Outstanding Artist in Dance 2024

Outstanding Artists: Individual artists whose work within their field has made a significant impact within the discipline over five years or more.


Elyse Morckel is a dancer, choreographer, and movement educator. After training under the direction of Kelly Berick at Firestone High School, she earned her B.F.A. in Dance from The Ohio State University in 2014 with concentrations in choreography and dance technology. While at OSU, she worked with individuals such as Vicki Blaine, Noa Zuk, Bebe Miller, Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Melanie Bales, Susan Hadley, and Cleveland native Dianne McIntyre.  

In 2017, she became a company dancer and choreographer with The Movement Project of Cleveland and was promoted to Associate Director in 2022. Since joining The Movement Project, she has performed the choreographic works of NYC-based choreographer Pam Tanowitz, Rebecca Leuszler, Megan Gargano, Irene Honora, Grace Nicklos, and Liz Conway.  

Her choreographic projects include, the time has come (2015), WWTD (2017), untitled: an exercise (2020), series of rituals, remembered (2013, restaged in 2017 & 2018), in the end, this is a victory dance (2018, restaged in 2022), (6) Vignettes of Drama (2019), Sixes & 7’s (2021, restaged in 2023), Sunder (2021), coddiwomple (2021), it’s a game we play (2022) and void (2023). Her works have been performed at venues such as The Barnett Theatre, BalletMet Performance Space, Transformer Station, Mentor Amphitheater, Sandefur Theatre, Daum Theatre, Current Gallery, and through performance platforms The Ohio Dance Festival (Columbus, OH), Cleveland Dance Fest, Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival (Akron, Ohio) & Summerworks Concert Series.   

Most recently, Morckel performed in the world premiere of The Encounter: Akron by NYC-based choreographer Kimberly Bartosik through NCCAkron and Rubber City Theatre, and co-choreographed The Little Amal Akron Experience, recipient of the 2024 Arts Alive Award for Collaborative Project. Morckel was also named one of the 2024 Artists in Residence through Akron Soul Train to reimagine her latest work, void, into an evening-length piece and dance film with collaborator Denzel Washington (projected premiere January 2025). 

She has facilitated residency programming at Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts, Akron School for the Arts at Firestone High School, The Ohio Thespian Conference, Ohio Dance Festival, Cleveland Dance Fest, and has instructed at dance studios and schools across northeast Ohio. She is a current faculty member at The Dance Institute at The University of Akron. 

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