HOME  |   AGENDA
               PARTICIPANTS  |   LOCATION  
PARTNERS & FUNDERS  |   FORMS        
             BIBLIOGRAPHY   |   REGIONALS
            POST-CONVENING EVALUATION


PARTICIPANTS:

Click a name to view bio and contact information.

AXIS Dance Company Staff

Judith Smith | Founder & Artistic Director
Eugenia Bowman |Executive Director
Marc Brew | Guest Artistic Director
Jeanie Bunker | Board President
Robin Anderson | Community Engagement Manager
Breanna Lee | Company Administrator

Gibney Dance Staff

Gina Gibney | CEO & Artistic Director
Craig T. Peterson | Director of Programs
Kara Gilmour | Director of Community Action

National Convening Consultants

Jennifer Calienes | Consultant
Debra Cash | Research & Documentation Consultant


National Convening Participants

Kitty Lunn | Infiniti Dance Theater
Toby MacNutt | Independent Dancer & Choreographer
Victoria Marks | UCLA
Lea Marshall | Dance Teacher Magazine
Elizabeth Mendez-Berry | Surdna Foundation
Sam Miller | Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance
Merry Lynn Morris | REVolutions Dance
Margaret Morton | Ford Foundation
Sara C. Nash | New England Foundation for the Arts
Zazel-Chavah O'Garra | ZCO/Dance Project
Olivia O'Hare | Body Shift
Mark Travis Rivera | marked dance project
Ana Inés Rubinstein | PS 333
Carrie Sandahl | University of Illinois at Chicago
Douglas Scott | Full Radius Dance
Alice Sheppard | Independent Dancer & Choreographer
Betty Siegel, Esq. | John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Scott Stoner | Association of Performing Arts Presenters
Mark Tomasic | Dancing Wheels Company & School
Donna Valente | The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Mary Verdi-Fletcher | Dancing Wheels Company & School
Jo Verrent | Unlimited

Alito Alessi | DanceAbility International
Jeremy Alliger | Alliger Arts
Liz Alsina | Mellon Foundation
Rebecca Alson-Milkman | Independent Dancer & Choreographer
Michelle Baer | Dance/NYC
Ella Baff | Mellon Foundation
Dr. Beth Bienvenu | National Endowment for the Arts
Anne Coates | Dance/NYC
Amy Fitterer | Dance/USA
Sara Cullen Fuller | Loyola University Chicago
Shira Greenberg | Keshet Arts
Esther Grisham Grimm | 3Arts
Lane Harwell | Dance/NYC
Jerron Herman | Heidi Latsky Dance
Cheryl Ikeyima | Duke Foundation
Daniela Jacobson | New England Foundation for the Arts
John Killacky | Flynn Center
Heidi Latsky | Heidi Latsky Dance
Silva Laukkanen | Body Shift
Laurel Lawson | Full Radius Dance
Kris Lenzo | MOMENTA
Simi Linton | Disability/Arts
Mary Luft | Tigertail


AXIS Dance Company Staff

Judith Smith | Founder & Artistic Director

www.axisdance.org | judy@axisdance.org
  
Judith Smith has earned an international reputation in the field of physically integrated dance. Upon taking over artistic leadership of AXIS in 1997 she began commissioning works by some of the nation's best choreographers and launched the Dance Access Education Program. Judith teaches and lectures at community organizations, schools, universities, and conferences. Judith received the 2009 KQED Local Hero and the Homer Avila danceAble award in 2005. Judith was honored with an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Sustained Achievement in 2014. 
 

Eugenia Bowman | Executive Director

www.axisdance.org eugenia@axisdance.org

Bowman's track record in philanthropy and social advocacy spans three decades and includes demonstrated experience with developing high level strategic relationships with all sorts of influence: major philanthropists, corporations, and foundations; community based and faith based leaders; and finally governmental agencies, environmental, activist and political leaders; for the sole purpose of impacting the long term well being of the community. 

A mentor and advocate, she holds leadership positions with boards, councils, and advisory boards including The Multicultural Institute, Emeryville's Partners for Community Life, City of Berkeley Steering Committee on Youth and Education, the Bay Area Foundation Advisory Council to End Homelessness, among others. Her leadership includes educational associations; she was one of eight in the nation names to the Executive Level Women in Leadership Program for the Association of Theological Schools, was nominated to the Oxford Roundtable, and completed the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management for Senior Executive Leadership. 


