Meet NYC Dance Arts Professional Dance Company

NYC Dance Arts Professional Dance Company will be presenting their work Titled “Deadly Sins” on Saturday, May 16th.  Read on to learn more about their work!

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Choreographer bio: 

  Roshelle Wilder, a New Jersey native, has been an accomplished dancer and choreographer for over 23 years with a BA in Psychology & Dance Concentration in Modern. In 2011, Roshelle founded and artistically directs NYC Dance Arts. She has brought much development to her company with its creative classes, innovative workshops, professional dance company and community outreach programs. Cassandra Borges has been dancing since the early age of 6 in predominantly Hip Hop and Afro Fusion. At the age of 8, she began dancing with a traditional Puerto Rican Bomba group called Hercencia Negra and in high school she was apart of her high school step team, hip hop team and college hip hop club. In 2012, she join the NYC Dance Arts Professional Dance Company and started as a Coprs dancer then moved up to Principal Dancer. She is now the Assistant Choreographer and teaches beginner/intermediate hip hop classes at NYC Dance Arts.

Dancer bios: 

NYC DANCE ARTS PROFESSIONAL DANCE COMPANY was founded in June 2011 by Roshelle Wilder and has been progressing in growth with aspiring professional dancers. It was created to provide the extended opportunity for adults who continue to aspire to dance to continue their passion and drive through cultured movement. The Company’s first major dance production titled “FEVER” showcased in March 2012 at The 45th Street Theater and the second dance production “UBRAN NATIVE” showcased at Shelter Studios & Theaters in July 2012. Since then, The Company has produced “ROOTS” which showcased in April 2013 at the 133rd Street Arts Center, MIND, BODY & SOUL in April 2014 at the 133rd Street Arts Center and their most recent repertory “BLACK” at Teatro LATEA. The NYC Dance Arts Professional Dance Company has also performed in the Hatch Spring Series, Choreographer’s Coffehouse, Biomorphic Dance Festival, Amalgamate Artist Series,  WaxWorks, NYC10 Dance Initiative, PMT Spring Dance Series, NYC Dance Parade & Dance Fest and NYC Bhangra Festival, while its external entertainment company performed for NY Red Bulls and NY Liberty.

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Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?

– It is helpful to present a work in progress, because it allows artists to engage the audience on what the dance company has been working on and aspiring to achieve. The message behind the movement is important when its comes from the audience perspective, not only do we encourage feedback but we want a relationship formed with our aesthetic.

Who are the most rewarding dancers for you to work with and why?

-The most rewarding dancers to work with are those with a great foundation in dance, strong technique, brilliant performance ability and a personality that is developing to find oneself in the art of dance. Dancers who can take themselves beyond the choreography and expose their emotions is a beautiful thing to observe.

Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

– It is important for our company to represent this choreography to an audience in NYC, because NYC is place where creative minds can explore and re-examine things then take it all in as a new message to one’s awareness.

 What should HATCH audiences look forward to in your work?

-HATCH audiences can look forward to seeing an dance work that is relatable and entertaining.

Meet Choreographer AJ Sharp

AJ Sharp will be presenting her work Titled “Perfect. Well not entirely perfect.” on Saturday, May 16th.  Read on to learn more about her work!

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AJ Sharp, originally from Garden City, Michigan, is a dancer, choreographer, and dance teacher for after school programs and studios in Brooklyn. AJ is a graduate of Oakland University with a BFA in dance. AJ has had the pleasure of working with artists such as Alexandra Beller, Lindsey Dietz-Marchant, Thayer Jonutz, Meg Paul, Dusan Tynek, Ali Woerner and The Median Movement. AJ is excited to continue teaching, performing, and creating in NYC.

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Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?

Presenting a work in progress is extremely helpful. It allows the audience to become involved in the process. An outside eye may see something that you were never able to see.

Who are the most rewarding dancers for you to work with and why?

I enjoy working with dancers who are individuals and have their own voice. They are open, creative, and are equally collaborative in the process.

Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

I like to create dances that are relatable. Sometimes, dance can be so serious. I’m interested in taking serious content and adding a humorous and quirky twist to it.

What should HATCH audiences look forward to in your work?

I want to surprise the audience and make them wonder what it is that they just saw. To make sure that they are leaving the performance still thinking about the work.

