AXIS CONNECT GUEST ARTISTS
Aszure Barton (Aszure Barton & Artists)
Hailed by critics and audiences alike, Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton is the founder and director of Aszure Barton & Artists. She has created works for Mikhail Baryshnikov, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, The National Ballet of Canada, Nederlands Dans Theater, The Martha Graham Dance Company, Bayerisches Staatsballett, Sydney Dance Company, Houston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, BJM Danse Montréal (Resident Artist 05-08), among many others. She has led masterclasses, mentored and collaborated with renowned institutions including The Juilliard School, Harvard University, Canada’s National Ballet School, and The Laban Institute in London.
Other choreography credits include the Broadway revival production of The Threepenny Opera directed by Scott Elliott (translation by Wallace Shawn and starring Alan Cumming, Jim Dale, Nellie Mackay, Ana Gasteyer, and Cyndi Lauper), film and installation projects, and international outreach activities such as Kenya’s Earth Project: Healing the Rift, at the Laikipia Nature Conservancy. Ms. Barton has been featured on the cover of Dance Magazine and her choreography has appeared in numerous television projects, including the Sundance Channel’s Iconoclasts Series with Alice Waters and Mikhail Baryshnikov. #aszurebarton
Crystal Pite created Kidd Pivot in 2002 in Vancouver. Integrating movement, original music, text, and rich visual design, Kidd Pivot’s performance work is assembled with recklessness and rigour, balancing sharp exactitude with irreverence and risk. The company’s distinct choreographic language – a breadth of movement fusing classical elements and the complexity and freedom of structured improvisation – is marked by a strong theatrical sensibility and a keen sense of wit and invention. Kidd Pivot tours nationally and internationally, performing such highly-demanded and critically acclaimed works as Dark Matters and Lost Action. Kidd Pivot’s residency at the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt (2010-2012) provided Pite the opportunity to create and tour The You Show and The Tempest Replica. Most recently, the company has premiered Betroffenheit, a co-creation with playwright and actor Jonathon Young of Electric Company Theatre. #crystalpite #kidpivot
Vincent Paterson (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Evita)
Vincent Paterson is a world-renowned director and choreographer whose career spans just about every genre of the entertainment industry including film, theatre, Broadway, concert tours, opera, music videos, television and commercials. Vincent is the Director, Writer, and Co-Choreographer of Cirque du Soleil's, VIVA! ELVIS, which ran in Las Vegas for over 1,000 performances. As a director and choreographer, Vincent created many works for Madonna and Michael Jackson including Madonna's BLOND AMBITION TOUR, and her legendary Marie Antoinette Vogue performance for MTV and the choreography for her videos EXPRESS YOURSELF and VOGUE. For Michael Jackson, with whom he worked for over 15 years, Vincent created the BAD TOUR as well as SMOOTH CRIMINAL and BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR and multiple other Jackson music videos and live performances, from the Grammy Awards to the Superbowl Halftime Show. Vincent directed and choreographed the musical sequences in Lars Von Trier's, DANCER IN THE DARK. Among the many films he choreographed are THE BIRDCAGE and CLOSER for director Mike Nichols, EVITA for director Alan Parker, HOOK for Steven Spielberg. Vincent received a Tony nomination for choreographing Hal Prince's KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN. He has directed commercials through DarkLight Pictures and has choreographed several hundred commercials, many winning awards in collaboration with director, Joe Pytka. Vincent directed the sold-out LOVING THE SILENT TEARS at LA’s Shrine Auditorium featuring a cast of international stars. He has also directed many charitable events, among them 3 star-studded benefits for Alzheimer's Organization. Each evening presented highlights from Broadway musicals and starred luminaries from Broadway and hit TV series. He also directed 2 stellar benefits for APLA, featuring performers Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Kenny Logins, Nathalie Cole, Billy Joel, Elton John, Patty Austin, Sarah Brightman, Wynona Judd, Eddie Van Halen, and Sheila E.
Vincent is featured in the best selling, Smithsonian publication, Masters of Movement: Portrait's of America's Greatest Choreographers. The Swedish documentary about Vincent's life and career, THE MAN BEHIND THE THRONE, has been airing on TV internationally as well as at film festivals where it has won several awards. He is presently directing and choreographing a new visual interpretation of the musical, EVITA at the Ronacher Theater in Vienna, is in development on a theatrical musical version of Lars Von Trier's DANCER IN THE DARK, and is writing his autobiography.
