2016 Artists

Aerial Dance Chicago (Chicago, IL) is a contemporary dance company in flight, founded in 1999 and guided by the original creative vision of Chloe Jensen. One of the world’s first dance companies dedicated to exploration of airborne choreography, ADC is a pioneer and a leader in the international dance community. The company's work has been presented across the United States at theaters, museums, schools, universities and festivals, including favorite hometown venues such as Navy Pier and Millennium Park. In 2014, ADC opened Chicago’s premiere dance center dedicated to the fine art of aerial dance. As ADC moves forward, creating, performing and teaching, company artists continue to redefine human movement potential and transcend the assumed limits of dance. Learn more at www.aerialdancechicago.org

Cocodaco Dance Project (Evanston, IL) is a new non-profit contemporary dance project led by artistic directors Ronn Stewart and Sarah Goldstone. Cocodaco is a community of contemporary dance companies operating as a triptych: Professional, Mezzo and Youth companies. Cocodaco is currently in its second season and has self produced dance concerts at Ruth Page Center for the Art, The Josephine Louis Theater at Northwestern University, and Foster Dance Studios. Cocodaco has guest performed in, or with, BackStage Evanston, Dance Chicago, Archipelago, Actor's Gymnasium, The Red Dress Party, Foster Dance Company, The Mather, and Y.O.U (Youth and Opportunity United).

Ronn Stewart is the Artistic Director and a co-founder of Foster Dance Studios and Cocodaco Dance Project. He is also the creator of “More People Dancing,” or MoPeD – his signature dance approach which he has been teaching to the Trainees of the Joffrey Ballet since 2009. An award-winning choreographer and teacher, Ronn is known for the high standards of excellence he brings to teaching and training, which he honed during the decade he founded and ran the contemporary dance company and dance centre, Moving People Dance in Santa Fe, New Mexico . Ronn danced professionally with Giordano Dance Chicago, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Wat's on Dance, Moving People Dance, Gail Gilbert Dance Ensemble, and The Santa Fe Opera among many others.

Corinne Imberski (Chicago, IL) is a dance educator, performer, and choreographer who has created over fifty works presented across the United States and in France, Bulgaria, and Canada. She has taught master classes and staged her commissioned choreography at universities, museums, and independent dance companies throughout the US, including the University of Michigan, Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, Toledo Museum of Art, Cranbrook Academy, and the American College Dance Festival. Currently, Corinne is on the faculty of Columbia College Chicago, stages and dances in her own works, and performs with RE|dance Group and Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape.

Elizabeth Lentz-Hill (Hattiesburg, MS), MFA, has over twenty years experience performing, teaching, choreographing and promoting dance. She has toured France, Brazil, Mexico, and the U.S. with Tennessee Dance Theatre, Chicago Moving Company, Lucky Plush Productions, and Breakbone DanceCo., and performed works by Bill T. Jones, Doug Elkins, Twyla Tharp, and Charles Weidman. Lentz-Hill is especially proud to contribute to the arts and art education in Mississippi by co-founding both Hub Dance Collective and the Mississippi Dance Festival. An Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Southern Mississippi, Lentz-Hill holds a BA in Religion with a Concentration in Women's Studies from Carleton College, and an MFA in Dance from the University of Washington.

Erin Kilmurray (Chicago, IL) is a dancer and choreographer living and working in Chicago. She is a company member and resident dance artist with The Inconvenience, where she has created and choreographed The Salts, Standing Room Only and The Fly Honey Show. Her choreography has been featured by The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Aviary, The Soho House, Metro Chicago, Northwestern University, The University of Chicago, The Chicago Reader, No Small Plans Productions, About Face Theater, WBEZ Chicago, Salonathon Presents, The Hypocrites and Links Hall. She has danced for various contemporary dance companies, including Same Planet Different World Dance Theater, Jessie Young, and Kate Corby & Dancers.

Giordano II (Chicago, IL) is a company dedicated to the elevation of young professional dancers and is under the artistic leadership of Nan Giordano and directed by Joshua Blake Carter. The dancers of GII are provided the unique opportunity to work side-by-side with the Giordano Dance Chicago dancers to learn the vast and diverse main company repertoire, in addition to works created specifically for them. GII then performs at venues throughout the Midwest, allowing the dancers to gain the on-stage experience necessary for a career in concert dance. As a stepping-stone to the professional dance world, Giordano II allows dancers to broaden and explore their technical and artistic range. Currently, nine of the ten main company members are former members of Giordano II.

