Date TBD: Work in Progress- The Sky is Falling

Fragments of Frankenstein, returns May 2022 Asheville School

{Re}HAPPENING  Saturday, April 2nd 2022


photos by Jesse Kitt

Amend x 19

The interactive installation/movement piece is a response to the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and explores the history, the challenges, and the innovative spirit of women who keep moving and persevere. Audience members are invited to amend the ongoing installation and engage with the 19-minute performance every hour on the hour in a collaborative effort with dancer Kathy Leiner.

Asheville Fringe Arts Festival: A soft place to land, pillow talk…

BeBe Theatre:

Saturday, March 26 at 7:00 & Sunday, March 27 at 4:00 2022

AVL Fringe Fest 2022, photo by Cory Podielski 

Saturday, March 12th, 2022 12:00 pm,

Asheville Art MuseumCommunity Event: Reflect/Connect


(Above photos courtesy of Carolyn Rose-Grayson)

Join us outside on our plaza for a free community event of performance and artmaking! We recognize that art can serve as a source of healing and point to more restorative solutions to critical community issues. Creative expression offers us the ability to process and unite. In conjunction with our loan of Félix González-Torres’ installation Untitled (L.A.) in Ruminations on Memory and in collaboration with community partners, we aim to provide a safe and welcoming space for all to reflect/connect.

Reflect/Connect presents poetry readings, dance performance, and audio recordings, as well as an opportunity to participate in collaborative artmaking.

12:00-12:45pm: Poetry reading, dance performance, audio recordings

12:45-2:00pm: Collaborative artmaking

Poetry readings: Readings by a select group of high school students participating in week-long poet-in-residence programs, Power of Youth, led by Torre White.

Dance performance: Watch the performance or be part of it! Register for the free re-connectmovement workshop on 3/5/22 to participate in a cathartic experience of collaborative dance making and performing with Kathy Leiner and the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre. Participants are invited to perform the movement created in this workshop as part of the community event Reflect/Connect.

Collaborative artmaking: Create art with Liz Williams of Campaign for Southern Equality’s Southern Equality Studios! Individual artworks will be used together to create a community-based vision board that will take the form of a healing tapestry that speaks to the future while reflecting on the past. You can also view tapestries previously created by groups from Stephens-Lee Recreation Center, Western North Carolina Aids Project, and Queer Artists Meet-Up.

Saturday, March 5th, 2022 1:00-3:00 pm Asheville Art Museum

Movement Workshop: re-connect

In conjunction with our loan of Félix González-Torres’ installation Untitled (L.A.) in Ruminations on Memory, join us for the cathartic experience of collaborative dance making and performing. The re-connect workshop is open to movers of all abilities and taps into our desire to connect with ourselves and others as a pathway to hope and healing. Facilitators guide participants through both written and movement prompts as part of the creative process to develop an original group dance piece. Participants are invited to perform the movement created in this workshop as part of the community event Reflect/Connect on March 12 at noon on the Museum’s plaza.

February 24 & 25th at 7:15, and February 26th at 2:00 2022

Beauty & the Beast, Asheville School’s Graham Theater

Busy times working with students to create the choreography, costumes, and manage the production of Beauty & the Beast. Our first Disney musical was celebrated by all and we couldn’t be prouder of our students. 


Saturday, September 18th, 2021 at 12:00 pm Asheville Art Museum

“Reflection on Unity, composed of thousands of pieces of bonded glass, represents the hope that our collective acts of grace will ultimately, like these shattered fragments, contribute to a better world, a sparkling, crystalline whole.” Henry Richardson


re-unite was created in celebration of the International Day of Peace and in partnership with the Asheville Art Museum. A score was developed from my research on Henry Richardson’s sculpture, Reflections on Unity, and the concepts explored were developed into a movement piece for the public space around the artwork.  Asheville School students, New Studio of Dance students, and Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre dancers created solos as the base of the work and then came together to share their voices in the hope of peace. 


