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The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance


Luciana Achugar (BFA 95)

Luciana Achugar is a Brooklyn based Choreographer originally from Uruguay. After moving to New York upon graduation from CalArts in 1995, Achugar danced with several choreographers, including Chameckilerner and John Jasperse Company. From 1999 to 2003, she worked in a close collaborative relationship with choreographer Levi Gonzalez. Their work was presented in New York by Dixon Place, Movement Research at Judson Church, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Dance-in-Progress at The Kitchen, and at Dance Theater Workshop. Achugar has also worked collaboratively with visual artists Marcos Rosales and Michael Mahalchick, both CalArts alumni. Since 2002 Achugar has created five independent works: SUPERella (2002), New Flesh Order (2003), A Super Natural Return to Love (2004), Exhausting Love at Danspace Project (2006), and Franny and Zooey (2007). Her work has been presented in NY at Movement Research’s MELT Festival; the Ensemble Studio Theatre; The Latino American Dance: Not Festival Project; CANADA Gallery; Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery; Danspace Project and Dance Theatre Workshop; and in Uruguay at the Festival Iberoamericano de Danza and the Centro Cultural de España. In September 2007 she received a Bessie Award as Creator/Choreographer for her first full evening-length piece "Exhausting Love at Danspace Project". Achugar is a 2007 Choreography Fellow of the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography.

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Karl Anderson (BFA 86)

Karl Anderson graduated from CalArts with a BFA in Dance in 1986. In San Francisco, he performed with Joe Goode, Motivity and The San Francisco Moving Company. Upon moving to NYC in 1987, Anderson performed with David Dorfman, Stephanie Skura and Merian Soto. Anderson's company SLAMFEST, has been presented at Footwork in San Francisco, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Fieldworks, Gowanus Arts Exchange, Judson Church, Pier 63, P.S. 122 and Socrates Sculpture Park. His choreography has also toured to Syracuse, New York; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Edmonton and Alberta, Canada. Anderson graduated from Pratt Institute with a Bachelor's of Architecture in 1996 and a Master's of Architecture in 1998. While at Pratt, he performed with David Lindsey-Abaire and Daniel Safer, Speed Carroll, Pt. Satya Narayana Charka, Beth Coiner and Andrea Mills. Since graduating from Pratt, Anderson has performed with Wendy Blum, Keely Garfield, Kate Gyllenhaal, Amy Sue Rosen, Sally Silvers, Clarinda Mac Low and Molly Rabinowitz.

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Ella Ben-Aharon (BFA 04 )

Former dancer at the "Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company" (Israel), Ella is the Artistic Director and Choreographer of "YelleB Dance Ensemble." A Master Pilates Teacher and manager of the Pilates Studio at the Reebok Sports Club/NY. With YelleB, Ella is able to combine her vision of the Art and the Human Body. Performances premiered at venues such as The Flea Theater, Danspace Project @ St. Mark's Church, Joyce SoHo, DTW, Merkin Concert Hall, University Settlement, Walpole Town Hall (NH), The Tank, and The Ailey CitiGroup Theater. Co-curated "Dance Conversations" (the FLEA Theater) and served as a moderator at the "A.W.A.R.D SHOW!" (Joyce SoHo). Ella was an Artist in Resident at MAKOR of the 92nd St. Y, and a Guest Teacher at the University of Florida.

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Jamie Bishton (BFA 84)

Jamie Bishton performed as a dancer with Twyla Tharp from 1985 through 1999. Between 1988 and 1990, he danced with the American Ballet Theater, where he was able to perform the works of Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine, Agnes DeMille, Antony Tudor, Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris among others and the full-length classics. Mr. Bishton has worked with Ms. Tharp on many independent projects including film and television such as James L. Brooks' "I'll Do Anything" and PBS', Great Performances - Twyla Tharp's "In the Upper Room." In 1990 Mr. Bishton was asked to become an original member of Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project where he worked with the company until 1998. In 1998 he became Ms. Tharp's director of the dancers for her company, THARP! and also toured with them as her assistant and as a dancer. Mr. Bishton received a New York Dance and Performance award, "BESSIE" for Outstanding Creative Achievement in 1995. In November of 2000, Mr. Bishton was awarded a Distinguished Alumnus Award from California Institute of the Arts. Mr. Bishton was an Artist in Residence at the Joyce Soho during the summer of 2000 during which Jamie Bishton | DANCE was formed.