Marc Brew | Guest Artistic Director

www.marcbrew.com marcbrew@me.com

Internationally acclaimed Marc Brew is an award wining Australian performer, director and choreographer. Now based in Glasgow UK, Marc’s work has been toured to critical acclaim across the world. Marc has also produced work for a number of high profile companies such as Scottish Ballet, Indepen-dance 4, Ballet Cymru, AXIS Dance Company (USA), Candoco Dance Company, Scottish Dance Theatre, Touch Compass (NZ), Amy Seiwert’s Imagery (USA), The London Contemporary Dance School, YDance, National Theatre Scotland and Dundee Rep Theatre. Marc has been presented with a Centenary Medal for Outstanding Contribution as a dancer and choreographer. And in 2014 Marc was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Performance (Individual) at the prestigious Isadora Duncan Awards for his solo pieceRemember When. Marc is Associate Artist at Tramway and Associate Artistic Director at Ballet Cymru. It is with great honor that Marc continues his long term relationship with AXIS Dance Company as Guest Artistic Director.

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"An understanding of where we are as a sector in America but also in comparison to other countries internationally. What we can learn from the past and what needs to be done to move forward. 

Some radical thinking outside the box.

Networking and connecting with other colleagues and making new friends."

Robin Anderson | Community Engagement Manager

 www.axisdance.org | robin@axisdance.org

Robin Anderson joined AXIS Dance Company as Community Engagement Manager in January 2015. She has 17 years of experience in dance arts administration having led Alonzo King LINES Dance Center for 7 years and worked for a range of organizations in Portland, Oregon as well as the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. From 2013-2016, Robin pursued her MFS in dance at the Ohio State University where she produced a multi-media audience development series, designed to address a range of accessibility issues in dance. As a teacher, performer, choreographer, administrator, and ambassador for the field, Robin is dedicated to challenging the traditional barriers of dance, whether it is the lack of one's belief in their body's ability, or the separation of performers and audience. 

 


 

Breanna Lee | Company Administrator

www.axisdance.org | breanna@axisdance.org

Before joining AXIS Dance Company in August 2015, Breanna Lee served as the Resident Stage Manager for Berkeley Playhouse and the Orchestra Manager for Salem Chamber Orchestra. Her greatest passion is advocating for inclusive and safe workplaces for performers. 

A classical singer, Breanna's work pushes back against the operatic canon and challenges depictions of identity in traditional operatic repertoire. Her published writing focuses on cultural appropriation in new American freak folk music. 

Breanna holds a B.A. in Music from Willamette University. She has worked previously with the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies, Broadway by the Bay, and Opera San Jose.

GIBNEY DANCE CENTER STAFF

Gina Gibney | CEO & Artistic Director

www.gibneydance.org

No bio available


Craig T. Peterson | Director of Programs

www.gibneydance.orgcraig@gibneydance.org

Craig T. Peterson is currently the Director of Programs at Gibney Dance, a multi-faceted center for dance and performance development, training and presentation in New York City.  For ten years he served on the staff of Dance Theater Workshop (DTW, now known as New York Live Arts), one of America’s preeminent contemporary performing arts institutions based in NYC.  For four years he served as the organization’s Co-Artistic Director.  After moving to Philadelphia in 2009, Peterson launched and directed the Live Arts Brewery (LAB), a research and development program supporting long term residencies and engagement activities for local and national artists as part of the FingeArts.  For three years he was the Director and Producer of the annual Philly Fringe Festival, a three-week city-wide festival featuring the work of more than 200 performing artists and companies. 

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"A deeper connection to issues and opportunities to better serve the dance community. To connect with colleagues."  

Kara Gilmour | Director of Community Action


National Convening Consultants

Jennifer Calienes | Consultant

jcaliene@gmail.com

Jennifer S.B. Calienes is a Massachusetts-based consultant, currently working on a range of national dance initiatives with AXIS Dance Company, DANCECleveland and Urban Bush Women. As Founding Director of the Maggie Allessee National Center for Choreography (2004-2014), Jennifer developed the nation's first choreographic center, the only such center in the world situated within a research university. From 1999-2004, Jennifer served as Program Manager for the National Dance Project at the New England Foundation for the Arts. She is an active advocate for contemporary dance makers and the support of new work, and has served as panelist, chair, and facilitator for programs at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, The MAP Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, and United States Artists. She is a founding partner of the Hatchery Project and a Founding Board Member of the National Center for Choreography at The University of Akron. She holds a B.S. in Arts Administration with a Dance Concentration from Butler University.

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"A long term vision for AXIS and physically integrated dance in the U.S. and realistic strategies by which to work towards this vision."

