Michelle Dorrance is the Founder and Artistic Director of Dorrance Dance as well as a New York City-based tap dancer, performer, choreographer, teacher, and director. She is a 2014 recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, a 2013 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner, a 2012 Princess Grace Award Winner, a 2012 Field Dance Fund Recipient, and a 2011/2015 Bessie Award Winner. And most recently, she was awarded the prestigious 2015 MacArthur Fellowship (a.k.a. the “genius” grant).
Mentored by Gene Medler, Dorrance grew up dancing with the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble. She has performed with: “STOMP,” Savion Glover’s “Ti dii,” Manhattan Tap, Barbara Duffy & Co, Jazz Tap Ensemble, Rumba Tap, Ayodele Casel’s “Diary of a Tap Dancer,” Mable Lee’s “Dancing Ladies,” Harold Cromer’s original “Opus One,” Derick Grant’s “Imagine Tap,” and Jason Samuels Smith’s “Charlie’s Angels/Chasing the Bird.” She founded Dorrance Dance in 2011 and has performed with her company throughout the world. Dorrance has a true passion for teaching and regularly incorporates educational activities while on tour. Recently, Dorrance appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” bringing the art of tap dance to a global audience.
In addition, Dorrance holds a Bachelor of Arts from New York University, plays bass for Darwin Deez, serves as guest faculty at Broadway Dance Center, is a Capezio Athlete, and has been featured on the covers of both “Dance Magazine” and “Dance Teacher Magazine.”
FAYE DRISCOLL is a Bessie Award-winning choreographer and director whose work is rooted in an obsession with the problem of being ‘somebody’ in a world of other ‘somebodies.’ Works include: WOW MOM, WOW (2007); 837 VENICE BOULEVARD (2008; Bessie Award); THERE IS SO MUCH MAD IN ME (2010); YOU’RE ME (2012); and her current series THANK YOU FOR COMING, which implicates the audience in the work and invites the sensation of co-creation. Driscoll has been funded by The MAP Fund, a Guggenheim Fellowship, Creative Capital, NYSCA, the Foundation for Contemporary Art, NEFA’ s National Dance Project, The Jerome Foundation, Greenwall Foundation, and LMCC. Her work has been commissioned by and presented at such venues as Walker Art Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, ICA/Boston, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, American Dance Festival, and UCLA, and internationally in France, Croatia, Argentina, Australia, and Ireland. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Baryshnikov Arts Center and Park Avenue Armory, and a choreographic fellow at MANCC. Driscoll is a recipient of a 2016 Doris Duke Award. Her most recent piece, THANK YOU FOR COMING: PLAY, premiered at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Fall 2016.
Rosie Herrera is a Cuban-American dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Rosie Herrera Dance Theater in Miami. She is a graduate from New World School with a BFA in Dance Performance. She has been commissioned by The Miami Light Project, The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Dance Place, Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Ballet Hispanico, Moving Ground Dance Theater and the American Dance Festival in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016.
Her company has been presented by the Northrop Dance Series, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Baryshnicov Arts Center, Texas A&M University, Duncan Theater, The Annenburg Center, Gotham Dance at Skirball, Focus Dance at the Joyce as well as by The American Dance Festival at the Joyce in 2016. She has collaborated on productions with The South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, New World School of the Arts, The University of Central Florida, Six Floor Ensemble, Zoetic Stage, New World Symphony and the interdisciplinary performance ensemble Circ X. Rosie is a 2010 MANCC choreographic fellow, a 2014 Bates Dance Festival Artist in residence and a 2011 Miami Dance Fellow. In 2013 she was awarded a Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship for her work with Ballet Hispanico.
East Charleston, VT
Steve Paxton has researched the fiction of cultured dance and the ‘truth’ of improvisation for 55 years. He lives on a farm, and he has received grants from Change, Inc., E.A.T., the Foundation for Performance Arts, John D. Rockefeller Fund, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has been awarded two NY Bessie Awards, and is a contributing editor to Contact Quarterly Dance Journal. He was one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theater, Grand Union, Contact Improvisation, Touchdown Dance for the visually disabled (UK), and began his career studying modern dance techniques, ballet, Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan, and Vipassana meditation. He performed with the Merce Cunningham Dance Co. from 1961-65. He lectures, performs, choreographs and teaches primarily in the USA and Europe. In 2008, he published a DVD with ContreDanse in Brussels, ‘Material for the Spine’. In 2013 he was featured in Tanz I’m August, Berlin, Germany; and ‘Night Stand’ was performed in NYC at Dia:Chelsea. In 2014, his work ‘Bound’, with jurij Konjar, was presented in Ljubljiana, Venice, Munich. In June 2014, he received the Venice Biennale Leone d’Oro for life-time achievement in dance.
