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The Artists

Alicia Christofi-Walshe (IRE)

Alicia Christofi-Walshe is an Irish-based dance artist originally from Boston.  She began dancing at the age of three at The Dance Studio of Wakefield and later graduated from The Boston Conservatory with a BFA in Dance in 2001.

In the U.S. and Ireland Alicia has worked with Regina Nejman & Company, Murray Spaulding, and Robert Clark (as part of a period of choreographic research at DanceHouse) amongst others.  She has performed at various theatres and festivals, some of which include; Symphony Space, Joyce Soho, Movement Research, 92nd Street Y, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Queen’s Museum of Art, Dixon Place, Merce Cunningham Studios, APAP and New York International Fringe Festival.

Alicia is constantly researching how to further develop her dance practice and methods of choreography.  Through collaborations with other dance artists, composers, visual  and theatre artists she strives to create visually compelling and emotionally engaging work.  Her new work, Shift(h)er, will be performed at Somerville Dance Fest with original costume and set design by Petra Hjortsberg http://www.petrahjortsberg.com/

Her choreography has been performed in New York City at Dance New Amsterdam and Greenspace, in Boston at OBERON and in Ireland at Project Arts Centre as part of the first Project Brand New, The Backloft, The Courthouse Arts Centre, Riverbank Arts Centre, The George Bernard Shaw Theatre, Block T, The Backstage Theatre as part of Longford Dance Festival 2011 and Birr Theatre and Arts Centre as part I.F.O.N.L.Y Mamuska Nights.

Alicia’s work has been generously supported by Dance Ireland, Culture Ireland and Wicklow County Arts Office.

Zoé Dance

Zoé Dance has presented its work since 2002 in various venues and performance opportunities around Boston and internationally such as: World Music/CRASH Arts’ “Ten’s the Limit” (2005 and 2007), ArtBeat 2004 and 2009, “Virgin”, produced by the Dance Renewal Project, Harvard Square’s “May Fair” 2004, with the Choreographers Group 2004, Earth Dance’s Outdoor Performance Festival 2003, Corporación Cultural de Las Condes (Santiago, Chile) 2007, Boston Center for the Arts’ Mils Gallery as a featured artist of the Movement at the Mills residency. Zoe has also presented its work in self produced concerts: at the Dance Complex, Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center and Tower Auditorium at Massachuestts College of Art, the Boston Common, Union Square Plaza, and Green Street Studios. Zoé Dance was awarded a project grant from the Somerville Arts Council (2010) and was a finalist for the Boston Dance Alliance’s Rehearsal and Retreat Fellowship (2009).

Callie Chapman Korn Artistic Director, holds a B.F.A. from the Boston Conservatory. With Zoe, Callie has presented her work in venues such as CrashArts‘ “Ten’s the Limit” at the ICA and Green Street Studios, Corporacion Cultural de Las Condes (Santiago, Chile), multiple self-produced concerts, festivals, part of the Dance Renewal Project’s “Virgin”, Dance Complex’s Shared Choreographers Concert, among others. She currently dances for Prometheus Dance and has worked with artists such as: Nicola Hawkins, Karen Murphy and Emily Beattie (among others). She has collaborated with video artists Greg Shea and Ken Kinna, composer Ivan Korn, and composers/musicians Pancho Molina and Billy Herron. Callie also helped develop the Dance Renewal Project and is currently the Marketing and Design Associate for the Boston Dance Alliance. She is also a freelance graphic designer (web + print). In 2009 she was a recipient of the Somerville Arts Council’s Artist Fellowship and in 2010 received a project grant to produce “Depart”, an evening-length performance in the center of Union Sq. that was free and open to the public. Her work has also received recognition as a finalist for the Boston Dance Alliance’s Rehearsal Residency Fellowship in 2009.

Jimena Bermejo-Black and Alli Ross

“Benatar” (work in progress)

Stubborn with the idea of “making a dance”  to this song, Alli and Jimena invent and recreate movements based on the video “Love is a Battlefield”. The piece plays with video and live performance, working to create duets that visit or explore extremes.

