Guest Artists

Bebe Miller

Bebe Miller

Bebe Millers vision of dance resides in her faith in the moving body as a record of thought, experience and beauty. She has collaborated with artists, composers, writers and designers, along with the dancers who share her studio practice and from whom she’s learned what dancing can reveal. Her work encompasses choreography, writing, film and digital media.

A native New Yorker, she formed Bebe Miller Company in 1985; since then, the company has performed worldwide. Her work has been performed by A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Oregon Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, Philadanco and PACT Dance of Johannesburg. The company has also produced a variety of digital archive projects that share their creative practice.

Named a Master of African American Choreography by the Kennedy Center in 2005, Miller has been honored by NYC’s Danspace Project and Movement Research, received four New York Dance and Performance awards, honorary doctorates from Ursinus College and Franklin & Marshall College, and is one of the inaugural class of Doris Duke Artist Award recipients. A professor emerita at Ohio State University, she’s spending a year in a forest on Vashon Island, Wash., though her home is in Columbus, Ohio.

Kelly Todd

Kelly Todd
photo by Stephanie Crousillat

Kelly Ashton Todd is a director, choreographer, performing artist and environmental activist who makes work for live theater and film. Her work explores land and human exploitation, environmental politics and surrealism.

She received a BFA in modern dance and a double minor in Biology and Environmental Science from Texas Christian University and a master’s in Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State University. Todd performed with Sleep No More from 2015-2022 and graduated from the William Esper Acting Studio in 2022.

Todd’s creations have been showcased globally, earning accolades such as the NYFA Fellowship in Choreography, Emerging Choreographer Springboard Danse Montreal 2022, and the Baryshnikov BAC Open Residency 2023. Todd's award-winning "Under Review" film series has screened at more than 20 national and international film festivals. In 2023, she shared her creations and was a panelist on climate change, female empowerment and technology at the United Nations.

Matthew Henley, PhD

Matthew Henley

Matthew Henley, PhD, is associate professor in the Dance Education Program and affiliated researcher in the Arnhold Institute for Dance Education Research, Policy & Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. Henley focuses his research on describing cognitive and social-emotional skills associated with dance education. He takes a phenomenological approach, analyzing how dancers in diverse communities describe the experience of learning concepts in the dance classroom. Henley's related interests include enactive cognition in the arts, developmental and neuroscientific approaches to embodied knowing, research methods for pedagogy, and the pedagogy of research methods.

Henley danced professionally in New York City with Sean Curran Company and Randy James Dance Works. Henley earned his MFA in Dance and his doctorate in Educational Psychology: Learning Sciences from the University of Washington. He served as associate professor of Dance at Texas Woman's University, where he coordinated the BA program and taught in the MFA and PhD programs.

Kayla Hamiton

Kayla Hamilton
Photo by Travis Magee

Kayla Hamilton is a Black disabled choreographer, producer and educator originally from Texarkana, Texas, who now resides in the Bronx. For her Pillow debut, Hamilton brought her newest work, Nearly Sighted/unearthing the dark, which explores how we gather information from artistic experiences without relying on eyesight, and challenges the audience’s imagination by providing multiple ways in which to see the movement. Hamilton is a member of the 2017 Bessie Award-winning collective “the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds.” Her work has been presented at Gibney, Performance Space New York and New York Live Arts.

The artistic director of K Hamilton Projects announced Kinetic Light as her cooperation partner for her 2023 Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance and Choreography. This collaboration will take place September 2023-August 2024.

Each recipient self-designs their own Pina Bausch Fellowship according to their own desires and needs. Internationally-known disability arts ensemble Kinetic Light works at the nexus of access, queerness, disability, dance and race. Though collaborating with Kinetic Light, Hamilton aims to expand her knowledge in design, organization and tech-based possibilities of dance. Both as a low-sight dancer and dance lover, Hamilton wants to experience the vibrant multiplicity of the majority sight-centered performance world. While providing Hamilton the space to test and deepen her ideas about dance and disability arts, the Kinetic Light team provides her with field learnings related to access research, culture and technology, as well as performing arts production and communications.

"It is important to me to learn from and alongside other disabled creatives as we deepen our understandings of ourselves and the world around us," Hamilton said. "It is a privilege to work with the Kinetic Light team. My work is possible due to other disabled artists who have come before me."

"I am so pleased and honored Kayla has chosen to collaborate with Kinetic Light as part of her Pina Bausch Fellowship," said Kinetic Light founder and artistic director Alice Sheppard. "Kayla's ground-breaking dance and disability arts practice is both expansive and deeply rooted in a way that I believe will shatter what we think we know about dance and sightedness. The entire Kinetic Light team is excited to work and explore with her throughout this fellowship year."

The Pina Bausch Fellowship jury noted: "Kayla's choreographic work is outstanding by the way she is creating aesthetic experiences through audio description, and, thus, expanding dance beyond the visual. Her fellowship with the disability arts ensemble Kinetic Light is an exciting partnership. This cooperation will be a great opportunity for Kayla to develop her art by further exploring and unpacking the potentialities of Audio Description as an aesthetic experience and expressive space of community and communication."

The Kunststiftung NRW and the Pina Bausch Foundation have been following up on Pina Bausch's credo since 2016 with a co-developed grant program and award: the Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance and Choreography. The Fellowship supports a broad range of cooperation formats: on-site, international or local, hybrid or virtual. By offering a variety of cooperation formats, the Fellowship adapts to recipients' individual needs and interests. It provides freedom in designing cooperation formats that help them develop their unique artistic signature. The 2023 Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance and Choreography recipients are Hamilton, Purnendra Kumar Meshram, Haman Mpadire and André Uerba. The international jury included Marc Brew, Dr. Keng Sen ONG, and Lia Rodrigues.

Founded by Alice Sheppard in 2016, Kinetic Light is a disability arts ensemble working at the intersections of disability, dance, design, identity and technology. Through nuanced investment in the histories, cultures, and artistic work of disabled and/or Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), the company promotes intersectional disability as a creative force and access as an aesthetic critical to creating transformative art and affirming the disability arts movement.

Tony “Sekou Heru” Williams

Tony “Sekou Heru” Williams

Tony “Sekou Heru” Williams is from Trenton, New Jersey. His unique dance style fuses an array of forms from Hip-Hop, House, martial arts and even fitness training.

Williams has toured with Jazzy Jeff/Fresh Prince and with Fred Ho's Voice Of The Dragon (Columbia Artist Management national tour). He has also performed with Mariah Carey in Michael Jackson's United We Stand concert, has appeared in the films Brown Sugar, Marci X, 25th Hour and in music videos including Will Smith's Ring My Bell, Aretha Franklin's Same Ol Song, MC Lyte's Ice Cream Dream and Foxy Brown/JayZ's I'll Be.

Williams choreographed Fall Out Boy's Dance Dance, which won numerous awards, including Viewer's Choice at the MTV Music Video Awards and two Teen Choice Awards. He has appeared on VH1 Fashion Awards, Soul Train and The Arsenio Hall Show. Sekou has traveled the world teaching House dance and judging organized street dance competitions, is a certified fitness instructor and has created his own dance method called POWERHOUSE DANCE Fusion Fitness. His most recent stage performance, The Greatest, with The Peggy Choy Dance Company (La Mama Theater in New York and the University of Madison in Wisconsin) examines the life and times of boxing great Muhammad Ali.



