Shamel Pitts is a performance artist, dancer, spoken word artist, and a teacher.
Shamel was born in Brooklyn New York. He began his dance training at LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts and continued, simultaneously, at The Ailey School. Shamel then went on to receive his BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School (receiving the Martha Hill Award For Excellence In Dance) and began his professional dance career with BJM_Danse Montreal and Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen Dance. Shamel continued his career with Batsheva Dance Company for 7 years. He is a teacher of Gaga, the movement language created by Ohad Naharin, and has taught for both Batsheva Dance Company and The Young Ensemble.
Shamel has been on faculty for Movement Invention Project, SPRINGBOARD DANSE MONTREAL under the direction of Alexandra Wells. He has also been on faculty and a guest teacher at Netherlands Dance Theater Summer Intensive, SUNY Purchase, and The Juilliard School. Shamel created a poetic dance performance installation entitled,BLACK BOX: Little Black Book Of RED.
This work has been performed in many spaces/galleries in Israel since 2015 and was presented for “BATSHEVA HOST” In February 2015.
BLACK BOX has also toured to Brazil, Berlin, and New York. Upon leaving Batsheva in August 2016,Shamel has collaborated in the creation of several performance art works includingA Herzliya Museum Of Contemporary Art Commission Of:“Black, White, And RED”
with Installation Artist Orly Sever and Light Artist Tom Love.
In September 2016, Shamel moved briefly to Brazil to teach Gaga classes around the country, as well as to create a duet with Brazilian Performance Artist, Mirelle Martins,
Entitled BLACK VELVET: Architectures And Archetypes.
Shamel is currently teaching at Harvard University and The Juilliard School. He is also performing with Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar’s L-E-V Dance Company,
And is staging Ohad Naharin’s repertory on many companies around the world.
Shamel Pitts received a 2018 Princess Grace Award in Choreography.
Whether onstage or on the streets of Tel Aviv, Shamel Pitts commands attention. When performing with the Batsheva Dance Company, Israel’s premier contemporary dance troupe, he projects magnetic focus and pounces with ferocious abandon.
Brian Schaefer, The New York Times