For the creative process  I researched the sculpture and arranged some Henry Richardson’s words about his work into rhythmic form to generate movement. What a rich source of inspiration:


The expansion—contraction—lightness —strength

A Boulder’s Mass —-

And ethereal lightness

Light transmission—bounces off –passes through

Never static—Inner quiet

Solo —- ensemble –

Ensemble- assemble

Solo- Connect—

reconnect –








Hope, Healing, Unity, Light

thousands of pieces

of bonded glass


hope that our collective acts of grace

OUR acts of grace

will ultimately,  


like these shattered fragments—

contribute to a better world,

a better world

a sparkling,




May 2021, Asheville School 

                                           CATS! COVID can’t stop us


March 19 – April 4, 2021

Honored to selected for the MARCH 2021 FilmFest by Rogue Dancer:

LockDOWN 365 Edition!

white noise, an experiment in interruptions film by Kathleen Leiner (c) 2020 USA
Kathleen Leiner – Director & Dancer
FilmFest by Rogue Dancer: LockDOWN 365 Edition (Mar19th – Apr 4th, 2021)

In a year of COVID-19, the dancers refused to quit. Join us as we celebrate being ARTfully active and reinvention in times of great stress and change. We are proud of our Dancers and Filmmakers. Making Work work!!!

FilmFest by Rogue Dancer: LockDOWN 365 Edition
Featured DANCE Filmmakers:
Thang Dao (USA), Shandoah Goldman (USA), Michael Koppl (USA), Marta Renzi (USA), Richard Daniels (USA), Erika Vizbaraite (LITHUANIA), Stephane de Stel (FRANCE), Nadya Zeitlin (USA), Sarah M. Barry (USA), Alessandro Amaducci (ITALY), Kathleen Hickey (USA), Rick Guest & Kate Dawkins (UK), Kathleen Leiner (USA), Jenny Pommiss (USA), Natalie Haslam (UK), Iwona Pasińska (POLAND), Zoe Katsilerou (UK), Yoko Murakami (USA), Michael Fuscaldo (ITALY)
@Rogue Dancer Journal
January 22nd & 23rd at 7:00 pm, 2021

So grateful that the Fringe continues, amidst COVIID protocols, and lots of artists keep creative energy going with a variety of virtual and a few outdoor performances.

Asheville Fringe Arts Festival ticket information     


We Shall By Morning

A screendance collaboration with movement artists, Shari Azar and Kathy Leiner with sound editing and music by Emmalee Hunnicutt. This work draws inspiration from the strength through adversity and the poetry of women’s resilience.

I love the creative process and what happens within research. We Shall by Morning, work was created via Zoom conversations, days of filming separately  and a packed day of filming masked and distanced together. Early on Shari found the Sylvia Plath poem, Mushrooms, during our search for inspiration around women’s journey for equality. Meanwhile, a mushroom was growing in my backyard and offered our film a beautiful image of the metaphor used by Plath. Shari requested permission to use the Sylvia Plath poem,  since we did not hear back in time to use for the festival I encourage you to read the poem before watching, as a entrance to the online experience.

Editing and collaborating during COVID and other stresses of the time presented challenges but we worked in a way that allowed us both to contribute. We were fortunate to have Emmalee Hunnicutt come in to layer sound and music into our project and we are so very grateful for her talent.

Someday we hope to share the version with the poem incorporated, but for now we invite you to check out our screendance and the other performances in the 19th annual Asheville Fringe Arts Festival.

November 22, 2020 at 7:00 pm

Join us on YouTube for the world premiere of a block of short films created by the participants of the dance/lens workshop with Alexandra Beller and Cara Hagan.

    A dance on camera workshop
    Taught by Alexandra Beller and Cara Hagan
    September 26–October 31, 2020
    Saturdays 11am–2pm
Trailblazer in the field of screen dance, Cara Hagan, and Alexandra Beller team      teach this six week workshop that will allow you to begin and complete a short dance for film. In this interdisciplinary course, you will engage in choreographic inquiry, creation and feedback, as well as learning narrative, dynamic and personal approaches to creating dance for screen.
What opportunities are available in creating for the screen, particularly the application of magic? What possibilities can be developed with a camera lens while deeply challenging ourselves as choreographers?

