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ARTISTS' BIOGRAPHIES & PHOTOS
13th Floor is darkly comic theater that moves. We create original scripted plays that don't hold still - they are funny and wicked and intelligent, often with a literary bent. We aim for a delicate combination of accessible yet thought provoking, and will make you laugh just when you thought it was getting a little too dark.
13th Floor was founded in 2010 by Jenny McAllister, along with a troupe of talented performers equally adept at acting and moving. With a background in both theater and dance, McAllister and her company explore how narrative theater can be enhanced by character-based movement - using dance, fight choreography, or riffs on simple human gestures. When words fail us, how are we moved, and how do we move?
Over the past five years, 13th Floor has collaborated with local writer Kim Green, visual designers Michael Oesch and Delayne Medoff, and has been supported in part by grants from ODC Theater, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the Fleishhacker Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, The Fort Mason Foundation and the Dancers Group Lighting Artist In Dance Award. 13th Floor was was the recipient of a creative work/play residency at ODC Theater in 2013, The Sandbox Series in May of 2015, and a 1 month residency at Levy Dance in January 2015. 13th Floor is fiscally sponsored by Dancers' Group.
Anjal Chande is a choreographer, composer, writer, and performer who boldly innovates and introspects through multidisciplinary dance. Described by The New York Times as a “gifted stylist” and by Time Out Chicago as “arrestingly poetic” and “breaking out of the box of ethnic dance,” Anjal is paving new pathways as a contemporary bharatanatyam artist. Driven by an appreciation for self-reliance, Anjal takes a do-it-yourself approach to dancemaking. She writes her own contemplative prose and composes genre-evading music, combining these elements with her highly emotive dancing.
Anjal recently moved from Chicago to San Francisco and is keen on becoming involved with the vibrant local dance scene.
anjalchande.com photo by Samir Mirza
Bianca Stephanie Mendoza was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area where she began working with dance artists such as the Principal dancers of the San Francisco Ballet Carmela Zegarelli Peter, Zoltan Peter, and Janice Garett company member Tanya Bello.
Bianca was accepted into the BFA dance program at the California Institute of the Arts which was proclaimed the number one art school in the United States in 2012. In her time at CalArts, Bianca was trained in various dance techniques by various renowned artist which included Colin Connor from the Limon Company, Andre Tyson (an original Alvin Ailey company member), Cynthia Young (San Francisco Ballet), Rosanna Gamson (artistic director and choreographer for Rosanna Gamson World Wide) and many more like them.
Having a strong passion for choreography Bianca has choreographed works entitled Jonnek’a Nok, a solo which was accepted to go to the American College Dance Festival in Illinois in 2010. In 2011 Bianca choreographed works such as His Animalz which was performed at TheGarage as her first San Francisco performance in 2012. Also in 2012 Bianca’s piece entitled Loaded Yoke was chosen to go to Walt Disney’s REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles.
Now Bianca is the artistic director, creator and choreographer of her very own dance company, Binki Danz Company, founded in 2013, which focuses on political, economic, racial, and gender issues that affect us today. A Latin American feminist, Bianca is now showing works across the Bay Area that personify her views on these issues such as Effeminate Exigency which her company performed at KUNST-STOFF arts as a solo show August of 2013. Her piece Body Poetry was performed at numerous locations in 2014 and is a favorite of the audience. Colloquy, Binki Danz’s newest work, was chosen to be performed at Mission Dance D.I.R.T showcase in January 2015 and My Self which was chosen to be performed at San Francisco’s West Wave Dance Festival, September 2015.
Bianca’s dance and performance experience is broad and diverse. Born as a classical ballet dancer, she grew up performing classical ballets such as The Nutcracker and Pequita. Once accepted into CalArts, Bianca emerged into various styles of contemporary choreography inspired by a host of artists such as Graham, Limon, Horton, Gaga, and Release techniques and carried the contemporary infuences with her when she returned to the Bay Area in 2012. She is also technically trained in hip hop, samba, dance hall, and salsa.
Bianca is a former member of feminist dance company Sarah Bush Dance Project (Oakland), and is currently a company member of Annie Kahane’s Alive and Well Productions (San Francisco), hip hop dance company Groove Against the Machine, and Tanilee Amor’s samba dance company, Amor Do Samba.
In addition to her choreography and dance performance, Bianca is also a music editor, writer and videographer, skills which she often incorporate into her dance works.
