Annie Arnoult is the founding artistic director of Open Dance Project in Houston, Texas where she directs the company’s professional performance season and oversees the company’s extensive dance education work. Arnoult returned to her native Houston from Chicago where she was the artistic director of Chicago’s Striding Lion Performance Group, garnering acclaim for the company as a “new center of gravity for indie dance in Chicago.” Arnoult was named one of the “25 to Watch 2018” by Dance Magazine, citing her “keen attention to detail” and was a 2017 recipient of Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant for the development of the critically acclaimed ‘Bout a Stranger, deemed one of the “most fully realized pieces to come out of Houston in decades,” by Nancy Wozny in Dance Magazine. Arnoult’s creative work is deeply informed and influenced by her 25 years as an artist teacher and integrated arts education advocate in Chicago Public Schools, HISD, and surrounding districts. Her research and choreography has been presented regionally and internationally. Arnoult has served on the dance faculty of Northwestern University and The School of Theatre and Dance at University of Houston.
Cheryl Cornacchione holds a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Southern Mississippi. Upon graduating, Cheryl moved to Chicago where she has performed with BONEdanse, CORE Dance Project, Hope Goldman, Laboratory Dancers, We Stand Sideways Dance, Erin Kilmurray, Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble, and was an artistic collaborator with The Runaways Lab Theatre. She has been a core company member of Kelly Anderson Dance Theatre for nine years and counting and is currently dancing with REIdance group. Cheryl is beginning to branch out as a choreographer, with her solo that will eventually be presented in a larger work through KADT.
Danceworks Performance MKE, formerly Danceworks Performance Company (DPC) – is an ensemble of performing artists with dynamically different movement training and experiences that uses its diverse breadth of techniques to strengthen the virtuosity of art making through dance performance. They return to the stage after a year of outdoor and virtual collaborations. The group maintains a commitment to celebrating the vitality and diversity of the Milwaukee arts community, creating works with curiosity and rigor, heightening the voices and talents of our skilled performers and community members. Danceworks Performance MKE strives to make its work relevant and accessible to a wide range of audience members by regularly performing and teaching workshops and residencies in diverse communities throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.
Kerensa DeMars is a choreographer, performer and educator working primarily in Flamenco. Her work explores the evolution of the ‘Flamenca’ archetype, the ethnically diverse roots of Flamenco and the poetry at the heart of the form. Elements of digital collage, poetry and cross disciplinary musical collaborations feature prominently in her productions. Kerensa has performed internationally at venues like the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Tivoli in Barcelona, Madrid's Teatro Calderón and the Fort Mason Center for the Arts in San Francisco. The founding director of the San Francisco Flamenco Dance Company, Kerensa lived in Spain from 1997-2004 where she trained intensively in Flamenco dance with Spain’s foremost artists. Kerensa is the recipient of major choreography commissions from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Theatre Bay Area/Dancer's Group, the Azahar Dance Foundation and the Teatro Pradillo of Madrid. Her recent work Volver paired the poetry of Cecilia Woloch, Federico Garcia Lorca and Leonard Cohen with traditional Flamenco and interpretations by Palestinian musicians.
Kerensa is currently the director of Studio K Flamenco, Milwaukee’s home for the Flamenco arts. With programs like the annual Flamenco Nutcracker, the Compás Youth Project and the FlamencoMKE performance series, Studio K is committed to furthering the art of Flamenco in Milwaukee and beyond.
Emma Draves is a dance artist and educator navigating intertextual spaces of identity. She draws from trainings in modern, bharatanatyam, ballet, jazz, and ethnography, to weave work of kinesthetic narrative - derived through colliding multiplicities of physical effort, idiosyncrasy, and emotional landscape. Emma’s work has been shown across Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, and Stillwater, OK - and internationally in Edinburgh, Vancouver, and Toronto.
As a performer, Emma spent over 10 years as a performing artist (and grant-writer) with Natya Dance Theatre - also working with Mordine & Company, Hedwig Dances, Jonathan Meyer, & Archana Kumar; and theatrical productions at Victory Gardens & Lookingglass Theatre. As an educator, Emma has served on faculty at Oklahoma State University, Columbia College Chicago, College of DuPage, Northwestern University, and Carthage College.
