“The best part of the summer was the teachers. They demonstrated such a mastery of the material, demanded all of our presence and awareness, and pushed us (lovingly) to demand the very best from ourselves. This kind of teaching is uncommon, it’s the kind of teaching that the American Dance Festival is famous for, and it’s the kind that I crave all school year.” -2011 Student
2019 faculty– check back regularly for updates
Charles O. Anderson, a native of Richmond, VA, is artistic director of Charles O. Anderson Dance Projects (formerly known as dance theatre X). He is a choreographer, performer, and head of the dance program at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his MFA in Dance from Temple University in 2002. Prior to moving to Austin in 2011, Anderson was based in Philadelphia, PA, where he gained national recognition for his choreographic work and funding support from such foundations and organizations as The National Performance Network, The Pew Foundation for Arts and Heritage, The Independence Foundation, The Puffin Foundation, and The Philadelphia Cultural Fund. As a specialist in contemporary African Diasporic dance, Anderson’s choreography has been presented throughout the US as well as internationally. Among his achievements in Afro-contemporary choreography and dance theater, Anderson was selected as one of “The 25 Artists to Watch” by Dance Magazine and is a Pew Fellowship in the Arts recipient. His latest work as an Austin-based choreographer was presented at the Austin Fusebox Festival and at New York Live Arts as part of the Live Ideas, James Baldwin, This Time! Festival. Anderson is deeply committed to arts and education as means for enacting social justice. His choreographic work with undergraduate students has twice been nationally showcased at the Kennedy Center through the American College Dance Festival Association, and he has also been twice recognized for outstanding achievement in experimental dance theater by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Being an artist-educator and an advocate for diversity in the field of dance has made Anderson a highly sought-after speaker and adjudicator for the American College Dance Association. His newly found project-based company, Charles O. Anderson Dance Projects, is comprised entirely of former students from the last five years with whom he has taught intensively both in the studio and the lecture hall. He approaches choreography as metaphor for kinetic storytelling. The goal of kinetic storytelling is testimony, the declaration of truth integral to the African-American oral and literary tradition, going back to the slave narrative and folk practices. Anderson also serves on the faculty of American Dance Festival’s summer dance intensive program and serves as president of the Council of Dance Administrators (CODA). www.charlesoanderson.me
Modern Technique and Composition (Kinetic Storytelling)
Photo credit: Lawrence Peart
quilan “cue” arnold
Quilan “Cue” Arnold (MFA) is a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher based out of Brooklyn, NY. He has been a member of companies such as Abby Z and the New Utility (NY), Enzo Celli Vivo Ballet (NY), and Rennie Harris Puremovement (PA). Quilan’s choreographic work has been presented in a domestic and international milieu. His most recent work, The Third Rail, was presented at the 2018 INSITU Site-Specific Festival in New York and is being restaged for the 2019 Hunter College Dance Company concert. Other 2018 choreographic credits include the International Human Rights Festival (NY), Steps on Broadway’s Performance Lab (NY), and the Emerging Choreographer Series (NY). As an educator Quilan currently serves as a faculty member at Hunter College, Bard College, Steps on Broadway, Mark Morris Dance Center, and Gibney Dance Center in New York City. Quilan was a 2018 guest lecturer at The Ohio State University and Rutgers University (NJ). Additionally, he was a 2017 Artist in Residence at the University of Memphis (TN) and New York University.
Hip-hop Groove Foundations and Street Dance Repertory
Photo credit: Jessica Cavendar
axis dance company
Founded in 1987, AXIS is the nation’s most acclaimed ensembles of disabled and non-disabled performers. In 1998, Judith Smith took over Artistic Direction, and visioning a repertory company quickly trajected AXIS into the dance world with a commission by Bill T. Jones. Under her Artistic Direction until 2016, AXIS’ collaborators included Stephen Petronio, Yvonne Rainer, Ann Carlson, Joe Goode, Marc Brew, Meredith Monk and Joan Jeanrenaud to name a few. AXIS has toured to over 100 cities in the USA, Europe and Russia. Upon celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, AXIS appointed internationally renowned choreographer Marc Brew Artistic Director. The Company has received eight Isadora Duncan Dance Awards and has appeared twice on So You Think You Can Dance. AXIS hosted the first ever National and Regional Convenings on the Future of Physically Integrated Dance in 2016. AXIS provides unparalleled integrated dance education and outreach programs that engage people with and without disabilities to access dance opportunities.
