2010 Artists

Being Human Dance (Toronto, ON) is a Toronto-based contemporary dance company that seeks to tell moving stories that genuinely linger with people, using dance and music as our language. We use the visceral to express the intellectual. Our body of work includes stage works performed at The Ryerson Theatre Choreographic Works, New Voices Festival, Dancemakers Centre for Creation, Theatre Passe Muraille, and Series 808. Dance films created with director Drew Lint have been screened at festivals throughout Ontario and in New York City. In 2009, BHD performed in The Brazos Contemporary Dance Festival in Texas. Choreographers Miranda Forbes and Irene Whittaker-Cumming are recipients of The Kenny Pearl Award for Choreography (2008). www.beinghumandance.com

Photos by Adam Burnett.

Caitlin Haywood (Chicago, IL) originally from Indianapolis, graduated from the Point Park Conservatory. She made her professional dance and choreographic debuts with PillowProject, a multi-media dance company (Pittsburgh, PA). Caitlin works to present dance which focuses on human interaction, whether that is humorous day to day or thought-provoking. She strives to commission composers, visual artists, and designers to collaborate on new works. She has worked with local artistis such as Chicago Freelance Dance, Jan Bartoszek for Hedwig Dances 25th Anniversary, On Tap Chicago, and Megan Rhyme for Chicago Fringe. Most recently, her choreography was presented at Lake.Eden.Arts.Festival (Asheville, NC).

Chris Johnson (Beloit, WI) artistic director of Chelonia Dance and dance professor at Beloit College has been selected to present work for WDA, NDEO, ACDFA, at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, The Ruth Page Center for the Arts - Chicago, The Union Theater - Madison, Wisc., and in Sacramento. She was awarded First Place for Choreography in the New Prague Dance Festival 2013 and won the Laureate and Grand Prix at the Seventh International Competition: Festival of Choreographic Collectives in Moscow. Her dance, Wreath of Memories was performed by special invitation at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Washington, D.C.

Christie Zimmerman (Chicago, IL) received her early dance training in New Orleans before relocating to the west coast, where she completed her MFA in Dance from the University of California, Irvine. Christie has worked extensively with both developing and professional dancers and currently serves as Assistant Professor of Dance at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Her work has been seen nationally on both theatrical and concert stages and has been heralded as “relentlessly inventive” (The OC Weekly) and an “unadulterated delight” (Ambush Magazine, New Orleans). Christie is thrilled to be diving headfirst into her latest creative venture, z3movement project.

Clinard Dance Theater (Chicago, IL) Founded in 1999, Clinard Dance is a constantly evolving ensemble of performers and collaborators, led by Artistic Director Wendy Clinard. Clinard Dance Theatre's work has ranged from entirely devised work to traditional flamenco repertoire. Always changing and moving forward to incorporate new stimuli, the principles of the work have remained close to the original impulses: seeking what is most alive, integrating text, music, image and action to create unexpected and heart provoking dance theatre. There is no Clinard Dance method. What is essential is collaboration. In collaboration we lose track of where ideas originated and bring to life something that has pieces of all of us, yet transcends any one of us individually. Collaborations have included artists from Zimbabwe, Spain, Morocco, Syria, and India, as well as many well-respected Chicago and U.S. artists. The Company has toured in Syria and India as well as throughout the United States. www.clinardance.org/

Photos by Joeff Davis.

Autumn Eckman (Chicago, IL) an Atlanta native, received her classical training from the Houston Ballet Academy under Clara Cravey and Steve Brulee. In 2000, Autumn relocated to Chicago to join Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, where she is currently serving as Artistic Associate and Director of Giordano II. She has also been a dancer with State Street Ballet (Santa Barbara), Cangelosi Dance Project, Lucky Plush Productions, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ron De Jesus Dance, and Collective Body Dance Lab. Autumn has created five works for the Giordano company and has been commissioned by several companies, universities, and schools including DanceWorks Chicago,Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Vitacca Dance Project, Chicago Repertory Ballet, KRESA, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, State Street Ballet Young Dancers, and Contemporary Dance South . In 2010, she was named as a "standout choreographer" in the Chicago Tribune and Dance Chicago’s “New Choreographic Voice” in 2009. Autumn enjoys teaching all disciplines of dance and is a teacher at the Lou Conte Dance Studio and Visceral Dance Chicago.