Influenced by cultural past and present, LAJAMARTIN aspire to create engaging live performance. Grounded in relatable themes, LM rides into imagination where anything is possible. From floor to air, a variety of dynamic movement defined by musicality and rhythm crafts the vocabulary that embodies the work’s intention. Originally composed music immerses the viewer into a specific cinematic environment from where the journeys are then limitless. Experiencing the impact of live performance that can invoke a freeing feeling of wonder is the main purpose of  LAJAMARTIN’s work.

Laja Field is a performer, teacher and creator based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Teaching at West High School as a paraprofessional, Field is also the co-director of LAJAMARTIN physical dance theatre and continues to travel with the company. Originally from Salt Lake City, Field holds a BFA in dance from the University of Utah 2012. She credits her childhood education and deep love of dance to Miss Pearl and the Life Arts Center as well as her high school dance teacher, Sofia Gorder. In college, Field performed works by Martha Graham directed by Kaye Richards, Satu Hummasti, Abby Fiat, Eric Handman and Kendra Portier among others. While in school she also performed with the company RawMoves for several years and reveled in the making and performing of “The Story of Eight.”

Field began her professional career abroad with Johannes Wieland at the Staatstheater Kassel, Germany. During almost four years at the theater she worked with many inspiring colleagues, guest teachers, rehearsals directors and guest choreographers such as Stella Zannou, Evangelos Poulinas, Ryan Mason, Michael Langeneckert, Chris Haring/Liquid Loft (for a piece also performed in Vienna for ImpulsTanz 2013) as well as the re-staging of Hofesh Schechter’s “DOG” under the direction of Sita Ostheimer. Highlights also include the creation and performing in pieces such as “Ich Bin Du,” “100,000 Superstars” and “Science!Fiction!Now!” by Johannes Wieland.

In 2015, Field relocated to NYC as a founding member of VIM VIGOR Dance Company and traveled to teach, perform and co-create throughout the U.S. and Canada for three years at Springboard Danse Montréal. Field performed shows in New York, Santa Barbara with DanceWORKS and toured to Prisma Festival in Panama.

Field has taught at Gibney Dance in NYC, NYU Tisch, Brigham Young University, University of Utah, CalArts, CSULB, UCLA, MOVE NYC, Early Mosley’s Institute of the Arts, Newcastle College, Prisma Festival in Panama, Artist Commons in Brussels, Contemporary Prostor Pro Tanec in Prague, Bad Lemons in Munich, b12 festival in Berlin and for companies Abraham in Motion and Johannes Wieland.

In 2017, Field and partner Martin Durov created LAJAMARTIN physical dance theatre and have taught, performed and/or created work in 11 countries world-wide. Field looks forward to more opportunities of bringing LAJAMARTIN’s vivacious work to life locally in SLC as well as to new communities abroad.

Martin Durov is teacher and performer was born in small town Slovakia. A push from his grandmother started him into ballroom dance at the age of six. Several years later he met a friend that encouraged him to venture into a Slovak Folklore group where he eventually became a soloist. This led him to study dance at the Conservatory J.L Bella Banska Bystricia (Slovakia) for six years. In school he was a member of the dance company that toured pieces to festivals in Slovakia, Belgium and Spain. As a student he also collaborated with Studio Tanca, the professional dance company in Banska Bystricia. In the final year of school Martin took over the role of leader for the school’s company, created several pieces and choreographed his own full evening-length graduation concert.

In 2013, Martin graduated with a DiS. art. (certified artist) and went on to join Johannes Wieland’s company in Staatstheater Kassel as a full time member for two years. In that time he had the experience of collaborating with many dancers and teachers and creating pieces by Helge Letonja, re-staging Hofesh Shechter’s DOG with the help of rehearsal director Sita Ostheimer as well as  several pieces by Johannes Wieland, totaling more than 100 shows. In 2015 Martin was invited to NYC to help found VIM VIGOR dance company, created and performed shows in NYC, Santa Barbara with DanceWORKS and toured to Panama to perform at Prisma Festival. Martin also had the opportunity to travel teaching and creating work for Lines Ballet Training Program, San Francisco Conservatory, NYU Tisch, University of Michigan and Springboard Danse Montréal. After three years living in the United States and frequently visiting Europe teaching, traveling, choreographing and performing, he developed his own voice in dance using his Slovakian Roots and passion for other dance styles. In 2017, he and partner Field founded the Physical Dance Theatre company, LAJAMARTIN.

Karen Nelson

Karen Nelson

Karen Nelson (she/her) rests playfully within dance improvisation and spiritual practice. As explorer-collaborator, teacher, maker, touring performer, author/contributor to Dancing with Dharma and Contact Quarterly she has been a mutator of the form Contact Improvisation since 1977.

She co-founded mixed-ability experiments Dance Ability and Diverse Dance Research Retreat and integrates Material for the Spine (Steve Paxton) and Tuning Scores (Lisa Nelson/Image Lab) into her physical-sensation based approach to dancing, along with investigating dominant cultural narratives and re-versioning these fictions within her own embodiment and wider community.

Her projects include Gaggle, Image Lab, Deal, Co-Brew, “pause play scrub,” Redux Forward (with K.J. Holmes), Unimaginable and CI interrogates it’s own History lec-dem participatory Jam event.

Beatrice Capote

Beatrice Capote

Beatrice Capote is a Cuban-American contemporary dancer, choreographer, educator and founder of Contempo: Capotechnique Exercises. In her work, she fuses modern, ballet, African and Afro-Cuban dance techniques to support artists with building technical skills while deepening knowledge on African diaspora traditions.

Capote has served as the choreographer for Citrus, a choreopoem play (Northern Stages) and The Wedding Band Musical (Montclair State University). She received choreographic commissions from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and The Dark Elegy Project inspired by Suse Lowenstein, performed at Gibney Dance. In 2019, she was a MANCC Forward Dialogues artist in residence where she developed her most recent solo based on “Reyita, The Life of a Black Cuban Woman in the Twentieth Century” written by Maria De los Reyes Castillo Bueno. Her work has also been shown in major festivals/venues such as WestFest Dance Festival, Battery Dance Festival, BAAD! ASS Women’s Festival, Amherst College, Casita Maria!, Contemporary Dance Series at Bryant Park, Vision Festival and more.

She began her training at Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and was featured in “Attitude! Eight Young Dancers Come of Age at the Ailey School” written by Katharine Davis Fisherman. She received her AA from University of North Carolina School of the Arts, a BA in dance education and an MFA focused on Afro-Cuban dance forms from Montclair State University. During the graduate program, her MFA thesis choreography excerpt was featured on Bronx NETTV.

Capote has performed for prestigious companies such as INSPIRIT, a dance company, and Kyle Abraham/Abraham. In. Motion. She is a member of Bessie Award-winning Camille A. Brown & Dancers.