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Meet Choreographer Kailey McCrudden

Kailey McCrudden will be presenting her work Titled “If Only” on Saturday, May 16th.  Read on to learn more about her work!

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Choreographer Bio:

2014 Diamond Research Scholars Grant recipient, Kailey McCrudden began nurturing her love of dance, football, and baking in upstate New York before embarking to Philadelphia.  In May of 2015 she received a BFA in dance from Temple University.  In her time at Temple she performed in works by Andrea Miller, Larry Keigwin, Raphael Xavier, Leah Stein, Merian Soto, Phillip Grosser, and Marion Ramirez, along with many other graduate and undergraduate choreographers. Kailey’s love for modern technique and improvisation was fostered by training under Kun Yang-Lin, Jillian Harris, and Merian Soto, among others.  Along this journey she has also found a love for choreographing.  Kailey’s choreography has been chosen for multiple student dance concerts at Temple University, as well as Endings Dance Concert and showcased in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Inhale Performance Series, DanceWave College Showcase, Bates Dance Festival New Works Showcase, and the Watermark Arts Festival.  She has studied with Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, David Dorfman Dance, Nancy Stark Smith, and Stephan Koplowitz.

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Dancers Bios:

Recent Temple University graduate Katie Adkins is honored to continue working and performing with the cast of “If Only.”  While at Temple University, Katie had the pleasure to study with renowned faculty members Merian Soto, Kun – Yang Lin and Kariamu Welsh.  Katie is currently working with Enchant Theatre Company, preparing for the national tour of “Peter Rabbit Tales.”

Imani Bowman is a 20 year old dance major at Temple University graduating in 2016. She started dancing at the age of 4 at The Davis Center in Washington DC, at the Davis Center she was trained in the Cecchetti ballet, tap, modern, hip hop, african and belly dance. Although well versed in all these forms of dance Imani considers herself to be a modern and contemporary dancer who explores improvising as a base of creating movement. She danced at the Davis Center until coming to Temple in 2012 after graduating from Benjamin Banneker AHS. While at Temple University Imani has performed and choreographed for the student concert, the faculty concert, the BFA dance concert and endings several times, while also auditioning for variety of opportunities in the city and on campus. She is on the E-board of Uzuri dance company a student led contemporary dance organization that empowers women of color and promotes sisterhood, and also attends meetings for a variety of student organizations on campus. She has also worked to perform work by Gallim Dance Company. After graduating in 2016, she hopes to teach dance in a studio, continue auditioning and possibly study Laban Movement in New York City.

Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Marina Di Loreto received her early dance training from The American Academy of Ballet under the direction of Maris Battaglia. After her high school graduation, Marina decided to pursue her love for dance and moved to Philadelphia to study at Temple University, where she is a current sophomore. At Temple, Marina focuses on her passion for modern dance, participating in numerous department and student productions. In the summer of 2014, Marina completed Steps on Broadway’s Summer Study NYC and worked closely with noted artists such as Sidra Bell, Aszure Barton, Donald Byrd, Kevin Wynn, and Mark Dendy. This summer, Marina is thrilled to continue her training through Jennifer Archibald’s intensive, Archcore40. She is currently earning her BFA in Dance and Minor in Public Health.

Sarah McWilliams is a recent graduate from Temple University with a BFA in Dance where she worked with faculty and guest artists including Kun-Yang Lin, Jillian Harris, Dr. Laura Katz-Rizzo, Kyle Abraham, and Larry Keigwin. As a performer and teacher Sarah has travelled to Jacksonville, FL, Wellesley, MA, and New York City.  In NYC Sarah studied at Broadway Dance Center’s Summer Professional Semester where she worked with Ginger Cox, Sheila Barker, Matthew Powell, Ricky Hinds, and Cat Cogliandro. Sarah is excited to begin her next journey in Israel where she will study with Kibbutz Dance Company’s Dance Journey Program.