Of all the things artist Bianca Stephanie Mendoza is: feminist, choreographer, dancer, writer, videographer, music editor; first and foremost, she is a believer in God and a believer in human cure through peace.
“And he turned my sorrows into dancing” Psalm 30:11 photo by JCO Studios
BodiGram Dance Company is an up and coming dance company formed by choreographers. Blair Bodie and Julia Graham. Originally they were brought together by their interests in Asian philosophy and movement traditions as well as improvisation and somatic awareness. The beginnings of their work blended Western and Eastern thought and form, but their current work is more satirical and theatrical. BodiGram's first performance as a company debuted in April of 2008; however, the work of Julia and Blair has been seen in America and Southeast Asia at Dance New Amsterdam (NYC), Joyce Soho(NYC), Collective Unconscious (NYC), Hatch (NYC), The Kaye Theater (NYC), Boulder Fringe (CO), Philadelphia Fringe (PA), Fire House Theater(VA), SomArts (SF), CounterPulse (SF), Intersection for the Arts (SF), Dancing in the Park(SF), The Dance City (Kuala Lumpur), DA Theater (Kuala Lumpur),and Stadium at Bukit Jalil, as well TheGarage (SF).
photo by Lynne Fried bodigram.com
Deborah Karp Dance Projects (DKDP) creates and performs relevant, experimental dance that is rooted in the sensing, thinking body and driven by a process of rigorous creativity.
Formally founded in 2010 during production for an annual site-specific performance on a Brooklyn rooftop, DKDP has performed original work since 2003 in non-traditional and proscenium venues on both coasts of the United States. In the Bay, DKDP has been presented at TAC: Temescal Arts Center as an inaugural Artist-in-Residence, ODC’s Creative Work/Play Series, TheGarage, East Bay SwapFest 2014, and 2nd Sundays Dance Salon and through self-production at the Joe Goode Annex. In 2015 DKDP produced Perform: Education, an evening of performance and discussion examining the intersection of art-making and art-teaching. New York performances of DKDP have been seen at Dixon Place, Triskelion Arts, Green Space, The Bushwick Starr, and Whitewave/DUMBO Dance Festival. Previously to its official founding, Deborah Karp Dance Projects received grant awards from the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities to travel to Honduras and collaborate with company DanzAbra, and to create a site-specific evening of dance for professional and community dancers in the Josephine Butler Center, a community space housed in a historic Renaissance-Revival mansion in Washington D.C. DKDP has received funding from the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Clorox Company Foundation, and numerous generous individuals. Deborah Karp Dance Projects is a fiscally sponsored project of Dancers’ Group.
Deborah Karp is a dance artist whose work spans choreography, performance, and dance education. Since relocating to the Bay Area after seven years as a Brooklyn-based dance artist, she has been a two-time Artist-in-Residence at TAC: Temescal Arts Center in Oakland, a member of RAW (resident artist workshop) at TheGarage and developed new work as part of ODC’s Creative Work Play/Series. In New York, her choreography was produced by Dixon Place, Triskelion Arts and Green Space. As an artist-administrator, Deborah presented, performed in, hosted and collaboratively coordinated East Bay SwapFest 2014. As a performer, Deborah was a seven-year member of the Nancy Meehan Dance Company and has performed the work of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Susan Rethorst, Megan Nicely/Dance, Leyya Tawil/DANCE ELIXIR and Rebecca Davis. Currently a teaching artist with Luna Dance Institute, she has also taught with Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion® and San Francisco Ballet’s Dance In Schools and Communities program. Her article, "Choreographer in the Classroom: At the Intersection of Dance and Academic Curriculum," was published in InDance, May 2013. She is the Artistic Director of Deborah Karp Dance Projects and was a member of the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee for the 2014-15 season.
photo by Lynne Fried deborahkarpdanceprojects.com
Erin Parsley, dancer, educator and choreographer, has danced professionally for ballet, modern, and jazz companies across the country, including Labayen Dance/SF, Ballet Chicago and the Chicago Ballet, and for choreographers such as Yannis Adoniou, Robert Sund and Brian Carey Chung. She trained at schools including the San Francisco and Joffrey Ballets and LINES Ballet School, and Broadway Dance Center in NYC. Parsley is an award winning dancer receiving honors from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, who has performed at the Tanz Theater International Dance Festival in Bonn and Bielefeld, Germany. She has choreographed over 30 works in diverse styles that have been shown around the country and in Canada.
