Texas Woman's University Department of Dance invites a variety of guest artists each semester to work with students in a number of contexts, including master classes, seminars, performances, extended residencies, and choreographic commissions.
Nia Love: May 12-24, 2014
Nia Love earned her M.F.A. in Dance with distinction from Florida State University in Choreography and her BFA in Theatre Directing from Howard University. Nia has performed and produced over 30 choreographic works from New York to California and Accra to Paris. She trained in Cuba with Alicia Alonzo in ballet, Japan with Min Tanaka in Butoh, and with King Osei Tutu II in the traditional Court dancing of Ghana. Love served as Associate Director and Artist consultant for the seven- time award winning Documentary film Bringing in da Spirit, a look at African-American midwives from the turn of the century to the present, and is presently associate producer for Lou.Production- Filmworks. Nia Love is a two-time award recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Fellow Award for research and teaching in Ghana for 2000-2002. Presently, her work has been showcased at Sadler’s Wells (London, England), The Joyce Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Central Park’s Summer stage, Dance Theater Workshop, Symphony Space and Dancenow Festival. Ms. Love has served as Adjunct Professor and/ or Guest Lecturer at Manhattanville College, Barnard College and Sarah Lawrence College, Smith College, University of Florida State University. She has currently joined forces with Marjani Forte and has co-created a collaborative collective- LOVE|FORTE the collective.
Kira Blazek: March 17, 2014
Kira Blazek is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer. Her classical training began at the Houston Ballet Academy, under the direction of Clara Cravey and Steve Brule. Blazek went on to receive a BFA in Modern Dance Performance from the University of Oklahoma. She then joined Hubbard Street 2 (Chicago, IL) and toured extensively in the U.S. and Germany, dancing works by Robert Battle, Christian Spuck, Edward Liang, Julian Barnett and Amy Raymond among others. Blazek then relocated to New York and immediately began dancing for Douglas Dunn & Dancers, becoming both rehearsal director and assistant to Douglas. While in New York, she also performed for Christopher Williams, Pilobolus Creative Services, Nicole Wolcott, and Shen Wei Dance Arts. In 2009, she was invited to dance in the US premier of SHOT, created by Anoukvandijkdc (Netherlands). She eventually became one of four Americans certified to teach Countertechnique, a contemporary dance technique developed by Anouk van Dijk. Blazek has since led classes at Dance New Amsterdam, Princeton University, San Jacinto College, Maine Island Dance Festival, Hope Stone Dance, CalArts, and currently at the University of Oklahoma. As a choreographer, Blazek has presented works at New York venues such as Galapagos Arts Space, Dixon Place, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, and Danspace St.Mark’s Church. She was featured in the music video for ‘Lazuli’ by Beach House, and has worked in collaboration with Ryan McNamara and Jack Ferver in various projects blending performance art and dance. She was an artist in residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Residency where she created a trio, Zorya, using her own visual artwork as backdrops for the piece. In the summer of 2013, she set a commission on the Florida based company Fuzion Dance Artists, directed by Leymis Wilmott. Blazek recently collaborated with Hartel Dance Group at Oklahoma Contemporary Arts, where she also presented a solo, Banksy My Warhol.
Rachel Bernsen: February 17-19, 2014
Rachel Bernsen is an independent dance artist, dance educator and certified teacher of the Alexander Technique based in New York City and New Haven, CT. She is one part of Quartet Collective, investigating improvisational practices and interdisciplinary possibilities with dancer and choreographer Melanie Maar and composer/performers Taylor Ho Bynum and Abraham Gomez-Delgado. Her latest work After the Meadow, Before the Forest is a collaboration with composer Carl Testa and the vocalists Anne Rhodes and Jean Carla Rodea. She has collaborated extensively on multiple projects with Ho Bynum including two recent dance works Corridor (2011) and Glimmer Glint Glisten (2010). Rachel is also currently performing with composer Anthony Braxton in his interdisciplinary Pine Top Aerial Music project, and will be choreographing his opera Trillium J in the spring of 2014. She has also worked with composer and bagpipes player Matthew Welch, and collaborated on numerous projects with Testa and Rhodes including User (2010) and Unicorns Were Horses (2009). Rachel was a participating artist in the World Performance Project's Think Jam: Improvisation Across Disciplines, a symposium on improvisation at Yale University. She is a multiple year recipient of the Mayor's Community Arts Grant from the city of New Haven (11/12 & 12/13), a 2007 NEA Honorary Fellow at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and was a 2005/06 Dance Theater Workshop Fresh Tracks artist-in-residence.
In NYC her work has been shown at The Austrian Cultural Forum's Moving Sounds Festival, Arts For Art, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Roulette, The Chocolate Factory, The Vision Festival, Issue Project Room, Movement Research Spring Festival, Catch! Performance Series, The Poetry Project, The NOT Festival, Dixon Place, Jalopy Theater, ArtSpace New Haven, and Movement Research at the Judson Church. Rachel has also presented projects internationally at The Free Music Festival in Antwerp, Belgium; Vienna, Austria; Amsterdam,The Netherlands; Bologna, Italy, and in Cologne and Kassel Germany.
Rachel is the founder of the performance space and movement laboratory, The BIG ROOM in New Haven, CT and curator of its interdisciplinary performance series, Take Your Time. The series' debut in May 2010 was profiled in the New York Times and received an overall Best of 2010 mention in the New Haven Register.
As a teacher of Alexander Technique and contemporary dance, Bernsen has been a guest artist at Yale University, Wesleyan University, and Connecticut College. She is on faculty at Movement Research, and recently traveled to Russia as a teaching artist for the Moscow Dance Agency Tsekh Summer Dance Festival. She is part-time faculty in the dance dept. at The Educational Center for the Arts (ECA), an arts high school in New Haven, CT. Rachel also maintains a private practice in the Alexander Technique. From 2009-11 she served on the board of the American Society for the Alexander (AmSAT), and currently is on the board of Elm City Dance Collective (ECDC).
