Guest Artists


Milka Djordjevich 735A3499.jpg


Milka Djordjevich is a choreographer, performer, and educator. Her work draws from a variety of compositional strategies to question preconceived notions of dance, examining the moving female body in so-called “neutral” public spaces of theaters, galleries, and museums.

Djordjevich’s works include ANTHEM (2017), a quartet questioning contemporary dance’s predisposition towards neutrality, authenticity, and the de-sexualization of the female body by embracing theatricality, virtuosity, and sass. ANTHEM was commissioned by Los Angeles Performance Practice and The Chocolate Factory Theater. In 2013, Djordjevich created and performed Kinetic Makeover, a solo piece that confers power and autonomy on one body, which premiered at The Chocolate Factory Theater and toured nationally and internationally.

Her long-standing collaborations with composer Chris Peck challenge conventional partnerships between choreographers and composers, rediscovering music as a practice of the body and dance as a mode of listening. Their work MASS (2015), which premiered at The Kitchen, aims to unveil the materiality of the moving and sonic female body, unraveling its inherent choreographed codes.

Djordjevich’s works have also been presented at the American Realness festival; Whitney Museum; LA Dance Platform; Showbox LA; The Philadelphia Thing; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival; Santa Ana Sites; Dance Theater Workshop; Danspace Project; Artdanthé; Kondenz Festival; Lokomotion Festival; Fabrik Potsdam; Uferstudios; Serbian National Theater in Novi Sad; among others.


As a performer, Djordjevich has worked with Sasa Asentic, Alison D’Amato, Sam Kim, Heather Kravas, Laurel Jenkins, Jennifer Monson, Ana Vujanovic, and Elizabeth Ward, among others. She is a contributor to the Movement Research Performance Journal, served as co-editor for Movement Research’s Critical Correspondence and initiated the Monday Class series at Pieter in Los Angeles.

Djordjevich is a 2020 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists recipient, was a Princeton University Hodder Fellow (2017-2018), a danceWEB Europe Scholar (2008/2010), and a Movement Research Artist-in-Residence (2006-2007). She has also held residencies at Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography; Baryshnikov Arts Center; PACT Zollverien and Fabrik Potsdam; University of California, Los Angeles Hothouse; and Workspace Brussels. She has taught at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), CalArts, Pomona College, Pasadena City College, and University of California at Irvine and Riverside.

Djordjevich received a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. In 2016, she established STANA, an organization cultivating local, national and international dance connections.



Visiting Associate Professor of Dance

DOUG ELKINS is a two-time New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award-winning choreographer and 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Creative Arts Fellow. He began his dance career as a B-Boy and House Dancer, touring the world with Break/House dance groups New York Dance Express , The Royal Rockers and Magnificent Force, among others. He has also performed with and collaborated with Rennie Harris and the legendary House of Ninja (Voguing). Elkins is a recipient of significant choreographic commissions and awards from the NEA, The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard (Paul Taylor Fellowship 1991 and Resident Artist 2011-2013), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater Foundation, Arnhold Foundation, Dianne & Daniel Vapnek Family Fund, National Performance Network, Jerome Foundation, Choo-San Goh & H. Robert Magee Foundation, and The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts.   

Elkins is artistic director of doug elkins choreography, etc. which has toured nationally and internationally with works including Fräulein Maria (2006), Mo(or)town/Redux (2012), and O, round desire (2017). Between his current and original companies (Doug Elkins Dance Company 1988 - 2003), he has created over forty works. He was among the first choreographers commissioned by the late Paul Taylor to make work on Paul Taylor American Modern Dance; The Weight of Smoke premiered at Lincoln Center in March 2016 and remains in their tour repertory.

A graduate of SUNY - Purchase, Elkins received his MFA in Dance from Hollins University/ADF in 2007. His tenure teaching at The Beacon School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan is the subject of Where the Dance Is, a short film by Marta Renzi. 

Doug Elkins will be teaching DANC 214:  HIP HOP and DANC 249:  Making Dances/SOLO Composition this Fall.