Parsley is also a featured educator at various dance academies across the nation, including the ODC School, Rhythm and Motion, and the Alameda Ballet Academy, and the Ruth Page Dance Center. She mentors aspiring professional dancers and her students have been accepted to schools such as Joffrey Midwest Dance, LINES Ballet School, the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, The Ailey School Professional Division, InnerSpark (California State Summer School for the Arts), and the School of Toronto Dance Theatre Professional Division. She has been a featured speaker and performer, leading flash mobs and entire rooms of people in powerful group dance experiences, in the worldwide movement "One Billion Rising”.
photo by Lynne Fried erinparsley.com
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Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman is the dynamic founder of the worldwide dance phenomenon called American Tribal Style® Dance. An early fascination of permanent body adornment lead 8-year old Carolena to request that her Father, Carl, a collector himself, to buy a ring she could “wear always and not take off”. This concept evolved into the study of folkloric textiles, a body full of tattoos and a collection of jewelry and textiles from around the world. The discovery of belly dance led to the creation of her own dance style, American Tribal Style® (ATS®) Belly Dance.
FatChanceBellyDance® was founded by Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman in 1987 and immediately captured the attention of audiences worldwide with stunning dance performances featuring majestic costuming and layers of tribal jewelry. The music, a carefully chosen collection of both traditional sounds and modern fusion adds to the effect. American Tribal Style® looks old, but it is actually new.
for change dance collective (fcdc) grew out of a desire to make dance through a choreographic process that reflects the ideals of socially conscious art. Since 2010, fcdc has been creating highly experiential dance theater excavated from raw experience, employing a uniquely democratic approach to art-making that embraces collaboration, shared ownership, and intimacy of all kinds. Their mission is to make dance in an environment that fosters the complete creative investment of each collaborator, and to present performances in ways that broaden the accessibility of innovative modern dance to new audiences.
Claire Calalo, Artistc Director of fcdc, is a San Francisco Bay Area choreographer and the founder of for change dance collective. She holds an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of California at Irvine, where she studied technique and choreography with Loretta Livingston, Donald McKayle, and Jodie Gates, among other esteemed faculty. The research Claire conducted while in graduate school has heavily influenced the creative processes used by fcdc, which attempt to explore an intersection between the inclusivity and humanistic ideals of collaborative dance making in community settings, and the highest artistic standards of professional concert dance.
Claire is an Adjunct Lecturer in modern dance at Santa Clara University and the Cultural Arts Program Director at East Oakland Sports Center, where she teaches modern, ballet, jazz, and hip hop. She has danced with Angela Demmel & Dancers, Sue Li Jue’s Facing East Dance & Music, Nina Haft & Company, Nhan Ho Project, and Lauren Baines Dance/Theatre. In 2009 she performed and presented choreographic work at The International Festival for Composers in southern Spain with Lisa Naugle’s DTM2 Improvisation Ensemble, and has taught and performed in Nicaragua, Belize, and throughout California. Claire also proudly serves as the Project Director for Works in the Works, an annual performance series held in Berkeley since 1979.
photo by Douglas Berry forchangedance.org
Janey Madamba is a hip hop contemporary choreographer. She has over fourteen years of experience dancing in local companies and almost 34 years of moving her body and dancing for joy. She is a freelance teaching artist focusing on workshops and curriculum that empower young people through hip hop dance and urban planning. She is an accomplished dancer in hip hop, contemporary and hula.
In addition, she is on faculty at Danspace ballet studio in Oakland, she dances for modern dance company dNaga, choreographs for COterie DAnce, a modern jazz company, and serves as Secretary on the board of directors for the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC).
photo by Lynne Fried
Jocquesé Whitfield (aka "JoQ") is a dancer/choreographer born and raised in San Francisco. Starting his career steeped in the improvisation of freestyle hip-hop, Jocquesé has added modern, classical, and Diasporic dance traditions over the last several years. He has been a member of City Shock San Francisco, F.B.C. (Funk Beyond Control), and UFO Movement, J. Jun Productions and is presently dancing with M.O.M. (Mind Over Matter).