Sophiann Moore is a recent graduate of Temple University where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Boyer School of Music and Dance in Dance Choreography and Performance. Born in Hartford, Connecticut she began her dance training at Artists Collective Inc. where she studied under teachers such as AQiida Gilbert, Cassandra Grace, Lee “Aca” Thompson, and Jolet Creary. When performing in Connecticut, she has had the chance to perform in the Bushnell for individuals such as Maya Angelou. Sophiann Moore went on to attend the University of Connecticut where she studied Psychology, but realized even though she continued to make the grades her heart was in dance more. In 2012, Sophiann Moore transferred to Temple University for her junior year as an undergraduate student to continue her studies at Temple University as a dance major. While in Philadelphia, she has had many dance opportunities and performances such as being able to work with Kun-Yang Lin who studied with Martha Graham and learned from former Philadanco dancers who learned from Pearl Primus. She has also worked under Dr. Kariamu Welsh who created the contemporary African dance style, the Umfundalai technique. She has had the great opportunity to perform in Kariamu Welsh’s company, Kariamu and Company: Traditions in DanceAfrica which is the largest festival for the African Diaspora in the United States celebrating African history, art, and performance nationwide. This is where she met the Founder of DanceAfrica, Baba Chuck. Sophiann Moore graduated with Honors while being the recipient of the Rose Vernick Most Promising Performers Award. Sophiann Moore plans to continue working with Kariamu Welsh, auditioning, choreographing within the Philadelphia area, and starting her studies in Occupational Therapy to go along with her dance career.

Sarah Warren, originally from Maryland, now resides in Philadelphia and recently graduated from Temple University with a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography. Since living in Philly she has had the opportunity to study with many renowned dancers and choreographers. Sarah was selected to participate in a residency with Gallim Dance where she learned and performed excerpts of Andrea Miller’s “Wonderland.” She has also performed in the Philadelphia Mütter Museum as part of Jae Hoon Lim’s MFA thesis concert. In the summer of 2013, Sarah worked with Autumn Eckman, assistant artistic director of Giordano Dance Chicago, at Bates Dance Festival’s Professional Program learning and performing her new work “Moving Sidewalks.” Along with those, Sarah has worked with companies and artists such as Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Kun-Yang Lin, Jillian Harris, Merián Soto, Dr. Kariamu Welsh, and Dr. Laura Katz Rizzo.

Sara Witkowski is a Junior in the dance department at Boyer School of Music and Dance at Temple University. She began her training at age seven at a studio in her hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania. Since coming to Temple, Sara has had the pleasure of working with esteemed faculty such as Laura Katz Rizzo and Jillian Harris. She has also had the opportunity to work and perform with multiple graduate and undergraduate students. While at Temple University, Sara has been able to perform in multiple student dance concerts as well as the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Inhale Performance Series, and DanceWave College Showcase. In 2015 Sara was elected to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

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Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?

Showing a work in progress is an integral part of the creative process.  Receiving feedback from an outside eye can illuminate problems, potential, and ideas which someone familiar with the work could never imagine.

Who are the most rewarding dancers for you to work with and why?

The most rewarding dancers to work with are those who bring themselves to the work and let that inform the rehearsal process, as well as their performance of the piece and the unique way in which they bring a work to life.  This adds a layer to work that cannot be choreographed, taught or instructed.

Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

As a recent graduate, it is important to show work to new audiences.  This piece specifically carries an important message, creating conversation for women everywhere.

What should HATCH audiences look forward to in your work?

Audiences should look forward to the statement being made.

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Meet Ellen & Artists

Ellen Sickenberger will be presenting her work Titled “The Plunge” on Saturday, May 16th.  Read on to learn more about her work!

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Choreographer bio:

Native to Northern Virginia, Ellen Sickenberger began taking dance classes at the age of 2. She later earned her BFA in Dance Performance from East Carolina University. She was exposed to training with John Magnus, David Dorfman, Jennifer Archibald, and David Parsons (intensively) and had the pleasure of performing/training in regions like Chicago, LA, NYC, and Florida (ACDFA.) Before moving to NYC, Ellen worked for the Live Entertainment Department at Cedar Point for the Fall 2013 contract. Since her move to Brooklyn, Ellen has worked with many companies/artists including Freddie Moore, Jiwon Lee, Sum Bones Dance Company, Dirty Soles Dance, Monica Hogan DanceWorks, and Janice Rosario & Artists. With an equal love for choreographing, teaching, and performing, Ellen has taught in cities along the East Coast and currently teaches hip hop in Long Island. She continues to consistently choreograph as well, and has presented work in venues including Dixon Place, Triskelion Arts Center, Gowanas Arts Center, and the Ailey Citigroup Theatre. She was chosen to present work in the Green Space Blooms Festival 2015 and is honored to present work for the HATCH Performance Series! Ellen currently performs with Nadine Bommer Dance NYC, who will be presenting work in Germany, Italy, Russia, Canada, and Romania next season. Ellen continues to create and perform work as a freelance choreographer and dancer.

