2014 Artists

Aerial Dance Chicago (Chicago, IL) (ADC) was founded in 1999 with a vision of taking dance into flight. Incorporating a variety of apparatus such as suspended fabrics, bungee cords, hoops, swings and ropes, dancers were no longer bound to the traditional dance floor, and the company set out to explore the potential for compelling and powerful expression within multi-dimensional space.
Characterized by extraordinary physicality and originality, the company's work has been presented across the United States at theaters, museums, schools, universities and festivals, including popular hometown venues such as The Athenaeum Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Ruth Page Center for the Arts, Navy Pier, Museum of Science & Industry, Millennium Park and the historic Grand Ballroom of the Drake Hotel.
In 2014, ADC opened Chicago’s premiere dance center dedicated to the fine art of aerial dance, offering cutting-edge curriculum in contemporary dance, both on the ground and in the air. Located at 4028 W. Irving Park Rd, with immediate access to 90/94 and the Irving Park Blue line and Metra stop, this new center is situated at a cultural and transit hub in Chicago, and is an asset to the professional performing arts community in Chicago.
Today, Aerial Dance Chicago continues to deliver an underrepresented art form to the diverse cultural spectrum in Chicago, reaching over 10,000 people annually. As the company moves forward, creating, performing and teaching, it continues to redefine human movement potential and transcend the assumed limits of dance. www.aerialdancechicago.org

Alex and Katja (Chicago, IL) are former competitive ballroom dancers. Their achievements include titles of Professional national and world finalists, Dancers Cup Tour professional couple of the year awards and several wins in professional smooth, standard and showdance divisions. Since retiring from ballroom competitions Alex and Katja have continued to teach, perform, and learn many different dance styles ranging from ballroom to modern dance to contact improvisation. As part of their continued growth as artists, Alex and Katja are always striving to expand their dance and performance vocabulary into other forms and techniques. To reach these goals, they have recently begun collaborating with a wide range of other dancers, musicians, visual artists and film makers to create new performance art that melds all types of dancing, music and media together.
Their most recent accomplishments include: Appearing in "Meeting of Ballroom and Contact Improvisation" with contact improvisation artists Kirstie Simson and Tim O'Donnell; performing at Krannert Art Museum; performing "Heart at Low Tide 2", a piece by Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, at several venues, including Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Ruth Page Center for the Arts and the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre. They also co-choreographed and performed in the musical "My Fair Lady" staged by the Opera Department of the University of Illinois. Working independently, Alex and Katja also starred in a short dance film "Stay" which they choreographed.

Audra Sokol (Muncie, IN) received her B.S. from Ball State University. Upon graduation, Audra was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Iowa, where she received her MFA while continuing her training and education in dance. She has received awards from Regional Dance America and Dance Magazine for her performance and choreography. She has been given the highest choreography award four times allowing her to participate in the Craft of Choreography Conference as a Project Tier Recipient. Her works “The Cleansing” and “…and she was perfect.” were both selected for national festivals through Regional Dance America and the American College Dance Festival. Audra is highly active in teaching summer dance intensives and setting works on companies throughout the United States such as Apex Contemporary Dance Theatre and Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company. Her choreography has also been selected to be performed in festivals throughout the country including Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, Triskelion Arts, and Dance Under the Stars in California. Audra has served on the dance faculties at Purdue, Ball State University, and University of Iowa. Currently, Audra is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Ball State University and the Artistic Director of the departmental dance company, Ball State Dance Theatre.

CERQUA RIVERA DANCE THEATRE (CRDT) explores and celebrates contemporary American life through the fusion of contemporary dance, live music and visual art. In performance the company’s critically-acclaimed, award-winning Music and Dance Ensembles bring to life original multi-sensory work that stays with audiences long after the curtain falls.

“Performances boast the theatricality of a Broadway review, the slyness of late night cabaret and the exuberance of a jam session” - Barbara Vitello, The Daily Herald

For more information, including video, photos, audio clips of original music, schedule of upcoming performances, and links to social media, visit www.cerquarivera.org.

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.