My screendance experiment, Red Moth, encompasses two explorations in progress shared during the Dance/Lens short film showing. Click the link above to see various pieces, including mine, developed over the six-week workshop with two inspiring facilitators, Cara Hagan and Alexandra Bellar, and a multitude of dance artists.

Red Mothdraws inspiration from the memory of discovering my mother’s lipstick imprint on a tissue and responds in two different styles while using lipstick as a metaphor for a woman’s voice. Part one incorporates an original poem, and more contemplative movement, juxtaposed with part two’s stop motion, more humorous approach, to the obstacles preventing women being heard.


July 22, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Asheville Digital Fringe

white noise, an experiment of interruptions

When COVID 19 hit Asheville, in March, I was prepping for a school-sponsored trip to Italy, creating work for the Festival of New Dance, collaborating across the miles with a friend for another new piece for the BMCM + AC {Re}Happening, prepping for an original production at Asheville School, and well, like all of us, making plans. The interruption hit everyone in a multitude of ways, stopping much of our movement, but the mind keeps going. My mind kept flashing on images of my piece, Walls of Paper, that was in process. With so much changed by June, I was intrigued by invitation to create something for the digital Fringe, but feeling pretty stuck, and certainly not like I was in the same space I was when I started my choreography. So, white noise, was created from my COVID choreographic mindset, and I am curious about what it reflects for me and my experience. Every piece finds it’s own path, so this experiment started with a kernel of oppression and originally meant for a live performance, now lives on a screen, much like the majority of our world. Five months later, after the shift, I am curious about what the white noise says to you.

April 2020

Event cancelled: April 11th,  {Re}Happening

The project will continue and we plan to present at the next {Re}Happening 2021. Stay tuned for more about the collaboration from Austin to Asheville, with Misti Galvan and Kathy Leiner. Meanwhile, do some choreography in the fresh air and the dirt of your garden.

Amend x 19

The interactive installation/movement piece is a response to the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19thAmendment and explores the history, the challenges, and the innovative spirit of women who keep moving and persevere. Audience members are invited to amend the ongoing installation and engage with the 19-minute performance every hour on the hour in a collaborative effort with dancers, Kathy Leiner (Asheville) and Misti Galvan (Austin).

March 2020

Event Postponed: March 26, 27, 28, & 29, Festival of New Dance

Life imitates art. Exploring isolation and oppression within the, Walls of Paper,  in real life with the cancellations due to the corona virus. Please stay tuned for new dates for the Festival of New Dance. Embrace the down time, stay healthy, and keep the creative energy going!

Walls of Paper, explores physical and conceptual issues of control and freedom within the isolation and intimacy of paper walls between the audience and performer.  Drawing inspiration from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, The Yellow Wallpaper, the experiment delves into the process of a woman’s journey to and from oppression.


September 2019

Saturday, Sept. 21st from 5:30-7:00, Asheville Area Arts Council Ruby Ball

Chance Encounters of Gratitude, a donation VIP Party performance to support the Arts Council’s work . Interactive site-specific movement piece by  Shari Azar, Jenni Cockrell and Kathy Leiner.

May 2019

Asheville School, Graham Theater

May 8, 9, 10 at 7:15: Led into the Inferno, an original dance adaptation of Dante’s Inferno to the music of Led Zeppelin. A multi-media collaboration with University of North Carolina, Asheville New Media students and professor Lei Han. Conceived, directed, and choreographed by Kathy Leiner

Curtain Call, Asheville School Dance Program

January 2019

Echo, Asheville Fringe Arts Festival collaboration, Bebe Theater

November 1st- January 20th: Gathering stories from women for                                                                              Echo, a collaboration with dancer, Shari Azar and cellist, Emmalee Hunnicutt

Has it really been 17 years of Fringe events? Yes, every year since 2002, new works and new collaborations!


