Robert Garland was a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company achieving the rank of principal dancer. After creating a work for the DTH School Ensemble, Arthur Mitchell invited Robert Garland to create a work for The Dance Theatre of Harlem Company and appointed him the organization’s first Resident Choreographer. He was also Director of the Professional Training Program of the DTH school, and the organization’s webmaster. In addition to choreographing several ballets for DTH, Mr. Garland has also created works for New York City Ballet, Britain’s Royal Ballet, Oakland Ballet and many others. His commercial work has included music videos, commercials and short films, including the children’s television show Sesame Street, a Nike commercial featuring New York Yankee Derek Jeter, the NAACP Image Awards, a short film for designer Donna Karan, and the “Charmin Cha-Cha” for Proctor and Gamble. Mr. Garland holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Juilliard School in New York City. Mr. Garland is currently the Dance Theatre of Harlem School Director as well.
Jaamil Olawale Kosoko is a Nigerian-American poet, curator, and performance artist originally from Detroit, MI. He is a 2019 NPN Creation & Development Fund awardee, 2019 Red Bull Arts Fellow, 2017-2019 Princeton Arts Fellow, a 2018 NEFA National Dance Project Award recipient, a 2018-20 New York Live Arts Live Feed Artist-in-Residence, a 2019 Gibney DiP Artist-in-Residence, a 2017 Jerome Foundation Artist-in-Residence at Abrons Arts Center, a 2017 Cave Cane Poetry Fellow, a 2016 Gibney Dance boo-koo resident artist, and a recipient of a 2016 USArtists International Award from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. His previous work #negrophobia (premiered September 2015, Gibney Dance Center) was nominated for a 2016 Bessie Award and has toured throughout Europe having appeared in major festivals including Moving in November (Finland), TakeMeSomewhere (UK), SICK! (UK), Tanz im August (Berlin), Oslo Internasjonale Teaterfestival (Norway), Zurich MOVES! (Switzerland), Beursschouwburg (Belgium) and Spielart Festival (Munich). His current work, Séancers, premiered at Abrons Arts Center in December 2017 and has toured nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. Recent highlights include Mousonturm (Frankfurt, DE), FringeArts (Philadelphia, PA), Sophiensaele (Berlin, DE), and the Wexner Center (Columbus, OH). In 2019, Séancers will have engagements at the Fusebox Festival (Austin, TX) and Montréal Arts Interculturels (Montréal, CA), among others.
American performance venues include: Abrons Arts Center, Joyce SoHo, DTW, FringeArts, Dixon Place, Dance Theater Workshop, Bennington College, Danspace at St. Mark’s Church, the CEC Meeting House Theater, Wexner Center for the Arts, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, LAX Festival, Miami Theater Center, Art Basel Miami, and the Painted Bride Arts Center, among others.
He was a Co-Curator of the 2015 Movement Research Spring Festival and the 2015 Dancing While Black performance series at BAAD in the Bronx; a contributing correspondent for Dance Journal (PHL), the Broad Street Review (PHL), and Critical Correspondence (NYC); a 2012 Live Arts Brewery Fellow as a part of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival; a 2011 Fellow as a part of the DeVos Institute of Art Management at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and an inaugural graduate member of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) at Wesleyan University where he earned his MA in Curatorial Studies.
His work in performance is rooted in a creative mission to push history forward through writing and art making and advocacy. Kosoko’s work in live performance has received support from The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through Dance Advance, The Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative, The Joyce Theater Foundation, and The Philadelphia Cultural Fund. His breakout solo performance work entitled other.explicit.body. premiered at Harlem Stage in April 2012 and went on to tour nationally. As a performer, Kosoko has created original roles in the performance works of Nick Cave, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Keely Garfield Dance, Miguel Gutierrez and The Powerful People, and Headlong Dance Theater, among others. In addition, creative consultant and/or performer credits include: Terry Creach, Lisa Kraus, Kate Watson-Wallace/anonymous bodies, Leah Stein Dance Company, Emergent Improvisation Ensemble, and Faustin Linyekula and Les Studios Kabako (The Democratic Republic of Congo).
