Company and Dancer Profiles
Brandon “Peace” Albright, Artistic Director of Illstyle & Peace Productions, is well versed in the various styles of hip-hop dance. He brings energy to the stage and presents a cogent voice in theater. Intrigued by the universality of hip-hop, Brandon seeks inspiration from other dance and art forms to make his blend of dance. He was an original member of the Philadelphia-based crew Scanner Boyz and has danced for major recording artists such as Schooly D, Will Smith, Tuff Crew, Boyz II Men, LL Cool J, Run DMC and the Beach Boys. Brandon has also performed with the NAACP Image Awards, Cool Heat Urban Beat (Boston Dance Umbrella), Ballet Memphis and BAM’s Dance Africa to name a few. With Illstyle & Peace Productions, Brandon continues to share his dance ministry with diverse audiences. Source: http://www.pentacle.org/metro_illstyle_about.php
Karole Armitage, director of the New York based Company, Armitage Gone! Dance founded in 2004, was rigorously trained in classical ballet. As a professional dancer she performed in Balanchine's Grand Theatre de Geneve Company and in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Armitage, known as the punk ballerina, is renowned for pushing the boundaries to create works that blend dance, music and art drawing upon her technical knowledge of dance to blend virtuosity with conceptual ideas from the frontiers of movement research. She directed the Ballet of Florence Italy (1995-1998), the Biennale of Contemporary Dance in Venice (2004), served as resident choreographer for the Ballet de Lorraine in France (1999-2004) and created works for many companies including The Bolshoi Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, the Paris Opera Ballet, The Kansas City Ballet, and Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. She collaborates frequently with composers and artists including Jeff Koons, Brice Marden, David Salle and Phillip Taaffe. She choreographed two Broadway productions (Passing Strange and Hair which awarded her a Tony nomination), videos for Madonna and Michael Jackson and several films for Merchant Ivory productions among others. Known for directing opera from the classical repertoire for important European Opera houses, she also choreographed The Cunning Little Vixen for the New York Philharmonic (2011), for a William Wegman dog (2012) and the Cirque du Soleil production Amaluna (2012). Armitage was awarded France's most prestigious award in 2009, Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Armitage Gone! Dance
Over the past 30 years, Karole Armitage and her dancers have shaped the evolution of contemporary dance through the creation and performance of new works. The most recent incarnation of the company, Armitage Gone! Dance, was launched in 2004 when Karole Armitage returned to the U.S. after 15 years of working abroad. Dedicated to redefining the boundaries and perception of contemporary dance, the company extends the mandate of innovation that characterizes both her earlier Armitage Ballet, founded in 1985, and her first full time company, Armitage Gone!, founded in 1979.Dubbed the ‘punk ballerina' in the 1980s and recently Tony-nominated for her choreography of the Broadway musical Hair, Armitage distinguishes her company from its contemporaries through her extreme versatility and originality. Building on classical and modern idioms from the Balanchine to the Cunningham traditions, Armitage infuses experimental thinking in the geometric balance, speed, rhythm and beauty of dance steps. Jennifer Dunning, dance critic for the New York Times, wrote of Time is the echo of an axe within a wood which premiered in 2004, "one of the most beautiful dances to be seen in New York in a very long time." She derives inspiration from sources such as physics, Japanese aesthetics, fashion, pop culture, new media, and from her dancers, of diverse cultural and dance backgrounds.Armitage Gone! Dance is well known for its collaborations with innovators in music, science, and the visual arts, including artists David Salle and Jeff Koons and string-theory physicist Brian Greene. The company regularly performs to live music and has commissioned many scores since its 2004 debut. Known for their free spirited panache, Armitage Gone! Dancers bring unique flavors and strong personality to the stage. The company's wide ranging projects include poetic ballets set to 20th and 21st century scores, work with the African pop band Burkina Electric (Itutu 2009), opera, (notably the 2008 collaboration with Gotham Chamber opera on Ariadne Unhinged and the New York Philharmonic production of The Cunning Little Vixen), Made in Naples (a comedy centered on Pulcinella) and Armitage "punk ballet" classics danced to loud, live music. The core of the company output centers on a series of dance ‘dreamscapes’ that take the viewer on a poetic journey to evoke mysterious landscapes of reverie, dream and altered consciousness. Having worked as a choreographer for Cirque du Soleil, Madonna, Michael Jackson and on Broadway, Armitage’s interests are wide ranging, mixing the popular with the marginal as well as the technique and traditions of both ballet and modern dance. Since its launch in 2004, Armitage