James Morrow (Salem, MA) A native of Chicago, IL. James Morrow is the founder and artistic director of james morrow/ The Movement. Coming from an urban background, Morrow yearns to see the classical vocabulary prevalent in concert dance integrated into the hip-hop culture with which he is submerged. His movement has become a fusion of modern, contemporary, and urban dance styles. His choreography can be seen on companies throughout the U.S. and internationally, working in Utrecht, Vienna, Mumbai, Krasnoyarsk, and New Brighton.

Morrow was on Faculty at the American Dance Festival (summer 2010). He received a fellowship to Hollins University/The American Dance Festival (2011) where he earned his MFA in dance. He has been recipient of the Artist Ambassador Award to Northeastern Illinois University (2001), The Mordine and Co. Mentoring Project (2006), Chicago Cultural Dance Center’s Dance Bridge (2008), Movement Research at Judson Church (2012), SOLO Commissioned Choreographer for Minnesota's McKnight Dance Fellow (Stephen Schroeder 2012), Bates Teacher Fellowship (2013), the Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellow in Choreography (2014), and The Helen Coburn Meier & Tim Meier Foundation Achievement Award (2015).

As a dancer/ performer, Morrow has worked with Chicago based companies: The Joel Hall Dancers, Deeply Rooted Productions, Ascension/The Kirby Reed Project, Ken Von Heidecke’s Festival Ballet, Larry Long’s Civic Ballet, Culture Shock Chicago, Concert Dance, Inc., Mordine and Co., Hedwig Dances, The Tyego Dance Project, Impetus Dance Chicago, MOMENTA, and Nick Cave's (Soundsuits) of The Art Institute of Chicago.

Other performance credits include working with New York’s: Helen Pickett, nicholasleichterdance, Gina Kohler/ Dream Factories, Danielle Russo Dance Company, Tami Stronach Dance, Tessa Chandler, Margaret Morrison, Wendell Cooper, Yozmit, DeeLite, DJ Kotchy, Bahama’s: The Baha Men, Minnesota’s: Sesame Street Live, Toronto’s:Gerry Trentham/ Pounds Per Square Inch Theatre, Michigan’s: Kalamazoo Ballet, Berlin's : Tino Sehgal, North Carolina’s: Tommy DeFrantz/ Slippage, Ellen Hemphill/ Archipelago Theater, Jim Havercamp, Alex Maness, Florida’s: Jacksonville Dance Theater, Rachael McClellan Leonard, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Elevated Aerial Dance, and Massachusetts's: Jen Pollins, Paul Matteson, Peter Dimuro, Caitlin Corbett, Meghan McLyman, Across The Ages Dance Project..

As an educator, Morrow has been a guest lecturer/ adjunct professor at Jacksonville University and Amherst College. He has worked as dance faculty at Northeastern Illinois University, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Hartford Academy for the Arts, and Pioneer Valley Performing Arts. He is currently living in Salem, MA and working as an assistant professor of dance at Salem State University.

www.jamesmorrowthemovement.com

Jeremy Blair (Kalamazoo, MI) is choreographer, performer, and faculty at Western Michigan University who holds a B.A. in Theatre from Millikin University and an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Iowa. In Chicago Jeremy was a company member with Thodos Dance Chicago for five years and has performed with Aerial Dance Chicago, Khecari Dance Theatre, Chicago Moving Company, Lucky Plush Productions, and Friches Théâtre Urbaine in Paris. His choreography has been featured at Jacob’s Pillow, City Center, and the Harris Theatre, among others. In creating and teaching dance, he is a 500-hour registered yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance.

Kristina Fluty (Chicago, IL) is a movement artist/educator/consultant who has been teaching dance and Laban Movement Analysis all around Chicago since 2002. Her primary creative/performance home has been Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak since 2003, and she is also happy to present her own work at Links Hall, Hamlin Park, Epiphany Church, Stage773, and many festivals and collaborations with other choreographers. Kristina is an Assistant Professor of Movement-for-Actors at The Theatre School at DePaul University, and also teaches at Lou Conte Dance Studio and Dovetail Studios, among other locations and companies. Check out www.kinespark.com for more info on Kristina's background and consulting endeavors.