Kelly Anderson Dance Theatre is a Chicago-based, Door County-led performance company whose work is inspired by humor, theater and pop culture. KADT creates relatable work driven by complicated topics. “Seamlessly weaving movement and dialogue,” Anderson strives to bridge the gap between artist and non-artist through comedy “filtered perfectly throughout a series of serious moments.” Kelly has been a recipient of Chicago’s Links Hall Artist in Residence and her work has been performed/commissioned in Chicago, NYC, Milwaukee, Detroit, Minneapolis and Portland, OR. “A master of comedic timing… Anderson proves that dance doesn’t have to be dead serious.” *Credits- Lauren Warnecke (Chicago Magazine) and Kristin Vasilakos (Performance Response Journal)
Amanda List is a Dancer/Choreographer out of Green Bay, WI. She has been teaching Adult Dance for 8 years. With a BA degree in Dance from UW-Stevens Point, WI, coupled with other studies around movement, spirituality, and psychology she believes in the power of healing through movement using movement as medicine. In addition to healing, her classes and choreography strive to create confidence and empowerment for adult beginner and intermediate level dancers. She loves to use a blend of several movement styles to create human conditions to "try on" through movement. She seeks to provide a SAFE SPACE for any adults looking to step into or further into their inner dancer and express their inner goodness through movement. Although her primary focus is in working with adults, she also works with youth in special projects such at LEAP-The Human Kindness Project.
Emily Loar is a dance artist, writer, and improvisor living in Chicago. A 2019 and 2021 recipient of the DCASE Individual Artist Award, Loar’s choreographic work seeks to combine our primary forms of communication: written language, spoken word, body language, facial expression, and instinct. After graduating with a BFA from Columbia College Chicago, Loar has presented original work across the Chicagoland area, and has performed with dancemakers including Peter Carpenter, Lydia Feuerhelm, Kasey Foster, Erin Kilmurray, and Jonathan Meyer and Julia Rae Antonick of the dance company, Khecari. Emily Loar is a founding member and co-Artistic Director of the Chicago-based modern dance company Project Bound Dance.
José A. Luis was born in Veracruz, Mexico and raised in Racine, Wisconsin. Considered a “late-dancer” he began his formal training at UW-Milwaukee, graduating with a BFA in dance. He performed and created works locally before moving to dance professionally in Chicago. Collaborative, undergraduate, and post-undergraduate pieces led to festivals, residencies, as well as progress showings during this time. Now in Minneapolis, he hones his introspective, honest approach to dance making as an independent solo choreographer. The artistic and personal growth across borders formed a nine year dream to self-produce an evening length show. In September of 2021 this dream became reality by honoring the people who have shaped his voice. Challenged by dancing for artists again (after a seven year hiatus) and teaching, José approaches movement in 2022 with the intent to accept, challenge, and learn as we are, human. For more: www.jose.dance.
Founded in 1970, Milwaukee Ballet is a leader in Wisconsin’s arts and culture scene. Under the stewardship of Artistic Director Michael Pink, Milwaukee Ballet has become world-renowned for presenting bold new interpretations of story ballets, and cutting-edge contemporary works.
Founded in 1969, Mordine & Company Dance Theater is Midwest's longest running dance companies. Known for its interdisciplinary collaborations with artists in the fields of music, theater, visual design, video and puppetry, Mordine & Co. strives to infuse the field of dance with new modes of performance and expression. Praised for original choreography combining wit and sheer movement with technical sophistication, the Company's work has been described as "a two-edged sword of comedy and drama" and "adventurous, audacious, gutsy, and energetic." Artistic Director, Shirley Mordine has continued to create many dances over the last 50 years. In addition to her creative accomplishments, Mordine is recognized as a master teacher who excels in integrating the skills of dance technique, choreography, and performance.