Gone! Dance has presented several New York seasons each year at venues that include Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Joyce Theater, The Kitchen, The Miller Theatre, New York City Center, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Lincoln Center. The company offers educational (k-12) programs at the Abrons Art Center/Henry Street Settlement. The company also regularly performs at premier festivals and venues throughout the United States, Europe and Central America, from Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival to the Venice Biennale Festival of Contemporary dance, which Armitage directed in 2005. The company is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council for the Arts, The National Dance Project, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, as well as corporate, foundation and individual patrons. For more information, visit: http://www.armitagegonedance.org/company/history
Under the dynamic new artistic leadership of Eduardo Vilaro, Ballet Hispanico reflects, explores, and expands the essence of the diaspora of Latino cultures.Founded in 1970 by Artistic Director Tina Ramirez, Ballet Hispanico is the foremost dance representative of Hispanic culture in the United States, with a professional company which tours nationally and internationally; a school of dance unique in its emphasis on ballet, modern and Spanish dance as its core curriculum; and extensive programming for public schools, both in New York and around the country, called "Primeros Pasos." Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, the Ballet Hispanico company has performed for over two million people, appearing in such major venues as The John F. Kennedy Center, Houston's Wortham Center, the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, UCLA's Royce Hall, the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, Wolf Trap, Jacob's Pillow, Boston's Celebrity Series and The Joyce Theater. The company's national television appearances include CBS Sunday Morning and, on NBC, Hispanics Today, Latin Access and the 1999 Hispanic Heritage Awards. In June of 1999, the company was featured in a gala birthday celebration honoring former President and Mrs. Bush; that September, they performed for 35,000 Mets fans at Shea Stadium. International appearances include the Zurich Summer Festival in 2001 and a tour of Spain in 1998. In 1993, the company toured to four countries in South America; while in Buenos Aires, they were the guests at a private reception with President Carlos Menem. Ballet Hispanico represented the United States at Expo '92 in Seville, Spain where they were featured at a special Independence Day Celebration at the U.S. Pavilion.The company's innovative repertory fuses ballet, modern and Latin dance forms into a spirited image of the contemporary Hispanic world. Over 75 new works have been commissioned by Ms. Ramirez from choreographers of international stature such as Alberto Alonso, Talley Beatty, Graciela Daniele, George Faison, Vicente Nebrada and Ann Reinking, and such dynamic young artists as Susan Marshall, Ramón Oller, David Roussève, Pedro Ruiz and William Whitener. The Ballet Hispanico School provides over 600 young people with a year-round curriculum of classical ballet, modern and Spanish dance - a practice unique among America's dance training institutions. As a result, students receive not only a thorough grounding in the primary techniques required for a successful performing career but also specialized training in the rich and varied dance tradition which, for many, is their cultural heritage. In addition to performing with Ballet Hispanico's own company, alumni of the school have gone on to careers in theater (Nancy Ticotin), film (Jennifer Lopez, Leelee Sobieski and Rachel Ticotin) and television (Michael DeLorenzo), as well as with other leading dance companies. Still others are applying the discipline and self-esteem acquired through their dance classes to demanding professions in other fields - business, education, government, law and medicine. A pioneer in the field of arts education, Ballet Hispanico's innovative Education & Outreach division annually brings Ballet Hispanico's singular blend of dance and Hispanic culture to over 25,000 public school students and teachers in New York and across the nation. Through this program, Ballet Hispanico has developed a broad range of special programming and activities, which are designed to meet the varying needs of elementary, middle and high schools. Ballet Hispanico is headquartered on Manhattan's Upper West Side in its own facility renovated especially for dance. For more information, visit: http://www.ballethispanico.org/about
Donald Borror, a native of Columbus, Ohio, began his ballet training at Ballet Met before attending Walnut Hill School in Natick, MA. He has since trained with The Martha Graham School, The Joffrey Ballet School, Arts Umbrella Dance Company, and was awarded a DAAD grant to study at the Palucca Schule in Dresden, Germany. He graduated from Juilliard with a BFA and the Martha Hill prize in 2010. As well as dancing works from Merce Cunningham to Ohad Naharin, he has worked with Buglisi Dance Theatre and Sidra Bell Dance NY.