Sonya Tayeh (SYTYCD)
Sonya Tayeh is a New York City based choreographer and teacher. Her range of choreographic credits include: Andrew Lippa’s Wild Party(City Center Encores! / Dir. Leigh Silverman); Martha Graham Dance Company’s 2015 "Lamentation Variation” series (The Joyce Theater); Iphigenia in Aulis (Classic Stage Company / Dir. Rachel Chavkin); The Last Goodbye (Old Globe / Dir. Alex Timbers); Kung Fu (Signature Theatre/Dir. Leigh Silverman); Cirque du Soleil’s “Walk for Water” (premiered in Las Vegas); Battles, The Endurance to Move, The Root of Me (three evening-length pieces set on Tayeh Dance Company, performed in LA and Chicago). Her range of choreographic credits include: Andrew Lippa’s Wild Party(City Center Encores! / Dir. Leigh Silverman); Martha Graham Dance Company’s 2015 "Lamentation Variation” series (The Joyce Theater); Iphigenia in Aulis (Classic Stage Company / Dir. Rachel Chavkin); The Last Goodbye (Old Globe / Dir. Alex Timbers); Kung Fu (Signature Theatre/Dir. Leigh Silverman); Cirque du Soleil’s “Walk for Water” (premiered in Las Vegas); Battles, The Endurance to Move, The Root of Me (three evening-length pieces set on Tayeh Dance Company, performed in LA and Chicago). Additionally, Tayeh is an Artist in residence at New York Live Arts creating an evening length original work for the 2016-17 season. She has choreographed world tours and stage performances for Madonna, Florence and the Machine, and Kylie Minogue.
Stephanie Klemons (HAMILTON! The Musical)
Stephanie Klemons is Associate and Resident Choreographer in NY, Global Dance Supervisor of future companies and original Dance Captain and swing at Broadway's newest smash HAMILTON! Stephanie is no newcomer to the Andy Blankenbuehler vocabulary, serving as Co-Dance Captain and swing for the original Broadway production of In The Heights, as well as helping to set the same production's first National Tour as Associate Choreographer. She joined Andy again to create Bring It On as Associate Choreographer for the Broadway, first and second National tours. When the show was out of town Stephanie switched hats days before Opening as she went from Associate Choreographer to playing Alexis, a character in the show's Atlanta Alliance Theater Production, so she's really seen the action from "both sides of the table". She's provided additional choreography for four brand new numbers in a musical otherwise choreographed by Andy titled Zelda, composed by Frank Wildhorn which ran at Flatrock Playhouse, previously choreographed by Andy under the title Waiting For The Moon. She's also enjoyed dancing Andy's shows including the incredible Fly which ran at Dallas Theater Center, choreographed by Andy and directed by Jeffrey Seller and Only Gold, a musical conceived by Andy and scored by pop star Kate Nash.
Non-Andy B work includes the original Broadway cast of If/Then directed by Michael Greif alongside Idina Menzel & Anthony Rapp, the first National Tour of Bombay Dreams directed by Baayork Lee, and playing the role of Amma in New York Children's Theater's Tea With Chachaji, which she will be re-conceiving as Director and Choreographer for the New York Children's Theater 2017 season. Stephanie staged Bring It On’s Macy’s Day Parade performance back in 2011, and will be helping to put together Hamilton’s Tony performance this year. Stephanie recently choreographed a Victoria's Secret commercial with the legendary director, Jeff Madoff, and serves as choreographer for the New Deco Orchestra, a New York Musical Experience, and has choreographed for CBS, The Joyce and New York's hottest dance team, NBA's BROOKLYNETTES. She will also be choreographing “Children of Salt” at the 2016 New York Music Theater Festival.
Tony Testa (Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Since moving to LA in 2005, Testa has been an Artistic Director for THE VOICE UK, NICKI MINAJ (AMA’s), ONE DIRECTION (SNL), KYLIE MINOGUE's "APHRODITE" World Tour, Kpop's "EXO” Lost Planet World Tour, & 2 Installations for the LACMA MUSEUM. He has Choreographed for JANET JACKSON, JLO, ARIANA GRANDE, BRITNEY SPEARS, DEMI LOVATO, VERSACE, 2 shows for FRANCO DRAGONE, & with MJ on his final project, THIS IS IT. Most recently he Co - Choreographed both the remake of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW and DESCENDANTS 2 (in post-production) with mentor & director Kenny Ortega.
Aside from his work in the Pop Industry, Testa's Creative Activism to has lead him to Direct a documentary for MOVE THE WORLD & to stand behind non-profits such as CREATIVE VISIONS, THE WOODEN FLOOR, THE PAINTED TURTLE, & CREATIVITY HEALS. He was a Guest Speaker for TEDx Palisades, where he used dance to raise awareness about the effects of over-fishing.
Tony Testa grew up training in Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Partnering, Break-Dance, & Hip-Hop in his hometown of Fort Collins, CO.
Alexandra Damiani (Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet)
Alexandra Damiani Alexandra Damiani is a choreographer and artistic director based in New York. Originally from France, she combines the sophistication and attention to detail of her early classical training with the edginess of contemporary dance. During this past year, her work has been seen presented at the Joyce Theater (NY), the Schimmel Theater (NY) and the Modlin Center for the Arts (VA), and has been featured on a national TV commercial for Colgate, directed by Erez Sabag. Damiani was most recently the artistic director of Cedar Lake contemporary, which has been described by the New York Times as "possibly the country's most innovative contemporary ballet troupe with an A-list repertoire, and an accent on creation that few companies worldwide can match." During her decade-long tenure as ballet master and artistic director, Damiani worked closely with world renowned choreographers such as Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Stijn Celis, Alexander Ekman, Andonis Fionadakis, Jacopo Godani, Jill Johnson, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Hofesh Schecter, Richard Siegal, Jo Stromgren, Regina Van Berkel and Didy Veldman. In 2015, she created a dance installation on the themes of ritual and intimacy; it was performed by dancers of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet to a sold out audience in the company’s warehouse space (NY). Damiani has brought her expertise to the cinema, portraying the role of a Ballet Mistress along Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan (2010). She was also a consultant to Benoit Swan Pouffer on his choreography for the film, Adjustment Bureau, directed by George Nolfi and starring Emily Blunt (2010).