 

Debra Cash | Executive Director, Boston Dance Alliance

*National Convening Research & Documentation Consultant

www.bostondancealliance.org | dcash@bostondancealliance.org

Debra Cash has reported, taught, and lectured on dance, performing arts, design, and cultural policy for print, broadcast, and internet media. Her roles in the Boston cultural community have spanned journalism, education, consulting, and advocacy for the rights of creative professionals. Scholar in residence at the Bates Dance Festival as well as Jacob's Pillow, she was dance critic for the Boston Globe for 17 years, followed by a five year stint atWBUR, and seven as a founding Senior Contributor to The Arts Fuse. Debra has taught at Emerson College, the Boston Conservatory, and Northeastern. Before becoming Executive Director of Boston Dance Alliance in 2015, she led an international qualitative research consultancy. 

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"I am eager to document the multiple perspectives and expertise represented in this rare and important gathering. When Boston Dance Alliance hosts Wheels UP!, the NE Town Hall on June 15, 2016, I hope we can build on the insights expressed here about how to encourage, explore and normalize the full participation of dancers with disabilities in both social dance and performance."

 


National Convening Participants

Alito Alessi | DanceAbility International

www.danceability.com | alitoalessi@gmail.com

Alito Alessi is Artistic Director of DanceAbility International and founder of the DanceAbility Method. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, Fulbright Senior Fellow, Ashoka Fellow and U.S. Arts Envoy, and received NEA, Oregon Arts Commission, and Hong Kong Choreographer of the Year awards. In the 80's, he was instrumental in leading elements of gender equity, and the use of contact improvisation into choreography for major dance stages internationally. Alessi began exploring mixed-abilities dance in the late 1980's. He is one of the world's foremost experts in the field. DanceAbility has proven in countless situations to be a powerful method for bringing out our individual and collective potential.

Jeremy Alliger | Alliger Arts

alligerarts@gmail.com 

No bio available


Liz Alsina | Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

www.mellon.org 

No bio available

Rebecca Alson-Milkman | Independent Dancer & Choreographer


Michelle Baer | Dance/NYC

www.dance.nyc

No bio available

Ella Baff | Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

www.mellon.org

No bio available


Beth Bienvenu | National Endowment for the Arts

Anne Coates | Dance/NYC

www.arts.gov | bienvenub@arts.gov

Dr. Beth Bienvenue is the Director of the Office of Accessibility at the National Endowment for the Arts, where she manages the NEA's technical assistance and advocacy work devoted to making the arts accessible for people with disabilities, older adults, veterans, and people in institutional settings. She provides guidance and support to state arts agency staff and professionals working the fields of arts access, careers in the arts for people with disabilities, creativity and aging, arts and health, universal design, and arts in corrections.

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"I hope to learn more about what the field needs in terms of support and policy." 

 

www.dance.nyc

No bio available


Amy Fitterer | Dance/USA

www.danceusa.org | afitterer@danceusa.org

Amy Fitterer is committed to furthering Dance/USA’s core values of equity and inclusion in all aspects of its operations and programs in close collaboration with the Dance/USA Board and staff.  She currently serves on the Board of the Performing Arts Alliance, a national advocacy organization, and the Advisory Board for the Dizzy Feet Foundation.  Fitterer holds a diploma from the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts; a BS in piano performance from Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music; and a Masters in Arts Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University. 

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"An expanded network of dance artists working in physically integrated dance. A deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges of dance makers working in the realm of physically integrated dance. An idea of what the future might look like for this dance genre. More relationships with more dance makers!"

Sara Cullen Fuller | Loyola University Chicago

www.luc.edu | scullen@luc.edu

Sarah Cullen Fuller is an educator, dancer, and choreographer who is currently a full-time Dance Department faculty member at Loyola University in Chicago. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Ms. Fuller began her career in dance performance working with the Joffrey and Boston Ballets, and has spent the past fifteen years with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago as a main company performer, stager, educator, and Founder of The Parkinson’s Project. Her choreographic work has been commissioned for numerous universities and professional companies, and she teaches extensively in ballet, modern, and physically integrated dance.Ms. Fuller has presented her research on Physically Integrated and Adaptive Dance to Rush University Medical Center’s Parkinson’s Symposium, The American College Dance Association, Loyola University’s Institute on Aging, and the National Dance Education Organization.