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Debra Bluth (MFA 93)

Debra Bluth is artistic director of debrabluth/jesterfly in Boston. A longtime dancer, choreographer, teacher, and improviser. She is currently on faculty at The Boston Conservatory (contact improvisation), and at Clark University (Composition), as well as at Green Street Studios. She has also been on faculty at Emerson College and Cambridge School of Weston, and held residencies at Skidmore College and California Institute of the Arts, as well as guest taught at colleges throughout New England. Debra has taught/performed at improvisation and movement festivals in Argentina, NYC, Russia, Western Massachusetts, and Boston.

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Anna Brady Nuse (BFA 99)

Anna Brady Nuse has worked for the past ten years as a choreographer, filmmaker, writer, curator, and arts administrator. Her work in screendance has included directing and choreographing her own short videos through her production company Straight to the Helicopter, as well as producing the cable access television series Move the Frame featuring screendances from across the country and around the world. In August 2006 Nuse traveled to India with a grant from the US Embassy: Cultural Affairs Division, to be an International Resource person at Danzlenz, a seminar on dance film organized by the Kri Foundation in New Delhi. In 2007 Nuse was the Festival Coordinator of the 35th Annual Dance On Camera Festival produced by the Dance Films Association and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. In 2008 her paper on curating screendance was presented at the Screendance Conference at the American Dance Festival. Currently she publishes the blog Move the Frame (movetheframe.com) and continues to develop services and programs for dance artists to make and distribute their work in media through Pentacle’s Movement Media Project.

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Keisha Clarke (BFA 98)

Keisha has been a member of the Garth Fagan Dance Company in Rochester, NY for the last 4 and a half years. Prior to joining the Garth Fagen Dance Company, Keisha performed in Disney's The Lion King at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood and has recently joined the touring company known as the Lion King - Gazelle Tour. During this past year she has toured with the Lula Washington Dance Company and taught and performed in the Rochester, NY area.

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Katie Diamond (BFA 03)

Katie danced one season with the Albany Berkshire Ballet before deciding to study Modern Dance. Her early training included performing the works of George Balanchine with the Contra Costa Ballet and studying on scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet School. Ms. Diamond earned a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from California Institute of the Arts in 2003, after spending a semester at London Contemporary Dance School on scholarship. In 2005, Katie joined the Limon Dance Company, with whom she has traveled nationally and internationally, and danced the works of Lar Lubovitch, Doris Humphrey, Anna Sokolow, Jonathan Riedel, and Jose Limon. This past year, Ms. Diamond was delighted to join the cast of "The Moor's Pavane," Limon's signature piece, dancing the role of Desdemona. Katie also enjoys teaching ballet and the Limon technique, as well as assisting in reconstructions of Limon works at the annual Limon Summer Workshops and various arts high schools and universities across the country. Other than her work with the Limon Company, Ms. Diamond has enjoyed dancing with Daniel Charon, Jamie Bishton, Jessica Gaynor, Catherine Miller, and Patricia N. Nanon in Martha's Vineyard at the Yard. She spent two years working at Eliot Feld's Ballet Tech, and has a love for children, film, hiking, and studying the Spanish language.

