Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Presents: Emerging Choreographers Showcase
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Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Presents: Emerging Choreographers Showcase

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View the full online Program for the 2014 Emerging Choreographers Showcase.

View the full online Program for the 2014 Emerging Choreographers Showcase.

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Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Presents: Emerging Choreographers Showcase Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Presents: Emerging Choreographers Showcase Presentation Transcript

  • June 27th & 28th, 2014 at 7:30pm Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Presents… Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N Dearborn Street The Emerging Choreographers Showcase
  • 01 Artistic Team & Dancers *Performing Courtesy of HappyNia Dance Theater **Performing Courtesy of Visceral Dance Chicago Artistic Team Kevin Iega Jeff__________________________________________Artistic Director Gary Abbott___________________________________Associate Artistic Director Nicole Clarke-Springer__________________________Dance Education Director Joshua L. Ishmon_______________________Project Artistic/Producing Director Dereque Whiturs___________________________Community Ensemble Director 2014 Emerging Choreographers Tosha "Ayo" Alston, Nekira Grant, Keon Nickie, Kameron N. Saunders Malikah Fernandez, Paige Fraser**, Alex Gordon, Jordan Mercer, Leonard Perez*, Briana Robinson, Anna Sawyer*, Jane Sawyer, Nina-Rose Wardanian, Jessica Winter-Troutwine, Christopher Woolfolk 2014 Emerging Artist Ensemble Julie Ballard______________________________Technical/Lighting Director Adriene Barber______________________________________Project Manager Erin Murphy_________________________________________Stage Manager Production Team Management Team Carmel Louis_______________________________________________Executive Director Yeeskah Radcliffe___________________________________________Managing Director Melissa Block_____________________________________________Company Manager Erinn Hernandez____________________________________Dance Education Manager
  • About Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Deeply Rooted programs are partially supported by The Alphawood Foundation; A City Arts Grant from The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; The Irving Harris Fund; The Arts Works Fund; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; and The Deeply Rooted Family of Friends. The mission of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater is to re-imagine and diversify the aesthetics of contemporary dance by bringing together modern, classical, and African-American traditions in dance. In its uncompromising pursuit of excellence in performance, the development of new choreography, the training of dancers, and the creation of a diverse audience, the company seeks to demonstrate how art and beauty play a transformative role in society. Board of Directors Judith Cothran, MD, Board Chair Gary Abbott Jane Brownley Frank Gihan Kevin Iega Jeff Azim Ramelize Domonique Rougeau Associate Board Richard Cahan Imara Canady Laurel Lipkin Chris Zyzda Deeply Rooted would like to extend special thanks to our partners, Ballet Chicago and Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Deeply Rooted Dance Theater is proud to be a member of the vibrant Ruth Page Center for the Arts performing arts community, and an Artist In-Residence. An incubator of artistic energy and excellence, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts carries forward the vision of international dance icon Ruth Page to make dance accessible to everyone, as well as ensuring that children, dance and performing artists have a place to study, work and perform at the highest level of excellence.
  • 01 Special Thanks…. Thank you to everyone who donated through our Indiegogo Campaign! Jeanray Barber, Charla Booth, Garthell Elkins, Maggy Fouché, Carolyn McCrady, Damalia Ruffin, Beatrice Jackson Cheryl Jackson, Valerie Williams, and those of you who chose to give anonymously—We couldn’t have done this without your support! Thank you to our fantastic photographer, Guy Rhodes and Make-Up Artist Jessica Winter-Troutwine for the head shots, dance shots and group shots of our 2014 Emerging Artist Ensemble and Choreographers!