As a young dancer, Damiani won First Place at the International Dance Competition in Bordeaux and then Marseille, prompting her to move to New York to study at The Alvin Ailey School in 1995. During her fifteen-year-career, she performed as a soloist with Donald Byrd/The Group, Complexions, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, Rubberbandancegroup, and others. She performed extensively in North America, Europe and Asia. Combining her rich dance background with an enthusiasm for directing dancers and a flexibility with varying philosophies of movement, Damiani is frequently invited to conduct master classes in the U.S. and around the world with such dance institutions as the Juilliard School, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and Ballet Junior of Geneva, Switzerland. She is also an adjunct professor at Pace Commercial Dance program (NY). Damiani is now the Artistic Director of New York City Winter Intensive, held at The Juilliard School and produced by New York City Dance Alliance Foundation. It is a highly selective program that offers dancers from the convention world an insight into the works of international choreographers who are shaping the contemporary dance world. Damiani is also a teacher of ancient, sacred forms of qigong, taiji (classical Yang long form) and tai yin Jade Maiden, under the guidance of Sat Chuen Hon, master of the Dragon Gate Lineage.
Alexandra Wells (Springboard, Juilliard)
As Principal dancer of the Ballet National de Nancy, Ms. Wells toured the world and formed lasting partnerships with the late Rudolf Nureyev for six years and Patrick Dupont for four. Following her performing career, Ms. Wells returned to the USA and was offered the position of rehearsal director with Ballet Hispanico of New York. In 1995, she was invited to join the Faculty of l’École Supérieure de Danse du Québec. This experience would eventually lead her to create Springboard Danse Montréal in 2001 with General Director Susan Alexander. Over the past 15 years this project has become an international destination for world- renowned companies, emerging choreographers and dancers. Since 1998 Ms. Wells has been a full-time faculty member at The Juilliard School in New York City. She also functions as an advisor, mentor and Colloquium facilitator for students in all artistic disciplines at Juilliard.
Ms. Wells has been a guest teacher for many companies including: BJM Danse (Montreal), Ballet BC (Vancouver), Cedar Lake (NY), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (NY), A.I.M. Abraham in Motion (NY) and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (CO). She served as a curator for emergent choreographers as part of the M.A.D. Air performance series at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting (NYC) for 6 years. In 2010 she was selected by the Joyce Theater to be editing advisor on the Bessie Award winning production of Kyle Abraham's, "Radio show." In 2009, Alexandra Wells created the New York Summer Intensive, Movement Invention Project, for New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble. She acts as artist curator and is an Honorary Board Member for the “Legacy Project”, which celebrates the work of the iconic Canadian artist and choreographer Margie Gillis.
Sarah Elgart (Award winning Director, Choreographer, Producer)
Sarah Elgart has been on the forefront of dance in Los Angeles as a choreographer, director, and producer for many years. Known most recently for her large scale, site- specific productions, Elgart’s work engages audiences by transforming and catalyzing bus terminals, airports, museums and more with movement, music, and media, to make magic out of the mundane, and allow viewers to “see old places with new eyes”.
Working frequently under the name Sarah Elgart/Arrogant Elbow, she has done numerous site-specific projects including a downtown LA rooftop dance lit entirely by a hovering helicopter, and created new works with commissions from City of LA Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles World Airports, BodyTraffic and more. Elgart’s productions have been seen at seminal sites & venues including The Music Center, Los Angeles International Airport, The Skirball Center, The Bradbury Building, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara and LACMA, and most recently at Mass MOCA, where she collaborated with Nels Cline of Wilco as part of the Solid Sound Festival.
In addition to her live work, Elgart has choreographed extensively for film, commercials, and television, working with noted directors including JJ Abrams, Catherine Hardwicke, David Lynch, and others. Her work in community with transitional homeless, maximum- security inmates and others has been produced and commissioned by venues including The Getty,The Olympic Arts Festival, Mark Taper Forum, and The European Culture Capitol. Sarah also writes the weekly column ScreenDance Diaries for the online magazine Cultural Weekly about the intersections of dance and film.