Pursuing studies in Dance and Theater, Jocquesé's current movement vocabulary revisits the bold, rebellious statements of the 1980's as expressed through fashion, nightlife, and a love of the abstract. A shape-shifter, Jocquesé challenges assumptions of sexual identity in dance as he plays with gesture both "masculine" and "feminine".
photo by Cherry Lao
Sunday, September 18 • 8pm
Julie-Ann Gambino was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Western Michigan University, April 2014, where she performed works choreographed by KT Nelson, Peter Chu, Joshua Manculich, Carolyn Pavlik and Monique Haley. During her time at WMU, she also studied dance abroad in China and Taiwan, choreographing and performing a solo piece, How Will I Stand, at Taiwan National University of the Arts. In Summer 2013, Julie-Ann served as an apprentice for Canvas Creative Movement Coalition (CCMC), a dance company in Orlando, Florida with whom she performed various dances while attending the Cru Conference in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Following graduation, Julie-Ann moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in dance and has since performed as a guest artist with ODC for Ai Wei Wei’s @Large art exhibition on Alcatraz Island and as a company member with Palanza Dance and Kristin Damrow & Company. She also danced in Matt Langlois' music video "You Are Here”, choreographed by Christine Cali.
This past April, Julie-Ann made her choreography debut in San Francisco, premiering Mother Mary, a piece created during her participation in SAFEhouse Arts' RAW (resident artist workshop) program. Her choreography has also been showcased in SF at Little Boxes Theater for Jeremy Lautan's production H(E[AR)T TRAVELS, and she is currently a company member with Inside Out Contemporary Ballet and The Anata Project.
Julie-Ann is thrilled to perform a duet with Yoshie Fujimoto Kateada in West Wave Dance Festival's 25th Anniversary. Julie-Ann met Yoshie in 2015, dancing with Inside Out Contemporary Ballet. Yoshie also performed in Julie-Ann's Mother Mary and they have since continued to work closely, dancing with Christine Cali during WAH Fest in April 2016 and in Kristin Damrow & Company's Swallow at Joe Goode Annex. Julie-Ann is excited to present her choreography and collaborate once again with Yoshie.
photo by Julie-Ann Gambino julieanngambino.wordpress.com
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Kathryn Roszak's Danse Lumière
Friday, September 16 • 8pm
Danse Lumière artistic director Kathryn Roszak trained as a dancer on Ford Foundation scholarships at San Francisco Ballet, and at the School of American Ballet in New York. Kathryn performed for many years with the San Francisco Opera Ballet, and has danced with San Francisco Ballet and San Antonio Ballet.
Ms. Roszak trained as an actor in the Advanced Training Program of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, and at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. She has performed, choreographed and/or taught at the American Conservatory Theater as well as Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Francisco Opera Center, Shakespeare Festival, the Berkeley Symphony with Kent Nagano, Opera San Jose, Sacramento Opera, Oakland and Marin Operas. She has created and produced original works for the Goethe Institute and the San Francisco Mozart Festival, Theatre Artaud, the Cowell Theatre, and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
In 1995 she founded Danse Lumière (known as Anima Mundi until 2006), and has since specialized in the creation of her own original productions. Her unique approach brings new audiences to classical art forms by blending and innovating within the disciplines of dance, literature, music, visual art, and theater. Cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaborations have included working with Kabuki master Shozo Sato; choreographer Alonzo King; playwright Velina Hasu Houston; musicians Mazatl Galindo of Mexico and Ailu Gaup of Arctic Norway; composer Gordon Getty; and writers Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, and Maxine Hong Kingston.
photo by Lynne Fried dlkdance.com
Kristin Kusanovich has directed, choreographed and produced over one hundred solo and ensemble works in drama, dance, musical theatre, opera, film and video. She received her MFA in Choreography and Performance from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She was artistic director of Kusanovich Dance Theatre of Minneapolis for ten years.
Most recently she enjoyed creating "Silence" for the San Francisco Moving Arts Festival, a full length evening of solos for the Bill Stevens Jazz Trio, Six Psalms with Chance Company at Marquette University, demonstrations for LunaDance's 20 Points of View, and original choreography for Cabaret for Broadway by the Bay, M. Butterfly at City Lights Theatre Co. and the Aristocrats for the Black Hole Theatre company in Winnipeg.