  • The Program 1. The Initiation- Between the lines (work in progress) Exploring traditional dances of West Africa to create a pliable foundation for technically trained dancers to break pass the comfort of the ballet/modern lines. Dancers celebrate the discovery of their deeply planted roots. Choreography: Tosha Ayo Alston Music: Sunu, Soko, Sorsorne,Lamba, Dansa: rhythms of Mali & Guinea West Africa Drummers: Ifetayo Gallardo and Kristopher Sanders Lighting Design: Julie Ballard Performed by: The Ensemble 2. Until Lambs Become Lions For those who have suffered at the hands of Female Genital Mutilation. "The problem is not with the people who started this. The problem is with us, all of us, who do nothing.” Choreography: Nicole Clarke-Springer Music: Nina Simone Lighting Design: Julie Ballard Costume Design: Performed by: Friday Night: Malikah Fernandez, Jordan Mercer, Briana Robinson, Nina-Rose Wardanian Saturday Night: Paige Fraser, Anna Sawyer, Jane Sawyer, Jessica Winter-Troutwine 3. Preach Choreography: Nekira Grant Music: Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, James Blake Lighting Design: Julie Ballard Performed by: Friday Night: Paige Fraser, Alex Gordon, Leonard Perez, Briana Robinson, Jane Sawyer, Nina-Rose Wardanian, Jessica Winter-Troutwine Saturday Night: Malikah Fernandez, Alex Gordon, Jordan Mercer, Anna Sawyer, Nina-Rose Wardanian, Jessica Winter-Troutwine, Christopher Woolfolk 4. Trapped Between Trinity A personal interpretation of the battle to get your [now] reticent body to respond to the commands of your mind upon waking from slumber and the emotional tolls thereafter; The inner workings of Sleep Paralysis. Choreography: Joshua L. Ishmon Music: David Lanz Lighting Design: Julie Ballard Videography: Jason Chu Costume Design: Alex J. Gordon Performed by: Malikah Fernandez, Briana Robinson, Anna Sawyer, Jane Sawyer, Nina-Rose Wardanian, Jessica Winter-Troutwine Act I
  • The Program 1. Sensual Feeling Choreography: Keon Nickie Music: John Powell, Ame Lighting Design: Julie Ballard Costume Design: Vin Reed Performed by: The Ensemble 2. A Woman’s Secrets Choreography: Dereque Whiturs Music: Olafur Arnalds, Arnor Dan Costume Design: Performed by: Friday Night: Paige Fraser Jordan Mercer, Leonard Perez, Jane Sawyer, Jessica Winter-Troutwine, Nina-Rose Wardanian, Christopher Woolfolk Saturday Night: Shanna Cruzat*,Leonard Perez, Briana Robinson, Anna Sawyer, Jane Sawyer, Nina-Rose Wardanian, Christopher Woolfolk 3. Treading Thin Choreography: Kameron N. Saunders Music: Zoë Keating, Hans Zimmer Lighting Design: Julie Ballard Costume Design: : Center of Creative Arts/Rosemary Pini Performed by: Friday Night: Alex Gordon, Jordan Mercer, Leonard Perez, Briana Robinson, Jane Sawyer, Saturday Night: Paige Fraser, Alex Gordon, Leonard Perez, Jane Sawyer, Nina-Rose Wardanian 4. Nexus Choreography: Joshua L. Ishmon Music: Venetian Snares, 2Cellos Lighting Design: Julie Ballard Costume Design: Jeanray A. Barber Performed by: The Ensemble Act II
  • Meet the Choreographers 2014 Emerging Choreographers Showcase
  • 01 Joshua L. Ishmon Artistic/Producing Director Joshua L. Ishmon was born and raised in Gary, IN. Josh discovered his attraction to dance at a young age and studied African dance and musical theater under the instruction of Toni Washington Simpson and Mark Spencer. He is a 2007 graduate of Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts where he studied under Larry Brewer, Michal Davis, and Porsha Woodson-Reese. Josh also studied under the teachers of Ballet Chicago and M.A.D.D. Rhythms. In 2005, Ishmon discovered that his love and passion for dancing was shared with choreographing. Since then, he has choreographed forEmerson VPA, South Shore Dance Alliance, Ballet Chicago, and Deeply Rooted Productions. After graduating, Ishmon joined Deeply Rooted Dance Theater 2 where he's performed works choreographed by Kevin Iega Jeff, Gary Abbott, Elana D. Anderson, Brian Brooks, and Nikki Clarke-Springer. In 2009, he matriculated into the 1st company in which he is still a current member. In addition to that, he is the Artistic/Producing Director of Deeply Rooted’s Emerging Artists and Choreographers Showcase. Ishmon is also a current member of Winifred R. Harris’ Between Lines, Seamless Dance Theater (directed by Erin Lustig), has danced as a guest artist with Ballet Chicago, and shared the stage with Bobby McFerrin. Ishmon has taught as an Artist-in-Residence at Kansas Wesleyan University (Salina, Kansas), Swamp Gravy (Colquitt, GA), Choose Dance (Gillette, WY), Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN), and Collage Dance Collective (Memphis, TN). Joshua is always in a constant pursuit of deepening his artistry, continuing to grow, and must pay homage to the amazing people whose shoulders’ he stands on.