From 2002 to 2006 Bernsen performed and toured with the performance art group and recording artists Fischerspooner. She has also performed with Emily Coates, RoseAnne Spradlin, Juliette Mapp, Sam Kim, Risa Jaroslow and Dancers, Urban Bush Women, and Minneapolis based artists Morgan Thorson, Wynne Fricke, and Leah Nelson.
Bernsen is a contributor and former managing editor of the Movement Research Performance Journal (MRPJ) and has written for the AmSAT News. She holds an MFA in Dance from New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and a BA in English Literature from Macalester College.
Andee Scott is an interdisciplinary artist, with a primary focus in dance.
As a choreographer, Ms. Scott’s areas of interest include technology, site-specific, design, and aerial work. Her most recent major piece, Light, Interrupted, explored and exploited the relationship between light, technology, and dance. Her research is concerned with indicating a different relationship with space and light, where space is made tangible, and light is made visible. Her recent choreography, The Shape of White, involved dancers performing in and around trees, tunnels, and water, projecting images of birds on and in tunnels and snow, and Portrait was an aerial work in four parts, with a section that adapted the romantic ballet Les Sylphides to a wall. Currently, she is developing Silo/Solo, a full-length work to be performed and filmed in a silo, investigating ideas of frontiers and boundaries through movement, video, text, and light. Initial work on the project was developed during a residency at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in the fall of 2011, and she performed a video section, Walking The Line, as an invited guest at CORD's Meanings and Makings of Queer Dance Conference at The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor this past spring.
As a performer, she curated and performed Woman’s Work: Reconstructions of Self, a solo dance project in which she invited 5 international choreographers to create solos for and with her. Choreographers included Lenka Flory of Deja Donne (IT), Jeanine Durning (NY), Claudia Lavista of Delfos Contemporary Dance (MX), Lee Kyung-Eun of Lee K. Dance (S. KOR), and Elizabeth Gillaspy (TX). "Woman’s Work" premiered in the Fuse Box Festival in Austin, TX and received numerous awards including Outstanding Dance Concert and Outstanding Dancer. She has subsequently toured works from the project in the US, Italy, and Mexico. Ms. Scott has been a member of Sharir+Bustamante Danceworks, Blue Lapis Light, and Michael Foley Dance, and has performed with David Dorfman Dance and AlienNation Co., under the direction of Johnanes Birringer.
Ms. Scott has conducted residencies and taught master classes nationally and internationally and has been on faculty at the University of Texas at Austin and the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. At USF, she teaches modern technique, choreography, and BFA projects. She holds an MFA in Dance and Related Arts from Texas Woman's University, and degrees in Dance and German from The University of Texas at Austin.
A native of Fort Worth, TX, Amy Morrow graduated from the inaugural Gaga Teacher Training Program. Her first Gaga experience was with over 200 international artists in a 111-year-old gymnasium at the American Dance Festival in the summer heat of Durham, NC. Amy graduated with a B.F.A. in Dance with Honors from Belhaven University, Jackson, Mississippi. Representing the Visual Arts and International Relations departments, she performed at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts, Thalia Mara Hall, Ferst Center for the Arts, and E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall among others. In collaboration with Jesse Zaritt, Amy presented her senior thesis, Contextualizing Art Cross-Culturally, to diverse audiences in unconventional venues. She performed as a guest artist for the International Ballet Competition, studied Nikolais/Louis technique with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, and directed educational outreaches/benefit performances across Texas. Working for the American Dance Festival’s 2009 and 2011 seasons, she served international choreographers, musicians, critics, production artists, and teachers. Currently, Amy travels and teaches Gaga, ballet, and Indian dance forms across the States, India, and Israel.
Allyne D. Gartrell
A native of Atlanta, GA, Allyne D. Gartrell brings twenty five years of experience to the art of dance. A graduate of the Dekalb Center for the Performing Arts in Atlanta. Allyne also attended Florida A&M University and Florida State University where he excelled in Instrumental Music and Dance. As a dancer, Allyne has worked with Joel Hall Dance Theater, Ballet Wisconsin, City Ballet Theatre and for seven years he was one of the Lead Male Dancers for the Internationally known Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, where he served as Company Instructor and Rehearsal Directorfor DCDC II. While at DCDC, Allyne performed ballets of Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle,Talley Beatty, Ulysses Dove, and Donald Byrd to name a few. His Broadway credits include; the Wiz, A Chorus Line, Sophisticated Ladies, and his most notable performance as Crown in the National Touring Production of Porgy & Bess. Allyne also served as Assistant to the Tony AWard Winning Choreogpher Hope Clark for the production of Porgy & Bess which premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Arts.
Over the past decade Allyne has worked as Prinipal Male Dancer, Rehearsal Director and Resident Choreographer for the Dallas Black Dance Thaetre. In 2006, Allyne became Director of DBDT II, Dallas Black Dance Theatre's2nd Touring Company. Allyne is a highly recognized Master Dance Instructor in the country-known for his high energy, & physically demanding jazz and modern classes. His pulsating choreography has been featured on several dance companies and Universities including, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, DBDT II, Milwaukee Dance Connection, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Morgan State University, Spelman College, City College of San Francisco, and Grambling State University.In 2006 Allyne choreographed Primary Movements; a contemproary ballet in collaboration with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, with orginal scoring by classical composer Jonathan Bailey Holland. Primary Movements became the official kick-off for Dallas Black Dance Theatre's 30th Anniversary Celebration.
In 2000, Allyne founded the Arts Unlimited Project, a non-profit multicultural organization, focused on the preservation of the art of dance and african american culture in the city of Milwaukee. In 2004 Allyne was recognized for his contributionto at risk youth in the mid-west by Senator russ Fiengold, and was awarded the 2004 AKA Trail Blazer Award for Outstanding Community Service. Currently Allyne is a member of the International Association of Blacks in Dance, National Performing Arts Guild, and for the past ten years he has serves as Scholarship Chairman for the Black College Dance Exchange, a coalition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Most recently Allyne was inducted into the 2009 Presidential Edition of Who's Who in the Arts, awarded the Dallas Black Dance Theatre2009 Artist Award, and in December of 2009 Allyne was featured in Dallas Modern Luxuary Magazine asone of The New Iconoclats for 2010 and was awarded the 21011 Phoenix Award by Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta.