photo by Lynne Fried kusanovichdance.blogspot.com
Labayen Dance/SF is a celebrated contemporary ballet company founded in 1994; it is dedicated to nurturing the artistic activities and the choreographic work of multi-award winning choreographer, Enrico Labayen. The company has performed nationally and abroad at venues such as the Delacorte Dance Festival (NYC); Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival (NYC) ; The Singapore International Arts Festival; Odyssey Arts Exposition (Singapore); Internationales Tanz Theater (Bonn, Germany); Dance For Tolerance (Bielefeld, Germany); Dance with Objects Festival (Potsdam, Germany); Stuttgart Tanz Festival (Germany); Amman International Theater Festival (Jordan); Filipino American Arts Exposition (USA); Music and Arts Festival @ Columbia University's Miller Theater (New York City, USA); Lesbian and Gay Dance Festival (San Francisco, USA); Human Rights International Arts Festival (San Francisco, USA); Men Dancing Fest (San Francisco, USA); Autumn Dance Series (San Francisco, USA); Bay Area Dance Series (Oakland/San Francisco USA); International Theatre Festival (Philippines); UNESCO-International Theatre Institute’s Theatre World Theatre Olympics (Philippines); Man!festival for Social Change (USA); National Queer Arts Festival (USA); Mov(Men)t Male Choreographers Festival; Down & Dirty Dance Series (USA); Body Positive (Manila).
Enrico Labayen (Director/Choreographer) has received awards, fellowships & citations from the Beaux Arts Society of New York as “Dancer of the Year”; The Dutch Ministry of Cultural Exchange Fellowship Award, the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music Residency Fellowship, the “Choreographer of the Year” award by the Manila Chronicle (Philippines);The Isadora Duncan Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Choreography” (1996, USA); the Filipinas Achievement Award (USA), The City of Manila’s Pillar of Art and Culture for Dance; an ABS-CBN International; Cultural Caregiving Travel Grant to Australia; Guest lecturer at University of New South Wales, Sydney; Residency at DjerassiArtists Residency (US), Rimbun Dahan Artist Residency (Malaysia).
A grantee of California Arts Council, SF Arts Commission, California Artist Series, SF Grants for the Arts, International Theater Institute, National Commission on Culture & Arts, The Cultural Center of the Philippines, Arts International in cooperation with the John D. Rockefeller Grant & Mellon Foundation, The Zellerbach Family Foundation, CLOROX Foundation and the Rainin Foundation.
He has been named one of the Filipino American Faces of the Century – “...one of the Filipino Americans whose lives celebrate all that the Filipino American is capable of and have truly shaped our history in the United States and given the Filipino Americans and its community the inspiration to realize their dreams.” Mr. Labayen received the Isadora Duncan Award for Choreography & most recently, Outstanding Achievement in Visual and Costume Design for his design and work entitled “en-Gulf-ed”.
photo by Ananda Ray labayendancecompany.org
Laika Fox has been wooing audiences as a burlesque performance artist since 2010. Drawing on her background in jazz, ballet, and musical theater, she uses burlesque as a medium for creating acts that are clever, insightful, and often subversive. Laden with political commentary, her West Wave premiere piece is no exception.
Burlesque production has trained her to be a prolific one-woman artistic bombshell, wearing hats from choreographer to costume designer to producer, and she often collaborates with other performers and creative artists as well. Laika is a co-producer of The Body Political, a subversive performance showcase created to explore personal stories about our bodies told through performance art, with her frequent co-collaborator Andi Stardust.
Laika has performed at many burlesque festivals across North America, including Edmonton Burlesque Festival, Diversi-tease Burlesque Festival in Minneapolis, Southern Fried Burlesque Festival in Atlanta, and Fierce International Queer Burlesque Festival.
As an active contributor to the burlesque community, Laika has recently started a Bay Area burlesque peer review called Tassel Talk. Laika has volunteered and taught at BurlyCon, an annual burlesque social and educational convention and also volunteers with the Burlesque Hall of Fame, a nonprofit museum with a mission to preserve, celebrate, and inspire the art of burlesque.
photo by WB Photography laikafox.com
Lindsey Renee Derry is a graduate of Purchase College, Conservatory of Dance, and recipient of the 2006 Thayer Fellowship, a prestigious award given by the New York Foundation of the Arts to outstanding State University graduates. In 2012, Derry launched L i n s d a n s, the platform for her solo work, after a decade of her dancing with several prominent American and Canadian dance companies including Yannis Adoniou's KUNST- STOFF in San Francisco and José Navas/Compagnie Flak in Montreal with whom she had numerous touring opportunities spanning North America, Europe, and Asia.
