Nic Gareiss

Nic Gareiss is a performer, teacher and researcher examining the cultural employment of the human body as a musical instrument.  His work re-imagines aesthetic movement as a musical activity, morphing dance into a medium that appeals to both the eyes and the ears. 

An enduring fascination with dance practices that create audible foot rhythm and the remarkable concurrent existence of percussive dance in so many disparate cultures has driven Gareiss to study shoe-sounds and grooves internationally, tracing the roots of American traditional dance abroad. 

Informed by 20 years of study and performance, Nic’s dancing reflects his love of improvisation, traditional footwork vocabulary, and musical collaboration.

Past Engagements


Celtic Colours International Festival

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, 2016

Tauranga Arts Festival

Tauranga, New Zealand, 2013

Celtic Connections Festival

Glasgow, Scotland, 2013

International Body Music Festival

San Francisco, California, 2011

Cork Opera House

Dance Commission in Honor of Steve Reich

Cork, Ireland, 2011

Munich Philharmonic

Munich, Germany, 2010

Ballyshannon Folk Festival

Donegal, Ireland, 2010

Liège Opera House                                        Belgium, 2008

Festival Interceltique

Lorient, France, 2007


The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage

Washington, D.C., 2006


" one of the few artists in the world of traditional dance whose practice transcends the language we shackle our creative expression with. I have seen his enthusiasm, supreme technical ability and creative flair engaging movement and sound traditions from around the globe with respect and an incredible thirst for knowledge. Such knowledge is used to inform his own unique artistic practice which has the freshness, purity and vision of tradition born anew.”

  1. -Niall Keegan, Director, BA Irish Music & Dance Performance, University of Limerick

photo by Alison Armstrong