Anisha Rajesh: October 22, 2013
Anisha Rajesh started her dance pursuit at the age of 6 years. She has been trained in Bharathanatyam, Kuchupudi, Mohiniyattam, Kathakali and Carnatic music. She was initiated into the learning of Bharathanatyam by Thiruvalla Vasudeva Panicker, Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi by Mavelikara Sreevalsan. She has been trained in Kathakali by Kalamandalam Krishnaprasad. Her association and training under Dr Neena Prasad proved to be the most fruitful and enlightening time in her life as a dancer.
Anisha finds her training in carnatic music as a great asset as a teacher of dance. She has been trained in carnatic music for 10 years under the tutelage of the late Mavelikara Sankara Pillai.
Immensely talented and creative, Anisha has won numerous awards in dance, music and literary competitions at inter-school and inter- college art festivals. To mention a few, she was awarded the ‘best actress’ for her brilliant performance in the Kerala university Drama festival and she was awarded the title ‘Kalathilakam’ (a distinction awarded to the highest points achieved in multiple art competitions) at the inter-university arts festival of the training colleges of Kerala.
In addition to dance and music, she has a keen interest in literature. She is also an immensely talented writer and poet and has won numerous prices for her writing in various competitions. She has a Bachelors and Masters in English Literature, Bachelors in Education, PG Diploma in Journalism and Master of Philosophy in English literature (Pre – Doctoral degree). She was the Gold medalist in MPhil (Kerala university - 2000). She is also qualified for Lectureship by University Grants Commission (UGC) in India. She worked as a lecturer in English in colleges affliated to Kerala university and Pune university before moving to the USA in Yr 2005.
Keith Hennessy: October 7-9, 2013
Keith Hennessy is an award-winning performer, choreographer, teacher and organizer. He was born in Canada, lives in San Francisco and tours internationally. His interdisciplinary research engages improvisation, ritual and public action as tools for investigating political realities and social movement. Recent awards include the United States Artist Kjenner Fellowship (2012), a Bilinski Fellowship (2011), a NY Bessie (2009), two Isadora Duncan Awards (2009), and the SF Bay Guardian’s Goldie (2007). Hennessy directs Circo Zero, a laboratory for live performance that plays with genre and expectation He was also a member of the collaborative performance companies: Contraband (85-94), CORE (95-98), and Cahin-caha, cirque bâtard (98-02). Recent works include Negotiate, created in Dakar with dancers from Senegal, Togo and RDCongo, Turbulence (a dance about the economy) funded by the National Dance Project, Auf den Tisch! with Meg Stuart, Almost an open improvisation with Paris-based sound artist Jassem Hindi, and Crotch, a solo performance developed at L’Arsenic in Lausanne, and presented across the US and in six European countries. Keith’s recent teaching includes Impulstanz (Vienna), University of California (Davis), Touch & Play Festival (Berlin), Ponderosa (Stolzenhagen), Tanzfabrik (Berlin), Kiev Festival of Improvisation, University of Dance & Circus (Stockholm), and Movement Research (NYC). He holds an MFA in Choreography and is a PhD candidate in Performance Studies at UC Davis.
Yung-Huai Huang and Ya-Chun Yang: September 10 – October 2, 2013
Yung-Huai Huang graduated from Dance Department at National Taiwan University of Arts in 2008. Huang has collaborated with many dance companies in Taiwan including the Chamber Ballet Taipei, Century Contemporary Dance Company, Assembly Dance Theatre, and Horse Theatre. He has performed in Les Noces (2009) and Les Noces / Le Sacre Du Printemps (2010) after joining Century Contemporary Dance Company in 2008 under the direction of Shu-Fen Yao. Les Noces / Le Sacre Du Printemps(2010) appeared at the National Theatre Concert Hall of Taiwan and received the prestigious 2010 9th Taishin Arts Award. After joining the Assembly Dance Theatre in 2008 under the direction of Huei-Chuan Yang, he was pleased to perform in the company’s 15th anniversary production of Twinkling Jade. In 2010, he joined the Horse Dance Theatre, an all-male cast/choreographers company, with artistic director Wu-Kang Chen and co-founder Wei-Chia Su. They co-produced a three-week long sound/environment installation dance project called Successor(2011) which was presented at the Huashan 1914 Creative Park. In 2011, he collaborated with Off-Nibroll from Tokyo and performed the exchange project of The Wall choreographed by Shu-Fen Yao and worked with Kuei-Chuan Yang in Flying Smiles!. In 2012, he continued working with the Horse Dance Theatre creating more works such as California Roll and To Every Man His Dog. He has also performed in many other works such as Velocity (2007), A Stair Dance (2006) by Eliot Feld and commissioned by the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, The Number by Wu-Kang Chen, 2011 Dance Travel Project and 1875 Ravel and Bolero by Shu-Yi and Dancers. He is now a freelance artist seeking more creative possibilities in performance and choreography.
Ya-Chun Yang, an independent performer and choreographer, graduated from the Dance Department at National Taiwan University of Arts. Since 2008, she has collaborated with many dance companies, including Assembly Dance Theatre, Century Contemporary Dance Company, and T.T.C Dance. While working with Shu-Yi Chou in 2010, she performed in 1875 Ravel & Bolero, which toured to New York City Center and won the 2009 Sadler’s Wells Global Dance Contest. After joining the Assembly Dance Theatre under the direction of Kuei-Chuan Yang, she performed in the fifteenth anniversary production Twinkling Jade (2008) and Flying Smile! (2011). She has also performed in Tsui-Shuang Lai’s Premiere (2010), Les Noches (2009) by Yao Shu-Fen and Duplication of Dream (2010) by Yan-Shu Hao. From 2009-2011, she also participated in Young’s New Vision Project –Dance, collaborating with many young artists and being presented at the Experimental Theater by National Culture and Arts Foundation. Additional works she has performed in, include, Wei-Ning Chen’s Happiness (2009), Hsiao-Tzu Tien’s The Road (2010), Yu-Ju Lin’s She says (2011), and Ting-Ting Chang’s Body Platform: Cabinet Anthropomorphyque (2012).
