2017 Artists

Aaron McGloin (New York, NY) With a mission to create honest and ambitious art, Aaron McGloin Dance presents joyous, athletic movement with an eclectic sensibility. Created in 2008 in its native Arizona, AMD hit the ground running with 4 fully produced evenings of rep, and fostered a number of community engagement programs within its first two years. Since moving to NY in 2010 they have been actively creating new choreography, presenting work at venues throughout the city, touring their work throughout the country, and teaching workshops for students of all ages and abilities. For more information you can connect with them at their website (www.aaronmcgloindance.com).

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

Agua Dulce Dance Theater (Richmond, VA) is co-directed by Alicia Díaz and Matthew Thornton. ADDT integrates contemporary dance, martial arts, improvisation, and somatic practices to create works that spark the imagination and provoke thought. The company engages in dance making practices that include co-creation, instant composition, and experimentation, through collaborations with artists in dance, theater, video, sound, and lighting for concert dance, museums, site-specific, and dance-for-the-camera projects. By bringing diverse groups of people together, ADDT offers a space for different voices to be heard within a collective endeavor. Recent collaborators include dance artists Marion Ramírez, Jungwoong Kim, Thayer Jonutz, Steven Iannacone, and Maida Withers; video artists KimSu Theiler and Alexis Raskin; sound artist Oliver Lyons; and musicians Andy McGraw, José Joaquín García, and Héctor “Coco” Barez.

ADDT has presented work in Festival Internacional Danz’Aquí, Puerto Rico (2005), Dance in America Series @ Abron’s Art Center (2006), Jacob’s Pillow Inside Out Series (2006), Museo de la Ciudad in Querétaro, Mexico (2008), Blue Curtain Music and Dance Summer Series (2008), New York Dance Parade (2008 and 2010), Old Grand Rapids Public Museum (2010), Trip the Light: Ephemeral, Wealthy Theatre, MI (2011), Dance Films @ The Flea Festival (2011), Modlin Center for the Arts (2012), The Food for Thought Series at Danspace Project/St. Mark’s Church (2012), RVA Street Art Festival (2013), Hunts Point Homes at BAAD! (2013), The Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art (2014), The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (2015), The Richmond Dance Festival Films Night (2015), Pregones Theatre (2015), Richmond Dance Festival (2015 and 2016), Movement Research at The Judson Church (2016), RADFest (2017), Museo y Centro de Estudio Humanisticos, Universidad del Turabo, Puerto Rico (2017), and Casa de Cultura RUTH Hernandez Torres, Puerto Rico (2017).

Alicia Díaz is co-director of Agua Dulce Dance Theater with Matthew Thornton. She has performed with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Donald Byrd/The Group, Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater, Andanza: Compañía Puertorriqueña de Danza Contemporánea, Alice Farley Dance Theater, Contemporary Motions, dANCEpROjECt, and Maida Withers Dance Construction Company. Her choreography has been presented in the U.S., Spain, and Latin America. Recent collaborations with percussionist Héctor “Coco” Barez exploring Caribbean cultural memory and identity have been presented at Movement Research at Judson Church, the Pregones Theater in NYC, and Puerto Rico. Alicia is dance faculty at The University of Richmond. www.aliciadiazdmfa.wordpress.com

Ariel Lembeck (New York, NY) grew up in Evanston, IL and is a freelance dance artist based in New York City. She holds a BFA in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Ariel has worked with Meredith Monk, Stefanie Nelson, Ivy Baldwin, Douglas Dunn, Celia Rowlson-Hall, Eva Dean, Jessica Gaynor, among others. Her dancing has taken her to Northern Israel where she trained with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance company and performed the works of Rami Be’er, and to Tel Aviv to collaborate in a study of choreographer, Yasmeen Godder's work, Storm End Come, under the direction of Anat Vaadia. Ariel is currently dancing with Elisabeth Motley/Motley Dance and curating her own ongoing improvisational movement series. To view this series check out her Facebook and Instagram with @ariellembeck : #mondaymoves.

