2018 Dance Forum Speakers

2018 Dance Forum
Friday, January 12, 2018
New York Hilton Midtown
1335 Avenue of the Americas | New York, NY

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2018 Dance Forum Moderator

Karina Mangu-Ward has a decade of experience partnering with leading nonprofits, foundations, city agencies, and community stakeholders. As an Organizational Design Lead at August, Mangu-Ward helps to nurture more creative, self-managing and effective teams for organizations including Planned Parenthood, the Office of Post-Secondary Readiness at New York City's Department of Education, and Fortune 100 companies. Prior to joining August, she worked for 10 years fostering innovation and adaptive change in the arts and culture sector. She partnered with museums, dance organizations, theaters, symphonies and community arts organizations to help them navigate ambiguity, gain insight, and unlock highly complex challenges. 

2018 Dance Forum Speakers

Marc Brew, Acclaimed International choreographer and AXIS Dance Company Artistic Director, trained as a professional dancer at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and The Australian Ballet School. He has been working in the UK and Internationally for the past 20 years as a director, choreographer, dancer, teacher and speaker; with the Australian Ballet Company, State Theatre Ballet Company of South Africa, Infinity Dance Theatre, CandoCo Dance Company and AXIS Dance Company. Brew was Associate Director with Scottish Dance Theatre, Associate Artistic Director with Ballet Cymru in Wales and was Associate Artist in 2015 at Tramway Theatre in Glasgow. Since 2008 he has been dedicating time to his own choreography with Marc Brew Company and his recent choreographic commissions include Scottish Ballet, Ballet Cymru, YDance, AXIS Dance Company (USA), Candoco Dance Company (UK), Touch Compass (NZ), Amy Seiwert’s Imagery (USA), GDance, Scottish Dance Theatre, Greewnwich & Docklands International Festival and City of London Festival (UK). He was featured by Time Out Magazine as the best of the new breed of London’s Rising Dance Talent and was presented with a Centenary Medal for Outstanding Contribution as a dancer and choreographer. His work Remember When was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Best Performance (individual) and his recent solo work For Now, I am… was listed in the Guardians Top 10 Dance Shows for 2016. For more information visit: www.marcbrew.com 

Joan Hamby Burroughs, a graduate of New York University (Ph.D.), Indiana University (MS), Tuskegee Institute, (BS.) and a Birmingham AL native, remains deeply committed to creating new dance, arts and cultural dialogues. Dr. Burroughs is an anthropologist of dance, an educator and choreographer who developed proficiency in and taught the dance technique of Katherine Dunham and other modern dance forms, African derived dance traditions that include Haiti, Cuba and other areas of the Caribbean as well as anthropology, dance theory and education. She has both participated in and organized conferences, seminars and performance events with a focus on Afro-Caribbean and African Diaspora dance, religion and culture. A strong proponent of the arts, she champions the efficacy and significance of arts education, arts in education, pre-professional arts education  and community arts initiatives. That sentiment, supported by proficiency in dance/human movement performance and studies, powered her career as an educator/artist that spans high school through university.

Sean Dorsey is a San Francisco-based choreographer, dancer, writer and activist. As the nation’s first acclaimed transgender contemporary dance choreographer, he has toured his work to 29 cities. Dorsey has been awarded four Isadora Duncan Dance Awards, the Goldie Award for Performance, been named “San Francisco’s Best Dance Company” (SF Weekly) and named in Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch”. Dorsey has been awarded support from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, National Performance Network, Dance/USA, California Arts Council, Creative Work Fund, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, San Francisco Arts Commission and James Irvine Foundation.

Sean Dorsey Dance is currently in the studio making a new work: BOYS IN TROUBLE investigates masculinity and trouble from trans, queer and ‘outsider’ perspectives, and will tour with NDP and NPN support starting in May 2018. Dorsey’s previous work THE MISSING GENERATION is now on a 20-city US tour. THE MISSING GENERATION gives voice to LGBTQ longtime survivors of the early AIDS epidemic.  Dorsey created the work after recording 75 hours of oral history interviews with longtime survivors; these voices and remarkable real-life stories are featured in the show’s award-winning soundscore. 

Dorsey is also the founder and Artistic Director of Fresh Meat Productions, the nation’s first non-profit to create, present and tour year-round transgender arts programs. Fresh Meat’s programs include the annual Fresh Meat Festival of transgender and queer performance, Sean Dorsey Dance’s local and touring performances, community residencies and education program, and a NEW program launching in 2018: TRANSform Dance. www.seandorseydance.com 

Gina Gibney, Artistic Director and CEO of Gibney Dance, is a choreographer, director and entrepreneur. She founded Gibney Dance in 1991 as a performing and social action dance company, and today the organization has rapidly emerged as a cultural leader that operates through three fields of action: Company, Community and Center. 