Sherwood Chen: May 13-25, 2013
Sherwood Chen has worked as a performer with artists including Anna Halprin, Min Tanaka, Ko Murobushi, Marina Abramovic, Grisha Coleman/echo::systems, Sara Shelton Mann and Do Hee Lee. In 2009, he formed dance collaborative Headmistress with choreographer Amara Tabor-Smith performing at Movement Research at Judson Church and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He has been a contributing performer to Shinichi Iova-Koga's inkBoat since 2005. Sherwood has worked with Body Weather Laboratory training, initiated by Tanaka, since 1993, and was a resident member of Tanaka's international performance collective Mai Juku in rural Japan. He has facilitated Body Weather Laboratory and danced with Oguri and Roxanne Steinberg in Los Angeles, and continues leading Body Weather training in the San Francisco Bay Area and abroad. He has created solo, collaborative and group dances at venues including Theatre de L'Échangeur, PS122, Thread Waxing Space, San Francisco Asian Art Museum, Japan America Theatre and San Francisco Art Institute. He has been an artist in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts with Headmistress, Cap Quinze in Marseille, Cultural Exchange Station in Tábor (CESTA), and forthcoming at Point Éphémère, Sherwood was Associate Director of Alliance for California Traditional Arts and serves as board member for Intersection for the Arts (San Francisco) and Khmer Arts Academy (Phnom Penh/Long Beach).
Amie Dowling: February 11-15, 2013
Amie Dowling has a BFA from Ohio State University and an MFA from Smith College. Amie Dowling is currently an Associate Professor and Director of the Dance Program in the Performing Arts and Social Justice Department at the University of San Francisco, as well as an artist in residence at the San Francisco Jails. Prior to moving West, Ms. Dowling was a guest artist in the Five College Dance Department and taught at Amherst and Mount Holyoke Colleges, and served as the Graduate Advisor at Smith College.
After performing throughout the United States and Europe with the Liz Lerman/Dance Exchange, Ms. Dowling was invited to Chiang Mai, Thailand to assist in the development of a dance program at Payap University. While in northern Thailand she co- wrote and produced several plays with, and about, women leaving the sex trade industry.
Upon returning to the U.S. Ms. Dowling co-founded the Performance Project at the Hampshire and Hampden County Jails where she collaborated with people who are incarcerated on the creation of evening-length original theater/dance pieces.
In October of 2012, Ms. Dowling’s project, Well Contested Sites, a dance/theater film based on the experiences of men who had previously been incarcerated, was completed. The film, accompanied by a curriculum guide, is used in high school classrooms to address and create dialogue about mass incarceration and restorative justice.
Ms. Dowling is a contributing author to the anthology, Recreating New Lives: Theater and Incarceration, published by Jessica Kingston Press. Recently, she has received funding for her work from The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Fonds Soziokultur, the US Consulate in Leipzig, the Haymarket Foundation, and the Jesuit Foundation.
Amii LeGendre: May 14-26, 2012
Amii LeGendre is a faculty member in Dance and coordinates the Wellness Program at Bard College in upstate NY. For five years, she has taught dance to incarcerated men through Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) and Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA). She founded LeGendre Performance Group, with whom she made contemporary dance work in Seattle, WA for 15 years, in collaborations with musicians, composers, and designers. Among work created was the award-winning Bully in 2000 that premiered at On the Boards in Seattle with sculptor Anat Pollack and band/composer Violent Green. She has developed modern, improvisation and contact teaching material that she has taught in residencies at Weslyan, Connecticut College, Texas Woman’s University, Cornish College of the Arts, Dance New England, independent institutes and in Ecuador, Peru, Canada, and Hong Kong. She continues work on a series of site-based custom-made solos for one performer and one spectator, called Evidence. She creates duet work with her dancing partner Anne Bloom (NY) and tours with Pat Graney Dance Co. (Seattle). She has a six-year-old daughter, Stellah.
KT Niehoff: February 13-17, 2012
KT Niehoff, Choreographer and Artistic Director of Lingo dancetheater, received her dance, music and performance education from such mentors and visionaries as Joy Kellman, Jimmy Tripp, Stella Adler, Lisa Sokolov, Duaine Wolfe, Katie Duck, Laurie DeVito, Daniel Lepkoff, Nina Martin, and Michele Miller. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater history/acting from New York University, receiving training from The Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting as well as the Experimental Theater Wing. In 1998, 2000 & 2002 she was the recipient of a Seattle Arts Commission Individual Artist award. She was recipient of a 2001 Artist Trust Fellowship.
Ms. Niehoff began choreographing in the Northwest area in 1995, and founded her company, Lingo dancetheater, in 1997. Since then, her work has been presented throughout the United States and internationally in Canada, Japan, Ecuador and Cuba.
Her work has received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, The New England Foundation for the Arts/National Dance Project, the National Performance Network, Meet the Composer, Composer/Choreographer Project, King County Arts Commission, Arts International, Seattle Arts Commission, Artist Trust, Allied Arts, and multiple artist residencies at Centrum in Port Townsend, WA. Her work has been commissioned by Cornish College of the Arts, the d-9 dance collective, and Milton Academy in Boston.
Ms. Niehoff is co-director at Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, which she founded in 1996 with her partner, Michele Miller, where she teaches regularly. She has taught technique, composition, and improvisation for the better part of a decade at institutions such as the DC Improvisation Festival, The School for New Dance Development (Amsterdam), Oberlin University (Ohio), Estudio 3 (Madrid), Dance Space Center (NYC), The Muse Ballet School (Osaka, Japan), Humanazarte (Quito, Ecuador), Cornish College of the Arts, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Evergreen College, the University of Oregon, and the University of Washington.