Acclaimed International choreographer and AXIS Dance Company Artistic Director Marc Brew trained as a professional dancer at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and The Australian Ballet School. He has been working in the UK and Internationally for over 20 years as a director, choreographer, dancer, teacher and speaker; with the Australian Ballet Company, State Theatre Ballet Company of South Africa, Infinity Dance Theatre, CandoCo Dance Company and AXIS Dance Company. Marc was Associate Director with Scottish Dance Theatre, Associate Artistic Director with Ballet Cymru in Wales and was Associate Artist in 2015 at Tramway Theatre in Glasgow. Since 2008 Marc has been dedicating time to his own choreography with Marc Brew Company and his recent choreographic commissions include San Francisco Ballet School, Dancing Wheels, Scottish Ballet, Ballet Cymru (Wales), YDance (Scotland), AXIS Dance Company (USA), Candoco Dance Company (UK), Touch Compass (NZ), Amy Seiwert’s Imagery (USA) and Scottish Dance Theatre (Scotland). Marc was presented with a Centenary Medal for Outstanding Contribution as a dancer and choreographer. His work Remember When was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Best Performance (individual) and his recent solo work For Now, I am… was listed in the Guardians Top 10 Dance Shows for 2016. For more information visit: www.marcbrew.com
Photo credit: David DeSilva & Misako Akimoto
Bio coming soon!
Contemporary West African Repertory
Robbie Cook is a Brooklyn-based dance artist working as an Assistant Professor of Dance at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. During the summer, he teaches at both the American Dance Festival and Bates Dance Festival. Robbie has taught internationally through Japan Contemporary Dance Network as a member of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in Sapporo, Japan, The i-Dance Festival in Hong Kong, and Chadwick International School in Incheon, South Korea and has been invited two times to Universidad de Las Américas in Puebla, México to teach and set choreography on the students. While living in Los Angeles, he played percussion with String Theory Productions at the 2014 Emmy’s Governor’s Ball, led a contact improvisation workshop for the BODYTRAFFIC Company, and was on the dance faculty at Loyola Marymount University from 2011 to 2015. Robbie has also been on the dance faculty of Shenandoah Conservatory, Idyllwild Arts Academy, CSSSA @ Cal Arts, and TCU. As a dancer he has performed for Michel Kouakou, Rosie Herrera, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Douglas Dunn, Liz Lerman, Edwaard Liang, Margaret Jenkins, Liz Gerring, Keith Thompson, Stacy Spence, Laurel Jenkins, Jan Erkert, Third Rail Projects, Lucky Plush Productions, Dallas Opera’s Production of Boris Godunov, and Deborah Hay (SPCP ’01 and ’07) and performed Yvonne Rainer’s Trio A as a duet with Hope Mohr. Robbie’s choreography has been performed nationally and internationally in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Alaska, and Tokyo, Japan, and on students at Pepperdine, UDLAP, Idyllwild, ADF, and Shenandoah Conservatory. He earned an MFA in Dance from Bennington College and a BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Robbie’s classes draw from his study of Functional Anatomy with Irene Dowd and his continual investigation of the eight limbs of Yoga. Robbie Cook Dance.
WFSS Yoga and WFSS Floorwork
Photo credit: Ben Viatori
LEAH COX (Dean)
Leah Cox is an educator, performer, choreographer, and administrator. Cox is Dean of the American Dance Festival and a Term Associate Professor at Bard College. She is currently working with Liz Lerman on her upcoming choreographic project and is a frequent adjudicator for the American College Dance Association. Leah was a member of the New York Dance and Performance Award (the “Bessies”) Committee from 2015 to 2018 and has also been a master teacher and adjudicator for YoungArts. Leah worked with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company in various capacities from 2001 to 2014: she began as a company dancer, was the company’s rehearsal assistant, held the position of dancer representative, advocating for dancer’s rights, and became the company’s first education director, launching its education programs. Cox regularly reconstructed the company’s works on student dance programs and professional companies nationwide. When the company merged with Dance Theater Workshop to form New York Live Arts, Cox continued in her education capacity, developing Live Arts’ education programs. She oversaw the six-year partnership between Live Arts and Bard College and, in 2018, launched a new partnership between the American Dance Festival and the college. Her choreography has been presented in New York City at the 92nd Street Y, Dixon Place, the DUMBO Dance Festival, and the CoolNY Festival.
