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

March 2nd & 3rd at 7:30 and March 4th at 6:00, BeBe Theater

I look forward to sharing, Open-Ended,  a new layer of investigation into barriers, vulnerability, and how our choice to connect is in our own hands. The performance continues my current exploration of art as a pathway to build relationships, value diversity and invite us to move into conversations of discovery.

I am grateful to continue this work with dancers, Shari Azar, Elizabeth Huntley, Mikhale Sherrill, and Melissa Wilhoit and to share the weekend with our guest Anabella Lenzu and several other local choreographers. The weekend is an exciting display of strong female voices in the arts and an offers an array of wonderful work.

I will work with Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre (ACDT) to co- host the performances in recognition of Women’s History Month. The weekend includes 2 different programs. The Friday and Saturday 7:30 program will be shared by NYC guest Anabella Lenzu, http://www.anabellalenzu.com/and
and me. The Sunday 6:00 program will include works by Shari Azar, Susan Collard, Sharon Cooper, Michele Hower, Elizabeth Huntley, Melissa Wilhoit, Connie Schrader, and the Asheville Butoh Collective- Jenni Cockrell, Julie Becton-Gillum, and Constance Humphries

Leading up to the weekend Anabella will offer two free workshops sponsored by the Asheville School on Tuesday Feb 27 & Thursday March 1, 6:30-9:00 at Graham Theater. Call 828-215-2410 to register for workshop.


Asheville Fringe Arts Festival 2018

Photos by Jennifer Bennett
Open-handed featured in the Mountain Xpress

Community Call: Gathering Hands, Collecting Connections

Community call for stories for my interactive Installation, Open-Handed, as part of the Fringe Arts Festival.

Simple task:
1: take a photo of your hands, someone else’s hands, or hands connecting against a white backdrop.
2: Share the story of connection in a few brief sentences.
3: Post them on the Facebook Page or email me at [email protected]
4: Stories and photos will be used as part of my installation.
Open-Handed Installation, Jan 21, 26, 27, 28 from 12:00-5:00 Free

Open-Handed Performance on January 26, 27, 28 at 5:00 pmwith dancers Shari Azar, Elizabeth Huntley, Melissa Wilhoit, and Mikhale Sherrill.

$13.00, Tickets through Asheville Fringe Arts Festival


Moving Voices, Asheville Art Museum

Moving Voices premiered on June 2nd as a multimedia response to the  powerful graphic works of the Hear Our Voice exhibit on view in the Asheville Art Museum Gallery On the Slope. The work explores the voice as expressed through movement and recognizes the power of the creative process and honors the diversity found in the body as our artistic instrument. Inspiration was drawn from the Women’s March pledge, personal experiences of the March, as well as the text and graphics of the posters to create both a live performance as well as the movement interviews layered on video.

In solidarity with our families, friends, neighbors, coworkers and communities, we collectively stand for dignity, justice and freedom in the face of attacks on our health care, our identities and our lives. When one community is harmed, all of our communities are harmed. We are all part of one movement, and we pledge allegiance to the survival and liberation of all people.

Hear Our Voice, Every Minute is a Chance to Change the World, We the People defend our dignity, We the People are greater than fear, We the People protect eachother, We Stand Together, The Rights of All are in your Hands, Let Equality Bloom, Stand, Unite, Fight, We the Resilient, Resist, We Will Rise, Power in Colors, Our Work is Everywhere, We are the Key…

Through the vision of the Amplifier Foundation art was put into the hands of the people to bring to the space of the Women’s March and through the vision of Moving Voices art was put into the hands of Asheville dancers to bring to the space of the museum.  I love to create work that shares art amongst people rather than art that is held at arm’s length.

Art of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth. 

Thank you to Jenni Cockrell and Mikhale Sherrill for creating with me and performing live for the project. Thank you to all who contributed to the video movement and spoken interviews: Sharon Cooper, Jojo Cooper, Melissa Wilhoit Lugo, Shari Azar, Constance Humphries, Susan Collard, Michele Torino Hower, Erin Connors, and Shar Hampton. And thank you to the the artists who keep making and the individuals and organizations, especially the Asheville Art Museum and Amplifier Foundation, who support the power of the creative process.