Julie Macdonald (Co-Owner, MSA Agency)
Julie McDonald is co-owner of McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA). She is the pioneer in the field of dance and choreography representation, having formed the first talent agency in 1985 devoted exclusively to dance. While breaking ground by representing her clients across all mediums of entertainment, she became an advocate for better terms and working conditions for dancers and choreographers and devoted herself to raising the visibility of the art and craft of commercial dance and especially choreography. In 2000 she and Tony Selznick formed McDonald Selznick Associates. (MSA). Their clients represent a who's who in the world of dance and have been nominated for or have won numerous Emmy, Tony, and MTV awards. MSA clients have directed and/or choreographed Las Vegas spectacles, Broadway productions, television prime time dramas and sitcoms, every awards show including the Emmy, Grammy, and Oscar Awards, and numerous films spanning the past three decades.
Alan Tudyk (Actor: Star Wars: Rogue One, Frozen, Trumbo, Dodgeball)
Alan Wray Tudyk is an American actor and voice artist known for his roles as Hoban "Wash" Washburne in the television series Firefly and movie Serenity, Alpha in the science fiction TV series Dollhouse, Tucker McGee in Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Steve the Pirate in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story and Wat in A Knight's Tale. He also co-starred on the ABC sitcom Suburgatory. He had a supporting role in the film 42 as baseball manager Ben Chapman and voiced significant roles in Walt Disney Animation Studios' Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Moana and Zootopia. Most recently, he produced, directed, wrote and starred in the web series Conman, and plays K2SO in Star Wars: Rogue One. He also co-stars in the NBC sitcom series Powerless with Vanessa Hudgens.
Peter Chu (ChuThis!, Kidd Pivot)
Originally from Cocoa Beach, Florida, Peter Chu is a distinguished artist who strives to push the physical bounds of dance. He began his training as a competitive gymnast, later nurturing his artistry at Dussich Dance Studio where his evolution into dance began. As a BFA student at The Juilliard School (under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy), Chu was pushed further as a technical mover and began an explosive journey into choreography. Upon graduation, he was awarded the Hector Zaraspe Prize for Choreography. Chu is a remarkable and multi-faceted artist. As a performer, he has danced with BJM _Danse and EZdanza, as the lead in Christina Perri’s Jar of Hearts music video, in Celine Dion’s Vegas spectacular A New Day, and with Crystal Pite’s company Kidd Pivot. In 2008, Chu formed a Las Vegas project-based company—chuthis. His multi-disciplinary dance company combines innovative lighting and sound with live contemporary movement. Chu presented his newest works, Face Her and Smile Masking, under a residency partnership with the Las Vegas—Clark County Library District and later premiered the works at Festival International DansEncore. Chuthis. also provides movement classes at universities and dance programs domestically and abroad plus hosts its own annual movement intensive. The chuthis. Movement Intensive fosters technical/artistic development and mind/body familiarity while igniting an adventurous side of dance. Recently, Peter implemented chuthis. Moves, 2-3 day customized workshops that emphasize movement education.
Recipient of the 2010 A.C.E. Capezio Award, Chu was also honored as selected choreographer for the Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival (directed by Linda Kent) and choreographed for the ninth and tenth seasons of So You Think You Can Dance. He has created pieces for Naomi Stikeman (Çaturn; consulted by Robert Lepage), Orlando Ballet Theatre, Hubbard Street 2, Giordano Dance Chicago, Houston Met Dance Company, and New Dialect. He has also created for Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) Summer Intensive (2013, 2014, 2016), Springboard Danse Montréal (principal company), Western Michigan University, The Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase, Brigham Young University Contemporary Dance Theatre, Southern University of Utah, and Alvin Ailey Certificate Program. Last season, Chu enjoyed serving as the rehearsal director for Nederlands Dans Theater 2.
More about Peter can be found HERE.
Robert James Hoffman III
Robert Hoffman has been much sought-after for his skills as a dancer and choreographer. He shared in an American Choreographer Award for the film "You Got Served," in which he also co-starred, and also starred in the film "Step Up 2: The Streets." In addition, he has been seen dancing in such films as "Guess Who?," "Coach Carter," "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Vanilla Sky." As a dancer, Hoffman has also worked with such stars as Christina Aguilera, Usher, Mya, Marilyn Manson, and Ricky Martin, for whom he also served as a dance double in a music video.
Growing up in Florida, Hoffman was first inspired to dance when he was mesmerized by Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. He began his dance training while still in kindergarten and went on to attend a fine arts high school. He later joined Ballet South, headed by American Ballet Company legend Wes Chapman.
Hoffman has quickly become one of the break-out stars from MTV's hit series "Wild 'N Out," an improv show produced by Nick Cannon. The show has drawn many guest stars (including Tyra Banks, Method Man, Lil' John, Kevin Hart, and Omarion) and has proven to be an impressive talent showcase for Hoffman as his effortless comedic timing and creative flair consistently keep him on top in the shows' improv competitions.
When not acting or dancing, Hoffman spends his time making short films. His wide range of self-depicted characters continues to shock and entertain his growing fanbase. The videos can be seen on his website at www.PUNCHROBERT.com.