In 2009, he published he chapbook, Animal in Cyberspace, and, in 2011, he published his own collection, Notes on an Urban Kill-Floor: Poems for Detroit (Old City Publishing). Publications include: The American Poetry Review, The Dunes Review, The Interlochen Review, The Broad Street Review, Silo Literary and Visual Arts Magazine. Kosoko has served on numerous curatorial and funding panels including the Brooklyn Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, MAP Fund, Movement Research at the Judson Church, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and the Baker Artists Awards, among others. In 2014, Kosoko joined the Board of Directors for Dance/USA, the national service organization for dance professionals. He is also a founding advisory board member for the Coalition for Diasporan Scholars Moving.
He has held producing and curatorial positions at New York Live Arts, 651 Arts, and The Watermill Center among others. He continues to guest teach, speak, and lecture internationally.
Amy Miller is a NYC-based dancer, choreographer, educator and advocate. Formerly with the Ohio Ballet, she was also a founding member and artistic associate of Cleveland-based GroundWorks DanceTheater. Now a Gibney Company Director alongside Nigel Campbell, and a performing member of Gibney Company, Miller has facilitated numerous teaching residencies at Oberlin College, Brown University, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and Bates Dance Festival among many others. Miller also focuses on Gibney’s Community Action initiatives through facilitating movement workshops with survivors of trauma, conducting both local and international trainings for artists interested in engaging in social action, developing healthy relationship workshops for young people and raising awareness about the role of the arts in violence prevention. She has conducted Gibney’s Global Community Action Residencies at Mimar Sinan University and Koc University (Istanbul), University of Cape Town (South Africa), DOCH: School of Dance and Circus (Stockholm), MUDA Africa (Tanzania) and most recently in Gisenyi, Rwanda. She is an active member of the National Dance Education Organization’s Access, Diversity and Equity Committee, as well as Dance/USA’s Dance & Disability Affinity Group working toward National Initiatives. Miller has twice been a Dance/USA Mentor through their Institute for Leadership Training. Miller was honored to receive an Arts & Artists in Progress “Pay it Forward” Award from Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Miller holds a BFA in Dance and is a recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for her choreography.
Christopher K. Morgan (he/his/him) is Executive Artistic Director of Dance Place in Washington, DC, where he curates over 35 weekends of performances annually, oversees a school for youth and adults, and continues Dance Place’s role as a neighborhood community arts center and nationally prominent performing arts presenter. Morgan’s leadership at Dance Place is deeply connected to his identity as an advocate for cultural integrity and broad ranging representation from across the community, in the classroom and on stage. Born in Orange County, CA, his Native Hawaiian ancestry and wide-ranging international performance career influence all aspects of his work. Morgan founded his contemporary dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists in 2011; the same year Dance Magazine profiled him as one of six breakout choreographers in the United States. Said to be “direct, transcendent and entrancing” (The Washington Post), his choreography has been presented in 18 countries on 5 continents. Awards include a 2013 Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Fellowship, 2014 and 2019 NPN Creation Fund, 2014 and 2019 NEFA National Dance Project Production Grant, an inaugural 2018 Native Launchpad Award from the Western Arts Alliance, and a 2019 Dance USA Fellowship for Artists. Teaching credits include American University (2011-14), the BA and MFA programs at the University of Maryland (2014-17), and residencies at over 20 conservatories and institutions of higher learning in the US and abroad. Since 2006 Christopher has directed Art Omi: Dance, an annual collaborative residency for international choreographers in New York, where he created an utterly unique international cultural exchange program. Frequently sought as a speaker and grants reviewer for an informed and balanced perspective, he has been at the forefront of national discussions on equity in the arts. He lives in Washington D.C. with his husband, opera director Kyle Lang.
From Evanston, Illinois, Julie Nakagawa was a featured dancer with Christopher D’Amboise’s Off Center Ballet, Cleveland Ballet, and Twyla Tharp Dance. Returning to Chicago upon her retirement from dancing, she has been especially interested in the development of dance artists and their related artistic collaborators. At the invitation of Lou Conte, Julie joined the staff of Lou Conte Dance Studio in January 1994 and rose to the position of Associate Director. In addition, she led Hubbard Street 2 from its inception in 1997 through February 2007 as the artistic director of the second company of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, nurturing young dancers and establishing the National Choreographic Competition to provide creative opportunities for emerging dance makers. A sought-after teacher, Julie has taught classes for dance studios, university programs, and companies, nationally and internationally. She has served as a member and officer of the Board of Trustees of Dance/USA, has engaged as a mentor in Dance/USA’s Institute for Leadership Training, and has served as a panelist for numerous peer review panels including the National Endowment for the Arts and the McKnight Foundation. The Chicago Foundation for Women’s Asian American Leadership Council has honored Julie for her work in the creative arts. Julie is a Co-founder and Artistic Director of DanceWorks Chicago, a creative incubator fostering a diverse next generation of movers and makers, empowering young artists to cultivate their unique voices in the dance community through skill acquisition and development; collaborations and relationship-building with a global perspective; intense and intentional mentorship; and performances that shine a light on dancers and dance.