Brady Van Patten and Zachary Bird (Chicago, IL) met each other while studying dance at the University of Iowa. After working together their mutual attractions to movement, theatricality, and improvisation began to grow. The ability to blur the lines between dance and theater, set and improvised structures, and incorporation of story telling have been strong influences for the two. Both have since moved to Chicago and are working as free-lance artists. Constantly inspired by their mentor Jennifer Kayle, the two continue to investigate the process of collaboration with dance and theater.

Brandon Coleman (Katy, TX) is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where he received his BFA in Dance and BA in Communication with a minor in Arts Administration. While in school, Brandon received the prestigious Undergraduate Creative Achievement Award for performance and choreography. Aside from attending Springboard Danse Montréal, Brandon has trained with companies including River North Dance Chicago and Keigwin and Company. He toured throughout China with Art.If.Act Dance Project, performed with Zikr Dance Ensemble, and worked as a guest artist with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Currently Brandon is currently dancing with Visceral Dance Chicago and has been a company member since August 2015. More about Brandon and his work at brandoncolemandance.com and on Instagram @_brandoncoleman

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.

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.”

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

Emma Draves (Chicago, IL) is a dance artist and educator navigating spaces of contemporaneity, identity, and innovation. Draves' work draws from trainings in modern, post-modern, ballet, bharatanatyam, sociology, and Bartenieff/Laban movement analysis. Choreographic and written material has been presented at New York University, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, World Dance Alliance Conference, Dancworks Performance Company, and around the midwest; and has been supported by the Puffin Foundation, Chicago Dancemaker's Forum Greenhouse Grant, the Chicago Cultural Center's Dancebridge Program, and as a Links Hall Artistic Associate and LinkUp resident. Draves was a Spring 2017 Sponsored Artist of High Concept Labs.
For more information, please visit www.EmmaDraves.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!

Jennifer Glaws (Minneapolis, MN) is interested in the social and developmental rewards of the arts evident in her work as a performer, director, and photographer. Jennifer's research delves into the relationship of dance with cognitive science, and the view that the practice of choreography enhances critical thinking skills in dancers and non-dancers alike. She is an active dance educator teaching in settings as varied as private studios, public education programs and colleges. Her recent evening length work, Study 1 Perceptions: Stuck or Unstuck?, was on tour in 2015-16 performing in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New York.

Jesse Factor (Iowa City, IA) is a solo dance artist and graduate assistant in dance at The University of Iowa. Jesse holds a B.F.A. in drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and a certificate from the Martha Graham Center. Factor’s developing body of work imaginatively combines and repurposes archival material with contemporary dance practice. Jesse has been presented at ACDA, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Iowa Dance Festival, Midwest RADFest, Suite Summer Festival at Socrates Sculpture Garden, Greenspace, and the Tank. Factor danced professionally for the Martha Graham Dance Company, Graham II, and the North American Tour of Cats. jessefactor.com

Osnel Delgado Wambrug (Havana, Cuba) is the Founder and Artistic Director of Malpaso Cuban Dance Company, based in Havana, Cuba. Jordan Reinwald (Chicago, IL) is a freelance dancer, currently dancing as a company member with Aerial Dance Chicago. Together, Wambrug and Reinwald are a collaborative duet working together through long distances. They've been creating work for about a year, when they are in the same city.

Maya Taylor Dance (New Orleans, LA) was founded in 2012 to help propel the choreographic vision of artistic director, Maya Taylor, through contemporary collaborations in dance, music, and film. The collective works to explore highly athletic, visually powerful, and deeply emotional works through ideas that center on the dark and beautiful moments that encompass the human experience. MTD was originally founded in Omaha, Nebraska before moving to New Orleans, LA in 2013.

