Past Performances

January 18th, 2014 8PM


The Telephone Dance Project
The Telephone Dance Project was created in 2013 as a collaboration between artists Katie Drake (Washington, DC), Eliza Larson (Northampton, MA), Rachel Rugh (Blacksburg, VA), and Barbara Tait (Philadelphia, PA). The Telephone Dance Project explores ways to communicate and create beyond locational borders by using both old and new technologies to send transcribed choreography.

Ailey PicassoAiley Picasso is in her final year at Hampshire College studying dance performance and choreography, and the natural sciences. She is currently engaged in a long term choreographic project as part of her Division III work at Hampshire.

Claire Maurey 
Choreographer and founder of The Movery, Claire is a Mainer who loves to move and be

outdoors. She trained at the National Ballet School, in Toronto, and then went on to dance with the National Ballet of Canada and the Leipzig Ballet. Leaving the profession, Claire decided to pursue life beyond ballet. Through farming, baking and cooking she’s found her way back to dance. Having found a home in the Pioneer Valley Claire has found her passion for dance revived. She now teaches ballet and contemporary dance at East Street Ballet. Claire is thrilled to be choreographing again and hopes to bring new and exciting dance to the Valley.

Sarah Hook & Paul Matteson 
Sara Hook is a performer, choreographer and educator who actively promotes a synergy between the professional and academic arenas of Dance. A former soloist with Nikolais Dance Theater, Hook has also performed with Murray Louis, Pearl Lang, Jean Erdman, and Stephan Koplowitz among many others. She is a guest artist/collaborator with David Parker and The Bang Group with whom her work hasbeen produced internationally in venues throughout North America and Europe. Sara Hook Dances has appeared at numerous New York City venues, as well as throughout the U.S. and internationally. Hook holds an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and a BFA from the North Carolina School of the Arts. She is also a Certified Movement Analyst from the Laban Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies.

Paul Matteson’s choreography has recently been presented in NYC by the La MaMa Moves! festival and in Boston by Green Street Studios. As a performer, he was a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company from 2008-2012 and he received a New York Dance and Performance Award (BESSIE) for his body of work with David Dorfman and Lisa Race. He joined Amherst College and Mount Holyoke College (Five College Dance Department) in the fall of 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Dance.

February 15th, 2014 8PM


Kelly Silliman/the tinydance project

Kelly Silliman is a dance artist and educator currently residing in Western Massachusetts. She has performed with NewARTiculations Dance Theatre (AZ), Prospect Dance Group (VA), inFluxdance, and UpRooted Dance Theatre, and has taught ballet and modern dance for many years. She is the former owner of The Dance Barn, a studio in central Virginia now known as Charlottesville Ballet Academy. Kelly is on faculty at Pioneer Valley Ballet, choreographs musicals for Smith College and Northampton High School, and explores the intersection of art and sustainability through “the tinydance project.” She is also a core collaborator with Hartford-based dance company Scapegoat Garden. Kelly holds a BA in Theatre Arts and an MFA in Choreography and Performance from Smith College.

Safi Harriott

Safi Harriott received her undergraduate degree (BA) in Anthropology and Dance from Bard College. Since 2009 she has served as Visiting Lecturer in Dance at the Excelsior Community College, and External Examiner for the Edna Manley College School of Dance in Kingston, Jamaica. She has facilitated workshops and presented choreography for the Kingston on the Edge Urban Arts Festival and the Jamaica Dance Umbrella (JDU) in addition to serving as primary coordinator and assistant to the Curator for JDU. Harriott uses the practice of dance to activate cross-cultural investigation and engagement with the force of bodily norms.

Anna Wotring

Anna Wotring, an enthusiastic member of the Five College community, is in her third year at the University of Massachusetts. She has performed professionally with Danielle Pavlik’s H20 Contemporary Dance and Pearlann Porter’s Pillow Project. Anna is overwhelmed with opportunities she’s found in the Valley, and is currently experimenting with failure and risk in hopes that they not be that bad.

Dahlia Nayar

Dahlia is a dancer, dance teacher, and contemporary choreographer born and raised in Chicago. She received her MFA from Hollins University. She is dancing tonight with Queens based artist Margaret Paek, whose work Dahlia recently performed at Danspace and at the Whitney Museum. Tonight’s excerpt is part of a larger work in collaboration with Margaret’s husband, cellist and composer Loren Dempster. The project has received support through residencies with the Vermont Performance Lab and the Bates Dance Festival. It will premier at the Invisible Dog Gallery in Brooklyn in 2015.

March 15, 2014 8PM


Michelle Marroquin

Michelle Marroquin is a dancer, choreographer and movement educator who has studied multiple movement styles. She earned her BA from Hampshire College and an MFA from Smith College. Michelle has trained in classical Indian dance with Ranjanaa Devi for over ten years and performs regularly with Nataraj Dancers. Currently faculty at Springfield College, Michelle also teaches Gyrokinesis and Gyrotonic, a movement technique based on circular movement patterns.