Adam Barruch (Anatomiae Occultii)
Adam Barruch began his career as a young actor, performing professionally on Broadway and in film and television, working with prominent figures such as Tony Bennett, Jerry Herman and Susan Stroman. He later received dance training at LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts. After three years, he graduated early and was accepted into the dance department at The Juilliard School. As a dancer he has performed the works of Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Susan Marshall, Jose Limon, Daniele Dèsnoyers, and was a dancer with Sylvain Émard Danse in Montreal. Based in Brooklyn, Adam currently creates and performs work under the epithet of his own company, Anatomiae Occultii. As a choreographer, Adam’s work has been presented at venues such as The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, City Center, NYU/ Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, The Juilliard School, The Baryshnikov Arts Center, Ailey-Citigroup Theater, The 92Y: Buttenweiser Hall, Jacob’s Pillow: Inside/Out, LaMaMa,The Cedar Lake Theater, Gina Gibney Dance Center, The Harris Theater, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Cowles Center, The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard, Bates Dance Festival and Theatre Usine C in Montreal. He has also taught technique and repertory at Princeton University, The Boston Conservatory, The Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program, Marymount Manhattan College, The Martha Graham School, The Hartt School, The Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, West Virginia University and La Escuela Profesional de Danza de Mazatlán (EPDM).
Adam Barruch was selected as a participant in the 2011 Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab made possible by generous support from the Ford Foundation. Adam Barruch’s short-film collaboration with filmmaker Nel Shelby, Folie a Deux, was screened at the Dance On Camera Festival in Lincoln Center in 2012. In June 2013, Adam performed a full-length evening solo work, My Name is Adam, at Joe's Pub commissioned by DanceNOW NYC, and was a recipient of a Late Stage Production Stipend from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. In addition, he has also created works for companies such as Ailey II, Keigwin + Company, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, River North Dance Chicago, BalletX, GroundWorks Dance Theater and Minnesota Dance Theatre, as well as for dance icons Margie Gillis and Miki Orihara. Adam has also choreographed two music videos for Tokyo based musical act mishmash*. Adam was the recipient of a 2014 Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences, which recognizes institutions and individuals for distinguished accomplishments and exceptional talent in the arts and sciences. In September 2015, Adam Barruch was the choreographer-in-residence at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara, California as part of the 2015 DANCEworks Residency. He is currently working on a new physical theater production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Albert Esquilin AKA The Ghost of New York
Pioneer & King of freeform bruk up dancing, pioneer of The Ghost Walk & pivot stepping/bruk up style gliding. As a child Albert was in a tragic accident that crushed his leg. He grew up with a leg brace and went through the normal teasing of a handicapped child, but it served a greater purpose in his future. He eventually overcame the injury and even more, was blessed with abnormal strength and balance control later as a young man from Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. During his J.H.S years his cousin Shawn (poba) Theagene was very popular in school and the center of attention at every party, doing the dance called the "bruk up." Albert didn't have much knowledge of the style but as a childhood fan of Micheal Jackson, was able to teach himself how to pop on beat from the understanding of his feet. He progressed at a wild rate, dancing to full songs with footwork as if his feet were speaking the words of the song. His love for occult movies like Innocent Blood and Lost Boys characters like vampires, spirits, supernatural and superior types fueled his creation of a spinoff move from "the airwalk," which looks like a traveling spirit. He soon after became known as The Ghost. As time passed he became the most feared dancer on Brooklyn streets, at the time taking the superhero approach of 2 personas: Albert and Ghost. He battled people at nightclubs with a scream mask but with a different style from his normal persona, consisting of fast pauses, musicality in his glide, contortion of the body and phantom-like movement. "Albert" was a more happy, confident, energetic character with flow & glide transition, and always waved HI as a trademark, making him recognizable. It was when he saw himself on video for the first time that CHANGED EVERYTHING - he was amazed with how he looked but knew that there was more and has been chasing it ever since.
Teddy Forance (Shaping Sound)
Teddy Forance grew up at his family's 4th Generation Dance studio the Hackworth School of Performing Arts in Easthampton, MA. Teddy's professional career has afforded him the opportunity to perform with Madonna, Janet Jackson, Florence & The Machine, Usher, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Maxwell, Cirque Du Soleil, Blake Shelton & Kylie Minogue. Teddy has performed on on the AMA's, The OSCARS, EMMYS, VMA's, GMA, and he has co-choreographed two Shaping Sound pieces on DWTS and two performance on ELLEN. Teddy was also one of the contemporary dancers in Step Up Revolution movie. Teddy is in his 7th season of the Jump Dance Convention and has started a summer intensive called "GenerationIVdance" in Northampton, MA. Teddy is a co-founder of www.CLIstudios.com the next level of merging dance education and technology.