Photo credit: Grant Halverson
MARK DENDY has worked in a variety of dance genres ranging from experimental dance and edgy East Village drag to high-end Broadway productions, prominent ballet companies, and opera to large-scale site-specific works. Mark Dendy Dance & Theatre was presented at PS 122, the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center, Central Park SummerStage, and Dance Theater Workshop, as well as numerous national and international venues. Dendy has been commissioned by both modern and ballet companies worldwide, most notably Pacific Northwest Ballet. Mark has collaborated with directors Julie Taymor, Tina Landau, Gabriel Barre, Ellen Hemphill, Rebecca Taichman, and Timothy Sheader, with writers Neil Simon and Charles Busch, and with composers Boy George, Heather Christian, Don Byron, Andrew Lippa, Jim Steinman, and Stephen Schwartz. Commercial theater credits include choreography forTaboo and The Pirate Queen (Broadway), The Wild Party, The Miracle Brothers, and Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well… (off-Broadway), Pippin, Camille Claudel, and Hair (regional and national tours), The Magic Flute (The Metropolitan Opera), Orpheus (NYC Opera), Rappaccini’s Daughter (Gotham Chamber Opera), and the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. Dendy has received many awards and honors, most notably a 1997 “Bessie” award, a 2000 Obie Award, the National Society of Arts and Letters Sustained Achievement Award (1990), the Herb Alpert Award, and the Joe A. Calloway Award (both in 2000), as well as numerous grants. Recent works include Golden Belt at the American Dance Festival, set in an abandoned tobacco-processing factory in North Carolina (premiere 2009), Ritual Cyclical, an epic site-specific work for 80 dancers, at Lincoln Center (premiere 2013), Dystopian Distractions! at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara (premiere 2014), Labyrinth at Abrons Arts Center (premiere 2014), NEWYORKnewyork @Astor Place at Joe’s Pub (premiere 2015), Whistleblower at Dixon Place (premiere 2015), and Elvis Everywhere at the American Dance Festival (premiere 2017). dendydonovanprojects.com
Site-specific repertory project
Photo by Sylvain Guenot
Nia Love’s career spans forty years, beginning in 1978 when she became one of the youngest international apprentices with Havana’s world-renowned Ballet Nacional de Cuba. In 1986, Love studied Butoh and toured with celebrated Japanese Butoh master Min Tanaka. She received her BFA in Theater from Howard University (1987) and her MFA in Choreography from Florida State University (1992). She has been a Fulbright Fellow (2002-03), a Brooklyn Arts Exchange/BAX Artist-In-Residence (2011-12, 2013-14), and a Movement Research Artist-in-Residence (2016-17). Love received the New York Live Arts Suitcase Fund (2013-14), the Alvin Ailey New Directions Lab Choreographer Award (2013-14), the CUNY Dance Initiative (2014-15), a “Bessie” award for the Most Outstanding Performer (2017) as part of the ensemble of Skeleton Architecture, and the CUNY Incubator Grant (2018-19). She is currently BAX Racial Equity Advisor and Adjunct Professor at Queens College and The New School. This past spring semester, she was Movement Research Exchange Guest Artist/Lecturer at UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Culture/Dance and in the fall she will be an American Dance Festival chosen visiting artist at BARD College. She is excited to be among some of the most prolific artist/educators of our time as a visiting artist at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in spring 2019. Most recently, Nia is the proud recipient of a 2019 Dance in Process Gibney Dance Residency and is the grandmother of her third grandchild. In addition to her own work, she is the co-founder of LOVE|FORTÉ the collective.
Modern Root[ed] Technique and Site Specific Composition
Photo credit: Grant Halverson
Ramón is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dance at Butler University’s Jordan College of the Arts. He began his formal dance training on scholarship at the School for the Pennsylvania Ballet and later attended the School of American Ballet. Four years after joining the Pennsylvania Ballet Company, as its first African-American male dancer, he moved to Europe for 12 years as a principal ballet dancer. He spent seven years with the legendary, internationally renowned Maurice Béjart, performing in major cities in over 60 countries on every continent. He later moved to Germany to dance with William Forsythe, director of the Frankfurt Ballet, and then to Madrid to work with choreographer Nacho Duato and the Compañía Nacional de Danza de España. He returned to North America to dance with Montreal’s Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, where the repertoire encompassed pieces by all the choreographers for whom he’d danced in Europe, as well as the works of George Balanchine. He left Canada to return to his first love for dance, musical theater, and was featured in several Broadway shows, including Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Cats, The Lion King, The Green Bird, The Boy from Oz, and Hot Feet. He also appeared in Broadway national tours with Chita Rivera in The Dancer’s Life and in the original production of A Chorus Line in the role of Richie, as well as in commercials, film, and television. Ramon received his BA in French from the City College of New York, CUNY, and his MFA in Dance from the University of Iowa.