Alli and Jimena began their collaboration in 2002 as dance educators in Boston Public Schools where they co-taught classes in grades K-5 grades. They have performed and made dances together ever since, most recently Dances Made to Order, “Triptych” for the Boston Edition in June. Jimena currently dances with Caitlin Corbett Dance Company, creates her own work  and teaches dance at The College of The holy Cross. Alli is currently working on a new piece with Liz Lerman and originated the role of Lady Macduff in Punchdrunk’s production of Sleep No More in Boston and NY.

They both feel passionated about dance education and teach dance to kids through adults.

Luminarium

It is a think tank, a museum, a gallery for contemporary dance and for contemporary ideas.  Luminarium is a space  to merge dance with projection, video, film, lighting design and music.

Merli V. Guerra is a professional dancer and an interdisciplinary artist. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in Dance and Studio Art, and currently resides in the Greater Boston area.

Merli’s studies in dance first began with ballet at the age of six, were heightened under the tutelage of former professional dancer Jean D’Urbano, and eventually led to becoming a senior company member of the Commonwealth Ballet in Acton, Mass through 2005. While a dance major at Mount Holyoke College, Merli’s training grew to include modern and classical Indian dance, as well as jazz, Irish step, African, partnering and contradance. In 2007, Merli toured the western coast of India to better her understanding of the Orissi style and the cultural history of Indian arts as a whole. Later that year, she performed as a guest artist in Mudra: The Gesture Speaks under Guru and Director Ranjanaa Devi. Since then, she has continued her training of Orissi dance and is now a member of Devi’s company Nataraj Dancers. Last year, she joined the company on their 2009 Japan Tour, performing in Tokyo with Kitanodai Gagakukai. In 2010, she continued to perform with the company at various American universities and performing arts centers on a regular basis.

Merli’s work as an interdisciplinary artist began taking form in 2008 with the creation of her film Synchronic. With no prior background in film or video editing, Merli was surprised when the film won Best Dance on Camera, Best of Mount Holyoke, and Best of Fest at the Five College Film Festival in 2009. Since then, she has continued her work with video projection and live performance, presenting pieces that explore the duality of existing both physically and through projected video, and creating subtle narrative through surreal illuminated walls. She has presented her work in various festivals and performances, including the Rhodywood Filmmakers Showcase in Providence, RI.

Now in the Boston area, Guerra recently accepted a position at New Repertory Theatre at the Arsenal Center for the Arts as the company’s Creative Services Associate. Over the past year, she has been invited to teach introductory Orissi and creative movement classes at venues such as The Boys & Girls Club of Boston, and last schoolyear, she became a member of the Cambridge Performance Project, teaching Creative Dance and Ballet to children ages 3-8 in the Cambridge public schools. Last fall, Guerra presented three new works in Luminarium’s debut concert FRACTURE, and began this season by presenting her new work Upon, as well as a breathing installation, at the Boston Center for the Arts Movement at the Mills in March. She and Holman were most recently invited to speak at Mount Holyoke College on a panel about having a successful career in the arts after graduating, and are currently choreographing for their upcoming performance at the Seacoast Fringe Festival.

Merli is excited to be dancing in the Cambridge area, and welcomes opportunities to collaborate with local visual
and performing artists.

Dois Apsaras

Hi! My name is Aparna (Pampi) Das. I am the digital & mixed media performance artist and poet @ thirdeyefell.com. I experiment with video, movement and installation. I engage issues of identity, gender, sexuality and the body politic. Pampi is a second-generation Bengali-American graduate of Bharatanatyam, of the Nalanda School of Dance, located in Columbus, Ohio. Her Guru Smt. Indira Satyapriya learned the Thanjavur style of Bharatanatyam under the direction of Guru Sri. Kalyanasundaram Pillai. Under her guru’s guidance, Pampi performed her Arangetram (dance graduation) at the tender age of 12. Today, she enjoys experimenting with improvisational dance and choreography, bringing together elements of the classical and the contemporary in order to re-tell age-old stories by re-interpreting issues of identity, gender, sexuality and the body politic. She is currently working on a Masters thesis in studio art, Collapsing the Binary Distinctions between Body and Dress and Exploring the Sarto-Corporeal Transit. In her spare time she designs wearable art; develops experimental performance pieces; writes poetry; and hosts art party potlucks.