  • 01 Tosha ‘Ayo’ Alston Tosha “Ayo” Alston, a quintessential Brooklynite, was raised in a family of highly skilled artists and musicians. At the age of five; she embarked upon an impassioned arts odyssey which has evolved into the dynamic theatrical style of dance, combined with acting, drumming, singing and the trendsetting Chicago Shrine dancers & Songba-Drum dance that has become her signature. Ayo recalls that it was when approaching adolescence she found her passion, joy and salvation in West African dance and Orisha culture. Since that time, her journey has been one of meteoric artistic exploration, technical development, and growth. It’s fitting that she has taken the name Ayo, the Yoruba word for Joy; a childhood alias. Ayo has both performed and studied with such dance luminaries as M’Bemba Bangoura (G’Bassikolo), Moustapha Bangoura (Le Bagatae), Mouminatou Camara (Les Ballet Africains), Diedre Dawkins (DishiBem), Baba Chuck Davis (AADE), the late Baba Olkuose Wiles (El Shabazz Djembe & Dance Orchestra), and Rosangela Silvestre (Silvestre Technique)—to name a few. Under the Artistic Direction of Amaniyea Payne, Ayo grew into the role of Dance Captain for Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago and an emerging choreographer showcasing her first major drum/dance piece entitled, “Ayo’s Dream” for 2 consecutive annual concert seasons. Ayo’s residual performance with Muntu has allowed her expression of love for humanity and creativity to flow throughout the city and around the world. In 2009, after a 3 year conception of, Ayo birthed the Ayodele Drum and Dance community; a teaching organization created for women to affirm their self confidence and strength in our communities. Through travel, research and performance, Ayodele personalizes African music and dance in order to effectively infuse our women and children with cultural wealth. Special reverence must be given to Jawolle Willa Zollar, as Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute 2011 uniquely escorted Ayo into the next step on the road to artistic and personal maturity. Years of dedication to acquiring knowledge and honing her exquisite artistic teaching style and promoting a technical foundation for the next generation of African dance is shared in the NYC and Chicago grade schools, Universities, and international dance exchange programs. Despite her professional successes, “…watching children blossom as I introduce them to African culture through music and dance,” remains one of Ayo’s most rewarding experiences. Ayo, striving to follow in the footsteps of dance giants like Katherine Dunham, Judith Jamison, Jawolle Willa Zollar and Debbie Allen, will figure prominently in the future health and vitality of choreography, education, and performance for generations of dancers to come.
  • 01 Nekira Grant Nekira Grant is a graduate of University of the Arts. She is an artist; a performer and a choreographer. Growing up the basis of her training came from Harlem School of the Arts. Also attending Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts, and dancing with the company A Time To Dance under the direction of Melvin Miller. She presently teaches under an organization called Applause at various locations in NY. Her work entitled "Preach" was showcased at the Salvatore Capezio Theater at Peridance. In addition, she has collaborated on projects with choreographer Keith Anthony Lewis and has been a guest artist as a choreographer at Urban Assembly School of the Performing arts. Nekira has worked with ILuminate on their off broadway show "Artist of Light" which was a total success and is a member of their New York Company and has been the Assistant Director for a step team at Riverside Church called Children of Jericho. Nekira J'mani is grateful to have worked with creators such as, Brian Sanders, Roni Koresh, Zane Booker, Netta Yerushalmy, Earl Mosley, Jesse Zaritt, and Douglas Becker during her participation in the Foresythe project. She is a proud gold medalist of the NAACP Act-So dance competition in New York and of McDonald's Gospel Fest for three Consecutive years with Send Judah First step team. She hopes to utilize her gifts and creativity to alter what she can in the world.Her art is her voice and she will do nothing less, but diffuse positivity and awareness of self and the beautiful energies that surround us.