Photo Credit: Robert Kim
Gerri Houlihan began her professional training at The Juilliard School, studying with Antony Tudor, Alfredo Corvino, and members of the Martha Graham and Jose Limon dance companies. She performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and the Paul Sanasardo Dance Company and spent five years as a soloist with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company touring extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Ms. Houlihan has taught or choreographed for such institutions as NY’s High School of the Performing Arts, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Bates Dance Festival, the Boston Ballet, the Harvard Summer Dance Center, Meredith College, the University of South Florida, North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of Richmond, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and Virginia Commonwealth University. From 1984 to 1987, she directed her own school and company, the Boston Dance Project. She was one of five finalists in the Boston Ballet’s International Choreography Competition. From 1988 to 1999, Ms. Houlihan was on the faculty of New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL. During that time, she was also the artistic director of Houlihan and Dancers. The recipient of two Florida Individual Artist Fellowships in Dance/Choreography in 1991-92 and 1996-97, Houlihan and Dancers was on the touring roster for the state of Florida. She is a member of the board of directors for the Florida Dance Association and also for the American College Dance Association. Ms. Houlihan has been on the faculty of the American Dance Festival from 1981 to 1983 and from 1987 to the present. As an international representative for ADF, she has participated in eighteen international linkages, teaching in Korea, China, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Estonia, Poland, the Philippines, Russia, and Mongolia. She is the 2005 recipient of the Balasaraswati Joy Anne Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching and a 2012 recipient of the Pearl S. Tyner Distinguished Professor in Teaching Award. She received her MFA in 2007 from the Hollins University/American Dance Festival MFA program. She recently retired from FSU and currently teaches year-round at the American Dance Festival studios and as a guest artist at Elon University.
Photo credit: Sara D. Davis/ADF
Shayla-Vie Jenkins is a performer, teacher, and maker currently based in Philadelphia, PA. She received her BFA from the Ailey/Fordham program and completed her MFA. at Smith College. Jenkins spent a decade (2005-2015) performing with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. She is a répétiteur and teacher for the company. Jenkins has also performed and collaborated with numerous artists including Yaa Samar! Dance Theater, Francesca Harper, Alicia Hall-Moran, the A.O. Movement Collective, Emily Manzo, Gus Solomons Jr., Yanira Castro, Rebecca Lazier, Yara Travieso, and Susan Marshall. Jenkins has presented her own work in New York City and is currently engaged in the continued research of a solo work, a hieroglyphics of the flesh, and creative projects with Ni’Ja Whitson and the Merce Cunningham Centennial Event. Jenkins is an Assistant Professor in the School of Dance at the University of the Arts.
Modern Technique and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Repertory
Photo Credit: Anna Maynard
Kate Jewett holds a BFA in dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She began her career as an understudy in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. For over a decade she has been a company member of Shen Wei Dance Arts as well as rehearsal director, director of education, curriculum developer, company teacher, archivist, and stager. She has performed extensively throughout Latin America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Her own works have been performed at DeSales University, the UN, Park Ave Armory, Milano Teatro Scuola, and the Fabbrica Europa and Performatica festivals. Kate is founder and curator of Watusi Regime, a site-specific collaborative performance series in NYC. She is also founder of Moving Minds, a company which cultivates dance and critical thinking skills for various organizations. Moving Minds has conducted dozen of workshops throughout Japan and recently got accepted to SXSW EDU 2019.
Shen Wei’s Natural Body Development Technique and Shen Wei Dance Art Repertory
Photo credit: Paul B. Goode
YANGKEUN KIM, choreographer/teacher/dancer/writer, is a professor of Soongeui Women`s College, Artistic Director of Garion Dance Company, and vice president of The Modern Dance Promotion of Korea. She has performed her work with Garion Dance Company, Korea Contemporary Dance Company and Wansoon Yook`s Dance Company, toured Europe, US, and Asia. She is also the Director of JD-KSDF (JD-Korea Summer Dance Festival). Ms. Kim has organized KDF (KADF) since 1990, Seoul International Choreographer’s Festival since 1995 and workshops and JD-KSDF from 2016. She founded Y-Conditioning Association and somatic research along with other choreographers and dance teachers. She teach Healing Technique at ADF since 2004.