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Jonathan Fredrickson (BFA 06)

Jonathan Fredrickson has been a member of the Limon Dance Company since 2006. Jonathan is originally from Corpus Christi, TX where he studied ballet with Kay Boone and Cristina Munroe. He recently graduated from California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in dance performance and choreography and joined the Limón Dance Company immediately thereafter. His choreographic work has been presented in venues in Los Angeles, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

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Frit (BFA 84, MFA 88) & Frat Fuller (BFA 86)

Frit and Frat co-hosted KCAL 9 TV’s 9 On The Town and appeared on Extreme Fake Over for Pax TV and have appeared in film and numerous commercials. They are the Artistic Directors for the LA based KIN Dance Company. KIN has performed in numerous theaters in Los Angeles and abroad. Other theaters include The McCallum Theater in Palm Springs, The Cowell Theater in San Francisco, The Prince Theater and The Painted Bride Theater in Philadelphia, The Linhart Theater and Michael Schimmel Performing Arts Center in NYC.

They have worked all over the globe in many Countries and performed/choreographed for several Stage and TV productions such as 21 Stories performed in LA and NYC. Flirting With Morty (NAACP and Ovation Award Nominated). The Universoul Circus National/International Tour and HBO special, choreography and staging for the Mrs. America & Mrs. World Pageants for the Women’s Entertainment Network, directed and choreographed Vox Lumiere's The Hunchback of Notre Dame National/ International tour and PBS special to name a few.

Frit and Frat are the Associate choreographers under Julie Arenal (legendary Broadway and film choreographer) for Much Ado About Nothing, Kirk Douglas Theater in LA and Timmy The Great, Theater of the New City in NYC. Frit and Frat have also choreographed for several Dance Companies Theme Parks, and have been guest artist at various schools, colleges and universities including National Institute of the Arts in Taiwan and Pineapple Dance Studios in London.

The brothers recently created, directed and choreographed the jukebox stage musical Down Around Brown Town celebrating the music of Mr. James Brown performed in LA and NYC. Along with being featured in Dance Mogul Magazine, Frit and Frat received the 2013 NAACP Theatre Award for Best Director of a Musical/Local Division for Down Around Brown Town.

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Wanda Gala (BFA 05)

Wanda Gala is an arts educator and choreographer from the US whose work integrates somatic methodologies into the creation and teaching of contemporary dance. While Ms. Gala's courses and performance laboratories have a strong base in classical and modern techniques, they synonymously address pedestrian movement through studies in movement impulse and motivation, spatial awareness, structural anatomy and improvisation. Her multidisciplinary dance dramas examine the entropy and distortion of individual and cultural ideals, mythologies and fantasies. These "post nuclear family tales" (LA Weekly) occur in theatrical, installation, filmic and site-specific contexts. Individual and collaborative works have been presented in the US and abroad in Poland, Switzerland, Scotland, and Italy. Most recent showings include the screening of "Okno (Okna, dwzi, sciany)" at the American Dance Festival and Festival Era Nowy Horyzonty in Wroclaw, Poland. For information on upcoming events please visit http://www.crashfall.org or email info@crashfall.org.

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Jessica Gaynor (MFA 02)

Jessica Gaynor holds a BA in American Studies from Brown University and an MFA in Dance from California Institute of the Arts. Since moving to New York in 2003 her work has been performed at Triskelion Arts, Dance Space, Williamsburg Arts Nexus, Jennifer Muller/The Works HATCH series, The Kitchen, Hudson Guild Theater, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, The Merce Cunningham Studio, DancenOw/NYC, The FAR Space, Movement Research and Brown University. Ms. Gaynor is a co-founder of ThisThat Dance Collective, through which she produced two New York dance seasons, and is currently Artistic Director of Jessica Gaynor Dance. She was the repertory guest choreographer at the Fieldston School in 2005, and artist-in-residence at Brown University in 2006. She currently teaches dance at The Brearley School and is the Assistant Director of Alice Teirstein’s Young Dancemakers Company.