Gibney is the recipient of Dance/USA’s 2017 Ernie Award, presented annually to a single individual whose achievements have significantly empowered artists and supported their creativity. Gibney has been described as “a force in the New York dance world” by The New York Times and a “power broker of contemporary dance” by The New York Observer. Dance Magazine’s July 2017 90th Anniversary Issue named Gibney a “community builder” and one of most influential people in dance today. In 2016, Gibney was named to the Out100 list of influential members of the LGBT community. In April 2008, she was named to the Vanity Fair Hall of Fame for "making art and taking action."  She has been honored with the Arts & Artists in Progress Award from Brooklyn Arts Exchange, the Northern Ohio Live Arts Award for the Food for Thought program, the Copperfoot Award for Choreography from Wayne State University, the Case Western Reserve University Young Alumni Award, Alpert Award (Finalist), the Our Town Thanks You Arts Award, and by Sanctuary for Families, Safe Horizon, and The Retreat. Gibney has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Observer, Vanity Fair Magazine, Dance Magazine and many other publications. Her work and the organization been widely supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust and many others.

Gibney’s choreographic work is featured in the repertory of the organization’s resident dance ensemble, Gibney Dance Company, now alongside work by leading contemporary colleagues through GRIT (Gibney Repertory Initiative for Tomorrow). Gibney has created over thirty dances for the Company, including fourteen evening length works. Called a “poet of modern dance” by The New York Times, the choreographer’s work uses weight, momentum and intricate partnering to craft abstract narrative infused with interpersonal dynamics. Her work has been featured in recent years by such venues as Baryshnikov Arts Center (New York), Florence Gould Hall (New York), Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum (New York), Danspace Project (New York), White Bird (Oregon), the Yale Repertory Theater (Connecticut), John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Wisconsin), DANCECleveland (Ohio), L'Agora de la Danse (Montreal, Canada), and Internationale Tanzmesse (Dusseldorf, Germany). Through recent Global Community Action Residencies, Gibney’s work has traveled to Mimar Sinan (Istanbul, Turkey), Magnet Theater (Cape Town, South Africa), Danscentrum (Stockholm, Sweden), Theater of the Young Spectator (Yerevan, Armenia) and Sevgi Gönül Cultural Center (Istanbul, Turkey). Gibney has collaborated with a broad range of artists, including lighting designer Kathy Kaufmann; composers Kitty Brazelton, Ryan Lott/Son Lux and Andy Russ; musical ensembles ETHEL, Y Music and ACME (American Contemporary Musical Ensemble); set designers Lex Liang and Normal Group for Architecture; costume designers Lex Liang and Naoko Nagata, and visualist Joshue Ott/SuperDraw. 

Gibney is a frequent panelist and speaker on topics of dance, entrepreneurship, and arts-community partnerships, and she serves on several cultural boards and advisory groups. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts from Case Western Reserve University where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. At Case Western Reserve University, she studied with Kathryn Karipides, Kelly Holt and David N. Brown, and her early work also was influenced by such artists as Pat Graney, Hanya Holm, Penny Hutchinson, Jocelyn Lorenz, Mark Morris and Bessie Schönberg.

Jerron Herman joined Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD) in the summer of 2011 never having danced before. Primarily a writer, Herman now tells story through his body. He is the company associate to broaden exposure to disability & dance and the newest (and youngest) member of the Bessie's Selection Committee for excellence in dance. Extending his talents to education, Herman is the resident dance teaching artist with HLD. A Bay Area native, Herman holds a B.A from The King's College and has written and produced a full-length musical and a one-man show.  He was the subject of two specials, ON THE SCENE with John Bathke and Open Studio with Jared Bowen on PBS. He has served as a panelist for Dance/NYC, La Mama ETC, and a Queensborough Community College Symposium. For his performance in the world premiere of TRIPTYCH, The New York Times called him, "the inexhaustible Mr. Herman…"

Krissie Marty has made dances with children and adults of all ages and abilities. As the Associate Choreographer with Forklift Danceworks, she works alongside Allison Orr to create dances with people that aren’t traditionally thought of as dancers. By engaging everyday people – most often employees of the city – in the creative process of dance-making, her work asks audiences to reconsider their relationship to labor and laboring bodies. Marty created and directed RE Source, a performance featuring the employees and machinery of the Goodwill Resource Center in a 125,000 square foot recycling warehouse. She also co-directed with Allison Orr, Bartholomew Swims, a dance for a city pool and its people, PowerUP, featuring employees of Austin’s electrical utility, Play Ball Downs Field on a historic Negro League baseball field, Afoot: A Marching Band Extravaganza in Houston’s East End, and The Trees of Govalle featuring employees of Austin’s Urban Forestry Program and Govalle neighborhood residents. In her role as Forklift's Director of Education, Marty leads the Leaps & Bounds and Learning in Motion programs that get students and teachers using creative movement to animate their curriculum. 

