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Lise Friedman

Part-time Faculty
414 - 1 Wash Pl

Office Hours
Monday 9:15 TO 10:30 (BY APPT) & 3:00 TO 5:00 (ADVISING - REMOTE BY APPT)
Wednesday 9:15 TO 10:30 (BY APPT)

B.A., Theatre, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Lise Friedman’s teaching involves the examination and design of a wide variety of publications and the relationship of popular culture to visual media and fashion. She is the author of several books, including two Children’s Book of the Month Club Selections, and with her sister Ceil Friedman is coauthor of Letters to Juliet, which inspired the idea behind the 2010 film of the same name. Prior to coming to NYU, she was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, editor of the award-winning quarterly Dance Ink, dance writer for Microsoft’s New York Sidewalk, editorial director of Access Press, Inc., and editor of several books, including Poor Dancer's Almanac: Managing Life and Work in the Performing Arts and People Who Dance. She received Gallatin’s Adviser of Distinction Award in 2007 and Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010, and, with director Maia Wechsler, is co-producer of If the Dancer Dances, a feature documentary about the transmission of Merce Cunningham’s choreography.  She is, with Wechsler and filmmaker Marco Williams, working on a film about equity in the ballet world.   Photo Credit: Shonna Valeska  



Alvin Ailey Dance Moves!

Alvin Ailey Dance Moves!: A New Way to Exercise by Lise Friedman (Harry N. Abrams, 2003)


Break A Leg!: The Kids' Guide to Acting and Stagecraft

Break A Leg!: The Kids' Guide to Acting and Stagecraft by Lise Friedman and Mary Dowdle (Workman Publishing Company, 2001)


First Lessons in Ballet

First Lessons in Ballet by Lise Friedman (Workman Publishing Company, 1999)


Becoming a Ballerina: A Nutcracker Story

Becoming a Ballerina: A Nutcracker Story by Lise Friedman (Viking Books for Young Readers, 2012)


Letters to Juliet

Letters to Juliet: Celebrating Shakespeare's Greatest Heroine, the Magical City of Vernoa, and the Power of Love by Lise Friedman (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2010) 

Edited Volumes


Poor Dancer's Almanac

Lise Friedman - Co-editor with David White and Tia Tibbitts Levinson - Poor Dancer's Almanac: Managing Life & Work in the Performing Arts (Duke University Press, 1993)

Teaching and Research Interests

performing and visual arts; translating performance experience into words and images; photography; graphic design; writing 

Recent News

Professor Lise Friedman has been invited to participate in a short residency with the dance department of the University of Wisconsin, Madison this winter. While there, she will screen excerpts of her upcoming feature documentary If the Dancer Dances. Slated for release in 2018, the film follows a group of New York City’s top modern dancers as they work to reconstruct Merce Cunningham’s iconic "RainForest," revealing what it takes to keep a dance alive.

Professor Friedman has been awarded a 2016-2017 NEA grant to support post-production costs for If the Dancer Dances, a documentary that she has worked on in collaboration with Maia Wechsler. The film follows the Stephen Petronio Dance Company's restaging of choreographer Merce Cunningham's "RainForest" (1968), a dance work featuring costumes by Jasper Johns, set design by Andy Warhol, and electronic music by David Tudor.  

Lise Friedman