My mission in all my work is to TRANSFORM the understanding of Humanity through the arts. Often, I do this through personal and historic moments. I seek through my work, to highlight our shared humanity, and all we have in common through a work of art, a story, a dance, a film, and text. How can we as people communicate better? How can we learn from each other? How can we listen? Ultimately, I hope to contribute to a discussion about the environment, race, aging, disability, economic inequality, immigration, and much more through an artistic pursuit, as I am a firm believer of the role the Arts and Artists can play in advancing our Global Society.
One of the prevalent themes in Christas work is the negotiation of personal memory against and alongside historical record and material artifact. The compelling historical sensibility of her work was developed while she earned her M.F.A. at the University of Washington, where she focused her research on ritual music and dance of the Afro-diaspora. She has published her research on dance and film in several journals, including an essay about the making of another building series in The Scholar & Feminist Online published by the Barnard Center for Research on Women. She also contributed an essay about Afro-Curaçaoan dance in the influential volume Caribbean Dance: from Abakuá to Zouk (winner of the de la Torre Bueno Prize) edited by Susanna Sloat (BC 65).
In addition to her impressive career as a performing artist, Christa has been an arts advocate. Her service to the dance field includes membership on the board of the former Dance Theater Workshop (Now NYLA) (2002-2010) and a current position on the Advisory Board of Dance/NYC, an organization that promotes the knowledge, appreciation, practice, and performance of dance in the metropolitan area. In 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Christa to a three-year term on the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission of the City of New York. In this role she advises on several current themes important to the administration such as diversity, and along with other commission members, gives feedback on the Cultural Plan for the City of New York or other initiatives in development.
Most recently, Christa has served as Artistic Director of Staten Islands Snug Harbor Cultural Center, where she developed and curated the performance series PASS (Performing Arts Salon Saturdays), as well as initiated Youth Matters, a performing arts series for young audiences. Her current film projects include her first Feature Film Umber and a short dance film around aging. In the fall of 2017 Christa will present the first Magdalena, a solo performance piece presented in an intimate context that explores her mothers life, and themes of immigration, racism and dementia. She also continues to appear in conducted improvisation (adapted from the Butch Morris Conduction system) with Burnt Sugar Arkestra a collaboration with musician Greg Tate..
Christa is Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Barnard College of Columbia Universitys Dance Department where she teaches courses in ScreenDance, Modern Dance and Composition.
Barnard Professor Paul Scolieri who wrote this bio, remarks that one of the most powerful aspects of Gabris work is her ability to reveal how global forces animate the seemingly personal stirrings of the body and soul.