University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Dance Guest Artists: 2013-2014



rebecca stennRebecca Stenn
Production Guest Choreographer: Summerdances 2014, New Work Award winner
Rebecca Stenn, dancer, choreographer, writer, teacher, formed Rebecca Stenn Company in 1996. The company has since performed to critical and popular acclaim in over 19 states nationally and internationally. Rebecca’s love for collaborations with live music comes from her years at the Interlochen Arts Academy and later the Juilliard School, where she earned a BFA in dance. In 2008, Rebecca graduated Summa Cum Laude from the The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, with her MFA in Dance and Performance. As a member of Momix Dance Theatre from 1989 to 1996, Rebecca performed in over 30 countries, touring extensively throughout Europe, the Far East, South America, the U.S. and Canada and appeared as a featured performer in films for Italian, Spanish and French television. Rebecca assisted in the choreography of and performed in the Emmy Award winning film Pictures at an Exhibition, a PBS, Dance in America Special. She is also a featured performer in the 3D IMAX film Imagine. She has collaborated with Moses Pendleton in the making of Passion, an evening length work to the music of Peter Gabriel, and assisted in the choreography of Lina Wertmuller’s Carmen at the Munich State Opera, also performing as a principal dancer. Rebecca is a founding member of Pilobolus Too, a duet company formed by Pilobolus Dance Theater. With Pilobolus Too she has toured throughout the world, created numerous works for the repertoire and a piece for the Radio City Rockettes, and has taught Pilobolus residencies at universities, elementary and high schools, and programs for the deaf and blind. Rebecca has choreographed and performed as solo dancer in Jaron Lanier’s PBS special Musork. Also with Lanier, she performed a duet show at the Kitchen in NYC entitled Thinning of the Veil. Rebecca choreographed the U.S. premiere of the Opera Leap Over the Shadow at the Lotte Lehman Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA. Other choreography credits include an evening length solo performed with the Da Capo Chamber Orchestra at Columbia’s Miller Theater in New York City, an evening length collaboration with Squonk Opera and Attack Theatre premiered in Pittsburgh, an Off Off Broadway production of The Wild Party and three productions with Vision Into Art, at Lincoln Center. Rebecca has held residencies and taught at numerous festivals and universities throughout the world, including The Juilliard School and The Sadler’s Wells Theater in London. She has been artist in residence at Barnard College, Montclair State University (winner of the NWI prize), Manahttanville College, Stockton College and Keene State College and in 2013, won the New Works award from University of Wisconsin. She has been a contributing editor at Dancemagazine, has published work in the International Journal of Dance and written for the Brooklyn Rail. Rebecca has also enjoyed collaborations with renowned photographers Howard Schatz, Roy Volkmann and George Del Barrio and visual artist Terry Rosenberg. Rebecca has been a teaching artist for both The Joyce Theater in New York City and The Open Stages Program at Lincoln Center and is on faculty at The New School. She has been the Dance Mentor/Choreographer for the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, choreographing concerts performed at the Kennedy Center and the Gusman Theater. Rebecca is the proud mother of two children, Jonah and Elie, whose father has been known to play bass for the company.

kevin williamsonKevin Williamson
Curricular Guest: Modern and Composition
Kevin Williamson is a dancer and choreographer who graduated from UCLA's Department of World Arts and Culture in 2004. Since then he has performed for the LA Opera, David Gordon, Julie Taymor, Angelin Preljocaj, Sebastian Prantl, Stephan Koplowitz, Kate Hutter, Fatima Robinson, Ryan Heffington and Maria Gillespie in Los Angeles, New York City, and Vienna. In 2007, the LA Times described Kevin as “a major artist.” In the Fall of that same year he co-directed “pinky swear” with LACDC artistic director Kate Hutter to much acclaim. Kevin had begun pursuing choreography while at UCLA – creating works for the Fringe Festival Scotland, Highways Festival of Student work, and Miami’s Winter Music Conference. In 2008, LACDC commissioned him to create his own long form work “excavating gray”. Kevin is the full time dance educator at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes. Williamson’s interest is in the fragility of structured improvisation in conjunction with idiosyncratic modern movement. Kevin premiered his company KDUB Dance at Highways performance space in October 2010 with the evening length work, Fruit, for which he received a Horton Award for Best Male Performance.

