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Guest Artists

Natalie Desch

Natalie Desch, (Juilliard School, BFA and University of Washington, MFA) performed for five seasons with the Limón Dance Company and eleven seasons with Doug Varone and Dancers in NYC. She has taught for summer programs around the country and internationally. Natalie has restaged and continues to research the works of José Limón, Doug Varone, Jirí Kylián, and Daniel Charon. Natalie joined the University of Utah as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2019.

 

 

 

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Bryn Cohn

Bryn Cohn is an award-winning choreographer and the artistic director of Bryn Cohn + Artists. She has presented work at Jacob’s Pillow, Danspace Project, Bryant Park, Hudson Valley Dance Festival, 92nd Street Y and REDCAT Theater. Cohn was nominated for a Princess Grace Fellowship and won REGALIA, a choreography competition on Repertory Dance Theatre. She participated in the New Directions Choreography Lab at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Cohn has been commissioned by Louis Vuitton, Smartwater, BalletCollective, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet and Billy Bell’s Lunge Dance. She was in artistic residence at Cal State Fullerton, University of Minnesota Duluth, Stockton University, University at Buffalo and Grand Valley State University. Cohn received a feature in Dance Teacher Magazine and is on faculty at AMDA College and Hussian College. She received a BFA from CalArts and a MFA from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a High Honors, Chancellor’s and Regent’s award recipient.

 

 


Suzanne Haag

Suzanne Haag is the Resident Choreographer of Eugene Ballet (EB) and co-founder of the interactive performing group, #instaballet. Performance credits include the Hartford Ballet, Indianapolis Opera, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Ballet Idaho, and 15 seasons with EB. Suzanne holds a B.S. in Arts Administration and Dance from Butler University.  Suzanne’s choreographic work for EB includes a post-apocalyptic version of The Firebird and a collaboration with the band, Pink Martini. She participated in the 2017 National Choreographer’s Initiative, was a 2017 and 2018 finalist in the McCallum Theatre’s Choreography Competition, is a 2019 recipient of the New York Choreographic Institute’s Commission Initiative award, and received the 2019 Oregon Arts Commission’s Joan Shipley Fellowship. More information about her work can be found at suzannehaag.com.

 

 

 


Rubén Gerding

Rubén Gerding, a native of Kentucky, received his BFA from the University of Oklahoma and his MFA from Texas Christian University in Classical & Contemporary Dance. He is currently Assistant Professor of Dance at Southeast Missouri State University. Rubén danced for three seasons with the Eugene Ballet before joining Texas Ballet Theater. Rubén then danced with Metropolitan Classical Ballet in Arlington, TX. He has also danced in Casa Manaña musical theatre productions Damn Yankees and Beauty and the Beast, and performed with Ballet Concerto, the Bruce Wood Dance Project, Avant Chamber Ballet, and other North Texas dance companies. Rubén’s choreography has been performed at the ACDA Festivals in several regions, the Plano Dance Festival in North Texas, and at regional theatres in Missouri and North Texas.

 


Francesca Harper

Francesca Harper is an internationally acclaimed multi-faceted artist. After being named Presidential Scholar in the Arts and performing at the White House, Francesca attended Columbia University for a summer studying philosophy and computer programming, but could not deny a passion inside that moved her to pursue a professional career as a dancer.  Francesca joined the Dance Theater of Harlem’s Junior Company that same summer and joined the main Company the following year.  Francesca performed soloist roles with the DTH, such as the Hostess in Bronislova Nijinska’s Les Biches and soloist in Swan Lake.  After Dance Theater of Harlem, she fell in love with the choreography of William Forsythe.  She joined his company, Ballet Frankfurt, quickly started performing lead roles, and soon after was promoted to Principal.  While a member of Ballet Frankfurt, Francesca was chosen to perform with designers Issey Miyake, and Gianni Versace, and to perform in a film, Dancing Pleats, a 30-year retrospective of Issey Myake’s design work in Japan. She performed Miyake’s and Versace’s fashion shows in Paris and Milan as well. She was also spotted signing on the Frankfurt stage and subsequently invited to record her first single, Slow Groove.  Slow Groove was produced on a compilation album and distributed inthe U.K. and throughout Europe. She self-produced her own album, Modo Fusion, currently available on iTunes. While still a member of Ballet Frankfurt, she first tested the waters choreographically by creating her first full evening of work, Dark Violet Light Stone, commissioned by The Holland Dance Festival.

