Sarah Pilger: Dancer
San Francisco, CA
What Moves You?
“Humans. Our grand varieties, the things we make, the emotions we feel, and our ever-changing identities.”
I grew up just outside of San Francisco, in a small town called San Anselmo. I just graduated from the University and Pennsylvania and decided very last minute to move to New York and pursue my passion for dance. Penn has a very pre-professional culture that seems inescapable and unavoidable. I was set on applying to grad schools, but decided I couldn’t live in regret if I didn’t step outside of my comfort zone and try to dance professionally.
Photo Credits: (black and white): Jason Lau; (arabesque): Araba Ankuma; (overall white with blue fabric): Jason Lau; (blue smoke): Kevin Wang; (pink background): Carson Kahoe; (red background): Christian Hopkins
Javier Padilla: Dancer/Choreographer
San Juan, Puerto Rico
What Moves You?
“The stories that unfold right in front of us each and every day!”
Javier Padilla is a movement based artist from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Starting his training at School for the Performing Arts under Waldo Gonzalez and Olaya Muentes in Puerto Rico, he then continued his studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts pursuing a BFA in Dance. During his time at Mason Gross, Javi had the opportunity of working with artists such as Jessica Lang, Keith Thompson, Netta Yerushalmy, Joe Goode Performance Group, Meghan Frederick, Randy James and Bereishit Dance Company. His choreographic work has been presented at venues such as Dixon Place, Open Source Gallery, The Secret Theater, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Triskelion Arts, The Salvatore Capezio Theater, Battery Park, Judson Memorial Church and the Inside/Out Stage at Jacob’s Pillow. Javi is also the Artistic Director of The Movement Playground, an emerging movement collective that has been performing and touring in the New York Tri-State Area since 2014 and are excited to premiere their first commissioned works with Ballet Forte (NJ) and Bucknell University (PA) in the upcoming year.
For more info: www.jpmovementplayground.com
Photo Credits: Whitney Browne, Brayden Donnely, Hayim Heron
Alissa Johann: Dancer/Choreographer
West Chester, PA
What Moves You?
Alissa trained in classical ballet, modern and jazz at the Brandywine ballet in West Chester, PA. She later went on to earn a B.A. in Dance and a B.A. in Media Studies from Cedar Crest College in 2016, while also furthering her technique at Muhlenberg College. She has received several scholarships and awards and has attended summer intensives at the Joffrey Ballet School and American Ballet Theater. Alissa is a professional dancer, choreographer, and instructor in Philadelphia, PA.
For more: http://alissajohann.wixsite.com/alissajohann
Photo Credits: Brian Mengini, Anna Bonacci, Amico Studios
Jen Roit: Choreographer
San Jose, CA
What Moves You?
“Emotions and stories.”
Proud of her West Coast origins, Jen Roit received a BFA at NYU Tisch, working with Karole Armitage, Bill Young, and Dwight Rhoden. She continued a diverse career with Jennifer Archibald, Nathan Trice, Daniel Holt, Mark Dendy, Randy James, Transcendance Group, and the Park Avenue Armory. She received mentorship from Camille Brown and Jennifer Edwards through the Breaking Glass Project and Stephen Petronio through NYU’s Alumni Choreographic Workshop. With her company, Armada Dance, she has produced work for BalaSole Dance Company, MaD Circle Dance, Moving Beauty Series, Amalgamate Artist Series, Equilibrium Danceworks, WAXworks, and has been presented at HATCH, Spoke the Hub, RAW Artists, Dixon place, The Actor’s Fund, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Triskelion, and Ticino in Danza (Switzerland). She currently serves on the Artist Committee for NACHMO, is editor of the Dance Magazine College Guide, manages projects at TERP Corp, and dances for Dances for Solidarity. She has choreographed for short films and music videos, including “You and I and You” presented at the Outlet Dance Project’s International Film Festival, Dance Film Day in Portland, OR, and for Triskelion’s Dance Film Festival. Founder of the Broke Dancer, a weekly newsletter for inexpensive dance and fitness classes around NYC.
For more: http://www.jenroit.com
What Moves You?
“My name is Olga. I am an artist immigrating from Poland. I fell in love with New York City when I was 19 years old. I then quit law school in Poland and turned my life around to come to the USA and study dance professionally. Only to find myself becoming an advocate of Mother Nature, through art, bringing awareness to the urgency of our planet’s call for healing of ourselves and the earth. Over the course of four years, I have been self-producing directing, choreographing and editing videos to bring awareness about the urgency of our planets call for healing, healing ourselves and the Earth. I have also been sharing my lifelong research in movement and it’s healing properties with people through classes and performances. I’ve been fortunate to work with incredible artists who contributed their time, talents and effort to bring these visions into life, and the only profit we ever cared for was awareness and healing. My mission is to ignite and help animate our human evolution in as many people as I can, And in order to keep doing that – I now need your help.”
‘As a dancer, ODNA’s strong lower body movement allows her to pursue a variety of complex gestures in a highly graceful way that supports the non-human personas she inhibits.
Her original personal vocabulary of very sudden and rapid “possessed” like movement in conjunction with soft, round and highly empathetic human expression really puts her in a position to take on the role of an ‘agent of nature’ – expressing both the beautiful and the violent of the amoral natural reality of our lives.’
Review of ODNA’s live performance -Scio Me nihil Scire by Idan Morim.
Photo Credits from top to bottom:
- From Spells for Awareness Project directed choreographed by me , shot by Bodgan Teslar Kwiatkowski
- (R)evolution film, directed choreographed edited by Odna, DP Blaine Dunkley @blaineframez
- Visual directed by Odna, DP @blaineframez
- (R)evolution film
Theresa Alexander: Dancer
Holly Springs, North Carolina
What Moves You?
