Shifting Ground: New Voices in Dance
University Dancers 28th Annual Spring Concert
Diane Coburn Bruning
Diane Coburn Bruning has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a fellowship from The National Endowment for the Arts, two fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and fellowships and support from Sundance Film Institute, Meet the Composer, Harkness Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts, Heathcote Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation among others. Dance Magazine named her as one of “25 to Watch in 2003.” She has worked with Atlanta Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Boston Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Joffrey II, Nashville Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Daghdha Dance, Juilliard Dance Ensemble, Pittsburgh and Glimmerglass Operas among many others. Her work recently appeared in the International Ballet Festival in Colombia, South America. She founded Chamber Dance Project in New York in 2000. This contemporary repertoire company of dancers and musicians has performed Bruning's work and others in regular New York seasons and on tour. Bruning serves on grants panels, leads choreographic workshops, and has served as a teaching artist for the Lincoln Center Institute and New York City Ballet. She is a graduate of Butler University’s Jordan College of Fine Arts, receiving their 2003 Alumni Achievement Award, and New York University’s Gallatin Division. She did post-graduate work at Yale University as a special fellow studying with renowned designers Jennifer Tipton in lighting and Ming Cho Lee in scenery and now does lighting design for some of her own ballets. In addition to her work with professional companies, Bruning has been a guest artist and teacher with over twenty dance departments throughout the country. She was Director of The Craft of Choreography Conference in Seattle in June 2008 mentoring 15 choreographers. In the 2010 season Bruning created a major new work, Boots, for Ballett Magdeburg (Germany) to audience and critical acclaim; she also created a new work for New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a commissioned score by Andy Tierstein. She recently worked with director Matt Tourney on a musical, Improbable Frequencies, which had a month-long run in Washington, D.C.
Alexandra Damiani is a leading practitioner and collaborator in the realm of contemporary dance, combining her rich dance background with an enthusiasm for shaping young dancers and a flexibility with varying philosophies of movement.
Since 2005, after a 15-year dance career as a soloist with Complexions, Donald Byrd/The Group and Les Ballets Jazz of Montreal, she has been the Ballet Master of Cedar Lake Contemporary Dance, based in New York City.
Ms. Damiani is honored to have collaborated with many prestigious artists and innovators both in her work with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet as well as independently, such as Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Ohad Naharin, Jacopo Godani, Crystal Pite, Didy Veldman, Jo Stromgren, Dwight Rhoden and Donald Byrd, to name a few.
Ms. Damiani is frequently asked to conduct master classes in the U.S. and around the world with such distinguished dance institutions as the Juilliard School, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and Ballet Junior de Geneve. She has lead as well numerous workshops at colleges and universities around the country, such as Florida State University, Marymount College, Rutgers and Southern Methodist University. She has served on the advisory board of New York Theatre Ballet since 2008.
Additionally, Ms. Damiani is an emerging dance presence in film, collaborating with directors such as Darren Aronofsky for on-screen appearances in “Black Swan” along with Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, as well as consulting with Benoit-Swan Pouffer on such projects as George Nolfi’s “Adjustment Bureau.” Ms. Damiani also appeared on-screen in the French sitcom “Pizzanexe.”
Kanji Segawa is currently a member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater under the direction of Robert Battle. Mr. Segawa began his modern dance training with his mother, Erika Akoh and studied ballet with Kan Horiuchi and Ju Horiuchi at Unique Ballet Theatre in Tokyo, Japan.
In 1997, Mr. Segawa came to the U.S. under the Japanese Government Artist Fellowship to train at The Ailey School. Mr. Segawa is a former member of Ailey II from 2000-2002 and Robert Battle’s Battleworks Dance Company from 2002-2010. He worked extensively with choreographer Mark Morris from 2004-2011, repeatedly appearing in Mr. Morris’s various productions, including as a principal dancer in John Adam’s Nixon in China at Metropolitan Opera. He has also worked with Jennifer Muller/The Works, Aszure Barton’s Aszure and Artists and Jessica Lang Dance. Mr. Segawa joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2011.