The vastness of her artistry and hunger led Francesca back to New York City for Broadway productions including Fosse, The Producers, All Shook Up, The Frogs, and the Tony nominated treasure The Color Purple. As a member of The Color Purple she understudied the roles of Shug Avery and Squeak. This led Harper to booking her first Principal Broadway Roles as Helene in Sweet Charity and as Judith in Sophisticated Ladies. She also created her first play that appeared at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York, 50 minutes with Harriet and Phillis, produced by Anna Deavere Smith, in creation with her aunt, Pulitzer Prize Winning writer Margo Jefferson and Paul Miller a.k.a DJ Spooky. Most recently she was invited to develop a new character for the interactive show Sleep No More, where she sings every week at The McKittrick Hotel in New York City as jazz vocalist, Cecilia Robertson, aka Ceci. Francesca was also newly appointed Artistic Director of the Movement Invention Project® (MIP®) of NYC, where she continues to encourage young artists to explore beyond their extremities and enhance their creativity.

Harper has choreographed works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Tanz Graz, Hubbard Street II, Dallas Black Dance Theater, and her own company, The Francesca Harper Project, which was founded in 2005. Her TV appearances include Boardwalk Empire, David Letterman, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Harper also served as ballet consultant for the feature film, Black Swan, by Darren Aronofsky, and starring Natalie Portman. Portman went on to win an Oscar for her performance in the film.  Francesca was also a featured performer in Zinnias – The Life of Clementine Hunter directed by Robert Wilson, touring internationally with the production. She received a Living History Award in 2013 during Black history month from Long Island University, as well as the Innovation and Technology Award for her choreography for Fashion Week with designer Louis Vuitton.

Francesca’s mother, Denise Jefferson, served as an inspiration and mentor for Francesca teaching work and giving back to the community.  Her mother served as the director of The Alvin Ailey School for over 26 years.  Denise Jefferson created the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A program, which changed the landscape for young aspiring dance artists by providing dancers the opportunity to obtain college degrees while continuing to pursue careers as a professional artists.  Francesca’s mother was an example of courage and compassion for her daughter, and since her passing she remains a beacon of inspiration as Francesca continues to strive forward as a professional artist and teacher.

Harper enjoys her appointment as an adjunct professor at New York University, a former Associate Professor at Barnard College, and continues the vital role of teacher and choreographer for The Ailey School, Fordham University’s BFA Program, and the Susan Batson Studio. SBS is led by Acting Guru and Obie award winner Susan Batson, who serves as Acting Coach for Nicole Kidman, Oprah Winfrey, Juliette Binoche, Tom Cruise, Liv Tyler, Usher, Lee Daniels, Sean Combs, and many more. Harper and Batson have started a film and television production company called “BetterMind Productions,” and currently have two feature film projects in development. Batson also served as the directorial consultant for The Look of Feeling, Francesca’s one woman show based on the life of her mother, Denise Jefferson. The Look of Feeling premiered Off Broadway in The Spring of 2014 and received critical acclaim as a piece rich in truth and authenticity.” – Broadway.com.

In July 2004, The Look of Feeling had its international debut at the Impulstanz Festival in Vienna, Austria. In 2016, the critically-acclaimed show made appearances around New York City with the debut of two new Chapters, featuring live music and the dancers of The Francesca Harper Project. The Francesca Harper Project has become the platform for Harper’s own artistic vision: classical dance forms deconstructed and fused with cutting-edge text, music, film and video. The company has toured nationally and internationally at various venues including the Holland Dance Festival, Venice Biennale, NJPAC, Impulstanz, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Joyce Theater.

Francesca continues to create and perform meaningful works inspired by her mother and her own life experiences. She is committed to works rooted artistic expression, empowerment, and social awareness. She is grateful for the daily opportunity to do what she loves and is passionate about inspiring others to live their dreams.