Immersive Performance: Fragments of Frankenstein

Asheville School Fine Arts Program presented Fragments of Frankenstein on May 9th, 11th, 12th & 13th. The interdisciplinary immersive performance highlighted our dance, visual art and music program with contributions from our European History, AP Chemistry, Engineering, and Anatomy courses. The performance took advantage of our entire theater; audience area, stage, hallways, storage areas, tech shop, green room, and dressing rooms to create a large scale art installation in addition to the site specific performance. With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, we created fragments of the story bringing forth some of the over riding concepts. The novel continues to be valid today as we look at the themes of love, acceptance, rejection and assumptions about appearance dictating who we are in the world. My dance students were fortunate enough to work with guest artist Kelly Bartnik for one of the “fragments” as we dove into the world of immersive theater. Driven by the movement exploration of the tale, the dancers were accompanied by an original music score and environments that were rich with layers of visual art. As production director, choreographer, costume designer, and co-collaborator on lighting and art installation, I am once again grateful for the collaborative spirit of so many wonderful faculty members and students. Overall the experience was beyond what we all could have imagined. Kudos to all involved!

WLOS coverage

Guest Kelly Bartnik’s Rehearsal

Fragments Creation of Woman Lab video

Hear Our Voice…


A lot of excitement on the horizon for May and June as I create a new multi-media piece and workshop in conjunction with the Hear Our Voice Exhibit traveling to Asheville. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the Asheville Art Museum on this project and bring Moving Voices to the exhibit space. Please see the info below for the multi-media performance on June 2nd.

Moving Voices: A Multimedia Movement Performance
JUNE 2 – Friday, 6:30 p.m.

Choreographer Kathleen Meyers Leiner and guest dancers respond to the powerful graphic works now on view in the Gallery On the Slope with an exploration of the voice as expressed through movement. This work recognizes the power of the creative process and honors the diversity found in the body as our artistic instrument.

Planned in conjunction with Hear Our Voice.


And then there was Drood…

The Mystery of Edwin Drood took over my winter months with a culminating performance on February 23rd, 24th, and 25th. Musical theater comes into my life every other year as I co-direct, choreograph, dress sets and create costumes for Asheville School’s musical productions. The adventure is always an interesting departure from my usual work and this time with a cast of 33 it was an extravaganza of Victorian costumes dancing across the stage. Drood was a wonderful success with talented students, an 11 piece professional orchestra, and amazing music and drama direction by John Crawley.

Fringe Month begins…


Performance of  Shadow House, a trace of remembrance


New Studio of Dance at 20 Commerce Street                                       January 29th 12:00-2:00 workshop and 2:00-2:30 showing

For more information or to register please call 828-215-2410

Elect-Shuna workshop exploring the movement of choice & the choice of movement.

Movement workshop developed for dancers and movers of all levels. An introductory investigation into the action of choice and the relationship to other through the medium of movement. Negotiating choice within the studio space is used reflect upon how we negotiate choice within larger socio-political contexts. Conflict resolution and mediation models are used to experiment with physical and conceptual questions of our movement.

The Aging Artist


Kathy Leiner

On January 6th, I turned 55. With my birthday falling right after the marking of the new year I find two reasons to re-evaluate the past, examine the present, and contemplate the future. In lieu of waxing on about the joys and challenges of being an aging artist I would rather share two artists who continue to question and make work. At 80 and 101, Joan Jonas and Carmen Herrera, are quite the example of the art of aging as an artist and give me such inspiration as I embark on another year’s journey of creation. Enjoy the following links to some of their amazing contributions and I encourage you to travel down the rabbit hole of information to investigate their work. I think you will be inspired regardless of your age.

The 100 Years Show

Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight

Joan Jonas Venice 2015

Joan Jonas Art21


HappenChance highlights

An enormous thank you to my fellow collaborators and the Black Mountain College + Arts Center for hosting this work. I look forward to bringing the work to new spaces in the future and to continue the exploration of site specific, interactive work that blurs the lines between process & performance and audience & performer. Here is a little mini-documentary that captures the Task at Hand of HappenChance.


BCM + AC 12-3-16 Jenni Cockrell

BMC + AC, 12-3-16 Lindsey Kelley Brewer

Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center 12-3-16 Sara Baird and Kathy Leiner



Here and now…


I am thrilled to be in rehearsal with Sara Baird, Jenni Cockrell, and Lindsey Kelley Brewer for HAPPENCHANCE!

Please join us on December 3, 2016 at 7:30 at Black Mountain College + Arts Center at 69 Broadway Street.

Tickets are limited to 48 participants/audience members, so please call for reservation: 828-350-8484

HappenChance Trailer

A work that draws inspiration from the original Black Mountain College Happenings and explores the known and unknown interiors of person, place and thing. Performance at 69 Broadway.


HappenChance Poster