  • 01 Keon K. Nickie Keon K. Nickie, from Arouca, Trinidad and Tobago, began his dance training in his native country before immigrating to the United States to further his education and dance studies. In 2007, Keon graduated with a BFA from Long Island University in Brooklyn. He has studied with The Ailey School, Balance Dance Theatre, Ballet Hispanico, Cheryl Byron and Something Positive, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Eclectic Dance Theatre, and Purelements. He has performed works by choreographers Gary Abbott, Cheryl Byron, Autumn Eckman, James Gregg, Kevin Iega Jeff, Lisa Johnson-Willingham, Kevin A. Joseph, Bill T. Jones, Michael Manswell, Harrison McEldowney, Mark Morris, Troy Powell, Pearl Primus, Christian Spuck, Nathan Trice, Dr. Melissa Vaughan, Lakai Worrel, Obediah Wright and Edgar Zendejas. Keon was blessed to be a part of the second company of Deeply Rooted Productions before joining DanceWorks Chicago in September 2011. He also became a teaching Faculty member of Dance Rogue LLC in early 2012. This is his first year choreographing the Emerging Artist Showcase.
  • 01 Kameron N. Saunders Kameron N. Saunders was born in St. Louis, MO. He is currently studying the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying as a dance major to attain his Bachelor of Fine Arts. He graduated from Metro Academic & Classical High School while doing his dance training at COCA (Center of Creative Arts). There he studied ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, and choreography; all a part of their Pre-Professional Program. His performance experience includes UMKC's Conservatory of Dance, Webster University, COCADance and Ballet Eclectica - COCA’s two student dance companies. He has performed as a guest with Störling Dance Theater, and he has also performed with Afriky Lolo; a West-African dance company in St. Louis, MO under the direction of Diadie Bathily. Kameron has worked with renowned artists such as Alicia Graf Mack, Antonio Douthit-Boyd, Sally Bliss, Christine O’Neal, Kirk Peterson, Michael Uthoff, Jon Lehrer, Kate Skarpetowska, Kirven J. Douthit- Boyd, Edgar Anido, Ray Mercer, Gary Abbott, DeeAnna Hiett, Cecil Slaughter, Lara Teeter, and Daisha Graf. Kameron has choreographed for the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Webster University, The Big Muddy Dance Company, and COCA. In the spring of 2011 Kameron entered the National Society of Arts and Letters “Art of the Solo” choreography competition where his work ‘Runner’ won first place in the St. Louis chapter sending him to compete nationally in Birmingham, Alabama where he won fifth place. He premiered two choreographic works at the Spring to Dance festival, presented by Dance St. Louis in May 2013. Most recently he presented a work for City in Motion’s Modern Night at the Folly event at the Folly Theater in Kansas City, MO. His greatest passion is choreography and his biggest aspiration is to own a contemporary ballet company and dance school to give back to the community and the world of dance.
  • 01 Nicole Clarke-Springer Artistic Team Member/Dance Education Director Nicole Clarke-Springer began formal training under the guidance of Claudette Soltis (Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and Joliet Ballet Society) and the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre under Dace Diodonis. She received her B.S. in Arts Administration-Dance from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN where she received the award as Butler Ballet’s Outstanding Performer. Shortly after graduating from Butler, Nicole found her dance home within the Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre family- first as an apprentice and later as company member. As a member of Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, Nicole had the opportunity to perform with artists such as Roberta Flack in Kevin Iega Jeff’s Flack as well as Jennifer Holiday in the world-renowned Penumbra Theatre’s Black Nativity. Upon briefly leaving the company in 2007, she served as Adjunct Professor at Western Kentucky University’s Dance Department. While there, Nicole was asked to join the Clifton Brown Dance Company-performing with the company on its’ tour to Istanbul, Turkey. The same year, Clarke-Springer returned to the Deeply family as Summer Intensive Program Director. During this time, she began deepening her choreographic voice, creating and later setting works such as Nine, Dounia and Femme for both the first and second company. She also served as Assistant Choreographer to Kevin Iega Jeff for Congo Square Theatre’s Nativity for two years. In 2013, Nicole was named Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre’s Emerging Choreographer for the program Generations. Her work Hadiya was met with favorable reviews and noted as“ a poignant memorial tribute”…” filled with ….”Ritualistic gestures [that] carry a ceremonial theme.”….. “a living eulogy not only for the slain Hadiya Pendleton, but for all children who have lost their lives to violence.” -Lynn Colburn Shapiro See Dance chicago.com. During the 2013 season, Nicole joined Kevin Iega Jeff and Gary Abbott as the newest member of the Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre’s Artistic Team. Crediting the Deeply Rooted mission, Nicole works to create an environment that is challenging yet inspiring-helping each dancer find their spiritual connection within the work and most importantly themselves