nguyen nguyenNguyen Nguyen
Curricular Guest: Modern and Composition
Nguyen Nguyen was born in Vietnam and came to the United States at the age of 7. He received a Regents Scholarship to attend UCLA and graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Nguyen received his teaching certification as a District Intern and taught for the Los Angeles Unified School District. He holds a cleared credential for secondary Biological/Chemical Science. Nguyen is currently a member of Maria Gillespie's Oni Dance as well as Holly Johnston's Ledges and Bones dance project, and has also performed with Collage Dance Theater. He has worked and collaborated with local artists Taisha Paggett, Shyamala Moorty, Nicole Smith and Eva Aymami. His own works has been presented at Highways Performance Space, Ananotomy Riot, Diavalo Space, Citrus College Dance Festival, Santa Monica's "Music and Dance by the Pier", "Dancers For Life" at Landis Performing Arts Center, and the American College Dance Festivals. Nguyen is on dance faculty at Santa Monica College where he teaches contemporary movement.

gabrielle lambGabrielle Lamb
Curricular Guest: Ballet, Improvisation, Composition
Gabrielle Lamb left home at fifteen to study at the Boston Ballet School. At 16 she declined admission to Harvard University in order to search for her artistic home, a quest which led her all the way across the United States with stops along the way to dance with the Boston and Cleveland Ballets. By 20 she found herself on the shores of the Pacific, broke and heartbroken in Los Angeles. She landed in the Czech Republic, where she performed as a soloist on the stage of the Prague State Opera. She also performed with the Finnish National Ballet, where she remained for three years as a soloist. Notable experiences of her time in Helsinki included private coaching by superstar French ballerina Sylvie Guillem and appearances as a snake-woman (kaarmenainen) in a Finnish heavy-metal ballet entitled "The Evangelicum". During the course of her career Gabrielle Lamb has used her interpretive powers to embody lilac fairies, swans, harem-dancers, milkmaids, dewdrops, angry ghosts, and ostriches; but she finds her greatest fulfillment in the creative process. She was a winner of the 2009 National Choreographic Competition of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; and her dance works for stage and screen have been presented by Hubbard Street 2, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, BalletX, Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center, and the American Dance Festival. Her dance-film work has also screened on the Bravo and ARTV networks (Canada) as well as at dance film festivals in Australia, Belgium, Argentina, France, and Japan. Last year she was Artist-In-Residence at Mystic Ballet (Connecticut) and Motion Dance+Theater (Asheville, NC) and was invited to present her work at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. Most recently she was the Grand Prize winner of the Genesis International Choreographic Competition at Milwaukee Ballet; she will have the honor of returning to the frozen shores of Lake Michigan in Winter 2014 to create a new work.

