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Current Collaborators

 

Chriselle D. Tidrick, Artistic Director

Chriselle Tidrick is the Founder and Artistic Director of Above and Beyond Dance, a company she created in 2007 to explore the nearly limitless potential in the fusion of dance and circus arts work.  She is a choreographer and producer of dance work, aerial work, and stilt work-- all of which function in a modern dance aesthetic.  Chriselle has successfully produced three seasons of circus-infused dance:  RAW (2011) at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center; Ascendance (2009) at The Flea Theater; and Seeking (2008) at Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts.  She has also appeared with her company in the New York area at venues including:  Output Club (Raw Artists Showcase, Brooklyn); NYC Aerial Dance Festival 2011 (MMAC and LaGuardia Performing Arts Center); NYC Aerial Dance Festival 2010 (JCC Theater); Dixon Place; Galapagos ArtSpace; Brooklyn Arts Exchange; Streb Lab for Action Mechanics; Sky Box; La Mama Moves Festival 2009; Spoke the Hub; WaxWorks; The Zipper Theater; The Belt Theater; and BRIC.   She was a Spring 2014 Guest Artist in Dance at George Washington University where she set two sections of her aerial dance work RAW on student dancers. Her company and choreography were also featured in BMC Films' short film, Eastern Winds.  Chriselle and her dancers are currently developing Dreamscapes and Other Imaginings, the company's 2014 season which will take place at The Muse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

A former competitive gymnast, Chriselle Tidrick has performed extensively as a dancer and stilt dancer with various New York based companies.  Companies and choreographers include:  The Metropolitan Opera; Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance (Danspace Project, Tribeca Performing Arts Center; Ailey Citigroup Theater; Baryshnikov Arts Center; Joyce SoHo; Leid Center, Lincoln NE; Katherine Hepburn Arts Center CT; Vassar College, NY; Bangalore, India; London, England; Sydney, Australia); Alice Farley Dance Theater (World Financial Center Winter Garden; MOMA; River to River Festival NYC; Solar One; Bronx Zoo; New York Botanical Garden, New York Aquarium; Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History); Dances by Isadora & Catherine Gallant/DANCE (World Financial Center Winter Garden; Joyce SoHo; City Center Studio; Cunningham Studio; 92nd Street Y; Sullivan County Community College, Central Park); Pi Dance Theatre (University Settlement; WAX; Hole in the Wall Theater, CT); Caron Eule (Mazer Theater); Mezzacappa/ Gabrian Dance Consort (Brooklyn Playhouse; Leid Center, Lincoln NE; Micro Museum; Limón Institute); AMDaT (Joyce SoHo), and Mino Nicolas Dance Gallery (Lisner Auditorium, Washington DC; Henry Street Playhouse, NYC; Key West, FL, Baltimore, MD; Arlington, VA).Chriselle can also be seen on stilts in the Disney film Enchanted, Kevin Lima, Director.

 

Kailee Combs

Kailee Combs was born and raised in Annapolis, MD, where she received excellent ballet, jazz, and contemporary training. She traveled all over the country assisting her brother, dance teacher and choreographer Kacy Combs. Kailee continued her education at George Mason University, earning a BFA in Dance and a BA in Economics. At George Mason she was able to study and apprentice with notable modern dance choreographers including: Bill T. Jones, David Parsons, Susan Shields, Mark Morris, and Lar Lubovitch. After she graduated with the Outstanding Achievement in Performance award, Kailee went to work for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. She performed in the aerial dance show In the Air and Saturday Night Fever: the Musical. Kailee now resides in New York City, but still teaches and choreographs around the country. Being able to do what she loves as a career is a blessing. Kailee wishes to continue to learn and grow as an artist.  This is her first project with Above and Beyond Dance.

