Faye Driscoll is a Bessie Award-winning performance maker who has been hailed as a “startlingly original talent” (Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times) and “a postmillenium postmodern wild woman” (Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice). Her work has been presented nationally at the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker Art Center, The Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston, MCA/Chicago and BAM/Brooklyn Academy of Music and internationally at La Biennale di Venezia, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Melbourne Festival, Belfast International Arts Festival, Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens and Centro de Arte Experimental (Universidad Nacional de San Martín) in Buenos Aires. Driscoll has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Creative Capital award, a NEFA National Dance Project Award, MAP Fund Grant, a French-US Exchange in Dance Grant, Jerome Foundation Grant, a Foundation for Contemporary Art Grant, a Doris Duke Artist Award, and a US Artists Doris Duke Fellowship and she is the recipient of the 2018 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award. She recently choreographed for Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men on Broadway and for Madeline’s Madeline a film, currently in theaters, by Josephine Decker.
Miguel Gutierrez lives in Brooklyn, NY. He creates dance-based performances, music and poetry that focus on desire, identity and the search for meaning. He is a 2016 Doris Duke Artist. His work has been presented in venues such as Centre National de Danse, Centre Pompidou, ImPulsTanz, Fringe Arts, Walker Art Center, TBA/PICA, MCA Chicago, New York Live Arts, Live Arts Bard, and the 2014 Whitney Biennial. He has received support from Creative Capital, MAP, National Dance Project, and Jerome Foundation and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, United States Artists, New York Foundation for the Arts, Tides Foundation as well as a Foundation for Contemporary Art award and four NY Dance and Performance Bessies. He recently premiered This Bridge Called My Ass, a group performance that bends tropes of Latinidad to articulate new relationships to identity and form. It was presented by The Chocolate Factory as part of American Realness 2019. He currently performs a music project called SADONNA, where he turns Madonna’s upbeat songs into sad anthems. He runs LANDING, an educational initiative at Gibney, and his book When You Rise Up is available from 53rd State Press. www.miguelgutierrez.org
Biba Bell (b. 1976, Sebastopol) is a writer, dancer, and choreographer based in Detroit. Her research interests include contemporary choreography, site-specificity, domesticity, artistic and emotional labor, architecture and the performance of home, and dance in visual art contexts. Bell performed as a founding member of the collective MGM Grand (Modern Garage Movement, 2005-2011) and with NYC-based choreographers Maria Hassabi and Walter Dundervill amongst others. Of her dancing the New York Times writes “It’s invigorating to watch someone who borders on wild. Bell is currently working on a book project titled “Homing Devices: Choreographic Site in Contemporary Dance.” She earned her PhD in Performance Studies from New York University and is an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University.
Sean Donovan is an actor, dancer, writer, choreographer and director. He’s been nominated twice for BESSIE awards for Outstanding Performer for his body of work. He’s worked with Faye Driscoll, Miguel Gutierrez, Jane Comfort, The Builders Association, Witness Relocation, Jennie Marytai Liu, John Jesurun and many others. Recent credits include Thank You for Coming: PLAY at BAM Fisher and national tour, Thank You For Coming: Attendance at Danspace Project and
an international tour, Age & Beauty Part 2 at NYLA, and House/Divided at BAM
(NY) along with a national tour. He received his BFA in Theatre from New York
University’s Experimental Theatre Wing. He has trained and performed
internationally in France, Holland, Romania, Poland, Russia, Panama, Argentina,
Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Thailand and Japan working with the
highly acclaimed Ildi! Eldi of France and Sankai Juku Butoh company of
Japan. He has also performed at theaters and universities throughout the U.S.
His newest work, Cabin, will premiere in May at The Bushwick Starr.
Michael Figueroa is a Cambridge based dance maker, teacher, waiter, performer, and director of Ruckus Dance. He has lived in the greater Boston area for 10 years. In that time, he’s worked as the Work Study Coordinator and Scheduler at Green Street Studios; performed at the Dance Complex, GSS, Out of the Blue Too, Aeronaut Brewery, Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston Center for the Arts, Tufts University, Dance Now Boston, Outside the Box Festival and College of the Holy Cross; and taught (and is still teaching) weekly classes as part of the Midday Movement Series. MMS is a class series curated by Marissa Molinar that provides consistent training for advanced/professional dancers and support to emerging contemporary dance teachers. Michael attended The Boston Conservatory and graduated with a BFA in dance. Michael was a James K. Spriggs scholarship recipient for Lion’s Jaw 2017.
Jonathan González is in the process of making performance and materials of different media for the purpose of performance. Their work, ZERO, based on the architecture and slave trafficking practices of the historic St. Marks Church, was nominated for a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Outstanding Production in 2018. Recent works include: black MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), Illusion Procedures #5: w/o Angie (Park Avenue Armory), and cancel (School for Contemporary Dance and Thought) adapted for 8mm film; with recent premieres of their two-part work, Lucifer Landing I & II (2019), at MoMA PS1’s Sunday Sessions and Abrons Arts Center. Previously an LMCC Workspace Resident, NARS Foundation International Artist, and Maggie Allesse National Center for Choreography Artist. They are based in their hometown of New York City.
