Guest Artists and Faculty Presenter Bios

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2019 OhioDance Festival Brochure

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Guest Artist – 2019 Spring Festival

MARLANA DOYLE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR of the Houston METdance Company and Center is originally from Massachusetts and graduated from Point Park University in 2001 with a BA in Dance. Marlana has been apart of  METdance for the past sixteen years and was a major part of the company’s reorganization in 2003. Under her direction, Marlana’s artistic vision has taken the company to new levels of excellence and growth while holding tightly to the company’s long tradition of diversity and versatility in its dancers, choreographers, collaborators, and content. Through her commitment and drive, the company has performed at venues across the country including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Inside/Out (2012,2014,2017), Green Box Arts Festival, Destiny Rising at the Joyce Theater in NYC, Dance Chicago, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Dance St. Louis, the 17th Annual Choreography Festival in Palm Springs, CA, in addition to local venues such as the Dallas Dance Festival and Austin Dance Festival. Her strength of vision has brought many sought-after choreographers to METdance and the Houston public including Robert Battle, Camille A. Brown, Larry Keigwin, Rosie Herrera, and Katarzyna Skarpetowska. Marlana represents METdance as a member of Dance Source Houston, Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) and Dance USA, spending 2009-2012 as an emerging leader at both APAP and Dance USA. She was awarded the Dance USA Leadership Mentee Fellowship for the institute of training in 2012 and is currently serving as a Dance USA Board of Trustee and Artistic Director Council Chair for the third year in a row. Marlana has also served on many grant and organizational panels for the Houston Arts Alliance and Dance Source Houston. As a dancer, Marlana has performed works by many of the talented METdance choreographers and continues to delight audiences on stage with the company. Marlana is a regular faculty member at the METdance Center and directs the highly successful MET too and MET ensemble youth companies an intense program focused on preparing young dancers for dance programs at universities and a career in dance performance. Marlana is also a guest teacher and an award-winning choreographer for her students in Houston and  throughout the United States. She lives in Sugar Land, TX with her husband Ben and her two adorable daughters Olivia and Evie.

METdance, founded in 1995, strives to educate, entertain, and inspire its audiences through a diverse curation of repertoire that spans a full range of emotion, content, and collaboration.  Based in Houston, TX, METdance performs throughout the United States presenting works by established choreographers and emerging artists including the artistic visions of Robert Battle, Sidra Bell, Camille Brown, Peter Chu, Larry Keigwin, and Katarzyna Skarpetowska.  METdance’s passionate performers and choreographers come from a range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and instill the company’s work with a complete spectrum of emotionality and physicality.  From comedy and humor to poignant and dramatic, from fierce athleticism to detailed minimalism, METdance is committed to presenting works that speak to every audience member regardless of their background, age, sex, or experience with dance.  In this way, METdance is proud to be a leader in diversity and vitality of content. “The METdance’s gorgeous dancers push the choreography to its fullest and most generous capacity, while sharing the joy and electric verve of their craft with the audience.” Adam Castaneda, Houston Press, June 4th, 2015.

Guest Artist Houston METdance Company Members

ANDRES DE BLUST-MOMMAERTS is originally from Bogota, Colombia. Andres began studying ballet at age five, and at age twelve entered the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp in Belgium where he trained in a wide range of dance techniques. During this time, he was invited to work with choreographers such as Tamara Roso, AnnVan den Broek, and Toru Shimazaki (whose company PATCHWORK he performed with in Japan). Andres was selected for the Ecole-Atelier Rudra Béjart in Lausanne, Switzerland, giving him the opportunity to work with various international artists and to dance with Béjart Ballet Lausanne during part of its European tour. In 2008, Andres joined the Richard Alston Dance Company (RADC) in London, UK. At RADC, Andres performed extensive repertory as a corps and solo dancer in works by Richard Alston, Robert Cohan, and others, while undertaking significant touring with RADC in the UK, Europe, and the United States (including City Center and the Joyce Theater in New York City). Andres has also been a guest performer with the Donlon Dance Company and the Saarländisches Staatstheater in Saarbrücken, Germany. Andres also performed as a dancer with the Theater Trier in Germany as an ensemble member, performing in shows choreographed by Sven Gruetzmacher such as Winterreise and The Tramp, and the role of Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, choreographed by Birgit Scherzer. Andres also enjoys choreographing and costume production/design. The production of Four Seasons, in which Andres’ choreography was featured, won the Best Performance award at the 2014 GraFiTi Festival in Trier. As a dancer with METdance, Andres performed a premiere by Connor Walsh, a principal dancer of Houston Ballet, and has worked with choreographers including Rosie Herrera, Mario Zambrano, Andrea Dawn Shelley, Hattie Haggard and Emily Schoen Branch. Andres has most recently performed with METdance at the Jacob’s Pillow Festival in Massachusetts and Green Box ArtsFestival in Colorado, dancing in Katarzyna Skarpetowska’s Snow Playground and in New Second Line by Camille A. Brown. Andres is excited to start his second season with METdance.