Previously, Marty's choreography has been performed at the Kennedy Center, Stratford Circus in London, Chateau de Cazals in France and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. For over eight years, she worked with a variety of populations as a choreographer and teaching artist with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. She has choreographed and coached movement for theatre including NYC based contemporary performance art company Big Art Group, Washington Shakespeare Company and Imagination Stage in DC and the Paramount in Austin. Marty holds a BFA in Theatre Studies from the University of Texas and an MFA in Choreography from the University of Iowa. Krissie is also a reviewer for the Teaching Artist Journal.

Marty has also provided professional development for Austin’s Creative Learning Initiative, Theatre Action Project's Changing Lives Youth Ensemble and Music Together teachers. She has taught nationally for the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Jacob's Pillow School & Curriculum in Motion, the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, NewVic (London), Adugna Dance Company (Ethiopia), Grinnell College and Towson University. She has provided teacher training in arts integration for Wolf Trap, Towson University, and City Dance Ensemble in DC. Krissie has also danced with children in home health and hospice care, as well as with Studio G in the Pediatric Unit at Georgetown Medical Center.

Allison Orr, Artistic Director and Founder of Forklift Danceworks, has been creating award-winning choreography with all kinds of performers for nearly 20 years - from sanitation workers to firefighters, Venetian gondoliers to professional baseball players, power linemen to forestry technicians. Inspired by the beauty and skill in the practiced, habitual movement that people perform in everyday life, Orr's dances feature the often-overlooked choreography of work that sustains our communities. Challenging audiences to expand notions of dance and dancers, her dances have been performed for audiences of 60 to 6,000+. Orr has three times been named Most Outstanding Choreographer by the Austin Critics’ Table, and was named Best Choreographer of 2016 and 2017 by the Austin Chronicle’s Readers Poll. Her work has been commissioned three times by the Fusebox Festival, and Orr was the single US choreographer selected by the Kyoto Arts Center as part of NPN’s 2015 Asian Exchange program. Currently a Distinguished Fellow in the College of the Environment at Wesleyan University, Orr is a frequent guest artist at colleges and universities. Her work has been funded by the MAP Fund, The New England Foundation for the Arts, Dance/USA'a Engaging Dance Audiences, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Austin, numerous foundations, and the City of Venice, Italy. Orr received an MFA in Choreography and Performance from Mills College, a BA in Anthropology from Wake Forest University, and has danced and studied with Deborah Hay and MacArthur Award winner Liz Lerman. 

Michelle Ramos, JD, PhD, has committed her career to servicing our most marginalized communities, those adversely impacted by issues of by race, gender, socio-economics, inequitable laws, and public policies. As project director of the Vera Institute of Justice, New Orleans office, she works with government and community partners to improve the criminal justice system through strategy, research, and policy work. 

Prior to her legal career, Ramos, a retired professional ballet dancer, worked as an executive director for multiple non-profit arts organizations and served as a program officer for Women’s Foundation of California. She was director of Dance/NYC from 2006-2010. She has served as a panelist for several organizations including the NEA, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Ramos consults in communications strategy, diversity and equity training as well as leadership with non-profit organizations in addition to her legal practice. She is the proud mother of a professional dancer, and since retiring from her own dance career Ramos has become a competitive Ironman triathlete and marathoner.

Malik Robinson is the executive director of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD), a not-for-profit cultural arts institution based in Denver, CO. As an internationally recognized arts organization, CPRD has served as a leader in preserving the rich heritage of legendary American modern dance choreographers. The organization is also distinguished for its arts-in-education and arts advocacy work. In his role, Robinson directs a small administrative staff that coordinates multiple facets of the organization with an operational budget of $1million. During his tenure with CPRD, Robinson was intricately involved in coordinating the Annual International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference hosted by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance in 1999, 2009 and 2016. He was responsible for securing award-winning international tours to Israel, Italy, and Egypt for the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble (CPRDE). As the booking manager for CPRDE, Robinson successfully secured funding from national foundations for new work creation and tour support. He also booked and managed national tours to an average of 15 cities annually.

As the primary funds developer for CPRD, Robinson worked with community agencies to develop partnerships that helped sustain and grow the organization. He also worked in partnership with the Denver Housing Authority in the acquisition of $20 million grant award from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant supported the redevelopment of a dilapidated housing that formerly surrounded the organization. As a result of his work, CPRD has evolved into a creative arts center and destination for dance in Denver.