Shira Greenberg | Keshet Arts

Esther Grisham Grimm | 3Arts

www.keshetarts.orgshira@keshetarts.org

Shira is the founder and artistic director of Keshet Dance Company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, created in 1996 “to inspire and unite community by fostering unlimited possibilities through dance, mentorship and a creative space for the arts.” In 2013 Shira opened the Keshet Center for the Arts, a 30,000 square foot performing arts center and the Keshet Ideas and Innovation Center, a business resource center for arts entrepreneurs. In 2016 she launched the Rio Grande Movement Collectors Festival, a gathering for artists from around the world to share and explore ideas, questions, challenges, opportunities, and of course – movement.

 

www.3arts.org

Esther’s lifelong career in the arts spans administration, museum education, arts education, and philanthropy. She is the Executive Director of 3Arts, a public grantmaking organization dedicated to supporting women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities working in the performing, teaching, and visual arts. Prior to joining 3Arts in 2002, she served first as the Director of Education and then as the Associate Director of Marwen, a non-profit visual arts organization that provides out-of-school art instruction, college planning, and career development programs to Chicago’s under-served youth in grades 6-12. Before joining Marwen, she was the Assistant Director of Museum Education in charge of Teacher Programs at The Art Institute of Chicago. Currently, Esther is on the Grantmakers in the Arts Individual Artist Support Committee and serves on the boards of the Alliance of Artists Communities, Arts Alliance Illinois, and The Hypocrites.
What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"I hope to learn about the efforts taking place in the field, meet colleagues dedicated to this work, and inform our work at 3Arts with what I learn."


Lane Harwell | Dance/NYC

www.dance.nyc | lharwell@dance.nyc

Lane Harwell is a nonprofit executive, advocate, and former dancer committed to strengthening the field of physically integrated dance. He is currently the Executive Director of Dance/NYC, which serves the more than 1,200 dance makers and companies in the metropolitan area and works in alliance with Dance/USA. In 2015, Dance/NYC released a multi-year initiative focused on disability matters, including published research, online resources, and local convening. Among his affiliations, Harwell is an appointee to New York City’s Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission, the Arts Education Committee of the Department of Education, and the New York State Blue Ribbon Commission on the Arts. | @flashlane @DanceNYC

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

 "To put Dance/NYC's local work in conversation with those doing work on the ground in other geographies to build an international network. Ideally, the attendees can identity specific fundable opportunities to engage and link together regional activity."

 

Jerron Herman | Heidi Latsky Dance

www.heidilatskydance.com | jerron@heidilatskydance.com

Jerron Herman is a Bay Area native, now full time New Yorker. He has been a principal dancer with Heidi Latsky Dance for three years and is its newest Associate to deepen exposure and understanding of disability and dance. Jerron is also a selection committee member for the Bessie's Awards. Born with Cerebral Palsy, Jerron feels utterly blessed to dance and create authentically.

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"Insight and greater knowledge into how I can help coordinate a more diverse dance landscape with disabled and non-disabled participants...To network with other professionals, share stories, laugh, make new friends and connections, and leave feeling there is a stronger bond in the community."


Cheryl Ikeyima | Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

www.ddf.org 

Cheryl Ikemiya is Senior Program Officer for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and national private foundation. She works together with the Arts Program staff to plan, implement, review and evaluate its strategy and programs in the fields of contemporary dance, jazz and theatre. 

Prior to joining the foundation, Ikemiya was the Assistant Director of the Performing Arts Program at the Japan Society, Inc., a national nonprofit, cultural and educational institution in New York City. She produced and managed traditional and contemporary Japanese performing arts, artists' residencies, commissioning projects, national tours and arts-in-education programs. 

She serves on the board and is an ordained Buddhist priest and assistant minister at the New York Buddhist Church. She has volunteered at Beth Israel Hospital in its pastoral care program. 

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"As a funder of contemporary dance, I wish to better understand the goals and challenges in the field of physically integrated dance."

 

 

Daniela Jacobson | New England Foundation for the Arts

www.nefa.org | djacobson@nefa.org

Daniela Jacobson currently serves as Program Coordinator for the regional Presenting & Touring programs and Accessibility Coordinator at the New England Foundation for the Arts. Before joining NEFA, Daniela worked in account management at Arnold Worldwide, developing integrated brand campaigns for major clients. She was also a box office coordinator at Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, and guest blogger for MASS-Creative. Daniela graduated magna cum laude from Smith College in 2008 with a B.A. in Film Studies and currently resides in Jamaica Plain, MA. 