Maya Taylor is an internationally recognized performer and choreographer based in New Orleans. Maya trained at Ballet West Conservatory, The Ailey School, Jacob's Pillow, and is a graduate of the Ailey/Fordham BFA program. After graduating, Maya joined Elisa Monte Dance and for several years performed throughout the US and Europe. She began choreographing in 2010 and has been commissioned to create works from Omaha, Nebraska to Leicester, England. From 2014-2017, she worked with the Marigny Opera Ballet, creating two full-length works for the company, Orfeo and Giselle, among many others. Maya is currently the dance coordinator for Solange Knowles.

Paige Caldarella (Chicago, IL) (MFA University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) received her B.F.A. from the Juilliard School and immediately went on to dance with Merce Cunningham Company from 2000 to 2004. Caldarella is an emerging contemporary ballet choreographer whose work explores the relationship between contemporary ballet and the array of techniques with which it intersects. She is a recipient of the Chicago Dancemakers Forum grant and was a 2012 invited choreographer for the Cincinnati Ballet’s New Works Series. In 2015, Caldarella received the Teaching Excellence award at Columbia College Chicago, where she is an Associate Professor in Dance.

Rebecca McLindon Blanchard (Chicago, IL) studied dance at Marymount Manhattan College under the direction of Katie Langan, where she performed with MMC’s Dance Company and worked with David Parsons, Edwaard Liang, Anthony Ferro & Geoffrey Doig-Marx on original choreographies. She graduated with a BFA in Dance, magna cum laude.

Rebecca has most recently performed with Pursuit Productions, Jaxon Movement Arts, Dance In The Parks, Chicago Repertory Ballet and LEVELdance as well as created work for Still Inspired. She enjoys teaching master classes and choreography at high schools and universities across the country, including Hope College, Oakland Dance Theater, and Western Illinois University.

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.

Rachel Damon (Chicago, IL) is a designer, choreographer, and performer whose career bridges onstage and backstage. As a co-founder and the Artistic Director of Synapse Arts, she has been honored to receive awards from organizations such as the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, the Illinois Arts Council, MetLife, The Saints, 3Arts, and The Department of Cultural Affairs for works that have been presented throughout the Midwest and in Europe. In addition to her work with Synapse, she is a Stage Manager at Blue Man Group. Rachel loves to knit while watching action movies, and she eats dessert every day.

Synapse Arts (Chicago, IL) was founded in 2004 by three Columbia College students. In 2007, Damon was elected as Artistic Director, and in this capacity she established staff roles, developed a board of directors, and set a cycle of programming in motion.

Synapse Arts creates, performs, and educates to nurture individual identities and challenge social norms by engaging artists and audiences in the making of dance-theater. This mission is carried out through three main programs: professional presentations, the artist development program New Works, and weekly dance classes for children and adults.

The company’s first evening-length piece was made possible with support from a CROSSCUT grant from Experimental Sound Studio and Links Hall. The piece “Stridulate” blended vocal and choreographic expression, was named one the Best Dance Performances of 2009 by NewCity, and the work went on to tour to France. As a 2010 recipient of The Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award, Director Rachel Damon created “Factor Ricochet”, an ensemble work which laid the groundwork for her methodology. A 2012 award from the MetLife New Stages for Dance Program introduced the company to the national dance community with a commission by The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago. The company has since been presented at venues such as The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Athenaeum Theater, The Chicago Cultural Center, and venues throughout the Midwest such as the TEK BOX, The Southern Theater, and Intermedia Arts. The company celebrated its 10th season with the 2015 premiere of “You’re So Stubborn”, a DCASE Storefront Theater commission. 2016 was largely dedicated to the development and presentation of “Openwork”, a project that blends dance and textiles, created with support from 3Arts.

Synapse Arts became an Arts Partner in Residence at Loyola Park in 2014. Through this symbiotic relationship, Synapse maintains a rehearsal home and provides high-quality dance classes and free arts programs to the public. A new Board of Directors was ushered in beginning in 2014, with support from The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and training through The Arts and Business Council’s On BOARD program. Synapse is honored to offer a 2017 season with commissions from Pivot Arts Festival, Make Music Chicago, and composer Tim Daisy, as well as the company's first appearance in Elevate Chicago Dance and Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival.