Brian Brooks (Artistic Director and Choreographer), originally from Hingham, MA, moved to New York City in 1994. His dance group, the Brian Brooks Moving Company, has been presented since 2002 by venues throughout New York, the US, South Korea and Europe. The most recent of his many honors is an award from the National Dance Project supporting the development and performance tour, BIG CITY (2012). Following its March 2012 DANCEworks residency and premiere at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara, CA, the piece will be presented at venues including New York’s Joyce Theater, the American Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow. His company has enjoyed repeat engagements at Dance Theater Workshop (2004, 2006), Wesleyan University (2002, 2007, 2009, 2012), North Carolina State University (2009, 2011), SUMMERDANCE Santa Barbara (2004, 2005, 2006) and Alfred University (2004, 2005, 2008, 2010). Presented in New York City by organizations including Lincoln Center, Central Park Summerstage, Symphony Space and the 92nd Street Y Harkness Festival, the group’s national tours have included presentations by Vanderbilt University, the Edison Theater, the Zoellner Arts Center, the Egg, the Mt. Tremper Arts Festival and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland. Brooks has been on faculty of the Dance Departments of both Princeton University and Rutgers University – Mason Gross School of the Arts. He has also been an Adjunct Associate Professor of Dance at Barnard College of Columbia University and a Guest Artist at the University of Maryland, Illinois State University and Rutgers University, among others. A Teaching Artist of Dance at Lincoln Center Institute since 1999, he is currently the elected Chapter Leader of the TA Union represented by the United Federation of Teachers. As a dancer, he has performed internationally with choreographers including Eun-Me Ahn, Christopher Williams and for three years with Elizabeth Streb, for whom he has also worked as a rehearsal coach and technique instructor. For more information, visit: http://www.brianbrooksmovingcompany.com/
Camille A. Brown has been south both nationally and internationally as a critically acclaimed dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She has been the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for Choreography, and has received commissions from companies such as The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Ailey II, Urban Bush Women; Ballet Memphis; Philadanco, and Hubbard Street II. Her work focuses on the combining elements of all dance styles to dialogue about issues pertaining to the human spirit and its often deep, enlightening, and even humorous journey through life. Ms. Brown’s class includes a warmup, followed by a rep portion which focuses on discovering ways to color movement dynamic in a effort to challenge the dancer’s artistic landscape and approach to the art of dance. Ms Brown, originally from Jamaica, Queens, New York, is interested in that space between dance and theater where interdisciplinary work defies category and takes flight. Informed by her music background as a clarinetist, she creates choreography that utilizes musical composition as storytelling- investigating the silent space within the measure. She builds dance vocabulary from a very personal place. Characters are facets of her life, her experience as a lens into the past and the present. The 2012 recipient of The Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award, and a Princess Grace Award Winning Choreographer, Camille (according to The Boston Globe), “is a storyteller, with many tales to tell.” She received a 2011 Bessie nomination for Outstanding Individual Performance in her work, The Evolution Of A Secured Feminine, and is 1 of 4 choreographers selected as a Choreographic Fellow for Ailey’s New Directions Choreography Lab under the direction of Robert Battle. The 2012 recipient of The Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award, and a Princess Grace Award Winning Choreographer, Camille (according to The Boston Globe), “is a storyteller, with many tales to tell.” She received a 2011 Bessie nomination for Outstanding Individual Performance in her work, The Evolution Of A Secured Feminine, and is 1 of 4 choreographers selected as a Choreographic Fellow for Ailey’s New Directions Choreography Lab under the direction of Robert Battle. (Read More…) She was a guest performer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2008 