amaniyea payneAmaniyea Payne
Curricular Guest: Modern, African-Caribbean and History
P. Amaniyea Payne has built an impressive thirty year career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. She studied extensively with groups including National Dance Company of Senegal, International Afrikan-American Ballet, Ballet D'Afrique Noire De Toubacouta and Djolibah & Les Ballet Africans from Guinea. Ms. Payne has worked with seminal African dance artists such as Baba Ishangi Razak, Djibril Gueye, Assane Konte, Arthur Hall and former Muntu Artistic Directors Alyo Tolbert and Abdoulaye Camara. She also studied with African American dance experts including Frankie Manning, Micki Davison, Lenwood Sloane, Pepsi Bethel and Norma Miller as well as dance artists from Costa Rica, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba and South Africa. Ms. Payne began her tenure as Muntu's Artistic Director in 1987, after serving as guest choreographer, setting the work "African Swing" on the Company. Since that time she has been the principal architect of the company's technical growth, expanded repertory and national reputation. She has brought to the Company a commitment to authentic presentations of traditional African dance and a vision of developing and nurturing new work rooted in African, African American and Caribbean traditions. Her signature works with Muntu include, "Through Mandela's Eyes"," Yanga" and 2011's "Roff", a collaboration with Assistant Artistic Director Idy Ciss. Her style is centered in natural rhythmic movements based in and informed by traditional African dance and movement of the African Diaspora, with an emphasis on the Caribbean, as well as traditional jazz and dance theater. Ms. Payne's many credits, include touring with productions of Cab Calloway, Stevie Wonder, Redd Foxx, John Hendricks and Lindy Hop innovators Mama Lu Parks and Norma Miller. Her choreographic credits include the production ''Black Heroes and the Hall of Fame,'' which later toured the US and England and the restaging of Oscar Brown Jr.'s award winning musical ''The Great Nitty Gritty.'' She is included in dance documentaries produced by Nippon Television (Japan NY), by the BBC and has received the prestigious Ruth Page award two times, in 1994 for Dance Achievement and in 2001 for Lifetime Service.

Keely GarfieldKeely Garfield
Production Guest Choreographer: Winterdances 2014
More and more, British-born choreographer Keely Garfield has been developing her artistic offerings as an extension of her personal and professional engagement in the world beyond dance. Recent works are inflected with her time in India, Alaska, and Haiti, where she respectively studied yoga and penned a novel, hiked and choreographed a musical, and served as an integrative therapist in an orphanage and hospital. Garfield holds a BA and MFA in choreography, is a certified E-RYT 500 yoga teacher, and Urban Zen Integrative Therapist. She also teaches dance composition and improvisation at colleges, curates and writes about dance, and leads wellness workshops. Garfield’s work has been presented at many theaters and festivals both nationally and internationally. Highlights include: Deep (The Joyce Theater), Disturbing The Peace (Zenon Dance Company, MN), Iron Lung (Groundworks Dancetheater, OH), Disturbulance (Dance Theater Workshop), Scent of Mental Love (a film for Radio Bremen/Canal Arte), Limerence (Danspace Project 2009), ”Bessie” nominated Twin Pines (Danspace Project 2012), and most recently Telling The Bees (Chocolate Factory). Twin Pines will be presented at The Joyce Theater in January 2014. Additionally, she has created work for ballet dancers, antique puppets, musical theater, children, students and MTV.

Lionel Popkin
Curricular Guest: Modern
Lionel Popkin (choreographer/performer) has had his choreography presented nationally and internationally at numerous venues including DanspaceProject and Dance Theater Workshop in New York City, The Getty Museum, REDCAT, and Highways in Los Angeles, the Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Series, On the Boards in Seattle, the Wilma Theater and Philadelphia Dance Projects in Philadelphia, Sushi Performance in San Diego, Dance Place in DC, The Place Theater in London, and the Guongdong Modern Dance Festival in Guongzhou China. From 1999-2000 Lionel was a Choreographer-In-Residence at the Susan Hess Studio in Philadelphia, PA and he has been commissioned by San Diego's Lower Left Performance Collective, the Li Chiao-Ping Dance Company, Carolyn Hall, and Nejla Yatkin. As a dancer, Lionel has performed throughout the US and Europe in the companies of Trisha Brown (2000-2003), Terry Creach (1996-2000), and Stephanie Skura (1993-1996). He has received grants from the National Performance Network's Creation Fund, the Center for Cultural Innovation, the City of Los Angeles' Department of Cultural Affairs, the Santa Monica Artist Fellowship, the Puffin Foundation, the Danspace Project's Commissioning Initiative through the Jerome Foundation, the Nonprofit Finance Fund, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the New York State Music Fund, and the Durfee Foundation. He has served on the faculty of Bates College, London's Laban Centre, Sarah Lawrence College, Temple University and the University of Maryland. He is a certified teacher of Skinner Releasing Technique. Currently Lionel is an Associate Professor of Choreography and Performance at UCLA.