Mr. Segawa has taught and choreographed for American Ballet Theatre (NYC Summer Intensive, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, Make a Ballet Program), The Ailey School (Certificate Program Repertory Ensemble, Fordham B.F.A. Program, Ailey Camp), Steps on Broadway, University of Richmond, Texas Christian University, Brown University, Long Island University, Metropolitan Ballet Academy, Booker T Washington School of the Arts, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, COCA (Center of Creative Arts), among others. Mr. Segawa is a recipient of the Outstanding Choreography Award for Youth America Grand Prix in Philadelphia in 2009 and 2012.
Christian von Howard
Christian von Howard is the Artistic Director of the VON HOWARD PROJECT. Born on the Island of Oahu and nurtured in the Big Ole state of Texas, Christian is an international performer, teacher and choreographer. His professional career began as a teenager at Ballet Concerto, under the Artistic Direction of Margo Dean. He would later become a founding member and Assistant Director of JAADE Dance Theatre under the direction Keisha Breaker-Haliburton. In Texas, Christian also performed with Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth, Darryl B. Sneed (Former Assistant Director of Dallas Black Dance Theater), the Irving Ballet, Denton Civic Ballet, North Central Ballet, Dancers Unlimited, Mary Kay Industrials, Dian Clough West, NOVA Dancing Company and many others. Overseas in the mid 90's, he graced the stage with Ballet Trier (Germany) and Let's Dance/Teatro de Reggio (Italy). In 1997, Christian co-founded 1*4*8 The Collective, a collaborative dance and theater company of seven artists creating work in the NYC area. From 2000-2003 he served as the Artist in Residence at Columbia College (SC) and the Associate Director of The Power Company. As a concert performer, Christian has worked with such artists as Doug Varone, Fernando Bujones, Douglas Becker, Mark Dendy, Randy James, and he currently dances with the Fred Benjamin Dance Company, Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company and the Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company. In 2006, Christian was awarded a Choreography Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. His choreography has been produced in various venues across the globe including Trier, Germany, Joyce SoHo, Dixon Place, DanceNow/NYC Festival, d.u.m.b.o. arts festival, the Ailey School and the Spoleto Festival (SC). He has set works on various colleges and universities, which included Columbia College (SC), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Jacksonville University, Texas Christian University, Winthrop University and various other schools of dance across the country. Christian has been a member of the dance faculties of Texas Christian University, Morris County Academy of Visual & Performing Arts, Mason Gross School of the Arts - Rutgers University, Interlochen Arts Academy and he continues to teach at the Ailey School where he has been on faculty since 1998. Christian holds a BFA from Texas Christian University and a MFA from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. In the fall of 2008 he joined the dance faculty at Virgin Commonwealth University as an Assistant Professor of Dance & Choreography.
Originally from Puerto Rico, is co-founder of Agua Dulce Dance Theater, with movement artist Matthew Thornton. Her choreography has been presented in the United States, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Argentina, Spain, and Mexico. She toured nationally and internationally with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Donald Byrd/The Group, Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater, Andanza Compañía Puertorriqueña de Danza Contmeporánea, Alice Farley Dance Theater, and Contemporary Motions, as well as numerous independent choreographers. In 1997, Díaz co-founded en la brega dance company with Puerto Rican dancer and choreographer Ñequi González, and she co-directed Rubí Theater Company—an artistic collective dedicated to creating works pertinent to Latino experiences in the U.S.—from 2000-2004.
Film and video dance projects include Sand (independent film by Steven Dean, 1996), Yucuninu (a site-specific film by Alison Dobbins, 2009), Yucuninu: The Development of a Dance (documentary by Alison Dobbins, 2009), Grain of Sand: A Dance for the Camera Project (in-progress with Alison Dobbins), and The Seed and the Gardener (video dance by Kim Su Theiler, 2009).