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"I am very interested in connecting with dance makers and organizations that collaborate with artists with disabilities throughout the country. I was appointed the Accessibility Coordinator when I joined NEFA, and since my background is not in the dance field nor disability community, I am eager to make new connections in this field. I work with fellow Accessibility Coordinators in the six New England state arts agencies and share resources to our network of artists and cultural organizations. I am also interested in meeting New England artists and organizations that are committed to producing and presenting this work."


John Killacky | Flynn Center for the Performing Arts

www.flynncenter.org 

No bio available

Heidi Latsky | Heidi Latsky Dance

www.heidilatskydance.com | heidilatskydance@gmail.com

Heidi Latsky formed Heidi Latsky Dance in 2001. Commissions include American Dance Festival, Lincoln Center, Whitney Museum, Cannes International Dance Festival. Lectures include Harvard, Barnard, Chicago Humanities Festival, NY Academy of Medicine, APAP|2015. She is a founding member of Dance/NYC’s Disability and NYC Dance Task Force and was selected as the first participant in Dance for Film on Location at Montclair State University, underwritten by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through which her first film, Soliloquy, premiered in April 2015. In 2006, she started The GIMP Project-her body of work that includes dancers with and without disabilities. Highlights include Kennedy Center, Dublin Dance Festival, TEDxWomen, Skirball, the High Line and most recently the United Nations as part of International Day for Persons with Disabilities.

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"I am really interested in discussions around the field of dance and disability as it is now and how we can  move it forward in areas of performance and education. I am also interested in candid conversations about the perceptions out there in the field and in the public at large."


Silva Laukkanen | Body Shift

www.bodyshift.org | silvalaukkanen@gmail.com

Silva Laukkanen loves dance. She loves the movement. She loves the diversity. She loves the beautiful moments that are created in space by bodies telling stories. During a chance opportunity to teach at a rehabilitation center in her native Finland she was reminded of the transformative power of movement in the lives of everyday people, and because of this experience she decided to re-focus her career on community and mixed-ability dance. Using her passion for both choreography and education she has worked with Remix Dance Company and SCORE in Cape Town teaching children and adults in local communities. She is a Certified DanceAbility Instructor since 2003, she has given workshops in Finland, England and USA for mixed aged and ability groups, including a two-year stint teaching a weekly class for the Finnish mixed-ability company Magic Dance. She was introduced to Forklift and Body Shift in 2010 as a participant during its inaugural event and is now the lead teacher teaching ages from zero to seniors in several different settings, including senior centers, prisons and the Austin Independent school district school for children and youth with multiple disabilities. Silva holds a BFA in Dance from The North Karelia College of Outokumpu and a post graduate degree in Community Dance from The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, UK. 

Laurel Lawson | Full Radius Dance

www.fullradiusdance.org | llawson@gmail.com

Laurel Lawson, an Atlanta native, joined Full Radius Dance in 2004 and has been privileged to perform solo and with the company nationally and internationally.  Her other pursuits include software architecture and product design, music, sled hockey, and advocacy.  

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"...state of the field/professional networking." 


Kris Lenzo | MOMENTA

krislenzo@gmail.com

Kris Lenzo transitioned to dance after two decades as a wheelchair athlete and a national champion in wheelchair basketball and wheelchair track. Since 2003, Lenzo has danced with MOMENTA performing arts. His appearances have included the Dance St. Louis Spring to Dance show (2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013), Dance Chicago, Duets for My Valentine, Chicago's Bodies of Work Festival of Disability Art and Culture in 2006 and 2013, Counter Balance I, II, III, IV, V and IV, and annually at the Chicago Disability Pride Parade. Lenzo has studied at Intensives with AXIS Dance Company in Seattle Washington and Oakland California, and is a dance instructor for MOMENTA's EveryBody Can Dance integrated dance workshops.

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"I hope to foster the growth of Disability Dance and Physically Integrated Dance in the USA and beyond. I hope to learn from the successes and mistakes of other producers and performers of dance as well as share my experiences."

Simi Linton | Disability/Arts

www.similinton.com | simi4@yahoo.com

Simi Linton’s writings include Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity, My Body Politic, and “Cultural Territories of Disability” in Disability. Dance. Artistry.  She is the subject of the documentary film Invitation to Dance, which she and Christian von Tippelskirch directed and produced. Linton’s consultancy practice, Disability/Arts, works to shape the presentation of disability in the arts.  Linton was on faculty at CUNY for 14 years, Co-Director of the Columbia University Seminar in Disability Studies (2003-2007), Presidential Scholar at Hofstra University (2006) and recipient of the 2015 Barnard Medal of Distinction.  Mayor de Blasio has appointed her to the NYC Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission.