 

Fernando Francisco

 

Fernando A. Francisco has a successful career in both the circus arts world and the dance world.  He is heavily influenced by his studies at the Martha Graham School and the Alvin Ailey School of Dance. He performed with the Martha Graham Dance Ensemble at a variety of venues throughout the New York tri-state area. He also appeared as a dancer with Notes in Motion. As an aerialist, Fernando has performed static trapeze, flying trapeze and corde de lisse, appearing with Aerial Cabaret and the España Streb Trapeze Academy.  Mixing aerial and dance work has been a long-time goal in Fernando’s artistic development, and he is very excited to be collaborating on a second season of work with Above and Beyond Dance.

 

Alicia Gerstein

Alicia Gerstein first learned how to walk on stilts as a child at Bread & Puppet Theater, and much later began exploring techniques combining physical theater, acrobatics, and dance, with Nemcatacoa Teatro (Bogota, Colombia) and The Carpetbag Brigade (San Francisco, CA). She performs as part of both of these companies, in Colombia and the US. As an adult, she began studying dance in open classes around New York City. She has been a puppeteer for many years with Bread & Puppet Theater (Glover, VT), Great Small Works (Brooklyn, NY), El Teatro Indigena de la Sierra Tarahumara (Chihuahua, Mexico), and other puppet theaters. Alicia also works as a teaching artist in public schools around Brooklyn. This is her first project with Above and Beyond Dance.

 

 

 

Tomomi Imai

Tomomi Imai is a dancer and choreographer who came to New York from Japan. She has danced in the New York area with companies including: Toni Taylor’s Pi Dance Theatre; Maxine Steinman; Dagmar Spain’s Dance Imprints; Noemi Lafrance, Sense production; Daniela Hoff’s HoffTanzt; Catherine Gallant; Ensemble eMotions, and Mary Seidman. Her choreography has been presented throughout Japan and NYC. In Japan, Tomomi was a resident member of the Yoshiki Homma Modern Dance and Ballet Theater. She performed as a soloist with the Kho Fujji Dance Company, the Dance Deux and others. She is also an experienced teacher, and has taught Modern dance and ballet for 14 years in Japan, at the Peridance Studio in NY and at the Montclair Academy of Dance and Laboratory of Music in NJ. Tomomi won the Grand Prize at the Matsudo Art Society Modern Dance Competition, 2nd Prize at the Be Moved Grand Prix at Kita-Kiyushu and Asia National Modern Dance Competition, 2nd Prize at the Itabashi National Modern Dance Competition, and 3rd Prize at Akita National Dance Competition. This is her third project with Above and Beyond Dance.

 

Fran Sperling       

Fran Sperling has danced with Muzia Dance Company, Soundance, Sean Curran, Terry Beeman, and NY Theatre Ballet, and was awarded a scholarship to Pierre Dulaine’s American Ballroom Theatre. She performed with the magic duo Mundaka and Illumnya, learning the backstage secrets of top magic acts. Her circus career took flight when she became the topmounter of a two-woman acrobatic duo. Acrobrats traveled worldwide and performed for Donald Trump, Patricia Birch, Lincoln Center’s Little Orchestra Society and Out of Doors Festival, Big Apple Circus, MTV, new world circuses and festivals, corporate events and for an educational program they created. As an aerialist, Fran performs on a multitude of apparatus. Performing highlights include Late Night with David Letterman, Bindlestiff Circus, Heliummm, Cirquetacular, Chezzam Events Productions, Big Apple Circus, the Zipper Theatre’s Above the Belt, Streb, Zamperla Circus and the spider in Alessandra Belloni’s various adaptations of Tarantella: Spiderdance. Fran also performed harness in a Phish concert in Madison Square Garden. Her company, Skybody® Aerial Entertainment and Fitness has collaborated with Lululemon, WeWork, NYC Dance Parade, Limelight Marketplace, and currently with Vox Novus 60x60 as co-director/choreographer of their upcoming 2015 Dance Event at the Winter Garden. Fran is excited to be working with Above and Beyond Dance.    www.skybodysystem.com

 

Composer

 

Brian Questa                   

Brian Questa is a New York native avant-garde bassist, composer, and co-founder of the performance art duo, XUPSTAR.COM. His 2013 debut album, Jazz Booty, featuring Mary Halvorson and Tony Malaby, is available at FoldByFoldMusic.com.      