Andria Nikoupolis Weliky brings a lifetime of dance, performing and teaching to all ages for over thirty years in a wide variety of dance forms, Classical Ballet, Middle Eastern Dance, Jazz, Modern and Tap to name a few. Continually inspired by nature, Andria is passionate about movement as a holistic practice. She herself embodies this nurturing essence through dance and strives to share this healing connection of balance and oneness with others. She is part of a movement studio collaborative newly opened in Sturgeon Bay, WI, STUDIO234, now offering classes for children and adults in dance and mindfulness movement practices.
Under the direction of Ashley Deran and Emily Loar, Project Bound Dance is a Chicago-based modern dance group rooted in the practice of collaboration. Since its founding in 2013, Bound has created work that is both curious and accessible. Creating both live concert performance and dances for camera, Bound draws from both modern dance and somatic fundamentals. Incorporating vigor, athleticism, and intricate gesture exploration Deran and Loar weave together the vision of two distinct artistic voices to create richly textured dance performance.
Creative partners, Lucy Riner and Michael Estanich, established RE|Dance Group in 2009 as a means to explore long distance collaborations and present dance theatre works that examine the many facets of human relationships. Executive Director, Lucy Riner, is a Chicago based dance artist and teacher. Artistic Director, Michael Estanich, lives in Stevens Point at the University of Wisconsin as an associate professor of dance. Their creative process embodies rich emotional content and dramatic imagery through the layering of music, text and sculpture. They seek to establish physical memories that enrich their dancing and the relationships created in their works.
Same Planet Performance Project (SPPP) abstracts the shared human experience centering on individuals and narratives within global dynamics through athletic and sensuously constructed dances that transform performers and audiences on a visceral emotional level. Directed by Joanna Read, Same Planet Performance Project is one of Chicago’s most inventive contemporary dance companies. Known for it’s highly physical, yet emotionally driven work, SPPP presents original work by its artistic director, and also commissions work from acclaimed national and international artists. The company has performed at prestigious venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Dance Center of Columbia College, The Auditorium Theatre, and Joyce Soho. Engaging aspiring artists is foundational to the company’s work, especially at the collegiate level. Past exchanges have been at the University of Minnesota, The University of Iowa, The University of Illinois, and Illinois State University. Same Planet is available for touring, college residencies and master classes. SPPP is in residency at Chicago’s Dovetail Studios.
Dan Schuchart of Wild Space Dance Co. is an interdisciplinary artist and teacher. He creates and produces independent work in collaboration with Monica Rodero and their work has been presented throughout the US. Schuchart earned BFA degrees in Dance and Painting/Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an MFA in Experimental Choreography from the University of California-Riverside, and a Graduate Laban Certificate in Movement Analysis at Columbia College Chicago. Since 2002, he has worked with Wild Space Dance Company as a company member, choreographer, Associate Artistic Director, and soon to be Artistic Director. Dan is currently a Senior Lecturer at UW-Milwaukee Department of Dance. Outside of dance, Schuchart has worked as a scenic painter, including for the movie Public Enemies, and scenic charge for the Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Florentine Opera, and Skylight Music Theatre.
Founded in 2013 by Artistic Director Nick Pupillo, Visceral Dance Chicago is a contemporary dance company that is constantly pursuing a deeper focus of intent that continues to challenge audience expectations. Visceral embraces the understanding that art is universal. Our goal is to promote connectivity by uniting communities through a powerful shared experience. Since inception, the company has developed a diverse and respected repertoire by new emerging voices and distinguished, world renowned choreographers.
Photo credits (top to bottom)-- Keith S. Tsuji Photography,Lynn Lane, Matthew Gregory Hollis, Christal Wagner, Arthur Wilinski/Revo Photo, William Frederking Photography, Matthew Gregory Hollis, Mary Breuer Photos,A.Deran Photography, Peter Sherno, Chuck Osgood, Zach Kunstman Photography, Katherine Helen Fisher, A.Deran Photography, Shelby Kroeger & Michelle Reid, Vin Reed, Dru Jefferson, KT Miller Photography Header Design & Photography: Charlie Stephens // Matthew Gregory Hollis