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Dancer bios:

Lisa Kobdish is an Austin-born dancer and choreographer who last January found her way to Brooklyn after completing MA studies at Laban in London. She currently teaches dance and fitness in Manhattan while simultaneously performing with freelance companies/choreographers such as Kristin Sudeikis and Artistic Abandon. Lisa is highly invigorated by Bushwick’s energetic art community, and more recently has been lucky to choreograph for various filmmakers, which continues to feed her creativity in exciting new ways.

 Terry Mathis recieved his BFA in Dance Performance from East Carolina University. He has trained with Jennifer Archibald, John Magnus, David Dorfman, and many more artists. He was also accepted to present his work at ACDFA in Florida. He currently works as a freelance dancer/choreography and is rooted in Brooklyn, NY.

 Katie Mattar is a 2013 graduate of Western Michigan University and has received her BFA in Dance. She has appeared in several of WMU’s Great Works and has been given the opportunity to work with artists such as Arturo Hernandez, Jason McDole, Autumn Eckman, Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner, Nelly van Bommel, and Lauren Edson. She has represented her school by performing at the Kennedy Center for the 2012 ACDFA Nationals. Since her success at WMU, Katie has worked for the Live! Entertainment Department at Cedar Point Amusement Park for the 2013 Summer and Fall contracts. By November she made the official move to New York City, and thus far she has worked with Nelly Van Bommel, Sidra Bell, Shawn T. Bible, and more. She has also taken part in several commercial opportunities, including Chadwick Stokes’s “Our Lives Our Time” music video. Katie has recently been asked to join the Nadine Bommer Dance NYC company as a founding member.

 Ayaha Otsuka was born in Japan, began her training with ballet when she was 5 years old. After graduation high school, she moved to NYC and became a student of Peridance Capezio Center where she trained in various dance styles.  Since then, she has performed with such artists with Mike Esperanza, Julia Ehrstrand, Doubletake dance, Nikki Theroux and Ellen Sickenberger.

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Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?

It’s a great way to take a step back and look at your work in full costume on stage – it helps one to see what works and what doesn’t, and helps clarify the mood/message that I want to send with my piece.

Who are the most rewarding dancers for you to work with and why?

Dancers that are very involved in my creation process are the most rewarding ones to work with, hence why I chose mine. I need dancers who are open-minded, patient, creative, and passionate about really saying something through the movement and the piece as a whole.

Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

Much of my inspiration is drawn from every-day life, especially on a psychological level, and this piece has a heavy focus on the subway culture in the city. There is a sense of unity that the human race shares, regardless of how different we see ourselves. Denying this unity creates a sense of desperation and isolation in our community, and recognizing this can help people find fulfillment in their lives; knowing that they can lean on and trust their fellow human-beings; that we are all the same and WANT the same things on a very deep and pure level.

What should HATCH audiences look forward to in your work?

Being taken to a different world where bodies don’t exist – simple souls who are part of a whole that is beautifully crafted by the sum of individuals.

Meet Choreographer Julia Meyer

Julia Meyer will be presenting her work Titled “Point-Blank” on Saturday, May 16th.  Read on to learn more about her work!

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Choreographer’s bio:

Julia graduated from Bard College in the spring of 2014 with a BA in dance and anthropology. Originally from St. Louis, MO, Julia has been studying dance since the age of three at COCA in University City. She continued her training at Bard College where she studied under renowned artists, including, Vanessa Anspaugh, Asli Bubul, Leah Cox, Faye Dricoll, Juliette Mapp, Paul Matteson, Jennifer Nugent, Stuart Singer, Nicole Smith, Daniel Squire, Mellissa Toogood, and Jesse Zarritt. Here, she developed her voice as both a dancer and choreographer, collaborating with her dancers to create movement that falls outside the pedestrian, yet remains human in the most peculiar and sometimes virtuosic ways. Along with dancing, Julia has experience in the visual arts, particularly painting, drawing, and printmaking. Her education in anthropology and studio art greatly inform her choreography—as she situate her work inside of visual installations allowing her dances to become spaces in themselves.

