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2012 Choreographers

Molly Galbraith

Molly Galbraith graduated with a BFA in Dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts from Rutgers University with a Dance Works Scholarship. She toured with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular show in Phoenix, Arizona, and Branson, Missouri. She then went on to attend the Academy for Visual and Performing Arts where she studied dance, theater arts, and multi media. She interned with Randy James and has worked with choreographers such as Christian von Howard, Raegan Wood, Danielle Agami from Batsheva, Banu Ogan from Merce Cunningham, and Benoit-Swan Pouffer from Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. She also has performed repertory from Mark Morris Dance Group. Molly has been choreographing since the age of 14 and her work has been chosen for several awards. In 2007, her solo Walk the Line was given the Performing Arts Award from the County College of Morris. In 2011, her senior work Robutts was rewarded the Dance Express Award from Mason Gross School of the Arts and was chosen to perform at Dance Theater Workshop. In the future, she hopes to perform with as many choreographers as she can and eventually start her own dance company.

Loren Groenendaal

Loren Groenendaal is the founder, artistic director, and choreographer for Vervet Dance, a Philadelphia-based contemporary dance company. Vervet strikes a unique balance between classic forms, new ideas, and ancient purposes for dance. Although subject matter varies, what is characteristic of the company is an ongoing intellectual diligence meeting a curious playfulness, and an exploration of the visual and visceral components of dance. Loren earned an MFA in Choreography at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and holds a BA in Dance and Visual Arts from Oberlin College. She is fascinated and delighted by nature, color, movement, and the power that dance has to create change in the mover or an audience. Her choreographic work has been seen along the east coast from Massachusetts to North Carolina and in between, supported by various venues, residencies, and festivals including the Philly and Greensboro Fringe Festivals, the North Carolina Dance Alliance Annual Event, Abington Art Center, CEC’s New Edge Mix and ETC Series, Green Space Blooms, and Chi Mac’s Inhale. Loren currently dances with The Naked Stark, Mereminne Dancers, Swarthmore’s Balinese Gamelan Semara Santi, and the Indonesian Cultural Club of Delaware/Philadelphia area. She co-facilitates a weekly contact improv jam on Thursdays in Philadelphia.

Alaine Handa

Alaine Handa is attracted to work that engages audiences from a sociological context. Her work has been described as “quirky, honest, athletic, and lyrical.” Alaine received her BA from UCLA’s department of World Arts & Cultures in Dance Studies in 2005. Since relocating to NYC in 2005, she has performed with Keigwin + Company, Sasha Soreff Dance Theater, Open Floor Dance, The Movement Collective, High Frequency Wavelengths, Gabrielle Lansner & Company, Scott Lyons & Company, Stephanie Liapis and more. Her own work has been presented at Cool NY Festival, Toronto Fringe Festival, University Settlement, Capital Fringe Festival, WAX Works festival, Abrons Arts Center, Dance Forum, Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research, Merce Cunningham Studio Theater, etc. While at UCLA, she performed at an art gallery with an installation of the Zen Garden at the Fowler Museum, a site-specific dance piece at the Murphy D. Sculptural Garden, and sought out a local theater in the greater Los Angeles area to rent out for her senior project. Alaine also delved into video production and choreography classes that involve performing and creating work in public places. In Los Angeles, she has worked with Yvonne Rainer, Simone Forti, Mandala Danceworks, Space + Movement Exchange, Victoria Marks, among others. She has lived in Indonesia, Singapore, Los Angeles, and New York.


Kalamandir Dance Company

Kalamandir Dance Company, Artistic Director Malabika Guha grew up in Kolkata and Shantiniketan, India, where her training of more than two decades in Kathak and creative dance began. She is a disciple of Guru Bela Arnob and was a student under Amala Shankar at Uday Shankar India Cultural Center, where she was also in the advanced tour troupe. In 1969, Malabika graduated from Patha Bhavan School in Shantiniketan with Honors in Bengali and went on to earn a BA in Bengali with a main elective in dance from Rabindra Bharathi University in Kolkata in 1973. She completed her masters in Bengali at Calcutta University in 1977. In 1986, she followed her dream and established Kalamandir of New Jersey, a dance school based on Kathak and creative dance. After 20 years of dance training and 25 years of directing dance in the tri-state area, Malabika decided to take on a new endeavor: Kalamandir Dance Company. Her idea was to create a collaborative establishment where, after many years of classical training, fusion with contemporary elements could open a new world of possibilities.

Dana Lawton

Dana Lawton is the Artistic Director of Dana Lawton Dances—a modern dance company in the San Francisco Bay Area, a tenured faculty member at Saint Mary's College in the Performing Arts Department, a faculty member at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, and a certified yoga instructor. A founding member of SF Bay Area's acclaimed dance company, Janice Garrett & Dancers, Dana has had the honor of performing works by Joe Goode, Randee Paufve, Nina Haft, Rebecca Salzer, and Cathy Davalos, among others. Lawton was awarded Outstanding Performer in the 2000 Vision Series for her own solo choreographic performance and nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award (Izzy) for her performance in Garrett’s Wayfarers in 2002. Awarded Artist-in-Residence at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center 2006, Lawton created an evening-length concert titled Dana Lawton Dances as a culmination of her year-long choreographic exploration. Recently Dana has been focusing her choreographic energy toward collaboration with innovative musical composers. Working with Los Angeles-based composer David Karagianis, her solo Coasting premiered in September 2008 at Works in the Works in Berkeley. She was invited to perform at the Isadora Duncan Awards Ceremony in San Francisco, the Work Gallery in Brooklyn, and the Dallas Hub Theater in Texas. “It is a very rewarding piece to see. Ms. Lawton's skill and concentration are remarkable.”—Joanna Harris, Culture Vulture, 2009