Diane McNeal Hunt / ELEVATE DanceWorks (Tempe, AZ) Innovative, creative, collaborative, technically strong and expressive contemporary dance! ELEVATE DanceWorks is dedicated to upholding the top level of artistry.
Diane McNeal Hunt, (Founding Artistic Director / Choreographer), presents an eclectic palette of choreography, showcasing her dancers who deftly express the concept and intent behind her work. Ms. Hunt coaches her dancers to find an authentic and honest way of integrating movement in their bodies, resulting in an articulate, dynamic and captivating performance. Choreographic inspiration for Ms. Hunt comes through creating with her powerful core of dancers who share a common passion and vision. ELEVATE’s repertoire includes mesmerizing choreography by Ms. Hunt that features original masks by acclaimed artist, Zarco Guerrero. Hunt and Guerrero have enjoyed vital collaborations for over 30 years. Annually, ELEVATE celebrates Arizona's rich Latino culture, with performances in the Dia de los Muertos Festivals and the El Puente Festival. Ms. Hunt is honored to have her works selected to showcase nationally at: Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, ODC/San Francisco, MixMatch Dance Festival (L.A./Santa Monica), danceXchange (Temecula, CA), Dance in the Desert Festival (Las Vegas), BETA Dance Festival (Phoenix). As Resident Choreographer/Outreach Education Director for Center Dance Ensemble, Ms. Hunt’s choreography is featured at the The Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix. Her works are commissioned by other Arizona companies and college programs. At the heart of Ms. Hunt’s work exists a career-long devotion to arts education.

Dmitri Peskov (Ephraim, UT) is the Assistant Professor of Dance and Dance Department Chair at Snow College.

Dmitri Peskov was born in Moscow, Russia where he studied martial arts at a number of underground clubs and ballet at Tatiana Timofeeva Dance Center. Since moving to Chicago, he founded and produced Spectrum Dances Festival from 2001 to 2003 with the help from a Special Projects Grant from the Illinois Arts Council. He then co-founded and co-directed DanceLoop Chicago Company for which he choreographed a total of seven pieces to high critical acclaim. From 2004, he became an independent artist and dancer working with Chicago Ballet, Chicago Festival Ballet, Salt Creek Ballet, Joel Hall & Dancers, Wellspring Dance Company, Shirley Mordine & Co Dance Theatre, Tet a Tet Theatre, Borealis Theatre and the Lyric Opera of Chicago where he performed as a soloist in the production of "The Damnation of Faust". From 2007 to 2010 he collaborated with choreographer Paul Sanasardo, co-creating two roles for his last evening length works, "In the Shadow of Nina Simone" and "Night in the City". He also shared evenings of works with Links Hall founder Bob Eisen, collaborated with Minnesota choreographer Wynn Fricke in the creation of her solo "A Narrow View" and began an ongoing collaboration with Laban Center Senior Lecturer and British dancer and choreographer Gary Lambert.

Dmitri is a permanent fixture at a number of Midwest Dance and Theatre Festivals including Dance Chicago, Rhino Fest and Midwest RAD Fest. His works have been presented throughout the U.S. and Russia and commissioned by such companies as Nash Dance Theatre, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Joel Hall & Dancers, Madison Ballet, Jacksonville Dance Theatre, Northern Dance Theatre as well as a number of university dance programs. He has taught for both dance and theatre faculties of Beloit College, College of DuPage, Macalester College, Jacksonville University, U.W. Madison, Illinois Wesleyan University and North Central College.

Dmitri holds an MFA Degree in Choreography from Jacksonville University (where he also worked as an MFA Dance faculty member) and an MA Degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures from Northern Illinois University (where he also worked as a Graduate Assistant for the Philosophy Department). He has studied Meisner Technique at the Gaitley Poole Acting Conservatory and Lecoq and Suzuki technique at The Chicago School for Theatre Creators. He is a certified pilates, yoga and tai chi instructor and a poet whose works have been published in England, Australia, USA and Russia.