BrianQuesta.com

 

 

Collaborators- RAW (2011)

 

Lisa Natoli

  Lisa Natoli attended the Alvin Ailey certificate program before finishing her degree at the University of Iowa in 2000. She moved back to New York where she has performed with Amy Kail, Dawn Poirer, Jill Sigman, Kelly Hayes and Katy Orthwein. Lisa was a full time company member of Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance from 2004-2006 where she still guest performs. Lisa performed with Time Lapse Dance in the opening ceremonies of the International Champions League cricket tournament in Bangalore, India. As an aerialist Lisa has performed with ImaginAerial, Helium Aerial Dance, Cirque-Tacular Entertainment and Kevin O’Connor. Lisa has also performed her own choreography at Above the Belt, Brooklyn Bowl, CBGB’s Gallery, Cleveland Public Theater, Irondale Theater and S.L.A.M. Lisa is a frequent solo performer at the resident program Floating Kabarette at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, New York. www.lisasbrightideas.com

 

 

 

Composers

 

Lauren Buchter

Lauren Buchter is a visual media composer, living and working in New York City. She has composed the music for several short films including the dramatic short, “Letting Go”, directed by Marcus Lovingood. This was followed by a feature length documentary by Hal Dwoskin. Her work has been performed with modern dance choreography by Charlotte Perebinossoff as part of the Bare Bones Dance Festival, at the Youth America Grand Prix International Ballet Competition and most recently as part of a new modern dance work by choreographer and American Ballet Theatre dancer Mikhail Ilyin. Lauren's concert works have been performed by such noteworthy groups as the Kalistos Chamber Orchestra, Musica Bella Orchestra of New York, Symphony Singers of the New York Youth Symphony, Esterhazy Quartet, chamber musicians of the New York Youth Symphony, pianist Kimball Gallagher, soprano Pamela Stein, cellist Marta Bedkowska, and students of The Juilliard School. A scholarship recipient, Lauren holds a Bachelors of Music degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music. She has studied composition privately under noted composer Filippo del Corno (founder of Ensemble Sentieri Selvaggi), as well as Electronic Music Composition at Accademia Internazionale della Musica in Milan, Italy.

 

Nicholas Csicsko

Nicholas Csicsko has enthralled audiences throughout The United States, Canada, France, Germany, Qatar, and the Philippines with his unique compositional voice and vision. His works have been performed by the Juilliard Orchestra, the Indiana University Orchestra, and various prize winning performers. A recent winner of the Juilliard Orchestra competition and the NACUSA composition competition, Mr. Csicsko has been the recipient various other rewards and scholarships. His principal teachers include Samuel Adler, Claude Baker and Sven-David Sandstrom. Mr. Csicsko recieved scholarships to attend the European American Musical Alliance (EAMA), Bowdoin, and the International Summer University of the Freie Universitat, Berlin. He is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Indiana University and The Juilliard School. He completed his doctorate at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Samuel Adler. He also composed music for the Above and Beyond Dance production, Ascendance (2009).

 

Reinaldo Moya

Reinaldo Moya, an ASCAP 2007 Morton Gould Young Composer Award Recipient, graduated  with a Masters Degree in music composition from The Juilliard School and a Doctorate in Musical Arts. While at Juilliard, his teachers have included Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser. His String Quartet No. 1 was premiered by the Attacca Quartet in the summer of 2007 as part of the Summergarden Series at the Museum of Modern Art. The performance was reviewed by the New York Times as "Admirable...with subtly delineated sections" The Attacca Quartet offered another performance of the piece in March of 2007 as part of the Chamber Music Society of Southwest Florida. He participated in the "Composers and Choreographers" workshop at The Juilliard School and his Ethereal Whispers (choreographed by Nathan Madden) was premiered in December of 2007. His orchestral work Aurora Australis was awarded the Special Judges Award at the Juilliard Orchestral Composition Contest in 2008. The work received its premiere on May 1st, 2008 in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at the Juilliard School with Jeffrey Millarsky conducting the Juilliard Orchestra. Mr. Moya holds a Bachelors of Music degree in composition from West Virginia University where he studied composition with John Beall and violin with Laura Kobayashi. He also composed music for the Above and Beyond Dance production, Ascendance (2009).