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"I am particularly keen on identifying the obvious and not-so-obvious roadblocks that keep disabled people out of the dance world...[I] would also like to discuss the integration of disabled dancers into companies that do not identify as 'physically integrated'...[and] the particularities of integrating dance versus, let's say, theatre."

 


Mary Luft | Tigertail

www.tigertail.org mluft@tigertail.org

Mary Luft is the founder and executive director of Tigertail Productions, a 36-year-old, Miami-based not-for-profit organization that is committed to the creation and presentation of new work in music, dance, poetry, and the visual arts. Ms. Luft has received numerous grants and honors including a Fulbright Fellowship to Brazil and four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. She has served as a Hub Site Panelist for the National Dance Project and is currently a National Council Member of the Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts.
 
What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"An overview of the field"

Kitty Lunn | Infinity Dance Theater

www.infinitydance.com | infinitydancetheater@gmail.com

Thirty years ago, Kitty Lunn slipped on ice, fell down a flight of stairs and broke her back, leaving her a paraplegic.  In 1995 she founded Infinity Dance Theater, a dance company featuring dancers with and without disabilities.  Infinity Dance Theater is committed to bringing the joy and drama of movement to a new level of inclusion by expanding the boundaries of dance and changing the world’s perception of what a dancer is.  To this end, Ms. Lunn has developed a wheelchair dance technique strongly rooted in and growing out of the technique of Classical Ballet and Modern Dance.

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"...share info about what we are all doing to further the Art form. There are no right ways or wrong ways, just different methodologies. I think we need to support one another more."


Toby MacNutt | Independent Dancer & Choreographer

twmacnutt@gmail.com

Toby MacNutt is a dis/abled dancer, choreographer, and educator. Past performances include Heidi Latsky's GIMP Project, Tiffany Rhynard/Big APE's Everyone Can Dance and Subverting Normal projects, and works by Lida Winfield and Heather Bryce. Toby's independent project One, Two was an evening-length physically-integrated piece set on Vermont dancers. In addition to making art, Toby teaches dance and performance and arts integration for all abilities with VSA Vermont. 

What do yo hope to gain from this convening?:

"Better networked connections and new ideas!"

 

Victoria Marks | UCLA

www.victoriamarks.com | vmarks@arts.ucla.edu

Victoria Marks has been practicing knowing and unknowing, making dances for stage and film, for the past 37 years. Marks’ creative work migrates between “choreo-portraits” and “action conversations” for individuals who don’t identify as dancers, and dances for dancers that fuel her inquiries into movement.  Since 1995, Marks has been a Professor of Choreography at UCLA, and since 2014, Chair of the Disability Studies Minor.  Recent works include “Nada Es Fijo” for physically integrated dance company, Concuerpos in Bogota, Colombia, an action conversation on “hook up culture” for sorority and fraternity students on the UCLA campus, and a new dance film with director Margaret Williams.  Marks is an Alpert Award winner, Guggenheim and Rauschenberg Fellow, and Fulbright Distinguished Scholar.  She is also a carpool driver and a lunch and dinner maker.

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"I look forward to learning more about the field of dance and disability, and to meeting my colleagues from across the country."


Lea Marshall | Dance Teacher Magazine

www.dance-teacher.com

No bio available

Elizabeth Mendez-Berry | Surdna Foundation

www.surdna.org

No bio available


Sam Miller | Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance

www.wesleyan.edu/icpp

No bio available

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"Knowledge and humility."

Merry Lynn Morris | REVolutions Dance


Margaret Morton | Ford Foundation

www.fordfoundation.org

more info coming soon!

Sara C. Nash | New England Foundation for the Arts

www.nefa.org | snash@nefa.org

Sara C. Nash is the Manager of the National Dance Project at the New England Foundation for the Arts. Prior to joining NEFA, Sara managed the USArtists International grant program at the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. She worked as senior producer in programming at Dance Theater Workshop (New York Live Arts) in New York City, where she oversaw the international program The Suitcase Fund and helped develop residency programs for commissioned artists.  Sara has also worked at Tanec Praha, an international contemporary dance festival in Prague, and at the British Council in London. She has served as a moderator, speaker, and panelist for a variety of organizations, including Dance/USA, The Japan Foundation, the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, and the National Performance Network, among others, and holds a degree in Theater and Dance from Mary Washington College.

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"Greater awareness of issues, challenges, and opportunities for physically integrated companies and dancers, and how National Dance Project can improve services and programs." 