 


José Limón

Choreographer José Limón is credited with creating one of the world’s most important and enduring dance legacies— an art form responsible for the creation, growth and support of modern dance in this country. Immigrating to the United States from Mexico in 1918, Limón is considered one of Mexico’s greatest artistic exports, and a role model for Latino communities throughout the United States. Founded in 1946 by José Limón and Doris Humphrey, the Limón Dance Company has been at the vanguard of American Modern dance since its inception and is considered one of the world’s greatest dance companies. Acclaimed for its dramatic expression, technical mastery and expansive, yet nuanced movement, the Limón Dance Company illustrates the timelessness of José Limón’s work and vision. The Company’s repertory, which includes classic works in addition to new commissions from contemporary choreographers, possesses an unparalleled breadth and creates unique experiences for audiences around the world. The José Limón Dance Foundation exists to perpetuate the Limón legacy and its humanistic approach to movement and theater, and to extend the vitality of that vision into the future, through performance, creation, preservation and education.


Kurt Douglas, Répétiteur and Guest Artist from the José Limón Dance Foundation

Kurt Douglas joined the Boston Conservatory faculty in 2015 and is an associate professor of dance, specializing in technique, repertory, and pedagogy for modern dance. Douglas also serves as artistic director for Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Summer Dance Intensive (SDI).  A graduate of New York’s LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts and originally from Guyana, Douglas earned a B.F.A. in dance from Boston Conservatory and an M.F.A. in dance from Hollins University.

After graduating from the Conservatory in 2001, he joined the Limón Dance Company, where he performed in many of Limón’s most influential works. He received a 2002 Princess Grace Award and was honored by an invitation to perform for the royal family of Monaco. In 2007, Douglas became the first African American to portray Iago in The Moor’s Pavane, José Limón’s most famous work. Douglas was named one of Dance Magazine’s “Top 25 to Watch” in the January 2006 issue. He danced from 2002 to 2007 in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and joined Ballet Hispanico from 2005 to 2006 under the direction of Tina Ramirez. In 2009, he joined the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company during their 40th anniversary season, touring throughout the United States and Asia. In 2011, he began touring with the Tony Award-winning musical A Chorus Line throughout the United States, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. Guest artist credits include the Thang Dao Dance Company, Buglisi Dance Theatre, Dzul Dance, and the Sean Curran Dance Company.

Douglas remains invested in his teaching practices, conducting Limón Dance workshops in Massachusetts, South Dakota, New York, Oregon, Texas, Pennsylvania, Haiti, France, England, Australia, and at prestigious institutions such as Harvard University, Southern Methodist University, the Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase, SUNY Brockport, Skidmore College, Festival Ballet Providence, and Boston Conservatory. Douglas is currently a reconstructor with the Limón Foundation. In 2017, Douglas restaged Jose Limón’s “A Choreographic Offering” for the Limón Company’s 71st anniversary season. Douglas continues to serve as faculty with the Limón for Kids Program and the Limón Institute in New York City, the official school of the Limón Dance Foundation.

 

Lalitaraja

Lalitaraja (Joachim Chandler MA) is a dance artist and educator based in the dance department at Roehampton University where he teaches choreography, contact improvisation and improvisation. As a performer he has worked with Scottish Ballet, Michael Clark, Adventures in Motion Pictures, Laurie Booth, Yolande Snaith and Charles Linehan among others. He has presented more than 25 choreographic works and continues to choreograph and perform. His research interests focus on contemplative practices, improvisation and choreography. His meditation journey began around the age of 12 but really developed during his twenties, and by the late 1990s he was teaching meditation and Buddhism regularly. The name Lalitaraja was given on ordination into the Triratna Buddhist Order 1998.

 

 

 

Gabrielle Lamb

Photo by Christopher GIglio

Gabrielle Lamb is a Princess Grace Award-winning choreographer based in NYC, where she directs Pigeonwing Dance. Her dances, infused with the rigor of classical ballet, strobe between puzzle-solving and the hedonic pleasure of pure movement.  She has created for both classical and contemporary companies and dance departments across North America, including American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Ballet, Whim W’him (Seattle), Ballet Collective (NYC), Ballet Austin, Ballet Memphis, and the Sacramento, Milwaukee, and Kansas City Ballets.

Ms. Lamb has won choreographic competitions at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Milwaukee Ballet, as well as the Banff Centre’s Lee Award and a New York City Center Choreography Fellowship.  In 2018 she was Grand Prize Winner of the S&R Foundation’s Washington Award.