 

 

Lighting Designer

 

David Ojala

David Ojala is a theatrical artist living and working in New York City.  Most recently he worked with Basil Twist and Joey Arias on Arias with a Twist.  Next, he worked on The Violet Hour with Active Theater.  Past credits include:  The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Florida Studio Theater), Almost Maine (LP Players), The Venus Flytrap (Active Theater), Magnetic North (Active Theater), adn Berenstein Bears Live! (Matt Murphy Production). 

 

Costume Designer

 

Annie Simon

Annie Simon is happy to be designing for dance again. Some of her New York credits include: Second Language (Target Margin Theater company); The Tempest (Boomerang Company); Tongue of a Bird (NYU Grad acting, dir: Lisa Rothe); Strindberg Strindberg (NYU Grad acting dir: Mark Wing-Davey and Jim Calder); Two Sisters or Douglas Merry Next to Nothing; and Under the Sign of the Hourglass (Ontological Hysteric dir: Anthony Cerrito). Most recently, she has designed feature films: The Stare (Winona Rider and James Franco) and Druid Peak (Andrew Wilson). She received her MFA at NYU Tisch. Also she used to dance Aerial… www.asimondesign.com

 

Intern

 

Sarah Bellman

Sarah Bellman is a junior at New York University studying Dramatic Literature and Journalism. She has interned at the start-up company We Work NYC, where she honed both her creative and business skills. Sarah has worked as an activist/fundraiser for both Grassroots Campaigns and New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), where she learned how to be both a good leader and communicator. Having spent 12 years of her life as both a Ballet and Modern dancer, Sarah is proud to intern at such a unique and talented dance company. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Sarah now happily calls New York City home.

 

 

 

Collaborators- Ascendance (2009)

 

Katie Clancy

A native of southwest Colorado, Katie Clancy moved her stage to the urban jungle five years ago. She graduated cum laud from NYU's Tisch (Dance and Journalism) in '07, and has danced with Anabella Lenzu, Thresh Dance, Carlos Cruz's Collectivdoza, Jocelyn Soulet, Audioballerinas, among others. She has performed her own work in Mexico, Brazil, Colorado, and such NYC venues as The Skybox, Aunts, The Bushwick Star, and The Puffin Room. In addition to teaching pilates and yoga, Katie is a freelance journalist. Freshly addicted to aerial silk training, her vision is to combine Butoh dance, modern grooves, and high-flying circus arts.

 


 

Madeline Hoak

 

In addition to the extraordinary Above & Beyond Dance company, Madeline currently dances with the dazzling Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company and the unconventionally clever Kinesis Project Dance Theater. She has one of the most fulfilling jobs: teaching dance to youngsters in the NYC public schools. Madeline is a co-founder of an artists' collective that is in development. The company will be dedicated to the collaboration of artists from all and any medium. She has performed here, there, and everywhere, reads mostly fiction, makes great pillow cases, and particularly likes climbing trees.

 

 

 

Sharon Livardo du Maine

As a performing artist, Sharon Livardo du Maine has been involved in a wide variety of dance styles. Most recently, she worked as a stilt dancer in The Metropolitan Opera's Die Zauberflöte. As a member of the Alice Farley Dance Theater, she has performed at The Public Theater, Festival Juste Pour Rire in Montreal, The World Financial Center’s Winter Garden and Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors. Sharon has performed with Forces of Nature at BAM and St. John The Divine, with The Murray Louis Dance Company at Carnegie Hall and can be seen in the Walt Disney film "Enchanted". Sharon received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from Montclair State University and received her Doctor of Physical Therapy graduate degree from Seton Hall University in May 2008. This is her second project with Above and Beyond Dance.