Rebecca Bryant: November 1, 2011
Coming from a visual art background, Rebecca Bryant creates performances that combine set and improvised movement with sound, text, video and objects. Known for work that is “politically charged, yet humorously staged” (Jennifer DePoyen, San Diego Union Tribune), Rebecca is interested in blurring the lines that separate disciplines and addressing current social phenomena. She performs in traditional theaters as well as site-specific locations, including art galleries, fountains, abandoned electrical factories and cliff sides. In addition to solo projects, she creates work as a member of the Lower Left Performance Collective (dance/theater) and the Past Modern Performance Duo(dance/percussion/new media). Rebecca’s projects with musicians, visual artists, theater artists, poets, and dancers have brought her into creative relationships with over 70 artists from diverse backgrounds, including the multi-national music collective Trummerflora, African-American poetry group Collective Purpose, Chicano/Latino collective The Taco Shop Poets, Korean-American hip hop choreographer Grace Jun, Argentine filmmaker Paula Zacharias, Polish theater director Jurek Sawka, and German visual artist Fabian Winkler. She has danced with renowned and emerging choreographers including Nina Martin, Shelley Senter, Victoria Marks, Wally Cardona, Kim Epifano, Lionel Popkin, Marianne Kim and Manuelito Biag. Rebecca has performed her work across the US and in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Romania, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Her recent projects have been supported by residencies at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program (California) and the Guapamacátaro Art and Ecology Residency (Mexico). A graduate of UCLA’s MFA program, Rebecca teaches workshops in improvisation and contemporary dance practices across the US and abroad. She is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Purdue University where she teaches contemporary technique and solo, contact and ensemble improvisation.
The Assembly Dance Theatre: September 6-8, 2011
The Assembly Dance Theatre was founded in October 1993. The artistic director Yang Kuei-Chuan devoted herself to making dance utilizing Chinese calligraphy as the main source of inspiration. Since 1993, Yang has renovated her dance vocabulary via an‘assembly’ approach. Whether the dance vocabulary is a combination of west/east or old/new, her works have been concerned with humanity and everyday life in Taiwan.
The company has grabbed the heart of the international audience in the Edinburgh Festival and won critical acclaim from Village Voice in New York and The Scotsman in the UK. The Company has successfully practiced the belief in eliciting the traditional, local, innovative, epochal and global through dance performance.
Stafford Berry: May 16-28, 2011
Stafford C. Berry, Jr. is the Associate Artistic Director of the African American Dance Ensemble where he toured for 12 years, Managing Director of the Berry & Nance Dance Project, and is on the faculty of the American Dance Festival. He has taught, choreographed, and performed African rooted dance and theatre throughout the United States and the Caribbean. An advocate for the advancement of the arts, he has served on Dance Panels for the North Carolina Arts Council & the Durham Arts Council, and he’s served on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Dance Alliance. Mr. Berry has been a Master Teacher for the National Foundation for the Arts Competition in Miami, Florida. He has performed in works by (Dance) Melvin Purnell, Dennis Wayne, David Dorfman, Assane Konte, Dr. Kariamu Welsh Asante, Dr. Bill Banfield, Penny Bridgers, and Dr. Chuck Davis; (Theatre) Ed Shockley, Zadia Ife and August Wilson.
Mr. Berry’s choreographer’s awards and grants have been numerous. He was awarded the Neumann Cultural Enrichment Grant to create a new work (1994). He received a North Carolina Arts Council Choreographers Fellowship (2000), a Cooper Foundation Grant (2002), two Five County Arts Grants from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance in PA (2003, 2004), a Ford Foundation Grant to create a new ballet in collaboration with Dr. Chuck Davis (2004) and most recently, an Emerging Artist grant from the Durham Arts Council which will allow him to create new music for a ballet (2008). His work, a combination of dance, theatre and music, can be seen in the archives of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
D. Chase Angier: March 26-31, 2011
While living between Brooklyn and Alfred New York, D. Chase Angier creates and performs dance-theater, performed installations, site-specific works and walking performances pieces. These intuitively driven works are created in collaboration with dynamic artists in the visual arts, performance, music and theater, and have been performed internationally and nationally in theaters, galleries, and architecturally inspiring sites.
In response to her visually inspired work, she also co-creates and co-performs visceral and highly physical dance duets with Robert Bingham in Angier/Bingham Dance. Regardless, their latest work, is a series of duets that operate within the temporal and spatial constraints of straight dance and music (no sets, props or other visuals) to illustrate a stormy and complicated relationship. Regardless, brings to life a rich emotional world of need, hope, desire, constraint, and sabotage, creating dances that evoke, but do not dictate, story and meaning.
Angier is an Associate Professor and Director of the Dance Program at Alfred University since 2002. Her other university teaching experience includes being an Assistant Professor at Columbia College and Appalachian State University, and a guest artist at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Appalachian State University, Kenyon College, Columbia College, University of South Florida, Meredith College, and the University of Rochester. She was a Teaching Artist with the Lincoln Center Institute and The Joyce Theater’s Aesthetic Education Programs, and a movement instructor at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She is the co-founder along with Jennifer Salk of the Green Mountain Dance Teachers Retreat in Woodstock Vermont and received her MFA in choreography from The Ohio State University and her BA in dance from UCLA.
Heidi Henderson: March 2-3, 2011
Heidi Henderson, the artistic director of elephant JANE dance, was the 2000 and 2005 recipient of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Choreography Fellowship for excellence in the field.
Her work has been performed at the South Bank Centre in London, in New York City, and at many venues in New England including Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Festival. Her piece “Skirt” was selected for inclusion in the New England Choreographer’s Showcase at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas at Connecticut College. In 1997, she was invited to perform two solos in The International Festival of Dance in Taegu, Korea.
Heidi has danced in the companies of Bebe Miller, Nina Wiener, Peter Schmitz, Sondra Loring, and Paula Josa-Jones. She has been on the faculty at the Bates Dance Festival, DanceSpace Inc. in NYC, NYU’s Tisch Dance Summer Festival, Amherst College, Colby College, Hampshire College, The University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Roger Williams University.