Melissa Huser has been learning Odissi, an Indian classical dance from Mouli Pal since 2003. She has collaborated with the Brooklyn-based band Prince Rama by performing with them in live shows and in a recent music video. She is interested in exploring dance within classical, modern, and contemporary contexts, recently in the depictions of divine figures across cultures. As a Brazilian-American who has been residing in Boston for the last fifteen years, she hopes to collaborate in the future with teachers and facilitators to celebrate the city’s cultural diversity by hosting a youth talent show. She is curious about people’s choices of media to express themselves through and the space between themselves and it, especially in live performance.

Kelley Donovan

Kelley Donovan splits her time between Boston and New York City, teaching and choreographing in both cities.  She has performed work by Ann Carlson, Amy Spencer & Richard Colton and Liz Lerman. Her work has been produced in Boston by World Music/Crash Arts, Tufts University, Lesley College, MIT, Mobius, Harvard, Mass College of Art, Salem State College and The Federal Reserve Bank in Boston. Most recently she has shown work at Movement Research, DanceNow NYC, The Merce Cunningham Studio, The Duo Theater, Joyce SoHo, The Hatch, WAX and the 92nd St. Y in New York City.  Recently the New York Times and Boston Pheonix cited her work as among the best of 2009 and she has received financial support from The Artist Foundation of Boston and a Harkness Space Grant from the 92nd St. Y.  Kelley studied choreography with Mark Morris and Bessie Schönberg and received a B.A. from Bradford College in 1989.

Yuka Takahashi and Liz Roncka

Yuka Takahashi is a dancer, performer, improviser, choreographer certified Pilates instructor born and raised in Japan.
After graduating from high school she moved to NYC to attend Joffrey Ballet School. While she was in NY she explored her interest in Modern/ Contemporary Dance and performing arts. While she was in NY Yuka has performed under the direction of Ori Flomin, Kriota Willberg, and Rachel List among others.
In 2006 she moved to Vienna, Austria. There, she regularly presented dance, installations and performing arts. She received a two-year residency at LABfactory and a short residency at D.ID. During the residencies at LABfactory she created inter- disciplinary pieces with full professional support under the direction of Thomas J. Jelinek and Kazuko Kurosaki. While she was in Vienna, she was strongly engaged with artists of other disciplines. One of her collaborative works, with Ursula Endlicher, was performed at the art exhibition of SIGGRAPH ASIA2009 in Yokohama, Japan.
Since she moved to Boston in May 2011, she has presented her own work at Mobius, Boston Center for the Art, and Boston University, performed Trisha Brown’s work Floor of the Forest at The Institute Of Contemporary Art, and has performed as an improviser at the BCA , Greenway, Mobius as well as other local institutions.

Liz Roncka is a performing artist working in the genres of movement improvisation and contemporary dance. She is an accomplished solo artist and teacher whose work has been presented across the United States and internationally in France, and Hungary since 1991. Currently, Liz is actively engaged in an inter-continental improvisational collaboration with Paris-based musician Christophe Delerce, a founding member of the international improvisation collaborative Sounds and Signs, and a member of the Boston-based Mobius Artists’ Group. Liz was a core member of the Dance Collective of Boston from 1998-2005 serving as Associate Artistic Director in 2004, and a member of the contemporary dance company Falling Flight Project from 2007-2009. In 2002 she received a grant from Artslink to develop and perform original work in Budapest, Hungary. Since then she has presented work at a range of prominent venues including the Dance Theater Workshop, Center for Performance Research, Five Myles, and Spoke the Hub in New York City, Canal Danse in Paris, the Ludwig Museum and MU Szinhaz in Budapest, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston University, the Boston Center for the Arts, and the New England Conservatory in Boston. She is regularly invited to contribute work to cutting-edge experimental performance series including Critical Moves, Zeroplan, the national SWAN Day Series, and Bare Bones Butoh.