Jasmine Hearn is a performer, director, choreographer, organizer, and teaching artist. A native Houstonian, she graduated magna cum laude from Point Park University with her B.A. in Dance. She/They currently collaborate(s) with filmmaker and visual artist, Alisha B. Wormsley. They have worked and performed with David Dorfman Dance, Alesandra Seutin (UK), Solange Knowles, Kate Watson-Wallace, STAYCEE PEARL dance project, Marjani Forté-Saunders, Jenn Meridian, Helen Simoneau Danse, Lovie Olivia, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, and with Nick Mauss a part of the performance cast of TRANSMISSIONS—an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Awarded a 2017 “Bessie”Award for Outstanding Performance as a part of the Skeleton Architecture, Jasmine has also been an artist in residency at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Camargo Foundation (FR), and Dance Source Houston. A 2018 Dancing While Black fellow, they currently are an 2018/2019 Movement Research AIR. She spends her time as vessel and storyteller using dance and sound as materials to make, teach, and perform around the world.
Kendra Portier is an NYC-based maker, teacher, and performer. The projects she takes on are dance-centered collaborations that draw upon her visual arts. Her current choreography is a multi-installment investigation of color, color theories, and perception (Color Works: Burnish, Phosphorium). Kendra has held faculty and guest artist positions at numerous dance programs, facilities, festivals, and repertory companies around the world. She is currently Artist in Residence at the University of Maryland. More information is available at www.kendraportier.com
Babatunji Johnson was born in Portland, Oregon but raised on the Big Island of Hawaii. He received his formal dance training from Center Stage Dance Studio and the University of Hawaii in Hilo before moving to San Francisco to train at the LINES Ballet Training Program on full scholarship. Babatunji has performed works by diverse choreographers such as Sidra Bell, Amanda Miller, and Gregory Dawson. He has performed all over the world and danced with company’s such as Alonzo Kings Lines ballet, Philein/ZiRu productions, Maurya Kerr’s tinypistol, and Dawson|Wallace Dance Project. In 2015 Babatunji was given a Princess Grace as well as a Chris Hellman award for his achievements in dance.
Taylor Knight and Anna Thompson are Co-Founding Artistic Directors of slowdanger, a multidisciplinary performance entity based in Pittsburgh PA. As multidisciplinary artists, slowdanger fuses sound and movement through improvised contemporary and postmodern dance frameworks. The more they engage in this collaborative work, the more they recognize the manifestation of their work as a non-binary entity that is one body amassed of multiple bodies in space. slowdanger is an organism that uses performance and collaboration to delve into circular life patterning such as effort, transformation, and death. Within this system, slowdanger works with an engaged and deepened understanding of energy, synergy, action, gender, time, and storytelling. From directing music videos to scoring a play, slowdanger transforms their shape to adapt to a variety of different containers. slowdanger’s performance work has been featured across the U.S. and Canada in venues ranging from proscenium theater settings and galleries to nightclubs and dive bars. They were named ‘25 to Watch’ in Dance Magazine (2018). Their work has been experienced at Springboard Danse Montreal, The MoMA, The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, Links Hall, 14th St. Y, Otion Front Studios, The Center for Performance Research, The VIA Festival, Honcho, Hot Mass, Place Des Arts, Usine C, Université du Québec à Montréal, The Pittsburgh Biennial, BAAD!, The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, Triskelion Arts, The New Hazlett Theater and more. Currently, they are Performers in Residence at the Carnegie Museum of Art and Creatives in Residence at The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University.
Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste is a New York based artist, composer, and performer. He received a Bessie Award for Outstanding Music Composition/Sound Design in 2018 and has presented visual and performance work at spaces including MoMA PS1 (NY); Performance Space New York (NY); The Brooklyn Museum (NY); The Kitchen (NY); The Studio Museum in Harlem (NY); The Philadelphia Museum of Art (PA); FringeArts, (PA); Tanz Im August at HAU3 (Berlin); and Stoa Cultural Center (Helsinki). Toussaint-Baptiste was a 2017 artist-in-residence at Issue Project Room and has also contributed writing to Artforum. He is a founding member of the performance collective Wildcat! and frequently collaborates with performers and visual artists including Will Rawls, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, and Jonathan Gonzalez. Toussaint-Baptiste holds an MFA from Brooklyn College’s Performance and Interactive Media Arts program.