Dmitri Peskov is the recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Choreography Award and the Link Up Residency Award. Chicago Tribune newspaper praises his dance compositions for being "poetic and alternately beautiful and honest” and according to Chicago Sun Times dance and theatre critic Hedy Weiss "he is both a choreographer and performer to be reckoned with.”

Esoteric Dance Project (Chicago, IL) is dedicated to the development of the artist, both performer and choreographer, by providing technique-based education in a nurturing and personal environment while offering a platform for exploration of new creativity that cultivates a profound relationship between choreographer, emerging artist, and the audience. Dance is exploding into many different avenues which are exciting and beautiful to behold, but is moving farther away from its solid technical base and history. EDP embraces the art form’s historical past and believes that with a genuine foundation and “esoteric” knowledge of the classical and codified techniques, every dancer is a more artistically expanded and efficient performer. It is the goal of Esoteric Dance Project to demystify the skilled craft of modern dance and lead audiences to engage, observe and appreciate both the mastery and the freedom that is this art form.

Junichi Fukuda (Portsmouth, NH) was the recipient of the 2012 S&R Washington Award, the Dance Place’s 2012 New Releases Choreographer Commission and RAW Washington DC’s 2013 Performing Artist of the Year. He has been a member of Ballet Tech/NY, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, Smuin Ballet/SF, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Nejla Yatkin’s NY2 Dance, Buglisi Dance Theatre, Portland Ballet Company, and Prometheus Dance. Junichi’s choreography has been presented nationally and internationally. Junichi has been commissioned to create new works for Christopher K. Morgan & Artists (Trinitus, April 2013), and for Bowen McCauley Dance (Segments, March 2014). At its premiere, dance critic Sarah Kaufman of the Washington Post called Segments “the evening’s chief pleasure” and went on to say “Fukuda knew exactly what he was doing here: creating a work of easeful harmony...bringing to mind freedom and flight…in this altogether pleasing work. The real credit was due to Fukuda’s modest, tasteful proposal.” More info, fukudance.com

Giordano II (Chicago, IL) Giordano Dance Chicago began in 1963 as Dance Incorporated Chicago and became the Giordano Dance Company in 1966 when many of its live performances were broadcast by Chicago’s Public Television Station, WTTW. In 1968 the company performed American jazz dance for the touring Bolshoi Ballet who were so impressed that an invitation was extended, and the company eventually toured the Soviet Union in 1974, the first jazz dance company to do so.

For over 50 years, GDC has brought the excitement of American jazz dancing to audiences throughout the United States and in countries around the world — including Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, the Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Turkey, and Japan. GDC serves as host performing company at Jazz Dance W orld Congress, a biannual event which has been held at many national and international sites, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., at the University at Buffalo, Chukio University in Japan, Germany, Mexico, Costa Rica, Phoenix, the City of Chicago, and in 2012 at Point Park University.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the company “demonstrated that it now belongs in the front ranks of this city’s resident companies.” In 2004, the company received a Chicago Dance Award for its production and performance of Ron De Jesus’ Prey, “representing the vital new directions taken by the company.” In 2012, Dance Magazine raved that the company is a “burst of pure dance joy that left the audience breathless and ready for more” and in March of 2013 GDC was featured on the cover of the magazine in honor of the company's 50th Anniversary season.

In addition to its work on the stage, Giordano Dance Chicago enriches lives through outreach programs and activities which meet the needs of diverse and underserved communities. Over 300 classes are taught each year in the company’s signature program, Jazz Dance/ Science & Health which just completed its sixth year in three underserved elementary schools in Chicago. This valuable program teaches state-mandated learning targets for nutrition, health and science through dance-centric classroom activities. Participating students from this program and from many other social service and community organizations are given complimentary tickets to view GDC in performance, thereby making the bridge from classroom to stage. Innovation and success in creating school performances, residencies, choreographic projects, and workshops are a hallmark of Giordano Dance Chicago’s extraordinary legacy.

Nan Giordano began as Associate Director in the 80’s and since 1993, has served as Artistic Director and guided the development of a large and diverse repertoire. Executive Director Michael McStraw is responsible for the ongoing development and strategic growth of the organization, securing the resources needed to support the mission and programs of Giordano Dance Chicago.