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Debrorah Goffe (MFA 01)

Deborah Goffe is a performer, choreographer, dance educator and video artist. She earned a BFA in Modern Dance from Philadelphia's University of the Arts as well as an MFA in Dance from California Institute of the Arts. In 2002 she founded Scapegoat Garden, a collaborative dance theater based in Hartford, Connecticut, driven to create daring, interdisciplinary performance that goes in through the nose, eyes, skin, ears and mouth to stir those who witness or participate. Since its inception, Scapegoat Garden has created 3 three evening length dance theater works, several shorter performance and video works, and perform regularly throughout Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. Deborah's choreography has been commissioned by Full Force Dance Theatre in addition to arts and educational institutions, including Trinity College and Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. She has performed as a member of Velvet Lemons under the direction of Karen Bacon and in works by Ruth Barnes, Rebecca Lazier, Milton Myers and RandÈ Dorn. For several years, beginning in 1997, she performed with the Judy Dworin Performance Ensemble (JDPE) and continues to serve as a teaching artist through JDPE's, Moving Matters Residency programs. Deborah is a recipient of Artist's Fellowship Grants from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism and the Greater Hartford Arts Council for her choreographic work. In August 2007, she developed a dance curriculum and served as an Artist Instructor for CulturArte a youth residential arts program in Cape Verde, Africa. Deborah is currently on the faculty at Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.

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Levi Gonzalez (BFA 97)

Levi Gonzalez is a dance artist living in Brooklyn who has been making work in NYC since the year 2000. He began choreographing in collaboration with friend and fellow artist Luciana Achugar. Together they made three produced works (Unnamed Bone, Hit, and Worthless Limbs) and numerous improvisational performances which were presented by various NYC venues, including Movement Research at Judson Church, Fresh Tracks and Splitstream at Dance Theater Workshop, Dance in Progress at The Kitchen, The Marquee, Hothouse at PS122, Dixon Place and PS1 Contemporary Art Center. Levi’s first large scale independent choreographic effort, "the whole world has suddenly disappeared," was presented by Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church in May of 2005. He has also been presented several times by Movement Research, Chez Bushwick, and the LIT Series at 100 Grand. His first evening length work, Clusterfuck, was presented by Dance Theater Workshop in Spring of 2007. Currently he is the recipient of an Outer/Space Residency through Dance Theater Workshop. He has also recently been invited to join the Board of Directors of Movement Research as an artist member. Levi was a 2006 Fellow in Choreography from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Levi was a Movement Research Artist-in-Residence from 2003-2004 and was part of the editorial team for the Movement Research Performance Journal #29. He is currently on the editorial staff of Movement Research’s online publication Critical Correspondence and annually facilitates a dialogue with the artists presented by Dance Theater Workshop in its Fresh Tracks series. Currently he is working on his third project with John Jasperse Company. Levi was a member and rehearsal assistant for Donna Uchizono Company from 1998-2005, during which time he performed and taught throughout the US as well as in Europe and South America. He has also worked with Chamecki Lerner, Jeremy Nelson, Dennis O’Connor and with Michael Laub’s Remote Control Productions in Europe. Currently he teaches an annual workshop for emerging choreographers with Dean Moss at The Kitchen entitled Form and Practice, and he regularly teaches for Movement Research.

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Min Li (BFA 07)

Min Li studied at the Beijing Dance Academy and danced with the National Ballet of China before attending CalArts. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from CalArts in December 2007 and joined the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam in January 2008. During his residency at CalArts, Min took a leave to dance with the Batsheva Ensemble Israel. He has danced works by Balanchine, Kylian, De Keersmaeker, Naharin, Limon and Zhao. Min received the Taoli Cup National Dance Competition Award in 1997 and the Lorna Strassler Award for Excellence in Dance at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in 2006.

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Arianne MacBean (MFA 99)

Arianne MacBean is the Artistic Director of The Big Show Co., a dance-theater group based in Los Angeles. The Big Show Co. has been presented in New York at the DIA Center for the Arts and WOW, and in Los Angeles at the Skirball Cultural Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, UCLA's Armand Hammer Museum, Unknown Theater, Highways Performance Space, and REDCAT as part of Studio and The A.W.A.R.D. Show! MacBean has been a Guest Artist at Scripps College and LA Valley College and is a seven-time recipient from the city of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, most recently, as an Artist-In-Residence. She was also recently awarded a CHIME mentorship exchange grant from Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. She holds a BA in Dance from UCLA and a double MFA in Dance and Critical Writing from the California Institute of the Arts. MacBean is currently the Chair of the Dance Department at Oakwood School in North Hollywood, CA.