Morgan ThorsonMorgan Thorson
Curricular Guest: tbd
Morgan Thorson investigates movement and the body as a purveyor of culturally, socially and kinesthetically relevant life experience. Her stage productions combine movement, light, sound and objects; always considering the representation of the body, the work of her collaborators and her relationship to the history of the field. Her work is a form of itinerant labor that is crafted through the process of entering, sharing and leaving communities world-wide. Since 2002, Morgan Thorson has taught a variety of contemporary dance forms at University of Minnesota. She has also been teaching interdisciplinary courses in Religion, Drawing and Archaeology at Wesleyan University since 2010. She is a certified practitioner of Skinner Releasing Technique. Morgan is a 2011 USA Artists Friends Fellow. She has received many awards for her work including the Fused Program in 2011, The Guggenheim Fellowship in 2010, The McKnight Fellowship in Choreography in 2009 & 2002, The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) Fellowship in 2009 and 2011; and The Jerome Foundation from 1998-2007. In 2012, she was in residence at the Centre Choreographique National De Franche-Comte in Belfort, France, and a MacDowell Artist Colony Fellow. Morgan was “Best Choreographer” of 2010 awarded by the Minneapolis-St. Paul City Pages for her work, Heaven, commissioned by Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Performance Space 122 in New York and DiverseWorks in Houston. In 2007 she created the site-specific work Docudrama for which she received a 2007 Sage Award for Outstanding Choreography and “Best Choreographer” of 2008 by the City Pages. Her work Faker, commissioned by Walker Art Center, received a 2006 Sage Award for Outstanding Choreography as well. Other honors also include 2010 Dance To Go award; and The Bessie Schonberg Memorial Fellowship in 2004, and commissions from James Sewell Ballet and Zenon Dance Company. This year Morgan received a commission from the Walker Art Center for the Momentum Series. Thorson teaches dance at the University of Minnesota and has received many awards for her work including fellowships from the Bush (2000) and McKnight Foundations (2002) and Jerome Foundations (2002). In 2004 she received the Bessie Schonenberg Memorial Endowed Fellowship.

Jeanine Durning
Curricular Guest: tbd
Jeanine Durning is a choreographer and performer from New York City. Durning began performing her solo works in 1998. Her evening length group choreographies include "Wishbone" (1998), "A Good Man Falls" (2002), "half URGE" (2004), "out of the kennel into a home" (2006), and "Ex-Memory: waywewere" (2009). Since 2002, she has created15 original works, commissioned by companies and independent performers. In 2008, Durning was the recipient of The Alpert Award for Choreography. Jeanine’s current solo performance experiment, "inging," was first publicly performed in 2010 in Amsterdam and has since been invited to theaters, studios, museums, galleries and rooms in Berlin, Amsterdam, Leuven (BE), Chambersburg (PA), and Minneapolis (MN). Over the years, Jeanine has had the pleasure to work with many choreographers, among them, including David Dorfman, Susan Rethorst, Lance Gries, and Chris Yon. Jeanine has performed in several choreographed ensemble works by Deborah Hay since 2005. She is currently involved in Hay’s work with Motion Bank, an interactive archival project of the Forsythe Company, which includes her performance adaptation of the solo No Time to Fly. Jeanine also acts as consultant to the Motion Bank team on Hay’s choreographic work.

LeeSaar
Curricular Guest: Modern
Israeli Dance Company located in NYC, LeeSaar The Company was established in Israel in 2000 by Lee Sher and Saar Harari. The company uses the different disciplines and training of Theater and Dance to create original dance performances. The company members are from Taiwan, Korea, the United States, Malaysia, Canada and Israel. In 2004, after residency in Sydney, Australia, and two seasons in Tel Aviv, the company moved to NYC where it is currently based. In 2005, Lee and Saar received American green cards awarded for excellence in the performing arts. Lee, Saar and the company received the following fellowship and Grants: Six points fellowship 07, NYFA fellowship 08, Guggenheim Fellowship 08, The BUILD Grant from NYFA in 2010, The Map Fund 2010, TMU 2008 2010 2011, The Asian Cultural Council 2010, The Greenwall Foundation, 2008 2009 2010, NDP from NEFA 2010 2012, Bessie Nomination 2012