  • 01 Dereque Whiturs Dereque Whiturs a native of Dallas Texas began his career as a performing artist at the Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Artists. Mr. Whiturs has been trained in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and the Dunham techniques and he has trained with such artists as Alvin Ailey, Ulysses Dove, Donald McKayle, Donald Byrd, Talley Beatty, George Faison, Tina Yuan, Christine Lawson, Homer Bryant, and George Skibine, and Maria Tallchiief, Mr. Whiturs is an Alumni of California Institute of the Arts in Valencia California. Mr. Whiturs was a principle dancer with the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble under the direction of Sylvia Waters former principle dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and he went on to become a principle dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre under the direction of Alvin Ailey where he traveled the United States and Europe for 13 years. Mr. Whiturs is currently a principle dancer with Deeply Rooted Productions in Chicago Illinois where he is also on the Associate Artistic team for the Deeply Rooted summer intensive program and Deeply Rooted 2. He is also a member of the Malone Group Incorporated in Washington D.C. Mr. Whiturs has an extensive background in dance education he has taught in the United States and Europe in such places as The Chicago Multi Cultural Dance School in Chicago Illinois, Deeply Rooted summer intensive program in Chicago Illinois, Bertinos School of Danceology In Chicago Illinois, Duke Ellington Performing Arts High School in Washington D.C., Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas Texas, The Black Academy of Arts and Letters in Dallas Texas, and for the Renalto Greco School of Dance in Rome Italy. Mr. Whiturs has recently started his own company, HappyNia Dance Theatre. Because of his passion for building awareness in the African American community about HIV/AIDS, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse, and Self Actualizing he wishes to use HappyNia Dance Theatre Productions as a means to communicate to the people in his community to stand for something and not just settle for anything, to work together to make a change through the arts.
  • Meet the Dancers 2014 Emerging Artist Ensemble
  • 01 Shanna Cruzat Shanna Cruzat, born and raised in Chicago, Illinois began her dance training at Homer Bryant Ballet Dance School and continued to study dance throughout the Chicagoland area. In 2008, Shanna attend the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor as a dual degree student majoring in Dance and English. During Shanna's time at the University of Michigan, she has worked with Dianne McIntyre, Robin Wilson, Rodney Brown, and Jessica Fogel. Shanna has received scholarships for University of Michigan Dance Department, American Dance Festival, and ProDanza Italia. During American Dance Festival, Shanna performed in annual concert, Footprints, with Choreographer Reggie Wilson. Shanna is currently working with Dereque Whiturs and HappyNia Dance Productions.
  • 01 Malikah Fernandez Malikah Fernandez, originally from Memphis, TN, began her training at Dance Dynamics, under Annette Wilson and Natalie Fotopoulos. She moved to Chicago, IL in 2010 to train with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater professional training program. Malikah joined the Emerging Artist Ensemble in 2011. While in Chicago, she has performed in musical theater such as The Wiz with the Madhi Theater Company and the Triumphant Love Dance Series, under the production of K.K. Tyler Entertainment with choreography by Dome Lorusso. This is her third year participating in the Emerging Choreographer’s Showcase under the direction of Joshua L. Ishmon.
  • 01 Paige Fraser Paige, born and raised in the Bronx, NY, began her dance training at Ballet Atlantic Academy and later went on to study at the Professional Performing Arts High School in NY. She completed her freshman year of college at the Dominican University of California/Alonzo King's Lines Ballet. In 2009, she attended The Ailey School as a scholarship student and later transferred into the Ailey/Fordham BFA program where she graduated Cum Laude 2012. She received scholarships to the ABT, DTH, Jacob's Pillow, and Juilliard summer intensives. Paige has also had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Judith Jamison, Robert Battle, Troy Powell, Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Amy Hall, Camille A. Brown, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Stefanie Batten Bland, Pedro Ruiz, Thang Dao, Iyun Harrison, Gregory Dawson. Paige performed with Ailey II under the artistic direction of Sylvia Waters and Troy Powell. She is currently a founding member of Visceral Dance Chicago.