Bio coming soon!
Choreographer and dancer Kyle Marshall is a 2018 NY Dance and Performance “Bessie” Jury Award recipient and a NJ State Council of the Arts Fellow in Choreography. His dance company, Kyle Marshall Choreography (KMC), sees the dancing body as a site for celebration, an igniter of social change, and a container of history. KMC has performed at venues including Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Joe’s Pub at the Public, Actors Fund Arts Center, NJPAC, NYC Summerstage, Wassaic Arts Project, and Conduit Dance (PDX). He has taught masterclasses and creative workshops at Montclair University, Muhlenburg College, and DeSales University. Residencies have included the Center of Performance Research (CPR), DanceNOW/Silo, and JPAC. Commissions have included Montclair’s dance festival Dance on the Lawn, NJPAC, and Harlem Stage. KMC iscurrently in-residence at MANA Contemporary in Jersey City. As a dancer, Kyle currently works with the Trisha Brown Dance Company and doug elkins choreography, etc. Kyle is a graduate of Rutgers University with a BFA in Dance. www.kmchoreo.com
Photo credit: Ted Alcorn
Paul Matteson is a “Bessie” award receiving performer whose research explores methods for generating inventive personal movement within collaborative choreography. His evening length duet with Jennifer Nugent, another piece apart, recently premiered at New York Live Arts. Paul was a member of the internationally touring Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Company from 2008 to 2012. He has also worked with David Dorfman Dance, Lisa Race, Terry Creach, Peter Schmitz, Neta Pulvermacher, and others. He regularly teaches at summer festivals including the American Dance Festival, the Bates Dance Festival, SALT Dance, and Provincial Dance Theater’s Summer School in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Matteson was on faculty at Amherst College and Mount Holyoke College from 2012 to 2017 and during that time was a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award recipient in choreography. He is currently a full-time faculty member at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Paul received a BA from Middlebury College and an MFA from Bennington College.
Modern Technique and Partnering
Photo Credit: Joshua Sugiyama
JOHNNIE CRUISE MERCER
Johnnie Cruise Mercer (a native of Richmond, VA, and a BFA graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Dance and Choreography) is a maker, freelance-performer, community educator, and artistic entrepreneur based in New York City. As the Choreographic/Company Director of Johnnie Cruise Mercer/TheREDprojectNYC, his work has been presented/commissioned/shared at the Center for Performance Research-CPR, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), the Dance Place of DC, Gibney: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, Judson Church Movement Research, the Bolls Theater of Detroit, the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 92Y Harkness Dance Center, the Billie Holiday Theater (RestorationARTS), Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), NYU Skirball’s AUNTS, and the NADA Conference, as well as recently at the 2018 Fusebox Festival where he received the 2018 Austin Critics Table Award for Best Toured Performance 2018. As an artistic leader and educator, Mr. Mercer facilitates and teaches within the New York Public School system through the Leadership Program–a mentorship based organization that uses art to foster and engage restorative justice and motivate the true empowerment of self. Mercer has also been on teaching faculty and a guest artist at the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, NYU Tisch Summer Dance Program, Gibney, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Desales University, Muhlenburg College, and the University of Texas at Austin (in residence as their 2016 Vangaurd Choreographer). Johnnie is currently a 2018 Choreoquest AIR at RestorationARTS and an inaugural recipient of 2018 Partnership Residency at the Stephen Petronio Residency Center (in collaboration with Danspace and DanceForceNYC). www.trpnyc.com
Photo Credit: Jonathon Hsu
Momar Ndiaye is an internationally recognized dance artist from Senegal who has taught and toured his work both in the States and abroad. He received his MFA in Dance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he taught contemporary and traditional African dance forms from Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Congo, etc., as well as video dance documentation. Ndiaye has worked with many well-known choreographers from Africa, Europe, Asia, and America through the program AEx-Corps initiated by the Association Premier Temp in Senegal. Since 2010, Momar has danced for internationally acclaimed choreographer Andreya Ouamba in the Dakar-based company Premier Temps and was selected as a Dance Web participant at Impuls Tanz Festival in Vienna, Austria, in 2012. He has been developing work with his own company, Cadanses, since 2004 and has created and toured several staged contemporary dance works. In 2015, Ndiaye’s evening length piece Toxu was a finalist laureate in the Danse L’Afrique Danse (Africa and Caribbean in Creation) Festival in St. Louis and Senegal and was toured to Europe as part of the Belluard Festival in Switzerland. In 2016, Momar was selected to participate in two intercultural projects, Shifting Realities, supported by Tanz Haus and Hellerau in Germany, and 1space, a collaboration between KVS Brussel, Exodus in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Alkantara Lisbon, Portugal. www.lacadanses.com
Afro-fusion: From bare-feet to sneaker
Photo credit: Ben McKeown
Instructor, choreographer, and dancer Sherone Price is currently Associate Professor of Dance at Appalachian State University. He has been a lecturer at UNC-Greensboro, a visiting instructor of Dance at Florida International University in Miami, and Artist in Residence/Henry Bascom Professor of Dance at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has had selected choreography performed by Moving in the Spirit Touring Company, Atlanta, GA, and at the White House, hosted by President George Bush for a reception for the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He has a BFA from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and an MFA from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. He has been a Principal Dancer with Chuck Davis’ African American Dance Ensemble and a guest performer with Gamble Dance Theater and Jan Van Dyke Dance Group. He performed Talley Beatty’s Mourner’s Bench at the 1995 Scripps/ADF Award ceremony.
