top of page

I  move to feel the earth beneath my feet. This moving helps me understand understand the phenomena of why we are and why we are alive. I move to become. I am becoming... what... more human, more other, more... maybe more of myself, or maybe a better self. I want to listen and deeply listen. What does my body have to say? How is the world shaping my body, and how can I revolt? My body is an archive, and I dance with ghosts. My dance is a bridge. A bridge to the past, present, and future. A bridge to here, there, nowhere, and everywhere. A bridge to home and unknown geographies. Through moving, I acknowledge the years of sweat, tears, blood, labor, rigor, bones, joy, and absurdity, that have helped shape this moment. With antenna out, I dance to see - to see and feel it all more clearly, clearer than ever before. or at least in a constant state of clarifying, searching, and curiosity.

Julian Barnett is a choreographer, performer, arts advocate, and educator. He works collaboratively across disciplines to create performances that examine the social-political possibilities for transformation and empathy. Through the lenses of movement, philosophy, musicology, science, and the supernatural, Julian's research often revolves around notions of intimacy within performance and examines his own mixed-raced identity as a fulcrum for inquiry, activism, and possibility.


Julian's work has been presented throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Turkey, China, Japan, and extensively across Europe. He has created work for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ormao Dance Company, and received invitations from Danspace Project, Gibney Dance, Movement Research at Judson Church, The Joyce Theater (NY), Jacob's Pillow (MA), Performática (Mexico), Tangente (Montreal), Kampnagel (Hamburg), Dansehallerne (Copenhagen), La Briqueterie - CDC Val-de-Marne (France), Dansateliers (Rotterdam), La Visiva (Barcelona), Body Arts Lab (Tokyo), b12 (Berlin), and the i-Dance Festival (Hong Kong), amongst others. Some notable works include his solo Clean State which was a finalist in the Sadlers Wells Global Dance contest in London, UK, and his evening-length work Sound Memory which was selected as "Best Dances of 2009" by Time Out New York Magazine.

Julian was a Resident Artist at K3 Tanzplan Hamburg, Springboard Danse Montreal, The Joyce Theater Foundation in New York, and the Bates Dance Festival in Maine. He has received numerous awards and grants, including a New York Dance and Performance 'Bessie' Award Nomination for Performance, a danceWEB scholarship through the Impulstanz Festival in Austria, and a US/Japan Creative Artist Fellowship, where he studied Butoh in Japan.


As a performer, Julian has collaborated with a wide range of dance/theater artists and was a founding member of Johannes Wieland's New York company and later his Staatstheater Kassel. He performed in numerous works, notably the duet Shift, which was created on Julian and won the Kurt Jooss Award in 2004, performing alongside the Pina Bausch Tanztheater at the 3 Wochem mit Pina Bausch Festival in Essen, Germany. Around this time, 2002-2008, Julian became a founding member of Larry Keigwin's Keigwin and Company and also worked with Lar Lubovitch, Doug Elkins, Eun Me Ahn, Shapiro and Smith, Stefanie Nelson, Kevin Wynn, and the Metropolitan Opera with Doug Varone. Since then, Julian has worked with Jeanine Durning, Steve Paxton, Kota Yamazaki, Wally Cardona, and Takahiro Yamamoto and continues to collaborate with Abigail Levine, Laurel Jenkins, Bernard Brown, Julie Mayo, and Paul Besaw. In theater, Julian has choreographed/staged productions at the Berkshire Theater Festival, Spoleto Festival, Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, and numerous off-Broadway venues in New York City. Julian has also acted in productions of The Who's TommyIphegenia in Taurus , and others and performed in the films of Tori Lawrence, Janessa Clarke, Celia Rowlson-Hall, and Jessica Brillhart.

As an educator, Julian aims to support a culture of curiosity toward the intersections of what dance/performance is and can be and how it can function toward social activation, transformation, and personal growth. He continues to share his practices and perspectives internationally, leading workshops at Gibney Dance in NYC, Dance Italia in Italy, b12 Festival in Berlin, Architanz in Tokyo, and as guest faculty at Princeton University, NYU Tisch, The Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase, California Institute for the Arts, Colby College, Middlebury College, and others. Julian is currently an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance at The University of Vermont and teaches courses in contemporary dance, improvisation, composition, and interdisciplinary studies.


Julian was born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in Northern California, where he began breakdancing. He attended the Idyllwild Arts Academy and later studied at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, earning his BFA in Dance, while also focusing on Asian Cultural Studies and Documentary Filmmaking. While at NYU, Julian also spent time at SEAD-Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance in Salzburg, Austria. Julian completed the Master of Choreography Program (now Master of Performance Practices) at ArtEZ University in Arnhem, Netherlands, and received his MFA in Dance from the University of the Arts Philadelphia in 2019.

bottom of page