CURRENT

  • Assistant Professor, Christopher Newport University, Department of Theater and Dance, Newport News, VA
  • Co-founder, ArtPile, Norfolk, VA

EDUCATION

2008-2010         University of California, Riverside. M.F.A. in Experimental Choreography. 

1999-2001          University of California, Los Angeles. M.A. in Dance, Department of World Arts and Cultures. 

1992-1996          Amherst College. B.A. in European Studies. 

FIELD RESEARCH

December 2015Haiti: Port-au-Prince, Gran Rue neighborhood, critical performance ethnography project with co-collaborators Dr. Dasha A. Chapman, Yonel Charles, and Jean-Sebastiene Duvilaire.

August 2013      Cuba: Havana, Matanzas, Camaguey, Santiago. Studied Afro-Cuban folkloric dance and song with Afro-Cuba de Matanzas, Ballet Folklorico de Oriente, Danza del Caribe, and Cutumba. Attended performances and ceremonies. 

August 2011       Cuba: Havana and Matanzas. Studied Afro-Cuban folkloric dance, songs, and rhythms primarily in Yoruba, Arará, and Congo traditions with artists and professors in both locations including Antonio Figueroa of Afro-Cuba de Matanzas, Alfredo Yohani Ofarril, and Natividad Shivas de la Cruz.

April 2011            Haiti: Port-au-Prince, Souvnans (Souvenance Mystique), and Cabaret.

March 2008       Haiti: Port-au-Prince and Souvnans (Souvenance Mystique)/Gonaives. Spent six days at Lakou Souvnans in the Artibonite Valley (outside Gonaives) for this community’s annual weeklong Vodou ceremonies honoring the Dahomean traditions. Four days in Port-au-Prince. Took dance class with Vivianne Gauthier.

July 2007          Haiti: Port-au-Prince and Sodo (Saut d’Eau). Participated in annual pilgrimage to sacred waterfalls. Four days in Sodo, four days in Port-au-Prince.

July 2006          Cuba: Havana. Studied Afro-Cuban folkloric dance, songs, salsa (casino), for two weeks and attended a Lucumì ceremony including oro seco. Instructors included members of Yoruba Andabo, Jennyselt Galata, Ranses Charon Hechavarria, and Raices Profundas director Juan de Dios.

DANCE TRAINING

Afro-Cuban:        Danys “La Mora” Perez, Manhattan, 2005-2015; Antonio Figueroa of Afro-Cuba de Matanzas, 2013 & 2011, Alfredo Yohani Ofarril and Natividad Shivas de la Cruz, 2011 in Havana; Kati Hernàndez, LA, 2008-2010. Obbalubbe Felix “Pupy” Insua, Jacob’s Pillow 2004 & NYC 2004-2007; Richard Gonzalez, Manhattan, 2003-2010; studied in La Habana, Cuba with Juan de Dios of Raices Profundas and Jennyselt Galata and Ramses Hechevarría of Yoruba Andabo, Summer 2006; Rosamaria Roberts, Jacob’s Pillow summer 2004; Teresita Domé Perez, UCLA, Fall/Winter 1999/2000.

Haitian:              Peniel Guerrier, NYC, 2004-2014; Mikerline Pierre, NYC, 2002-2008; Jean Leon Destiné, Jacob’s Pillow 2004; Nadia Dieudonné, NYC, 2004-2006; Pierre Desramaux, NYC, Spring 2005; Lionel St. Surin, NYC, 2002-2005; Julio Jean, NYC, 2002-2004 & 2014; Rol’hans Innocent and Fabienne Dumel, Brooklyn, NY Jan.-May 2002.

Ballet:                Kat Wildish, Alvin Ailey Studios, NYC 2007-2012; Kelli King, UCR, 2008-2010; Various teachers at Dancespace, NYC, 2002-2004; Jim Martin, White Mtn. Dance Festival, Summer 2000; Rebecca Lazier, UCLA, 2000-2001; Nancy Baldwin, Cecchetti, Lebanon School of Dance, CT, 1988-’90; Barbara Johnson, Vaganova, Windham Ballet Co., CT, 1980-1988.