RISA D’SOUZA is a native to Houston, TX, where she began her training in the MET too Youth Company. During this time, she had the opportunity to perform works by Pattie Obey and Kiesha White, and danced in Tidal Intersections by Katarzyna Skarpetowska with METdance in 2010. She graduated from Point Park University in December of 2013 with a BFA in Dance. During her time in college, she performed works by Randy Duncan, Alejandro Cerrudo, Ohad Naharin, Toru Shimazaki, Doug Bentz, and Garfield Lemonius, and worked with Cheryl Mann, Tobin Del Cuore, and Jamy Meek. She also was awarded a scholarship to the 2013 Parsons Dance Summer Intensive. After college, she danced with a Pittsburgh project-based company, Reed Dance, where she got to perform work by Terence Green and Christopher Huggins. She finished her third season with METdance performing work by Mario Zambrano,  Rosie Herrera, Joshua L. Peugh, Camille A. Brown, Joe Celej, Larry Keigwin, Jess Hendricks, jhon r. stronks, and her all-time favorites Kiki Lucas and Katarzyna Skarpetowska.  Risa is extremely excited to start her fourth season with METdance!


2019 Festival Faculty

Ann Cooper Albright is Professor and Chair of Dance at Oberlin College, and author of How to Land: finding ground in an unstable world (2019), Engaging Bodies: The Politics and Poetics of Corporeality (2013) which won the Selma Jeanne Cohen Prize from the American Society for Aesthetics; Modern Gestures: Abraham Walkowitz Draws Isadora Duncan Dancing (2010); Traces of Light: Absence and Presence in the Work of Loie Fuller (2007); Choreographing Difference: the Body and Identity in Contemporary Dance (1997).

Corrinne Bailey dances with MamLuft&Co. Dance in Cincinnati and is a certified Pilates instructor. She graduated from Ohio University where she received a BFA in Dance. She loves teaching and creating her own works through collaboration and experimentation. Friday April 26, 2019 8 w

Vita Berezina-Blackburn is an animation and motion capture artist with 15 plus years of multidisciplinary creative technology based research, art-making and teaching.

Kweku Bransah is a versatile hip-hop dancer who is noted for his “incredible technique and theatricality” (The Oberlin Review). He began as a self-taught dancer learning break dancing, waving and popping and continued his passion into college where he holds a BA degree in dance from the University of Akron. He has performed with Chicago Dance Crash, Robin Prichard, Verb Ballet, Elizabeth Streb, and Leslie Dworkin.?He has taught hip-hop master classes at Marlboro College, the Putney School, The University of Akron and has performed in New York, Orlando, Massachusetts, Vermont, and throughout Ohio.

Jessica Cavender is an arts documenter and dance technology specialist. Her research focuses on the posthuman body and its augmentations with tech. Jess teaches performance documentation, creative and documentary filmmaking, editing, media theory, and theories and philosophies of the body. As a screen dance artist her films have been shown across the US, Europe, South America, and Australia. She is the OhioDance, media manager for the Virtual Dance Collection. Jess holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Media Communications and Master of Fine Arts in Dance and Technology from the Ohio State University.

Anna Cerveny trained in ballet under Joanne Morscher. She earned a BS in Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University and Doctor of Physical Therapy from Columbia University. Anna traveled internationally as the physical therapist for the Broadway play, “WarHorse”. She is senior physical therapist at University Hospitals and founder of UH’s dance rehabilitation program. She is director of the Cleveland Dance Project, where she teaches, choreographs, and dances.

Sukanya Chand is a talented Dance Educator, Choreographer and Performer. She has produced variety of dance shows promoting cultural awareness and integration, and enriching and entertaining central Ohio community. She enjoys collaborating with various artists to create unique innovative pieces and gives Master classes through her dance company ‘Natya Nirvana’ and is an instructor at MUCAI Academy in Worthington, OH.