Liz has been dancing since the age of six and at sixteen began training and performing exclusively in classical ballet at the School of the New Bedford Ballet. Later, as a college student at Boston University, Liz expanded her training to include modern dance and contemporary improvisation while studying under Micki Taylor-Pinney, Ann Allen, Ramelle Adams, and Margot Parsons. In 1999 she continued intensive study in movement improvisation with Chris Aiken and Andrew Harwood and later under Julyen Hamilton, Jennifer Monson, Kirstie Simson, and Debra Bluth, among others. In addition to her solo work, Liz has performed and collaborated with Emily Beattie, Olivier Besson, Debra Bluth, Alissa Cardone, Sean Curran, Eric Gunther, Sara June, Andrew Harwood, Michael Jahoda/White Box Project, Dawn Kramer, Light Motion, Karen Murphy-Fitch and Micki Taylor-Pinney and Yuka Takahashi.

Weber Dance Community Group

Dr. Jody Weber received a BFctlets including Boston Center for the Arts, Green Street Studios, Mobius, Central Square World’s Fair, Cambridge Access TV, Somerville Artbeat, Boston First Night, Casco Bay Movers, Salem State University, Framingham State University, Bates College, Bridgewater State College, The College of the Holy Cross and Boston University. The company has provided residencies to the community in Juneau, Alaska for the past five years. In addition, they have performed at The Dance Place in Washington DC, Spoke of the Hub in Brooklyn, Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco, and with Yow Dance in Florida. In the 2001, 2005 and 2009 seasons, Dr. Weber received an Artist Fellowship Grant from the Somerville Arts Council to support her choreography. She is also a two season recipient of residencies at the Workspace for Choreographers in Virginia, and most recently the recipient of the Boston Dance Alliance Retreat and Residency Award.

Currently she is Associate Professor of Dance at Bridgewater State University and teaches for the community at Green Street Studios in Cambridge. Her first book, The Evolution of Aesthetic and Expressive Dance in Boston, was published in 2009 through Cambria Press.

Drift is a meditation on the subtle beauty of the Arctic Landscape. The dance progresses at a slow calm pace, allowing the viewer to take in the simple sweeping pathways and spatial changes of the dancer through photography that moves between extraordinary vistas and delightful details. The piece was choreographed specifically for the Weber Dance Community Performance Group, a collective of wonderful dance enthusiasts from all walks of life.

Marcia Rotondo

Marcia Rotondo trained at the LaPierre School of Dance in Reading, and has performed with companies such as Anna Myer & Dancers, the Albany-Berkshire Ballet, Ballet for Young Audiences NYC, and Jazz Inc, among others.  She has also appeared in a music video on VH1 and was featured in the film “Beatbox: Alternate Take” at the MoMA in NY.  She holds a BA in Marine Biology and Neuroscience from Smith College, and currently teaches on the Dance faculty at Ballet Arts Centre of Winchester and the School of Ballet Arts in Concord.

Contrapose Dance

Contrapose Dance was founded in 2008 by artistic director Courtney Peix out of a desire to present new, exciting and entertaining works that engage and thrill audiences. Since its premiere performance in May of 2008, the company has participated in 35 performances, dancing in works by Marcus Schulkind, Gianni Di Marco, Courtney Peix, Nicole Pierce, Eve Summer, Lorraine Chapman, Stephanie Sherman, Heather Roffe, Jennifer Hardy, and Lucy Warren-Whitman. The repertory currently features 19 original pieces. In 2011, Contrapose Dance expanded its 8 dancers company to 12 high trained and skilled dancers. They received funding from the Mass Cultural Council through the Somerville Arts Council, was awarded the Boston Center for the Arts Residency and continue to participate in many free performances in an effort to provide free, high quality dance to all.