and 2011, and currently guests with Rennie Harris/Puremovement. Commissions include works for The Ailey Company, Ailey II, Philadanco, Ballet Memphis, Hubbard Street II, Urban Bush Women, TU Dance, and August Wilson Dance Ensemble, among others. Images of Camille (in her signature explosive jumps) were featured in the artwork for Jacob’s Pillow’s 2011 season, Harlemstage’s E-moves, and City Center’s 2007 Fall for Dance . Her work has been showcased at Sadler’s Wells (London, England), The Apollo, The Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, The Kennedy Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Central Park’s Summerstage, Madison Square Garden, Bates Dance Festival, and New York Fall for Dance Festival (City Center). She choreographed a duet for Tony nominated artist Karine Plantadit and Danny Tidwell for The Youth American Grand Prix Gala (City Center) and for New York Fashion Week for Saverio Paletella’s line, WholeGarment 3D (2008). Ms. Brown has served as Adjunct Professor of Dance at Long Island University and Barnard College, was an adjudicator for ACDFA (University of Akron), and has created works for Tisch School of the Arts, Princeton University, Hunter College, The University of The North Carolina School of the Arts, UMASS/Amherst, and The Ailey School. She has done National residences for the New Orleans Dance Festival, Howard University, Legros Cultural Arts Women in Dance 2011, Philadanco’s Summer Intensive, Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival, Earl Mosely’s Institute of the Arts, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance’s Summer Intensive, The University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee), Suny Brockport, Stony Brook, Skidmore College, and Georgetown University. Internationally, she has conducted residencies in Italy and Tokyo, Japan. Ms. Brown firmly believes that artists should put their creativity into action as she raised money for Uptown Music Theatre (New Orleans, La) in 2009, and continues to support organizations around the country. Ms. Brown danced with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company from 2001-2007. She is rapidly making a name for herself in the musical theater world, choreographing for the Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, and the Off- Broadway musical, Soul Doctor. She also choreographed The Foundry Theater produced musical, Pins & Needles, and the new musical, Fortress Of Solitude. She graduated from LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, attended The Ailey School, and received her BFA from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Her training began at Bernice Johnson’s Cultural Arts Center and Devore Dance Center. Her new evening length work, Mr. TOL E. RAncE premieres this year. Through sketch comedy, live music, and haunting animation, this work examines sustained stereotypical roles of black performers. “Gutsy. Wild. Smart. Original. “(Wendy Perron), Brown blends contemporary with historic. This Fall, Camille will choreograph new works for Complexions and The Juilliard School. For more information, visit: http://www.camilleabrown.org/artistic-directorchoreographer/
Christal Brown, Urban Bush Women
Christal Brown (choreographer, educator, performer, writer, activist) is a native of Kinston, North Carolina and received her BFA in dance and minor in Business from the University of NC at Greensboro. Upon graduation, Brown went on to tour nationally with Chuck Davis' African-American Dance Ensemble and internationally with Andrea E. Woods/Souloworks. Immediately following those experiences Brown performed with and managed Gesel Mason Performance Projects while apprenticing with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, MD. Upon relocating to New York Brown apprenticed with the Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company before finding a home with Urban Bush Women; where she spent three seasons as a principal performer, community specialist and apprentice program coordinator. Aside from performing Brown is the Founding Artistic Director of INSPIRIT, a performance ensemble and educational conglomerate dedicated to bringing female choreographers together to collaborate and show new work, expanding the views of women of all ages, and being a constant source of inspiration to its audience as well as members. Founded in 2000 INSPIRIT has been honored to show work at Aaron Davis Hall, St. Marks Church, Joyce Soho, The Lincoln Theater of Washington, DC, and various other venues across the country. Combining her athleticism, creativity, and love for people, and knack for teaching Brown continues to teach and create works that redefine the art of dance and the structure of the field. Source: http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/dance/faculty/node/149861