Alicia is Assistant Professor of Dance at The University of Richmond. Prior to coming to UR, she was Assistant Professor of Dance at Hope College, Assistant Professor/Artist-in-Residence at Kent State University, and been a guest artist-teacher at The American College Dance Festival, Rutgers University, University of Michigan, New York University, Henry Street Settlement, and Festival Internacional Danz’aquí in Puerto Rico.
She holds an M.A. in Dance and Choreography from NYU and a B.A. in Art, Culture and Society from the New School for Social Research.
Publications include “Latino Dance Forms in The United States”, The Encyclopedia of Latinos in the United States. Oxford University Press (2005) and “Bomba, Capoeira, B-boying: Embodies forms of resistance in the African Diaspora”, Washington Square News, March 2, 2004. Díaz was featured in the Dance Magazine article “Authentic Movement: Find Yourself in the Steps” by Shayna Samuels (July 2004).
Anne Van Gelder
Anne Van Gelder, Assistant Director of Dance holds degrees from Virginia Intermont College (B.A.) and the University of Utah (M.F.A.) in Ballet Pedagogy and Choreography. She performed throughout Virginia and Utah and has served as ballet mistress/régisseur for several companies. As a dancer, she worked with Alun Jones, Conrad Ludlow, Richard Munro, Tom Pazik and Stanley Zompakos among others. She taught beginner to advanced levels of ballet technique at the University of Utah, Virginia Intermont College and the Willam F. Christensen Center for Dance. She has also taught a summer workshop at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Fine Arts and regularly gives master classes at the American College Dance Festival. While in Utah, she created choreography for members of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team and she has also created choreography for Theatre Bristol, Park City Shakespeare Festival the Ogden Symphony and the Roanoke Symphony. She continues to study dance regularly, including Baroque dance workshops in NYC with noted historic dance experts, Thomas Baird and Paige Whitley Bauguess. Ms. Van Gelder’s choreography has been seen throughout Virginia and Utah and recently, she worked with artists of the Saratov Academic Youth Theatre on their US premiere production of The Humpbacked Horse, featuring dances she re-set. She created choreography for these URP&D productions: Wings, The Tempest, Fiddler on the Roof and The Chairs and The Bald Soprano directed by Italian director and filmmaker, Paolo Landi. Most recently, Ms. Van Gelder served as period movement stylist for the URP&D production of Moliere’s The Learned Ladies. She appeared as Hedy in UR’s 2009 production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, directed by Walter Schoen. Ms. Van Gelder is a recipient of the Vera Volkova Award for choreography, is a member of the dramatic fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega and considers her study of dance and pedagogy ongoing.
BRIANNA LEPORACE (Student Choreographer, Senior Dance Minor) is a senior majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Dance. Brianna began training in classical ballet, modern, jazz, and tap at the age of three in Philadelphia, PA. In high school, she danced with the Pennsylvania Ballet and attended summer dance intensives at the Juilliard School, the American Ballet Theatre, the Kirov Academy of Ballet, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Brianna received an Undergraduate Student Research grant to presentSempre Avanti at the American College Dance Festival at UNC – Greensboro in March 2013. Brianna's choreography will premiere at the Modlin Center for the Arts in University Dancers 28th annual concert, Shifting Ground: New Voices in Dance March 1-3, 2013. This is Brianna’s fourth year as a member of University Dancers and her first time choreographing for the company.
NATALIE PERKINS (Student Choreographer, Senior Dance Major) is a senior double majoring in Rhetoric & Communication Studies and Dance. Natalie has been dancing since the age of three and was trained in classical ballet in Canton, Connecticut. She was the president of the dance ensemble at Westminster School in Simsbury, CT for two years. Natalie joined University Dancers as a freshman and her first piece for University Dancers will premeire in the spring concert, Shifting Ground: New Voices in Dance, March 1-3, 2013 at the Modlin Center for the Arts. Natalie is excited to present her choreogrpahy at the American College Dance Festival at the University of North Carolina Greensboro in March.