Dorcas Roman Dance Theater (Los Angeles, CA) Dorcas Román is a dancer, choreographer and actress native to Puerto Rico and the artistic director of DRDT. She received a BA in theater from the UPR and an MFA in choreography from UCLA Dance Department. Roman and DRDT have been active in dance and theater for over 18 years around United States and abroad. The company presented work in Spain this summer and it will be performing in festivals in; Texas, Chicago, New York and California this Fall. Dorcas Roman is currently teaching dance at CSULB where she teaches since 2003. http://www.drdt.org/drdt/DRDT_Home.html

Elements Contemporary Ballet (Chicago, IL) is the first and only contemporary ballet company based in Chicago. Combining the beauty of classical technique with contemporary style and verve, Elements Contemporary Ballet advances and explores ballet through the marriage of innovative concepts and classical art. Founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Mike Gosney, the company trains and develops its work using the four elements; fire, earth, air, and water; to each represent a major facet of dance; expression, physicality, focus, and freedom. Elements now produces annual concerts in downtown Chicago, performs in local showcases and dance festivals, presents free lecture demonstrations to the public, and provides community outreach through Chicago's Urban Gateways program. www.elementscontemporaryballet.com

Jeannine Potter (Chicago, IL) is on the faculty of Dominican University, Olive-Harvey College and the College of Lake County where she teaches studio courses, dance history and choreographs for students. In addition to her teaching, Jeannine continues to perform her own work independently and is a member of VADCO/Valerie Alpert Dance Company.

Photos by Cheryl Mann.

Based in Southern California, Laurie Cameron & Company has created original collaborative pieces since 2003. Representing a variety of movement techniques including Contact Improvisation, Corporeal Mime, breakdancing, and traditional modern dance styles, all members take part in the choreographic process. The group has performed throughout Southern California,including REDCAT at Disney Hall, and New York and New England, including the Hudson Guild Theatre, Joyce Soho, and Bowdoin and Bates Colleges. Laurie Cameron is Director of the Dance Program at Pomona College. She earned a B.A. from Connecticut College, an M.A. from Columbia University, a C.M.A. from the Laban Institute in New York, and an M.P.A. through Warren Lamb and Associates. Since 2002 she has directed Laurie Cameron & Company, a collective of artists who have presented performance pieces throughout Southern California and on the East Coast, including the Hudson Guild Theatre and Joyce Soho in New York. She has been a frequent guest artist at the Jooss School in Essen, Germany, teaching and coaching choreography students.

Marquez Dance Project (Cleveland, OH) explores life’s moments through an artistic scope. The objective behind this contemporary dance company is to recapture moments that are compelling to the human spirit in a theatrical and often surreal interpretation. In developing choreography, it is essential to explore beyond the realm of dance for inspiration. Collaboration from other artistic genres facilitates in creating works that are meaningful and honest.

Artistic Director Jennifer Sandoval is a graduate of Kent State University where she earned a BFA in performance and composition. She has been blessed with the opportunity to work with a number of dance companies and choreographers including: Nicole Gifford Dance, Michael Bratt, Melissa Mallinson, MorrisonDance, TJ & Company Dance Theatre, SMARTdance, Tyego Dance Project, Perceptual Motion, Inc., and Mam Luft Dance. Festivals include: International American Choreographers Showcase, Dance Chicago, Around the Coyote, Full Circle, Ohio Dance Festival, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, and Big Box through Cleveland Public Theatre. Currenly she is on faculty at Studio 82, Studio M and is adjunct faculty at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH. www.marquezdanceproject.com

Nicole Gifford Dance (Chicago, IL) was founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Nicole Gifford. Nicole's work is inspired by movement and stillness found in nature and the moments that leave an impression on our human nature. Relying on the senses; reflecting the shapes and feelings experienced when we are most present and honest with ourselves. Working closely with husband Jim Gifford, Nicole strives to layer her choreographic expression with live music, specifically jazz-fusion for its improvisational element. Her goal is to create a richer understanding for the audience and a spontaneous experience on and off the stage. Her work has been presented at many festivals in Chicago including Around the Coyote, Dance Chicago, Full Circle, Rebound, and World Dance Night at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Nicole has co-produced several dance concerts since 2005 at Ruth Page, The Galaxie and Hamlin Park Field House with Chicago artists Marquez Dance Project, Jay-Son Dance Company and Core Project. She recently self-produced NGD’s first full length concert, “MILES ELECTRIC”, which was performed entirely to live music from Miles Davis' Electric Period. Nicole was the recipient of a 2006 CAAP grant for choreography from the Illinois Arts Council as well as a recipient of the Dance Bridge Summer 2009 residency through the Chicago Cultural Center Department of Cultural Affairs.