After 50 years in Evanston, Giordano Dance Chicago is now located in the heart of downtown Chicago!

Founded in 2012 and located in Jacksonville, Florida, Jacksonville Dance Theatre (JDT) is a 501(c)(3) contemporary dance and performance company dedicated to creating and promoting excellence in the field of professional dance on local, national, and international stages. JDT is committed to creative innovation and exchange through dance making, performance, and education. Led by Artistic Director, Rebecca R. Levy, Executive Director, Katie McCaughan and Creative Director Tiffany S. Santiero, JDT has been presented through the Dance Gallery Festival in New York City where JDT won the Audience Choice Award in 2014; MixMatch Dance Festival in Santa Monica, California; Dance Gallery Festival in Huntsville, Texas; and Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, among others. JDT was a recipient of the 2016 inaugural Florida East Coast PNC Arts Alive Grant Program, is currently supported by a grant from the Art Ventures Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, and is a Cultural Service Grant Program Organization through the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. JDT produces its Annual Repertory Concert in the spring at the historic Florida Theatre in downtown Jacksonville. For more information visit www.jacksonvilledancetheatre.org

Founder and choreographer of Jaxon Movement Arts a project based company that works off of Jacqueline as an independent choreographer producing work in both New York City and Chicago. Jacqueline holds a B.F.A. in Dance from The University of Iowa. A native to the City of Chicago, Ms. Stewart has performed for such companies as Thodos Dance Chicago, The Seldoms and various other artists. Stewart has choreographed for Thodos New Dances, Open House Dance Chicago, Dance Chance Chicago, Chicago Takes Off, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival and Duets for my Valentine. In 2010, Stewart premiered her work “It’s Not Enough to Close Your Eyes for The Open Space Dance Project that became the Grand Prize Winner of The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2010: Chicago granted by The Joyce Theatre Foundation of New York. Ms. Stewart has recently showcased her work and performed at the Joyce Soho, Jennifer Muller The Works, Reverb Dance, The Ailey Citi Group Theatre, and The Wild Project New York. She has produced three concerts in collaboration with other Chicago dance makers including Jessica Miller Tomlinson. Winifred Haun and Dancers and Chicago Repertory Ballet have most recently commissioned Jacqueline’s work.

The Joel Hall Dancers (Chicago, IL) express contemporary urban life through dance while educating, entertaining, and inspiring their audience. The signature dance style of JHD incorporates ballet, jazz, modern, funk, and “street dance” using contemporary jazz and house music to create an innovative and continuously evolving dance style that is appealing, relevant, and approachable for those frequently underserved by the arts. Both JHD and its audience exhibit a rare diversified spectrum of cultural, ethnic, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds. The Joel Hall Dancers maintain a citywide, national, and international reputation not only for their diversity and innovation but also for their substantive sociological content and engaging aesthetic style. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Joel Hall, the Joel Hall Dancers have carried their unique yet universally accessible voice to venues that span the world.

José A. Luis (Chicago, IL) graduated with a BFA in Dance from UW-Milwaukee. He had the great opportunity to work with a majority of the faculty, guest artists, and graduate students throughout his four years. He has appeared as a guest in Milwaukee’s Wildspace Dance Company and presented works at Danceworks’ “Art to Art” and the Milwaukee Art Museum. He has been recognized with several awards such as: a scholarship to participate in the Centennial Celebration of Alwin Nikolais in New York, a Wisconsin Dance Council Scholarship, and a full scholarship to participate in “Sasha Waltz and Guests” including a weekend workshop at Tanzfabrik in Berlin, Germany. Now residing in Chicago, he has presented works at Architectural Artifacts as a mentee under Shirley Mordine as well as the RAD Fest in Kalamazoo, Michigan. José currently dances with RE|Dance Group while creating his own works.