West African Repertory
Photo credit: Grant Halverson/ADF
Sara Procopio is a Brooklyn-based dance artist, educator, and arts manager. She is a founding company member and former Artistic Associate of Shen Wei Dance Arts. From 2001 to 2012 her work with Shen Wei included originating roles in 10 works and performing and teaching at renowned venues and festivals throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and the United States. Since 2012, Sara has performed in the work of choreographer and media artist Jonah Bokaer with appearances nationally and internationally, including the Brisbane Festival, Lyon Biennale, the National Theater of Serbia/INFANT, and BAM Next Wave Festival. Sara’s teaching practice has led her to work internationally at the Paolo Grassi School of Milan and the Korea International Dance Festival in Seoul, as well as at colleges, universities, youth programs, and festivals across the US including University of the Arts, University of North Carolina School for the Arts, Connecticut College, Rutgers University, Middlebury College, Hollins University, Marymount Manhattan College, Florida School of the Arts, Greenville Fine Arts Center, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Sara currently teaches at the University of the Arts where she also serves as an Assistant Director in the School of Dance. Sara earned both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Hollins University. ADF faculty since ’08.Shen Wei’s Natural Body Development Technique
Shen Wei’s Natural Body Development Technique and Shen Wei Dance Art Repertory
RAY ELIOT SCHWARTZ
Ray Eliot Schwartz graduated high school from the North Carolina School of the Arts, received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, and received his MFA from University of Texas-Austin. He was the head of the dance program of the University of the Americas-Puebla in México from 2008 to 2018. He is a founder of Performática: Foro Internacional de Danza Contemporánea y Artes del Movimiento, a research associate at the Center for Mind Body Movement, and a consultant and teaching artist for ArcDanz International Dance Workshop. Ray co-founded four contemporary dance projects in the southern US: Sheep Army, The Zen Monkey Project, Steve’s House Dance Collective, and THEM. He has been a guest artist for diverse populations in the US, South East Asia, South America, and Mexico and has served on the faculty of the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, MELT, the ZMP Summer Dance Intensive, Verano Chilango, Camp_iN, the Colorado College Summer Dance Festival, SFADI, and Opera Prima@elcolectivo, the Mexican television series showcasing national and international talent in the Mexican contemporary dance scene, among others. He is a published scholar who writes in Spanish and English about the interface of somatic movement education and contemporary dance practice. His somatic studies include certifications in Body-Mind Centering® and the Feldenkrais Method®. Additional studies include Zero-Balancing®, Gross Anatomy (Dissection), Bio Mechanics of Sport, Molecular Cell Biology, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, and Traditional Thai Massage. He is delighted to return to ADF this summer to share his love of movement and looks forward to the collective learning that arises from its venerable and vibrant gathering of dance artists.
Somatics and Dancing and Contact Improvisation
Photo Credit: Gabriel Morales
Bio coming soon!