Zazel-Chavah O'Darra | ZCO/Dance Project

www.zcodanceproject.com | zazelchavah@hotmail.com

Zazel-Chavah O'Garra is the Artistic Director of ZCO/DANCEPROJECT a physically integrated dance theatre company using dance as a means self-empowerment. She has performed with Mark Dendy Dance Company and Alvin Ailey wksp II and has been in numerous stage productions. Her choreography has appeared in numerous venues in the United States and Europe. Zazel, has appeared on two Essence Magazine covers and several print and runway jobs and has done numerous commercials and voice-overs. She also served as a movement coach for the television soap opera “As the World Turns.” 

Zazel has been performing Inside/Out Voices from the Disabilities Community directed by Ping Chong nationwide since 2008. She was awarded the 2010-2011 VSA Teaching artist fellowship.  Recent performances at Lincoln Center and the White House.   BFA, Univ. of Michigan and MSW Fordham Univ.   Member of SAG- AFTRA and Equity. 

Olivia O'Hare | Body Shift

www.body-shift.org

No bio available


Mark Travis Rivera | marked dance project

www.MarkTravisRivera.com | markeddanceproject@gmail.com 

Mark Travis Riviera is an award-winning activist, choreographer, dancer, speaker, and writer based in Northern New Jersey who shares stories about being Latino, gay, disabled, and femme. He is the Artistic Director and Founder of marked dance project, a contemporary integrated dance company for dancers with and without disabilities. His writings have been published in The Huffington Post, Fox News Latino, and North Jersey Media Group. As an activist, Mark has spoken to audiences at Harvard University, New York University, San Francisco State University, and other schools around the nation. | @MarkTravRivera

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"A better understanding of the field of integrated dance and a better sense of community among us all. To build on existing connections while forming new ones." 

 

Ana Inés Rubinstein | PS333

ana.rubinstein@gmail.com

Ana Inés Rubinstein has been a full-time public school dance educator for over 15 years.  She created a comprehensive dance program for New York City’s first public school to fully integrate students with physical disabilities into all aspects of the school day. She was a member of the writing team for the 2015 revision of the New York City Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts, works as a Mentor for the Hunter College Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Programs, and served as a consultant and adjudicator for the United States Department of Education “Arts Achieve” research project.

 

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"The demands of teaching in K-12 public schools can result in a fair amount of isolation, despite the fact that we potentially offer the most consistent and accessible form of dance education for children with and without disabilities. This conference offers the possibility of participating in an important discussion about the larger landscape of disability and dance. I believe that those of us who work with children in a physically integrated setting have much to offer in terms of our unique perspective, as well as through the reach and depth of our work as we plan for the future of physically integrated dance."


Carrie Sandahl | University of Illinois at Chicago

Douglas Scott | Full Radius Dance

sandahlcarrie@gmail.com

Carrie Sandahl is Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Disability and Human Development. She directs Chicago’s Bodies of Work, an organization that supports the development of disability arts and culture. Her research and creative activity focus on disability identity in live performance and film. Sandahl’s publications include a co-edited an anthology, Bodies in Commotion: Disability and Performance, which garnered the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s award for Outstanding Book in Theatre Practice and Pedagogy (2006).  She is collaborating on a documentary, Code of the Freaks, a critique of disability representations in cinema.

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"I am interested in exploring the following questions: What is the state of physically integrated dance in the US? What training opportunities exist for youth and adults? How can we build capacity for training, venue accessibility, and promotion? How can we work with university programs and dance companies to collect best practices as well as pool training methods, vocabulary, technique, and so on? What are the points of agreement and dissent on the underlying philosophy and values of physically integrated dance?"

www.fullradiusdance.org | fullradiusdance@aol.com

Douglas Scott is the artistic/executive director, and founder, of Full Radius Dance which is based in Atlanta, GA.  He began his exploration of physically integrated dance technique in 1993.  Douglas is also the founder of the Modern Atlanta Dance (MAD) Festival which showcases metro-area modern and contemporary dance companies and artists, produced annually since 1995.  In 2014, he was honored with a Governor’s Award for the Arts & Humanities. Douglas was cited as “a respected leader” and for expanding “the definition and reach of modern dance."

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"Greater connections to colleagues within the field."

