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2017-2018 Choreographers

Choregrapher: Charlotte Boye-Christensen

Charlotte Boye-ChristensenCharlotte Boye-Christensen is a native of Copenhagen, Denmark. She received her formal training at London Contemporary Dance School and at the Laban Centre in London (she has a BA from the latter) and completed her MFA Degree at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

Charlotte has been commissioned to create new work for: Milwaukee Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Danish Dance Theatre, Ballet West, Compania Danza Contemporanea Ccu in Mexico, Verb Ballets in Cleveland, Ballet de Camaguey in Cuba, The Arts Fissions Dance Company in Singapore, Tisch School of the Arts' Second Avenue Dance Company in NYC, London Contemporary Dance School's Edge Dance Company, Baton Rouge ballet, and Utah Symphony and Opera. For the latter she created the choreography for Stravinsky's "Soldier's Tale" and "Renard".

As a soloist, she has performed at the International Choreographic platform in Almada, Portugal, at the Marato de l'espectacle in Barcelona, Spain, at the Metropolitan Museum of photography in Tokyo, Japan, at Alliance Francaise in Singapore and more.

She has choreographed at the Universities of Texas-Austin, Simon Fraser in Vancouver, Wichita, TCU, Princeton, Rutgers, Utah, Southern Mississippi, at The National School for Contemporary Dance in Denmark, The Kuopio and Oulu Conservatories in Finland, Arnheim Academy and European Dance Development Center in the Netherlands, Lasalle-SIA, College of the Arts in Singapore, The Royal Danish Ballet School, University of the Americas in Mexico, and at the Bellas Artes International Choreography Competition in Mexico City.

Charlotte has been invited as a choreographer to create work at "The Yard" Dance Colony in Massachusetts, The International Course for Professional Choreographers and Composers in England, at PACT/Zollverein in Essen, Germany and to teach and choreograph at the International Dance Competition in Seoul.

She has staged her work at the Kaleidoskop Theatre, at the New Opera house and "Den Nye Scene" in Copenhagen, at NYU/ Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in NYC, at the Alliance Francaise in Singapore and she directed the stage workshop at the famed Bauhaus Institute in Germany.

She is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and grants from the Theatre and Arts Councils in Denmark, Germany, Mexico and Singapore, a grant from the Toyota Foundation and three from the Augustinus Foundation in Denmark amongst others, as well as a recipient of the Choo-San Goh Award for Choreographic Excellence and locally in Utah - six "Artys" for "Best choreography".

Choreographer: Sean Carmon

Sean Carmon

Sean Aaron Carmon joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2011 and has performed major solo roles including Mikhail Baryshnikov’s original role in Alvin Ailey’s Pas de Duke and featured roles in ballets by other notable choreographers such as Wayne McGregor, Robert Battle, Aszure Barton, Johan Inger, Ulysses Dove and Christopher L. Huggins, to name only a few. In addition, he has been featured Conan, the national TBS television talk show, Lincoln Center at the Movies, broadcast nationally on PBS and he was profiled in the Huffington Post.

As a choreographer’s assistant, Sean has learned from some of today’s top professional choreographers, including Christopher L. Huggins, Joshua Beamish, Matthew Rushing and Nicholas Villeneuve. 

His own choreographies have been performed all across the country and internationally and have been lauded as “everything and then some…” and “powerful” and “seriously flawless” by major national print and online publications such as The New York Times, Newsweek, Jet Magazine, BroadwayBlack, Dance Spirit and Dance Magazine. Mr. Carmon won The Joffrey Ballet’s 2017 Winning Works award and created Suite Hearts for eighteen of the Joffrey Ballet’s Studio Company members and the Joffrey Academy’s advanced trainees. He has also created works on the AAADT for multiple Ailey Dancers’ Resource Fund benefit performances. Mr. Carmon teaches master classes and choreographs for festivals, companies, studios and universities across America and internationally.

Choreographer: Alicia Diaz

Alicia Díaz, 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.