Taisha Paggett Taisha Paggett
Curricular Guest: Modern, Composition
Taisha Paggett is a Los Angeles based choreographer, dancer, teacher, and co-founder of the dance journal project, itch. Her work is inspired by various discourses on the body as an expressive tool and is interested in bridging the sensibility and discourses of both the visual and performing arts. Her movement background is inspired by a number of influential teachers and choreographers whom she's worked with over the years, as well as studies in yoga and contact improvisation. Before moving to Los Angeles she lived in New York City where she performed with the Stanley Love Performance Group, Fiona Marcotty and Kraig Patterson, and studied dance primarily through Movement Research. Prior to NYC, she attended UC Santa Cruz where she received an undergraduate degree in Art History, studied dance with Connie Kreemer, Sylvia Martins and the late Mel Wong, and performed with Moving and Storage Performance Company/Crash, Burn and Die Dance Company. Her work and collaborations have been presented in several California venues including Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, Center Stage Theater in Santa Barbara, and at the San Francisco Art Institute. Taisha has worked extensively with visual artist Ashley Hunt in collaborative video and installation work including Undeliverable Address: 54 questions that will not be answered by the White House and Engagement. She has also done freelance writing for Dance Magazine and is the co-editor of the L.A. dance journal project, itch. As a dancer, Taisha has most recently worked with David Roussève, Cheng-Chieh Yu, Victoria Marks, Rosanna Gamson, Yvonne Rainer and Cid Pearlman.

Irene DowdIrene Dowd
Curricular Guest: Movement research, composition, anatomy, tbd
Irene Dowd has a B.A. in philosophy from Vassar College, studied anatomy and neuroanatomy at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical School, and neurosciences at Teachers College, Columbia University. She studied with and assisted Dr. Lulu E. Sweigard at the Juilliard School from 1968 through 1974. Irene performed under the direction of Anna Sokolow and Jose Limon at the Juilliard School. She has been strongly influenced by her study of dance with a number of choreographers, especially Merce Cunningham, Lucas Hoving, Antony Tudor, and Viola Farber. Since 1970 she has taught dance, composition, functional and kinesthetic anatomy, and neuro-muscular re-education in many institutions throughout the United States and Canada such as University of Utah, Simon Fraser University, Queens College, Brooklyn College, the American Dance Festival, the Naropa Institute, the American Center for the Alexander Technique, the Dance Notation Bureau, the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies. She has been a consultant to professional dancers in such companies as the White Oaks Project, National Ballet of Canada, and Merce Cunningham Company. She taught in the graduate programs at Teachers College, Columbia University (MA programs in dance education from 1977 to1995) and Wesleyan University (MALS program in movement studies from 1985 to1993). From 1984 to 1986, Irene was co-principle investigator in a study on "Effects of Neuromuscular Retraining on Mobility of the Elderly", with Judith A. Smith, PhD., R.N., as principle investigator, funded by the Center for Nursing Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Her words and drawings have appeared in journals including Eddy, Dance Scope, Contact Quarterly, Dance Research Journal of CORD, Pour La Danse, La Danza, Dance Magazine, Choreography and Dance, and books including Schmerz und Sports (Pain in Sports: Interdisciplinary Paintherapy in Sportsmedicine), the International Dance Encyclopedia. She is author of Taking Root to Fly (1981,1990,1995), now in the tenth printing of the third edition. She is choreographer, director and editor of a video-film series produced by Canada's National Ballet School entitled: Spirals, Volutes, Warming Up the Hip Joints: Turnout Dance & Orbits, Preparation for Jumping, Preparation for Performance. She has choreographed for solo dancers Peggy Baker and Margie Gillis. Currently she is on the dance faculty at The Juilliard School (since 1995) and is a guest faculty member of Canada's National Ballet School (since 1991). Irene teaches in the MFA program in dance studies at Hollins University Graduate Center in conjunction with the American Dance Festival (since 2006), and is a frequent guest teacher at University of the Arts in Philiadephia. She teaches a regular weekly movement class at Movement Research in NYC. Irene has continually maintained a teaching practice in neuro-muscular training and kinesthetic anatomy for over forty years (since 1969).