  • 01 Alex J. Gordon Originally from Beaumont, TX, Alex J. Gordon began his training at Washington University in St. Louis. Along with attaining his BA in architecture and minor in modern dance, Alex also had the opportunity to dance in Wash U’s annual dance concerts (2006- 2010). During his undergraduates studies at Wash U, Alex had the opportunity to work with dance companies and artist throughout Saint Louis which include Atrek Dance Collective(2008), Ashleyliane Dance Company(2009) and Tom Brady‘s Prodigal(2009). In 2008, Alex was given the opportunity to join the Slaughter Project, a pre-professional dance company made up of professional dancers and university students under the artistic guidance of Cecil Slaughter. After graduating Wash U, Alex attended ADF(the American Dance Festival) on a full scholarship. There he had a chance to use his technical theater skills as while studying dance. In 2010, Alex joined the Missouri Contemporary Ballet and is currently a dancer and the resident costume designer for the company. Alex has also had the opportunity to dance and design for the Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s Emerging Choreographers Showcase in Chicago (2013- 2014). Roman author, architect, and engineer Vitruvius said it best, ‘The architect must not only understand drawing, but music...’ I hope that as an artist, I will be able to take part in the creative process in some shape or form; whether I am a costumer, a dancer or a choreographer, I am facilitating growth.”
  • 01 Jordan Mercer Before recently moving to Chicago, Jordan Mercer spent the last four years with the Alabama Ballet in Birmingham, where she danced in a variety of both contemporary and classical works. She taught in the School of the Alabama Ballet and choreographed for the Young Choreographers Project. She also performed with Southern Danceworks and Red Mountain Musical Theatre Company. She has trained with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Ballet Austin, Point Park University and the Paul Taylor School. Jordan has recently been involved in several dance projects and currently teaches in the Chicago area.
  • 01 Leonard Pérez Leonard Pérez is a multi-talented artist born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He began his training in Ballroom dance while attending Kelvyn Park High School. From 2009-2012 he was a member of the Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, under the direction of Dame Libby Komaiko and Irma Suarez Ruiz. While with the Ensemble Español he toured nationally and internationally participating in events such as Chicago Latino Film Festival, Chicago Dancing Festival, Dance For Life, and Stam-Pede in New York City. Additionally, Leonard has performed solo roles with the Civic Ballet, including the Nutcracker Prince, in their annual production of the Nutcracker. He has performed for Links Hall’s THAW Chicago 2014. In 2012 he was awarded a scholarship to begin extensive training in Ballet and Modern dance at Ruth Page Center for the Arts. He has also studied Contemporary dance styles and Ballet with Rachel Burton, Jamie Farrell, Benjamin Law, Dolores Long, Ariel Cisneros, Randall “Randy” Newsome, Birute Barodicaite, and Ana Czajun. In 2013 he was also awarded a scholarship to study in Thodos Dance Chicago’s Summer Intensive Dance program. Leonard has rigorously trained in Spanish dance with artists such as Dame Libby Komaiko, Irma Suarez Ruiz, Jorge Perez, Jose Barrios, Raquel Gomez, Joaquin Ruiz, Maria Torres, Christian Lozano, Julia Hinojosa, Carmela Greco, Paloma Gomez and Edgar Serna. His training also includes West African, Columbian Folklore, and Afro-Cuban dance styles. Leonard is currently pursuing a degree in Dance and African/African American studies at Northeastern Illinois University. He has been awarded a full scholarship to Dance Theater of Harlem's Summer Intensive in New York City. He is a member of HappyNia Dance Theater under the direction of former Ailey dancer, Dereque Withurs.
  • 01 Briana Robinson A native of Gary, Indiana, Briana Robinson began dancing at her church when she was eight years old. Ms. Robinson’s formal dance training began at the age of eleven, at the Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts, where she graduated as the salutatorian of her high school class. In 2013, Ms. Robinson graduated and received her Bachelor in Fine Arts degree, from The Juilliard School in New York City. She continued on, in late 2013, to become one of the dance captains in Julie Taymor’s production of Shakespeare’s, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, in Brooklyn, NY. She is very thankful to be a part of the 2014 Emerging Choreographers Showcase and is looking forward to continually sharing her passion for movement. (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • 01 Anna Sawyer Ms. Anna Hope Sawyer began training at the Hyde Park School of Dance, formerly the Hyde Park School of Ballet studying with August Tye-Pauley, Aimee Tye and Sarah Ford-Thompson. She also studied with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, participating in their Summer Intensive programs from 2006-2009 where she performed works by Kevin Iega Jeff, Gary Abbott and Nicole Clark-Springer. She graduated from The Ailey School with a Certificate of Dance and performed works by Darrel Moultrie, Tina Bush, Amy Hall, Eddie Stockton, Koryn Wicks and Josh King. Since returning to Chicago in 2012 she has danced with Tyego Dance Project and AER Dance Theater, and in August 2013 began dancing for HappyNia Dance Theater Productions under Artistic Director Dereque Whiturs.