 

 

Andrea Skurr

Andrea Skurr began dancing at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where she earned a BA in Dance & Music. From humble beginnings as a gymnast, she concluded her college career directing/conceiving, "Unraveling Together," a dance production that she received "Best Show" and "Best Co-Sound Designer" for. She was awarded the Dean's Distinguished Award along with a grant to present her work, "J2," at NCUR. She has performed on the West coast, the Midwest, and now the East coast under Patrice Regnier, Nathanael Buckley, and Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance. She recently joined ABD and is ecstatic to fly!

 

 

 

Emily Smyth Vartanian

Emily is a dancer, teacher and choreographer with an amazing range of skills. She has danced in a variety of productions in New York and Los Angeles, with recent highlights including: the Palmer Arts Collaborative Metronome Tap Company; Dance Electric 82 Decibels from "Breaking Ground"; Kybele Dance Theater; UCLA All-Star Dance Team Led Zeppagain; De LiRitmo Flamenco Company; Elevate Body Tjak 2000 and as a swing dancer at House of Blues Concerts. Emily has appeared in the following theatrical productions as well: Forever Swing’s Zoot Suit Tour; Voices of the Wind, Fringe NYC 2005; South Pacific, Alameda Civic Light Opera; Carousel, Diablo Light Opera Company; Fiddler on the Roof, Piedmont Light Opera Theater and A Chorus Line, DVC Theater. Emily’s choreography blends many influences and techniques, including Modern and Contemporary Dance, Ballet, Tap, Lindy Hop, Body Music and Aerial Work. Currently, she teaches Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing, the Charleston, Blues and Tap Dancing at Dance Manhattan and in Hoboken, New Jersey. She has also taught Tap and Body Music in California. Emily is the Founder/Artistic Director of General Mischief Dance Theatre.  She earned a B.A, Dance Concentration in World Arts and Cultures and was a Broadway Theater Project Apprentice in 2004. This is her second project with Above and Beyond Dance.

 

 

Lighting Designer

 

Zack Tinkelman

Zack Tinkelman's designs have been seen at La MaMa E.T.C., The Ontological-Hysteric Theater, City Center, The Flea, The Ohio Theatre, The Chocolate Factory, Dixon Place, Urban Stages, The Skirball Center, Teatr Maly in Warsaw, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Zack has designed for Moises Kaufman, Ruben Polendo, Paul Lazar, and Jim Simpson, and for Target Margin, the Red Terror Squad, Jaradoa Theater, and The Experimental Theater Wing.

 

 

Costume Designer

 

Michelle Ferranti

Michelle Ferranti is a costume designer, cultural historian, and member of the adjunct faculty at Marymount Manhattan College. She has designed costumes for David Parsons, Robert Battle, Chet Walker, Jamie Bishton, Edwaard Liang, Rebecca Kelly, Jody Sperling, American Repertory Ballet, and many others. Her writings on dance, design, and American culture have appeared in the Proceedings of the Society of Dance History Scholars, in the journal Utopian Studies, in the Journal of Urban History, and in the book Modern Times: German Literature and Arts beyond Political Chronologies. She is so happy to be working with Chriselle.

 

 

 

Collaborators- Seeking (2008)

 

Pawel Cheda

Pawel Cheda was born in Radom, Poland. He received his early training in ballroom dancing and participated in several international ballroom competitions. Mr. Cheda was also a founding member of the musical Metro, with which he made his Broadway debut in 1992. In the same year he was admitted into The Juilliard School Dance Division. During his dance studies Mr. Cheda has performed choreography by Benjamin Harkarvy, Jirí Kylián, José Limón and Paul Taylor, among others. In the summer of 1995, Mr. Cheda toured Taiwan with the Active Cultures Dance Group, a troupe comprised of Juilliard alumni. Pawel participated in collaborating with Zhongmei Li Dance Company, Ariane Anthony Dance Group, Artichoke, Michael Mao Dance Company, and others.

