Dancers and Choreographers 2015

erickupersBANDELION is Eric Kupers’ ensemble within Dandelion Dancetheater. Dandelion presents The Dance of Changes, a dance-based performance piece that is also a community ritual and a participatory, interdisciplinary ceremony. Moving in a series of concentric circles, Bandelion performers, community members and participants from the festival will follow simple structures for dancing, speaking, making music, and connecting to the surrounding environment. The dance is designed to be performed around the transitions between seasons, at the solstice or equinox. It uses movement, text and sound to explore what participants want to let go of in their life, and what they’d like to bring into their life going forward. The Dance of Changes celebrates the transition between seasons–bringing together professional performers, community members and festival audience members to perform an interdisciplinary ritual. What do we want to let go of? What do we want to cultivate? Improvisational dance, music, and speaking structures guide everyone involved to integrate the changes happening in their lives at this moment.
More info:
CHRISTINA BRAUN is a lifelong dancer and prolific choreographer. Since 2002, her work has been focused on performing dynamic duets with unique composers.  Recently, she has created a series of works with instrument inventor Tom Nunn.  Christina first performed with the Tamano’s Harupin-Ha Butoh Dance Theater in 1999.  As part of SF Butoh LAB and with BUTOH San Francisco, she has produced Butoh dance symposia, performances, workshops, and festivals. For more info, please visit
CHRISTINE BEGGS believes in dance and art as pathways to environmental and social change. With her Bachelors’ in Biology and Dance, advanced open-water scuba certification, experience running an ecommerce business and Master’s in Marine Conservation, Christine is the first to admit that her skillsets and work history are an eclectic mix. This diversity in work and interests, however, has left her unwaveringly dedication to fostering collaborations between artists and scientists; and, in particular, empowering dancers to utilize their art as a tool for societal change. Dance With Impact will empower dancers to explore and express the patterns and relationships that exist between mental health issues, themselves and the public and will then use that empathetic momentum to connect dancers and audiences alike with concrete, actionable opportunities for change. For more info, please visit
EUGENIA PARK is dedicated to facilitating greater embodied health, mind-body awareness, tension relief and energy restoration through various conscious streams (Massage Therapy CMT, Yoga, Ayurveda, and Movement). Her dancing seeks to reconnect with the body’s natural rhythm and flow through an integrated dance practice of mind-heart-body awareness, conscious breath and deep-listening. For more info, please visit
EVANGEL KING presents Ancestors Speak Ceremonies. Each performer will create a solo movement and sound score, sharing their interpretation of Gillian Garro’s Ancestor Figures. The figures, which will be hung from tree branches, are over 10 feet tall and made of gauze, paper, gloves, de-constructed copper scrubbers, rope and string. For more info, please visit
GABRIEL DARLING currently studies & performs with Hiroko Tamano, Luku, and other San Francisco area Butoh performers. Previously studied Butoh and/or performed with Mizu Desierto (Water in the Dessert I & II), Shinichi Iova-Koga, Vanessa Skantze, Michael Sakamoto, and Nathan Montgomery. Additionally, Gabriel was a core company member of the lizziemoves dance company (2008-2010) and performed with Lizzie Karr in Portland, OR, Tacoma, WA, San Francisco, CA, and New York at the Tank. Currently based out of San Francisco, she trained as an analog photographer/documentary filmmaker. Her passions involve her in constructions and deconstructions of image making and performance art whilst cultivating non-narrative, video art and film shorts projects. Feisty and fierce, her video art installations and narrative shorts have been known to visit the Dallas Art Museum, the Deep Ellum Film Festival, and Ingredients 1.0 and 2.0. Portland, OR. For more info, please visit