“The ability to move others.”
Theresa began her dance studies at a young age in North Carolina, training mainly in ballet, tap, and jazz, gradually expanding her training to modern, hip hop, pointe, African, and choreographic studies. Her hobby turned passion in high school when Theresa began to dedicate all of her time to dance both at school and at a studio. She is a recent graduate of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA (2017), with a BFA in Dance Performance. While at Cornish, Theresa concentrated her dance studies on mainly modern, jazz, and theater dance styles, while also studying ballet, Graham, tap, hip-hop, and acting. In between her schooling, Theresa has been awarded with scholarships to attend summer studies such as Point Park University, The American Dance Festival, University of the Arts, and Paul Taylor American Modern Dance.
Theresa recently performed a collaborative solo co-created by Sara Procopio of Shen Wei Dance Arts that was performed as her final Capstone Project, and in December re-staged and performed Bob Fosse’s “Big Spender” for a musical theater cabaret style performance. Her most recent performance was for Cornish Dance Theater’s 2017 Spring performance, in pieces choreographed by Wade Madeson and Karen O’Branovich. Following her recent graduation, she will be relocating to New York to continue pursuing dance and theater.
Photo Credits: JazzyPhoto, Greg Taylor
For more: http://theresalexander.wixsite.com/danceperformer
Michael Bishop: Artistic Director/Dancer/Choreographer
What Moves You?
“I am moved by the very nature of humanity. Art is a reflection of its time and as an artist, I want to create work that speaks to the truth of my era while also challenging the perspectives of those involved in an effort to move towards a better tomorrow.”
Michael Bishop, a native of Mississippi, started dancing at age 21 at Belhaven University. While in school Michael toured internationally with T.A.L.K Dance Company, was the assistant choreographer for the 2010 International Ballet Competition closing ceremonies and won the Bezalel Award for outstanding artistic achievement for his senior class. Upon graduating from Belhaven with a BFA in dance and choreography and moved to New York and started training at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Independent Study Program. Michael then toured with the International European Tour of West Side Story 2012-2014, performed with numerous companies nationally, set several premier works for the Forza Malizia Dance Company, taught and choreographed for the Sangre De Cristo summer intensive, began preparations for the development of his own dance company and is currently working with Bill T. Jones through Opera Philadelphia. Michael is an AGMA Union member and SAG-AFTRA Eligible as well as a model for Jianhui London.
For more: http://mjuanbishop1.wixsite.com/juanbishop1
Adriana Santoro: Artist/Dancer/Choreographer/Pilaterra
What Moves You?
“Movement, in and of itself, is a passion of mine. It is an essence of life. I move to feel alive and better understand what it means to be human. I create to explore and nuance the infinite possibilities of movement through dance. I teach to share the refreshment and generosity I have found through dance and Pilates with the community. Movement to me is a needed breath of fresh air, of which I am allowed to fall in love with and express daily.”
Adriana Santoro is a Dancer, Choreographer, and Pilaterra from New Jersey. She graduated from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University with her BFA in Dance. Prior to college, she received her training at the Princeton Ballet School in the Pre-Professional Program and American Repertory Ballet Workshops. During her summer and winter seasons, she also trained with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Carolina Ballet, Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet, New Jersey Youth Theatre, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, STUFFED: d.a.n.c.e., Tiffany Mills Company, Washington School of Ballet, and 10 Hairy Legs. Santoro has recently performed works by Sherry Alban, Brian Brooks, Randy James, Bill T. Jones, Alex Ketely, Graham Lustig, Ohad Naharin, Paul C. Ocampo, Javier Padilla, Julia Ritter, Bobbi Jene Smith, Chien-Ying Wang, Micayla Wynn, and Netta Yerushalmy. Through the Polestar Pilates Teacher Training Program mentored by Kim Gibilisco at Rutgers University, Santoro is additionally a Polestar Pilates graduate and PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher.
Adriana Santoro & Artists enjoy choreographing highly articulate, richly dynamic, and thoughtfully collaborative works that present to diverse audiences in New Jersey, New York, and beyond. Current collaborating artists include dancers, composers, and musicians. Upcoming projects also encompass dance film and site specific productions. Repertoire has performed at The Actors Fund Arts Center, Hudson Guild Theater, Loree Dance Theater, Mark Morris Dance Center, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Ritz Performing Arts Stage, Triskelion Art’s Muriel Schulman Theater, Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater, and Vorhees Chapel at Rutgers University, with shows this fall at Gibney Dancer Center, Judson Memorial Church, and The Landmark Loews Jersey Theater.
Nadia Naomi: Dancer
Third Culture Kid
What Moves You?
“Opportunities for healing and understanding.”
Nadia Naomi is a dancer, choreographer, model, photographer, poet & scholar. Born to New Jersey to an Afro-Guyanese mother & a Afro-Tanzanian and Indian father, Nadia Naomi grew up in Tanzania, Malawi, Trinidad, Switzerland & France. Both her art & scholarship draw on her life experiences as a Third Culture Kid as her research focus is on transnational racial identity and embodied knowledge. Nadia Naomi earned her B.A. in Africana Studies & Dance from Barnard College of Columbia University in the City of New York. Her artwork focuses on women’s empowerment, destigmatizing (dis)ability & mental illness, as well as, highlighting the cultural diversity within the African diaspora.
For more on instragram: nadianaomi.inc
Modeled by Nadia Naomi Mbonde (me)
Sari from Asha Ahuja Mbonde (my grandmother)
Shot by Bobo Matjila
Make up by Annya Serkovic
Sari tied by Neja Nataraj
Note: In the image where Nadia is holding a picture frame, the picture is of her grandmother as a little girl in Zanzibar, Tanzania doing a fairy dance.