Michelle Ellsworth is a dancer, choreographer, video maker, writer, cartoonist, and web designer. In her performances, Ellsworth combines dance with technology, humorously confronting issues such as biodiversity or problems with the shrinkage of the Y chromosome. Since 2007, she has created performable websites that exist as independent sites as well as live pieces. Ellsworth has performed at On the Boards, Seattle, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, and Dance Theater Workshop in New York. She has received commissions from DTW, DiverseWorks, Houston, National Performance Network, and the Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Department.
New York, NY
John Jasperse integrates visual design elements in his contemporary dance choreography. Since 1985, Jasperse has been the Artistic Director/Choreographer of John Jasperse Company. His work has been presented in the United States, Brazil, Chile, Israel, Japan, and throughout Europe. He has also choreographed work for Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, Bathsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, and the Lyon Opera Ballet, among others. Jasperse received a Bessie Award in 2001 for his choreographic work.
Choreographer Liz Lerman is the Founding Artistic Director of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, created in 1976 in Washington, DC (Lerman left the company in the summer of 2011). She is a pioneer in making site-specific dances and including various communities in artistic and civic engagement projects that often mix dance with spoken word, imagery, and music. She also became known for including seniors as dancers in her company. Among many honors, Lerman received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002.
New York, NY
Choreographer Lar Lubovitch founded his company, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, in 1968. Lubovitch has choreographed over 100 works and is known for choreography that bridges modern dance and ballet and has a high degree of musicality. His company has performed throughout the world, and his work is also performed by major companies internationally. Lubovitch has also created ice dances for several Olympic skaters and has worked in musical theater, most notably on the musical staging for the Sondheim/Lapine play Into the Woods. In 2007, he founded the Chicago Dancing Festival, a series of free performances and lectures that occurs in August in several venues.
Morgan Thorson is a dancer and choreographer whose work is grounded in experimentation of content, form, and process. She has created outdoor performances, site-specific choreography, and ensemble and solo improvisation, and often collaborates with composers, scientists, and historians. Her works have been presented at a variety of international, national and local venues such as the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Dance Theatre Workshop in New York, and London Improvisation in Performance. She taught at the University of Minnesota.
Dancer and choreographer Miguel Gutierrez creates solo and group works with a variety of dancers, music, and visual artists under the moniker Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People. He attended Brown University and New York University. Gutierrez’s work has been presented in various American venues, including Dance Theater Workshop and The Kitchen in New York, DiverseWorks in Houston, and the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vermont, as well as at international festivals. He has received three Bessie Awards and was the curator of the Dance and Process series at The Kitchen from 2005–06.
Dancer, choreographer, musician, and dance filmmaker Dayna Hanson originally studied writing, but started dancing in 1987. From 1994–2006, she was the co-artistic director of 33 Fainting Spells, a dance theater company that toured through the U.S. and internationally. She has also created many award-winning dance films and, from 1999–2003, was the co-curator of New Dance Cinema, an international dance film festival in Seattle. She has been working in Seattle for 20 years and now works independently.
Dancer and choreographer Deborah Hay has been working in the field of dance for over 40 years. She was a member of the highly influential Judson Dance Theater, whose members are considered the founders of postmodern dance and who advocated for interdisciplinary collaboration. In 1970, she moved to Vermont, where she wrote the first of three books. In 1976, Hay moved to Austin, where she started a yearly, four-month-long workshop with trained and untrained dancers that culminates in a public performance. She created the duet Single Duet for herself and Mikhail Baryshnikov, which toured in 2000. Hay won a Bessie Award in 2004, and her latest solo, No Time To Fly, premiered at Danspace Project, New York City, in March 2010. She was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Dance by the Theater Academy in Helsinki in 2009.
Choreographer Trey McIntyre has created more than 80 works for companies such as the Stuttgart Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and New York City Ballet. He studied at North Carolina School of the Arts and at the Houston Ballet Academy. Using classical ballet as a point of departure, McIntyre creates contemporary dances that are set to musical scores ranging from classical to jazz and rock and roll. Trey McIntyre Project, based in Boise, Idaho, launched as a full-time, year-round company in 2008.
San Juan, PR
Awilda Sterling-Duprey is a teacher, dancer, and choreographer, and an important figure in Puerto Rico’s traditional cultural arts scene. She attended the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, School of Visual Arts, San Juan, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, and is a doctoral student in history at the Center for Advanced Studies in Caribbean Studies, San Juan. She is a founding member of Pisotan, the first experimental dance collective in Puerto Rico. Combining Afro-Caribbean dance, jazz, and modern experimental movement, Sterling-Duprey has created and performed experimental dance works throughout New York City, Europe, Latin America, Puerto Rico, and other Caribbean countries.