‘Quicksand’, an opera by Robert Ashley, premiered in January, 2015 at the Kitchen, NYC, and Festival D’autumne in 2016, featuring choreography by Paxton. ‘Bound’ was at Festival D’autumne in Paris, ADI, in Maryland, and at REDCAT in Los Angeles.
New York, NY
Yvonne Rainer, one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theater (1962), made a transition to filmmaking following a fifteen-year career as a choreographer/dancer (1960-1975). After making seven experimental feature-length films — “Lives of Performers” (1972), “Privilege” (1990), and “MURDER and murder” (1996), among others — she returned to dance in 2000 via a commission from the Baryshnikov Dance Foundation (“After Many a Summer Dies the Swan”). Since then she has made six dances, including “AG Indexical, with a little help from H.M.,” “Assisted Living: Do you have any money?” and “The Concept of Dust: Continuous Project – Altered Annually.”
Her dances and films have been seen throughout the U.S., including the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Kitchen, Dia Beacon; in Europe and South America at the Louvre and Montpelier, also Documenta 12, Helsinki, Italy, Dublin; London, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Museum retrospectives of her work, including drawings, photos, films, notebooks, and memorabilia, have been presented at Kunsthaus Bregenz and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2012); the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Jeu de Paume, École des Beaux Artes, La Ferme du Buisson, Paris, and Raven Row, London (2014). A memoir — “Feelings Are Facts: a Life” — was published by MIT Press in 2006. A selection of her poetry was published in 2011 by Paul Chan’s Badlands Unlimited. Other writings have been collected in “Work: 1961-73” (1974); “The Films of Y.R.” (1989); and “A Woman Who…: Essays, Interviews, Scripts” (1999).
She is a recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and a MacArthur Fellowship.
New York, NY
Donna Uchizono’s work is characterized by layered fragility, bold gestures and vivid imagery. Charting new territory with each venture, she creates a framework and original vocabulary specific to the individual piece. Uchizono is drawn to a redefined sense of ‘virtuosity’ that extends the markers of skill and excellence to push against human standards of patience, endurance and minute, intensely detailed movement.
Uchizono has worked across a range of disciplines and has been presented in theaters, museums, galleries and non-traditional performance venues throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia. Uchizono has created work for notables Mikhail Baryshnikov, MacArthur Fellow David Hammons, Pulitzer Playwright Paula Vogel, and neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks. Her work is distinguished by numerous collaborative projects with composers Fred Frith, “Butch” Morris, David Shively, Tom Cora, James Lo and Guy Yarden, visual artist David Hammons and performance artist Rachel Rosenthal.
A Guggenheim Fellow and “Bessie” award winner, Uchizono has been honored by many awards and grants including the Alpert Award, National Endowment for the Arts grants, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, Creative Capital, National Dance Project, Jerome Foundation grants and MapFund among numerous others.
Raphael Xavier is known as an Innovative Movement Conceptualists. As a practitioner since 1983, he has made his career in dance theatre as a Breaker from the hip hop dance genre. Brenda Dixon Gottschild deemed Xavier as a fine rhythm technician who transforms a bravado dance style into an introspective meditation. His dismantling technique to the Breaking form creates a one of a kind accessibility for any movement enthusiasts.
His dance work is created solely with the Breaking vocabulary juxtaposed with elements of non-traditional sounds, music and narratives. The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance was an autobiographical work overseen by Ralph Lemon in 2011 and brought together many of Xavier’s creative skills that included music, rap lyrics, story telling and visual arts. This production was the impetus for RAPHSTRAVAGANZA in 2016, an outdoor urban circus narrative that took place in Philadelphia’s City Hall Courtyard funded by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
He was recently awarded the Pew Fellowship and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in choreography. Currently Raphael is a Professor teaching an introduction to hip hop styles and traditions and an improvisational approach to hip hop practices at Princeton University.
Jonah Bokaer has cultivated a new form of choreography with a structure that relies on visual art and design. His aim is to transform notions of how the public views and understands dance. Bokaer has been active as a choreographer since 2002. He has created over 55 works in a wide range of mediums, such as film, opera, applications, and installation, in a variety of venues, ranging from stages, to museums and galleries. He works internationally, exhibiting and touring worldwide.
Bokaer has created works within museum spaces that live between choreography, visual art, and moving images. This approach to art making has been acknowledged by museums such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, PS1 MoMA, The New Museum, The Museum of Arts & Design, MASS MoCA, Miami MOCA, MAC Marseille, IVAM Valencia, Palazzo Delle Arti Napoli, Kunsthalle St. Gallen, SCAD Museum of Art, Ludwig Museum of Budapest, MUDAM Luxembourg, along with many others.