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Dancer Bio

Jeremy Busch is a recent graduate of Vassar College, where he attained Bachelor of the

Arts degrees in Drama and Psychology, and was a member of the Vassar Repertory

Dance Theatre, a transformative experience that led him to ZviDance. Jeremy

credits the beginning of his serious training to Stacie Webster and Dawn Hillen,

esteemed teachers at Broadway Dance Center in New York City. In VRDT, former ABT

principal John Meehan, Martha Graham notable Steve Rooks, and the incomparable

Kathy Wildberger all contributed to Jeremy’s ongoing dance education. He’s

performed the works of Brian Reeder, Stephen Petronio, Larry Keigwin (including

the world premier of “Take Off”) and, most fortuitously, “Chairs,” by Zvi

Gotheiner with whom he is now an apprentice for. Jeremy is humbled and so

thankful for this opportunity.

Why is it important to present work in progress?

For me it’s extremely important to present work in progress. It’s a way to step outside of my own head, hear what other people are seeing and how they are interpreting the movement in front of them. This can be an important opportunity to step back, edit, and clarify anything that has been misinterpreted. But even more so I’ve found that hearing the thoughts of an external audience can take the work to a new, unexpected place. It allows me to see elements of my work that I was previously blind to, and creates new potential as to where the piece may end up.

Who are the most rewarding dancers for you to work with and why?

The most rewarding dancers are those who know the potential of their own physicality. They’ve discovered the range of their movement and are eager to discover possibilities that fall outside what they already know. A really great dancer can understand the movement that you are seeking to describe, but the best dancer will come up with something completely outside of what you ever imagined, and end up having more of an influence on the work that you create than you could have ever anticipated. I’ve worked with some really great dancers in my life and in these moments I believe that the work is just as much (if not more) theirs than it is my own.

Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

For me, Point-Blank has multiple layers, and while it is descriptive of events that can and do transpire in any metropolis, on a more personal level, the impetus of this work took place in New York City. We tend to think that we’ve come a long way in terms of woman’s rights since the 1950s. And while I greatly enjoy my ability to wear pants, I still find myself wondering how far we’ve come. Especially when it’s impossible to walk down the street without being harassed. As a woman, I never think tell men to “smile” when they’re walking down the street, and frankly I don’t care if they do. So why is it, in a city that is very difficult to live in, in a city full of just as much stress and disappointment as possibility, am I always expected to always have a smile on my face?

The piece began with my decision to work at a private lap dance party in lower Manhattan. I found myself slightly transfixed with the amount of money I could make, and the amount of power that came with it. But after a while it takes its toll on you. Eventually I realized that I didn’t have as much power as I thought, and that management was not on my side, because well, management was run by men. This is the first piece that I’ve made that comes from a place of emotion above an analytical framework. It’s performed by a man to reach a slightly broader audience and it’s performed by a man because it’s not only about women’s rights but about how the body unravels in times of stress. It has to be performed in New York because New York is the city that birthed this ugly beast.

What should HATCH audiences look forward to in your work?

Right now the piece is a 10 minute solo and I think it has the potential to go further. I’m toying with the idea of adding additional dancers and turning it into a sight specific work (a subway platform or crowded street corner could be the next stage). I’m excited to see where it goes.

Meet Choreographer Martha Lavery

Martha Lavery will be presenting her work Titled “Quotidian” on Saturday, May 16th.  Read on to learn more about her work!image2

Martha Lavery received a BA in Dance from Hofstra University last spring. Since then, her work has been chosen for Emerging Artist Theatre’s New Works Series, Sans Limites Spring Season, Crossing Boundaries Dance Series at Dixon Place, Biomorphic Dance Festival hosted by Megan Lynn/Asterial Dance, Bare Soles hosted by the Kennedy Dancers, Peridance Student Showcase, NACHMO NYC Studio Showings, Spoke the Hub’s Winter Follies, Ya’el Tap’s Choreographers Collective, Tiny Dance Festival, and Amalgamate Artist Series.

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Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?

It’s helpful to present a work in progress to regroup and evaluate what is “working” and what isn’t at a time when the piece is particularly malleable and fresh. For me, audience reaction is important so I really enjoy receiving feedback while I am still developing a piece.

Who are the most rewarding dancers for you to work with and why?