To continue her work in the Latinx artist community, she co-founded The Sabrosura Effect dance company and co-curates Pepatián’s Dancing La Botanica: La Tierra Vive project and Bronx Arts and Conversation showcase under the direction of Pepatián South Bronx.

Prior to her position at IU, she served on faculty at Montclair State University, The Ailey School, Gibney Dance, Joffrey Ballet School and as a guest artist/mentor for many universities and dance institutions.

Crystal Davis

Crystal Davis

Crystal U. Davis, MFA, CLMA is a dancer, movement analyst and critical race theorist. Her research explores implicit bias in dance and how privilege manifests in the body.

Her work has been published in the Journal of Dance Education, Palgrave Handbook of Race and the Arts in Education, and in her book, Dance and Belonging: Implicit Bias and Inclusion in Dance Education.

As an artist, her performances span from Rajasthani folk dance to postmodern choreography examining incongruities between what we say, what we believe and what we do. She is an assistant professor of dance performance and scholarship at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she teaches anti-racist pedagogy for dance and theater, modern technique, somatics and movement analysis.

Kayla Hamilton

Kayla Hamilton

Kayla Hamilton is a Texas-born, Bronx-based performance maker, dancer, educator, cultural consultant and the artistic director of K. Hamilton Projects.

Hamilton is a 2023-2025 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow. Her past performance work has been presented at the Whitney Museum, Gibney, Performance Space New York, New York Live Arts, Abrons Arts Center and the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD).  

Hamilton developed "Crip Movement Lab," a pedagogical framework centering cross-disability accessible movement practices that are open to every-body. She has taught dance at Sarah Lawrence College, Amherst College, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Utah and Texas Improv Festival. 

As a consultant, Hamilton has developed and implemented disability arts programming for the Mellon Foundation, ArtSpeak, Dance USA, Movement Research and The Shed. 

As a dancer, Hamilton was part of the Bessie award winning Skeleton Architecture Project. She has also danced for Maria Bauman, Sydnie L. Mosley and Gesel Mason.

Hamilton is in the process of creating a future organization centering the work of BIPOC disabled creatives, while co-leading the 10th anniversary season of Angela’s Pulse/Dancing While Black, and developing a new evening length performance set to premier in NY in 2024.

Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell is a Feldenkrais method practitioner and martial arts instructor.

He specializes in helping people develop physical agility and talent so that they can perform easily and without strain.

He is the author and editor of numerous books on movement and fencing.

Abdel Salaam

Abdel R. Salaam

Abdel R. Salaam is the executive artistic director/co-founder of Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, (FONDT) founded in 1981, and is the artistic director of Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Dance Africa, originally founded by the late Chuck Davis in 1977.

Born in Harlem, New York, Salaam is a critically acclaimed choreographer. He served as a dancer, teacher and/or performing artist on five continents throughout his 52-year career in the dance world. He has received numerous awards and fellowships for excellence in dance, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation on the Arts, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council for Arts, the National Council for Arts and Culture, and Herbert H. Lehman College.

He and his company received the 2013 Audelco Award for Dance Company of the Year. He has served as a choreographer and/or director for the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Billie Holiday Theater, the Apollo Theater, the Winter Solstice at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the New York Musical Theater Festival, BAM, Black Dance USA and the Tennessee Performing Arts Festival.

His credits in theater, film and television include: “Measure for Measure,” New York Shakespeare Festival (Choreographer ); “Pecong,” Newark Symphony Hall (Choreographer); “TUT," New York Musical Theatre Festival, (director/choreographer); "Ebony Magic: The Life and Legend of Marie Laveau,” Aaronow Theater, (director/choreographer); “JuJu Man“, Billie holiday Theater (director/ choreographer); “ The Liberation of Mother Goose”, Billie Holiday Theater (director choreographer); “Eclipse; Visions of the Crescent and the Cross” and “Rhythm Legacy”, Tennessee Performing Arts Center (director/choreographer/artist in residence); “Free to Dance “, PBS Channel 13 (choreographer); ” The Conan O’Brien Show“, NBC Channel 4 (choreographer); “Expressions in Black; The Story of a People”, ABC Channel 7, (choreographer); “Reading Rainbow”, PBS Channel 13, (choreographer); “Talk of the Town”, WPIX Channel 11 (choreographer); “The Richard Pryor Show”, NBC Channel 4 (dancer); and “ Black Nativity” Fox Searchlight Films (performing artist). Abdel created ballets for Philadanco, Joan Miller Chamber Arts/ Dance Players, Ailey II, the Chuck Davis Dance Company, Union Dance Theater (London), Ballet Islenos (Puerto Rico), Sakoba Dance Theater (London), Muntu Dance Theater, the Nashville Ballet, the African American Dance Ensemble and Gywa Maten.

Salaam and his company have provided services in arts education and youth empowerment for students in schools K-12, colleges, universities and community-based organizations through residencies, workshops, master classes, seminars and performances through Young Audiences, Arts connection, Developing Arts of the Bronx, Restoration Youth Arts, Aaron Davis Hall, the Caribbean Cultural Center and Hospital Audiences. Salaam served on the faculties of the American Dance Festivals in the United States and Seoul, Korea, Herbert H. Lehman College, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, the Restoration Youth Arts Academy and the Harlem Children’s Zone. Salaam is the creator of the Kwanzaa Regeneration Night Celebration in Harlem, now 42-years old, which was inspired by the teachings of its visionary creator and founder of Kwanzaa, Dr. Maulana Karenga.

Salaam was recipient of the 2017 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production of “The Healings Sevens” and the 2019 American Dance Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in Dance. Salaam premiered his first dance film short, entitled ” Dawnfeather Rising: In the Age of MA’ AT,” on the Apollo Theater’s Virtual Kwanzaa Regeneration Night Celebration in December 2020, featuring the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre and the music of Oumou Sangare . On May 29, 2021, Salaam directed and choreographed the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s first dance film “Earth Born,” which premiered as the featured element of BAM’s 44th Annual DanceAfrica Virtual Festival entitled “Vwa Zanset Yo: Y’ap Pale N’ap Danse” (Ancestral Voices: They Speak We Dance). In the same year, the Apollo Theater commissioned him to direct and choreograph his latest dance film short entitled "Nguzo Saba,” which aired in December. This is his 17th year as the event’s artistic director. Under Salaam 's artistic direction and leadership, which is now in its seventh year, DanceAfrica received the 2021 Bessie Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance. The 2022 New York Dance and Performance Awards (The Bessies) nominated Salaam for Outstanding Musical Composition or Sound design for “Terrestrial Wombs.” In February 2023, Salaam will be the featured guest on CUNY Television’s multi-award winning series “Black America.”

Rosie Trump

Rosie Trump

Rosie Trump is founder and chief curator of the Third Coast Dance Film Festival, and is the choreographer/director/editor of 11 short dance films.

She is interested in the reflexive nature of the camera lens and the cinematic possibilities of digital media. Trump’s dance films screened at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, ADFs Movies by Movers, San Souci Dance Film Festival, Light Moves, Extremely Short Shorts at the Aurora Picture Show, the Utah Dance Film Festival, and Dance Film Association’s Long Legs Short Films. She is a regular guest curator for Frame X Frame Dance Film Fest in Houston. Currently residing in Reno, NV, Trump is an associate professor of dance at the University of Nevada, Reno.