Medicinal Circles

Medicinal Circles is a hula hoop based company that explores the realms of multiple dance styles and combines them with hula hoop dances. Medicinal Circles aims to bring the message of native people to her movement, and that includes understanding love, life, and respect towards all living life. Influenced by nature and all that is outside her Laura Torraco the sole member of this company (thus far) searches the outer her to find inspiration deep within herself, and likes to view her dance pieces as having much more deeper meaning and connection to the outside world. Medicinal Circles works throughout new england teaching people of all ages the art, health, love, and meditative properties of the hula hoop. MC also combines with several local non profits to help boost community which is another value hugely respected by native peoples.

Olana Flynn and Justin Norris

Olana Flynn is an independent dancer and choreographer based in Northampton, Massachusetts. Olana received her BA in performance and choreography from Hampshire College. She has worked and performed in New York as well as at a number of locations in Western Massachusetts. She is currently working on a number of dance-film installations. She is the co-founder of Workbench.
Justin Norris is a visual artist and dancer from Western Massachusetts. Beginning his exploration with visual art about 15 years ago, Norris began his experimentations in graffiti, and has gradually worked his way onto canvas and other non-traditional mediums. As a dancer he has toured internationally with two notable dance companies. He is currently in his final semester at Hampshire College.

Eliza Larson

Eliza Larson is an independent dancer, choreographer, artist, writer, teacher, and scholar based in Northampton, MA. She is one half of the collaborative duo Mountain Empire, and she currently performs with the Telephone Dance Project, Safi Harriott, and Troy Mercier’s Intimacy Project. She holds an MFA in performance and choreography from Smith College where she was a Gretchen Moran Teaching Fellow. Her choreographic work has been presented around the country, the H Street Theater in Washington, DC, Conduit Dance Center and PNCA in Portland, OR, Velocity Dance Center in Seattle, WA, and the Southern Vermont Dance Festival. She was an inaugural member of the CREAP residency at Ponderosa, in Stolzenhagen, Germany. Additionally, Eliza is the author of Terpsichore’s Deck, a set of 52 choreographic principles to use in composition and choreography. Her most recent research on gender in dance was presented at the Congress on Research in Dance conference in Riverside, CA, in Fall, 2013.

April 19th, 2014 8PM

Emelia Brumbaugh and Madison Palffy 

Emelia Martinez Brumbaugh is a recent Hampshire graduate and current Northampton resident interested in performance as a healing practice and methodology for investigating truths. She trains as an improviser in her day job as a Professional Hanger-outer with Kids and with the Movement Lab, a theatre/movement based community group in Florence.

Madison Palffy is a Chicago native in her last year at Hampshire College. Her work lies at the intersection of queer thinking and dance making.

Katie Aylward

Katie Aylward is a choreographer, dancer, and a videographer based in the Pioneer Valley. She received her MFA in dance from Ohio State University in 2013, where she trained under Bebe Miller, Karol Rogers, Meghan Durham Wall, and Abby Zbikowski. Prior to this, Aylward performed with Wire Monkey Dance and Dance Connect. Her choreography has been presented here in the Valley and in Ohio, consisting of both live dance and multimedia productions. Her research incorporates choreography and improvisation with simulated footage on textured surfaces. Recently she explored site-specific work at a PlaceMaker residency at Earthdance. In the past three years, Aylward took a liking to dance documentation. She interned with Bates Dance Festival videographers for two consecutive summers and directed and co-produced a youth arts rap video amongst other projects. Her dance-for-camera videos have been shown throughout the country. Aylward is currently office/operations manager at Contact Quarterly dance magazine.

Christopher Rasheem Mcmillan/Strategic Rebellions

Christopher-Rasheem Mcmillan received his B.A. from Hampshire College, and his M.F.A. in experimental choreography from the Laban Conservatoire, London, U.K . He is currently a Ph.D candidate in the department of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s College, London, U.K.

Mcmillan’s diverse output of work includes live performance, performance for camera, film and photographic works. His performance works have been seen at venues such as Bates Dance Festival and performance platforms such as Beyond Text: Making and Unmaking Text.

Julia Gladstone

Julia Gladstone is a dancer, videographer, and researcher living in Northampton, MA. Having graduated from Hampshire College in 2012, Julia is currently a Research Assistant for the European and Architectural Studies departments at Amherst College and a Videographer for Jacob’s Pillow. Coming to dance through sculpture and architecture, Julia’s choreography asks: “What constitutes a body?” She has worked as a Performing Arts Admin. Intern at MASS MoCA, an Archival Intern at Jacob’s Pillow, and a Videography Intern at Bates Dance Festival, and recently completed an artist residency at Earthdance as a part of Place Maker Space in the fall of 2013. She has danced throughout the five colleges, collaborates in multiple disciplines, and has performed in works at Amherst College, Bates Dance Festival, and the Church of the Little Green Man. She is now dancing in a duet choreographed by Aretha Aoki to be performed at A.P.E. Gallery in May 2014.

Yaël Krinsky

Yaël Krinsky is a performance artist and writer. She attended Mount Holyoke College for a year where she danced and studied International Relations. She transferred to Bard College in 2010 where she has studied dance, film and Middle Eastern Studies. Much of her work is informed by her time at Upright Citizen’s Brigade in New York City where she trained in improvisational comedy. She is currently finishing her senior year at Bard College this semester in which she will present the culmination of her work in the spring concert.

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