The most rewarding dancers for me to work with are those who are not afraid of taking chances or looking “silly.” For the piece I am presenting there are several improv sections; some of my favorite moments in the piece came from improvisation in rehearsal, when my dancers had really jumped into their characters.

Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

It is important for me to present this work in NYC because I feel that this type of audience is more open to and appreciative of the zany, weird, and unconventional.

What should HATCH audiences look forward to in your work?

HATCH audiences can look forward to a piece that has never been seen before! The improv sections ensure that the piece is a different experience every time, to perform and to watch.

Meet Andrea Kramer, Choreographer of Ballet Forte NJ

Andrea Kramer will be presenting her work Titled “Tell Me True” on Saturday, May 16th.  Read on to learn more about her work!Andrea-Headshot

Andrea Kramer is the founder and artistic director of Ballet Forte and NJ Arts Collaborative.  Her choreography has been shown in such venues as NJPAC, Hatch, Sweat Dance Festival, the 14th Street “Y’s” Choreographer Series, Dance for A Dollar Series, and Silk City Arts Festival to name a few.  Ballet Forte has had the distinguished honor of two students being accepted into Juilliard two years in a row, as well as programs like Ailey/Fordham, Tisch, National Ballet of Canada, and Boston Conservatory.

Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?

To gain feedback from an audience’s point of view.

Who are the most rewarding dancers for you to work with and why?

Well trained technicians who have a creative bend and are open to exploring new kinds of movement vocabulary.

Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

Because there is no audience like a NYC audience – there are so many varied individuals from all walks of life who see things through their unique experiences.  It is a complex mix of toughness from living in the city, yet being open-minded enough to still be vulnerable.

What should HATCH audiences look forward to in your work?

I pull from my most challenging life experiences to try and create soul bearing work.  This piece confronts the difficult topic of female abuse and how women can come together in support to draw strength from one another.

Meet Choreographer Takeshi Ohashi

If you missed Hatch this past Saturday, don’t worry, we have some quick facts for you below. Read on to learn more about Takeshi Ohashi.

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Takeshi Ohashi began studying rhythmic gymnastics when he was 12 years old. He won the individual and team first prizes at the prefectural tournament and was in the national championship for six years. After that, he began to pursue various styles of dance including hip-hop, popping, modern, and ballet. Combining his dance skills with rhythmic gymnastics, he brings a unique awe-inspiring dynamic to the stage. In 2010, he danced in the operetta “The Riviera Girl and The Gipsy Princes” in Romania. He is currently dancing with Emotions Physical Theatre and Judah International Dance Company.

Satomi Itohara began her ballet training in her home town of Yamaguchi, Japan. Moving to the United States, she continued her education at Utah Valley University on a scholarship where she graduated with a BFA in Dance. Satomi moved to New York to accept a position at the Joffrey Ballet School Concert Group under the direction of Davis Robertson.  She has worked with choreographers such as Africa Guzman, Julie Bour, Larry Keigwin, Brian McSween, and Davis Robertson as a member of the company. In high demand as a freelance dancer, she has worked with independent choreographers and companies in NYC, and she is currently dancing with Nomad Contemporary Ballet and Emotions Physical Theatre.

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Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?

I can feel and understand what audience is looking for through the experience, and it will help me to make a better decision in later.

Who are the most rewarding dancers for you to work with and why?

Satomi Itohara who is the inspiration to the piece.

Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

I am trying to do my best on everything that I could possibly do while I am here in NYC.  Also, I want people to know that Japanese people are interesting!

What should HATCH audiences look forward to in your work?

Wabi sabi, Subtraction, Beauty of decadence, and weaknesses that human beings have.

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Meet Jazz Roots Dance Company

If you missed Hatch this past Saturday, don’t worry, we have some quick facts for you below. Read on to learn more about Jazz Roots Dance Company and their Choreographer Sue Samuels.