Mimi Chenfeld MA in Elementary Ed. the University of New York. a teacher, writer and educational consultant, has led the OSU Hillel Folk Dance programs since moving with her family from New York to Columbus in 1970. On their own, together and with the Hillel Group, Mimi and Marlene have danced with and for thousands of people through the years. Marlene Robbins and Mimi Chenfeld have danced together for many years.

Cassia Cramer, a Columbus, Ohio native, is a performing artist, Dance instructor, studio owner, choreographer, entrepreneur, and the director of a 501(c)3 dance company. Ms. Cramer attended Point Park University where she exclusively studied the performing arts with a concentration in modern dance. Ms. Cramer also holds a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Strayer University where she graduated with honors.

Amanda Comstock is a Registered Somatic Movement Educator (rSME), certified with the School for BodyMind Center- ing®. She deeply values the experience of body and earth as fundamentally safe places to be, and facilitates opportuni- ties for others to feel safe and enjoy being fully present in their bodies as they move with and through the world.

Megan Davis Bushway is a dance artist based in Columbus, OH. Megan teaches at BalletMet and Momentum and offers Pilates classes at the JCC, Core Poetry, and BalletMet. She dances with Sea?Bus, an improvisation-based dance company and is the videographer for OhioDance. Megan received an MFA in Dance from OSU and a BA in Art Therapy and Dance from Springfield College.

Jane D’Angelo has been affiliated with OhioDance since 1998, serving as the organization’s Executive Director since 2003. D’Angelo is a board member of Ohio Citizens for the Arts and Dance/USA, also serving as the Service Council Chair and a partner in the newly formed Collaborative for Arts Education in Ohio. D’Angelo studied dance with Danny Sloan; Kazuko and Emiko at the Boston Conservatory; Nina Alonso, Boston Ballet; and Thom Marlow Molinaro, who studied with Balanchine, Humphrey, and Graham. She was a soloist with the Bill Mackey Dance Theatre. Mackey was a student of Martha Graham, Talley Beatty and Afro-Caribbean dance. She studied Mime with Kenyon Martin, a student of Marcel Marceau, and acted with Martin Anderson at the Next Move Theatre, Boston. She participated in the executive fellowship program in the Academy for Leadership and Governance at the Jefferson Center. D’Angelo has served as a panelist for Culture Works and has adjudicated for a variety of organizations. She has presented at national conferences; National Dance Education Organization, Arts Midwest, and Dance Studies Association. D’Angelo holds a BS in Business Administration from Northeastern University and a CSS in Administration and Management from Harvard University.  She has an extensive background in dance and dance education, both performing and teaching dance to children and adults.

Ambre Emory-Maier, Director of Education and BalletMet 2 Associate Director, completed her MA in Dance Reconstruction and Directing from City University of New York. Currently, she is completing her MFA at The Ohio State University. Ambre has worked for Charlotte Ballet, the University of Hartford and Hartford Ballet.

Candace Feck (PhD) is faculty emerita in Dance at The Ohio State University, where she taught courses in contemporary dance history, theory, criticism and oral history methodology, and served as Director of Graduate Studies. She holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology, an MA in Dance, and a PhD in Art Education. Her essays, criticism and research have been shared in numerous presentations, and published in journals, book chapters, proceedings, CDs, films, websites and archives. She is the recipient of a Michael Sherker Award (1998) and a National Dance Association Award (2000). She continues to teach in guest positions around the country, and is currently at work on a major oral history and preservation initiative of the OhioDance organization.

Megan Gargano received her BFA in Performance and Choreography from Ohio University School of Dance in 2012 and furthered her studies in 2010 at the Laban Centre in Greenwich, London. In 2009, Megan co-founded The Movement Project, a non-profit dance company in Cleveland whose mission is to challenge perspectives, evoke social change and bridge communities through the power of movement. 

Mathilde Gilhet danced professionally with Ballet Junior de Geneve, Alias Company, Quorum Ballet, the French Embassy in Portugal and is currently dancing with FluxFlow Dance Project. In 2018 she choreographed for the Calouste Gulben- kian Foundation in partnership with the National Ballet of Portugal. She is a passionate teacher, and Head of Contemporary dance at Flux+Flow Dance and Movement Center.