A few of Bokaer’s frequent collaborators are Daniel Arsham (2007-Present), Anne Carson, Richard Chai, Merce Cunningham, Anthony McCall, Abbott Miller, Tino Sehgal, Robert Wilson (2007-Present), along with other leading innovators in mediums such as performance, visual art, literature, and design.
Recent awards include the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in Choreography (USA 2015), the Prix Nouveau Talent Chorégraphie (Paris 2011), the Jerome Robbins Special Prize Fellowship in Choreography from the Bogliasco Foundation (Italy, 2011), and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011)
CAMILLE A. BROWN is recognized for her daring yet introspective approach to cultural themes through masterful storytelling and political dialogues. She is a 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award Recipient, 2015 TED Fellow, 2014 Bessie Award Winner for “Outstanding Production” (Mr. TOL E. RAncE), two-time Princess Grace Award Winner (Choreography & Works in Progress Residency), two-time recipient of NEFA’s National Dance Project: Production Grant, 2015 MAP Fund Grantee, 2015 Engaging Dance Audiences Grant Recipient, 2014 Joyce Award recipient with DANCECleveland, a Jerome Foundation 50th Anniversary Grantee, and a 2014 New York City Center Choreography Fellow.
Her theater credits include the Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire (2012), Fortress of Solitude (The Public Theater, Lucille Lortel Award Nominee for Choreography), Stagger Lee (DTC), BLOOD QUILT (Arena Stage), tick, tick…BOOM! (City Center’s Encores!), Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale (Regional), and The BOX: A Black Comedy. She has created works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco!, Complexions, Urban Bush Women, among others. Camille danced with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence and was a guest with Rennie Harris/ Puremovement.
In 2014, Camille founded two initiatives: The Gathering, an annual open forum for intergenerational Black female artists to advocate for greater cultural equity and acknowledgement in thedance world; and BLACK GIRL SPECTRUM, a community engagement initiative that seeks to amplify the cultural and creative empowerment of Black girls and women through dance, dialogue, and popular education tools. In 2015, Camille co-directed The School of Jacob’s Pillow’s new program, Social Dances: Jazz to Hip Hop, with Moncell Durden and was featured on the cover of the 2015 August edition of Dance Teacher Magazine.
St. Paul, MN
Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands are founders and artistic directors of TU Dance, a Minnesota-based dance company recognized for its diverse repertory, versatile artists, and for performances that are engaging, dynamic and generous. Modern dance, classical ballet, African based and urban vernacular movements are combined in inventive and unpredictable ways to provide opportunities to experience the connective power of dance. In 2011, Toni and Uri expanded TU Dance with the opening of TU Dance Center and The School at TU Dance Center, realizing their vision of a welcoming hub for dance education and training in Saint Paul. Now in its fourth year, the vibrant TU Dance Center—home to the performing company—also offers year-round educational programming for dance students of all ages and abilities. Through Toni and Uri’s leadership in cultivating public and private funding to support access, TU Dance Center provides world-class dance training to students regardless of financial status. Together, they have been named StarTribune’s Artists of the Year, and were recipients of a Sally Award for Initiative in the Arts, recognizing their work in developing TU Dance Center.
Prior to co-founding TU Dance, Minnesota native Toni Pierce-Sands performed with Minnesota Dance Theatre, Tanz Forum in Germany, Rick Odums in Paris, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where she was a featured soloist in such signature pieces as Revelations and Cry . Toni has also appeared in the Twin Cities as a guest performer with Ragamala Music and Dance Theater, Shapiro & Smith Dance, VocalEssence, Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater, and Robin Steihm’s Dancing People Company. Her command of the Horton Technique has led to teaching posts throughout the United States and Europe. Toni directs educational programming and teaches classes at TU Dance Center in Saint Paul and at the University of Minnesota, where she is also the Director of University Dance Theater. Toni was awarded a 2004 McKnight Artist Fellowship in Dance, and was named the Sage Awards’ 2011 Outstanding Dance Educator. She was recently recognized with a 2013 Links Emerald Service Award for service in the arts.
Uri Sands has received national recognition for choreography that is notable for the fusion of classical elegance with edgy contemporary action, for pulsating intensity with poetic lyricism. A native of Miami, Uri performed as a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for five years, Philadanco, Minnesota Dance Theatre, James Sewell Ballet, as a guest artist with Complexions under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, and as a principal dancer with North Carolina Dance Theatre. His recent choreographic commissions include, among others, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican University of California, Dance St. Louis, VocalEssence, Zenon Dance, Penumbra Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Uri was awarded a Princess Grace Award in choreography, a Joyce Foundation Award, and a McKnight Artist Fellowship in Choreography. He was named City Pages 2011 Choreographer of the Year.