Choreographer: Starrene Foster

A Richmond native, Starrene Foster is a performer, dance educator and the Artistic Director of Starr Foster Dance Project. Starrene a recipient of the Theresa Pollak Award for Artistic Excellence and has been featured on the PBS broadcast Virginia Currents. Foster was also awarded Richmond’s Most Prestigious 25 Arts Innovators, The Top 40 under 40 and has been nominated for twoARTSIE awards by the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle for her choreography. Starrene is the beneficiary of the 2003 VCU Star Alumni Award where she is presently in her sixteenth year as an adjunct faculty member. She has received grants from the Virginia Council for the Arts, and many commissions for new dance works from universities and various dance companies. Starrene teaches throughout the country and her choreography has been presented nationally which include: The Philadelphia Fringe Festival (PA), The Jack Guidone Theatre (DC), SUNY Buffalo (NY), The New World School (FL), Old Dominion University (VA), Cornell University (NY), James Madison University (VA), Dance Charlotte (NC), The Goose Route Dance Festival (WV), the Demetrius Klein Dance Festival (FL), The Richmond Ballet (VA), University of Richmond (VA), Scranton Cultural Arts Center (PA), Baltimore Theatre Project (MD), The Lorton Workhouse (DC), and the Festival of Choreography (NC). As a dancer, Starrene trained under many dance greats and has had the pleasure of training with and performing works by Mark Taylor, Chris Burnside, Doug Varone, Sharon Kinney, Ronald K. Brown, Mark Dendy, Pewan Chow (Hong Kong), Raul Parro (Mexico), among many others. In addition to her faculty position at VCU, Starrene is also on faculty at the Richmond Ballet.

Choreographer: Eric Rivera

Eric RiveraA native of Puerto Rico, Eric Rivera earned his MFA in Choreography from SUNY Purchase College. During his performing career he danced with Ballet Hispanico of New York for 13 seasons where he helped to create over 20 original works. He also performed with Minnesota Ballet as principal dancer, Ballet Theater of Pennsylvania, Ballet Teatro Municipal de San Juan P.R., Danza Jazz de San Juan and in the European tour of West Side Story. He has appeared as guest artist in different companies such as Connecticut Ballet, Thomas Ortiz Dance, Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, Westchester Ballet and Brooklyn Ballet. Eric had the pleasure of performing choreographies of Ann Reinking, Mark Morris, José Limon, Kenneth McMillan, Margot Sapinton, Graciela Daniel, Kevin Wynn, Vicente Nebrada, Talley Beatty and George Balanchine.His works have been presented by Dance Iquail, Ashani Dance, Owensboro Dance Company, ACDFA Gala at Little Rock, AR, NY Summer Stage and the show They Called it Rock, CSU Fullerton, Western Kentucky University, Orange Coast College, among others. Mr. Rivera is an ABT Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teachers Training Intensive in Primary through level seven of the ABT National Training Curriculum.

Choreographer: Anne Van Gelder

anne van gelder

Anne Norman Van Gelder, Director of Dance and Artistic Director of the University Dancers, holds a B.A. from Virginia Intermont College and an M.F.A. from the University of Utah, both in Choreography and Pedagogy. Ms. Van Gelder performed and served as ballet master in companies in Virginia and Utah. As a dancer, Ms. Van Gelder worked with a variety of educators and choreographers from all over the world including Alun Jones, Conrad Ludlow, Richard Munro, Tom Pazik, and Stanley Zompakos, among others.

At the University of Richmond, Ms. Van Gelder has worked with Stefanie Batten Bland, Norbert De La Cruz III, Alexandra Damiani, Kanji Segawa, Jacquline Buglisi, Bill Hastings, Diane Coburn Bruning, Billy Seigenfeld, and Francesca Harper, among others. Her choreography has been performed in collaboration with UR ensemble-in-residence, eighth blackbird. She has taught all levels of ballet technique at the University of Richmond, the University of Utah, Virginia Intermont College and the Willam F. Christensen Center for Dance. In Utah, she served as Dance Instructor/Choreographer for gymnasts who were members of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team. Ms. Van Gelder also taught jazz dance in Utah and Virginia and created choreography for Theatre Bristol, Park City Shakespeare Festival, and the Ogden Symphony.