Melissa Gould received her B.A in Dance at San Jose State University and enjoyed a professional dance career which included contracts in Japan, Las Vegas and Korea. She has choreographed dozens of musical theatre productions. As Ar- tistic Director of New Vision Dance Co. Melissa is known for her intense dance style, challenging classes and entertaining choreography

Bryant Henderson (MFA, BA), is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance and the Artistic Director of the Dance Company at Cleveland State University. He earned his MFA in Dance and Gender Studies from the University of Oregon, and BA in Dance from The University of Alabama. Bryant has performed with SYREN Modern Dance, DEMA dance, Arova Contemporary Ballet, and Celebrity Cruises.

Eve Hermann, LMT, is a professional bodyworker with advanced training in Somatic Experiencing, integrating that knowl- edge into her craniosacral therapy practice. She is a movement artist drawn to improvisational, real-time choreography. She has performed with Columbus Moving Company and SeaBus Dance Company. Most recently she studied with Nina Martin and Lower Left Collective.

Tanya Hibbard is a graduate of The Art Institute of Cincinnati and a Licensed Practical Nurse. Tanya is driven by her devo- tion to health and wellness finding yoga 7 years ago. She received her 200hr yoga certification rooted in Ashtanga from Its Yoga Cincinnati in 2016. She completed a comprehensive training in Asana technique, anatomy, meditation, philosophy and pranayama.. She is committed to self-practice, personal inquiry and growth. She believes in yogas transformative qualities and is extremely grateful to share them. Namaste.

Adam King is a nationally renowned clogging instructor and director of the Yellow Rose Cloggers of Ohio, founded 2006. He has performed for presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, for world leaders during the Economic Summit in Houston and audiences across the U.S., China, Japan and Costa Rica. His motto: “To dance is to breathe.”

Sara Lawrence-Sucato hails from Columbus, OH, graduated from Mercyhurst University (Erie, PA), and is in her thirteenth season as a member of The Dancing Wheels Company. Sara is also the company’s Tour Manager, a company class instruc- tor, and teaches residencies, workshops, and masterclasses for The Dancing Wheels Company & School. She recently became the Director of Outreach & Community Engagement.

Russell Lepley, co-founder of Flux + Flow, has danced professionally with Houston Ballet II, BalletMet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, Staatstheater Wiesbaden (Germany), and Gärtnerplatztheater (Munich, Germany). He performed the work of William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, Mats Ek, Marco Goecke, Johan Inger, Alexander Ekman, and many other renowned choreographers. These experiences inform and inspire his teaching and choreograph.

Rebecca J. Leuszler received a degree in Ballet & Modern Dance Performance from the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in 2007. During her career, Rebecca has performed with the Kirov Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ohio Dance Theatre, MOMIX Dance Theatre, Doug Elkins and Friends, Morrison Dance and Verb Ballets. In 2009, Rebecca cofounded The Movement Project, a Cleveland non-profit dance company.

Summer Logan is the founder of Bone & Fiddle Dance Collective and faculty at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. Logan holds a BFA from Ohio University and an MFA from Saint Mary’s College of California. Her training consists of Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Somatics. She has exhibited her work in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Michigan, Utah, and California

Yulia Lukyanova Moriarty was born and raised in Kaluga, Russia, a suburb of Moscow. She started her dance training at the age of six at the ballet studio in the Kaluga Concert Hall in Russia. From twelve to sixteen Mrs. Lukyanova Moriarty attended the Kaluga College of Arts.After college, she began her professional career in the State Company, Cossacks of Russia. In Moscow in 2007, she auditioned for Riverdance the Show and joined The Moscow Ballet Company where she performed folk ballet and contemporary ballet, touring until 2011. Yulia is thrilled to be starting her 5th season at her studio, The ML Dance Academy, in Columbus, with her husband Joseph

Nyama McCarthy-Brown Assistant Professor of Community Engagement through Dance Pedagogy, at The Ohio State University, Nyama is an active performer, choreographer, and educator. Originally from San Francisco, her love for dance developed at her community recreation center, and later at the local arts high school. Her book, Dance Pedagogy for a Diverse World: Culturally Relevant Teaching in Research, Theory, and Practice, was released in 2017 

Adam Maynard has taught ballroom dancing in Columbus, Ohio for the last 16 years. He has been a finalist in many national professional American Smooth competitions, as well as three-time, undefeated regional champion. Adam holds a Master of Dance degree from Dance Vision International Dance Association, and a Bachelor of Music Education from The Ohio State University

Rachel Maynard has been teaching dance to people of all ages since 1991, and danced professionally herself for 11 years. She is the Director of the Dance Program at Inspiration to Movement, Inc., where she teaches Intermediate and Advanced classes., and is the artistic director for Oyo Dance Company, a contemporary ballet company in Columbus, Ohio.