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Laura Gorenstein Miller (BFA 92)

Laura Gorenstein Miller is the founder, choreographer and artistic director of Helios Dance Theater, a Los Angeles based contemporary dance company. Ms. Miller has premiered her work at venues such as UCLA's Royce Hall and Schoenberg Hall, The Getty Center, California Institute of the Arts, USC's Bovard auditorium, The Joyce Theater and Lincoln Center in New York, The Royal Opera House in London, The Mid Ocean Amphitheatre in Southampton, Bermuda (hosted by Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica, to name a few. Ms. Miller's Helios Dance Theater was the only local company to be presented in the UCLA's 1998-1999 Center for the Performing Arts season. Other artists that were included in that season were Mark Morris, Merce Cunningham, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Laura was the only choreographer from the United States chosen to participate in Genesis, the Milwaukee ballet's international choreographic competition. Ms. Miller was selected as one of four finalists from around the world to create an original work on the Milwaukee Ballet Company that was premiered at The Pabst Theater in March of 2002. Ms. Miller was commissioned by The American Ballet Theater Studio Company to do a new work for their 2003-04 season. "Milk Pool" was premiered at The Joyce Theater in April of 2004 and is still being performed as part of their reperatory.

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Maria Hassabi (BFA 94)

Maria Hassabi is a director/choreographer/performer. Her work employs extreme physicality and aesthetic precision, to create urban worlds filled with iconic images. Hassabi’s works live within a tense juncture of dance, performance art and installation.

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Jacques Heim (MFA 91)

Jacques Heim is artistic director of Diavolo Dance Theater in Los Angeles. Jacques was born in Paris and earned a BFA in Theatre, Dance and Film from Middlebury College, and then was awarded a Certificate for Analysis and Criticism of Dance from the University of Surrey in England. Heim moved to Los Angeles in 1989 and attended California Institute for the Arts, receiving an MFA in Choreography. In 1992, Heim founded Diavolo Dance Theater. Inspired by the unusual and innovative way that Heim works with architectural structures in Diavolo, the creative team at Cirque du Soleil commissioned Jacques Heim to choreograph Ka, their newest permanent (and still-running) show in Las Vegas which opened in February of 2005. His most recent assignment outside of Diavolo is the innovative choreography for the production of The Stones at the Center Theatre Group’s Douglas Theater in Los Angeles. Mr. Heim is in constant demand to choreograph and direct live events for corporate clients such as Amgen, General Motors, Sunrider, Honda, and Wells Fargo. Mr. Heim was recently named the Artistic Director for the 2005 Taurus World Stunt Awards, and was nominated for the CalArts/Alpert Awards-in-the-Arts for Dance in both 2000 and 1996. In 1999, Heim received a James Irvine Foundation Fellowship in choreography, and a Fellowship from the Brody Arts Fund. In 1998 and 1999 Heim was nominated for a Lester Horton award for Best Choreography. He has been named one of the "Faces to Watch in the Arts" by the LA Times and one of the "100 Coolest People in LA" by Buzz Magazine. Heim has taught Intensive Movement for Actors at UCLA, and Cal State LA. Other honors include the 1992 Martha Hill Choreography Award from the American Dance Festival and the 1992 Special Prize of the Jury at the 6th Saitama International Dance Festival in Saitama, Japan.

