Artistic Director

2018 Proclamation from Senator Jesse E. Hamilton, 2018 Citation from the Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams honoring his dedication as an artist, New York BESSIE Award recipient, 2020-21 Dance Foundation Artist Residency, 2010-20 Restoration Arts Artist Residency & Director of Programming, and Arts International Grantee. Appointed Artistic Director of Southern DanceWork in 2021, Germaul Barnes (he/him/they) began his early training at South Mountain High School of the Arts, Phoenix School of Ballet, Ballet Arizona, and local Black nightclubs in his hometown Phoenix, Arizona. Barnes continued his education at the University of the Arts-Philadelphia. He went on to dance with Group Motions Dance Company, Philadanco, Pacific Conservatory Theater,  Pilobolus, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Joan Miller Players, and Tolada Dance Company in Berlin, Germany  – gathering mentors like Katherine Dunham and Eleo Pomare. He has been a guest dancer for numerous ballet and contemporary companies internationally.

Barnes is a former dancer and current répétiteur for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. Currently a full-time dance instructor at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, curator for Contemporary Improvisation for Black Men.

He has served as a visiting professor in residence at U of I at Urbana–Champaign, Skidmore College, and guest artist at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Fordham University BFA Program at The Ailey School, and Joffrey Ballet School. Barnes sits on the advisory board for the Next Generation – International Association of Blacks in Dance, Artist Mentor for Black Diaspora at Gibney-NYC, board member of The Flourish, and an Alabama Dance Council member. 

In addition to creating over 35 works for his former company Viewsic Dance. Many companies and universities have commissioned Barnes, with the most recent Body Rhythm Dance Theater, Alabama Ballet world premiere In the Fold, Grown Women Dance Collective, UNCG, Southern DanceWork under the direction of Terri Weskler, Birmingham Southern. 

In 2015, Barnes choreographed the first original Marley – A Musical, based on the life and music of the reggae superstar Bob Marley written & directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah. Collaboration with musicians, visual artists, poets is a significant component of Barnes’s creative process; working with such artists as Thollem McDonas, Russian National Wind Quintet, Cameron Carpenter, Gabri Christa, Greg Tate, Paul Sullivan, Harry Feiner, Maxim Rubtsov, Yogi Dada, Ashley M. Jones, Anthony Williams, Brian Raphael Nabors, Jon Osborne, and Elvie Schooly, and YaTande Hunter.  

His choreography has been presented throughout the United States and abroad; Central Park SummerStage, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, 92nd Street Y, Institute of Contemporary Arts Boston, Dorothy Jemison Day Theater, Alvin Ailey/Fordham School, Judson Memorial Church, Aaron Davis Hall, P.S.122, Danspace Project/St. Mark Church, DanceNow, Saratoga Arts Gallery, Dixon Place, HarlemStages, Billie Holiday Theater, Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts, Jacobs Pillow, Belarus, Ghana, Russia, Poland, London, England, Japan, Sweden, Canada, Portugal, Salvador Baha, Germany. In his long-time collaboration with South African composer Bongani Ndodana, he choreographed, danced, and directed Uhambo, an opera oratorio in Graham Town, South Africa, and later choreographed the opera Lâ’Histoire du Soldat and co-directed The Orphan Boy with Vivine Scarlett in Toronto, Canada.