In 2013, L i n s d a n s presented POR·TRAI·TURE, Derry’s first solo show consisting of choreographies by herself and guest artists, garnering her an esteemed Isadora Duncan Dance Award (Izzie) for her performance. Since then, with the support of American Dance Abroad, festivals, and residencies, she has had the opportunity to perform her solo work in Greece, Germany, Canada, Bulgaria and the US. Presently, Derry teaches Modern Dance at Santa Clara University, CA.
photo by Yannis Adoniou linsdans.org
Lissa Resnick/No Strings Attached Dance Company
Sunday, September 18 • 8pm
Harkness award-winning dancer and choreographer Lissa Resnick was trained in classical ballet and contemporary dance at the Joffrey and San Francisco Ballet Schools. She has performed with San Francisco Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Bonnie Simoa Contemporary Dance and Danse Lumiere.
In 2012 (Los Angeles) / 2013 (SF Bay Area), Lissa launched No Strings Attached Dance Company as a platform for her own choreographic work. Her dance/action-painting performances were noted as ‘Top 5 Dance Shows to See in LA This Week’ by LA Weekly. Lissa’s work has been presented at numerous curated series and festivals throughout California including SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara.
Some notable presenters include ArtBark International, sjDANCEco ChoreoProject Awards Concert, Dance on Center Choreography Series (Berkeley), San Francisco Movement Arts Festival, Pasadena Dance Festival. This spring Lissa will participate in the Djerrasi Resident Artist female ballet choreographer’s retreat. Film credits include featured dancer in the documentary ‘Image of a Dancer’ by Lucas Films.
Mary Carbonara has been teaching for 24 years, working with children, young adults, adult beginners and aspiring and seasoned professionals. Mary's teaching is based on the pedagogical methods of Master Teacher Lynn Simonson, with whom she trained for nearly a decade, and incorporates aspects of the Cunningham and Horton Techniques. For her youth classes she is inspired by all her years of training and performing, as well as by the examples of master teachers Anne Green Gilbert and Sheila Kogan.
Mary has been a member of the faculty of Alonzo King LINES Ballet Center since 2002, teaching all levels of modern dance, from beginning to advance professional. She also teaches Pedagogy to the aspiring professionals in the Lines Ballet Training Program and creative movement to preschoolers at Noe Valley Nursery School and elementary school children at Miraloma and Sunnyside Elementary Schools in San Francisco. She founded Hamster Dance Academy in 2013, offering dance and creative movement instruction for children age 3 through 12. Mary has taught on the faculties of San Francisco Ballet, ODC School, Shawl Anderson Dance Center, Mills College, San Jose State University, East Carolina University, and around the world, including New York, Chicago, Tallahassee, Tokyo and Kolkata, India.
Mary received her B.A. from Barnard College and her M.F.A. in Performance and Choreography from Mills College. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed performing ensemble Mary Carbonara Dances (founded in 2004) and is a former member of Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Robert Moses' Kin, Liss Fain Dance and Project Bandaloop. Mary has served on the boards of Robert Moses' Kin and Dancers' Group and is currently on the board of the San Francisco Dance Film Festival.
photo by Lynne Fried MaryCarbonaraDances.org
Nell Suttles graduated from the University of Utah in 2009 with a BFA in Modern Dance. While pursuing her degree, she performed in works by Martha Graham, Stephen Koester, Pamela Geber and Eric Handman, and was a member of Orchesis Honor Society for her achievements in performance and choreography. She also taught dance at Salt Lake City’s Montessori School and choreographed community dance productions.
In 2012 Nell moved to San Francisco to pursue dance professionally, working with Leyya Tawil, Number 9 and Colin Epstein, and has twice showcased her own choreography at Grace Cathedral. Currently Nell performs with Blind Tiger Society, Kristin Damrow & Company and is thrilled to be choreographing for West Wave Dance Festival's 25th anniversary!
In addition to honing her dance skills, Nell spends her time pinning insects, going on outdoor adventures and practicing her marksmanship.
photo by Roel Q. Seeber
Nol Simonse grew up in Washington, D.C., and trained at the Boston Conservatory of Music. He moved to San Francisco in 1997 and is a founding member of Yannis Adoniou's KUNST-STOFF, has danced with Stephen Pelton Dance Theater for eleven years, with for Sean Dorsey for seven years, and with Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton for fifteen years. He is also a long-time collaborator/performer with Bay Area artists Sue Roginski, Eric Kupers, Christie Funsch and Kara Davis.