Ronald K. Brown
Ronald K. Brown was born in Brooklyn and founded the New York-based contemporary dance ensemble EVIDENCE, A DANCE COMPANY in 1985. In addition to his work with Evidence, Brown has created work for the African American Dance Ensemble, Philadanco, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Grace in 1999, Serving Nia in 2001, IFE/My Heart 2005 and Dancing Spirit during special tribute season), Ailey II, Cinque Folkloric Dance Theater, Jennifer Muller/The Works, and Jeune Ballet d’Afrique Noire. He has collaborated with such artists as composer/designer Omotayo Wunmi Olaiya, the late writer Craig G. Harris, director Ernie McClintock’s Jazz Actors Theater, choreographers Patricia Hoffbauer and Rokiya Kone, and composers Robert Een, Oliver Lake, Bernadette Speech, David Simons, and Don Meissner. “Dancing Spirit” 2010, a tribute to Judith Jamison. Brown has received numerous awards and fellowships including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Choreography, a National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer’s Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in choreography, New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie), a Black Theater Alliance Award, the American Dance Festival Humphrey/Weidman/Limón Award, and fellowships from the Edward and Sally van Lier Fund.
In addition, Brown was named Def Dance Jam Workshop Mentor of the Year in 2000. In 2003, he received an AUDELCO (Black Theatre Award) for his choreography for Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats, originally produced by the McCarter Theater and presented off-Broadway in 2003. In fall 2006, Brown received The United States Artists Rose Fellowship. He was one of only four choreographers of 50 artists to receive the inaugural award. For more information, visit: http://www.evidencedance.com
Carolyn Kirsch appeared in 15 Broadway Musicals over a 21-year period of performing in New York City. During that time she worked extensively for the Director/Choreographers Michael Bennett and Bob Fosse. For Mr. Fosse she appeared in both the first National and Broadway productions of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”, “Sweet Charity”, and the first National Company of “Chicago”, in which she played Velma Kelly (the role originally created by Chita Rivera). For Mr. Bennett, Ms. Kirsch appeared in the Broadway companies of “Promises, Promises”, “CoCo” (with Katherine Hepbrun), “Company”, and “A Chorus Line”. As a member of the Original Company of “A Chorus Line” she was the recipient of a Theatre World Award. Mr. Kirsch was schooled in the distinctive styles of both these talented men by the choreographers themselves. As a lecturer she is able to share her personal, as well as professional, perspectives on how each of them developed his important contribution to the American Musical Theatre. An active member of “Dancers Over 40—The Legacy Project”, Carolyn is passing on the legacy to a new generation of talent. She is the Musical Theatre Department Chair of the Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan, and is on he faculty of The Grater Harford Academy of the Arts. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Dance Allegiance. She studied acting with the legendary Uta Hagen and continues to study with Austin Pendleton, both of HB Studio, New York City. For her work as Amanda Wingfield in “The Glass Menagerie” at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse (2008) she received the New Hampshire Theatre Award for Best Actress. She also appeared at the Playhouse in the title role of “Driving Ms. Daisy” (2009). In 2012, Ms. Kirsch became the first person to be sanctioned by the Verdon-Fosse estate (by Nicole Fosse) to teach the styles of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. She is presently writing a play based on the life and artistic times of Camille Claudel, the French sculptress. The scope and grandeur of Camille’s body of work, her perceived lack of recognition for that work, and her possible decline into madness, has prompted Carolyn to write this, her first play.