Jim Keith (President, Movement Talent Agency)
Being born and growing up in Los Angeles, Jim is a true Hollywood kid. He has worked in Los Angeles as a performer (actor and dancer), choreographer, educator and talent representative for over a decade. A former Hollywood High School Performing Arts Center alumni (graduates include comedy legend Carol Burnett, singer Brandy and the late John Ritter) and Joe Tremaine Dance Center Scholarship student, Jim wishes to bring integrity and passion to the art form he loves most. His comedic style and knack for making dance students understand quickly first established him as a highly sought after teacher in the Los Angeles area and throughout the United States to instruct private workshops and teach on conventions and competitions. A firm believer in strong, classical technique mixed with current trends and styles, he was seen teaching on guest, substitute or permanent faculty at over 12 different studios across southern California and judging for over 30 dance and cheer competitions nationwide. In 2010 he was nominated for “Dance Judge of the Year” by the Spirit Industry Trade Association and asked to serve on the advisory board for the Young Choreographers Festival. Later that same year, he left DDO and opened his own talent management company called The Movement. The Movement was the first management company of its kind. Dedicated exclusively to the careers of choreographers and dance educators. After two highly successful years of talent management, he returned to agenting, only now as partner and president of his own agency. Together with dance icon and entrepreneur Bill Bohl, he has formed a new talent agency exclusively dedicated to dance called MTA or The "Movement Talent Agency". He and Bill are very excited to begin moving toward a new design in dance representation and setting new standards of excellence in their field.
Jonathan Emanuell Alsberry (Emerging Choreographer)
JoJo is a dance educator, creator and coach focused on inspiring excellence and joy in the study of Ballet, Jazz, and Modern techniques with a constant dedication to the exploration of artistry and the creative process. Born in Normal, IL he began dancing with his mother Lyndetta and went on to graduate from The Chicago Academy for the Arts where he has since been guest faculty and created over a dozen dances for the school and company. In 2006 he received his Bachelors of Fine Arts from The Juilliard School where he met Aszure Barton. Jonathan a.k.a “Jojo” is now dancer, rehearsal director, and creative collaborator with Aszure Barton & Artists and has assisted Ms. Barton in over a dozen creations including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bayerische Staatsballett and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Jonathan has performed for Prince Edward III in Banff, Canada, and shared two tours with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen Dance as well as Evolution with Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo. Jonathan has performed as a principal dancer with The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Chicago Opera Theater. In 2007 Jonathan joined the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and is currently performer and rehearsal director with the company. Other credits include Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Nilas Martins Dance Company, and Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. He has worked independently with Randy Duncan, MTV. Since 2007 Jonathan has been teaching, coaching and creating work at various educational institutions including Harvard University, Lou Conte Dance Studio, The National Ballet School, and Ballet Hispanico.
Lar Lubovitch (Lar Lubovitch Dance Company)
One of America's most versatile, popular and highly acclaimed choreographers, Lar Lubovitch founded the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company 46 years ago. In the years since, he has choreographed more than 100 dances for his New York-based company, which has performed in nearly all 50 American states as well as in more than 30 foreign countries.
Lar's dances are renowned for their musicality, rhapsodic style and sophisticated formal structures. His radiant, highly technical choreography and deeply humanistic voice have been acclaimed throughout the world. Lar Lubovitch has been hailed by The New York Times as "one of the ten best choreographers in the world," and the company has been called a "national treasure" by Variety.
Born in Chicago, Lar Lubovitch was educated at the University of Iowa and the Juilliard School in New York. His teachers at Juilliard included Antony Tudor, Jose Limon, Anna Sokolow and Martha Graham. He danced in numerous modern, ballet, jazz and ethnic companies before forming the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in 1968.
Katarzyna Skarpteowska (Lar Lubovitch repertoire)
Skarpteowska first worked with the Lubovitch Company in 2007. She started dancing at age 13 in her native city of Warsaw, Poland. Two years later, she was cast in a first ever Polish musical Metro, directed and choreographed by Janusz Jozefowicz with music by Janusz Stoklosa. In April 1992, the show had its Broadway premiere, the 15-year-old Skarpetowska was the youngest cast member. In 1995, she enrolled in the NYC High School of Performing Arts, graduated, and then went on to study at the prestigious Julliard School under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy. After graduating with a BFA in Dance, she joined Parsons Dance where from 1999 until 2006 she performed lead roles in the company’s repertoire. From 2006 until 2008, Skarpetowska was a guest member of The Battleworks Dance Company founded by her former colleague at Parsons Dance and the present artistic director of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Robert Battle. From 2007 until 2014, she danced for the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. She has had the privilege of working as a repetiteur and assistant choreographer to Lar Lubovitch, David Parsons, and Robert Battle. Her own choreography has been performed by Richmond Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater II, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Parsons Dance, Buglisi Dance Theater, Hubbard Street 2, Houston Metdance, Big Muddy Dance Company, Owen/Cox Dance Group, and Bruce Wood Dance Project, among others. In recognition for her choreographic efforts, she was named Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2016. Skarpetowska is also a freelance teacher holding workshops throughout the world.