 


Alice Sheppard | Dancer

Betty Siegel, Esq. | John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

alicesheppard.com | alices@gmail.com

Alice Sheppard began performing with Infinity Dance Theater.  She joined AXIS Dance Company where she toured nationally and taught in the company’s education and outreach programs. Alice has danced in the United Kingdom in projects with Ballet Cymru, GDance, and Marc Brew Company.  She has performed with AXIS Dance Company, Full Radius Dance Company, Infinity Dance Theater, Marjani Forté, MBDance, MOMENTA, and Steve Paxton. Alice creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of the intersections of disability, gender, and race.  Her work has been commissioned by Full Radius Dance Company, MOMENTA Dance Company and CRIPSIE; her solo choreography has been presented across the United States.  Alice's next work is a collaboration with lighting and video artist, Michael Maag.

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"Serious conversation about the shape of our field. And ideas and strategies for working together to do more and create more."

 

www.kennedy-center.org | brsiegel@kennedy-center.org

Betty Siegel has specialized in cultural access starting at Arena Stage and now as Director of VSA and Accessibility at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  She oversees national and international disability, arts and education programs including the VSA Network of organizations engaging in disability arts and education and the LEAD (Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability) network of cultural arts administrators addressing access to cultural experiences.  She is a respected expert and speaker on topics related to compliance and accessibility to cultural programs and venues for individuals of all ages with disabilities. Ms. Siegel obtained her JD in 2009 and is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

What do you hope to gain from the convening?:

"A better understanding of the field and trends."

 


Scott Stoner | Association of Performing Arts Presenters

Mark Tomasic | Dancing Wheels Company & School


www.apap365.org | sstoner@artspresenters.org

No bio available

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"My background is in the arts as therapy...looking forward to building knowledge about current programs and strategies that support this work, and specifically, as it applies to the performing arts presenting field (for which I have professional development responsibilities)."

 

www.dancingwheels.org | 

Mark Tomasic has worked extensively in the field of physically integrated dance with the Dancing Wheels Company & School. As Artistic Advisor to the Company, Mark travels nationally and internationally to teach physically integrated dance. Along with Dancing Wheels Founding Artistic Director Mary Verdi-Fletcher, Mark co-authored the inclusive dance training manual Physically Integrated Dance: The Dancing Wheels Comprehensive Guide for Teachers, Choreographers and Students of Mixed Abilities. Mark’s choreography has been commissioned by dance companies and universities, including 5 major works for Dancing Wheels including Going Up (2015), commissioned to celebrate the Company’s 35th anniversary. 


Donna Valente | The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Mary Verdi-Fletcher | Dancing Wheels Company & School

www.christopherreeve.org

No bio available

 www.dancingwheels.org | vfletcher1@aol.com

Mary Verdi-Fletcher's career as an arts administrator, advocate, dancer and teacher has spanned over 45 years.  As the President/Founding Artistic Director of Dancing Wheels Company & School and a pioneering force in the development and success of physically integrated dance since 1980. She is one of the first professional wheelchair dancers, working with over 40 esteemed choreographers from across the continent. The Company holds an extensive body of 60+ thought provoking and cutting edge works. In 1990 Mary realized the dire need for training and career advancement in this field which lead to the creation of the Dancing Wheels School. Today, Dancing Wheels Company & School is noted as The World Center for Integrated Dance & Arts Access; a sought after site for training in their formal techniques of physically integrated dance.

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"I hope to share our mutual experiences in the realm of integrated dance. Learn from each other and share those things that have helped to forward the movement. I also think we need to brainstorm on how to broaden our image as a whole, to unite so that this art form gains more recognition and respect."


Jo Verrent | Unlimited

www.weareunlimited.org.uk| joverrent@mac.com

Jo Verrent believes that ‘different’ is delicious not divergent. She works in arts & culture at strategic levels embedding the belief that diversity adds texture, turning policy into real action.

Jo is the senior producer for Unlimited, the world’s largest commissions programme for disabled artists based in the UK.

Working with Sarah Pickthall, she created SHORT CIRCUIT – fusing disabled artistry and digital acumen, PUSH ME – a series of shorts and SYNC examining the interplay between disability and leadership.

She is also a practicing artist, creating the award winning Take Me to Bed with Luke Pell which is now touring internationally.

Jo has won both Cosmopolitan’s woman of achievement award and her village’s cup for making jam. 

What do you hope to gain from this convening?:

"I'm interested in different perspectives, different ways of seeing the world. I hope to offer different ways of reframing dance training and performance, drawing on experience and examples from the UK and also internationally. I am interested in networking, and can speak on behalf of Unlimited, a commissions programme for disables artists from the UK which has just gained additional funds for international co-commissions."

[back to top]