancer on Ford Foundation scholarships at San Francisco Ballet, and at the School of American Ballet in New York. She performed for many years with the San Francisco Opera Ballet, and has danced with San Francisco Ballet and San Antonio Ballet. 

Kathryn Roszak trained as an actor in the Advanced Training Program of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. She has performed, choreographed and/or taught at the American Conservatory Theater as well as Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Francisco Opera Center, Shakespeare Festival, the Berkeley Symphony with Kent Nagano, Opera San Jose, Sacramento Opera, Oakland and Marin Operas. She has created and produced original works for the Goethe Institute and the San Francisco Mozart Festival, Theatre Artaud, the Cowell Theatre, and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

In 1995, Kathryn Roszak founded Danse Lumière (known as Anima Mundi until 2006) and has since specialized in the creation of her own original productions. Her unique approach brings new audiences to classical art forms by blending and innovating within the disciplines of dance, literature, music, visual art, and theater. Cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaborations have included working with Kabuki master Shozo Sato; choreographer Alonzo King; playwright Velina Hasu Houston; musicians Mazatl Galindo of Mexico and Ailu Gaup of Arctic Norway; composer Gordon Getty; and writers Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Isabel Allende.


Kathryn Roszak was invited to be an Artist in Residence at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California where she has also served on the Choreography panel. She produces the annual Women Ballet Choreographers Residency there.

Roszak's work has been presented in the San Francisco Bay Area by the University of San Francisco and by The Asian Art Museum and in New York City by La MaMa ETC, Scandinavia House, and the 92nd Street Y. Internationally her work has been presented by Copenhagen Festival, Denmark, Les Amis du 7, Dijon, France, and her choreographic work in Norway was supported by the Royal Norwegian Consulate. Ms. Roszak's selected grants and awards include Ann and Gordon Getty, Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, and Laurance S. Rockefeller.

Read: Inspirational Women In Hollywood: How Choreographer Kathryn Roszak Aims To Address The Challenges Faced By Women Artists 

In addition to directing Danse Lumière and her Dance Program for Children & Teens, Ms. Roszak's other activities include:

Instructor at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute @ UC Berkeley

Kathryn Roszak is an instructor at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Berkeley. Since 2009 she has been teaching dance- and performance-oriented courses that have proved popular; some of these courses have been tied-in to Cal Performances seasons. The following is a list of Ms. Roszak's recent courses (course descriptions at the time provided by OLLI):

  • Moving Images: Dance and Film (Fall 2014)

    (YouTube video of Kathryn's course preview)

    Dance and film make thrilling partners. Experience the genius of Bob Fosse (All That Jazz), Jerome Robbins (West Side Story), Gene Kelly (American in Paris), and films that include the choreography of Twyla Tharp and Pina Bausch. View documentaries such as Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil LeClercq, about George Balanchine's muse and wife (based on availability). Discuss the analysis and criticism of dance in film, and hear guest speakers from the San Francisco Dance Film Festival.

  • Cal Performances: Discovering Dance (Winter 2014)
    Learn about the origins of contemporary dance and the latest trends in choreography. Gain a behind-the-scenes peek at the companies and leading artists highlighting the Cal Performances season -- Martha Graham Dance Company, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Flamenco Eva Yerbabuena, Trey McIntyre, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

  • Moving Pictures: Dance and Film (Spring 2013)

    (YouTube video of Kathryn's course preview)

    Dance and film make thrilling partners, and new audiences are being introduced to dance through film as never before. Explore the recent success of feature films such as "Black Swan" and documentaries such as "Pina" and "La Danse". Discuss the analysis and criticism of dance in film. Understand current trends by viewing highlights from earlier innovative films, including "The Red Shoes" - Martin Scorsese's favorite film - and "White Nights", starring Mikhail Baryshnikov. Confirmed guest speakers: OLLI faculty Marion Gerlind will speak on "Pina"; Award-winning film makers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine will speak on "Ballet Russes"; Judy Flannery and Greta Schoenberg of the San Francisco Film Festival.

  • Dance, Theater, and Music: From Classical to Cutting Edge (Fall 2012)

    (YouTube video of Kathryn's course preview)

    Enrich your understanding of some of the Bay Area's best dance, theater, and music. Hear from leading artists, read reviews, attend performances, and develop your own interpretations. Among the offerings we will study are the contemporary music of Paul Dresher at Berkeley Symphony, the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra's production of 'Swan Lake', and Shotgun Players' production of Stephen Sondheim's musical 'Assassins'. Rehearsals and discussions with artists and directors will be arranged based on availabilities.

  • Interplay: Dance and Other Art Forms (Spring 2012)

    (YouTube video of Kathryn's course preview)

    Explore the interplay of dance, music, film, and other arts in the Bay Area's cutting-edge performance scene. We will take advantage of the San Francisco Opera's "Nixon in China', San Francisco Performances' presentation of director and choreographer Karole Armitage, and San Francisco Ballet's current offerings for our discussions. When possible, class participants will be invited to attend rehearsals, receive discount tickets, and meet leading artists.

  • Cal Performances Series (Fall 2011)

    (YouTube video of Kathryn's course preview)

    Travel through an adventurous season at Cal Performances. Each class will feature a guest lecturer who will speak about a specific performance genre or artist. Students are encouraged to attend the accompanying performance on their own and are eligible for one ticket each at a 50 percent discount.