José Zamora

José Zamora

José Zamora is a native Mission, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley. Zamora's career began as a young folklorico dancer with a natural talent for color guard and cheerleading at La Joya I.S.D. After high school, he moved to Denton, where he received a BA and MFA in Dance Studies from Texas Woman’s University.

Denton is the birthplace of CholoRock Dance Theatre and the CholoRock Dance Collective. CholoRock is movement and choreography that celebrates Queer and Mexican-American experiences through modern dance, jazz dance and dance theatre. CholoRock is now performed by dancers around the United States and Mexico.

In 2018, Zamora began his career as a solo artist, exploring his identity and the power of representation. In addition to performance, Zamora has been teaching more than 16 years and has experience in secondary and post-secondary education. He is the dance lecturer at South Texas College and director of the South Texas College Dance Collective. Zamora is very passionate about drag performance and Mexican-American and queer representation in the arts. He hopes to bring a high level of rigor, empathy and cultural representation to everything he does, and hopes to inspire others to exist proudly.

Danza Chikawa Conroe

Danza Chikawa Conroe
Motto: Education, Culture and Dance Tradition. Honoring our elders.
En honor, reconocimiento y aprecio por los abuelos que nos precedieron.

Chikawa Conroe Texas Aztec Dance is a community-based group of Conroe, Texas, that represents the modern tradition of Aztec dance. Chikawa is also a cultural and educational dance group that explores the cultures, customs and native traditions of the Americas.

Chikawa Works started in 2002 in Conroe under the guidance of educators Xochitezca (Alejandra Tapia) and Eheca (Francisco Garcia). The group performs at different venues in schools, museums, libraries, festivals and community events. The theme of the dances is nature and the agricultural cycles, its elements and their connection to modern life. Dances are very energetic.

Danza Chikawa and TWU International Dance Company

In April 2023, TWU Dance’s International Dance Company partnered with Danza Chikawa to bring an evening of pre-Hispanic dance and music to campus. The concert, Water Sources as Embodied Archives: Ecosomatic Dances & Traditional Knowledges in Teotihuacan/Mexico City & Denton, featured traditional pre-Hispanic melodies, instrumentation and dance movements sharing how earth and water can be an embodied repository of histories.

This exciting and memorable collaboration with live dance, music and film was presented in the intimate black-box theater setting of Texas Woman’s University’s Dance Studio Theater. This production was a result of research funded by the Texas Woman’s University Creative Arts and Humanities Grant.

A dancer raises a ceremonial axe

A dancer moves to the drumbeat

Roma Flowers

Roma Flowers

Roma Flowers, a lighting, projection, video designer and screendance filmmaker has worked with theatre, concert and dance productions for over thirty years. Flowers is a recipient of the prestigious New York Dance and Performance Award (a.k.a. Bessie), the KOI-USA Knight of Illumination Award 2019 for her projection design for “A Bon Coeur,” a full evening length, solo performer work created and performed by master dance artist, Helanius J. Wilkins and was nominated for the Houston Press Lighting Design Award 2019 for The Catastrophic Theatre Company’s production of “TOAST”. She has designed the lighting for such diverse performing artists as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, DanceExchange, the Doug Elkins Dance Company, Doug Varone Dance. Flowers’ latest screendance collaboration with Helanius J. Wilkins, “Dirt” recently premiered at the Newman Center for the Arts at the University of Denver. Flowers is a faculty member of Texas Christian University’s School for Classical & Contemporary Dance in Fort Worth.

Matthew Cumbie

Matthew Cumbie, Guest Artist
Photo by Ben Carver

 “I make dances to reawaken a sense of vitality and ferocious curiosity about ourselves and the world around us. I believe dancemaking is a powerful and necessary form of inquiry and exploration, and that our dancing creates opportunities to see and feel more acutely.” — Matthew Cumbie

Matthew Cumbie (he/him/his) is a collaborative dancemaker and artist educator living in Washington, DC. His artistic research cultivates processes and experiences that are participatory and intergenerational, moving through known and unknown, and bring a poetic lens to a specifically queer experience. 

An organizing principle of Cumbie’s work is a commitment to centering LGBTQ+ artists and experiences, and collaborating across disciplines to expand the social relevance of his work and to broaden the notion that every body can dance. His choreography and dancemaking- considered “a blend of risk-taking with reliability, [and] a combination of uncertainty and wisdom,” by Kate Mattingly- weaves together a physical vocabulary of momentum and clarity, revelatory moments, and a belief in a body’s capacity to document and reflect back our lived experiences. He is the founder of Matthew Cumbie Projects, the central body to further and support the work of Cumbie and his collaborators. 

In 2016 he began Growing Our Own Gardens, a multiyear performance project to contend with a growing need for intergenerational LGBTQ+ dialogue. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arcus Foundation and Dance Exchange, Gardens blossomed into an iterative process that partners with LGBTQ+ and arts organizations in multiple cities to use performance and engagement as a platform to surface stories, struggles, and possibilities of queer communities: to reflect and re-imagine LGBTQ+ life in our communities and country. Through Gardens, he has partnered- and continues to partner- with the Rainbow History Project, the DC Center, the Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County and the Dallas Way- creating short form and evening-length performances, facilitating workshops and discussions, and leading embodied engagements (like Queer History Walks).  

Committed to this range of outcomes, Cumbie’s dancemaking has been shared and shown on stages, in parks, in classrooms, on online learning platforms, in a car, and in healthcare settings with people of all ages and backgrounds. He is currently an artist-educator with Jacob’s Pillow, including their Curriculum in Motion program: a residency program that brings choreographers into classrooms to animate and integrate movement and dance to support cross-curricular learning. With Dance Exchange, he has helped develop and brand Cassie Meador’s Moving Field Guide: a program that connects artists with scientists, naturalists, and environmental educators to help people learn about environmental issues, and that has partnered with park rangers in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, US Park service educators in the Boston school-district, and local historians and environmental experts in communities across the US. While with Dance Exchange, Cumbie also stewarded the growth of ways that people connect to Dance Exchange through local programming. Cumbie has been on faculty at TWU, Queensborough Community College, Colby College and American University; he has been an invited speaker at the New York City Roundtable Arts in Education conference, the Advancing the Human Condition Symposium at Virginia Tech, and the LGBT Health and Art Making conference, in partnership with the Human Rights Commission and the GWU Health and Well-being graduate program.

He has danced in the companies of Christian von Howard, Keith Thompson | danceTactics Performance Group, jill sigman | thinkdance, Paloma McGregor | Angela’s Pulse, and Dance Exchange- an intergenerational dance organization founded by Liz Lerman- where he joined as the first full-time artistic appointment in a post-founder transition and eventually became an Associate Artistic Director and the Director of Programs and Communications. Currently, he creates work with Annie Kloppenberg, Betsy Miller, and Tom Truss, and collaborates with a host of multidisciplinary artists through Matthew Cumbie Projects; he is also dancing with Christopher K. Morgan & Artists on the creation of a new work. His work has been commissioned and supported by places like Dance Place, the Kennedy Center, and Harvard University, and by the National Endowment for the Arts, the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities, the Arcus Foundation, and the Somerville Arts Council. Originally from Houston, Texas, Cumbie holds undergraduate degrees from Texas Lutheran University and Texas State University and an MFA in dance from Texas Woman’s University. 