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Sue Samuels (Choreographer, Master Teacher, Performer, Artistic Director) has established herself as one of the staples of the performing arts community of today. With over 40 years of experience, her expertise is often sought after for mentoring and coaching purposes by professionals and aspiring artists from around the world. Ms. Samuels is the Artistic Director of Jazz Roots Dance Company, which she formed in 2009 to preserve and promote the Classic Jazz Dance style, a real American dance form.  Ms. Samuels recently produced the Company’s First Season and Gala at the Peridance Capezio Center and took Jazz Roots Dance on tour to L.A. Choreography has been the cornerstone of Ms. Samuels’ artistic career and most of the Jazz Roots Dance Company repertory is choreographed by her. She has been commissioned to choreograph works for Companies in Japan, Finland and Brazil and she holds workshops for students of all levels to learn and perform her choreography. Sue Samuels was the co-founder/owner of Jo Jo’s Dance Factory in New York City.  She continues to travel around the world for master classes often held for teachers & Instructors. In turn, groups come to study her unique Jazz Style. She has been on the faculty at Broadway Dance Center since 1986 and also teaches at the Peridance Capezio Center. The blending of jazz dance with her classical ballet training makes Ms. Samuels’ style unique. This classic jazz style emphasizes strong and proper body alignment and clean technique.  Her classes include a jazz barre warm-up, floor exercises, which she accompanies on Conga Drum, and classic jazz isolations. Her choreography is based on the dynamics of musicality using strong movements, which emanate from the hips and chest, creating an overall visual picture of the music.

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Bri White graduated from Wichita State University with a BFA in Dance. After graduating she spent two years in Chicago performing in several projects and teaching. When she moved to New York she became one of the founding members of Jazz Roots Dance and is currently the featured soloist, dance captain and rehearsal assistant. Her performance credits include Ballet Wichita, Wichita Contemporary Dance Theatre, Mid-American Dance Theatre and Alithea Mime Theatre.

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Aubrey Kate Hensley studied at the Rock School and Kansas City Ballet as a recipient of The Kansas Culture Trust, sponsored by the Koch Foundation. Ms. Hensley graduated from Wichita State University with a BFA in Dance, where she performed with Wichita Contemporary Dance Theater and Mid-America Dance Theater. Aubrey toured with Alithea Mime Theatre and performed in the Warsaw International Mime Festival. She also was a Featured Performer with the Crown Uptown Theater and was with Ballet Wichita as a Principal Dancer for six years.

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Elena Wood grew up training in Theater Jazz, Ballroom & Musical Comedy at The Walter Schalk School of Dance in Wilton, CT. In 2011, she graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in Chemistry and Dance, where she studied Ballet and Contemporary under the artistic direction of Leslie Norton, Elaine Heekin, and Bruce Walczyk. Aside from dance, Elena works on the Global Skincare Product Development Team at Estée Lauder. Elena has been a member of Jazz Roots Dance since August 2011.

 Katy

Katy Tabb is a native of Seattle, WA. She received her B.A. in Dance from Chapman University. As a contemporary dancer, she has toured internationally with Los Angeles based dance companies, Vox Dance Theatre, Kybele Dance Theatre, and Benita Bike’s DanceArt. As a musical theatre performer, she has performed in productions such as SPAMALOT, FUNNY GIRL, CHICAGO, 42nd STREET, THE PRODUCERS, 9 TO 5, and WHITE CHRISTMAS (to name a few), as well as choreographed productions of CATS, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, and ANYTHING GOES. Katy is very grateful to be working with the talented artists of Jazz Roots Dance.

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Chris “Chrisy” Kakurai was born in Japan, and started dancing Classic Ballet at the age of 3. She entered the “Academi de Dance Princesse Grace classic ballet de monte-carlo” in Monaco on a scholarship where she took the top prize, and performed at the Opera house.  She has studied Modern, Jazz, Street dance, contemporary, Tap, Acting and Singing in Japan and NY. She performed in productions as dancer and actor at Famous entertainment Park, TV, Theater, music video, movie, Model and many Night Clubs. She was picked to be the main character IA of dance Vocaloid in “Comicon New York2014”, she was featured in NY and Japanese anime media magazines. She created a performance show with the choreography and dancing coach workshop of the world voice ensemble Inc. in NY.

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Pablo Ito started his career as a performer in Okinawa, Japan. He came to New York to study Musical Theatre. He has been studying acting in HB Studio, dancing at Broadway Dance Center and singing privately in New York City. He has been performing in several musicals and cabaret shows. His recent credit includes “Cinderella” by Players Theatre, “Find The Golden Bird” by Polaris North and “Miss Saigon” by Clock Tower Players.