February 2019

November through February, the choreographic research for the musical production, Colette Collage, coming in February at Asheville School.

August 2018  

August 3rd, 6:30, Asheville Art Museum 

Grains of Breath, Out of Sand

The new work explores the concepts of transformation inspired by the blowing of glass and building of something new in response to the current exhibits: Red Hot in the Blue Ridge and Making it New at the museum on the slope. Grains of Breath, Out of Sand, a collaboration with dancers Jenni Cockrell, Michele Torino Hower, and cellist Emmalee Hunnicutt travels inside and outside of the museum and encourages audience to move through the space with the performers.


JUNE 20-22, 2018 at the Asheville School


Black Mountain College, An Interdisciplinary Experiment: Open Eyes, Open Ears

Come join the conversation at Project Connect’s three day conference, Black Mountain College: An Interdisciplinary Experiment (Open Eyes, Open Ears), held in June on the beautiful campus of Asheville School, in Asheville NC.  Leading expert in the field, Mary Emma Harris, author of the seminal text, Black Mountain College and the Arts, will offer both a keynote address as well as a workshop: “BMC + Meaning in Contemporary Education.”

Finally, choose from a variety of workshops and further explore these topics in small breakaway group discussions, as our team facilitators attempt to unpack the lessons that the legendary BMC offers and to explore how we might implement those applications in our own schools and classrooms.

WORKSHOP:  June 21st as part of Project Connect Conference 3:15-4:15


This workshop draws inspiration from Black Mountain College’s history and uses movement as the pathway to explore collaborative methods of interdisciplinary work. Participants will experiment with a movement-based inquiry structure to enhance learning and benefit from the diversity found within multiple perspectives of a group and disciplines. Specific points of departure will include The Glyph (choreographed by Katherine Litz in response to Charles Olson’s poetry, Ben Shahn’s painting, and performed to Lou Harrison’s music), as well as chance operations methods used by Merce Cunningham and John Cage. Location: Graham Theater, Asheville School

PERFORMANCE: June 21st, 2018 7:00-7:30 at Momentum Gallery

TBD: a multi-media performance created collaboratively by dancers and the audience. Inspired by the work of Charles Olson and Katherine Litz’s Glyph, this work uses chance operations to craft a movement piece with dancers Shari Azar, Kathy Leiner, and Mikhale Sherrill along with Cellist Emmalee Hunnicutt through audience poetry prompts. Participatory work at the downtown Asheville Momentum Gallery at 24 N. Lexington Ave.

Emmalee Hunnicutt explores the subtleties of sound with her inventive cello playing.  Classically trained from a young age, she brings an intimate understanding of the cello to her compositions and improvisations. Working in the realms of texture and emotion, her work acknowledges the mysterious nature of art and life. In addition to writing and performing as a solo artist, she is also part of a number of collaborative projects including Mountain Bitters and Library of Babel.  Find her music at https://soundcloud.com/mooniris0 and emmaleehunnicutt.bandcamp.com

May 8-10, 2018  7:15 at the Asheville School

Looking Out, Looking In, a performance that seeks to explore and celebrate diversity, community and connection.

The performance will take place in multiple spaces: audience members will travel from building to building for site specific exhibitions across Asheville School’s campus.

“Looking Out, Looking In” will begin in the Walker Arts Center’s Graham Theater and travel to the William Spencer Boyd Chapel, Skinner Library, the porches of Mitchell Hall, and across campus pathways before audience members are guided back to the Graham Theater. Docents will guide the audience and keep the performance moving along in a traveling festival atmosphere, with some surprises along the way

All the work celebrates the diversity of the Asheville School community but also connects to guests beyond our campus. Students have worked with a number of visiting artists who have helped them create the original work featured in the performance.


