2013 Dance Omi Residents
Talía Falconi (Ecuador, sponsored by The Embassy of Ecuador in Mexico) has been working in the field of contemporary dance and performing arts for 15 years as a dancer, performer and choreographer. Throughout her career she has had ventured into different techniques around the art of movement, dance, theater and circus. "I firmly believe that the exchange of ideas, ways of working and discussion expand my practice and my view of the performing arts in general, and most of all, the way how I face the process of artistic creation." This concern has been the reason why her recent projects relate to scenic improvisation and collaboration with other artists. She was motivated me to apply to Dance Omi to meet other dance makers, exchange ideas and ways of approaching movement and dance.
Swati Mohan (India) is a dance artist, actor and an animal lover. She has been engaged with performing arts since the age of 5yrs and considers herself blessed with the loveliest teachers. Trained in contemporary dance, jazz, classical ballet, yoga dance and bharatnatyam, she is also a passionate teacher with an experience of over a decade with all ages. Founder and director of Danza Performing Arts (a dance school), she started her formal dance career with The Danceworx Performing Arts Academy (a jazz and contemporary dance company based in New Delhi). She began her independent journey as artist in 2007 and discovered dance as a creative practice in the light of spiritual growth. Her approach to movement and creation revolves around organic connection between body and mind. She uses movement, text, sound and energy work as a tool to break conditioned patterns by exploring the “inner voice”. Her past works are duets titled “Glass on the edge” and “Doha”. She was invited as one of 10 choreographers to present her work titled “Ways of seeing”, in Prakriti Excellence in Contemporary Dance Awards, Chennai (India) in 2012. Currently she is also working on developing a professional dance training program in Gati Dance Forum New Delhi to be opened in 2014. Sketching dance for school students, theatre and dance professionals, experiment or herself keeps her connected to the universal creative energies. She believes in miracles and dance choosing her after Zoology Honors and 4 years of advertising stint is no less than a miracle for her. She continues to stay engaged in creative expression and in the process find many more miracles which are waiting for her.
Ilana Reynolds (France/USA) was born in Europe but raised in the U.S. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in a self-designed major titled Social Change through the Performing Arts. Ilana studied dance throughout the Unites States, Europe and South America. Highlights include Bill T Jones Dance Company; Brunel Tanz Cie, Germany; Ponderosa Movement and Discovery, Germany; and Fundacao da Danca, Salvador, Brazil. For the past 8 years she was based in Miami, FL where she worked with numerous dance companies and choreographers. Her longest collaboration has been with Augusto Soledade from 2004-2012. She toured nationally and internationally with the company acting as assistant to the choreographer, teaching repertory and technique based in Afro-fusion and contemporary dance. In the fall 2012 Ilana relocated to Berlin to connect with a larger international dance community. In doing so this spring 2013 she and 8 other international artists are opening up LAKESIDE STUDIOS/Berlin, an artist living/performance space.
Nicole Smith (New York), Artistic Director of dance collaborative called "project:Smith", has also worked for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company as a teaching artist and repetiteur, touring to universities nationally and internationally. As a performer, she has danced with Doug Elkins and Friends', Donna Scro/Freespace Dance, Maxine Steinman & Dancers, and BTJ/AZ Dance Company. Since 2011 and currently, she performs with Zvi Gottheiner's company, ZviDance and is in the original cast of their critically acclaimed "DABKE", as well as with Shen Wei Dance Arts, and is embarking on a tour to Europe and South America with them in September. Post-graduation from Montclair State University, Nicole's solo pieces and duet with partner Lisa Peluso (Elisa Monte Dance) have been showcased in theaters and festivals across the USA, United Kingdom, and Asia. As an independent artist, she has had the opportunity to teach modern dance and set choreography at many universities, performing arts schools, and most recently, Dance New Amsterdam. She is a recipient of the AMC Live Music for Dance Grant, the L. Howard Fox Alumni Award at MSU, and attended New York University's (Tisch) MFA Dance program 2012-2013 on scholarship. For more information, visit www.nicolesmithdance.com, or for her healing & coaching practice,
Yoni Soutchy (Israel, sponsored by the Israel Office of Cultural Affairs) was educated at the Bat-DOR dance school and studied RAD and Martha Graham techniques. He danced for Muza Dance Company in Tel Aviv, working with choreographers Keren Levy, Lara Barsaq, Niv Sheinfeld, Margalit Oved, Ohad Naharin, Anat Danieli and Ido Tadmor. He was a principal dancer at Ido Tadmor's dance company and took part in projects Behemoth and But the Virgin was not available at the Suzanne Dellal Center. Participated the musical "Chicago". He received a Bachelor's Degree in dance and teaching at the Kibbutzim Seminnar. He has created acts for the TV program So You Think You Can Dance Israel. He won second place at the Karmiel Festival choreography competition. He created the trio healthy / not sick. Created his duet slave to love with the support of The Spring Festival. Yoni won first place with his work Ben at the 2011 Shades of Dance festival. His recent work Dinner premiered at Iintimdance festival 2012, Tmuna Theatre.