A native of Savannah, GA, she trained at the Boston Ballet School and was a longtime soloist at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.  In 2009 she was invited by Christopher Wheeldon to join his company Morphoses in NYC. Her performing repertoire also included new creations by Mauro Bigonzetti, Pontus Lidberg, and Shen Wei, as well as leading roles in existing works by Naharin, Balanchine, Kylian, and Duato. She was described by DANCE Magazine as, “a dancer of stunning clarity who illuminates the smallest details—qualities she brings to the dances she makes, too”.

She is currently a 3rd Year Trainee in the 4 Year Professional Training Program of the Feldenkrais Institute of NY.

 

 

Adam Barruch

Adam Barruch began his career as a young actor, performing professionally on Broadway and in film and television, working with prominent figures such as Tony Bennett, Jerry Herman and Susan Stroman. He later received dance training at LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts. After three years, he graduated early and was accepted into the dance department at The Juilliard School. As a dancer he has performed the works of Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Susan Marshall, Jose Limon, Daniele Dèsnoyers, and was a dancer with Sylvain Émard Danse in Montreal. He has also worked with The Margie Gillis Dance Foundation, performing and researching Conflict Transformation as part of The Legacy Project. Based in Brooklyn, Adam currently creates and performs work under the epithet of his own company, Anatomiae Occultii.

As a choreographer, Adam’s work has been presented at venues such as The Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, City Center, NYU/ Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, The Juilliard School, The Baryshnikov Arts Center, Ailey-Citigroup Theater, The 92Y: Buttenweiser Hall, Jacob’s Pillow: Inside/Out, LaMaMa,The Cedar Lake Theater, Gina Gibney Dance Center, The Harris Theater, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Cowles Center, The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard, Bates Dance Festival and Theatre Usine C in Montreal. He has also taught technique and repertory at Princeton University, The Boston Conservatory, The Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program, Marymount Manhattan College, The Martha Graham School, The Hartt School, The Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, New York University, Hofstra University, West Virginia University, La Escuela Profesional de Danza de Mazatlán (EPDM), New Zealand School of Dance and The Hubbard Street Professional Training Program.

Adam Barruch was selected as a participant in the 2011 Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab made possible by generous support from the Ford Foundation. Adam Barruch’s short-film collaboration with filmmaker Nel Shelby, Folie a Deux, was screened at the Dance On Camera Festival in Lincoln Center in 2012. In June 2013, Adam performed a full-length evening solo work, My Name is Adam, at Joe’s Pub commissioned by DanceNOW NYC, and was a recipient of a Late Stage Production Stipend from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. In addition, he has also created works for companies such as The Limón Company, Ailey II, Keigwin + Company, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, River North Dance Chicago, BalletX, Whim W’Him Seattle Contemporary Dance, Graham II, GroundWorks Dance Theater, Minnesota Dance Theatre, The Gibney Dance Company, 10 Hairy Legs and Daniel Costa Dance, as well as for dance icons Margie Gillis and Miki Orihara. Adam has also choreographed two music videos for Tokyo based musical act mishmash* and created movement for Variety Worldwide, whose projects combine non-traditional theater with nightlife and dining.

Adam was the recipient of a 2014 Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences, which recognizes institutions and individuals for distinguished accomplishments and exceptional talent in the arts and sciences. In September 2015, Adam Barruch was the choreographer-in-residence at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara, California as part of the 2015 DANCEworks Residency. Adam Barruch was an artist-in-residence at the 92Y Harkness Dance Center in 2016-2017. He is currently working on a new physical theater production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

 