Cindy Salgado (Choreographer)
Cindy Salgado has been a proud member of Crystal Pite’s Kidd Pivot since 2009. She is currently on faculty with New York City Dance Alliance, was recently Assistant Rehearsal Director for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and a cofounder/volunteer teacher for Artists Striving To End Poverty, which brought her to South Africa, India, New York, and South Florida. As a choreographer,Cindy has created work on the dancers of Kidd Pivot and has choreographed for the Peridance Certificate Program as well as solos for Fordham and Columbia Universities. In 2014 she began a multimedia dance theatre company called Shook Ones with spoken word poet, Alejandro Rodriguez, and multimedia artist, Yazmany Arboleda, showcasing their work in venues throughout New York, Toronto & LaGuardia Performing Arts Center.
Cindy's dance career has spanned 20 years; graduating from the Juilliard School with the Princess Grace Award in 2005 and freelancing in New York and abroad with Aszure Barton & Artists, Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen Dance, Peter Chu's Chu This, and more. She assisted Andy Blankenbuehler in pre-production for multiple Broadway shows including Hamilton and In The Heights. Cindy has performed for Mia Michaels since 1999 in various concert and commercial projects and assisted her in Delirium by Cirque du Soleil. Cindy is excited to join the Barton sisters this summer, both teaching rep of Crystal Pite's and as one of Axis Connect's emerging choreographers.
Lakey Wolff (CESD Talent Agency)
Lakey Wolff has been an Agent in the New York office of Cunningham Escott Slevin Doherty, a top tier full service talent agency for over 14 years. She has developed a highly competitive roster of talent culled from the worlds of theatre, film and television with a strong concentration on dance.
Over 10 years ago, Lakey developed the dance department and maintains excitement and passion about finding and developing talent. Many of our CESD clients come to us from ballet, modern, and contemporary dance companies such as ABT, NYCB, David Parsons, Paul Taylor, Alvin Ailey, Complexions, Karole Armitage, Complexions, NDT, Lar Lubovich, Semperoper Ballett, and many others.
CESD dancers are performing with various dance companies, Broadway Shows, television commercials, starring in TV shows, music videos, guest judges on So You Think You Can Dance, and have toured with artists such as Madonna, Shakira, Missy Elliott, etc.
Nathan Madden (Broadway: An American in Paris)
Nathan Madden works in many different arenas as a choreographer and continues to challenge himself with various companies, festivals, projects and productions around the world. He has set and created work on the Broadway cast members of "An American In Paris", "CHICAGO", Les Ballet Jazz De Montreal, Ice Theater of New York, members of the Juilliard School's dance and drama programs, as well as both Houston and Atlanta Ballet Academies. He has assisted Gemsy De Lappe and Michelle Linch at The MUNY for several seasons, Jeffery Denman with NYMTF, and has been a movement coordinator for various music videos and fashion add campaigns. He was Awarded the “Héctor Zaraspe Prize” for exemplary talent in choreography, placed in both the "ACE awards" and "The National Society of Arts and Letters" competitions, and won the Audience choice award for the Reverb Festival 2014. He is passionate about outreach work and teaches around the world. "So grateful to be continuing to grow from Glory to Glory!" Romans 8:37-39 www.nathanmadden.com
Reed Luplau (Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof)
Born in Perth, Western Australia. Reed started dancing at the age of 18 months at his mothers studio Jody Marshall Dance Company, where he trained in Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Acrobatics and Musical Theatre. At the age of 15, Reed was accepted into The Australian Ballet School, where he continued his training. Before graduating in 2004, Reed was invited by then Artistic Director’s Graeme Murphy & Janet Vernon, to join Sydney Dance Company (SDC). While with SDC, Reed was given the opportunity to choreograph two short works. ‘Misguided’, and ‘GO!’, both receiving great critically acclaim. At the end of 2008, Reed represented Australia in Nigel Lythgoe's 'Superstars of Dance'' on the NBC Network. An olympic style dance competition where eight countries competed for the gold medals. Deciding to leave SDC in 2009, Artistic Director, David McAllister of the Australian Ballet, invited Reed to choreograph a new ballet for the 2009 Bodytorque Season. ‘Bleecker’ the work created, received a nomination at the 2010 Australian Dance Awards for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Choreography’. 2009 also saw Reed create works for the Sydney Opera House, QL2 in Canberra, Youth Ballet WA, and The West Australian Ballet. Since moving to New York City Reed has performed for Stephen Petronio Company, Aszure Barton & Artists and most recently Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Other performances include 'Phish' at Madison Square Garden, Fighting Gravity by Sonya Tayeh and The Last Goodbye directed by Alex Timbers.Not only a dancer, Reed's film credits include the role of Theo in Alan Brown's Five Dances, featured ensemble in Mao's Last Dancer and the lead in Kelley Abbey's My Mutation. In 2014 Reed made his Off-Broadway Theatre debut in David Henry Hwang's 'Kung Fu', Directed by Leigh Silverman and choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, produced by the Signature Theatre Company. Opera credits include playing the principal role of 'BOSIE' in the production 'OSCAR' with Santa FE Opera and Opera Philadelphia.