Kelly Anderson (Chicago, IL) is the artistic director of Kelly Anderson Dance Theatre based in Chicago. Prior to her arrival from NYC in the fall of 2012, Kelly created the evening-length concert, This is how we disappear and The Little Things with Portland-based company bobbevy. Kelly has created two solo shows with The Danceworks Performance Company (Milwaukee, WI), Vaudeville and The Bra Project. Her most notable independently produced works include an original dance/theatre/opera collaboration, 26, with Milwaukee Opera Theatre, choreography for Gal Friday Film's Missed Connections, Red Knife Lottery's music video Junkie Jazz, the creation of The Mondo Lucha Dancers for The Mondo Lucha Variety Show, two collaborative evening-lengths, Vacant and Bad Meat, choreography for A Wrinkle in Time with actor/director Mark Metcalf, and First Stage's production of Peter Pan. Kelly has also performed and co-produced five Variety Show’s in Milwaukee (2002-2007), two in Portland, OR (2007 & 2008), and has produced them independently since 2010. Her work has been performed in The Minnesota Fringe Festival and her commissioned work, Shower, was presented at The Puffin Room in NYC.

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.

The Leopold Group (Chicago, IL), a Chicago-based modern dance company, was founded in March 2006 by Illinois native Lizzie Leopold, currently pursuing her doctoral studies at Northwestern University. Since its founding, the Leopold Group has premiered dozens of original works in Chicago-land and across the country. In the last couple of years, the Leopold Group been recognized for its outstanding choreography (called “brainy & enthralling”), innovative programming (working with the Martha Graham Contemporary Dance Company to premiere a Lamentation Variation, 2013), and ongoing community building initiatives (producing three shows in the last six months with a dozen different artists). After many years locked in the studio focusing solely on the craft of dancemaking, the Leopold Group is newly committed to working as hard at being a contributing member of the Chicago dance community as they do at continuing to make good dances.

mad arts group (Columbus, OH) Kevin Estes, Leigh Lotocki, Johnny Mendoza and Amanda Platt came together to contribute to a new commissioned dance piece, Out of Cast and Cave, which was performed at OSU Urban Arts Space in August 2013. After the successful completion of this project, the four artists saw an opportunity to continue working together as a cohesive group. Estes and Mendoza, doctoral candidates in The Ohio State University School of Music, and Lotocki and Platt, alumnae of Ohio State's Department of Dance, have since co-created new works combining music and dance, including a recent solo project, Manta Ray Dance, performed in November 2013 at Weigel Hall on OSU campus. The group is currently collaborating on a new dance piece with original music slated for completion and performance in May 2014 as part of a community performance partnering with the Pizzuti Collection and the Columbus Moving Company.

Leigh Lotocki is a Columbus-based dancer and artist. She received a BFA in Dance from The Ohio State University in 2010. Before working with MaD arts group, Leigh performed and choreographed works with They Might Be Dancers and Available Light Theatre in various local productions. In 2013, Leigh performed at the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s Fellowship Concert and the Area Choreographer’s Festival in Cincinnati. This year, she presented work at the OhioDance Festival and received the Ohio Arts Council's Individual Excellence Award. Leigh is a teaching studio member of Feverhead dance space in Grandview Heights.

MamLuft&Co. Dance is a modern dance company in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company, founded in 2007 and named "Best Dance Company Pushing the Envelope" in Cincinnati (by CityBeat in 2012), has been described as impressive, intrepid, and potent. Known for their physicality, ML&Co. endeavors to make distinctive dance and transformative art experiences. MamLuft&Co. Dance is directed by Jeanne Mam-Luft, an interdisciplinarian choreographer with a background in architecture, graphic design, and photography. The work of co-choreographer Susan Honer (who joined the company in 2011) has been seen in Austria, New York, Connecticut, and numerous other American cities.

Marcus White (Detroit, MI) has worked with Michigan Ballet Theatre, Theatre West Virginia, the North Carolina Black Repertory Theater Company, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, Livestock Players and other local and regional dance theater companies. He is currently attending the University of Michigan pursuing his MFA in Dance Choreography as well as freelance dance engagements throughout the United States. His work has been featured in dozens of pre-professional dance programs and professional dance festivals, including the Dance Theatre of Harlem School, Detroit Opera House Workshop, Wayne State University, and University of Michigan’s MPulse. White's "wonderfully skilled choreography" spans across genres and styles, including commercial studio, musical theatre, and concert dance.