Dr. Michelle Ramos brings a deep and incredibly robust diversity of experience to role as Executive Director of Alternate Roots. Her background includes most recently working in criminal justice reform as Project Director of the Vera Institute of Justice, philanthropic work as a Program Officer at Women’s Foundation of California, and service organization leadership as Board Chair of Dance/USA, Dancing Grounds, and Junebug Productions.
In addition to being a licensed attorney, and holding a PhD in Cultural Psychology, she has significant organizing experience and has committed her career to serving communities and individuals adversely impacted by issues of race, gender, disability, class, socio-economics, inequitable laws and systemic oppression. Ramos, a retired professional ballet dancer has worked as an executive director for multiple non-profit arts organizations in many cities across the US. She has consulted for over 20 years nationally and internationally.
She is the proud mother Broadway choreographer, Ellenore Scott, and since retiring from her own dance career, Ramos has continued teach dance, has competed as an Ironman triathlete and now enjoys her southern New Orleans lifestyle.
Adam Castaneda is a dancer, writer, and arts administrator living in Houston, Texas. He is the Executive and Artistic Director of the Pilot Dance Project, and his programming has been funded by the Mid-America Arts Alliance, City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Endowment, Texas Commission on the Arts, the Morales Foundation, HoustonFirst, the Midtown Management District, Bunnies on the Bayou, and Dance Source Houston. Through his non-profit, he produces a full season of professional Modern dance as well as the annual Houston Fringe Festival. As a company member of the Pilot Dance Project, he has performed in evening-length and repertory work by Ashley Horn, Jhon r. Stronks, Jennifer Mabus, Jaime Frugé-Walne, Heather VonReichbauer, Lori Yuill, Orlando Hunter (Brooklyn, New York), Erica Gionfriddo (Austin, TX), Jennifer Salter, and Ty Lewis. In 2018, he was a graduate of the second class of Artist Inc. Houston, and was selected from a national pool of applicants to attend the Jacob’s Pillow National Dance Presenters Forum. He currently leads The Pilot Dance Project as a participant in EmcArts’ New Pathways Program. Adam was chosen as one of Dance Source Houston’s 2018-2019 Artists-in-Residence, which culminated in a finished piece of choreography at the 2019 Barnstorm Dance Fest. Over the past season, he was awarded a Let Creativity Happen! Grant from the Houston Arts Alliance for a community-building dance/literary arts work, The Flower Garden Ignatius Beltran, which premiered February 18 at Dance Source Houston’s Mind the Gap 15.0. Adam is a grateful recipient of a 2020 Support for Artists and Creative Individuals Grant from the Houston Arts Alliance to produce an original evening-length dance work on the Heritage Society campus. Lazarus in the Promised Land, a celebration of the Houston Mexican American community, will premiere October 3 and 4 and will be free to the public. When not dancing with his own company, he often appears onstage with Suchu Dance/Jennifer Wood.
Tiffany Hall is an arts administrator from New Orleans, LA. She is the Operations & Grants Manager at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, where she creates systematic and shared practices that support the organization, staff, and Board of Trustees as well as identifies and manages fundraising opportunities. Tiffany’s previous administration experience includes being the Museum Experience Assistant Manager at the Louisiana Children’s Museum and an alumna of the Jacob’s Pillow Intern Program serving as the House Manager for the Ted Shawn Theatre. Passionate about the arts at an early age, Tiffany trained in dance for fourteen years and has a background in visual arts. She received her B.A. in painting and M.A. in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans. Tiffany’s mission is to provide opportunities to artists that allow them to explore a multidisciplinary approach to New Orleanian culture.
