2022-23 Season


Risk and Regeneration:

New Tools for New Awareness

February 9-11, 2023


“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. This is how civilizations heal.”


–Toni Morrison



We need some R&R! Not rest & relaxation, but risk and regeneration. Perhaps even rage & repair. There is no returning to what came before, so how can we fall into new possibilities, realities and ways of being? For this next season, how do we hold that "if no one goes first, how can anyone follow?" BlackLight 2023 is taking the leap into risking wrong, risking right, risking being loved and seen. In order to take these steps, how are we recovering and regenerating? We have lost so much. How can we find who we are and who we want to be? Join us for some much needed R&R.

Through three days of groundbreaking dance performances, inspiring keynote speeches, energizing movement workshops and intimate panel discussions, The Clarice’s BlackLight Summit aims to activate the unimagined possibilities in dance. It is a convening that envisions dance as a conduit to galvanize resilience and inventiveness, and in 2023 offers a combination of free and Pay What You Wish in-person events and free livestream events. Throughout the 2022–23 season, the BlackLight Summit will continue to foster community connection by facilitating a series of mentoring and professional development opportunities, conversations and performances.

Registration is open to all!  Register now to reserve your tickets for all free events and to receive livestream access for virtual events.





Tue, Feb 7, 2023

5:30PM ACTnow: (Re)Generate: Beginning with Risk

Thu, Feb 9, 2023

9:30AM Keynote Speech by Ronya-Lee  Anderson
11AM Movement Workshop with Johnnie Cruise Mercer
12:30PM C H A T   &   C H E W
2PM The Poetics of Rage: Where is the Art Dangerous? (Panel Discussion)
3:30PM Movement Workshop with Baye & Asa
6PM Opening Night Reception
7PM Keep The Light On Performance Series

Fri, Feb 10, 2023


9AM Keynote Speech by MK Abadoo
11AM Movement Workshop with Javier Padilla
12PM C H A T   &   C H E W
1PM Movement Workshop with dani tirrell, Lauren DeVera & paris cyan cian
2:45PM Who Do We Believe?–The Burden of Proof and Proving (Panel Discussion)
7PM Keep The Light On Performance Series

Sat, Feb 11, 2023


9AM Movement Workshop with paris cyan cian
10:30AM Movement Workshop with Shanice Mason & Jamison Curcio
12PM C H A T   &   C H E W
12PM Empty Chairs, Empty Tables: Waking the Absence with Pathways to Grief & Grieving • VIRTUAL ONLY (Panel Discussion)
1:30PM Movement Workshops with Symara Johnson or Christian A. Warner
2:45PM Movement Workshops with Michael Love or Mark Caserta
4PM BlackLight Summit Emerging Artist Lab Presentation
7PM Last Night the DJ Saved My Life: Who Heals the Healers? • AT DANCE PLACE (Panel Discussion)
8PM afterGLOW Drag Show • AT DANCE PLACE

Livestream Schedule

2/9 • 9:30AM Keynote Speech by Ronya-Lee Anderson
2/9 • 2PM The Poetics of Rage: Where is the Art Dangerous? (Panel Discussion)
2/9 • 7PM Keep The Light On Performance Series
2/10 • 9AM Keynote Speech by MK Abadoo
2/10 • 2:45PM Who Do We Believe?–The Burden of Proof and Proving (Panel Discussion)
2/10 • 7PM Keep The Light On Performance Series
2/11 • 12PM Empty Chairs, Empty Tables: Waking the Absence with Pathways to Grief & Grieving (Panel Discussion)



Registration is open to all!  Register now to reserve your tickets for all free events and to receive livestream access for virtual events.






Old Keys and Empty Shelves: Rome in Ordinary Time • Keynote Speech by Ronya-Lee Anderson 

Thu, Feb 9 • 9:30AM
In-Person • Livestream

BlackLight Summit guest speaker, dance artist and scholar Ronya-Lee Anderson delivers the 2023 BlackLight Summit’s opening keynote speech.


Keynote Speech by MK Abadoo, In Partnership with Gibney's Black Diaspora

Fri, Feb 10 • 9AM
In-Person • Livestream

BlackLight Summit guest speaker MK Abadoo delivers the 2023 BlackLight Summit’s opening keynote speech.




Join us for a series of intimate and engaging conversations that challenge, inform and empower us.


ACTnow: (Re)Generate: Beginning with Risk

Tue, Feb 7 • 5:30PM

An esteemed panel of arts practitioners, scholars and thought leaders reckons with risk and necessity being essential components in activating the transformation of failing systems. During such unprecedented times, what will we risk in order to create again?

BlackLight Summit & Gibney's Black Diaspora: The Poetics of Rage–Where is the Art Dangerous?

Thu, Feb 9 • 2-3:15PM

What do we do with our anger, our rage, our sadness, our rage? If we hide it, deny it, or bury it, where does it go? New York Times bestselling author Sonya Renee Taylor keenly observed in the aftermath of the infamous 2022 Oscars slap that “so many of us have new awareness, new things that we have learned… and we still have the same old tools.”

Who Do We Believe?–The Burden Of Proof and Proving

Fri, Feb 10 • 2:45-3:45PM

What do we do with our anger, our rage, our sadness, our rage? If we hide it, deny it, or bury it, where does it go? New York Times bestselling author Sonya Renee Taylor keenly observed in the aftermath of the infamous 2022 Oscars slap that “so many of us have new awareness, new things that we have learned… and we still have the same old tools.”

