It all started with a long car ride.

The year was 1997, and then university colleagues Kimberly Karpanty, Rebecca Malcoln-Naib and Karen Stokes were lamenting the defunding of the arts in the 90's ... And soon, a dance group was formed out of this travesty. Over 20 years later, Travesty Dance Group continues to create work that rises above travesty to inspire and enlighten.




  1. the peripheral status of the arts and culture in the fabric of society.

  2. the challenging state of funding in the arts today.

  3. the necessary humor of three women continuing professional dance careers in a field that traditionally favors youth, while managing in dance company in three different cities.

Photo: Carol Rosegg


TRAVESTY DANCE GROUP was conceived in 1997 to support and produce the creative projects of its founding members, Kimberly Karpanty (CLEVELAND), Rebecca Malcolm-Naib (PHILADELPHIA) and Karen Stokes (HOUSTON). The company debuted at Case Western Reserve University’s Mather Dance Center in May 1997 and has since presented original dance films, short repertory and evening-length works throughout the United States and abroad in Brazil, Canada, Dubai, Germany, Macao, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

Travesty Dance Group has been called "imaginative," "clever" and "amusing" by the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail and “fresh and wacky” by Lisa Jo Sagolla of Backstage, New York.

In 2010 the co-founders decided to pursue separate missions. Stokes created a sister company in Houston, Karen Stokes Dance, and Travesty Dance Group is now an Ohio company under the Artistic Direction of Karpanty. Malcolm-Naib serves as an advisor for both groups.


Photo credit: Dana Rogers


Mission Statement

Enriched by collaborative process, Travesty Dance Group seeks to present original theatrical work that will engage and unite diverse populations and communities. The founders believe in dance as a basic human art, embracing both the complexities of contemporary society and the life affirming essence of movement.  The fundamental hope of Travesty Dance Group is to create dance that rises above travesty to inspire and enlighten.