Marina Magalhães is a border-crosser, bridge-builder, and dance-and-change-maker from Brazil based in Los Angeles. Her work holds a decolonial diasporic ethos at its core, wherein ancestral, ritual, and social practices are located as fertile sites for choreographic inquiry, pedagogic encounters, and political possibility. Her growing national and international recognition has earned her an LA Weekly Theater Award for Best Choreography and critical acclaim from South Africa’s Creative Feel Magazine, calling her work, “riveting… a physical and emotional feat.” National highlights for her choreography include venues in Los Angeles (Ford Amphitheater, REDCAT, LACMA Museum, The Huntington Library, and USC Visions & Voices), SanFrancisco (CounterPulse and Dance Mission Theater’s D.I.R.T. Festival), and New York City (performing alongside the band Las Cafeteras at The Bowery Ballroom). Internationally she has shared her work in Berlin (Hamburger Bahnhof Museum and DAAD Gallerie), Montpellier (Centre Chorégraphique National), Johannesburg (The Wits Theatre), Gaborone, Botswana (Maitisong Festival), and Rio de Janeiro (Center for Theater of the Oppressed and Primavera das Mulheres). In 2017 Magalhães was invited to be a Resident Choreographer with Viver Brasil Dance Company who commissioned her to create Cor Da Pele, a concert dance work that premiered at the company’s 20th Anniversary Celebration and was selected as a Top 40 Finalist by National Endowment for the Arts’ best choreographic works of 2018. Other choreographic residencies include University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Keshet Makers Space Experience in Albuquerque, Cal State Los Angeles, UCLA, and CONTRA-TIEMPO Dance Company, with whom Magalhães worked for seven years (2007-2014) as a Performer, Teaching Artist, Rehearsal Director, Assistant Artistic Director, and ultimately becoming Artistic Director Interim for 6 months in 2013. In 2017 Magalhães began collaborating with internationally renowned visual artist, Carolina Caycedo, with whom she has choreographed the widely acclaimed dance film Apariciones (2018)—commissioned by The Huntington Library and shown at festivals in Los Angeles, São Paulo, London, and Bogotá—and the newer film Thank You For Hosting Us, We Are Healing Our Broken Bodies (2019), commissioned by OCMA Museum. Magalhães has been a recipient of the California Arts Council’s Artists Activating Communities grant for three consecutive years for her growing platform Dancing Diaspora, which she founded in 2017. Dancing Diaspora (DD) is dedicated to honoring, sharing, and reimagining dance practices of the Latin and African diasporas in dialogue with local and global histories of resistance. In 2018, DD held its inaugural Dancing Diaspora Festival—two days of free programming curated and produced by Magalhães in partnership with Pieter Performance Space—featuring over 35 local artists and serving over 300 community members. In 2020, Magalhães launched the Dancing Diaspora Collective, a group of twelve local artists and healers invited by Magalhães to help carry the vision and curate on-going programming for DD. Magalhães earned her B.A. degree in World Arts & Cultures/Dance from UCLA and her M.F.A. degree in Dance from University of the Arts. She is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Scripps College.
Edgar L. Page is originally from Detroit, MI where he began his dance training through the Detroit Public Schools system, proudly graduating from Cass Technical High School. He furthered his dance studies at the Alvin Ailey School and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange before earning his BA in Dance from Western Michigan University as a Wade H. McCree, Jr. Incentive Scholar and a Martin Luther King, Jr. Diversity Scholar. Upon graduation, Mr. Page spent a season with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Second Company before joining the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. Page toured domestically and internationally as a principal member of the company for nearly a decade and was featured in the works of Alvin Ailey, Gary Abbott, Baba Chuck Davis, Katherine Dunham, Christopher Huggins, Donald McKayle, Ray Mercer, Milton Myers, Eleo Pomare, David Rousseve, Nejla Yatkin and others.
With a graceful prowess, Mr. Page has since shifted his focus to curating his own work while also enriching his community through multiple creative offerings. Establishing Edgar L. Page: Feel the Movement in June of 2018, he utilizes this intersectional, multigenerational arts initiative to offer an interdisciplinary embodiment of human creativity through movement-based mindfulness that centers the communal aspects of dance found within the African Diaspora. A self-professed emotional integrationist, Page interrogates phenomena to expand topical dialogues. Socially motivated, his work interweaves dance techniques, athleticism, and the Africanist Aesthetic of Cool to inform a lush amalgamation of contemporary movement. Intrigued by society’s obsession with social media, Page curates nuanced physical narratives about the pursuit of love and happiness in this era, the rapidly morphing continuum of affection due to technology, and the collateral damage found when these collide.