Leslie Dworkin (Dayton, OH) MFA, is an independent dance artist who choreographs, teaches, and performs internationally, with performance residencies at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Joyce SoHo, Movement Research in NYC, Jacob’s Pillow, Performática in Puebla Mexico, and WAVE RISING Dance Festival in NYC, to name a few. Dworkin’s work has garnered much choreographic support. Most recently, she received this year’s Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Excellence Award, and has received funding from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a Djerassi Fellowship, and Movement Research Exchange in NYC. Leslie has performed in the works of such noted choreographers as Ralph Lemon, Maureen Fleming, and Kei Takei, and was a member of the Melanie Stewart Dance Company and the Leah Stein Dance Company. Leslie has taught as a guest artist in numerous dance departments throughout the U.S., including UCLA, UNC/Greensboro, Oberlin College, University of Texas/Austin, and Ohio University. She is a certified yoga and qigong instructor, and maintains a private practice in central Ohio as a Trager bodywork practitioner.

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

Mordine & Company Dance Theater (Chicago, IL) celebrates its 46th season beginning in the spring of 2015. Under the direction of Shirley Mordine, the Company has produced works whose coalition of choreography and theatre has won critical acclaim. Praised for original choreography combining wit and sheer movement with technical sophistication, the Co.'s work has been described as "a two-edged sword of comedy and drama" and "adventurous, audacious, gutsy, and energetic." Over the years, Mordine & Company has had the honor to work with a number of illustrious collaborators from diverse artistic disciplines, including choreographers Miguel Mancillas and Ishmael Houston-Jones; composers Tatsu Aoki, Henry Threadgill, Shawn Decker, Richard Woodbury, and David Pavkovic; visual designers John Boesche and Ken Bowen; puppeteer Michael Montenegro; and video artist Miroslaw Rogala. This collaborative spirit is part of an ongoing effort by Mordine & Co. to infuse the field of dance with new modes of performance and expression. The Company has performed throughout the United States as well as internationally at numerous festivals and has toured to Australia, Israel, Mexico, and Yugoslavia. Most recently, the Company premiered Cast By the Sun: Light Play in 3 Parts at Links Hall in Chicago.

Open Dance Project (Houston, TX)is a non-profit, contemporary dance theater company whose highly stylized performance experiences break down conventional barriers between artist and audience to make dance more accessible and meaningful for both. Dynamic, three-dimensional architectural environments and the engagement of interactive technologies collapse the distance between the subject and the stage, live performance and new media, dance and theater. Open Dance Project’s performance and education programs invite the audience to explore dance and dance making from their own self-determined vantage point – simultaneously demystifying dance and making dance matter.

Open Dance Project is under the artistic direction of Annie Arnoult. Arnoult returned to her native Houston from Chicago, where she was the founding artistic director of Striding Lion Performance Group (stridinglion.org) and a faculty member of the Dance Program at Northwestern University. She is the director of Hunter Dance Center (hunterdancecenter.com), a professional dance training center that opened in Houston in September 2015, is a core faculty member of Now & Next Dance Mentoring Project (nownextdance.org) based in Washington, DC, and served as an adjunct faculty member at The School of Theatre and Dance at the University of Houston. She is a recipient of the 2017 Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant, and her performance and education work with Striding Lion has been supported by City Arts (Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), The Field Foundation, After School Matters Foundation, Chicago Public Schools, Links Hall, The Illinois Arts Council, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Greater Houston Community Foundation, Arts & Business Council Chicago, The Arts Work Fund and Pinnacle.

Arnoult has been training students and teachers in the collaborative approach to interdisciplinary performance development now being used by Open Dance Project for over 15 years, primarily to underserved and under resourced school communities in Houston through ODP’s Young Audiences partnership and in Chicago through Striding Lion Performance Group. She has presented her work at National Dance Education Organization conferences, the Illinois Migrant Education Association Conference, CPS Office of Arts Education training sessions and many teacher and family workshops at local schools. She has been a guest artist at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, National High School Institute, Sam Houston State University, Appalachian State University, The University of Alaska at Anchorage, Northwestern University, Southern Methodist University, Western Michigan University, UC Irvine, Louisiana Dance Theater, Alaska Dance Theatre and the Evanston Dance Ensemble. She has an MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University and a BA in Dance and Comparative Literary Studies from Northwestern University.

Established in 2010, PROJECT 44 (Queens, NY) is an all male dance group that serves as the artistic platform for choreographer Gierre Godley. The company strives to erase all preconceived notions about masculinity and the role of a male performer in the arts. With a visceral approach to choreography, the works of PROJECT 44 aim to showcase the beauty, versatility, and athleticism of male performer.

