Elysia C. Banks graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2012, receiving a BFA with a  concentration in Dance Performance. She has presented work in Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s Emerging Choreographers Showcase and in collaboration with Collaboraction Studios at The Goodman, Hamilton Park, Collaboraction Theatre and the Theatre on the Lake. Elysia is thrilled to continue her artistic journey as a choreographer, dancer, teacher, and mother.

As a choreographer I strive to create works that are honest, sincere, and authentic to my experience. Musicality is also of importance as music can assist in conveying intention and allow a dancer to become fully immersed and engaged. While I do appreciate technique, I am not overly concerned with technical perfection, I look for dancers who can commit whole-heartedly and without reservation. I inspire to give the audience an impactful experience and encourage both dancers and audience members to allow themselves to be truthful. I explore this truthfulness through nuance and subtle intricacies. As an artist I am committed to being honest and authentic with myself and my dancers, but most importantly with the audience.

—Elysia C. Banks, Artist Statement

Photos: Michelle Reid | Ben Wardell | Michelle Reid | Michelle Reid 

Video: Wills Glasspiegel


Elysia’s project during the Greenhouse program, Of Wine and Chocolate, stems from an open conversation had between her and the cast, which features two Black women and two white women, exploring their differing perspectives, experiences, cultures, heritages, and expectations and how those affect their friendship today.

Mentor: Joshua Ishmon
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