James Fayette (LA Dance Project)
Mr. Fayette retired from New York City Ballet in 2005 at the rank of Principal dancer. Throughout James’ dancing career he was privileged to work with the greatest dancers and choreographers of that time, originating roles in works by Jerome Robbins as well as ballets by other choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, Susan Stroman, Lynn Taylor-Corbett and numerous works by Peter Martins. He also established himself as an excellent partner in a number of signature roles in the New York City Ballet repertoire.
Following retirement from full time performing in 2005, he was recruited by the dancers’ union to become the New York Area Dance Executive for the American Guild of Musical Artists, representing professional dancer employment nationwide. He has worked closely with the managements and dancers of most major American dance companies and his approach to resolving problems between companies and their artists has earned him a high level of respect throughout the professional dance world.
In 2014 the Founding Director of L.A. Dance Project, Benjamin Millepied, invited him to take the role of Managing Director of the company in addition to his role as Associate Director of L.A. Dance Project’s affiliated school, the Colburn Dance Academy, where he also teaches and rehearses student as part of its faculty.
Jessica Schatz (“Pilates for Dancers & Athletes")
Jessica Schatz, Master Pilates Instructor and founder of Body By Jessica™, has become one of the most popular teachers of Pilates in Los Angeles and has created a buzz around the U.S. Jessica developed a unique proprietary program known as “Pilates for Dancers & Athletes,” which combines Pilates, Exercise Physiology and Kinesiology with specialized and targeted strength and conditioning techniques. She customizes instruction to personally address a student’s experience level and individual body type, with sophisticated adjustments for possible risk factors. Jessica utilizes PREhab - which creates a “suit of armor” and promotes career longevity. Dancers, athletes, and all who receive Jessica’s guided training, report lasting physiological benefits and long-range resiliency during and after their professional careers. The vitality and pace of Jessica’s private instruction and classes stirs motivation to work at a maximum level. Jessica inspires students who commit themselves to work to develop a lean, flexible, healthy, injury-free body that defies aging.
Jessica Schatz hails from San Francisco, CA where she danced professionally with companies including Limon West, Tandy Beal & Company, American Musical Theatre of San Jose, Opera San Jose, and others. In San Francisco and Los Angeles, Jessica choreographed musical plays and videos for over 20 years. She earned her Classical Pilates Training and Certification from direct protégés of the famed Romana Kryanowska. Jessica works in Los Angeles as well as nationally and internationally as a Master Pilates Instructor and Exercise Physiologist. Added to her Pilates certification and skills are personal trainer certification & JOGA© Coach (“Yoga for Jocks”) certification. Jessica founded Body By Jessica ™ and designed Pilates for Dancers & Athletes, a uniquely effective program that further enhanced her reputation as a Master Pilates Instructor. Her diverse clientele includes professional and non-professional dancers, current and former members of the NBA, NFL, & MLB, celebrity TV and film actors as well as general fitness enthusiasts.
Joan Wulfsohn (Tensegrity)
Joan Wulfsohn is a dancer, actress, writer and healer who has practiced and taught her Cellular Recall Therapy in eleven countries. Cellular Recall is a soft, non-invasive, hands-on type of bodywork which addresses cellular memory and optimally hones the connection between mind, body, and spirit. Each session is geared to the needs of the individual and serves–not only in the healing of injuries–but also in the removal of blocks resulting from past trauma or malfunction. This facilitation of maximum potential results in heightened awareness, an expansion of consciousness, and a new level of performance where the artist can “forget” technique and concentrate on artistic expression and effortless performance. She was a soloist with the national ballet of South Africa and performed and choreographed internationally in Jazz and contemporary companies.
Her numerous teaching credits include Movement for Actors at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute, and for dancers at the Centre International de Danse Rosella Hightower in Cannes,; the Conservetoire de la Musique et la Danse and the University of Nice; Centro National Del Teatro in Barcelona and Ecole Peter Goss in Paris.
Andre Kasten & Leah Moyer
Andre and Leah are a unique and innovative duo of Director Choreographers whose ability to evoke emotion on a large scale has set them apart from the rest. They have made their mark all across the world, directing and choreographing Franco Dragone’s The Dai Show in Southern China, as well as choreographing Cirque du Soleil’s Allavita! at the Milan World Expo in Italy. Most recently, they co-directed and choreographed an official Beatles music video to “While My Guitar (Gently Weeps)”, released on VEVO in July 2016. Leah and Andre also choreographed two brand new acts in Cirque du Soleil’s newly refreshed The Beatles’ LOVE in Las Vegas to the songs “Yesterday” and “While My Guitar”. Their other credits include directing and choreographing the off-Broadway show Gray St, choreographing Cirque du Soleil’s world renowned One Night for One Drop and choreographing work for the Nevada Ballet Theatre and Circus Couture. They have also helped to create for the Warner Brothers’ movie Spring Breakdown and directed and choreographed their own short film entitled Theory of Relativity.
Before becoming an outstanding creative team, Leah & Andre had substantial entertainment careers, performing in shows such as Celine Dion’s A New Day, Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles’ LOVE, and originating Cirque du Soleil’s Viva ELVIS!. Other performance credits include Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Elton John and Bette Midler. www.msaagency.com/andreandleah