Heidi is a contributing editor at Contact Quarterly: A Journal of Moving Ideas. She has recently published Growing Place, a book of interviews with artists from the Bates Dance Festival.
Heidi received her B.A. from Colby College and her MFA from Smith College.
Teena Custer: May, 2010
“Teena Marie” Custer is a b-girl and hip hop dance theatre artist. Teena battles and performs with her crew, Venus Fly Trap, the first all female/all hip hop styles crew in the U.S. She has won underground dance battles such as Underground Movement 5, Enter the Cypha I, and was also seen on an episode of MTV’s MADE. Her solo piece titled “The Be-Girl Diaries” premiered at the Breakin’ Convention in London, England, where she also performed with her crew at the B. Supreme Festival 2007. Venus Fly Trap Crew was also invited to perform at the J.U.i.C.E. Hip Hop Dance Festival in Los Angeles in 2008.
In addition to being a part of hip hop culture, Teena has an extensive background in contemporary dance. She earned a BA in Dance from Slippery Rock University and an MFA in Dance Performance from The Ohio State University. She has been on faculty at both schools where she taught hip hop styles and contemporary dance, and has also been on faculty at the prestigious American Dance Festival and Interlochen Summer Arts Camp. She has choreographed hip hop dance theatre pieces for various university dance programs and companies, and has performed with Dance Alloy, Attack Theatre, and Ursula Payne. She also represented CM² (Columbus Movement Movement) in Dance Magazine’s “Top 25 to Watch” in 2007.
Bebe Miller: April, 2010
Bebe Miller has been making dances for over twenty-five years. In order to further a process of group inquiry, she formed Bebe Miller Company in 1985. As Miller continues a line of exploration of the visceral, unruly edges of heart and psyche that inform our day-to-day progress, her interest in finding a physical language for the human condition is a connecting thread throughout her work. In recent years, she has been investigating a mix of text, performance and visual presentation to expand this language, most notably in the Bessie award-winning Landing/Place (2005) and Verge (2001), and Going To The Wall (1998). In 1999, she, along with choreographer Ralph Lemon and filmmaker Isaac Julien, completed the award-winning, collaborative film, Three.
Collaboration being fundamental to her working process, Miller has worked with composers Albert Mathias, Don Byron, Fred Frith, Christian Marclay and Robin Holcomb; visual artists and designers Michael Mazzola, Caroline Beasley-Baker, Robert Kushner and Scott Pask; writers/directors Holly Anderson, Ain Gordon and Talvin Wilks; and filmmakers Kit Fitzgerald and, Isaac Julien, among others, as well as the Company dancers, currently including Kathleen Fisher, Angie Hauser, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Kristina Isabelle, Darrell Jones and Cynthia Oliver. She has created original works for a variety of companies, including Boston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Philadanco, Phoenix Dance of Great Britain, Groupe Experimental de Danse Contemporaine in Martinique, Sbrit Dance Company in Asmara, Eritrea, and PATH Dance of Johannesburg, RSA.
Since being appointed Full Professor at The Ohio State University in 2000, where she currently teaches part of the year, Miller has collaborated with OSU's Department of Dance in producing several digital documentation works, including a DVD-ROM of Going To The Wall, a CD-ROM of Prey (2000) that accompanies its Labanotation score, and DanceCODES, a software template for choreographic documentation. OSU's Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD) was a collaborative partner in the development of award winning Landing/Place (2005) and is continuing this work with Necessary Beauty, the Company's current work-in-progress.
Miller's work has been performed internationally in Europe, Asia and the African continent, and nationally in venues ranging from New York City's Brooklyn Academy of Music NEXT WAVE Festival to numerous colleges and universities around the country. She has been honored with four "Bessie" (New York Dance and Performance) Awards, a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, an American Choreographers Award and Artist's Fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. She currently serves on the boards of Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project and Bearnstow, a retreat center in Maine, and is a member of the International Artists Advisory Board of the Wexner Center for the Arts. She holds an MA in Dance from The Ohio State University.
JoAnna Mendl Shaw: February, 2010
JoAnna Mendl Shaw is the Artistic Director/ Choreographer of The Equus Projects. A New York-based dance choreographer, JoAnna Mendl Shaw established her career in the Pacific Northwest, where she founded and directed a large professional dance company, taught on the faculty at the University of Washington and Cornish College and played a leadership role in arts advocacy for the Northwest. Relocating to New York in 1991, Shaw has national gained recognition for her large-scale site specific works and collaborative projects with athletes. The recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Choreographic Fellowships, Shaw has choreographed for ice dancers, in-line skaters, gymnasts and equestrians. Her dance work has been presented at numerous NYC venues and commissioned by dance companies throughout the States and in Europe. In 1998 Shaw launched The Equus Projects, a performance company that merges dance and equestrian artistry. The company has created large commissioned works for The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and Virginia Commonwealth University and has presented its work at museum sites and equestrian centers and will create a new work for the 2007 opening of the UC/Davis Equestrian Center. Shaw currently teaches in New York City, serving on the faculty at The Juilliard School and in the Ailey /Fordham BFA program. She has taught at Tisch/New York University, Montclair State University and Mount Holyoke College. International teaching and choreographic commissioned include residencies in Hungary, Japan, Korea, Canada, Yugoslavia, Scotland, Wales and coaching and teaching for the Swiss Gymnastic Federation. Shaw holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College and an MFA in Dance from the University of Utah. She is a Certified Movement Analyst in the Laban/Bartenieff work.
Ann Cooper Albright: November 20, 2009
A performer, choreographer and feminist scholar, Ann Cooper Albright is Professor of Dance and Theater at Oberlin College. Combining her interests in dancing and cultural theory, she is involved in teaching a variety of dance, performance studies and gender studies courses which seek to engage students in both practices and theories of the body. She is the author of Traces of Light: Absence and Presence in the Work of Loie Fuller (2007); Choreographing Difference: the Body and Identity in Contemporary Dance (1997) and co-editor of Moving History/Dancing Cultures (2001) and Taken By Surprise: Improvisation in Dance and Mind (2003), all from Wesleyan University Press.