Modern/Postmodern:  Ron Brown, NYC 2007-2013; Joe Goode, UCR 2009, UCLA 2000; Ned Williams, Dunham Technique. NYC, 2004; various teachers at Movement Research, NYC, 2001-2003; Miguel Gutierrez, Manhattan, 2001-2002; Cheng-Chieh Yu, UCLA, 2000-2001; Bill T. Jones workshop at UCLA, spring 2001; Laura Glen, White Mtn. Dance Festival, Summer 2000; Rebecca Lazier, UCLA, 2000-2001; Kim Epifano, UCLA, 1999-2000.

Brazilian:           Samba: Quenia Ribeiro, Manhattan, 2003. Capoeira Angola: Eldio “Cabello” Rolim, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Summer 2000. Maculélé,Tisza Coelho, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Summer 2000.

West African:      Ismael Kouyate (Guinea), NYC 2010, Vado Diomande (Ivory Coast), NYC 2005/2006; Lamine Thiam (Senegal), Sabar, Jacob’s Pillow 2004, NYC 2003; Julio Letao (Angola), Jacob’s Pillow, Summer 2000; Nzingha Camara (Guinea), UCLA, 1999-2000; Mouminatou Camara (Guinea), workshops in 1999 and 2001; Abdoulaye Sylla (Guinea), Hartford, CT, 2004, and 1997-99; Marilyn Middleton Sylla, Mount Holyoke College, MA, 1994-1996.

Contact Improvisation:     Movement Research classes and jams, Manhattan, 2001-2002; Shel Wagner Rasch, UCLA, 2000-2001; Nina Martin, UCLA, 1999-2000.

Improvisation:       Simone Forti, UCLA, 2001.

YOGA TRAINING

200 Hr. TT:                  Eileen Muir, 200 hr. Yoga Alliance Teacher Certification, Karuna, Northampton, MA, March 2005.

Radiant Child TT:        Shakta Kaur Khalsa, Level I and II completed at Kripalu, July 2007.

Vinyasa:                       Various teachers in New York, since 2001.

Dharma Mittra:             Dharma Mittra, NYC, 2006.

Iyengar:                        Iyengar Yoga Institute, NYC, 2006-2007.

Kundalini:                     Siri Sevak Kaur Khalsa, May 2003-March 2004, Shakta Kaur, July 2007.

Ashtanga:                     Shiva Rea, UCLA, Jan.-June 2001.

ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

Fall 2011-Pres.   Christopher Newport University, Assistant Professor of Dance, Department of Theater and Dance. Teaching Afro-Caribbean Folklore, Modern, Ballet, Dance History, Sacred Dance of the African Diaspora.

Spring 2010      University of California, Riverside, TA. Department of Dance, DNCE 5: Introduction to Dance.

Fall 2009          Riverside City College, Guest Artist. Choreographed and set Haitian folkloric piece Seremoni Yanvalou (Yanvalou Ceremony) on 21 dancers in the Dance Touring Ensemble.

Fall/Sp. 2009    University of California, Riverside, TA. Department of Dance, DNCE 5: Introduction to Dance.

Fall 2007           Springfield College, Guest Artist/10-week residency. Choreographed and set on 10 student dancers Sodo Mirak based on my experiences in Sodo, Haiti.

2007-2008        New York University, Yoga.

Fall 2006           Connecticut College, Adjunct Faculty. Department of Dance. DAN 166 & 266, World Dance of a Selected Culture. Afro-Caribbean Dance: An Introduction to the Cuban Yoruba Tradition.

Fall 2006           Springfield College, Guest Artist/10-week residency. Choreographed and set on 14 students Afro-Caribbean influenced piece, Ogún!. 

