Zari Wigfall is a performance and visual artist who works in and around live theater and dance. Zari is best known for her work throughout the LA area, in the South of France and in the Nahata Dzill area of the Navajo Nation.
After completing her BFA degree in Dance at CalArts in 2003, Zari traveled to the South of France to work with commercial choreographer Tania Coleman in Aix-En-Provence, returning several times including, in 2009 as a guest teacher for Maison De La Danse in Istres, France. From 2004 to 2009 she worked with Dunham technique as a company member of Marshall Dance Company DT. Through MDC she served as a Dancer, Choreographer and was Teaching Assistant, Demonstrator and Substitute teacher of Dunham technique for LMU, Occidental College and Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Through the ACPN Arts Partnership program she taught and co-taught in over thirty LAUSD teacher workshops and student classes, performing in well over forty schools throughout the LA Unified School District. Zari has also taught Dunham technique in various studios in and around Los Angeles including Camarillo Academy of Performing Arts and as a Master Class Instructor traveling with Debbie Allen Dance Institute (summer intensive) to Houston, Texas.
Zari credits her experience of working on the Navajo Indian Reservation (Navajo Nation) as an event that gave her perspective on personal history, culture and first hand experience in how art connects people. After working as a K-12 emergency substitute teacher for Sanders Unified School District #18 she was asked to create a curriculum and work with a class of her own for one semester. In the spring of 1997, she worked as a full-time emergency substitute teacher for Sanders Middle School, teaching drama and theater arts to multiple classes of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Receiving full support for her ideas, she had her students bussed from Arizona to New Mexico, to see live theater and dance performances produced by UNM’s Theater and Dance departments. Back in Sanders, Arizona, she worked with her classes to create a pantomime theater and movement group that toured to the neighboring elementary school and created a first of its kind theater production for the New Lands Reservation community. Years later, at the request of her former students she returned to Sanders, AZ, to see many of her students graduate from high school, an event to be celebrated, in a community that struggles with a high dropout rate.
Early on, Zari learned about movement through gymnastics, booked her first television and print commercial for the State Capitol of California, at the age of 6. Followed her interest in costuming by apprenticing and studying costume design while still in High School. Landed her first job as Costume Assistant for The National Black Theater’s (from Harlem) Do Wop Love, a revue, during its tour to her hometown of Sacramento, Ca January 5-15, 1995.
As a resident of Los Angeles, Zari has worked as a dancer on a variety of commercial and artistic projects including, the then burgeoning Zumba infomercial and Scott Snibbe and Francesca Penzani’s 58 monitor video Transit, a permanent installation on display at the Los Angeles International Airport, Tom Bradley Terminal. Before retuning to work for CalArts in 2008, Zari worked purely as a freelance artist: dancer, choreographer, videographer, video editor and costume designer for live theater and dance. Currently, Zari serves as the commissioned choreographer for the Non-profit organization, Artists For Trauma, and works independently as a fused glass jewelry artist.