Olivia Sabee is assistant professor of dance. Before coming to Swarthmore, she earned a high school diploma in Ballet from UNC School of the Arts, a B.A. in French from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in French from Johns Hopkins University. She also received early dance training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Cornish College Preparatory Dance Program, and ARC School of Ballet in Seattle.
Her research focuses on French ballet from the end of the Ancien Régime through the July Monarchy. Her most recent article, "Théophile Gautier's Ballet d'Action: Rewriting Dance History through Criticism," published in Dance Chronicle, examines how Gautier retrospectively defined the term ballet d'action, lending credence to the idea of a distinct rupture between eighteenth- and nineteenth-century balletic traditions.
As a choreographer, she has created new work for DC's Source Festival, ARC Youth Dance Company, MOVEIUS Contemporary Ballet, the Department of Music & Dance at Swarthmore, and Agora Dance, a contemporary dance company co-founded with Catherine Roth and Niko Sommaripa in 2015.