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 ten 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. In August of 2016, RE|dance group participated in our first international tour to Seoul, South Korea. The company is currently working on a collaboration with Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble on a multi-disciplinary worked entitled "Ethereal Abandonment" premiering in May of 2017. This Fall, we will also start developing the production of our 10th annual season for Winter/Spring of 2018. As 2017 unfolds, RE|dance group continues casting our net out to audiences in different parts of the country and world.

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.

Shaun Boyle (Irvine, CA) Shaun Boyle's choreography has been showcased nationally and internationally at venues such: Joyce Soho Theater (NY), Ailey Citigroup Theater (NY), Tempe Center for the Arts (AZ), the Manship Theater (LA), the DeBaun Center for Performing Arts (NJ), The Irvine Barclay Theatre (CA), the Downey Civic Theatre (CA), the Koger Center for the Arts (SC), The Bonnie Bird Theatre (London, UK), The Robin Howard Theatre at The Place (London, UK), The Clore Studio at the Royal Opera House (London, UK), Officina Giovani (Italy), Markgrafentheater (Germany), Dance City (Newcastle, UK) and St. Mary’s Heritage (Newcastle, UK). Shaun's choreography has been presented at festivals including: Breaking Ground Contemporary Dance and Film Festival, The Dance Gallery Festival, Your Move: New Jerseys Modern Dance Festival, Resolution! (UK), and BodySongs (Italy) amongst others.

Shaun was also a recipient of The Field's Artist Residency grant in New York, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in California, and the prestigious choreographic initiative DanceLines at the Royal Opera House in London where she received direct mentorship from choreographer Wayne McGregor. Shaun's performing credits include dance companies such as Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, BalletMet, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, and The Dario Vaccaro Dance Project. She has also performed in projects such as David Dorfman's ‘Underground’ at the BAM Nextwave Festival and in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay performances in England.

Shaun holds a BFA in Dance with Honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and an MA in Choreography with Distinction from The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. Additionally, Shaun is a graduate of the William Esper Studio where she studied Meisner acting technique with legendary Bill Esper.

Currently Shaun is a faculty member in the Dance Department at the University of California, Irvine after having previously taught at the University of Utah and other dance institutions in the United States and United Kingdom.

Shauna Davis Dance (New York, NY) Freelance dance artist and choreographer, Shauna Davis began training in her Fort Lauderdale, Florida at Meg Segreto's Dance Center. She is a graduate of New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and a minor in business from Southern Methodist University. Shauna is a 2012 participant of the choreographic residency at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and her work has been performed at the Dallas DanceFest and with ModArts Dance Collective in New York. Most recently, she was commissioned to create a work for Avant Chamber Ballet. Shauna is currently based out of New York City where she is an apprentice dancer for the José Límon Dance Company.

sk dancers (Muncie, IN) Ms. Koper started sk dancers in 2012 shortly after completing her MFA in Dance at Hollins University/ADF. As a choreographer, Susan is captivated with the process of choreography and is interested in making work that moves and informs those who experience it. Therefore, in an effort to bring her own unique, personal and thoughtful artistic voice to a wider audience, Susan formed the dance ensemble sk dancers as a means to show work in other areas of the country. The company performed at the 2013 DUMBO Dance Festival in New York City, the 2015 Oakland Dance Festival in Michigan as well as at the 2014 Diversity Symposium and 2016 Benjamin Cohen Peace Conference in Indiana. The company will be performing in the 2016 Detroit Dance City Dance Festival in August and continues to investigate new performance opportunities throughout the country.

Susan Koper describes herself as an artist, performer, educator and choreographer. Originally from New Jersey, Ms. Koper now lives in Indiana where she is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Ball State University. Since 2010, she has been involved with the dance theatre collaborative z3movement project, performing in festivals throughout the country and started sk dancers in 2012 as a means to share her own work with others. Susan received her BA in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame and her MFA in Dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival. Susan is a featured graduate of the HU/ADF program.

Take Root (Birmingham, MI) has performed at the New Dance for Asia International Festival/Seoul, South Korea, Incheon Yeonsu International Dance Festival/Incheon, Korea, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, National Theater of Costa Rica, Uferstudios/Berlin, The Red Bull House of Art/Detroit, TEDx, The Detroit Dance City Festival, RADfest, presented for the National Dance Education Organization, Ohio Dance Festival, and The University of Costa Rica. They most recently performed a full length concert as opening day of “Dance: American Art 1830-1960” at the Detroit Institute of Art. Take Root is a company-in-residence at Oakland University under the direction of Co-Founders/Co-Directors, Thayer Jonutz and Ali Woerner. www.takerootdance.com