Michelle Boulé

 Michelle Boulé portrait photo

Michelle Boulé is a choreographer, performer, teacher and Certified BodyTalk Practitioner based in New York. Her work has received commissions and presentations from The Chocolate Factory, Danspace Project, River to River Festival, American Realness, ISSUE Project Room, Mount Tremper Arts Festival, Dance and Process at The Kitchen, Movement Research at Judson Church, Center for Performance Research, Catch Performance Series, and a Danspace performance curated by Judy Hussie-Taylor in “Come Together: Surviving Sandy.” She has also toured her work to Gertrudes iealis teatris in Latvia, the OnEdge Festival at Links Hall in Chicago, and The Painted Bride in Philadelphia. Her collaborative duo with composer/cellist Okkyung Lee was presented by The Met Breuer, send + receive festival (Winnipeg, Canada), The Stone, MoMA Junior Associates event, and ISSUE Project Room. Boulé has been a choreographic assistant and performance coach for Deborah Hay solo adaptations, including an adaptation presented by Acerina Amador at El Auditorio in Tenerife, Spain. She has also choreographed works for Zenon Dance, Eugene Lang College/The New School, California State University San Marcos, Latvian Academy of Culture, University of Oregon, Trevor Day School, and University of Illinois. Awards received include a New York Foundation for the Arts Choreography Fellowship, Distinguished Legacy Award (University of IL), New Music USA Grant, Cloud Prize, Boekelheide Creativity Award, Jerome Foundation Travel & Study Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grants, and Brooklyn Arts Exchange Space Grant. She has received residencies from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life Dance Development Program, Summer Stages Dance@The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, collective address, Gibney, Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Movement Research, and internationally at DanceHouse (Ireland), and at SKITE (France). In 2002, she was a DanceWeb scholarship recipient at ImPulsTanz in Vienna.

As a performer, she collaborated with Miguel Gutierrez from 2001-2015, receiving a 2010 New York Dance and Performance Award “Bessie” for her performance as James Dean and collaboration in the creation of “Last Meadow” and 2015 “Bessie” nomination for her body of work with Gutierrez. Other artists she has worked with include Heather Kravas, Aine Stapleton, Bebe Miller, John Jasperse, John Scott, Deborah Hay (William Forsythe commission “If I Sing to You”), David Wampach, Donna Uchizono, Mark Dendy, Neal Medlyn, Christine Elmo, Neal Beasley, Beth Gill, Judith Sanchez-Ruiz, Doug Varone (Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Opera Colorado), Gabriel Masson, and playwright/director Rosie Goldensohn. She is part of the teaching faculty at Movement Research and The New School/Eugene Lang College in New York. She has also been faculty Hollins University and the University of Illinois, as well as a guest teacher at dance institutions throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. As a Certified BodyTalk Practitioner since 2008, Boul&eacute has treated hundreds of clients in New York and internationally through her online individual and group work at

Cara Hagan

Cara Hagan performing in front of red silk backdrop and ribbons

Cara Hagan is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is informed by movement, words, digital space, contemplative practice, and community. Hagan has the pleasure of sharing her artistic pursuits across the United States and abroad. Most recently, Hagan has set choreographic works on students at the UNC School of the Arts, Roehampton University in London, Gonzaga University, and on professional dancers at the Dance Barn Festival in Battle Lake, MN. Her recent guest residencies have included Thirak India in Jaipur, India, Roehampton University in London, James Madison University, and at UC Boulder, where she was a guest artist as part of the 2017 U.N. {W.R.A.P} Series. Further, Cara has made recent performance appearances at the Performática Festival in Puebla, Mexico, at Three House Arts in Durham through the Durham Independent Dance Artists, the Asheville WordFest, the On Site/In Sight Dance Festival, and the Scottish Conference on Geopoetics in Edinburgh.

Hagan presents her research regularly at universities, festivals and conferences around the world. A regular presenter at the National Women's Studies Association annual conference, she served as co-Chair for the Women of Color Leadership Project pre-conference sessions from 2016-2018. Her work on screendance has most recently been presented at the Loikka Dance Film Festival/Future Screens of Dance Conference in Helsinki, Finland, at DeMontfort University in Leicester, UK, and at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A recipient of several awards, Hagan's film Sound and Sole was awarded the "Best Southern States Documentary" at the 2018 Southern States Indie Fan Film Fest. She was most recently honored by the Governor of North Carolina and the NC African American Heritage Commission for her work as an African American artist in North Carolina and beyond. Other awards include a 2014-2015 NCAC Choreographic Fellowship Award, a 2015 Sustainability in the Arts Grant and a 2015-2016 University Research Council Grant. Hagan serves on the dance studies faculty at Appalachian State University, as well as serving as director and curator for ADF's Movies By Movers, an annual, international dance film festival under the auspices of the American Dance Festival. Hagan's scholarly and creative work can be found in various publications, including the Snapdragon Journal of Art and Healing, Collective terrain, Quill and Parchment, Headwaters Journal of Expressive Arts, the International Journal of Screendance, and in the book, Dance's Duet with the Camera: Motion Pictures, edited by Telory D. Arendell and Ruth Barnes. Hagan is under contract to complete her first solo-authored book through McFarland Publishing.

Stuart Pimsler

Black and white headshot of Stuart Pimsler

Stuart Pimsler is a choreographer, director, writer, performer, founder and Artistic Co-Director of Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater (SPDT). His work has been honored with Choreography Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and McKnight Foundation and as well as a Major Fellowship and six Individual Fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council. Pimsler has been commissioned by the Guthrie Theater, the Lila Wallace Arts Partners Fund, National Performance Network Creation Fund, the Jerome Foundation, the Wexner Center, University of Minnesota, the Walker Art Center, The Wharton Center at Michigan State University among others. In 2012, Pimsler was a guest artist at the Beijing Modern Dance Festival and in 2014 was one of three U.S. choreographers invited to Australia under the auspices of American Dance Abroad. 

Pimsler holds an AB in English from Franklin & Marshall College and a JD from Catholic University School of Law. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1975 and the following year was accepted as an M.F.A. Fellow in Dance at Connecticut College. His mentors have included Martha Myers and Daniel Nagrin, whose solos Spanish Dance (1948) and Word Game (1968) he continues to perform. As cultural activist, Pimsler has served on the Board of Directors of Dance/USA (1990-97) and the Steering Committee of the National Performance Network (1992-95). He has served as panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the McKnight Foundation, Bush Foundation and an array of arts councils and agencies throughout the U.S.  In 2005, Pimsler founded The SAGE Awards for Dance, an annual celebration of outstanding dance achievements throughout Minnesota which  he co-coordinated with Dana Kassel through 2016.