Gwen Welliver is a dancer and choreographer recognized for her range across formats from performance installation to opera. Recent works include: “On its face” (Gibney), “Couple Riding” (Reid and Harriet’s Guggenheim “Works & Process”), “The Welliver Variation” (Opening Nights and the Martha Graham Dance Company), “What a Horse!” (La MaMa and the Movement Research Festival), and “Beasts and Plots” (New York Live Arts and Museum of Arts and Design). In 2015 she was invited to choreograph a new opera “Paradise Interrupted,” (Director Jennifer Wen Ma, Composer Huang Ruo) which premiered at Spoleto USA with subsequent performances at Lincoln Center Festival and in opera houses across Asia. Welliver is a New York Foundation for the Arts Choreographic Fellow (2013) and a New York Dance and Performance Bessie Awardee for Sustained Achievement in Dancing with Doug Varone and Dancers (’90-’00). Additionally, as Rehearsal Director for Trisha Brown (’00-’07), Welliver oversaw the company repertory, remounted Brown’s choreography for opera at La Monnaie/De Munt and Festival d’Aix-en Provence, and directed the revival of seminal works for the touring exhibition ‘Trisha Brown: Dance and Art in Dialogue, 1961–2001’. Welliver’s teaching experience spans decades and four continents: the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America. Her choreographic work is based in New York City and she is on the School of Dance Faculty at Florida State University.
Jessie Young is an artist and teacher living in Brooklyn. Her work has been presented by Pieter Performance Space, New York Live Arts (2017-18 Fresh Tracks Artist in Residence), AUNTS (at Mt. Tremper), DraftWork at Danspace, Brooklyn Studios for Dance and extensively in Chicago at Links Hall, Hamlin Park, Athenaeum Theatre, The Dank Haus and The Den Theater. Her choreographic work is shaped by her experiences as a performer working with Abby Z and the New Utility, Julie Mayo, Stephanie Acosta, Khecari Dance Theater, The Seldoms, The Moving Architects and many others. She works extensively as a dance and somatics teacher (pilates, yoga) teaching in NYC at places such as Brooklyn Studios for Dance, Gibney Dance, Mark Morris Dance Center and The Woods Cooperative. She received her BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah and MFA from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, works in the East Village as pilates teacher and hails from the Pacific Northwest.
Taja Will is a queer, Chilean adoptee, performer, choreographer, therapist and restorative justice facilitator. She integrates improvisation, somatic modalities, text and vocals in contemporary dance performance. Her aesthetic is one of spontaneity, bold choice making, and the ability to move in relationship to risk and intimacy. “My work insists on attention to revolving state-based material (for example, a sense of loneliness, or control, or tenderness, or humor, or dissonance, or ritual, or a combination thereof) resulting in multi-dimensional layering of physical and vocal expressivity. Themes in my work comprise of collective humanity; how we exist in our mundane and extraordinary socio-cultural environments.”
Will’s work has been presented throughout the Twin Cities and across the United States. Including local performances at the Walker Art Center Choreographer’s Evening, the Red Eye Theater’s New Works 4 Weeks, the Radical Recess series, Right Here Showcase and the Candy Box Dance Festival. Will has been named ‘One to watch, one to embrace’ as the Keeper Award recipient in 2010 from Metro Magazine, she received a 2011 Sage Award nomination, and was a featured artist in Lavender Magazine’s ‘Choreographers that Move Us’. Will received a Right Here Showcase commission, Jerome Travel Study Award and Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant for her recent solo work Bruja // Fugitive Majesty. Her futuristic trio Gospels of Oblivion: To the End received support from the MRAC Next Step Award to tour to the Lion’s Jaw Festival in Boston and MSAB Artist Initiative grant for it’s Twin Cities premiere presented by the Candy Box Dance Festival in May 2018. Will is the recipient of a 2018-19 McKnight Choreography Fellowship, administered by the Cowles Center and funded by The McKnight Foundation.
In addition to her own work Will has collaborated and dance with Rosy Simas Danse, Aniccha Arts (Pramila Vasudevan), Deborah Jinza Thayer, Off Leash Area, Vanessa Voskuil, and Body Cartography Project among others. Will maintains a private healing practice blending modalities of healing justice work with developmental psychotherapy and somatic bodywork and is a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion consultant and facilitator.
Lizzy Mulkey is a bicoastal and independent-choreographer, actress, and dancer, as well as a generous team player in art making processes. Her dance projects are continually informed and inspired by her acting, abstract art study, and her somatic work on/in her own body as well as with her clients. She finds all three inform each other and help identify the (mental and physical) stories we live by, the stories that are possible, and the adaptability and changeability available to us at any given time. She weaves both set choreography and rigorous improv scores feeding off of site-specific and processing. Lizzy received her B.A. in Dance/Theater from Loyola Marymount University and since then is often part-time faculty there. She has choreographed and performed in a number of performances in the form of: film, pop-up shows, studio shows, art walks, theater performances and “freak” burlesque, i.e. Pepper and Snatches Cowgirl Cabaret.
Diana Yourke is a vocalist, teacher and healing artist. She is passionate about sharing her skills in an effort to bring as much peace into the world as possible.
LEADING GROUP SING