Her work has been funded (among others) by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Camargo Foundation, and the Ohio Council for the Arts, from which she has received five Excellence in the Arts Awards, the most recent in 2009. Ann is the founding director of Girls in Motion an after school program for middle school girls at Langston Middle School in Oberlin, Ohio, and co-director (with Ann Dils) of a web-based teaching initiative entitled: Accelerated Motion: Towards a New Dance Literacy in America, which is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and NITLE. Mostly recently, she received a grant with Wesleyan University Press from the Furthermore Foundation to publish a small collection of Abraham Walkowitz’s watercolors of Isadora Duncan. Encounters with Contact Improvisation is her latest adventure in writing and dancing and dancing and writing – with others!
John Giffin: October 19-23, 2009
John Giffin (Professor Emeritus) received a BFA in dance from the Juilliard School of Music and an MA in dance from The Ohio State University. He has danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadians in Montreal and the Wuppertal Dance Theater directed by Pina Bausch. He has toured with Agnes de Mille's Heritage Dance Theater and was dance captain for the Broadway revival of Brigadoon. Giffin has received grants from the Ohio Arts Council, The Greater Columbus Arts Council and The OSU Office of Research and Graduate Studies. With Victoria Uris, he produced An Evening with Igor, choreographic works set to music of Stravinsky. He created Last Songs for the Cleveland Performance Art Festival and was commissioned by the Wexner Center for the Arts to create The Fall River Follies or Oh, Mrs. Churchill, Do Come Over, Someone Has Killed Father. With the Contemporary American Theatre Company, he created East Market Gardens and with the OSU Department of Theatre he created The Fire Still Burns. He has received Choreographic Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. In 2003 he was presented with the OhioDance award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. He has directed works by Charles Weidman, Antony Tudor, Anna Sokolow and Vaslav Nijinsky from the Labanotation score. His teaching areas include composition, notation, repertory and ballet technique.
K.J. Holmes: October 7-11, 2009
K.J. Holmes is an independent dance artist based in Brooklyn NY who has been exploring improvisation as process and performance since 1981. She teaches, choreographs and performs at festivals, universities and venues throughout the world, as a soloist and in her collaborations with artists such as Simone Forti, Image Lab (Lisa Nelson, Karen Nelson and Scott Smith) and in the work of Steve Paxton. Her influences include Contact Improvisation, Body-Mind Centering (r), Yoga (certified teacher 2007), Authentic movement, Ideokinesis, Alexander and Feldenkrais techniques, Martial Dance, world vocal studies and contemporary dance and theater.
A 1999 graduate of the School for Body-Mind Centering, K.J. is adjunct faculty at New York University Experimental Theatre Wing, is an ongoing teacher with Movement Research/has a private practice in Dynamic Alignment and Reintegration/and just completed a 2 year training at the William Esper Studio in New York City of the Sanford Meisner acting technique. She is currently developing an evening length piece entitled This is where we are (or take arms against a sea of troubles) which will be performed at the Chocolate Factory in Long Island City/NY in the fall of 2010.
Miguel Gutierrez: May 18-30, 2009
I am a dance and music artist based in Brooklyn. I create group work with the Powerful People and I also make solos. Since 2001 I have made enter the seen, I succumb, Sabotage (in collaboration with Jaime Fennelly), dAMNATION rOAD, Retrospective Exhibitionist and Difficult Bodies (2006 Bessie winner) and most recently, myendlesslove and Everyone. My work has been presented in: NYC at various venues, including Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, MIX: The NY Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film Festival, across the country at Diverseworks in Houston, TX and the Flynn Center in Burlington, VT, and internationally in festivals such as ImPuls Tanz in Vienna, Springdance Festival in Utrecht and Touch:2005 in Archangel, Russia.
My work tends to be quite emotional and concerns itself with the phenomenon of existence. I am interested in asking who are we and why are we here, both in in life and in the theater. I am fascinated by the body's ability to move between the mundane and the transcendent. I am interested in how the presence of the audience creates a space of attention and extraordinary perception.
I work in close collaboration with the participating artists of each project to create pieces that speak to the interests of the time, both the time spent in the studio and also time in the sense of a larger context - what is happening in the world. I like finding ways to translate the experiential nature of performing into a sensory, emotional and visceral experience for the audience. I like to assume that you are intelligent and willing and ready for anything.
The SHUA Group: April 3-9, 2009
Joshua Bisset is a dance choreographer and movement artist. Since 1998, he has created original stage and site-specific dances and performance projects driven by collaboration with sculpture and sound. He founded Shua Group in 2000. His work develops from preoccupation about the line between self and other, private and public. Joshua graduated with a degree in philosophy of religion from Bowdoin College and worked as a social worker before coming to New York in 1998 to study and make dance. Joshua has been influenced by the movement artists of Daniel Lepkoff, Elaine Summers, Julian Hamilton and Laura Quattrocchi.
Laura Quattrocchi is a movement artist. She came to New York City in 1995 from Italy to study contemporary dance. Central to her artistic development was meeting and working with Daniel Lepkoff, Elaine Summers, Joshua Bisset and artist Agata Olek Oleksiak. Recently her interest expanded also to costuming and her work was presented for the first time by The Jersey City Museum at Victory Hall in April 2007. Laura has performed with David Parker and The Bang Group, Mary Anthony Dance Theatre, Tam Le, Kun-Yang Lin, Andrea Haenggi, Elaine Summers, Jody Oberfelder, among others and she is a founding member of Shua Group which she co-directs with Joshua Bisset.