Nol produced his own work with fellow choreographer Todd Eckert for eight home seasons (2007-2016) at Dance Mission Theater in the 'Shared Space' series, and has held residencies at Dance Mission Theater and Studio 210. He has set work on the Alonzo King LINES Summer Program, ODC's Dance Jam, Dance Brigade's Grrrl Brigade, the Shawl-Anderson Youth Ensemble and students at USF, has taught technique, repertory, and choreography workshops for adults and teens, and currently teaches modern dance at the Alonzo King LINES Dance Center and Shawl-Anderson Dance Center.
Nol was awarded a Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery Award (GOLDIE) in dance by the San Francisco Bay Guardian in 2009, an Isadora Duncan Dance Award (Izzie) for Individual Performance in 2011, and was the first to win Luna Dance Institute's CHOREOFUND prize.
photo by Andy Mogg
Founded in 1965, Oakland Ballet Company (OBC) has a 51-year legacy of presenting exciting, vibrant and accessible dance in the East Bay. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Graham Lustig since 2010, OBC is committed to artistic excellence and serving as a leader in the Bay Area arts community. OBC’s programs engage a diverse range of community members through the commissioning of vibrant new works, innovative collaborations with artists of other genres, and compelling educational programs that cultivate the next generation of dance lovers.
Since his appointment as Artistic Director in 2010, Graham Lustig has revitalized Oakland Ballet Company and helped the organization reclaim its position as a leading San Francisco Bay Area arts institution and first-rate dance company. Lustig’s stewardship has brought the company long-term vision and a reputation for nurturing community-based programming, deep audience engagement, and organizational stability. For the past six seasons, Mr. Lustig has presented his critically-acclaimed production of The Nutcracker at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre, as well as an annual spring season rooted in contemporary works, including the 50th Anniversary program, Five Decades of Dance (2015); Oakland-esque (2014), Diaghilev Imagery (2013) and Forwards! (2011).
In collaboration with Oakland Unified School District, under Lustig’s watch, Oakland Ballet has expanded its educational outreach program, Discover Dance, to provide educational arts programs to more than a dozen area schools annually. Educational events such as in-school assemblies and open rehearsals reach more than 5,000 local school children each year. Trained at the Royal Ballet School in London, Mr. Lustig danced with the Dutch National Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet before embarking on a freelance choreographic career that has included operas, ballets and musicals. He serves as a founding member of the Artists Committee of Americans for the Arts, and has served numerous times on the Dance and Policy Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Oscar Tidd/Political Animal Group
Wednesday, September 14 • 8pm
Oscar Tidd is Bay Area native whose performance works intersect at dance, theory and activism.Political Animal Group has shown two solo works at SAFEhouse Arts, performed at Z Space with Larry Arrington, at Counterpulse with Brontez Purnell Dance Company, at DiRosa Art Reserve and Berkeley Art Museum with Manners (Sophia Wang and Lisa Rybovich Cralle), and at Oakland Art Museum with Phoebe Osborne.
"Oscar Tidd...a startlingly bright new presence on the scene..."
Robert Avila, SF Bay Guardian.
photo by Robbie Sweeny
The Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble
Wednesday, September 14 • 8pm
Kendra Kimbrough Barnes is the director of K*STAR*PRODUCTIONS, founded in 1996. K*STAR*PRODUCTIONS serves as a performing arts-presenting organization for the Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble (KKDE) and co-presenters of the Black Choreographers Festival: Here & Now. Their mission is to make culture exchange accessible to the community at large with a focus on African American constituents. This goal is attained by forming alliances, traveling, producing concerts, workshops & master classes, hosting public symposiums, and providing professional development information to newly forming dance companies.
As Choreographer and Artistic Director of KKDE, Kendra Kimbrough Barnes has worked in collaboration with dancers, musicians, and poets in order to realize her vision. As an artist she has worked with such notables as Robert Moses' Kin, Donald Byrd, Bill T. Jones, and Bay Area legends Chitresh Das, Malonga Casquelourd, and Carlos Aceituno. KKDE has toured throughout California and in Salvador, Bahia Brazil. The troupe has performed in several Bay Area dance festivals, including the East Bay Dance Series, Oakland Arts Festival, West Wave Dance Festival, Black Choreographers Festival, & ODC’s Pilot and House Special.
Barnes is also an alum of the Artist in Residency program at Headlands Center for the Arts and at CounterPULSE/SF. With these critical resources and the mentorship of Rhodessa Jones of Cultural Odyssey, she developed “Home Is That Way?”, a dance-drama exploring the effects on a family faced with the incarceration of a loved one. In 2012 KKDE presented a successful production of “In The Meantime”, a dance-drama about breast cancer prevention and awareness in collaboration with Delina Patrice Brooks. She has received has received funding from the City of Oakland Cultural Funding program, James Irvine Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, East Bay Community Foundation, CA$H, Alameda County Arts Commission and several individual donors.