Ms. Van Gelder has created various works for University Players & Dancers, including collaborations with the Department of Music. She worked with the Saratov Academic Youth Theatre on their US premiere of The Humpbacked Horse, featuring dances she re-set and she appeared as Hedy in UR’s production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. She has also created choreography for the following UR Players & Dancers productions:  Wings, The Tempest, Fiddler on the Roof, The Chairs, and The Bald Soprano, directed by Italian director and filmmaker, Paolo Landi.

She continues to study dance regularly, including workshops in New York where she enjoys studying historic dance. She has made presentations on dance history at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and regularly attends the American College Dance Association conference. Ms. Van Gelder teaches Productions Studies, Dance History-Theory, all levels of Ballet, and Jazz technique. Ms. Van Gelder is a member of Alpha Psi Omega, Dramatic Honorary and considers her study of dance and pedagogy ongoing.

Choreographer: Christian Von Howard

Christian von HowardChristian von Howard is the Artistic Director of the VON HOWARD PROJECT, a contemporary dance company based out of New York City. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, 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 (a sister company to Fort Worth’s Jubilee Theatre) under the direction Keisha Breaker-Haliburton. In Texas, Christian also worked with Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth, Darryl B. Sneed (former Assistant Director of Dallas Black Dance Theater), Dancers Unlimited, Mary Kay Industrials, Dian Clough West, NOVA Dancing Company, and many others. Overseas, he graced the stage with the Trier Ballet (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 to 2003 he served as the Artist in Residence at Columbia College (SC) and the Associate Director of The Power Company, a South Carolina contemporary dance company under the artistic direction of Martha Brim. As a concert performer, Christian has worked with such artists as Doug Varone, Fernando Bujones, Douglas Becker, Mark Dendy, and Randy James and has danced with the Fred Benjamin Dance Company, Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, and the Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, to name a few. In 2006, Christian was awarded a Choreography Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. In 2010, his choreographic work was presented at the National Conference of the American College Dance Association Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  His choreography has been produced in various venues across the globe including Germany, Japan, Bulgaria, Colombia, Chile, and South Korea and in the states at Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts), Joyce SoHo, Dixon Place, DanceNow/NYC Festival, d.u.m.b.o. arts festival, the Ailey School,  and the Spoleto Festival (SC). He has also set work on various colleges and universities, including the  University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Columbia College (SC), Jacksonville University, Texas Christian University, Winthrop University, and various other schools of dance across the country. Christian has also been a member of the dance faculties of the Texas Christian University, Morris County Academy of Visual & Performing Arts, Mason Gross School of the Arts-Rutgers University, Columbia College (SC), and the Interlochen Arts Academy. Christian is a 2013-2014 recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in Teaching Award from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts, where he was part of the teaching faculty in the Department of Dance & Choreography from 2008 to 2014. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre & Dance at Montclair State University and concurrently teaches at the Alvin Ailey School in NYC, where he has been on faculty since 1998. Christian serves as the Northeast Regional Director of the American College Dance Association. He holds advanced degrees in Performance and Choreography from the School of Classical and Contemporary Dance at Texas Christian University and from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.


Previous Choreographers

Agua Dulce Dance Theater

Robert Battle

Stephanie Batten Bland

Charlotte Boye-Christensen

Diane Coburn Bruning

Jacqulyn Buglisi

Chris Burnside

Frank Chaves

Jean Paul Commelin

Myra Daleng

Alexandra Damiani

Andrea Del Conte

Norbert De La Cruz III

Alicia Diaz

Barbara Duffy

Pamela England

Gerri Houlihan

Steven Iannacone

Starr Foster

Dr. James Frazier

Tiffani Harris

Bill Hastings

Willie Hinton

Rebecca Hodal

Larry Keigwin

Abdul Latif-Dulie Dules

Jason Luks

Stephanie Martinez

Jenna McClintock

Scott Putman

Kanji Segawa

Susan Shields

Billy Siegenfeld

Gusti Sudarta

Matthew Thornton

Nathan Trice

Kim Urba

Anne Van Gelder

Doug Varone

Christian von Howard

Jill Brammer Ware