Robinson’s dedication to education and the arts led to the creation of the after-school program Aye (Yoruba for “Life”), which he and his wife, Olga Gonzalez, developed to serve high-risk youth in northeast Denver. Through partnerships with the Aurora and Denver Youth Probation Departments, the project served an average of 125 teens per year.

In his consultant role, Robinson has served as a grant reviewer for national foundations that serve arts organizations and children. Robinson is a Leadership Denver graduate and 2015 Livingston Fellow. He serves on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Blacks in Dance, the First Lady of Denver’s Bringing Back the Arts, as well as the Ian James Wallace Foundation, and is an advisory member for the Africana Studies Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver and the Community Advisory Panel at Denver Health Medical Center. Robinson earned his B.A. in African Studies from Regis University. Robinson is the son of Tom and Cleo Robinson, and he is married to Olga Gonzalez with three daughters Citlalmina, Ximalma, and Xareni. 

Accepting the outcome of a dare, Alice Sheppard resigned her tenured position to become a dancer.  She trained with Kitty Lunn and made her debut with Infinity Dance Theater.  After an apprenticeship, Sheppard joined AXIS Dance Company where she toured nationally and taught in the company’s education and outreach programs.  Since becoming an independent dance artist, Sheppard has danced in projects with Ballet Cymru, GDance, and Marc Brew in the United Kingdom.  In the United States, she has worked with Marjani Forté, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater, and Steve Paxton.  As a guest artist, she has danced with AXIS Dance Company, Full Radius Dance, and MOMENTA Dance Company.  Sheppard has also performed as a solo artist and academic speaker throughout the United States.

An award-winning choreographer, Sheppard creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies.  Engaging with disability arts, culture and history, she has commissioned work attends to the complex intersections of disability, gender, and race. Sheppard is the founder and artistic lead for Kinetic Light, a collaboration with dancer Laurel Lawson, lighting and video artist Michael Maag, and professors Sara Hendren, Yevgeniya Zastavker, and students of Olin College. 

Linda Yudin, founding artistic director of Viver Brasil, earned her MA in Dance (Ethnology) from UCLA in 1988. She has devoted more than three decades to researching, performing and teaching Afro-Brazilian dance. Her work is embodied in Viver Brasil's contemporary expression of Afro-Brazilian dance theater; the company’s commitment to maintaining “a living bridge” between Los Angeles and Salvador, Bahia through artistic and cultural exchange; and dedication to the development of a new generation of artistic voices who will further the legacy of Viver Brasil as choreographers, composer, performers and teaching artists. 

As Founding Artistic Director, Yudin has led the company on national and international tours with support from the NEFA/National Dance Project. She has also directed twelve of Viver Brasil’s world premieres at the Ford Amphitheatre, the Hollywood Bowl and the Music Center in Los Angeles.  Most recently, she directed Viver Brasil’s 20th anniversary concert, Agô Ayó Spirits Rising. She also created the artistic vision for Viver Brasil’s performance in the Viva Navidad Street Party at Disney California Adventure Park, currently in its fifth year. Through the company’s signature program, Samba in the Streets, Yudin continues to develop Viver Brasil’s commitment to energize communities with Afro-Brazilian dance and music in a dialogue that exalts black ancestry and modern life, racial equity, and resistance and resilience. 

Yudin has lectured, taught, published, and performed Afro-Brazilian dance at colleges, universities, elementary, and secondary schools, academic conferences, and with communities throughout the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Brazil and South Africa. Since 2015 she has taught her signature Afro-Brazilian dance course in the WAC/Dance Department.  From 1999-2014, she was an adjunct faculty member at Santa Monica College, and she taught at UCLA from 1994-95. She consulted for the “New World, New Forms” segment of the WNET public television series “Dancing”; and delivered the keynote speech at the University of Cape Town, South Africa's first international dance conference in 1997.  She is also the chair of the Los Angeles-Salvador Sister City committee.

In September 2017, the Consulate General of Brazil recognized Yudin for her dedication to the development of a robust Afro-Brazilian cultural presence in Los Angeles and beyond. She is a recipient of a 2012 Cultural Exchange International fellowship from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Sacatar Foundation. In 2009, she also received the prestigious Excellence in Teaching award from the board of directors of Dance Resource Center of Greater L.A./Lester Horton Dance Awards.  Yudin is a two-time grantee of the NEFA/National Dance Project (2007, 2009), four time Durfee Foundation grantee, and a recipient of the 2016-17 Dance/USA Engaging Dance Audiences grant. She has also received support from the NEA, the Brazilian Ministry of External Affairs, the California Arts Council, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department.

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