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Sahar Javedani (MFA 03)

Sahar was nominated for the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative 2008-2009, she received the Tribeca Performing Arts Center Artist in Residence 2007-2008 and has received commissions for World Premiere performances for Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Mulberry Street Theater, Whitewave Wave Rising Series, and Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Compani javedani 2007-2008 season include performances and commissions for Joyce Soho, The Brooklyn Museum, Triskelion Arts Center, Dance Theater Workshop, Movement Research at Judson Church, The Flea Theater, John Ryan Theater, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Hudson Guild Theatre, The FAR Space, Abrons Art Center, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, Chashama Theater, Bard College, The Kitchen, Dixon Place, and Mulberry Street Theater. please visit website for more details, http://www.javedani.com/

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Mary Ann Kellogg (BFA 75)

Mary Ann Kellogg is the multi-award winning director of Abuelo (short film category: including USA Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival, Chicago International Children’s Film Festival), the Emmy nominated choreographer of Reefer Madness - The Movie Musical for Showtime and a two-time American Choreographer Award nominee for the films Superstar and The Guru. Ms. Kellogg’s choreographic credits include over 25 films including Clueless, Night at the Roxbury, The Game Plan, the Look Who’s Talking series and numerous hit television shows including Madmen, The Office and Will and Grace. She is a former dancer of Twyla Tharp’s original company, and performed with Atlanta Ballet and Bella Lewitzky Dance Company. Mary Ann created the role of Zelda Zanders on Broadway in Singing in the Rain. She holds a BFA in dance from CalArts, is an alumni of AFI Conservatory and AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women. As an educator she has taught master classes on Tharp and lectured at numerous universities and colleges on the art of choreography for film and television.

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Jesse Kile (BFA 98)

Jesse Kile graduated from the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts with a BFA in 1998. She then ran off on Phish tour for the next 6 years, where she developed a nasty rock and roll habit and was known on the scene as the groupie who couldn’t get had. Not satisfied with watching musicians being the only rock stars, Jesse got it in her head to legitimize her groupie antics by founding Groovehoops, a glam rock hoop circus. Groovehoops spent 5 outrageous years touring the US with rock bands like the String Cheese Incident. Sound Tribe Sector Nine, The Brazilian Girls, George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic. Just to name a few (and because she can’t remember the rest!).

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Ryan Mason (BFA 07)

Ryan Mason recently graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. He has toured nationally with Jesus Christ Superstar, Annie Get Your Gun, and Peter Pan. He has worked with choreographers Colin Conner, Tina Yuan, Mira Kingsley, and Patti Columbo. His own choreography has been performed in Los Angeles venues including the REDCAT Theater at the Disney Symphony Hall. Currently, Ryan is in his first season with the Limon Dance Company.

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Dallas McMurray (BFA 06)

Dallas McMurray is a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group. He recieved a BFA in Dance from California Institute of the Arts, where he studied ballet and modern with Tina Yuan, Colin Connor, Lyndon Branaugh, Laurence Blake, Glen Eddy, Clare Duncan, Cynthia Young, Jeffrey Gerodias, and Rachel Berman. In Los Angeles, he performed Jose Limon's Missa Brevis with the Limon Dance Company at the Ahmanson Theater, and also performed in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Dance Festival in a work by Jonathan Fredrickson, Pas de [SIKS]. He has also performed works by Alonzo King, Jiri Kylian, and Robert Moses. Dallas joined the Mark Morris Dance Group as an apprentice in 2006 and is now a full member of the company.

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Nycole Merritt< (BFA 96)

Nycole Merritt-Ray, a Detroit native, graduated from California Institute of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She received additional dance training at the London Contemporary Dance School, California State Summer School of the Arts and Wayne State University. Ms. Merritt-Ray has performed with the Lula Washington Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II, Elegba Crossing in conjunction with the Madame C.J. Walker Performing Arts Center and the Zadonu African Dance Company. In addition to her appearances in Europe and abroad, she has also appeared in numerous music videos, industrials and fashion shows in Los Angeles. This marks her fifth season with Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

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Iris Pell (BFA 73)

Iris Pell teaches Modern Dance and Ballet techniques and has been on the Santa Monica College Faculty since 1984. Ms. Pell performed internationally at the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company for twelve years and has a strong “Lewitzky” influence in her Modern Dance style. She also studied with many other great teachers: Pauline Koner, Donald McKayle, Mia Slavenska, Stanley Holden, Margaret Hills and Maria Zintgraff. Iris is an independent choreographer/performer and has created original choreography for Synapse Dance Theater at Santa Monica College. Ms. Pell received her MFA in Dance from UCLA and her BFA in Dance from California Institute of the Arts.