Gaga and Creative Process
Charles Slender-White has worked as a contemporary dance artist throughout North America, Europe, Russia, Hong Kong, and Australia. He is the Artistic Director of FACT/SF, a San Francisco-based contemporary dance company which he founded in 2008. With FACT/SF, Charles has created more than thirty works with commissions by the US Department of State, ODC Theater (San Francisco), CounterPulse (San Francisco), Acid Rain (Chelyabinsk), Dialogue Dance (Kostroma), the Yekaterinburg University of the Humanities (Yekaterinburg), the University of St. Cyril & Methodius (Skopje), and others. Charles began studying Countertechnique in 2005, and became a certified teacher in 2012. There are currently 32 Countertechnique teachers worldwide. Also in 2012, Charles spent a year in mentorship with Elizabeth Streb as part of CHIME Across Borders at the Margaret Jenkins Dance Lab. Prior to moving to San Francisco, Charles performed, taught, and created new work as a company member of Tatiana Baganova’s Provincial Dances Theatre in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Charles graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his undergraduate degrees in Dance and Performance Studies and English Literature.
Countertechnique and Improvisation for Performance
Photo credit: Robbie Sweeny
Samantha Speis is a movement artist and improvisor based in New York City. She has worked with Gesel Mason, The Dance Exchange, Jumatatu Poe, Deborah Hay (as part of the Sweet Day curated by Ralph Lemon at the MoMA), Marjani Forte-Saunders, and Liz Lerman. She is currently a performer and the Associate Artistic Director of the internationally acclaimed dance company, Urban Bush Women. Speis was the 2012 recipient of the Alvin Ailey New Directions Choreography Lab and recently was awarded a “Bessie” for Outstanding Performer. Her work has been featured at the Kennedy Center (Millennium Stage), Long Island University, Joyce SoHo, Hollins University, Danspace Project, Dixon Place, Dance Place, and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater. Speis’ solo, The Way it Was, and Now, was commissioned by the Jerome Foundation to be performed at Danspace Project for the Parallels Platform Series and was later invited to the Kaay Fecc Dance Festival in Dakar, Senegal. She has developed a teaching practice that explores pelvic mobility as the root of powerful locomotion and as a point of connection to the stories, experiences, and lineages that reside in each of us. She has been a guest artist and taught workshops throughout the United States, South America, Senegal, and Europe. Recent projects include Walking with Trane, co-choreographed with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and her collaboration with Chanon Judson-Johnson and Raelle Myrick-Hodges on Hair and Other Stories.
Classes to be announced!
Photo credit: Erik Carter
Rosanna Tavarez has a diverse background as a performer/entertainer and has had the honor of working with Marina Ambramovic, Ryan Heffington, Travis Payne, Tony Michaels, Rosanna Gamson/Worldwide, and Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre. She also toured with N’SYNC and Jessica Simpson as one-fifth of the girl group Eden’s Crush and covered the Emmys, Grammys and Oscars in addition to hosting her own shows as a television personality for FOX, E!, TVGuide Network, and Telemundo/NBC. She was selected to attend the Countertechnique Teacher Training program in 2016 and is now one of seven certified American Countertechnique Teachers. For the past two years, she’s had the pleasure of sharing the practice of Countertechnique throughout the US. She is on faculty at Studio School and CalState LA and creates her own work under the moniker LA DANSA DANSA. Her works have been supported by an ARC grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, a UCLA Hothouse residency, and Show Box LA and have been presented by REDCAT, Highways Performance Space, Breaking Ground Dance Festival, Sarasota Contemporary Dance, and the LA Department of Cultural Affair’s LA Dance Platform.
Countertechnique and Improvisation for Performance
Photo credit: David Gordon
Bio coming soon!
Andrea Weber was a dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 2004 to 2011, performing roles in over 25 works. Andrea is on faculty of the Merce Cunningham Trust, teaching Cunningham Technique® at New York City Center, Barnard College, and the Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary Trainee program. She has also taught at SUNY Purchase, UNCSA, Brown University, Skidmore College, the American Dance Festival, ArcDanz Festival, NYU Tisch, ABT Studio Company, Salem State College, and Dance New Amsterdam. Andrea has staged Pond Way for Ballett am Rhein and Ballet Vlaanderen, Suite for Five for the CNSMD in Lyon, RainForest for the Stephen Petronio Company, Sounddance at UNCSA, How To Pass, Kick, Fall and Run for Boston Conservatory, and the Skidmore Event in the Tang Museum at Skidmore College. She has also created MinEvents for the American Dance Festival, Joffrey Ballet School, and ArcDanz Festival. Andrea arranged and staged the E vents for the Merce Cunningham: Common Time exhibit at both the Walker Arts Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Andrea has been awarded five Merce Cunningham Trust Fellowships since 2012, reconstructing dances including O cean , CRWDSPCR and Second Hand . Andrea has also danced with Bill Coleman, Dance Heginbotham, Jessica Lang Dance, Cornfield Dance, Jonah Bokaer, and Charlotte Griffin.