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Becky Robles hails from Smithtown, New York, and has over 20 years of dance experience. She graduated from Binghamton University with a degree in Business Management and danced in various campus groups throughout her years in college. During her time at Binghamton, she ran her college kickline team and was also a teacher’s assistant for the college level jazz class taught by professional dancer and Professor Fred Weiss. In addition to her college training, Becky has studied under Ann Mercedes for most her career as well as at Broadway Dance Center and Alvin Ailey Studios. She has performed at concerts for KTU’s Dance Factory Live with Coro and Tymz2 for a BLI Rising Stars concert. She was also the lead dancer for the opera Carmen at the Tri-Cities Opera House. When she is not dancing with Jazz Roots Dance, you can find her teaching jazz at a local studio on Long Island. This is Becky’s second year as a member of Jazz Roots Dance and is excited for the future.

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Laura Stecher started with rhythmic gymnastics on a high competition level in Germany when she was little. At 19 she switched her focus to dance and studied at New York City Dance School in Stuttgart/Germany. Laura won Gold for her Solo Performance at ESDU Austrian Opens and again at ESDU World Dance Masters in Porec/Croatia, where she was awarded as best female talent, best dancer and received the Diamond Star for the highest score in the entire competition. She danced in the Musical Bonifatius and in Die Päpstin as Swing and Dance Captain in Fula, Hameln and Erfurt/Germany. She moved to NYC to study dance at Joffrey Ballet School on scholarship. She danced in music video clips from Basement Batmen as well as at New York Fashion week.

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Bonnie Jackson is a Queens based freelance dancer. She began her training at the age of three at June Parodi School of Dance. Jackson continues her studies at Broadway Dance Center and is expanding her skill set into improvisation and vocal performance.  In 2013, She made her Off-Broadway debut in The Nutcracker and the Mouse King at Theatre Row. Soon after, Jackson became a Company Member of Sue Samuel’s Jazz Roots Dance Company.

John R. Segundo was raised in the Bay Area and began his dance training at CCSF studying Afro Haitian, jazz, and modern. He began intensive ballet training at Shawl Anderson Dance Center and then received scholarships with Oakland Ballet and Berkeley Ballet Theater. He started performing with SF Boylesque, Mandance, Peninsula Ballet Theater, and back up dancing for singer Kid Akimbo. He moved to New York in 2011 to study at Joffrey Ballet School. In NY he works with Ballet for Young Audiences, Central New Jersey Ballet Theater, Diwakardance, Chezzam, and Jazz Roots.

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Meet Choreographer Maho ‘SUISO’ Ogawa

If you missed Hatch his past Saturday, don’t worry, we have highlighted each choreographers and their views on dance. Read on to learn more.

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Maho ‘Suiso’ Ogawa is a Tokyo-New York based movement artist. After studying ballet, traditional Japanese dance, Buto, and graduating from Wako University, She founded her company ‘Suisoco’ in 2011. Her works have been shown in various venues in Tokyo, Seoul, and New York: Korea & Japan Dance Festival in Seoul, Za Koenji in Tokyo, DNA Theater in NY, Soak Festival at Cave in Brooklyn NY, Movement Research Festival Spring 2013 (in Athena Kokoronis’s work)in NY, The CURRENT SESSIONS vol.4 in NY, and Spring Movement at Center for Performance Research in NY.  She was a Lemay-Cave Resident artist in 2012 and Tokyo Metropolitan Government Grant recipient in 2013.  www.suisoco.com

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Laura Neese is a contemporary dance artist and educator from Staten Island, NY.  She currently performs with Darrah Carr Dance, Suisoco, co-directs KitchenSink Collective, and presents independent work.  She has performed work by Sean Curran, Christopher Caines, Chia Ying Kao, & Melissa West, among others as well as collaborates with artists in other media. Laura holds a BFA in Dance/BA English from the University at Buffalo, Certificate in the Simonson Teaching Method, and studied at the University of Chichester, UK. She teaches dance, literacy and math throughout the greater NYC area. www.lauraneese.com.

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Why is it helpful to present a work in progress?

By showing the piece, choreographers can get multiple points of view which give new inspirations for the work.

Who are the most rewarding dancers for you to work with and why?

My partner Laura for her devotion and intelligence.

Why is it important to present this piece of choreography to audiences in NYC?

The audience in NY is very curious and they enjoy art. It is very helpful for artists to being encouraged making the art.

What should HATCH audiences look forward to in your work?

You will be participating in the dance piece generated in real-time using my video database.