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Cynthia Pepper (BFA 84)

Cynthia Pepper is artistic director of CPCollaborations in San Rafael, CA. She performed professionally with The Utah Opera Company, and the dance/theatre companies of Donald Byrd, Loretta Livingston and Bella Lewitzky. From 1985 to 1989, Cynthia worked as a magician’s assistant with Robert C. Pritikin of The Mansion Hotel in San Francisco co-creating two permanent magic illusions. Cynthia studied language arts in Denmark as a Rotary International Exchange Student for one year in 1978. In 1984 she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California Institute of the Arts, and a Masters Degree in the InterArts Program from San Francisco State University in 1991.

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Sam Piperato (BFA 90)

Sam Piperato is a songwriter and solo dance artist in New York City. He is a recipient of a North Carolina Artist Grant Award. He performed on Broadway and on the road with several shows, including “A Chorus Line” and “Evita.” He left New York in 1985 to study architecture at the Frank Lloyd Wright School, where he became composer-in-residence. He went on to study composition at Carnegie Mellon where he also studied poetry writing with Gerald Costanza. Mr. Piperato received his BFA in Dance from CalArts, and received his MFA as a composer and lyricist from the Musical Theatre Writing Program at Tisch in April of 2003. Mr. Piperato recently wrote incidental music for a new Romulus Linney play, “Silver River.” He has produced two music CDs of his compositions, “Snow” in 1999 and “Ten-in-One: A Song Cycle for the Theatre” in 1995.

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Susan Rose (BFA 71, MFA 73)

Susan Rose was the Artistic Director of DANCEWORKS, a ten-member company in Boston that toured extensively throughout New England and New York from 1976 to 1989. In 1990, she returned to Southern California to join the faculty of the Department of Dance at UC Riverside, which she now chairs. Recently she has regrouped to form Susan Rose and Dancers. She has served as guest choreographer for the Lewitzky Co. creating two new works for the company repertory: "Displacements" was performed at the Kennedy Center and UCLA, and "Tail Tale Signs" premiered at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Her work has also been performed at Highways, Dance Kaleidoscope, and as part of the In-The-Works series produced by the Dance Gallery. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Massachusetts Council for the Arts.

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Kim Shipp (MFA 98)

Kim received her BFA from the University of Utah and in 1996, she became certified as a Laban Movement Analyst (CMA) and a Bartenieff Fundamentals Practitioner. From 1998-2002, Kim directed Shipp Dance Theatre, a non-profit, modern dance company dedicated to bringing dance classes and performances to the everyday public. Her work was presented by The California Choreographers Dance Festival, Danceworks, Pasadena Arts Council, Pasadena Symphony, among others. Kim was also a guest faculty member at San Jose State University and Cabrillo College. She has worked in the Northern California schools for the past 8 years teaching classes, residencies and assemblies with Young Audiences of the Bay Area, Yes! Express Afterschool Adventures, Santa Clara and San Jose Parks and Recreation and now Starting Arts. In 2000, Kim was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch” for her pioneering of a new form of dance performance she calls Retail Dance and she produced the Retail Dance Festival in 2001, 2003 and 2005. During the festival, Kim selected dance artists and companies to perform in store front windows at Union Square in San Francisco, all free to the public.

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Dawn Stoppiello (BFA 89)

Dawn Stoppiello and School of Music alumnus Mark Coniglio are artistic directors of Troika Ranch, a multimedia performing arts company based in New York City. Dawn and Mark have begun a new project called Loop Diver that is commissioned by The Lied Center for Performing Arts and University of Nebraska, Lincoln. The project is partly funded by the Creative Campus initiative, with funds from the Doris Duke Foundation, the NEA and the Jerome Foundation. Troika Ranch and it's educational partners in Lincoln will develop a new performance work and the company will engage in research and education at the university over the next two years. Troika Ranch recently received a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts for the creation of a new dance film that was completed in spring 2008. You can find out more about Troika Ranch at www.myspace.com/troikaranch or their website at www.troikaranch.org.

