Bio: Tonia Shimin trained with Ella Daganova, The Metropolitan Opera House School of Ballet, New York, The Royal Ballet School, London, The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, on scholarship and with members of the Jose Limon Company among others.
As a dancer she has performed with The Martha Graham Company in Primitive Mysteries and has toured throughout the USA, Europe and the Mid East with the Jose Limon Company, Pearl Lang Company, and as a soloist with Anna Sokolow’s Player’s Project, Mary Anthony Dance Theater and Repertory West Dance Company. She has created works for Santa Barbara Dance Theater, The Dance Division of The University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Dance Alliance, and the VUS Company in Prague, The Czech Republic and a solo for Nancy Colahan, former dancer with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Project. Tonia has taught extensively in the United States and in Mexico, Israel, France and The Czech Republic. Currently she is Professor Emeritus from the Department of Theater and Dance at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship and an Individual Artist Award from The County of Santa Barbara Arts Fund among others. Since 1994 she has been producing award winning dance films, including a Cine Golden Eagle Award for her first film Passage and Honorable Mention Awards for Passage and Who Called Me To This Dance? In 2004 her documentary, Mary Anthony: A Life in Modern Dance premiered at The Dance on Camera Festival, Lincoln Center, New York to a standing ovation and has since been screened nationally and internationally, receiving a Certificate of Recognition for “esthetic achievement and contribution to the field of screendance,” Dancing for the Camera: International Festival of Film and Video Dance, American Dance Festival, Duke University, North Carolina. Tonia received the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance. Her most recent film is, Of Time and the Spirit, for the acclaimed dancer Nancy Colahan.