As choreographer Pawel worked with several productions in dance, drama and opera including Von Einem’s Visit of the Old Lady, his debut for New York City Opera , as well as production of The Juilliard School Drama Division of August Strindberg’s A Dream Play. Pawel’s work was also presented at the prestigious Bessie Schonberg Choreographers Residency at The Yard. Currently Pawel is teaching and performing Argentine Tango and is looking to create interest in this unique style of dance.

 

Friends in High Places

Friends in High Places, originally founded by Coralie Romanyshyn and Clinton Smith, has been in existence for over 20 years and has performed throughout the US and the Far East. Known for its special brand of wit and athleticism, the company’s years of experience and technical skill allow an ease and elegance on stilts that has become its trademark. Its application of the aesthetics and discipline of dance as an art form extends the theatrical tradition of stilt-walking into the realm of stilt-dance.

(The talented Sharon Livardo du Maine graciously replaced Coralie Romanyshyn who was injured and unable to perform in Seeking, the Above and Beyond Dance inaugural season at Kumble Theater.)

 

Mark Mindek

photography: Charles Samuels Photography NYC

 

Mark Mindek, a graduate of the Hartford Conservatory, is a dancer and choreographer in New York City. He works in dance styles ranging from modern to jazz, Renaissance and Baroque and has toured both nationally and internationally thanks to his work with, Alice Farley Dance Theater, NY Historical Dance Company, I Giullari di Piazza and others. He performed in the Bessie Award winning “Black Water” at La Mama etc, and created the role of “Tower” in Alice Farley’s EROTEC at the New York Public Theater. With Coralie Romanyshyn, he co-directs Friends in High Places, a touring company that performs ballroom dance and classical ballet in a very unusual way - on stilts. Currently performing in NY in the Metropolitan Opera’s “The Magic Flute”, directed by Julie Tamor, he can also be seen in the movie “Enchanted” by Disney Pictures.

 

 

Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama

Anabella Lenzu is a dancer, choreographer and teacher with over 15 years experience working in Argentina, Chile, Italy, England and the USA. Additionally, she has spent many years studying tango and the traditional dances of Argentina, Spain and Italy. Her company, Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama works to introduce unfamiliar individuals to contemporary dance and to develop a cultural, educational and artistic exchange between New York and communities in Argentina, Chile, Italy and others. Anabella believes that teaching and performing worldwide emboldens, promotes and enriches people, communities and dance, transcending socio-political and cultural boundaries.
The Company’s repertory consists of solo and ensemble pieces representing an uncommon blend of traditional modern dance (the lineage of Humphrey-Limon, Graham and Sokolow), ballet and ethnographic folk traditions. Anabella completed her classical Ballet dance training at the renowned Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colòn in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has studied choreography at the Juilliard School and with Igal Perry, Mary Anthony, Jim May and many others. Anabella conducts lectures, master-classes and residencies at universities throughout the US and abroad. She is also a published author for various dance and arts magazines. Todd Carroll is Anabella's husband and partner. Together they have been teaching Tango in Argentina, Italy and the USA.

 

Martin Løfsnes

photo: Eva Groven

Martin Løfsnes was born in East Germany, grew up in Norway, and received his early dance training in Ballet, Jazz and Graham-based modern in Norway with Øyvind Jørgensen and Kirsti Skullerud. In 1990 he left Norway to study at London Contemporary Dance School/The Place and trained there for two years, studying with Clover Roope, Ronald Emblen, Jane Dudley and Susan McGuire. In the spring of -92, he was offered a summer scholarship to Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and moved to New York City; the same fall he joined the Martha Graham Ensemble. After touring the US for a year with the Ensemble he was invited to join the Martha Graham Dance Company, which remained his artistic home from 1993 until 2006. While at Graham he worked with his most influential teachers and mentors; Carol Fried, Pearl Lang and Yuriko.