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Lisa Townsend (MFA 94)

Lisa Townsend Company performs experimental contemporary dance that draws on raw physicality, intimate gesture, and a strong theatrical sensibility. In collaboration with visual and theatrical artists, writers and composers, Lisa Townsend Company is committed to bringing innovative work that appeals to viewers' heart and intellect, and moves toward nourishing a deeper appreciation for the performing arts. LTC has been presented in New York, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Highlights include Joyce SoHo, St. Marks Church, Movement Research @ Judson Church, P.S. 122, Los Angeles Theatre Center, L.A.C.E., Theater Geo, ODC Theater, West Wave Dance Festival, Women’s Work Series at Venue 9, Jon Sims Dance Center, the Marin Arts Council’s Grantee Showcase at Marin Theatre Company, Dance Mission Theater, CounterPulse, Cowell Theater, and Project Artaud Theater.

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Kate Weare (BFA 94)

Kate Weare, Artistic Director of Kate Weare Company (KWCo) was nominated for the 2008 Alpert Award in the Arts. Kate Weare Company is an NY-based five member contemporary dance group creating and performing work characterized by fierce physicality, thoughtfulness and authenticity. KWCo’s evening-length quintet, Wet Road, produced at Dance Theater Workshop in 2006, earned excellent reviews from The New York Times, The New York Times Sunday Arts Edition, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, The Gay City News, Dance View Times, Voice of Dance and NY Metro. Awarded a 2006/07 Joyce Soho Residency (subsidized through the Joyce Theater), KWCo was mentored in the studio by Gwen Welliver, former Rehearsal Director of Trisha Brown Dance Company. In April 2007, Weare was selected for MANCC’s ‘Free To Rep’ Program with Axis Dance Company and was subsequently commissioned for a new work, Foregone, currently on a national tour across twelve cities. In May 2007, KWCo won the final round of NY’s The A.W.A.R.D. Show (a series in which the audience votes on the best modern dance) and was awarded the top prize of $10,000 for a 2006 duet, Drop Down. In July 2007, Kate Weare Company premiered a suite of six dances entitled, Leveling, at SF’s Theater Artaud opening the West Wave Dance Festival. In Nov/Dec 2007 Kate Weare was awarded a Choreographic Fellowship by The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State to explore the relationship between music and her movement language. In December and April of 2007, KWCo was granted two week-long Creative Development Residencies at Jacob’s Pillow. In 2008, KWCo continued to work in residence at Dance New Amsterdam in New York to premiere a new 30-45 minute work, Bridge of Sighs, in early May.

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Estelle Woodward Arnal (BFA 96)

Estelle Woodward Arnal has been on staff in the Artist Services department at Dance Theater Workshop since 2001; in March 2006 she assumed the role of Director of Artist Services. Dance Theater Workshop serves a vibrant network of independent artists and organizations that collectively represent a community of cultural innovators and leaders. In addition to her role in the dance community as an arts administrator, Estelle maintains an active career as a choreographer and performer. She has performed with Clyde Forth Visual Theater, Trajal Harrell Dance Style, Mark Dendy Dance and Theater, Joyce Lim, Maureen Flemming and The Ensemble Project directed by Katherine Ferrier. In 2000 she completed her MFA in choreography and performance at Bennington College where she met her co-collaborator, percussionist/composer Jeff Arnal. Most recently, their work has been presented at The Chocolate Factory in Long Island City, NY, Food for Thought at Danspace Project, Roulette at Location One, and the Vision Collaborations Festival. Estelle and Jeff are co-founders and Artistic Directors of Improvised and Otherwise, an annual festival for experimental music and dance.

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Last edited by rsdavid on Sep 26, 2014
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