Visiting Assistant Professor

MAHO ISHIGURO is currently a lecturer of Music at Yale University and the director of Central Javanese gamelan Ensemble at Smith College, Maho holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University (2018) and M.M. in Historical Musicology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (2010).   Maho began her study of Javanese court dance at Wesleyan with the former Artist in Residence, Urip Sri Maeny. and has further trained with renowned teachers at the Mangkunegaran court in Surakarta, Indonesia. A long time student of Sumarsam, a prominent Indonesian ethnomusicologist, and I.M. Harjito, master of central Javanese Gamelan, Maho regularly performs with gamelan ensemble groups in Northeast.  For her recent research, Maho has received several prestigious fellowships, such as Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship with the Nadia and Nicholas Nahumck Fellowship from the Society for Ethnomusicology, and Luce Fellowship from Cornell University for her research on music and dance from Indonesia. Her current research focuses on how Acehnese and Javanese performing arts practitioners negotiate and navigate through the current socio-cultural and religious climate in Indonesia.  At Wesleyan Maho will be teaching two dance courses on Indonesia (Dance as Cultural Knowledge: Dances from Indonesia in Fall 2020 and Central Javanese Dance in Spring 2021). Maho is a strong believer in a pedagogical technique which employs both intellectual engagement and practice experience in performing arts.   Specializations: Ethnomusicology; music and dance of Indonesia (Java and Aceh); impact of Islamization on performing arts; women’s performing arts in Muslim society; popular art cultures of Southeast Asia; ethnography and film documentation; performance art tour and management.

Maho Ishiguro will be teaching DANC 102F (first year seminar):  Dance as Cultural Knowledge:  Dances from Indonesia this Fall.




Eiko Otake,  MA from NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Studyis a choreographer, director, performer, teacher, and writer who, for over forty years, has partnered with Takashi Koma Otake as Eiko & Koma. To date, Eiko & Koma have created 46 interdisciplinary performance works on their own bodies, three pieces for other dancers, seven “media dances” (dances specially created for the camera), and seven video documentaries. From 2009 to 2012 Eiko & Koma presented a multi-venue, multi-faceted Retrospective Project that included creating new performance works, installations, exhibitions, and media works; restaging old works; presenting media showings, panels and lectures; as well as publishing a comprehensive monograph of their works. Eiko & Koma have received a MacArthur Fellowship (1996), the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award (2004), the Dance Magazine Award (2006), and the first United States Artists Fellowship (2006). Eiko is a Founding Fellow of the Center for Creative Research and has taught or co-taught five courses at Wesleyan University.



Shamel Pitts is a performance artist, choreographer, conceptual artist,

dancer, spoken word artist, and teacher.

Born in Brooklyn New York, Shamel began his dance training at LaGuardia

High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts and, simultaneously,

at The Ailey School. He is 2003 YoungArts Finalist and a first prize (level 1)

winner of the YoungArts competition. Shamel then went on to receive his

BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and was awarded the Martha Hill

Award for excellence in dance. He began his professional dance career in

Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen Dance and BJM_Danse Montreal.

Shamel danced with Batsheva Dance Company for 7 years, under the

artistic direction of Ohad Naharin and is a certified teacher of Gaga

movement language.

Shamel has created a triptych of multidisciplinary performance art works


BLACK BOX: Little Black Book Of RED (featured in The New York

Times ), BLACK VELVET: Architectures And Archetypes (which

received the Audience Choice Award At Stockholm Fringe Festival) and

BLACK HOLE: Trilogy And Triathlon which received the CROSS Award

Residency IV Edition in Italy.

He is an adjunct at The Juilliard School and has been an artist in residence

at Harvard University.

He is the recipient of a 2018 Princess Grace Award in Choreography and a

2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Award winner in Choreography.

Shamel is a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship Award winner in


Shamel is the artistic director/founder of TRIBE , a New York based

multidisciplinary arts collective.

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