Nijawwon Matthews is an internationally acclaimed director, choreographer, educator and dancer. He finds inspiration through collaborations and continued work with people from around the world.
Recently Nijawwon performed as a dance soloist in “Transformation: Personal Stories of Change, Acceptance, and Evolution” created by actress Glenn Close and musician Ted Nash for Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center. Nijawwon was selected as The Director’s Choice for the 2019 Dallas Black Dance Theatre season in Dallas Texas and commissioned to choreograph a new work for the company. Mr Matthews is a master teacher and who’s appeal was featured in Dance Teacher magazine. He was invited to restage his work ‘Cycles’ for The Alvin Ailey/Fordham University B.F.A. Program and is setting a new commissioned work on Marymount Manhattan College that will premiere in the Spring 2022 alongside CDT ARTS of Jamaica.
Utilizing his national and international experience as a dance educator and choreographer, Mr. Matthews is founding artistic director of the XY Dance Project. The XY Dance Project is a pre-professional company. Nijawwon has been invited to instruct master classes and choreograph new work for a host of universities and academic entities that include recent work with Yale University, Ohio State University, and Alabama State University.
Nijawwon continued desire to make good dance has extended opportunities to instruct and create for professional companies and dance institutions in the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, China, Curaçao, Finland, Germany, Italy, Peru, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, and Switzerland. Additionally, Matthews has shared his skills in theatrical performances for productions of Chicago, Footloose, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Oklahoma, while also having shared his insight with after school programs like the Partnership For Results, a community-wide after-school development program for vulnerable youth under the direction of Susan Muldoon.
As a commercial personality, Nijawwon performed in the films “In The Heights,” “Black Nativity,” and on television performing a beautiful role in works by Cirque Du Soleil for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and on the PBS/Time Warner TV Special “Black Bones.” In his concert career, highlights would include legacy work by learning and performing for choreographers such as the late Donald McKayle, George Faison, Otis Sallid, Milton Myers, Kevin Iega Jeff, Gary Abbott, Christopher Huggins, and companies that include Philadanco!, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Cecilia Marta Dance Company, and several others.
Presently, Nijawwon Matthews is on faculty and a choreographer at Broadway Dance Center and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City.