Lela Jones: March 2-6, 2009
Lela Aisha Jones is a Tallahassee, Florida native and a resident of Philadelphia, PA. While movement is her home base, she cannot be defined by one discipline of the arts. Her experience has led to more appropriate titles such as Movement Facilitator as well as Interdisciplinary Intercultural Collaborations Artist. The Advancement of community through socio-artistic activism, interdisciplinary intercultural arts collaborations and educational projects are her primary career focus areas. She is currently a PhD student at Texas Woman's University, has a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Science in Health Education from the University of Florida. Furthermore she has studied at the Jose Limon Dance Institute, Dagara Institue of Music and Dance Ghana, Sankofa Center for African Dance and Culture Ghana, and L'Ecole Des Sables Senegal. Urban Bush Women, Black Smith's Daughter Dance Theatre/Nia Love and INSPIRIT/Christal Brown are a few of her touring performance company experiences; she has also worked with choreographers Germaine Acogny/JANT BI, Abdel Salam/Forces of Nature, Edilueza Santos/Jelon Viera/Dance Brazil and Ronald K Brown/Evidence. Her movement and interarts facilitation experience includes Florida State University, Long Island University, Tallahassee Community College, Pinelands Creative Workshop Barbados, Orchesis Dance Theatre, Sankofa Center for African Dance and Culture Ghana and L'Ecole Des Sables Senegal.
Cheng-Chieh Yu: October 26-30, 2008
Cheng-Chieh Yu is a choreographer of dance theater works that explore Asian Diaspora issues and continually challenge notions of an Asian and Asian-American profile, crisscrossing issues such as gender ascription, social-political perspectives, cultural boundaries, and hybridity. Yu’s bold kinetics and provocative imagery are built from an acutely corporeal postmodern dance technique, fused with the martial arts of Tai Chi Chuan and Ba Gua Zhang.
Mark Dendy: September 1-14, 2008
Mark Dendy has been the artistic Director of Mark Dendy Dance and Theater (1983-2000), which has performed at festivals internationally and in NYC at The Joyce Theatre, Lincoln Center, PS 122, Dance Theater Workshop, Jacob’s Pillow and regular appearances and commissions at The American Dance Festival. The company has performed throughout the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, England, France and Korea. Dendy is also a recipient of the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts, an OBIE for the WILD PARTY, numerous NEA, NYSCA and Jerome Foundation grants, a NY Dance and Performance Award, including "The Bessie" for sustained career achievement. His teaching credits include the North Carolina School for the Arts, Oklahoma University, Juilliard, NYU, Connecticut College, Bates Summer Dance Festival, and Texas Woman’s University, among others. Dendy has work in the repertoire of numerous dance companies including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet Dortmund, Washington Ballet, Concert Dance of Boston, Dance Kaleidoscope of Indianapolis, and Zenon Dance Company in Minneapolis. This past summer he returned to the concert stage with a world premiere: PRELIMINARY STUDY IN DEPTH: THE UPPER HALF OF HIGH AND LOW for the 75th anniversary of the American Dance Festival.
Jill Sigman: May 12-24, 2008
Jill Sigman asks questions through the medium of the body. Trained in classical ballet, modern dance, improvisation, and the visual arts, Sigman has been making dances and performance installations since the early 90s. In 1998 she founded her dance company jill sigman/thinkdance as a vehicle for her performance experiments. In the same year she received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University.
Sigman’s work engages the viewer as an intellectual partner. She has an affinity for alternative spaces, non-traditional formats and socially conscious subjects, and has used these to nudge viewers toward thinking about movement. Sigman has created performances for such sites as a dilapidated Belgian printing house (1999), a medieval Croatian hill village (1998), and a fence on the Gowanus Canal (with Red Dive, 2003), and performance installations mixing movement with visual media. Sigman’s installation works often involve audience games; viewers have been asked to call numbers on their cell phones, write on eggshells, and look for secret messages in their environment. With these games, Sigman wants to make the membrane of the performance permeable.
Anthony J. Russo: April 21-25, 2008
Anthony has been training since he was only two years old under the instruction of his mother and two aunts. He got an early start to his performance career when he landed an Equity contract at fifteen in the production of “Anything Goes” at the Muny in Forest Park, St Louis. Before he graduated high school, Anthony was out with the 6th national tour of Tap Dogs. After graduation, he continued to tour North America for several years, performing three of six roles with the show. Anthony was assistant choreographer and a featured tap performer in the show Iron Beats 2005 China tour. He has also had a hand in choreographing several off-Broadway productions including “At the Diner” at the Duke Theater, Times Square, and six productions of Gil Stroming’s Break the Floor in various theaters throughout New York. Anthony has entertained for companies like Chevrolet, GMC, Circuit City, Mitsubishi, MTX Audio, among other corporations nationwide. Anthony’s performance career has taken him through forty- nine US states and three continents before the age of 21. When not performing, Anthony has reputation for delivering high energy and motivating master classes for conventions, workshops, and studios all across the globe. He is presently Dance Captain and dancing for the show “Wonderland” based on Stevie Wonder music.
Bill Young: October 1-5, 2007
Bill Young (winner of a recent Guggenheim and NYFA Awards) discovered dance through contact improvisation while studying music at Oberlin College. He showed early work in San Francisco, while dancing with Margaret Jenkins, and later moved to New York where he danced with Douglas Dunn, Randy Warshaw, Merce Cunningham (on video). In 1988 he established Bill Young and Dancers, which has been presented in NYC at the Joyce Theater, DTW, The Kitchen, Danspace Project, PS 122, the Duke/92nd St. Y and Symphony Space, as well as on repeated international tours, including performances in Austria, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, China Czechoslovakia, Russia, Finland, Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Venezuela.
Previous Guest Artists:
Kariamu Asante, Art Bridgman and Myrna Packard; Sean Curran; Chuck Davis; Conte Deloyo; David Dorfman; Michael Foley and members of Michael Foley Dance; Sandra Fraleigh; Joann Kealiinohomoku; Karinne Keithley; Jennifer Keller; Steve Koester; Sandra Lacy; Rachel List; Gesel Mason; Bebe Miller; Tere O'Connor; Misty Owens; Claire Porter; Lisa Race; Revathi Satyu; Mark Taylor and memebrs of Dance Alloy; Catherine Turocy; Patrice Whiteside; Melissa Young; Nathan Trice; Jean-Claude Lessou; Alseny Sylla; Roalie Jones/Daystar; Jeanine Durning; Doug Elkins; Allyne Gartrell; Aysha Upchurch
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