  • Cal Performances Dance Series (Fall 2010)

    (YouTube video of Kathryn's course preview)

    In this series co-presented with Cal Performances, hear from guest dance artists during each course period, then attend their performance on your own. How is dance created? How is each work conceived in relation to dance history and the current moment? Is globalization fusing forms or preserving traditions?

  • Looking at Dance 2010 (Spring 2010)

    (YouTube video of Kathryn's course preview)

    Discover who makes dances and how they do it. Guests from the San Francisco Ballet, Spains Compañia Nacional de Danza, Bay Area National Dance Week, and the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival will share personal insights on their latest creations and performances. We'll delve into spectacular works being shown this spring, plus have the opportunity to gain a behind-the-scenes peek at special rehearsals and classes. (Although not required, members are encouraged to see performances on their own. Tickets are not included in the OLLI registration fee)

  • Cal Performances Dance Series (Fall/Spring 2009-10)

    YouTube video of Kathryn's course preview

    Hear about the creative process from members of dance companies that are performing at Cal Performances, then see the show at a 50 percent discount. (Performances are optional. Only one ticket per dance company for selected dates).

  • Looking at Dance (Spring 2009)

    (YouTube video of Kathryn's course preview)

    Discover who makes dances and how they do it. In this class, cutting-edge artists from French Canadian Marie Chouinard Dance Company and the Paul Taylor Dance Company will visit our class to share personal insights on their latest creations and performances. We will also delve into some spectacular works showing in San Francisco this spring, including at San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco Performances. The OLLI class is invited to a special rehearsal with Paul Taylor Dance Company. (Although not required, members are encouraged to see performances on their own)

(Links to OLLI and YouTube pages will open in a new window)

Host & Dance Specialist, Cal Performances Pre - Curtain Events

As dance specialist for Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, Kathryn Roszak has hosted Lobby Talks and selected "Sightlines" pre-performance events, which include interviews with visiting artists and artistic directors.

"Sightlines" talks are open to ticket holders for that night's performance; most talks are held prior to curtain in the Zellerbach Hall auditorium or lobby mezzanine. Podcasts of some of Kathryn's talks (where indicated below) may still be found at the Cal Performances archive, and are also linked at the Danse Lumière Multimedia page.

Ms. Roszak's pre-curtain talks and interviews for Cal Performances in recent seasons have included:

  • Trey McIntyre Project (March 22, 2014)
    Pre-performance talk with Trey McIntyre Chief Strategy Officer Caty Solace.

  • Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (February 22, 2014)
    Pre-performance talk with Artistic Director Alexandra Damiani.

  • Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg (May 10, 2013)
    Kathryn discussed the Bay Area premiere of the full-length ballet "Rodin" with Russian choreographer Boris Eifman.

  • Trisha Brown Dance Company (March 15, 2013)
    Kathryn led "Perspectives on Trisha Brown Dance Company", a private pre-performance talk at the Zellerbach Donor Lounge.

  • Hubbard Street Dance Chicago with LINES Ballet (February 2, 2013)
    Hubbard Artistic Director Glenn Edgerton and Alonzo King of LINES Ballet discussed their collaboration for the premiere of "AZIMUTH".

  • Joffrey Ballet (January 26, 2013).
    A conversation with Artistic Director Ashley Wheater.

  • Einstein on the Beach (October 25, 2012)
    A special Artist Talk with famed choreographer Lucinda Childs for the Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies department at UC Berkeley.

  • Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra "Swan Lake" (October 12 & 13, 2012)
    Prior to the performances and her talks Kathryn was invited to the final dress rehearsal, where she met and discussed with Ballet Director Yury Fateev the company and its fascinating history.

  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (March 16, 2012)
    A discussion with Robert Battle, in his first year as Artistic Director.
    A link to a podcast of this talk is available on the Danse Lumière Multimedia page.

  • Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (February 25, 2012)
    An enjoyable discussion with choreographer Bill T. Jones about his thoughts on dance and latest work "Story/Time".
    A link to a podcast of this talk is available on the Danse Lumière Multimedia page.

  • Trey McIntyre Dance Project (November 18, 2011)
    Artistic Director Trey McIntyre discusses the company's Cal Performances debut.
    A link to a podcast of this talk is available on the Danse Lumière Multimedia page.

  • Royal Danish Ballet (June 4, 2011)
    Lobby talk with Artistic Director Nickolaj Hübbe.

  • Nederlands Dans Theater (March 19, 2011)
    A conversation with NDT resident choreographer Paul Lightfoot.

with Alvin Ailey's Robert Battle, 2012 

with Nickolaj Hübbe, Royal Danish Ballet, 2011

Tour Lecturer with Cal discoveries

Kathryn Roszak is a tour lecturer with Cal Discoveries, a travel program of the Cal Alumni Association at UC Berkeley.

An educational component is a significant part of the program; faculty lecturers accompany trips, helping to broaden an understanding of cultures, history, politics, and the natural world in educationally oriented travel.

Ms. Roszak's tours include:


Kathryn is the Dance columnist for Theatre Bay Area magazine, Her recent coverage has included the 2012 Isadora Duncan Dance Awards and the Dance USA 2012 Annual Conference, both held in San Francisco.

Kathryn has also written on dance for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dance Magazine, and the Dancers' Group publication In Dance.

Recipient of Berkeley Honor

In September 2012 Kathryn Roszak was honored with a special Proclamation by Mayor Tom Bates and the City of Berkeley for her artistic and educational contributions, as well as for "broadening and enlarging our knowledge of the realities of other people's lives."

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