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The Milissa Payne Project seeks to tell stories, evoke memories and arouse emotions through movement that is grounded in rich historical traditions and infused with a modern sensibility. The Milissa Payne Project is a group of San Francisco Bay Area dance artists committed to expressing choreographer Milissa Payne Bradley’s point of view in the language of classical ballet with a contemporary accent.
Choreographer Milissa Payne Bradley seeks to collaborate with impeccably trained classical dancers, visual artists and designers, composers and musicians who share her belief in the relevance and power of ballet as one way to break through all the white noise that surrounds us.
Branded the “e.e. cummings of ballet” by The Huffington Post, Milissa Payne Bradley is a San Francisco based choreographer, dance educator, and movement artist. Originally from Kingsburg, California, Milissa received her early dance training with the Central California Ballet under the direction of Diane K. Mosier. Milissa has performed with The Oakland Ballet, Dance Through Time, and as a freelance and guest artist. She is a graduate with Honors from Saint Mary’s College of California in the Liberal Education for the Arts (LEAP) program and is presently working toward an MFA in Dance: Creative Practice at Saint Mary’s College.
Milissa is an American Ballet Theatre ABT® Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. For the past ten years, Milissa has been educating and choreographing as an Artist in Residence at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, SOTA, under the direction of Elvia Marta and is also part of the teaching staff at the Contra Costa Ballet School.
In 2010, she founded The Milissa Payne Project. In 1997 Milissa was the Friday Night Live Dream Report Scholarship recipient for her choreography and performance. In 2010 her choreography was chosen as audience favorite in Spector Dance’s Emerging Choreographer Showcase. In 2011, Milissa’s choreography was chosen as a semi-finalist for the Company C Contemporary Ballet’s New Commission Project. In 2012 she was awarded Audience Choice Award for sjDANCEco’s 10th Annual choreoProject Awards and was also recognized by BayAreaDanceWatch & SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts as the Bay Area’s Best Choreographer (Contemporary Ballet) 2012. The Milissa Payne Project’s Revolve, was awarded, Best Whirling Dervish in the Best of San Francisco 2013 by SF Weekly. In 2014 The Milissa Payne Project made their east coast debut for APAP 2014 at the Peridance Capezio Center in New York and at Boston College as part of REVERBdance Echoes Tour.
photo by David DeSilva milissapayne.com
World Dance Fusion
Saturday, September 17 • 8pm
Katy Alaniz Rous (née Barnhill), a native of San Francisco, has participated in cultural dance since childhood. For three decades she has studied over 30 styles of cultural dance plus ballet, jazz, contemporary, and hip-hop. Because of her understanding of the principles of each movement her choreography crystalizes each cultural dance form.
Ms. Rous travelled internationally after completing her BA in World Arts and Cultures from UCLA in 2000. She taught workshops in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, getting to know the people, language, and culture. The time spent there was eye opening and life changing. She became determined to seek more cultural diversity of dances. Since her time in Brazil, she has been invited to perform and teach workshops in Los Angeles, New York, Connecticut, Spain, India, Pakistan, and Guam.
Rous returned to the Bay Area in 2001 inspired to create a dance company to integrate all these enduring dance forms and hence created World Dance Fusion. The company’s work has been presented in San Francisco at ODC Theater, Theatre Artaud, Dance Mission Theater, Kanbar Hall at JCCSF, and the Palace of Fine Arts. Nationally, World Dance Fusion has been presented at venues such as the Tribeca Performing Arts Center and Arthur Ashe Stadium, and internationally at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bombay, Asociación Antigua de Sevilla, and the Alhamra, Lahore, Pakistan. In 2007, Rous was invited by the United States government to be an Ambassador for Dance and travelled to China, Russia, and South Africa. Ms. Rous feels that she has gained a unique perspective from the close associations she cultivated through dance in her domestic and international travels, and that the study of culture through dance is a never-ending quest.
World Dance Fusion’s first full-length production, The Jewish Nutcracker, has had four successful seasons. Katy also teaches several styles of dance at the ODC School in San Francisco.
photo by Raymond Van Tassel www.worlddancefusion.org
Multi-show Pass: Each additional show purchaged after the first is $10 online/$15 door when bought as part of a package.