As a Principal Dancer in the Graham Company he also danced in works by Robert Wilson and Susan Stroman and had the wonderful experience of working with Maurice Bejart on an excerpt from his ballet ‘Faust,’ in addition to dancing many of the great male roles in the Graham repertory. Martin danced in Matthew Bourne/AMP’s Broadway production of ‘Swan Lake’ and also performed with Pearl Lang Dance Theater, Donald Byrd/the Group, Dankmeyer Dance Company, Sasha Spielvogel/Labyrinth Dance Theater and Errol Grimes Dance Group. After leaving Graham, Martin created 360º Dance Company and the production company Full Circle Productions, Inc. 2007 marked the inaugural season of 360º Dance Company. 360º’s mission is to present modern-dance classics juxtaposed with cutting edge, contemporary dance works in order to simultaneously preserve and develop the modern dance lineage. The company hopes to challenge our traditional roots while maintaining their artistic vision and dramatic integrity as we move into the future with ground breaking new works by today’s most exciting contemporary artists.

 

Gabriel Zaragoza

Luis Gabriel Zaragoza was born in Mexico City, Mexico. He earned his BFA from the National School of Dance of Mexico (NDSM) where he graduated Cum Laude. He also has a BA in Philosophy, an MFA in Dance Education, and has specialized in Dance Philosophy. Gabriel was also a much respected teacher at the NSDM for eight years. Gabriel attended the Merce Cunningham Studio as a scholarship student and has received his certificate of completion. He has danced with several companies in France and Mexico, and he was a member of the Martha Graham Ensemble (2000-2003). Currently, he dances with the Sokolow Theater Dance Ensemble, Hunter Dance Company, Nilas Martin Dance, Dankmeyer Dance Company, Alan Good Dance, and is founder of Filos Tanz. In 1990, he received the award of Best Choreographed Solo for Nijinsky, El Ojo de Dios from Asociación Danza Mexicana. In 1991, La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico granted him the Artistic Creative Award. As a choreographer, he has created over 64 works which have been performed in Canada, France, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, El Salvador, Peru, Costa Rica and the United States.

 

 

Lighting Designer/ Rigger

 

Mark Baker

Mark Baker graciously agreed to travel all the way from Los Angeles to New York to rig and design lights for Seeking. At home he enjoys working outside at Grand Performances where he is the Technical Director, with LA-based Diavolo Dance Theatre, and with Kybele Dance Theatre. In New York he continues to collaborate with General Mischief Dance Theatre and serves as technical advisor to Above and Beyond Dance.

 

 

Pi Dance Theatre, 501c3 umbrella

The mission of Pi Dance Theatre is to build a creative community of individuals composed of the public, its Board members, dancers, designers, visual artists, funders, and presenters using the works of Toni Taylor and the company’s constituents as a catalyst to deepen our collective humanity via dance and other mediums to further expand the human conversation.
Pi Dance Theatre was formed in 1990 in New York City, by its founder and artistic director, Toni Taylor. Toni developed the company not only to create a community of dancers to express her esthetic but also to allow younger dancers to present their own dances in the company’s performances. Seeking is an outgrowth of Toni’s desire to support the creative ventures of her dancers; Chriselle Tidrick has danced with Pi Dance Theater for several seasons as has collaborator Tomomi Imai.

The company itself explores the intersection of dance and modern music by contemporary composers as well as the use of folk, jazz, liturgical, and classical music for the dances. It often works improvisationally and in particular, explores the dynamics between dance and other mediums by collaborating with composers, designers, sculptors, poets, and puppeteers among others. While most of the pieces layer and weave topics and themes together, some favorite themes are spirituality, human foibles, and relationships.

Since Pi Dance Theatre’s inception, the company has produced ongoing New York City seasons in various venues, showing the modern dances of Taylor as well as works by company members & guest choreographers. Taylor has successfully organized dance concerts throughout 15 seasons in New York. In that time and with a company of 4 to 6 dancers, the company has continued to present artistically stronger seasons, with more performances attended by more people in New York City and Connecticut.