Darrell Grand Moultrie

Photo by Franklin Thompson

Darrell Grand Moultrie has established himself as one of America’s most diverse and sought-after choreographers and master teachers. A recipient of the Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship Award, he is one of the few choreographers simultaneously working in theatre, modern dance, ballet, and commercial dance.  This past spring, Moultrie had a premiere performed by The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre during their engagement at New York’s Lincoln Center.  Moutlrie has created and staged works for Colorado Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, Ailey 2, Milwaukee Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Tulsa Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Washington Ballet, and NBA Ballet in Japan.  Moultrie was selected by Grammy Award winning artist Beyoncé as a choreographer on her recording breaking “Mrs. Carter Show” world tour.  On stage, he has provide movement and choreography for Jeremy O. Harris’s new play Daddy, directed by Danya Taymor, Witness Uganda at American Repertory Theater directed by Tony Winner Diane Paulus, Sugar in Our Wounds at Manhattan Theatre Club, the Off Broadway musical Invisible Thread at Second Stage, Evita and Pride and Prejudice at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and he has collaborated with Tony Award-winning hoofer Savion Glover. Moultrie also choreographed El Publico, a new opera at the world famous Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain directed by Robert Castro and Conducted by Robert Heras-Casado.  Moultrie is a proud New Yorker, born and raised in Harlem, and a graduate of P.S. 144, Laguardia High School, and The Juilliard School.

 

Elijah Alhadji Gibson

Founder and Artistic Director of Social Movement Contemporary Dance, based in Houston, Texas. Originally from San Diego, California, he attended the San Diego School for the Performing Arts. He later studied at Sam Houston State University under the direction of Dana Nicolay and received his Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Gibson danced with the world-renowned Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago where he toured nationally and internationally. Gibson has been on faculty at Shenandoah University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Sam Houston State University.

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Rochelle Zide-Booth

Rochelle Zide-Booth has retired after a long career in ballet. She trained in Boston with Harriet Hoctor and E. Virginia Williams and then joined the fabled Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, signing her first contract on her 1 6th birthday and quickly rising to the rank of Soloist. After breaking her leg in a rehearsal on tour, and dancing on it for two weeks, she left the company. Then came a New York season with Jerome Robbins’ Ballets: USA and four years as Principal Dancer of The Jaffrey Ballet, where she danced ballerina roles in most of the repertoire, including Lisette in “La Fille Mal Gardee”; the title role in Thomas Andrew’s “Clarissa” and the leading role in Dirk Sanders’ “Yesterday’s Papers”, both of which were choreographed for her; the pas de deux from Bournonville’s “Flower Festival in Genzano” and from Act 1 of
“Giselle”; and the leads in Balanchine’s “Pas de Dix” and “Square Dance”. Another accident, this time detached retinas, made her decide to leave that company. Freelance work with a partner and symphony orchestras throughout the United States and as ballerina of America Dances and as Prima Ballerina of the New York City Opera Ballet followed. A new company was being formed for her by Walter Terry and Thomas Andrew when a third accident cut short her performing career at age 27.

The next phase of her career began immediately: Ballet Mistress of The Jaffrey and Boston Ballets, starting the Dance Program at St. Paul’s School in Concord NH, Artistic Director of the Netherlands Dance Theatre, Professor of Ballet at Adelphi University, Head of Ballet at The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, teaching and staging residencies in South Korea, Israel and the Philippines, teaching on the faculty of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, and Professor of Ballet, Men’s Ballet and Dance History at Butler University. As a Fulbright lecturer, Zide-Booth was the first American invited to be Artist in Residence at the Prague Conservatory of Dance and the Ballet of the National Theatre in the Czech Republic. While there, she also taught master classes at the Academy of Musical Arts in Prague, the Brno Ballet, the Brno Dance Conservatory, the Army Ballet Company and she helped to start an American-style conservatory of dance. She also staged one of her ballets for the Prague National Ballet. Next she was selected from an international search to be Artistic Director of the New Zealand School of Dance. Rochelle is a nine time adjudicator for the National Association of Regional Ballet (now Regional Dance America), including the first National Festival at the Jackson International Ballet Competition, and has choreographed some two dozen ballets. She is also a Certified Reconstructor at the Dance Notation Bureau. Dance Chronicle published some of the diaries from her Jaffrey years in 1 988 and she is listed in 2,000 Notable American Women, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in Entertainment, The International Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women, Personalities of America, Who’s Who in the East and Jewish Women in America, an Historical Encyclopedia. Rochelle is now Professor Emerita of both Butler and Adelphi Universities. In 2014, she was honored to receive the CORPS de Ballet International Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in teaching Ballet in higher education.