Spring 2006      Connecticut College, Adjunct Faculty. Department of Dance. DAN 166 & 266, World Dance of a Selected Culture. Introduction to Haitian Folkloric Dance of the Diaspora.

Spring 2005       Hartford Conservatory Diploma Program, Adjunct Faculty. Improvisation.

2004-2005         Springfield College, Adjunct Faculty. Department of Movement and Sports Studies. MOSK 230: Approaches to Dance Education. Required course for Phys. Ed. education majors.

2004-2005         Yale University, Physical Education Department, Haitian Dance.

2004-2005          Yale University, Physical Education Department, Restorative Yoga.

MASTER CLASSES AND PAPER PRESENTATIONS

Oct. 2015           Embodied Inscription/Inscribed Bodies: Body and Landscape as Sites of Memory, History, and Presence in Haitian Vodou and its Diaspora” presented at KOSANBA’s annual conference, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada, Oct. 21-22, 2015.

May 2015          "Embodying Intimacy and Distance in Afro-Caribbean Sacred Folkloric Dance" presented at the 40th annual Caribbean Studies Association conference, New Orleans, LA, May 25, 2015.

March 2015      Old Dominion University, Master Class in Afro-Cuban Dance for Dance Majors, Dept. of Communications and Theatre Arts. March 20, 2015.

July 2014          Co-presented “The Cultural Legacies of Slavery in Virginia: Advancing Geo-Literacy in an Interdisciplinary Context” at annual conference for the National Council for Geographic Education, Memphis, TN. July 31, 2014.

Feb. 2014          Co-organized and presented Oshun and the Bee at 3rd annual interdisciplinary Symposium on African and Caribbean Diaspora: Culture and Performance, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA. Feb. 24, 2014.

Feb. 2014          Virginia Commonwealth University Afro-Caribbean master class as part of weekend workshopsThe Africanist Aesthetic Legacy in Contemporary Culture and Performance, Richmond, VA. Feb. 23, 2014.

Feb. 2014          Dancing the African Diaspora Conference presented “Sacred Mapou: Routes of Memory in the Haitian Vodou Ceremony of Souvnans” at Duke University, Durham, NC. Feb. 7, 2014.

Nov. 2013         Mellon Lecture Series, Center for Ideas and Society, invited to present “Dancing Beyond Borders: Translating Caribbean Corporeality” at University of California, Riverside, CA. Nov. 18, 2013.

Nov. 2013         Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) and Society for Dance History Scholars (SDHS) joint conference presented as part of roundtable, “Rooted Routes: Revealing the Caribbean Social Body as Dance Praxis,” Riverside, CA. Nov. 14-17, 2013.

Sept. 2013         Old Dominion University, Master Class in Afro-Cuban Dance for Dance Majors, Dept. of Communications and Theatre Arts. September 6, 2013.

Aug. 2013          Faculty Conference on Teaching and Scholarship, presented “Embodying Difference: The Study of African-Based Sacred Dance Forms at CNU,” at Christopher Newport University, Aug. 21, 2013.

March 2013        Old Dominion University, Master Class in Haitian Dance for Dance Majors, Dept. of Communications and Theatre Arts. March 29, 2013.

March 2013        Virginia Humanities Conference The Intertwining of Nature and Culture, at CNU. Presented paper entitled, “Roots as Routes: The Sacred Tree and its Relationship to Movement and Memory at Two Rural Haitian Pilgrimages.” March 15-16, 2013.

Feb. 2013          Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA. Helped to organize Symposium on African and Caribbean Diaspora Culture and Performance, a collaboration between departments of Fine Art and Art History, English, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, and Theater and Dance. Feb. 28, 2013. Presented “Danza Negra.”

Nov. 2012         Congress on Research in Dance annual conference Re-generations: Cultural Legacies in Contemporary Contexts, Albuquerque, NM. Presenting paper entitled, “Acknowledging Distance: A Choreographic Perspective Combining Contemporary U.S. and Haitian Lineages.”