A Broadway veteran, Dana Moore was last seen on Broadway playing Hunyak ("Not Guilty") in Chicago. Also, she was featured in Fosse (now on DVD). Other outstanding Broadway credits include, A Chorus Line, Sweet Charity, Bob Fosse's Dancin', On Your Toes, The Will Rogers Follies, How to Succeed...., Singin' in the Rain, Dangerous Games, Sugar Babies and Copperfield. She has toured with Chicago and Falsettos and appeared in the films, The Producers: The Movie Musical and Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You.
In New York City, Dana teaches Theatre Dance at Steps on Broadway and is a musical theater faculty member at Marymount Manhattan College. She conducts master classes in cities across the USA and internationally, recently working as teacher and choreographer for the International Dance Intensive in Cyprus, Bardar Dance Institute in Oslo, Tapage Dance Company in Toulouse and the Jazz Musical Theatre Program at Jacob's Pillow in Massachusetts. Ms. Moore is also a founding company member of Chet Walker's Walker Dance Company. Source: http://www.stepsnyc.com/faculty/bio/Dana-Moore/
ODC is known worldwide for its athleticism, passion and intellectual depth. Among the many awards ODC's three resident choreographers--Brenda Way, KT Nelson, and Kimi Okada--have received are a Guggenheim, NEA American Masterpiece Award, 30 years of NEA fellowships and production grants, seven Isadora Duncan Dance Awards, two Nureyev Awards, a San Francisco Examiner Golden Slipper Award, and a Tony nomination. ODC has been hailed as "Best Dance Company" in the San Francisco Bay Guardian's Best of the Bay 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011 editions. In 2009, ODC was selected by the Brooklyn Academy of Music as one of three dance companies invited to tour internationally under the aegis of the U.S. State Department's inaugural DanceMotion USA tour. Founded in 1971 by Artistic Director Brenda Way, ODC (Oberlin Dance Collective, named after its place of origin, Oberlin College in Ohio) loaded up a yellow school bus and relocated to San Francisco in 1976. Her goal was to ground the Company in a dynamic, pluralistic setting. In 1979, ODC was the first modern dance company in America to build its own home facility, from which it now operates the dance company, a school, a theater, a gallery, and a health clinic for dancers. For more information, visit: http://www.odcdance.org
KT Nelson, ODC Dance
KT Neslon (ODC Co-Artistic Director) joined ODC in 1976 while attending Oberlin College. She danced with the Company from 1976 to 1997. Since 1976, Nelson has choreographed more than 60 works as well as composing and commissioning numerous sound scores. In 1986, she created and directed ODC’s first full-length family production, The Velveteen Rabbit, which has since toured across the country reaching an audience of over 350,000. She was awarded the Isadora Duncan award in 1987 for Outstanding Performance, in 1996 for Outstanding Choreography, and in 2001 for Sustained Achievement. Nelson’s collaborators have included Bobby McFerrin, Geoff Hoyle, Shinichi Iova-Koga, Gina Leishman, Marcelo Zarvos, Zap Mama and Linda Bouchard. She has been a guest choreographer for Diablo Ballet, Ballet Met, Maximum Dance, California Shakespeare Festival and Ballet Austin. In 1995 she founded ODC’s youth company, the ODC Dance Jam and is a critical player in the development of ODC’s Educational Outreach Program. In 2002, Nelson received the California Dance Educators Association’s Artist Award for outstanding artistry, creativity, outreach, and dedication to the field of dance. In 1998 her work RingRoundRozi was selected for the International Tanzmesse Dance Festival. She currently sits on the Zellerbach Foundation Community Arts Board. For more information, visit: http://www.odcdance.org
Troy Powell, Alvin Ailey American