Cheng-Chieh Yu
Cheng-Chieh Yu is a dance theater choreographer, whose stage and video works explore Asian Diaspora profiles, interrogating notions of gender ascription, social-political perspective, and globalization. Yu’s involved postmodern dance technique is informed by her long time practice of the Chinese martial art form, BaGuaZhang, as well as Contact Improvisation and Release technique. Yu began her performance career touring with Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan. Residing in New York City from 1989 to 2001, Cheng-Chieh performed with the Jose Limon Dance Company, the Solomons Co. Dance, Irene Hultman, Bebe Miller and as a guest artist for the Ralph Lemon Dance Project. Her choreography has been produced by numerous venues in NYC and Los Angeles as well as internationally in Germany, Israel, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. Choreographic commissions include from the Chinese Information and Cultural Center, Mulberry Street Theater, Yangtze Repertory Theater, Movement Research and Danspace at St. Mark’s Church in NYC, The Yard in Massachusetts, the Beijing Modern Dance Company and Guangdong Modern Dance Company in China, The Creative Society and Sun-Shier Dance Theatre of Taiwan, as well as the Jumping Frames Dance Video Festival in Hong Kong. She has received fellowships and grants from the Cultural Exchange International, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, James Irvine Foundation, New English Foundation, The Jewish Federation, The Asian Cultural Council, The Atlantic Center for the Arts, the CHIME Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange, the Cultural Council and the National Endowment of Arts and Cultures of Taiwan, the Jerome Foundation, the Durfee Foundation, DTW Suitcase Fund, UC Institute for Research in the Arts as well as UC Humanity Research Institute. Her extensive teaching credits include Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, the Beijing Dance Academy, ATV Academy for Performing Arts, Beijing Dance Festival, Guangdong Modern Dance Festival in China, The Suzanne Dellal Center for Dance and Theatre/Israel, as well as in NYC at Movement Research, The Limon Institute and Dance New Amsterdam (DNA). She holds a M.F.A. in Dance, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Cheng-Chieh Yu is an Associate Professor at the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, UCLA.

Gabriel Anderson
Curricular Guest: Modern and Composition
Gabriel Anderson is a choreographer, performer, and teaching artist. Gabriel draws upon a range of performing arts practices when creating new work that integrates movement, text, characterization, and sound in efforts to excavate new points of entry and considerations into the creative process. He perceives the creative space as a space for experimentation, mining and examining the innumerable ways our bodies may embody poetic expression and be used for meaning-making in choreography and performance. His choreographic work has been performed by places such as Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts, Minnesota State University-Mankato, The University of Iowa, as well as at other venues. Gabriel has taught as affiliate faculty of dance at Minnesota State University-Mankato, and has guest taught at numerous locations including: Saint Olaf College, University of Iowa, and various American College Dance Festivals. He will be joining the dance faculty at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists (Saint Paul, MN) for the academic year 2013-2014 where he will be teaching advanced modern dance technique, and will be an adjunct instructor in the Theater Department at Hamline University in the spring semester of 2014. Gabriel received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa Department of Dance with an emphasis in Choreography/Composition where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow, and taught extensively both lecture-based and dance technique courses within the department. Prior to attending the University of Iowa, Gabriel danced professionally primarily as a company member of Mathew Janczewski’s ARENA DANCES (2005- 2010), touring nationally and internationally. In addition to his work with Mr. Janczewski, Gabriel has danced professionally with numerous other dance-makers, and is currently working with Time Track Productions on their newest full-length evening work to be premiered in 2014.