Ray Eliot Schwartz

Photo of Ray Eliot Schwartz in the dance studio

Ray Eliot Schwartz is a research associate at the Mind Mind Movement Center. He attended high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts, received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and his MFA from the University of Texas-Austin. He is the founder of Performática: International Forum of Contemporary Dance and Movement Arts and a consultant and teacher artist for ArcDanz International Dance Workshop. Schwartz was co-founder of four contemporary dance projects in the southern United States: Sheep Army, Zen Monkey Project, Steve's House Dance Collective and THEM. He has been a guest artist for diverse populations in the US, Southeast Asia, South America and Mexico. He has been a member of the faculty of the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, MELT, the ZMP Summer Dance Intensive, the Colorado College Summer Dance Festival and SFADI, among others.

His somatic studies include certifications in Body-Mind Centering® and the Feldenkrais ™ Method. Additional studies include Zero-Balancing, anatomical dissection, Cranio-Sacral Therapy and Traditional Thai Massage.

Through his work as a teacher of dance, movement and bodywork, he conducted extensive research on the aesthetic and pedagogical implications evoked by the integration of the education of the somatic movement and the forms of contemporary dance, presenting the results of this work in various academic forums and specialized publications. He currently serves as Academic Coordinator of the Dance Program of the University of the Americas-Puebla in Mexico.

Jennifer Mabus

Headshot of Jennifer Mabus

Jennifer Mabus, MFA, possesses a rich background as a performing artist. Hailed as “bold” (New York Times) and “living calligraphy” (Boston Globe), she has performed internationally as a soloist with Battle Works, Robert Battle’s company before he became the director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Additionally, Mabus has danced for the Amy Marshall Dance Company, Heidi Latsky, Takehiro Ueyama, Bruce Wood Dance, Noble Motion Dance, and Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, among others. She is a founding member of the Transitory Sound and Movement Collective, where she has co-created original, experiential evenings in venues such as the Rothko Chapel, Rec Room and the Rice University Gallery.  

Mabus has presented choreography in festivals, such as the Dance Gallery Festival, the Dumbo Dance Festival, Cool/NY Festival, and 254 Festival and she has been commissioned to create work for Contemporary Ballet Dallas, Muscle Memory Dance Theater, the Foundation for Modern Music (Miller Outdoor Theater), and the Windsync Ensemble (Zilka Hall/Hobby Center). Mabus was the 2015 Rice University Dance Artist in Residence, a Noble Motion Dance 2016 “Next Step” artist, and a Dance Source Houston’s 2017 Artist in Residence. As an educator, she has served on the dance faculties of Texas Christian University, Sam Houston State University, San Jacinto College, Booker T Washington HSPVA, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Houston’s HSPVA.

Ursula Payne

Ursula Payne headshot

Ursula Payne is a graduate of Ohio State University, where she received her MFA in Dance with specializations in Performance and Direction from Labanotation Score. Payne received advanced training and earned certification as a Certified Movement Analyst from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York. Payne formed Mills and Payne dance company with Tiffany Mills and performed in various dance festivals and professional venues in New York City, Toronto-ON, Memphis-TN, Dallas-TX, and Eugene-OR. In addition to her work with Mills and Payne Dance (1995-2000), Payne performed as a dancer with Diane McIntyre in the film "The Beloved" and in McIntyre's evening-length work "Love Poems to God" which premièred at BAM. Payne was also the featured soloist in Eva Gholson's "For the Love of One". Since 2000 Payne has functioned as an independent artist receiving four Pennsylvania Council for the Arts choreographic fellowships and numerous commissions from universities and professional dance companies.

Stephanie Milling

Dr. Stephanie Milling headshot

Originally from Texas, Stephanie Milling left home at 14 to attend the Walnut Hill School for the Performing and Visual Arts and graduated with honors in dance. Milling also completed her pre-professional training at prestigious programs such as the Boston Ballet School, the Houston Ballet Academy, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal, Canada. Milling’s training enabled her to perform a varied repertoire with ballet and modern dance companies such as the Dayton Ballet, Berkshire Ballet, Tressor Dance Company, Contemporary Dance Fort Worth, the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, and the Von Howard Project. She also has performed and assumed the role of dance captain for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in Los Angeles and Myrtle Beach, S.C. Since her performing career, Milling has taught in a wide variety of artistic and educational environments including company classes for Dallas Black Dance Theatre I and II, several public schools within the New York City Department of Education, Texas Christian University, TWU, and the University of North Texas. She also served in the capacity of Assistant Dean for the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University prior to her appointment at the University of South Carolina.

Milling helped author the 2010 South Carolina Standards for Dance Education and edited the Curriculum Support Document that accompanies the standards. In 2014, she participated as a reviewer of the National Dance Education Standards for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, and she regularly reviews scholarship applications for the Archibald Rutledge Scholarship awarded by the South Carolina Department of Education. Milling is an active arts advocate in the state and nation and received the South Carolina Dance Association’s Advocacy Award in 2012. She was recently elected to serve as a Board Member for the South Carolina Arts Alliance, and in 2013 she was elected to serve a three-year term on the Arts Education Council at Americans for the Arts where she regularly writes for ARTSblog on topics relating to Arts Education and Advocacy. Her service in the field of dance has included serving on the Board of Directors for the Charlotte Dance Festival, South Carolina Dance Association, and the South Carolina Dance Education Organization. She has served on grant review panels for the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, and she has written and received grants to support her own artistic work as well as the work of the South Carolina Dance Association. In 2012 she received a grant from Winthrop University to restage Partita V op. 1 in G Major by Doris Humphrey from a Labanotation score.

Milling’s creative and scholarly work revolves around the intersections of Women’s Studies and Dance, assessment, advocacy, and pedagogy. Her work has appeared in venues such as the Joyce Soho in New York City, the D.U.M.B.O. Dance Festival in Brooklyn, N.Y., Piccolo Spoleto, the annual conference for the National Dance Education Organization, and the Journal of Dance Education. Dr. Milling holds a PhD in Dance and MA in Women’s Studies from TWU, an MA in Dance Education from New York University, and a BA in French from Texas Christian University.

D. Chase Angier

D. Chase Angier portrait

D. Chase Angier is an interdisciplinary artist and choreographer/director. As artistic director of Angier Performance Works, D. Chase Angier creates and performs site-specific performances, performance installations, dance-theater, and walking performances. These intuitively driven works are created in collaboration with dynamic artists in the visual arts, performance, music, theater and dance; and have been performed internationally (Japan, Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, The United Kingdom) and nationally in theaters, galleries, and visually inspiring sites. Angier has been living and working in both Brooklyn, NY and in Alfred, NY. She is a dance professor at Alfred University where she has developed a dance program based on creative place making, site specific choreography and interdisciplinary performance. Angier received her MFA in choreography from Ohio State University and her BA in dance from UCLA. She is the artistic director for the Marlin Miller Dance Residency Program, an elected member of the NYSCA/NYState DanceForce, and will be co-curating of the Formations section of the Prague Quadrennial.

Learn more:

Photo of black and white performance installation
As the Air Moves Back From You: D. Chase Angier's large-scale collaboratively created performance installation

Trent D. Williams Jr.