Megan Minturn

Megan Minturn, HYI, RYT, loves sharing her passion for movement with students of all ages. Megan began studying ballet at the age of three and participated in Perry Mansfield's Performing Arts School in Steamboat Springs, CO, and Omaha Theatre Company's Pre-Professional Program until leaving for college in New York. At Fordham University, Megan majored in Philosophy and minored in African and French Major Studies. While at Fordham, Megan studied abroad in Senegal, West Africa, with the non-profit Fonkoze in Haiti, and most recently in Havana, Cuba. She received her 200-hour Yoga Alliance Certification at Sonic Yoga in New York City. She currently teaches at the Little Red Schoolhouse Summer Program and The School at Peridance, and as a Teaching Artist with Notes in Motion and Dance Theatre of Harlem. She dances with Movement of the People and Sacred Space Dance. She performed the works of Mabingo Alfdaniels, Frederick Curry, Carolyn Webb, Dianne Duggan, Deborah Damast, Rainy Demerson, Saya Hardako, Jacques Heim, Jenny Brown, Joya Powell, and Charles Ahovissi. Her choreography has been shown at New York's Dance New Amsterdam, Amalgamate Artist Series, Dixon Place, NYU's Frederick Loewe Theatre, the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, and the American College Dance Festival. She holds an MA in Dance Education from New York University.

Joya Powell

Joya Powell is a native New Yorker, and received her MA in Dance Education from NYU, and her BA in Latin American Studies and Creative Writing from Columbia University. Throughout her career she has danced with choreographers such as Katiti King, Neta Pulvermacher, Donlin Foreman, Marcea Daiter, Marsha Parrilla, Mario Pereira and Paco Gomes. She is proficient in Afro-Brazilian Dance, Simonson Jazz, West African dances, and Contemporary Dance techniques. Her choreography has been performed on stages such as City Parks Dance, Amnesty International's Human Rights Art Festival in Maryland, Heckscher Park Stage in Long Island, The Riverside Theatre, The FLEA Theater, Dance New Amsterdam, The Casa del Prado Theatre in San Diego, WAXworks/Triskelion Arts Theater, The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance/BAAD!, White Wave’s John Ryan Theater, and Suffolk Community College in Long Island. Site-specific performances have included The Outlet Dance Project at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ, White Wave's DUMBO Dance Festival at the Brooklyn Pier 1, and FIGMENT Arts Festival. Her latest choreographic endeavor, Personal Private Apartheid, was included in this year's Dance Conversations at The FLEA performance and discussion interaction. As the Artistic Director/Choreographer of Movement of the People Dance Company she is dedicated to connecting cultures through dance, composing socially conscious choreography, exploring the connections and nuances of dances throughout the African Diaspora, and finding ways to empower underprivileged communities through dance.

Katie Rose McLaughlin

Katie Rose McLaughlin is a hybrid performer and creator. Her range of past experiences includes starring in Redmoon's HUNCHBACK off-Broadway, going to clown school in Switzerland, and making post-modern movement pieces with the ambition of elevating performances through the collaborative process of building a gestural body-based system of communication that supports and enlightens. From 2006-2009, she presented choreography, Remember When?, in the 9x22 DanceLab Choreography Series in MN and co-choreographed the rock-opera Idigaraua. Her work was presented at CATCH 30 in Brooklyn and she received a works-in-progress grant from Red Eye Theater to develop kite&mountain in collaboration with playwright Dan O’Neil. 2009-2011 brought her to Pittsburgh where she worked with directors Paul Zaloom, Where Is My Brain?; Katherine Brook, Bellhammer; Joshua William Gelb, Lulu, and Wholly Mammoth Play; Jessie Mills, Wind Farmer; Marya Spring Cordes, Beneath; choreographed at the McKeesport Little Theater, HONK!; and presented portions of Be Right Back at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater as part of newMoves Choreography Festival. Since moving to New York in the Fall of 2011 all her work has been presented at Dixon Place, Montana, The Brink, Or Merrily We Teeter Along; Movement Research at Judson Church, Be Right Back, Aunts; and Little Theater, Dance Workshop.

Kate St. Amand

Syren Modern Dance, Artistic Director Kate St. Amand is a native of Connecticut and received her BFA from SUNY Purchase. Kate trained at the Nutmeg Ballet, and explored modern technique with Brian Simerson who introduced her to the Hawkins technique. Kate has trained at The Erick Hawkins School, The Limon School, The Kirov Academy, and Hartford Ballet. She received composition training from Tarin Chaplin and Neil Greenberg, studying the simple, however complex idea, to “make it more of what it is.” Co-founding SYREN Modern Dance in 2003 has allowed Ms. St. Amand to create an ever-expanding body of work in New York City. Her work has been presented at Symphony Space, Jacob’s Pillow, Purchase College, New Haven Ballet, White Plains Performing Arts Center, and Riverside Church, among others. She contributes to The Winger, a website where professionals, students, and pioneers in the dance world share their experiences and insights. SYREN repertoire includes over ten works including the full evening length Abravanel, inspired by the journey of the Sephardic Jewish people, Dolce which explores the relationships of women from friendship to passion, and Toward Home for which an original score was composed by Damon Ferrante. Ms. St. Amand is driven to explore movement and music in ways that deeply connect the two, as they have always been.

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