June 2012          Society for Dance History Scholars annual conference Dance and the Social City, Philadelphia, PA June 14-17. Presenting paper entitled, “New York – Souvnans – Riverside: The Triangular Route of a Bicoastal Collaboration.”

Feb. 2012          Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA. Symposium in conjunction with Dr. Jody Cutler, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History, “African Roots and Reinvention: Dance and Art in Haiti.”

Feb. 2012          Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA. Scholarship Matters Series, “Souvnans: Embodied Remembrance…A Memory Choreographed.”

March 2011        Denison University, Granville, OH. Master Class in Haitian Dance and Lecture/Symposium on Haitian Folkloric Performance.

CREATIVE SCHOLARSHIP AND CHOREOGRAPHY

April 2016          Waters In Our Midst: A Dance Performance full program of work presented in relation to WATER exhibit by photographer Edward Burtynsky at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA, April 23.

Dec. 2015          Activating Petwo’s Kinesthetic Imagination: Dancing Revolution and Forging Lakou in the Gran Rue, a performance collaboration as part of the 4th Ghetto Biennale, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Oct. 2015           Gede lecture, workshop, and performance with students for Day of the Dead event at Peninsula Fine Arts Center (PFAC), Newport News, VA, Oct. 31, 2015.

Oct. 2015           Living Murals, ArtPile collaboration for NEON Festival, Oct. 16 & 17, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA.

Sept. 2015         Suspended Experience, part of WHRO The Scene, at Work | Release, Norfolk, VA, Sept. 11.

July 2015          Choreographed Norfolk Festevents Mid-Summer Fantasy Festival Light Seeking Light, directed by Patrick Mullins, Town Point Park, July 24-26, 2015, Norfolk, VA.

June 2015          Yemayá, DROM, New York, NY, June 10.

June 2015          Suspended Experience, Field Studies, Chez Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, June 5 & 6.

May 2015           Yanvalou, Ibo, Rara  performed for Haitian Flag Day celebration, Norfolk, VA, May 16.

March 2015        Sacred Waters | Yemayá y Ochún performed for A Delicate Balance CNU annual dance concert, Music and Theater Hall, Ferguson Center, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA. 

July 2014           Choreographed Virginia Stage Company Moon Take Thy Flight based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Town Point Park/Waterside, Norfolk, VA. July 25-27, 2014.

June 2014          Offering for Oshun & Yemayá performed as part of ArtPile #3, The Hague, Norfolk, VA, June 29.

June 2014          Obatala/Danbala: An Encounter performed as part of “Crossing Boundaries” at Dixon Place, NY, NY. June 24.

May 2014          Oba Obatala as part of Field Studies, Chez Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. May 30 & 31.

May 2014          Oshun at the Water: Deconstructed performed at Stockley Gardens Arts Festival at The Hague, Norfolk, VA, May 18.

May 2014          Oshun at the Water performed at Stockley Gardens Arts Festival at The Hague, Norfolk, VA, May 17.

April 2014          Co-choreographed Virginia Stage Company Gala event A Centennial Affair: Celebrating 100 Years of the Wells Theater, Wells Theater, Norfolk, VA. April 26, 2014.

March 2014        Obatalá y Ochún performed for A Delicate Balance, CNU’s annual dance concert, Music and Theater Hall, Ferguson Center, Christopher Newport University.

Dec 2013           A Christmas Carol, choreography. Production by Virginia Stage Company, Norfolk, VA.

July 2013          The Tempest, choreography. Production by Virginia Stage Company. July 26-28, Norfolk, VA.

May 2013          Ossain | Ceremony (Norfolk, VA – April 2013) performed for ArtPile, Fawn St Studios, Norfolk, VA.

March 2013        Afrofunk Groove performed for A Delicate Balance, CNU’s annual dance concert accompanied by Kelly Rossum; March 21-22.