Trent D. Williams headshot

Trent D. Williams Jr.  a native Houstonian received his MFA in Dance Performance & Choreography from The Florida State University and BA in Psychology from Morehouse College. Williams was a founding member of Urban Souls Dance Company in Houston, Texas and he has been a guest artist with Tallahassee Ballet in Tallahassee, FL, EDGEWORKS Dance Theatre in Washington, DC.  While at Morehouse College, he worked with choreographers such as Nicole Wesley, Jhon strokes, Ivan Pulinkala, Darla Johnson and Wayne Smith as a member of the Spelman Dance Theatre.

Additionally, Williams has performed alongside Destiny’s Child, 112, and Janelle Monae among others. In 2007, Williams was invited to dance with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) in world-renowned works by Talley Beatty, The Stack Up (1992) and Eleo Pomare, Las Desenamoradas (1987), Donald Byrd, Rodney A. Brown, William B. McClellan, Jr., Debbie Blunden-Diggs, Shonna Hickman-Matlock and Bill T. Jones, to name a few.  In addition, he has performed works by choreographers like Gerri Houlihan, Anjali Austin, and Michael Foley. He is currently working on a new project with Liz Lerman and Jawole Zollar called Blood, Muscle, and Bones. Williams’ choreography has been performed by Dayton Contemporary Second Company, Texas Tech University, Towson University, University of Trinidad & Tobago, Coker College Dance Company, Urban Souls Dance Company, and has been showcased at The American Dance Festival, The American College Dance Festival, The Modern Atlanta Dance Festival, The Dance Gallery in Huntsville, Texas, and Kennedy Center: Millennium Stage.

Williams has served as a faculty member at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), University of Trinidad & Tobago, Howard Community College, Howard University Division of Fine Arts and Johns Hopkins Estelle Dennis/ Peabody Dance Training Program for Boys. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Theatre + Dance at the University of Florida.

Trent D. Williams performs a dance in black and white

Stephanie Liapis

Stephanie Liapis black and white performance photo

Stephanie Liapis received her BFA in dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts as the recipient of the Helbien Scholarship in 1998. Her career as a professional dancer spans sixteen years and includes company work with Doug Varone & Dancers and Nicholas Leichter Dance and freelance and guest artist work with Nancy Bannon, Susan Marshall and Company, the MET Ballet and Netta Yerushalmy among others. She has staged the works of Doug Varone and Jamie Bishton at various universities and festivals. Additionally she has served on faculty at Dance New Amsterdam, the 92nd Street Y in NYC, and as adjunct faculty at the University of Washington, Hunter College, Barnard College and SUNY Purchase College. She is currently on faculty at the Mark Morris Dance Center and is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus. Stephanie creates her own work for concert and film. Stephanie recently completed an 8-month travel fellowship that took her around the world!

Amy Morrow

Portrait of Amy Morrow

Amy Morrow is a teacher, choreographer, and consultant based in Austin under AM Arts. She founded TBX [ Toolbox Series ] to provide professional workshops and collaborations with international choreographers in Austin, Texas. TBX hosted more than 150 artists and featured eleven intensives including Gaga, CounterTechnique, Dance & Technology with Jason Akira Somma, and performance development with Deborah Hay. AM Arts also produces performances for The Theorists, a collective who aim to bridge the gap between artist and citizen by presenting homegrown art as a relevant and inclusive experience. AM Arts also manages the award winning Idan Sharabi & Dancers Company based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Trained and certified by Ohad Naharin to teach Gaga/dancers and Gaga/people, Morrow travels internationally teaching Gaga and Toolbox Workshops as well as Ballet and Indian Dance. She currently serves as adjunct professor at the University of Texas in Austin and McCallum Fine Arts choreographer in residency, and has taught at the Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance, the American College Dance Festival Association, Vassar College, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, Texas Women’s University, the University of Maryland College Park, The University of Houston, The University of New Mexico, and Emory among others and offered workshops at the American Dance Festival Scripps Studio, The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Hope Stone, Tapestry, Houston MET Dance, The University of Tulsa, and New Dialect among others.

Through her “Hiraeth Portrait Series” of film, music, and dance collaborations, Morrow has performed in Tel Aviv, New York, India, Puebla, México City, Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, Tulsa, Albuquerque, Birmingham, Huntsville, Richmond and Houston. “The Lady of” portrait was selected as one of Arts and Culture’s standouts for the 2015 season, noted by Nancy Wozny as “a sassy mix of precision and abandon, something we rarely see on contemporary dance stages.” The Dance Dish raved the performance as an autobiographical breath of fresh air. “It was her authenticity that held me; real people and real stories are captivating.”

Morrow’s latest commission is from The Wanderlust Project and will premiere July 2016 at the Majestic Theater in Dallas. Avant Chamber Ballet also commissioned her as an inaugural guest choreographer for the Women’s Choreographic Voices series, with the debut of String Theory in collaboration with Dallas Symphony members. It was noted as “the most emotional work, making cleaver use of the title prop” by the Dallas Morning News and “magic…making the biggest splash” by Theater Jones, reiterating, “seldom do we see a work so fascinating.” String Theory and Super String Theory have since toured the PAC in Tulsa as well as Tulsa’s Ballet’s Studio K, Zilker Hillside Theater, The Fort Worth Modern, Barnstorm Dance Fest, and the Grace Street Theater in Richmond.

Morrow graduated from Belhaven University with a BFA Dance Honors. Her senior thesis, Contextualizing Art Cross-Culturally, presenting dance to diverse audiences in unconventional venues and was a collaborative process with mentor Jesse Zaritt. Morrow was awarded scholarships to study choreography and improvisation techniques at the Nikolais/Louis Legacy Workshop directly under Murray Louis and Phyllis Lamhut. Morrow has received the Artful Dance Scholarship from the Dance Council of North Texas, Austin Emerging Arts Leadership Award, and Community Initiatives fund from the Cultural Arts Division in Austin to produce “TRIBE,” her latest full-length collaboration with The Theorists.

Ting-Ting Chang

Kaleidoscope image of Ting-Ting Chang dancing in multiple mirrored reflections

Ting-Ting Chang is the artistic director of T.T.C Dance and currently is working on Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Opera: Eugene Onegin with Taipei Symphony Orchestra at National Theater in Taipei. She is also an Assistant Professor in Dance at National Taiwan University of Arts and served as the director of International Education at the Office of International Affairs during 2013-15. She studied under legendary modern dance master Donald McKayle and was the rehearsal assistant to Etude Ensemble. She has worked with such renowned choreographers as Victoria Marks, Liz Lerman, Cheng-Chie Yu, and Japanese butoh master Takuya Muramatsu, among others. Chang continues to thrive in both artistic creation and academic research. She was selected as the 2012 International Choreographer in Residence program at American Dance Festival.  