 

Francisco Aviña

Francisco’s training started at Orange County High School of the Performing Arts and continued at Alvin Ailey.  He worked as a dancer in such projects as: Celine Dion’s A New Day at Caesars Palace,  Newsies-the Movie , Batman and Robin, Michael Jackson’s Sisterella, Fame L.A the TV series,The World Billboard Music Awards. He danced for Elton John, Bette Midler, Janet Jackson, and numerous corporate industrials such as Adidas, Canon, Nike, Reebok, Asics, Nintendo and Aveda. Moving to Chicago he began his company career with Hubbard Street 2 for 1 year, moving to River North  for 1 year, and subsequently into Hubbard Street for 3 seasons. He has also worked with  Lucky Push Production’s under the artistic of Julia Rhoads. His choreography credits include Giannai Versace fashion show in Singapore, 10th Annual American Choreography Awards in Los Angeles, Nickolodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards with Justin Timberlake, three pieces for Hubbard Street 2 in which one he won a national choreography competition.

Working in Mexico City he choreographed  for TV Azteca Disney’s High School Musical La Seleccion  and Yo Mexico which was a multi media production celebrating the bicentennial anniversary of Mexico’s independence and the centennial anniversary of its revolution with more than 350 artists including dancers, aerialists and musicians. It was performed in the Zocalo at the foot of the National Palace and viewed by over 1.5 million people. He completed the first piece set on Danceworks Chicago entitled “Track 4” under the artistic direction of Julie Nakagawa. He has choreographed for Chicago dance companies such as Luna Negra, Thodos Dance, Ron de Jesus Dance and the Joffery’s second company. Francisco received the “Outstanding Choreography Award” at the Youth America Grand Prix competition.  Francisco is also the resident choreographer for “Digital 9″ in Shibuya Tokyo where he periodically sets new works for a cast of over 60 artists. Currently Francisco is the Artistic Director of Danza Tres in Mexico City, were he over see’s the artistic direction of large mass live event’s as well as television and theatre projects.

 

 

 

Christian von Howard

Christian von Howard is the Artistic Director of the VON HOWARD PROJECT, a contemporary dance company based in New York City. As an international artist, he has worked with many dance artists such as Fred Benjamin, Fernando Bujones, and Daniel Gwirtzman, and his choreography has been produced in venues across the globe including Europe, South America, Asia, and throughout the US. Christian is an Associate Professor at Montclair State University, on faculty at the Alvin Ailey School, and serves as the Northeast Regional Director of the American College Dance Association. He holds advanced degrees from the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance at Texas Christian University and Tisch School of the Arts, NYU.

Abby Zbikowski

Juried Bessie award winning choreographer Abby Zbikowski created her company Abby Z and the New Utility in 2012. Abby Z and the New Utility have been presented by the Gibney Dance Center, Movement Research at Danspace Project, the Abrons Arts Center, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City, the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in upstate New York, and the FuseBox Festival in Austin, Texas, with upcoming shows at Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Zbikowski is an Assistant Professor of dance at the University of Illinois and on faculty at the American Dance Festival. She is an inaugural Caroline Hearst Choreographer-In-Residence at the Lewis Center of the Arts at Princeton University(2017-2019) and has been in residence at Bates Dance Festival, American Dance Festival, and S.L.A.M.(Streb Lab for Action Mechanics). She has taught at the Academy of Culture in Riga, Latvia as part of Movement Research’s Global Practice Sharing. Abby has studied intensively at Germaine Acogny’s L’École de Sables in Senegal, holds a BFA in dance from Temple University and an MFA in dance from Ohio State University, where she worked closely with mentors Bebe Miller and Vickie Blaine. As a performer she has worked with Charles O. Anderson/Dance theater X, Vincent Mantsoe, and the Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project.

 

Francisco Aviña

Francisco’s training started at Orange County High School of the Performing Arts and continued at Alvin Ailey.  He worked as a dancer in such projects as: Celine Dion’s A New Day at Caesars Palace,  Newsies-the Movie , Batman and Robin, Michael Jackson’s Sisterella, Fame L.A the TV series,The World Billboard Music Awards. He danced for Elton John, Bette Midler, Janet Jackson, and numerous corporate industrials such as Adidas, Canon, Nike, Reebok, Asics, Nintendo and Aveda. Moving to Chicago he began his company career with Hubbard Street 2 for 1 year, moving to River North  for 1 year, and subsequently into Hubbard Street for 3 seasons. He has also worked with  Lucky Push Production’s under the artistic of Julia Rhoads. His choreography credits include Giannai Versace fashion show in Singapore, 10th Annual American Choreography Awards in Los Angeles, Nickolodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards with Justin Timberlake, three pieces for Hubbard Street 2 in which one he won a national choreography competition.