Joseph Moriarty T.C.R.G Born and raised in Pickerington, Ohio, Joseph started traditional Irish dancing at the age of seven. Joseph joined Riverdance-The Show in 1997 at the age of sixteen, touring with Riverdance for over thirteen years. His career highlights include starring on Broadway, performing in the People’s Hall of China and the Moscow Kremlin State Palace, for the Empress of Japan, the President of Ireland among others. Joseph is recognized by An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha as a T.C.R.G. certified Irish Dance instructor. He started The ML Dance Academy with his wife Yulia.

Grace Nicklos is a dancer, educator, choreographer, and certified Pilates instructor with her BFA in Dance from Ohio University. Currently, Grace teaches Pilates and dance in Northeast Ohio, and is a company member and The Director of Education and Outreach with The Movement Project. Grace’s dancing and choreography has been showcased throughout Northeast Ohio.

Filippo Pelacchi,  co-founder of Flux + Flow, has danced professionally with Ballet Junior de Geneve (Swizterland), Introdans (Netherlands), Gärtnerplatztheater (Munich, Germany). He performed the work of Lucinda Childs, Nacho Duato, Jiri Kylian, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, José Limón, Marco Goecke, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Alexander Ekman and many other renowned choreographers. These experiences inform and inspire his approach on teaching and sharing movement.

Performing Arts Medicine team is a team of ten specialty practitioners experienced in the unique needs of the performing artist. Many of the team members were former dancers, we feel strongly that educating the artist is the first step towards maintaining wellness and injury prevention. That’s why we offer a variety of workshops in addition to our clinical services.

Robin Prichard has studied, written about, and performed cross-cultural choreography between indigenous and contemporary dance in the U.S. and Australia. She was a Fulbright Fellow in Australia and taught at NAISDA – the Australian academy of Indigenous dance – where she taught cross-cultural choreography, modern technique, and anatomy. Her article on including Native American dance in curricula was published by JODE in June 2016.

Marlene Robbins graduated from OSU with her MA in Dance Education. She was the beloved Dance Teacher at Indianola Elementary School (Columbus Public Schools) for over twenty years before her recent retirement. She has been folk dancing most of her life.

Jeffrey Marc Rockland Kent State Professor, Rockland enjoys helping students excel. A former Soloist with Atlanta Ballet, Universal Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, his approach is shaped by extensive experience in both classical and contemporary ballet. Using connections established while Ballet Master for Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, Rockland has developed the East Meets West Program at Kent. 

Suwatana Rockland began her professional career with the reknown Patravadi Dance Theatre. This led to her opening a dance studio and production company and extensive contracts for television and stage work including choreographing shows and music videos for some of Thailands top pop stars. Suwatana is completing an MFA in Costume design at Kent State and is Co-Director of the East Meets West Program.

Shannon Sterne is a dance teacher and a Certified GYROTONIC® Instructor. Before discovering the GYROTONIC® Expan- sion System, Shannon performed professionally with the San Diego Ballet, Verb Ballets, and the Dancing Wheels Com- pany, and she taught dance, kinesiology, and wellness courses for nearly 15 years at Case Western Reserve University and other colleges throughout Ohio.

Renie Viola is a dance and movement educator currently based in Columbus. She studied YBR® under creator Yamuna Zake in NYC from 2005-2012, and became a certified YBR® practitioner in 2008. She holds a BFA in dance from OSU. Renie believes YBR® should be an integral part of all dance curricula.

Errin Weaver began training in African dance as a company member of Dance Afrika Dance. She attended Tennessee State University on a performing arts scholarship. Upon graduation, she became a member of Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago. She’s certified M’Singha Wuti in Umfundalai Contemporary African Dance technique and has taught at the Ohio Black Dance Festival, IABD, and Dancing Our Africa.

Scott Wilson Ohio Department of Education (ODE), Consultant for Fine Arts, Office of Curriculum and Assessment. Wilson has been passionate about the arts since appearing in his first theatre production as a child. In addition to his work with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) and the Ohio Educational Theatre Association, Wilson has provided a voice for the arts at several state and national arts advocacy days. Now joining the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) as its new fine arts consultant.