Cynthia Word, Founder and Artistic Director
Cynthia Word is the Artistic Director of Word Dance Theater. Born and raised in Abilene, Texas, Ms. Word has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas/Austin but began her Modern Dance training at the University of Illinois with choreographers Beverly Blossom, Chester Wolenski, Mary Anthony, and Sarah Rudner. She later received her Master in Fine Arts from The George Washington University, where she studied with Maida Withers and served on the teaching faculty.
Based in Washington, DC, Ms. Word is passionate about creating performance events that blend compelling story, live music, contemporary choreography and the classic dances of Isadora Duncan to provide engagement for audience members through many modalities. She has created and produced eight evening-length dance/theater productions since 2001. The most recent, Chambers of the Heart, premiered in 2016 at the elegant and historical Josephine Butler Mansion. It is an immersive dance/theater event exploring the many ways Love appears in our lives. Once Wild: Isadora in Russia, was awarded Outstanding Group Performance and Outstanding Media Design by Dance Metro D.C in 2013. In 2010 The Isadora Duncan International Institute awarded Ms. Word the prestigious Maria-Teresa Duncan Award for Excellence for the mix media theater/dance production Preludes: Duncan, Sand & Chopin. Ms. Word continues her dance studies with her mentor, Jeanne Bresciani, Director of the Isadora Duncan International Institute.
In addition to her dance/theater productions, Cynthia has performed as a soloist in companies in Texas as well as Washington, DC. In 2009 she toured Greece as a featured artist with the Isadora Duncan International Institute (IDII) and in 2013 was featured in the IDII concert, “Isadora Duncan: in Homage to Venezia,” in Venice, Italy. Cynthia finds renewal and inspiration in Art, her loved ones, and the amazing people with whom she has the privilege of working every day.
Ingrid Zimmer, Associate Director
Ingrid Zimmer is Associate Director of Word Dance Theater. Ms. Zimmer received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance/Theatre from Pomona College where she was trained in the Limon Technique. Upon graduating, she moved to Europe where she toured, performed and studied dance at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany under the artistic direction of Pina Bausch. Now residing in Washington, DC, Ms Zimmer has danced with local companies, Bowen McCauley Dance, DC Dance Theatre, and Rincones & Company. Ms. Zimmer has performed in major national venues including the Kennedy Center, Jacobs Pillow, and the 92nd St Y. Her international touring has taken her to China, Mexico, Greece, France, the Netherlands, Italy, and Poland. Currently immersed in the study of Isadora Ducan's philosophy, technique and choreography, Ms. Zimmer trains at the Isadora Duncan International Institute in New York.
Arts Education has always been an important part of Ms. Zimmer’s life; she was the Director of the Dance Program at the National Cathedral School for 10 years, and, trained by the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning, is a Master Teaching Artist bringing arts integration training to pre-schools serving low-income neighborhoods throughout Washington, DC for nearly two decades. Ms. Zimmer is Executive Director of Inner City – Inner Child, the arts education program of the historic Dumbarton Concerts. At Inner City- Inner Child she oversees and develops arts rich literacy programming that empowers early childhood teachers to become inspired educators who prepare their students to be motivated and successful learners.
Carlos Cesar Rodriguez, Musical Director
Carlos Cesar Rodriguez is a musician of brilliance and versatility recognized as a virtuoso pianist who not only generates excitement in the Hispanic and Spanish repertoire, but also displays an extraordInary flair for Mozart, the romantics and the avant-garde scores. He has recorded for Omicron and Brioso labels and has won the highest critical acclaims for his CD of Spanish music, España en el Corazón, distributed by Brioso Recordings. He is an expert on early instruments and is privileged to have access to the Smithsonian Institution’s rare collection. Mr. Rodríguez was chosen by the Smithsonian to perform during its 300th year celebration of the piano. He was also invited to participate in the 150th anniversary celebration of the Smithsonian Institution. Mr. Rodríguez has won acclaim as music director of Mozart operas and Zarzuelas (Spanish operas), and as a composer, arranger, and improviser of ballets, Spanish dance scores, and Latin-Jazz/Pop compositions. Currently, Mr. Rodríguez is a member of the piano faculty at the Levine School of Music in Washington, DC, and guest artist and coach for the Domingo/Cafritz Young Artist Program with the Washington National Opera.
Becky Lallande, Director of Youth Programs
Becky Lallande is an instructor and company member of Word Dance Theater, where she has received training in Duncan technique with an emphasis on teaching dance and movement for youth. Ms. Lallande holds a BA in Religion from the University of Mary Washington, where she also studied dance and vocal performance, and has a certification in dance choreography through Dance ICONS, an international choreographic institute based in Washington, DC. She is currently a teaching artist through Wolf Trap’s Institute of Early Learning in the Arts, InnerCity-InnerChild, Sitar Arts Center, and Go Bananas Dancing, where she shares creative movement through dance, imagination, and rhythmic exploration with young children in classrooms and community centers. She has trained in the Duncan technique with Cynthia Word, Ingrid Zimmer, Dicki Johnson Macy, and Jeanne Bresciani.