10299141_10204434655039385_3005274469629081415_n HOLLY SHAWDancer and choreographer, Holly Shaw, directs “See Your Life Onstage,” an improvisational performance where the audience provides the inspiration for the “at the ready” ensemble of professional dancers and musicians.  After writing their “life story in two to four sentences” the performers will read these anonymous stories out loud and express them through movement and music.  Supported by a shifting soundscape including vocals, (Briget Boyle), flamenco cante and guitar, (Esteban Bello), and percussion, the story will unfold as the dancers and musicians collaborate on the spot to embrace, reveal, express, and dignify the truths of the audience witnessing. For more info, please visit
 32521_451070534534_3374850_nKARMA SMART. Since 1996, Karma Smart has followed her passion for dance, specifically dances of the African Diaspora. Soon after beginning the study of West African dance she began to perform at public events. As her studies went on she helped form the dance company of Sankofa based on the Big Island with whom she performed at schools, museums, and events on Maui and Oahu and the Big Island while completing a degree in Cultural Anthropology in 2000. In 2002 she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area; a few months after arriving she was invited to join a Congolese dance company, Fua Dia Congo of which she was a member for three years. Currently, and for the last four years she has consistently focused on studying Afro-Brazilian dance. She has taught and performed dance in Hawai’i, Brazil and the Bay Area. In addition, in April of 2013 she was asked to collaborate in forming a new Congolese dance company by the young visionary choreographer, Vivien Bassouamina. It is Karma’s life passion to share her experience of personal healing and liberation through music and dance. More info:
unnamed-2KATHRYN ROSZAK’S DANSE LUMIÉRE. “You know how to vanish deep into your own greenwood”. Dances with Nature. Kathryn Roszak’s Danse Lumière creates a site-specific setting of dances from our repertory inspired by the river’s flow, by the spiraling music of the pinecone, and by poetry of the late Swedish Nobel Prize-winning poet Tomas Tranströmer. From “Five Stanzas to Thoreau” from Tomas Tranströmer, Selected Poems 1954-1986, edited by Robert Hass, translation May Swenson. More info:
KRISTINA BENNETT is a career counselor, facilitator, and dancer/social change theatre artist.  In her career counseling work, she specializes in working with people in creative, social service, entrepreneurial, and green/sustainability fields, as well as people in career and/or life transition.  She received her Masters degree in psychology from Antioch University, Seattle and has studied and practiced dance and interactive theater throughout her life.  She has worked with regional resilience efforts through Transition Towns in the East Bay. More info:
Katharine GrippKATHARINE GRIPP was born in Las Vegas, NV, where she began dancing at her mom’s ballet school pretty much as soon as she could walk. When she was twelve, she moved with her family to Fairhope, AL, where she continued pursuing her passion for classical ballet. She later attended Vassar College, where she finally fell in love with modern dance. While living in New York, Katharine was privileged to work with world-renowned dancers and choreographers such as Merrill Ashley, Zvi Gotheiner, Edwaard Liang, and many more. She graduated from Vassar in 2013 with a B.A. in English and a correlate in Medieval and Renaissance history. Since moving to the Bay Area, Katharine has had a wonderful time performing with various dance companies and projects, including On3 Dance Co. in Oakland and Garrett + Moulton Productions’ The Luminous Edge at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. More info:
tamano2_432 KOICHI and HIROKO TAMANO. Born near Mt. Fuji in Japan, Koichi Tamano studied under butoh founder Tatsumi Hijikata for 10 years.  He, alongside his wife Hiroko Tamano, danced in Hijakata’s company throughout the ’60s and ’70s in Tokyo.  Koichi arrived to San Francisco in 1976, with a group of contemporary fine artists for the San Francisco Art Exhibition “Japan Now”, introducing the avant guard art of butoh to American audiences for the first time.  Drawn to the Bay Area’s bohemian ideals and artistic innovation, Koichi and Hiroko Tamano relocated to Berkeley in 1979 and formed the Harupin-Ha Butoh Dance Company. They performed in exhibitions at SF MOMA and worked on several Broadway shows. In the years that followed, the Tamanos collaborated with local and world-renowned artists alike—performing throughout Japan, France, Germany, Mexico and the United States at venues including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Theater Artaud, and the San Francisco Butoh Festivals. The opening of the Subterranean Arthouse in 2009 marked a new chapter for the Tamanos and now serves as Harupin-Ha’s permanent base.  It has provided a unique space to both grow as a company and preserve the rich history of Butoh in the heart of downtown Berkeley. More info:
Lacey Carter PriceLACEY CARTER PRICE Carter Price has a BFA in dance from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle ,WA. Here she trained in Modern and Ballet working with such people as KT Neihoff, Pat Hon, Tonya Lockyer and Wade Madsen, to name a few. She then went on to get her MFA in dance with emphasis in choreography and performance at Mills College in Oakland, CA. Here she dance works by choreographic standouts such as Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer and Molissa Fenley. She is one of the few people in the world that is allowed to dance the seminal work Trio A as a performer, selected by Yvonne Rainer. At Mills, she also danced for other bay area artists such as Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Shinichi Iova-Koga. Since graduation Lacey has danced with Jumpin’ At the Sun, On 3 Dance Company and the Thick Rich Ones. She also teaches dance at Studio 8 Dance and Performing Arts Center where she gets to impart her passion for dance on the little ones. More info:
Laura CacciamaniLAURA CACCIAMANI started dancing at the age of 3 at All That Jazz dance studio in the small town of Clarion, Pennsylvania, where she was trained in ballet, tap, and jazz for 12 years. As a dancer in the youth competition team, she won various gold and silver medals at competitions around the Pittsburgh area. In 2002, Laura was a founding member of the Clarion-Limestone High School Dance Team where she became captain and choreographer. The team performed at half-time of sports games as well as events around the community, incorporating jazz, hip hop, pom, and kicklines into their routines. The Dance Team also competed in the National Dance Alliance regional competition in 2005, where they won first place trophies in the “overall” division as well as the “jazz” division. At Carnegie Mellon University, Laura was part of Dancers’ Symposium for 4 years; in her sophomore year, she was chosen to become a director of the organization, becoming highly involved in running the bi-annual performances as well as choreographing individual dances in hip hop, jazz, and contemporary. Laura was also a dancer in Soulstylz—a student-run hip hop crew—for 3 years in college. After moving to Tucson, Arizona for graduate school in 2009, Laura began dancing at The Dance Loft, and from 2011-2014 she was the teacher for intermediate/advanced jazz, strength & conditioning, and leaps & turns classes. In 2014, Laura moved to the Bay Area, and shortly thereafter in Spring 2015, joined On 3 Dance Company where she continues to share her passion for movement. More info:
LAURA COX. In 1999 Laura Cox started her career in dance and choreography at The Western Stage, in Salinas Ca. Since then she has moved to the Bay Area and started her own dance company, On 3. Laura ha schoreographed and performed as a backup dancer with JPF (Julie F***ing Potter, a California native rapper promoting love, equality, and change!). She has taught dance through the City of Oakland Parks and Recreation Department, the Willows Theater Company in Walnut Creek, and has choreographed Little Shop Of Horrors for the San Ramon Players. Now she focuses her energy to On 3 Dance Company. Soon, On 3 Dance Co will be creating a dance specifically for film, as well as debuting new works for Art In Nature, Works In The Works, and a future project premiering in the Fall of 2015. When she is not working with On 3, she is with her family’s brewery, Ale Industries (ask for it!), supporting new moms, and taking care of her 2 wonderful children. More info:
LUKU NETHERTHOT grew up skate boarding and practiced the Zen paintbrush of graffiti in Los Angeles. He had a physicist father and an actress mother. In 2005, Luku received a B.A. in Cognitive Science at CAL . He entered the dance world as a child, through his mother’s teaching, and later studied ballet, post/modern dance (graham, Cunningham, etc.), afro-Brazilian, bboying (break-dance), Capoeira, and Butoh. He entered the Tuvan throat-singing world through Soriah. The fusions of these forms are happening inside him, so that now, he thinks of every breath as a dance. For more info, please visit
MARTHA MATSUDA discovered Butoh in the early 1990’s and continues to be drawn to the dark, grotesque, underbelly of its creator Tatsumi Hijikata, while at the same time to the spiritual ephemera of co-founder Kazuo Ohno. Ankoku Butoh (The Dance of Darkness), which was born out of the desolation following WWII, continues to evolve and mingle disparate cultural elements. Martha has performed in the Bay Area with Harupin-ha, Metropolitan Butoh, SF Butoh Lab and at Bare Bones Butoh. She danced at Kazuo Ohno’s 101st birthday celebration in New York City. She is equally honored to perform a solo improvisation in honor of Butoh’s founder Tatsumi Hijikata. She also performs frequently with her partner Mark Deutsch on the Bazantar. More info:

PATRICIA “AISHAH” MITCHELL-RUSICH presents International Human Color Wheel, beginning with 4 distinct dance troupes entering the outdoor stage from 4 corners of the Earth. Each troupe of 5-10 dancers and 3-5 drummers will represent a different culture: Middle Eastern, Asian, Hispanic & African. Each performer will wear 3-6 silk veils in their costume, each a different color representing the spectrum of humanity. Audience members will be given veils and invited to join in until the entire stage becomes a living, breathing work of art. For more info, please visit

 patriciaPATRICIA BULITT, dancer, poet, interdisciplinary artist, honored with numerous grants and awards including a Choreography Fellowship from National Endowment for the Arts, CAC Artist in Residence Grants at Headlands Center for the Arts, grantee to Japan and New Zealand, specializes in making site-specific performances, such as in  East Bay creeks, for many East Bay Regional Parks, for a tree at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and in a traditional Japanese garden in Tsuwano, Japan.  2015 is her first appearance in Art in Nature.  Patricia was honored with the  City of Berkeley’s Artist Honoree Award in March 2015. In Art in Nature, she collaborates with poet, Chris Olander, and offers an improvisational  solo dance to nearby Redwood Tree. For more info, please visit
 Ronny NY times 2-200x300RONNIE BAKER was born in South Carolina in 1969. His first real exposure to physical movement was long distance running during high school. Around the same time, his cross country coach suggested he explore meditation and yoga, to help build physical, mental, and spiritual stamina and focus. Then, after a period of transiency, he started performing in the streets, cafes, and clubs of Atlanta, Georgia, around 1993. This was usually in various collaborations with other artists. Around 1995, he started training static trapeze, Spanish web, hand-balancing and some contortion with a circus community in Atlanta (several collaborations). In 1999, after traveling to California; he studied capoeira with Mestre Accordeon (Bira Almeida) for one year. At the same time, he met Tamano Koichi and Tamano Hiroko. He began studying Butoh around 2000, and has continued this training until the present (being in involved in numerous training series with several ‘masters, ‘and many collaborations with many artists). Starting 2009/2010, he began ballet training at ODC Ballet (Augusta Moore and Marisa Castillo), and more currently with Monique Goldwater. Earthchild is his newest commitment… For more info, please visit
SHELLEY COOK-CONTRERAS is an internationally exhibited artist, performer, and educator. She earned her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute’s New Genres Department. Her performance projects have been funded by the California Arts Council, and the National Endowments for the Arts. Her recent works combine her vocal talents with Butoh choreography. She has studied Butoh with Hiroko Tamano since 1996, dancing with Harupin Ha, as well as with Katsura Kan, and SF’s Metropolitan Butoh.  She is presently part of Hiroko Tamano’s “Earth Child Butoh”. Her creative philosophy stems from her belief that art is the subconscious expression of humane kind, and that, like dreams, art seeks to communicate hidden truths with-in its images. For more info, please visit