Find out more at www.synapsearts.com.

The Dance COLEctive (Chicago, IL) In March 1996, Margi Cole, an independent choreographer and arts administrator, reached out to Chicago’s young, aspiring modern dancers who, like her, were looking for venues to perform their own choreography. Cole combined her dance and choreography skills with her administrative, box office and technical stage experience to create The Dance COLEctive.

For more than 20 years, The Dance COLEctive (TDC) has aspired to challenge assumptions about how dance is presented, through the use of cutting-edge choreography, innovative collaborations, and creative site-specific works. TDC’s 20th anniversary in 2016 was a significant benchmark that distinguished the company as a Chicago institution. Throughout the years, the all-female company, comprising of mostly emerging artists, has contributed to the support of more than 150 collaborating artists and organizations including locally and nationally recognized choreographers, dancers and other artists. TDC has produced more than 80 works, including those created by Margi Cole, guest choreographers and TDC company members.

Prior to 2016, TDC regularly produced its own concerts in local venues, as well as an annual concert known as “COLEctive Notions.” TDC also participated in many multi-artist festivals while featuring site-specific work as an integral part of its annual repertoire, including performances at the Illinois State Fair, the Chicago River’s Flatwater Classic, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago Symphony Center Day of Music, the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago’s 1306 Projects, and the Arts Club, among many others. TDC also conducted workshops, master classes, and lecture demonstrations at area high schools and colleges and held multiple residencies annually in addition to community classes and workshops, such as the TDC Summer Intensive, which provided the professional dance community with rigorous, thorough dance instruction in a concentrated amount of time. Cole has been and continues to be an active member of Chicago’s dance community, serving on grant panels and in public forums as an arts administrator, dancer and choreographer. She was integral in organizing the Dance/USA and Marshall Forum annual conferences in Chicago and has been a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Consortium Member and a member of the Marshall Memorial Fellowship Selection Committee and has served as a mentor during the Thodos Dance Chicago New Dances Project. She was named one of The Players in NewCity’s “Fifty People Who Really Perform in Chicago” and was recognized by Today’s Chicago Woman among its 2014 “100 Women of Inspiration.”

The long-lasting impact of TDC upon its company members is notable; not only are many of the former members now pursuing careers as professional dancers, TDC’s mission has left a legacy of mentorship, entrepreneurship and a passion for the arts as well. A majority of former members are now working as teachers of dance or in dance-related fields, and many are instructors at secondary and postsecondary institutions. Former members have also pursued careers in the arts or at dance-centered non profits, and many are physical therapists, dance/movement therapists, exercise physiologists, and dance studio owners and directors.

In spring 2016, after inspiring and mentoring so many, TDC has implemented a new programmatic model, retaining its innovative approaches to choreography and performance while transitioning from a set ensemble to a pick-up company model. This change came from a place of creativity; after 20 years, Cole was inclined to move in a new direction, focusing more on artistic growth rather than financial growth. Based on stakeholder feedback, Cole was inspired to elevate the visibility of her instruction, her work as a solo performer and her interest in the research and development of richer, more collaborative creative endeavors on a project-oriented basis.

This change in structure has allowed Cole to continue to mentor via her work at Columbia College Chicago and with the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive, as well as through international residencies. Furthermore, it has allowed TDC to maintain fiscal accountability, sustain knowledge and curiosity as a mid-career artist/organization, cultivate new partnerships, honor smaller venues, and emphasize artistic ingenuity, research and growth. The pick up company structure allows for versatility of programming and the creation of partnerships with peers who hold a diverse range of skills and insight. This evolution of TDC has also afforded Cole a fresh perspective on performance, freeing her to conceptualize performances that are more ambitious in scope and scale. www.margicole.com