Working in Mexico City he choreographed  for TV Azteca Disney’s High School Musical La Seleccion  and Yo Mexico which was a multi media production celebrating the bicentennial anniversary of Mexico’s independence and the centennial anniversary of its revolution with more than 350 artists including dancers, aerialists and musicians. It was performed in the Zocalo at the foot of the National Palace and viewed by over 1.5 million people. He completed the first piece set on Danceworks Chicago entitled “Track 4” under the artistic direction of Julie Nakagawa. He has choreographed for Chicago dance companies such as Luna Negra, Thodos Dance, Ron de Jesus Dance and the Joffery’s second company. Francisco received the “Outstanding Choreography Award” at the Youth America Grand Prix competition.  Francisco is also the resident choreographer for “Digital 9″ in Shibuya Tokyo where he periodically sets new works for a cast of over 60 artists. Currently Francisco is the Artistic Director of Danza Tres in Mexico City, were he over see’s the artistic direction of large mass live event’s as well as television and theatre projects.

 

Summer Lee Rhatigan

Danced professionally with London Festival Ballet, Oakland Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and San Francisco Opera. Rhatigan has worked with renowned choreographers including Sir Frederick Ashton, Agnes de Mille, Kurt Jooss, Alonzo King, Eugene Loring, Kenneth MacMillan, Léonide Massine, and Rudolf Nureyev among many others. She is the founding director of San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and Alonzo King LINES Ballet School and Pre-Professional Program and has been a guest teacher for numerous companies and schools across the US and internationally.

 

 

Jennifer Archibald

Photo by Anders J Larsson

Jennifer Archibald is the founder and Artistic Director of the Arch Dance Company and Program Director of ArchCore40 Dance Intensives.  She is a graduate of the Alvin Ailey School and the Maggie FlaniganActing Conservatory where she studied the Meisner Technique.  Archibald has choreographed for the Atlanta Ballet, Ailey II, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Kansas City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet II, Ballet Nashville, Grand Rapids Ballet and Amy Seiwert’s Imagery.  She was recently appointed as the first female Resident Choreographer in Cincinnati Ballet’s 40-year history.  Jennifer is currently an Acting Lecturer at the Yale School of Drama.  In 2015, she was appointed as Guest Faculty Lecturer to develop the Hip Hop dance curriculum at Columbia/Bernard College.

 

Susan Dromisky

Born in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada, Susan Dromisky is a graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada and began her professional career shortly after graduation. She became a soloist in 1985 and was also a soloist dancer with the English National Ballet in 1985 – 1986. Some of her leading roles included Sugar Plum and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Swanhilda in Erik Bruhn’s Coppelia, Teresina in Peter Schaufuss’ Napoli and Olga in John Cranko’s Onegin. Susan has worked directly with Rudolph Nureyev, Erik Bruhn, Sir Frederick Ashton, Kenneth MacMillan, James Kudelka, Peter Schaufuss, Glen Tetley, Natalia Makarova, Brian MacDonald, David Allen, John Alleyne, Michael Clark and John McFall. Ms. Dromisky was a recipient of the Peter Dwyer Scholarship for High Excellence in Dance in 1978. She was also awarded a Canada Council Grant for the Arts in 1979. Upon retiring from the stage, she was a full-time artistic faculty member with the National Ballet School of Canada before coming to BalletMet in 1998. She was the director of the Trainee Program and the Senior Performance Ensemble.

 

 

 

Matthew Cumbie

Matthew Cumbie is a dancemaker, educator, and collaborator in Washington, DC, and is an Associate Artistic Director of Dance Exchange.  His artistic research cultivates processes and experiences that are participatory and intergenerational, move through known and unknown, and bring a poetic lens to a specifically queer experience.  He has been commissioned by places like Dance Place, Bates Dance Festival, the Kennedy Center, and Harvard University, as well as the New York City Roundtable Arts in Education conference and the LGBT Health and Art Making conference, among others.  He has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities, the Arcus Foundation, and the Somerville Arts Council.  He holds an MFA in dance from Texas Woman’s University.