She is the winner of the 2007 Dance Under the Stars International Choreography Festival presented by the McCallum Theatre for her work Falling Petals, and the Silver Award of 2012 China Lotus Cup-Contemporary and Modern Dance Competition for her chorography Sync. Her choreography, Body Platform: Cabinet Anthropomorphique, was sponsored by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to perform in the 2015 Asia Pacific Dance Bridge at Esplanade in Singapore, Taiwan Spotlight Project at University of Surrey, 2014 World Dance Alliance-International Choreographer Showcase and 2013 Festival d'Avignon Off in France. She has also presented her choreography in 2009 American College Dance Festival, 2010 Hong Kong Dance Festival, 2011-12 Washington University Dance Theater, 2013 University of Arkansas-Little Rock, 2015 Guangdong Dance Festival and etc.  

Chang holds a PhD degree in Dance History and Theory from University of California, Riverside, as well as a MFA in Dance from University of California, Irvine. She graduated with honors from University of California, Los Angeles, with a degree in World Arts and Culture/Dance, and had previously danced for the Taipei Folk Dance Theatre. She was an Andrew Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis during 2008-10. She also served as the Director of the Administration at American Dance Festival-International Dance Workshop in Henan, China during 2011-14. Her research focuses on the contemporary dance development in Asia and cross-cultural performance study. She is interested in post-colonialism, nationalism, diaspora, trans-national/trans-cultural studies and globalization. She has presented her research at international conferences such as Association for Asian Studies, the Congress on Research in Dance, Society of Dance History Scholars, World Dance Alliance, the Centre National de la Danse (FR), and Paris Opera. She also teaches composition, modern dance technique, and improvisation.

Darrell Jones

Darrell Jones dancing.

Whether working as a performer, collaborator or choreographer, ideas investigated through the physical instrument is an essential part of Darrell Jones’ artistic practice.

Embodied research is his focus.

Jones has performed in the United States and abroad with a variety of choreographers and companies such as Bebe Miller, Urban Bush Women, Ronald K. Brown, Min Tanaka and Ralph Lemon. Along with performing, he continues to research and teach. He has collaborated with writers, musicians and designers in dance films, documentations and interactive multimedia installations. In addition to his collaborative work, he continues to work in solo forms and with ensembles.

Jones has received choreographic fellowships from MANCC, CDF (Chicago Dancemakers Forum) and is a two-time Bessie award recipient for his choreographic and collaborative work. He has taught workshops and master classes in dance technique, improvisational processes and the voguing aesthetic throughout the United States and in other countries such as South Africa, UK, and South Korea.

Jones is an associate professor at The Dance Center of Columbia College in Chicago. His classes are informed by his training and studies in a variety of contemporary dance techniques and traditional dance forms.

Nia Love

Nia Love hugging a wall.

Nia Love earned her MFA in Dance with distinction from Florida State University in Choreography and her BFA in Theatre Directing from Howard University. Love 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.

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. 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 joined forces with Marjani Forte and co-created a collaborative collective, LOVE|FORTE the collective.

Catherine Cabeen

Catherine Cabeen portrait

Catherine Cabeen, MFA, is a dancer, choreographer and teacher based in New York City. She has received choreographic commissions from On the Boards, the Seattle Art Museum, and Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle, the Visa2Dance Festival in Dar Es Salaam, Alsarab Dance Troupe and the Lebanese American University in Byblos Lebanon, Moving People Dance Theater in Santa Fe, and Pig Iron Theater Company in Philadelphia, among others. The New York Times called Cabeen's Hyphen, “highly kinetic, complex... visually exquisite,” and “beautifully performed.”

Cabeen founded Hyphen in 2009, to explore how interdisciplinary research and collaboration can be used to build new movement vocabularies. In the last six years Hyphen has shown work throughout the continental United States and in Dar es Salaam, Byblos, Belfast, Cork, and Vieques PR. Cabeen has received support for her work from the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, 4 Culture, The Washington State Arts Commission, the National Performing Network Creation Fund, The Bernstein Foundation, and generous individual donors. Cabeen was a finalist in The A.W.A.R.D. Show! Seattle: 2009. During the summer of 2011, she was Emerging Choreographer at Bates Dance Festival.

Cabeen performs in her own work and with Richard Move. She is a former member of the Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (1997-2005), and the Martha Graham Dance Company, among others. Cabeen is also an Assistant Professor of Dance at Marymount Manhattan College.

Mary John Frank

Mary John Frank portrait

Mary John Frank is a choreographer and filmmaker creating dance for film, commercials, the web and stage. Recent works include directing content for New York City Ballet's spring season and choreographing content for brands including Bonnaroo, American Apparel, and Sony.

Her dance film works have been screened at film festivals in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. In 2011, Frank received Panavision's New Filmmaker Grant and directed, choreographed, and wrote her first film, Einstein's Dance. The film received festival recognition and awards including Best Film Direction at the Women's Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles. Before creating dance on camera, Frank spent seven years working in film production and acquisitions in Los Angeles for studios including Lionsgate, Paramount, and Warner Bros. She has also served on panels at the South By Southwest Film Festival and was a judge for the screenplay competition and the feature film competition at the Austin Film Festival. Frank is based in New York and she hopes to continue directing, creating movement, and partnering with brands to create memorable content.

Kira Blazek

Kira Blazek portrait

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

Rachel Bernsen portrait

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). Bernsen 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, 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. Bernsen 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 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.

Allyne D. Gartrell

Allyne Gartrell portrait

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.

Gartrell also attended Florida A&M University and Florida State University where he excelled in Instrumental Music and Dance. As a dancer, Gartrell 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 director for DCDC II. While at DCDC, Gartrell performed ballets of Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle,Talley Beatty, Ulysses Dove and Donald Byrd. 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. Gartrell also served as assistant to the Tony Award winning choreographer Hope Clark for the production of Porgy & Bess which premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Arts.

Over the past decade, Gartrell has worked as principal male dancer, rehearsal director and resident choreographer for the Dallas Black Dance Theatre. In 2006, Gartrell became director of DBDT II, Dallas Black Dance Theatre's 2nd Touring Company. Gartrell is a highly recognized master dance instructor in the country, known for his high energy, and 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 Gartrell choreographed Primary Movements; a contemporary ballet in collaboration with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, with original 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, Gartrell 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 Gartrell was recognized for his contribution to at-risk youth in the midwest by Senator Russ Feingold, and was awarded the 2004 AKA Trail Blazer Award for Outstanding Community Service. Gartrell is a member of the International Association of Blacks in Dance and National Performing Arts Guild, and for the past 10 years he has serves as scholarship chairman for the Black College Dance Exchange, a coalition of historically-black colleges and universities. Most recently Gartrell was inducted into the 2009 Presidential Edition of Who's Who in the Arts, awarded the Dallas Black Dance Theatre 2009 Artist Award and in December 2009 Gartrell was featured in Dallas Modern Luxury Magazine as one of The New Iconoclasts for 2010 and was awarded the 21011 Phoenix Award by Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta.

Andee Scott

Andee Scott dancing in a red dress

Andee Scott is an interdisciplinary artist with a primary focus in dance.

As a choreographer, 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. Portrait was an aerial work in four parts, with a section that adapted the romantic ballet Les Sylphides to a wall.  She developed 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 five 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 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. 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.

Scott has conducted residencies and taught master classes nationally and internationally and has been on faculty at the University of Texas 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 TWU and degrees in Dance and German from The University of Texas.

Page last updated 10:05 AM, February 8, 2024