Building on a backbone of classical training, Contrapose Dance presents contemporary works designed to plumb deep emotions and celebrate the exhilaration of pure movement. The Company aims to bring a new energy to the theater scene, in Boston and beyond, by commissioning innovative works that challenge choreographers, dancers, and audiences alike. These diverse works challenge their choreographers, by pushing them to take creative risks; the dancers, by asking them to stretch their artistic and athletic abilities; and, finally, our audiences, by inviting them to set aside expectations and respond to the thrill of the new.

Contrapose seeks not only to reach existing dance audiences but also to widen the circle by reaching out to communities that may never have attended dance concerts. By doing so, and eventually by touring nationally and internationally, Contrapose Dance hopes to bring a new generation of dance lovers along with us to a place where tradition and originality meet.

CHIMERAlab

CHIMERAlab Dance Theatre is contemporary dance company using a unique interface between somatic techniques such as; Butoh, Martial Arts, Body Mind Centering (R), Viewpoints, COntemporary Dance, Physical Theater, Tetonic Movement Work, Yoga and Meditation.  Under the direction of Jennifer Hicks MFA, artists, musicians, actors, dancers etc. create original work using poetic imagry, memory and a sense od place.  Our goal is to create a shared atmosphere,a shared experience and shared dreams.  Splicing imagry together in text, sound, art and movement; abstract elements create a nonlinear poetic story which comes from deep inside each of us.  We dance our dreams and our history.

ITM Dance / James Runner III

Coming soon…

Mariela Cerda Villablanca

Mariela Cerda Villablanca (Chile), studied dance at Centro de Danza Espiral, and ARCIS University, and architectural studies at University of Chile. She also graduated Honor with Distinction from Film/Video and Studio for Interrelated Media in Massachusetts College of Arts and Design, Boston, USA. Some of her teachers were Patricio Bunster, Sofía Letelier, Francisco Brugñoli, Claude Brumachon, Shelley Senter, Wally Cardona, Saul Levine, Erika Beckman, Dana Moser, among others. She has received awards from her country such as the National Foundation for the Arts FONDART (1997, 1998, 2001), and Andes Foundation (1997, 2005). She has presented her work, taught, or produced shows in different countries such as Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, and the US. Her artwork is deeply influenced by her Chilean background, the language of the human movement, her motherhood experience, as well as the constant worldwide struggles and challenges, being a human rights advocate and an environmental activist.

Alison Cook Beatty

Alison has worked with numerous dance companies and choreographers, including David Dorfman Dance, Infinity Dance Theater, KM&Co, Rachael Kosch, Naomi Goldberg Haas, Val Suarez, Milton Myers, and Gabriela Poler-Buzali. Alison auditioned for Taylor 2 Dance Company in 2002 and remained there until 2008. In this time she was given permission to work with various choreographers as well as working and performing with the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Upon leaving the Taylor organization, Alison has worked with many contemporary choreographers. Recently she has worked and performed with Zvidance, Carolina Ballet Theater, Collective Body Dance Lab, Ballet Verite, Thang Dao Dance Company, Trainor Dance, Marinov Dance, C. Eule Dance, and Amy Marshall Dance Company.

In addition to dance and choreography, Alison is currently active in print, dance, fitness and commercial modeling. Alison has worked with MSA Models, HBO, Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, Mer Wear, Paul B. Goode Photography, Paula Lobo Photography, and Claudia Hehr Photography.

Alison enjoys teaching. She is currently on faculty at Dance In Grandma’s Attic. She has been on faculty at the Joffrey Ballet School, The Longrea Dance Academy, and The City Parks Foundation. Alison has taught and choreographed for the Carolina Ballet Theater. She choreographed Pelican Dream on the dancers of Carolina Ballet Theater and the students of Summer Works in 2010. Alison enjoys teaching dance to people of all ages and abilities.