Cunningham Technique and Footprints
Photo credit: Grant Halverson
Blakeley White-McGuire is a New York-based dance performer, maker, and teacher and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. She received her formal dance training at the Martha Graham Center in New York City while studying under Pearl Lang, Linda Hodes, Yuriko and Susan Kikuchi, Diane Gray, Terese Capucilli, Christine Dakin, Armgard Von Bardeleben, Marianne Bachman, Yung Yung Tsuai, and Kazuko Hirabayashi. Critically acclaimed as a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company (2002-2016, 2017), she has embodied the most iconic roles of 20th century modern dance to international critical acclaim. As a leading practitioner of the Graham technique she has toured the globe, been the featured performer in Google’s “doodle” honoring the dance pioneer, and materially contributed to three historical re-imaginings Ardent Song, Imperial Gesture, and Notes on a Voyage. Simultaneously and throughout her career, Blakeley has created and performed with contemporary choreographers, filmmakers, and directors including Jacquelyn Buglisi, Jayoung Chung, Martha Clarke, Sean Curran, Sue de Beer, Nacho Duato, Daniel Ezralow, Larry Keigwin, Lar Lubovitch, Richard Move, Bulareyaung Pagarlava, Marta Renzi, Pascal Rioult, Robert Wilson, and Anne Bogart SITI/ Company. Blakeley’s original work has been presented by the Museum of Arts and Design, Jacob’s Pillow’s INSIDE/OUT, Battery Dance Festival, New Ballet Ensemble, Baton Rouge Ballet Theater, Roxbury Arts Group, Women in Dance 2018, the Moving Beauty series, ALT 360+, Inside the Dancer’s Art, Quando Eles Dancam, UFO (Unified Fashion Objectives), the Movers & Shapers’ podcast series, and the Martha Graham Dance Company’s Graham 2. Her writing has been published by The Dance Enthusiast, The Huffington Post, Dance Magazine, Performance Research Journal, and most recently in A Life in Dance: A Practical Guide. Blakeley has served on the faculties of the Graham Center, the Ailey School, the New School, The Actors’ Studio, and New York City’s famed LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts as a teacher of technique, repertory, and improvisation. She is currently on the faculty of Hunter College, Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance, and the American Dance Festival. Blakeley stages Martha Graham’s repertory internationally, most recently for Paul Taylor, Semperoper, and Ballet Vlaanderen. Blakeley continues to create, collaborate, research, lecture, and perform and is currently a dancer/choreographer/administrator for the inter-generational dance collective Movement Migration.
Photo credit: Reiko Yanagi
Whitson is an LA/NYC gender nonconforming interdisciplinary artist, “Bessie” award winning performer (skeleton architecture), and writer, referred to as “majestic” and “magnetic” by The New York Times, and recognized by Brooklyn Magazine as a culture influencer. Through a global, critical intersection of gender, sexuality, race, and spirit, they engage a nexus of transdisciplinary and African diasporic performance practices in street, sacred, and conceptual performance. Whitson is a 2018 MAP Fund awardee and Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Fellow Candidate. Additional residencies and fellowships include Camargo, Dance in Process at Gibney, Hedgebrook, LMCC Process Space, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Movement Research, and Bogliasco Fellowship. Commissions include St. Mark’s Church at Danspace, American Realness and Vision festivals, ICA Philadelphia, and recent support from Mertz Gilmore and Jerome Foundations. As a noted innovating practitioner of the Theatrical Jazz Aesthetic, Treinel in Capoeira Angola, and accomplished improviser, Whitson performs nationally with renowned musicians, including a close collaborative partnership with Douglas Ewart of the AACM. Other collaborations include experimental and conventional theater, music, and performance with Cynthia Oliver, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Virginia Grise, Sharon Bridgforth, Byron Au Yong, and Aaron Jafferis. Whitson received an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a second MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, receiving merit and artist awards at both. They are the founder/artistic director of The NWA Project and an assistant professor of experimental choreography at University of California at Riverside. www.nijawhitson.com
Photo credit: Melissa Bunni Elian
Bio coming soon!