Karen specializes in modern dance and aerial dance theater that utilizes harnesses and apparatus-based movement for her choreography. Her company, GROUNDED Aerial, performed for the world launch of Microsoft Vista and Office Logo in New York City, and recently just came back from Johannesburg, a South African tour.  GROUNDED Aerial has also presented in conjunction with the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Dance Mission in San Francisco, NYU’s Washington Square Dance company, benefit events in Truckee and Squaw Valley CA, White Wave/dumbo Dance Festival, Spiderman DVD release party, the Skirball Theater at New York University (opening for Neil Diamond), the Hammerstein Ballroom (with the jazz/fusion band Medeski, Martin, and Wood), The Lime Light Club, Hillsborough College, (Tampa, Florida), and Webster Hall.

As a dancer, her performance credits include Pilobolus Dance Theater, choreographer-Danny Ezrelo with the film, “Love and Other Drugs,” Cavalia, Off-Broadway aerial dance show- De La Guarda, The Crystal Cathedral, MOMIX dance company’s U.S. and European tours, MOMIX in Orbit, New York Stage Original's DREAM, Ballet Sh’ma at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, and the Fourth Dimension Dance Company in the Seoul Opera House, Korea. Ms. Fuhrman has contributed to the choreography for both MOMIX and Pilobolus in both National and International tours. She has performed/choreographed in many other venues throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia; along with appearances on the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards, Conan O’Brian Show (’07 and ‘08), Ellen Degeneres show, Usher R&B celebrity opening gala concert, Royalty in Dubai, Good Morning America, The Oscars 2007, Oprah Winfrey Show, MTV, PBS (Egg series celebrating dance), CBS, Victoria Secrets Christmas Special, New York Stage Original’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, ABC, and SHOWTIME (action movie trailer).

While either teaching straight modern dance, or aerial dance theater, she continues to teach classes and workshops around the country, facilitating expressive combinations for very young students to varying universities. Most recently, Ms. Fuhrman premiered her evening lengths piece, an aerial play called "Insectinside" for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. "Insectinside" will run from April 26-29 at Brooklyn Lyceum (227 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY).

Grounded Aerial will be performing at the PIFA Opening Night Gala in "Chance Encounters" on April 7 at 10pm!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Being the youngest in my family..trying to get attention! Typical answer, I know..but well-it's the truth as far as performance goes...

2. Who is the one person in your field that you haven't worked with that you would like to? Mia Michaels, Cirque Du Soleil as an aerial choreographer, Danny Ezrelo as an aerial choreographer...many many more!

3. What made you start Grounded Aerial Dance Theater and how did you come up with the company's philosophy? I was in the Off-Broadway aerial show, "De La Guarda." They trained me in aerial work. Being a dancer since 3 years old, I combined my (ground) dance with aerial.  I also wanted to be more grounded in my choices....it seemed like the correct fit. Our philosophy is to be united and with out judgement as we create. This philosophy helps the creative process and allows pieces to develop in a way that they couldn't if I was only creating alone. We are grounded on the stage and in our creative flight together.

4. What excites you most about being part of PIFA? The 90-foot wall! And the site specific location. We plan to use all of the space...balconies included! How do you decide what to perform for a festival like PIFA as opposed to a season show? Using the dimensions of the space, and the Parisian theme began the creative juices.

5. What is the best advice you've ever received? Lots...maybe to create with out judgement or ego.

6. Favorite way to spend your day off? With my partner, honestly. Not scheduling! Allowing creative choreography to just occur, and not force it. Maybe a hike. Music always. A nice bottle of wine. Laughing with ease...and snuggling. (is that too much info??!!) ha!

BONUS QUESTION:

7. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I would dream of my father. He passed recently. It would be nice to have another conversation with him...one that is tangible and overtly clear, that is...although I know he is still with me in a more esoteric form.

This interview is brought to you with the support of PIFA (Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts). If you liked the interview above and want to help ensure that PIFA becomes an annual event please Like their Facebook Page and Follow them on Twitter!

Kendra Greaves

Christine Cox