Maria Gillespie (Shorewood, WI), one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" is the artistic director of Oni Dance, founded Oni Dance in 2005. Her choreography has been presented in LA at The Ford Amphitheater, The Getty Center, REDCAT, UCLA, The Fowler Museum, CalArts, Highways Performance and in New York City at Joyce SoHo and Wave Rising Festival, San Francisco, Mexico City, Beijing, and Tokyo. A professor at UCLA from 2002-1011 and has been guest faculty at universities including Loyola Marymount, CSU Long Beach, and CalArts. She is Assistant Professor of dance at UW Milwaukee. Gillespie was the honored recipient of grants from The Durfee Foundation, The Irvine Foundation Grant and four Lester Horton Awards for performance. She received her MFA in choreography from UCLA’s Department of World Arts & Cultures and her BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase.

Philip Elson Dance (Chicago, IL) is the creative identity that represents the choreographic and directed work of Philip Elson. His choreographic and directed work derives from a desire to explore the effects of life's experiences through their physical impacts. These experiences range from social, political, environmental, and personal matters. Currently, Elson is in his sixth season as a perform with Chicago-based contemporary dance company The Seldoms, with whom he also serves as Technology and Media Coordinator, and his second season as a performer with Same Planet Different World Dance Theater. Elson earned a BFA from Columbia College Chicago.

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.

Monica Rodero and Daniel Schuchart (Milwaukee, WI) work as independent choreographers and performers, and have pursued producing and presenting their own work including evening length dance concerts and interactive multimedia gallery events. Working in frequent collaboration their choreography has been presented extensively throughout the Midwest as well as in California, NYC and Seattle. Monica and Dan began their professional career with Wild Space Dance Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they perform, collaborate, choreograph and teach under the title of Associate Artistic Directors. They have each earned BFA degrees from UW-Milwaukee and MFA degrees from the University of California,
Riverside, and are celebrating ten years of collaboration.

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.

Scott Bodily and Nicole L. Olson (Phoenix, AZ) Scott Bodily has a diverse background as a professional dancer, singer and performer. He received a vocal scholarship to Utah State University and studied Opera, Musical Theater and received Modern and Classical Ballet training as well as a BS in Psychology. He has a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from Sam Houston State University. He has since performed several leading roles with his singing (Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, the International Broadway tour of Saturday Night Fever), including Opera Companies (Houston Grand Opera, Omaha Opera and Utah Festival Opera) and has danced many leading roles in professional Ballet and Modern Dance Companies (including Dayton Ballet, Indianapolis Ballet Theater and Dance Kaleidoscope). Scott has been a featured soloist for Center Dance Ensemble the Resident Modern Dance Company of the Herberger Theater in Phoenix for three years. He choreographs and teaches company class for CDE, teaches at Mesa Community College and Scottsdale Community College. He is a company member of Elevate DanceWorks and is the Assistant Artistic Director for Arizona Youth Ballet.

After attending Milwaukee Ballet School and graduating with a BFA in Dance from Univ. of WI - Stevens Point, Nicole continued performing for Bauer Contemporary Ballet (Milwaukee) and Emergence Dance Theatre (Chicago). Ms. Olson has performed in Arizona with the Phoenix Opera, Dulce Dance, Center Dance Ensemble, and Nearly Naked Theatre. Currently, she is the Associate Director/Principal Dancer of Scorpius Dance Theatre, where she performs nationally and internationally. Nicole has presented her choreography in such venues as the Kennedy Center (DC), Summerlin Theatre (Las Vegas), TBA/Ten Tiny Dances (Portland, OR), Sling Dance Project (Austin), MixMatch Festival (LA), and Herberger Theatre (Phoenix). Along with her choreography and performance work nationally, she is Director of Dance at Metropolitan Arts Institute.