Caitlin Trainor (New York) is the artistic director of Trainor Dance and a lecturer at Barnard College/Columbia University. Originally from Rhode Island, Trainor has taught, choreographed, and performed on both sides of the Atlantic. She enjoys using dance as a playground for ideas, particularly in collaboration with other artists and thinkers. Her recent collaboration with computer scientist Apoorv Agarwal, Artificial IntelliDance, uses dance to explain a new machine-learning paradigm. Trainor's performance career includes appearances at Lincoln Center, onstage with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and on the walls of the building itself with site-specific choreographer Stephan Koplowitz. She has danced with and acted as rehearsal director for Seán Curran Company, and performed in numerous productions ranging from experimental downtown work to a recent appearance in a music video for Diehard. Trainor has received support from New York Foundation of the Arts (NYFA) and appreciates ongoing production support from Barnard College/Columbia University.
Ben Van Buren (Belgium/ USA) is from the United States but currently lives in Brussels, Belgium. Before moving to Brussels, Ben received his B.A. from Eugene Lang College: the New School for Liberal Arts in 2011. Upon graduating Ben received awards for outstanding achievement for his work between the fields of philosophy and dance, as well as the Bea Banu scholarship for academic excellence. During his time as a dancer in New York Ben had the great fortune to perform for Ishmael Houston-Jones (THEM), Ann Liv Young (Cinderella), and Yvonne Meier (The Shining), amongst others. He currently studies at P.A.R.T.S.
Monstah Black - 2013 Guest Mentor, Alumni 2010 (New York) is a multi-dimensional performing artist known for his stage performances that blur the lines of genre and gender. Born and raised in historical Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, Monstah was exposed at birth to not only the pulpit rocking sounds of the southern Baptist Church and the classical sounds of Roman Catholic Church but also Soul, R&B, Rock, Funk and Disco. His aesthetic reflects this upbringing revealing influences of Prince, David Bowie, Grace Jones and Sylvester. He fuses his love for music, movement, fashion and visual art in his funk drenched musical creations. He has performed in numerous venues including Art Basel in Miami, The Whitney Annual Gala, Smithsonian Museum, Performa Biennial, Joe's Pub, Dance New Amsterdam, New York Live Arts, Movement Research, Dixon Place, Lincoln Center Out Of Doors, Joes Pub, New Media Festival (Moscow), Performance Festival (Ouro Preto, Brazil), Dance Festival Gdansk Poland, Corcoran Gallery Of Art and The Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC with The House of Bando. Monstah Black is currently an Artist In Residence at Dance New Amsterdam in New York City where he is a part of their Building Entrepreneurial Arts Models (BEAM) program.
Christopher K. Morgan - Director (Maryland) has directed Dance Omi since 2006. Based in the Washington DC area, he is Artistic Director of contemporary dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists. Morgan grew up in California dancing the Hula and Polynesian dances of his Hawaiian ancestors. Discovering ballet, jazz and modern dance at the age of 17, he then studied dance at the University of California Irvine. After 2 years in University, he was offered a job dancing for Malashock Dance & Company in San Diego. Thus began his extensive performing career that would have him move to Munich, Washington DC, New York, Dublin and London. Now, he brings his diverse heritage and nearly 20 years of experience as a dancer, educator, choreographer and arts facilitator to his work at Dance Omi, his dance company and to American University in Washington DC, where he is the Dance Program Artist in Residence. Said to be "charming and poignant" by The New York Times, Morgan's choreography has been presented in 18 countries on 5 continents, and stems from a belief in the urgency of live performance in an increasingly isolating, commercial, and digital world. In April 2011 Dance Magazine profiled him as one of six breakout choreographers in the United States. Known as an eloquent speaker and advocate for artists, he is frequently sought as a facilitator, adjudicator, speaker, and panelist, including adjudication for the American College Dance Festival, the National Endowment for the Arts and Maryland State Arts Council. He is the recipient of numerous Individual Artist fellowships and awards including the 2010 Dance Metro DC Award for Outstanding New Work for his work +1/-1, a 2011 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award for Choreography and a 2013 Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Fellowship.