In addition to being a Mentee in the 2020 DILT Cohort, Mr. Page has been named a City of Denver Cultural Partner, a Creativity Connects Fellow, A Next Stage Now Artist, the inaugural recipient of the Presenting Denver Dance Festival’s Audience Favorite Award and the current Presenting Denver Dance Festival Artist in Residence. His company was voted the 2019 Readers’ Choice for Best Artist in the annual Top of the Town Awards presented by 5280 Magazine.
Barkha Patel is a kathak dancer, choreographer, educator and the Artistic Director of Barkha Dance Company (BDC). BDC intends to create artistic experiences that connect contemporary themes and Kathak dance, to help guide audiences to a better understanding of Indian culture and art. Barkha’s artistic practice consists of both rhythmic dance and creative storytelling.
For two decades, Barkha has trained under great Guru Rachna Sarang and has experienced workshop intensives with other kathak masters such as Birju Maharaj and Rajendra Gangani. Barkha continues to deepen her understanding in intricate musical rhythms with Pandit Divyang Vakil and complex bhavas (emotional states) a dancer emotes in classical dance with Deepak Mazumdar. Barkha is a touring artist who has performed at dance festivals and fashion shows in India to Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out series. She completed a choreographic fellowship with Jersey Moves/New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Currently, Barkha is working on her first, full evening ensemble work called Mukta, A Woman Liberated. Passionate about teaching and raising awareness of kathak, Barkha conducts classes and workshops in New York City and New Jersey for young and adult students. Her classes emphasize building strength and grace, along with a deeper understanding of kathak’s history, rhythmic patterns and facial expressivity. Barkha is a 2020 Fellowship recipient from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
Mark Travis Rivera is an award-winning activist, author, choreographer, speaker, and writer. A graduate of William Paterson University of New Jersey, Rivera earned a bachelor’s in women’s & gender studies with a minor in public relations. He is a member of the Gamma Zeta Chapter of Iota Iota Iota (Triota) National Honor Society for Women’s & Gender Studies. He was also inducted into Chi Alpha Epsilon, the Educational Opportunity Fund National Honor Society. In 2013, Rivera received the Student Government Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his commitment to the William Paterson community. In the same year, he was honored with the Campus Pride Voice & Action Award for his work with the LGBTQ community. More recently, he won the Audre Lorde Award for Social Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. Off-campus, Rivera formerly served as the Chairperson for the Youth Community Advisory Board for Project: Living Out Loud, a Hyacinth AIDS Foundation program dedicated to serving young men of color who are same gender loving in the Hudson County area. He also served as a trainer for the Passaic County’s Women’s Center, where he provided aspiring advocates training on the LGBTQ community as it relates to sexual assault and domestic violence.
An innovative choreographer, Rivera is the youngest person to found a physically integrated dance company in the United States. marked dance project, a contemporary company for dancers with and without disabilities, established in March 2009, made its debut at Rutgers University. The company has also performed at the Silk City Summer Arts Festival, the Painted Bride Art Center, the Mandell Theater, the Actor’s Fund Arts Center in Brooklyn, NY and New York University. Through MDP, Rivera has worked with choreographers such as Caitlin Trainor, Stacey Tookey, Todrick Hall, Tyce Diorio, and Marinda Davis. After ten years, Rivera decided to dissolve the marked dance project and continue working as a disabled independent choreographer and joined AXIS Dance Company as their Community Engagement Manager in April of 2019.
Rivera had been featured at various speaking engagements throughout the US, speaking to audiences at Harvard University, New York University, and San Francisco State University. His talk “Embracing Yourself, Embracing Your Potential” was a hit at the TEDxTalk event at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey in March of 2014. As a storyteller, Rivera has long used writing as a form of expression. Rivera’s writing has been published in The Bergen Record, Herald News, The Star Ledger, Fox News Latino, and The Huffington Post. His debut collection, Drafts: An Imperfect Collection of Writing was published in August of 2017 through Amazon. He currently lives in Oakland, CA.
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