March 2013        Haitian Fight Song (Zepol & Petwo) performed for A Delicate Balance, CNU’s annual dance concert accompanied by CNU Jazz Ensemble directed by Kelly Rossum; March 21-22. 

Feb. 2013          Based on the poem “Danza Negra” by Luis Palés Matos a collaboration between Lourdes Travieso-Parker and Johnny Finn with student dancers performed for Symposium on African and Caribbean Diaspora Culture and Performance, CNU Studio Theater Feb. 28, 2013.

Nov. 2012         Bubble created in collaboration with Suzanne Wiltgen, choreographer and Kelly Rossum, composer. Performed at Christopher Newport University Nov. 9th & Virginia Tech Nov. 15th.

May 2012          …Inside the Skirt performed at “Crossing Boundaries,” curated by Marcia Monroe at Dixon Place, Manhattan; May 29.

March 2012        Yanvalou: Bagay yo Kongole (Things Change) performed for A Delicate Balance, CNU’s annual dance concert accompanied by Rodolphe “Neg Mawon” Pierre; March 22-23.

March 2012        Ritmo y Sabor Afro-Cubano performed for A Delicate Balance, CNU’s annual dance concert accompanied by Rodolphe “Neg Mawon” Pierre and Jose Conde. Ritmo y Sabor performed by Jose Conde; March 22-23.

July/Oct 2011     Je Wouj (Red Eyes), Guest artist with Mayami Folklorico in collaboration with Annie Hollingsworth, Director. Performed at Wynwood Art Fair, Miami, October 22, 2011.

Sep 2010           Rete Trankil. Collaboration with Jennifer Brogle Jones and Rodolphe “Neg Mawon” Pierre performed at QuikSnap at the Rover Soho, Manhattan, September 10-12, 2010.

June 2010          Ocean, Ogou, Ossagne. Solo performed at Culturele Werkgroep Stein, Urmond, the Netherlands.

June 2010          Reverberations. Collaboration with Prof. René Lysloff and UCR Javanese Gamelan, performed at University of California, Riverside University Theater, June 4.

April/May 2010   Kolaborasyon l Haiti. Evening-length work with cast of 10 dancers and two drummers performed at University of California, Riverside Performance Lab April 29 – May 1.

Feb. 2009          Souvnans: Embodied Remembrance…A Memory Choreographed. 10-minute experimental video based on my experiences at Souvnans, the weeklong Vodou ceremony held outside of Gonaives, Haiti.

Aug. 2009          Arc of Night. Performed at Gallery-Loft 138, NY, NY, August 27.

Feb. 2009          Memwa Ayisyen (Haitian Memories): Remix Part 1. Performed at UC Riverside, Feb. 20-22. 

Feb. 2009          Longing. Performed at Ethel Walker School, Feb. 20-21, Simsbury, CT.

Nov. 2007         Sodo Mirak. Performed at Springfield College Nov. 16-18, Springfield, MA.

Nov. 2006         Ogun! Created while a Guest Artist at Springfield College, Springfield, MA. Performed November 17-19 at Palmer Auditorium.

April 2001          post. Collaboration with singer/songwriter Jeff Blaney. Performed Kaufman Hall, UCLA, 1st annual “Culture Crossing.”

March 2000       This Time. Collaboration with singer/songwriter Lily Wilson. Performed at The Electric Lodge, Venice, CA, “Sister Celebration: First Annual Festival for International Women’s Day.” 

July 1999          Mime. Choreographed and performed part for the play, “The Millennium Only a Mother Could Save,” written by Bantum, Doubleday, Dell novelist, G.G. Garth, Directed by Nicole Marshall. Performed at Coronet Theater, Hollywood, CA.

PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE

2015                 Kriye Bode 10th Year Anniversary, Choreographer Peniel Guerrier, Kumble Theater, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY. Performance June 21.

2009-2015      Hungry March Band, NYC's legendary street brass marching band. Recent summer 2014 performances at MoMA and South Street Seaport, Manhattan, NY.