NY2Dance (New York, NY) Nejla Y. Yatkin was awarded a 2009 Special Project Grant by the Princess Grace Foundation in New York and is a 2008 Princess Grace Choreography fellow. She was named by Dance Magazine as one of "Top 25 to Watch in 2005" and "Outstanding Emerging Artist" by the D.C. Mayor's Arts Award Committee 2006. This award-winning and internationally acclaimed choreographer and dancer graduated with a professional concert dance degree from Die Etage - a Professional Performing Arts Department in Berlin, Germany. Ms. Yatkin is currently commuting between New York, Chicago and Washington, DC pursuing her solo career: dancing; choreographing; and giving workshops at international and national festivals. Ms. Yatkin has performed her solo work in over 21 countries including England, France, Turkey among many others. She has been awarded numerous grants to create and perform from Arts International, the National Performance Network, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the D.C. Commission of the Arts and Humanities, the University of Maryland and the University of Notre Dame. To date, Ms. Yatkin has received five awards from the Metro D.C. Dance Awards, including two "Outstanding Individual Performance." Recently, she choreographed for Dallas Black Dance Theatre, the Washington Ballet, the Darpana Performing Group in India, Baltimore Ballet as well as the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. For further information please visit www.ny2dance.com.

ology dance (Chicago, IL) presents exploratory movement works that study and celebrate life experience through the creative process. Drawing inspiration from the natural world, philosophy, psychology and more, artistic director Melissa Mallinson has presented her choreography in concerts, alternative venues and more than a dozen festivals in Chicago, throughout the Midwest and in Scotland. Melissa graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan, training under esteemed artists Peter Sparling, Robin Wilson, Judy Rice and more. As a soloist with the Kalamazoo Ballet, she danced leading and principal roles in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Coppelia and premiered the lead female role of Mina in an original production of Dracula choreographed by August Tye. She also performed with Ann Arbor Dance Works under the mentorship of Gay Delanghe, Khecari Dance Theater, TJ&Co, Perceptual Motion Dance, Marquez Dance Project, Nicole Gifford Dance, and many independent artists throughout the MidWest. In 1992 she became the youngest choreographer to date to have work performed in the Regional Dance America/MidStates Regional Ballet Association Festival in Fargo, ND. Melissa's choreography has been produced by the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe, the National Congress of Carillonneurs 2001 conference, Around the Coyote, Dance Chicago, The Field- Chicago, and the Old Town School of Folk Music. She thanks Kris for his boundless support. www.ologydance.com

Perceptual Motion, Inc. (Chicago, IL) is a dynamic intergenerational modern dance company directed by award-winning choreographer Lin Shook. Its mission is to transform the abstract imagery of dance into personal and meaningful experiences. PMI has performed at Ruth Page, Hamlin Park Theatre, Harold Washington Library, in Dance Chicago, The Coyote Festival, Millennium Park. It provides dance residencies, after-school programs and classes for people over 40.
Harvard Vallance studied with Shirley Mordine, Nana Shineflug, Joel Hall, and Victor Clottey. He founded The Kalamazoo African Dance Company, introducing West African dance and hip-hop to thousands throughout Southwestern Michigan. Lin and Harvard have collaborated since 2006. www.perceptualmotiondance.com

Acts of Matter (Long Beach, CA) Founded in 2014, Acts of Matter is a project-based performance group with a mission of revealing and reveling in our greater humanity through investment in process and collaboration. The work of the company is grounded in an unfettered willingness to attempt something while accepting the possibility of its failure. This physical exertion—this act of trying—is the core of humanity in the work. As a choreographer, Artistic Director Rebecca Lemme is inspired by the ability of movement to move people—to stir in them something innately human: the need to find connection. Acts of Matter hinges on the belief that as a society we are defined by what unites us—by what makes us similar, not what makes us different. Drawn from immensely personal inspiration, the work creates a window in which others can see their own experience reflected. Her work suggests that at the core of every private struggle or individual joy is something universal.

Rebecca Lemme, Artistic Director of Acts of Matter, is a choreographer, performer, educator, and visual artist. Her choreographic work has been commissioned for numerous universities and professional companies, and she teaches extensively in contemporary, ballet, jazz, improvisation, and composition. Currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at CSULB, she has also been on faculty at CalArts, Columbia College, Roosevelt, Hubbard Street, Visceral, and Joffrey. She has toured nationally with Luna Negra Dance Theater, River North Dance Chicago, and Hedwig Dances. Lemme holds a BA from Princeton University in English and Theater and an MFA from CalArts in Choreography.