On July 1, 2012, Troy Powell became only the second person to lead Ailey II since its inception in 1974. A native New Yorker, Mr. Powell began his dance training at the age of nine as a scholarship student at The Ailey School. Following his graduation from The High School of Performing Arts, he became a member of Ailey II and then joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1991. He toured throughout the United States, South America, Europe, and South Africa for ten years with the Company before becoming a master teacher at The Ailey School and resident choreographer of Ailey II. Mr. Powell has choreographed ballets for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, The Ailey School, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, National Dance Company of the Bahamas, and Alaska Dance Theater, as well as three episodes of “Sesame Street.” His guest artist credits include performing with companies including Batsheva, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and Complexions. Mr. Powell has been featured in an American Express commercial with the Ailey company and has also appeared on television in George C. Wolfe’s The Colored Museum, the PBS Great Performances: Dance in America special “A Hymn for Alvin Ailey,” choreographed by Judith Jamison, “America’s Next Top Model,” and most recently the Polish version of “So You Think You Can Dance.” For more information, visit: http://www.alvinailey.org/troy-powell
Katarzyna (Kate) Skarpetowska Skarpetowska is a native of Warsaw, Poland. She is an alumna of the NYC High School of Performing Arts and received a BFA from The Juilliard School in May 1999 under Artistic Director Benjamin Harkarvy. In 1992, at age 15, she was the youngest cast member of the Broadway show, METRO, directed and choreographed by Janusz Jozefowicz. She was a member of The Parsons Dance Company from 1999 until 2006, The Battleworks Dance Company from 2006 until 2008 and since 2007 she has been working for The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Kate also appears as a guest artist with The Buglisi Dance Theater since 2009. She has had the privilege of setting the works of Lar Lubovitch, David Parsons and Robert Battle in the United States and abroad. In addition, her own choreography has been performed by various universities, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Hubbard Street 2 and the Parsons Dance Company. In 2007, she was one of two featured dancers during the Glimmerglass Opera Festival and in 2008 she toured Italy with WHY BE EXTRAORDINARY IF YOU CAN BE YOURSELF, a show by Daniel Ezralow. In 2009, she co-designed and co-directed Romeo and Juliet for The Gunter Theater in Greenville, SC. Skarpetowska is also a freelance teacher holding workshops throughout the world. She resides in New York City. Source: http://www.peridance.com/facprofile.cfm?FID=281
Dianne “Lady Di” Walker, a pioneer in tap dancing’s resurgence has a 30 year career spanning Broadway, Television, Film and International Jazz Dance Concerts and Festivals. United States Artists has recently announced Ms. Walker as the recipient of the USA Rose Fellow 2008, Dance. Ms. Walker is touring with the show, "The Souls of Our Feet", produced by Acia Gray, and funded in part by the NEA, American Masterpieces Program. She has been dubbed the "Ella Fitzgerald" of Tap Dance. Savion Glover and his contemporaries affectionately call her, “Aunt Dianne,” acknowledging her unique role as mentor, teacher and confidante. Ms. Walker holds a Master’s degree in Education, and has taught at Harvard, Williams College, University of Michigan, UCLA, Bates, and Wesleyan. She serves on the board of several tap organizations, and served 10 years on the board of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Grant awards include The National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Jacobs Pillow, and New England Foundation for the Arts. She received Oklahoma City University’s 1998 “Living Treasure In American Dance Award,” adding to a long line of awards and lifetime tributes recognizing her contribution to the art form and excellence in teaching. She began her dance training in Boston with Mildred Kennedy-Bradic and later, Leon Collins, Jimmy "Sir Slyde" Mitchell and Jimmy Slyde. In 1979, she began a professional dance career under the watchful eyes of her esteemed mentors. She is grateful to many musicians and tap dance legends that have given to her so generously throughout her career such as Gregory Hines, Honi Coles, Cholly Atkins, Tina Pratt, Barry Harris, Max Roach, Alan Dawson, Ruth Brown, Nicholas Brothers, Peg Leg Bates, Arthur Duncan and many others. Leon Collins passed away in l985, leaving Dianne to continue as one of the Directors of his school. It is with a great sense of pride that she continues to share this rich legacy with her students. Dianne is Artistic Director of “TapDanZin, Inc." (Boston), and is currently collaborating with schools in Minneapolis and Tokyo. Source: http://www.chicagotap.org/People/Artist-Dianne-Walker.aspx