June 2009          Cake in My Face, Melissa Hudson Bell, choreographer. Evening-length work performed at CounterPULSE, San Francisco, CA, June 20-21.

2002-2008          Mikerline Haitian Dance Company, Mikerline Pierre, artistic director. Performed in theaters, universities, schools, festivals, parades, galas, Haitian music videos, and clubs throughout NYC, nationally, and internationally. Nine pieces in repertoire.  

2006-2007          Orikí Omi Oddará, Felix “Pupy” Insua, artistic director. Afro-Cuban folkloric dance and music company based in NYC. Evening-length performances in Manhattan and the Bronx. Rumbas in East Harlem. 

2005-2006          Loray Mistik, Jude “Papaloko” Thegenus, artistic director. Haitian Racine (Roots) band of musicians and dancers. Performances throughout Miami. 

2003-2006          Negbhatalah Dance Company, Lionel St. Surin, artistic director. Performed in Miami as well as NYC schools.

April 2006          Tamboula (Kriye Bode), Peniel Guerrier, choreographer, Manhattan performances.

2002-2003          Julio Jean Haitian American Dance Company. Venues in Manhattan.

Spring 2002        Ayiti La. Rol’hans Innocent, artistic director. Brooklyn-based Haitian dance co. Principal soloist for evening-length Haitian Flag Day performance, Medger Evers College, Brooklyn, NY.

Spring 2001        100th Day. Pichet Klunchun, choreographer. Japan America Theater, Los Angeles, CA.

Jan. 2001          Ballet Preljocaj. Anjelin Preljocaj, artistic director. Community dancer for UCLA Royce Hall, Los Angeles, CA performances. 

1998-1999          Fotoba. Abdoulaye Sylla, artistic director. Guinean dance company based in Hartford, CT. Performed throughout New England at arts festivals, religious and civic celebrations, schools and theaters.

PUBLICATIONS

2016                 “Roots / Routes / Rasin: Rural Vodou and the Sacred Tree as Metaphor for the Multiplicity of Styles in Mizik Rasin and Folkloric Dance in Haiti and the Diaspora.” In Vodou in the Haitian Experience: A Black Atlantic Perspective, edited by Dr. Celucien L. Joseph and Nixon S. Cleophat, published by Lexington Books of Rowman & Littlefield.

2016               “Embodiment, Reciprocity, and Reception: Shakespeare Adaptations in a Black Atlantic Context,” co-authored with Denise Gillman, forthcoming in the edited volume, Shakespeare and Dance, edited by Lynsey McCulloch and Brandon Shaw published by Oxford University Press.

2015               “The Cultural Legacies of Slavery in Virginia: Advancing Geo-Literacy in an Interdisciplinary Context” co-authored with Dr. Johnny Finn is the introduction to a special issue of The Geography Teacher, Vol. 12 Issue 4, 2015.

2015               “Teaching Race, Place, and History through Culture and Performance,” co-authored with Dr. Johnny Finn, Evan Goetz, and Lisa Gibson, part of special issue of The Geography Teacher, Vol. 12 Issue 4, 2015. 

2015               “Teaching Race, Place, and History through Landscape,” a second article co-authored with same group with Dr. Finn as primary author for our special edition of The Geography Teacher, Vol. 12 Issue 4, 2015.

2015                 “Inscribing/Inscribed: Bodies and Landscape in the Ritual of Embodied Remembrance at Souvenance Mystique” published in Society for Dance History Scholars and Congress on Research in Dance conference proceedings.

2015                 “The Sacred Mapou: Routes of Memory in the Haitian Vodou Ceremony of Souvnans” submitted August 2015 for inclusion in the anthology, “Dancing the African Diaspora,” edited by Dr. Thomas DeFrantz, Duke University.

2012                 “New York – Souvnans – Riverside: The Triangular Route of a Bicoastal Collaboration” published in Society for Dance History Scholars conference proceedings, Dance and the Social City, Philadelphia, PA June 14-17.