March 31, 2018 at Lake Eden, Camp Rockmont’s Location: North Lodge- 3:30, 6:30, and 8:30

{Re} Happening, a Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center event

fireWall : 1. person, thing, or event that acts as a barrier; to block, inhibit, prevent.  A multi-media performance created collaboratively by dancers Shari Azar, Mikhale Sherrill, Kathy Leiner, and the audience. This movement piece uses choice and chance to explore barriers, vulnerability, and to question how our exposure or anonymity affects our actions.

March 2, 3, 4, 2018 at the BeBe Theatre

Women’s Work: A Weekend of Contemporary Dance Works by Female Choreographers

Co-hosted by KML and Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre

March 2 &  3, 7:30 and March 4, 6:00


Asheville Fringe Arts Festival  Open-Handed, Installation and Performance

Installation January 21, 26, 27, 28 12:00- 5:00 and Performance January 26, 27, 28, Performance 5:00 pm

Class series hosted by Dance Lab. Call 828-215-2410 for more information. This series highlights some of the process leading up to the January performance of Open-Handed.

Installation preview January 21st 12:00- 5:00

January 26, 27, 28, Asheville Fringe Arts Festival:  Upstairs of Henco, 54 1/2 Broadway                                  Installation 12:00-5:00 &  Performance 5:00


  1. (of a blow) delivered with the palm of the hand.
  2. giving freely; generous.                                                                                                                      Open-Handed is a response to the walls that separate us and the concept that our ability to connect or divide community is in our own hands. Stories of conflict and connection in a multi-media installation and movement performance by Kathy Leiner in collaboration with dancers Shari Azar, Elizabeth Huntley, Melissa Wilhoit Hugo, and Mikhale Sherrill.

September 21st, 2017, 11:30-12:00

Movement Meditation for Peace. Join us in celebration of the International Day of Peace, Downtown Asheville, behind Vance Monument culminating with a moment of silence at noon.

JULY 2-30th, Summer Session at Wilson College Master of Fine Arts in Choreography and Visual Art.

Kathleen will be creating and performing as part of her MFA work at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA. Stay tuned for showing and performance times.

JUNE 2nd, 6:30. The Asheville Art Museum Gallery on the Slope

Moving Voices, collaborative multimedia performance. A response to the Hear Our Voice exhibit’s powerful graphic works now on view in the Gallery On the Slope. This exploration of the voice as expressed through movement recognizes the power of the creative process and honors the diversity found in the body as our artistic instrument. Conceived and Directed by KML. Choreographic collaboration for live performance with Jenni Cockrell and Mikhale Sherrill. Video concept and direction by KML with choreography contributions by Asheville dancers.

MAY 9th, 11th, 12th at 7:00 & 8:30 and the 13th at 2:00 & 3:30. Graham Theater, Asheville School

Student Work: Asheville School Presents, Fragments of Frankenstein, an immersive performance with original music score, dance, installation, poetry and adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Production Director, performance and installation co-director, co-script adaptation, co-design on lighting and costume design and construction by KML. (more photos)

FEBRUARY 23rd & 24th at 7:15 and 25th at 2:30. Graham Theater, Asheville School

Student Work:  Asheville School Presents The Mystery of Edwin Drood, co-directed by John Crawley, Kathleen Meyers Leiner and Jason Williams. Choreography, costume design and construction, set dressing and props, and assist with set deign- KML. (more photos)


3 performances: Friday Jan 27 and Saturday night, Jan 28 at 7 pm , and Sunday January 29 at 4pm.


Shadow House, a trace of remembrance
Solo installation/performance work by choreographer Kathleen Meyers Leiner

verb: find or discover by investigation.
noun: a mark, object, or other indication of the existence or passing of something

This work immerses the audience into the question of perception as it traces the traces of the past and explores the shadows of what is left behind in space and time.

WORKSHOP: Sunday January 29th: For more information call 828-215-2410


PERFORMANCE: HappenChance, An Exploration into Unknown Interiors

Performed DECEMBER 3, 2016 7:30 @ Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

HappenChance Trailer

Task at Hand, a mini documentary of the process and performance of HappenChance