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Alight dance theater strives to generate and strengthen community through storytelling – interweaving a movement-based art rooted in collaboration that spans cultures and generations to entertain, illuminate, and educate.

Through the lens of innovation, we strive to create dialogue, explore expression, and communicate the heart of one another’s story.


Artistic Director Matina Phillips and Associate Artistic Director Eleni Grove develop work striving to exemplify movement storytelling. Blurring the line between real and abstract, the alight artistic team want their audiences to experience familiar elements of performance, ranging from movement, theme, text, and production elements, while also giving space for personal interpretation by challenging audiences to see past the known.


Under Founding Artistic Director Angella Foster, alight dance theater began in 2010, based out of Greenbelt, MD. Foster forged the company’s initial community partnerships and theatrical creative work, making alight recognizable and a respected dance company in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia region, while building intimate community roots in Greenbelt. Upon successfully leading the company for six years, Foster resigned from her role as Artistic Director in November 2016, appointing long-time company member, Matina Phillips, as Artistic Director and her collaborator, Eleni Grove, as Associate Artistic Director. Phillips and Grove have a several year history of
creating dance work collaboratively, and have created new opportunities for alight in their short tenure. Alight dance theater is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, incorporated in the state of Maryland.

Learn more about our Board & Staff




Page 115 Field Trips with DC Public Schools

Supported by Joy of Motion Dance Center, alight performed an interactive performance - combining literature and movement - for more than 500 DCPS elementary and middle school students.

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Page 115: Playing With Words

Supported by Greenbelt Community Foundation, Playing With Words was a community-generated movement collaboration, where residents of Greenbelt created their own stories and movements out of text from only pages 115 of famous books.

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Supported by the NextLOOK grant from The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center & Joe’s Movement Emporium

Faerie is a premiere evening-length work fusing movement, spoken word, and unique production design exploring mythology, stereotypes, and the issues surrounding female identity.


Why are fairies so often depicted as kind, tender, compassionate, and oftentimes, fragile souls? Are we simplifying and generalizing the female experience? And what does it truly mean to believe in fairies?

All depicted within the realm of magic, alight puts a lens to centuries of storytelling to feature the multi-dimensionality of these mythical creatures, and tackle misconceptions of how feminine characters are portrayed.


Alight values the contributions of community members and seeks opportunities to work directly with the community to create movement art. Through the support of the NextLOOK residency, alight will conduct intergenerational, community-based workshops inspired by the concept of “Faerie,” providing inclusive opportunities for varying populations. The workshops will include mirroring exercises, self-identification exercises, and fun movement! Based on our explorations in these workshops, we will shape the evening-length work to be relatable and accessible to all ages.

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Page 115 Playing With Words

 Premiered in February 2018                                                                                                 Greenbelt Community Center Dance Studio (MD) 

Page 115 is an ongoing literature and movement-based performance series created by alight. In this iteration of the show, the alight artistic team worked directly with intergenerational community members of Greenbelt, MD to generate movement and word phrases. 

The workshops – hosted in 2017 at Springhill Lake Recreation Center, Greenbelt Community Center’s Explorations Unlimited program, and the Greenbelt Library – were an active collaboration with tots, kids, teens, and adults using words, shapes, sentences, and movements to playfully rearrange stories, and create new ideas and unique vignettes. The alight artistic team aimed to showcase the value in thinking beyond the words on the page, as well as the power of play. 

The powerful final installment of these community movement and storytelling workshops was presented as part of the Artful Afternoon series at the Greenbelt Community Center. 

 Choreographers: Matina Phillips, Eleni Grove, in collaboration with the Greenbelt   community                                                                                                                         Performers: Erica Chamblee, Eleni Grove, Matina Phillips                                                         Set Designer: Carlos Bustamante                                                                                             Stage Manager: Katie Murphy



Page 115

 Premiered in November 2015                                                                                             Anacostia Arts Center (DC) 

Page 115 brings literature to life. The premise of Page 115 was started by flipping to the same page number in various books, discovering the content and nuances in each page, and then stringing them together to create our own story through movement and words. 

Throughout the evening, audience members hear passages from Life of Pi, A Time to Kill, as well as other texts, both well-known and obscure, while experiencing unique movement choices and visual art that’s created live on stage.  

 Choreographers: Matina Phillips, Eleni Grove, in collaboration with the performers     Performers: Erica Chamblee, Eleni Grove, Matina Phillips                                                     Light Designer: Chris Curtis                                                                                                         Set Designers: The performers                                                                                                 Stage Manager: Katie Murphy



Blue Mountain Express

 Premiered in November 2013                                                                                                     Anacostia Arts Center (DC) 

Remounted in October 2016                                                                                                   Dance Place (DC)

Description: Blue Mountain Express is where contemporary dance and bluegrass music collide. Four people board a train. Where they are going - only they know. During their journey, their personal stories are revealed and become interwoven. They discover similarities with one another and celebrate the idiosyncrasies that make them individuals.

Original Cast & Designers:                                                                                        Choreographers: Matina Phillips, Eleni Grove, in collaboration with the performers Performers: Erin Fitzgerald, Eleni Grove, Elizabeth Malone, Matina Phillips                      Light Designer: Zac Gilbert

Other Company Performances Include: 

Anacostia Arts Center (DC)

Baltimore Dance Invitational (MD)

Bowie Center For Performing Arts (MD)

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (DC)

Dance Place (DC)

DAnCEacostia Festival (DC)

Fuse Festival (VA)

Intersections Festival (DC)

Greenbelt Community Center (MD)

Greenbelt Museum (MD)

The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage (DC)

Mead Center For American Theater (DC)

Old Greenbelt Theater (MD)

Source festival (DC)

Velocity DC (DC


Alight is a community-minded, collaborative organization that thrives on the contributions of and connections between its members. There are many ways in which you can contribute to alight dance theater.


Connection with community members is paramount to us, and drives our work. Reach out to us in any of the
following ways:

Facebook                                                                                                  Instagram                                                                                                  


We are a small organization with big ideas. If you have experience or skills working with nonprofits, you can help!                                        
Please email us at alightdancetheater1@gmail.com to get involved.




Your financial contribution will go a long way toward helping us use our brand of storytelling to serve the communities around us. Currently you can give online through Mighty Cause. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,incorporated in the state of Maryland; all donations are tax-deductible.


We strive to create and produce at least one original piece every season. Casting for individual performance projects is done by audition, which are announced ahead of time. To indicate your interest, email: alightdancetheater1@gmail.com.