  • 01 Jane Sawyer Jane Sawyer is a graduate of The Ailey School's Certificate program, where she performed works by Francesca Harper, Darrell Moultrie, Peter London, Earl Mosely, and Tina Bush. She is thrilled to be an apprentice with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and previously performed as a member of the company's Emerging Artists Ensemble. Ms. Sawyer recently had the opportunity to perform 'Love Not Me' by Randy Duncan as a member of Winifred Haun and Dancers, and under the direction of August Tye she has also appeared in productions with Chicago Folk Operetta and as a member of Tyego Dance Project. She is excited to be a part of the Emerging Choreographers Showcase!
  • 01 Nina-Rose Wardanian Nina-Rose Wardanian is originally from Chicago, IL. She began her formal training at the Chicago Academy for the Arts, under the direction of Randy Duncan, Guillermo Leyva, Deborah Goodman and the late Anna Paskevska. While in high school, she was given the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Eduardo Vilaro, Nick Pupillo, and Eddie Ocampo. She also attended Chicago Multicultural Dance Center, where she studied under Homer Bryant, and later went on to teach classes. Upon graduating, she attended the University of Missouri Kansas City, taught by Deeanna Hiett, Sabrina Madison- Cannon, Rodni Williams, Mary Pat Henry, and Paula Weber. She has performed nationally representing UMKC at the American College Dance Association’s annual festivals. During her last year of college, Nina was a member of the Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater, where she performed numerous works by Artistic Director Bernard Gaddis as well as “Vespers” by the late Ulysses Dove.Nina joined DRDT II in 2012 and became a DRDT apprentice in 2013.
  • 01 Jessica Winter- Troutwine Jessica Winter-Troutwine began dancing at age 3 in Grand Rapids, MI. At age 9 she began her formal training on scholarship at the School of the Grand Rapids Ballet Company. There she performed as a member of both their Junior & Senior Company programs for 8 years, and was asked to participate in their European Summer Tour in 2005. Jessica attended summer intensives at SGRB as well as the Joffrey Midwest Workshop in 2001 & 2003. In 2009, she graduated from Grand Valley State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. As a member of GVSU’s Dance Ensemble, she performed soloist roles in works by artists including Thang Dao of Thang Dao Dance Company, Patrick Corbin, Mary Beth Cabana of Ballet Tuscon, and Michael Philips of Rioult. Upon graduation, she became a member of Grand Rapids Dance Project as well as MoreDances Contemporary Dance Company. Jessica joined DRDTII in 2010 and became a DRDT Apprentice in 2012.
  • 01 Christopher Woolfolk Christopher Woolfolk was born in Detroit, MI where his dance training at Wayne State University (WSU) started. Christopher’s passion for dance has given him strength to accelerate and achieve a great deal in a short time, performing in numerous repertories and companies. Christopher has performed in the WSU CompanyOne, which included a piece set by Christopher Huggins and had an opportunity to share the stage with Marlene’s Ballet Company in South America. Following this remarkable start in his dance career he attended Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre Summer Intensive in Chicago, IL where he feels that his voice as an artist was awakened and a new home was found. Returning to Detroit to complete his Bachelors of Science in Dance Education, Christopher performed with WSU African dance company To Sangana, Body Rhythm Dance Theater and Guest performed with People Dancing Dance Company, ArtLabJ and Ngoma Za Amen Ra. Christopher believes dance to be a transforming art form of expression and uses this art form to educate, teaching hip hop, liturgical dance, contemporary and Congolese dance in local venues of Detroit, MI and surrounding cities. Christopher is excited to continue his growth through Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and looking forward to all that will come from joining The Emerging Choreographers Showcase.
  • 01 Thank you for joining us for the 2014 Emerging Choreographers Showcase! Enjoyed the Show? Check out Our Upcoming Performances: Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Summer Intensive Performance Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 7:30PM at Athenaeum Main Stage 2936 N. Southport Ave.