RE|dance group (Chicago, IL) Michael Estanich and Lucy Riner established RE|dance group in 2009, after ten years of performing, producing and collaborating on various dance projects in Chicago together. As former members of Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak, we cultivated our choreographic ideas and many years later, decided to form RE|dance group as a means to further develop our inimitable, creative dance-theatre approach. Central to the success of the company has been the trust and collaborative spirit between us—as we each spearhead different aspects of the company’s organization. Michael evokes and directs much of the artistic voice of our work, while I manage the day-to-day, business, and strategic planning components (and have the pleasure of performing and informing the work we do). Originally designed as a duet partnership for us to take advantage of and further develop our long established and admired performance energy together, RE|dance group quickly grew into a company of nine dancers committed to creating enthralling, complex, and personal dance-theatre. The company annually produces a Chicago season while our national touring schedule continues to add new cities each year. RE|dance group is working towards the production of our of 10th anniversary season which will include several performances in spaces large and small throughout 2019. As 2018 unfolds, RE|dance group is excited to continue casting our net out to audiences in different parts of the country and world.

Roberta Wong (Indianapolis, IN) Two-time Creative Renewal fellow (Arts Council of Indianapolis) and Indiana Arts Commission grant recipient Roberta Wong enjoys teaching at Butler University, Dance for Parkinsons Indianapolis, Indiana University, Indianapolis Ballet Theatre and Dance Kaleidoscope. Additional teaching has included Anderson University, Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theater Summer Conservatory and many Indianapolis area studios, as well as the Indiana Dance Festival, Lafayette Ballet and Mid-States Regional Dance Festival. Highlights of choreography include Anderson University's "Candles and Carols," the Emily Hunt Benefit for Spinal Cord Research and the Indy Convergence, from where her work has been further presented at the Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival. She holds a biology degree from Butler University.

Same Planet Different World (Chicago, IL) Led by Artistic Director Joanna Rosenthal, an accomplished choreographer, performer and educator, SPDW self-produces two concerts each year and participates in a variety of festivals throughout the Chicago area and nationally. SPDW performances offer unique aesthetics and perspectives and never cease to be dynamic and inspiring. Known for presenting the choreography of artists from across the country, seasoned veterans as well as up-and-coming innovators, SPDW events feature dance genres that range from classical to post-modern, satire to high-octane virtuosity.

Since 2008, SPDW has made significant strides in engaging a national market and building credibility among presenters in Chicago and in communities throughout the United States. A recipient of an A.W.A.R.D. Show! Chicago grant in 2010, SPDW has been presented locally by the Dance Center of Columbia College, and has toured extensively with residency work at the University of Iowa, Illinois State University, and St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire; and offered performances at the Joyce Soho and Wave Rising Festival in New York City, Spring to Dance –Dance St. Louis and The University of Minnesota. The company is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund, supporting a tour to Israel. SPDW is a member of Pentacle’s Artist Gallery. During its fifteen- year history, SPDW has cultivated a community of artists both locally and nationally that embody its mission to be inclusive of local talent in its exchanges with national artists it brings to Chicago. SPDW has been actively cultivating and building a reputation as an educational and experiential resource for the professional and professional-in-training dance community in Chicago. To that end, SPDW Dance Theatre is responsible for the Guest Artists Project, a program that commissions national artists to conduct workshops and set new work on the company, and the High School Performance Company. Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre is a contemporary-based repertory company that presents the work of its Artistic Director and other choreographers, both established and emerging. The Company strives to present choreography that can support a humanistic voice while remaining in the physical world where dance is the primary ingredient; using the full moving body for expression. The Company maintains an ever-evolving body of work that is driven by theatricality, athleticism, tenacity and accessibility for its audience.

Jenny Showalter (Chicago, IL) is co-director of Treeline Dance Works. Her choreography has been performed at numerous venues including: Dance Chicago, Image Movement Sound, Heidelberg Music Festival, Vision of Sound, American Dance Guild 2009, DUMBO Dance Festival, WAXworks, Dance Project 2009 DC, and Cool NY. Guest artist residencies include: Lincoln College, Western Illinois University, and Perpetual Motion Dance Oklahoma. She has performed extensively with established and emerging artists, and is a member of the Bill Evans Dance Company. Showalter holds an MFA in Dance Choreography and Performance from The College at Brockport, and is on faculty at Ball State University. www.jennyshowalter.com