BlackLight Summit & Gibney's Black Diaspora: Empty Chairs, Empty Tables: Waking the Absence with Pathways to Grief & Grieving

Sat, Feb 11 • 12-2PM

As descendants of the diaspora, what is our role and responsibility of BIPOC Curators to guide consumers of performance through periods of deep loss?

BlackLight Summit & Dance Place: Last Night the DJ Saved My Life: Who Heals the Healers?

Sat, Feb 11 • 7-8PM @ Dance Place

The role of "caretaker” in the queer community has often been held by Drag Artists, DJs, club/bar owners and a myriad of other protectors of queer magic. These spaces and people serve as conduits of community by affirming that solely standing in one's truth can be a pathway to joy and healing. But who protects these protectors? This discussion unpacks the struggles, joys, responsibility and cost tethered to being a part of the life blood of the LGBTQIA+ community.




Join our 2023 artists in a series of workshops–all levels welcome!


Movement Workshop with Johnnie Cruise Mercer
FUNKitUp, A Conscious Meta-Physical Practice

Thu, Feb 9 • 11AM

FUNKitUp, A Conscious Meta-Physical Practice, is a facilitated space built to encourage embodied inquisition and to investigate one’s relation to weight, dance history and subsequently the contemporary. The fast paced class/workshop flows freely through meditative work, weight shifting, micro-articulations, rhythmic patterns, Astro-healing, traditional form play, collective improvisation and complicated phraseology, landing ultimately at each movers personal movement theory (the fertile ground for an individual’s choreographic lineage).  FUNKitUp is designed for advanced movers or embodied thinkers, and is rooted in The Africanist Aesthetic.

Movement Workshop with Baye & Asa
Movement Research/Contemporary Forms

Thu, Feb 9 • 2PM

Dynamic duo Baye & Asa lead a movement workshop to wrap-up the first day of the 2023 BlackLight Summit. We'll activate allfive senses to enlarge the experience of performance, to expand beyond practical execution of movement, to give nuance and idiosyncratic presence to each dancer. Class is sweaty.  Everyone is welcome.

Movement Workshop with Javier Padilla
Exploring your Artistry: Improvisation as Reflection, Refraction and Redefining

Fri, Feb 10 • 11AM

In this workshop, we'll encounter improvisation as a method to renegotiate our relationship to ourselves. We will warm up our bodies through some pilates and improvisational exploration that will lead us into our main journey. Through questioning different textures, approaches and relationships (to space, our self and beyond) we will emerge with a different understanding of our moving bodies and our artistic voice.

Movement Workshop with dani tirrell, Lauren DeVera & paris cyan cian

Fri, Feb 10 • 1PM

BlackLight Summit guest artists dani tirrell, Lauren DeVera and paris cyan cian lead a movement workshop on the second day of the 2023 summit.

Movement Workshop with paris cyan cian
BODYPOETRY: conjure, compose, ignite a home/land

Sat, Feb 11 • 9AM

paris cyan cian leads a body poetry workshop. During our time we will conjure, compose and ignite the memories of our home/lands within the body. We will lead with our curiosities centered in the elements available to us; we will groove, shake, sweat and celebrate in the ways we're able in that present time. BODYPOETRY is a communal playground curated and shaped by YOU, how do you want to play? How do you wish to compose our homemaking together? Please bring a journal and any other grounding items you may need during our time (i.e blanket, yoga mat, crystal/rock, water).

Movement Workshop with Shanice Mason & Jamison Curcio
You Are The Key: Unlocking New Doors to Enter into a New World

Sat, Feb 11 • 10:30AM

What does it mean to allow yourself to be? To be in control of time, space and energy? Explore the depths of your inner world through a guided music study that invites you to be in control of time and play, and allows you to be in your most present body. As a community we will map the space and unlock new doors together, leading us into a new world. Get ready for this adventure.

Movement Workshop with Symara Johnson
Movement Research/Contemporary Forms

Sat, Feb 11 • 1:30PM

This class is in practice with your romantic present, a conversation that ignites the many parts within us to activate and shift our perceptions of the world. We take time to choose where we want to go and dive into our agency. Symara Johnson plays the role of a facilitator as she shares entrances and exits formulated through her own experience of being. You are invited to be whoever and whatever during this.

Movement Workshop with Christian A. Warner
Movement Research/Contemporary Forms

Sat, Feb 11 • 1:30PM

Pulling from codified modern techniques, ballet, floorwork and musical theatre styles, this workshop exists as a contemporary movement class that often explores a wide range of systems with an emphasis on strengthening the integrated mind and body.

Movement Workshop with Michael J. Love

Sat, Feb 11 • 2:45PM

BlackLight Summit artist Michael J. Love leads a movement workshop.

Movement Workshop with Mark Caserta

Movement Research/Contemporary Forms

Sat, Feb 11 • 2:45PM

Movement Workshop with BlackLight Summit artist Mark Caserta. We'll start with an injury safe/sensitive warmup with easy suggestive movement focusing on the internal body while progressing into more physical and intricate work. Moving through an open structure, Mark tries to find a real connection to the floor and space, play with contrasting approaches and allow the dancers to find their own groove. I utilize classical, contemporary ballet, modern techniques and social dance, fuzed with isolation, imagery and connectivity to create loose phrase work as a structure for each dancer to explore their own language within. Finding balance between and bridging our human experience and our movement language.



Mark Caserta

Mark Caserta, born and raised in South West Philadelphia, received their B.F.A. in Dance and Ballet Performance from the University of the Arts, School of Dance. They danced professionally with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Les Ballets Jazz De Montreal (BJM) and Camille A. Brown & Dancers. Mark has been awarded the Philadelphia Rocky Award for Outstanding Dance Performance, the Pennsylvania Ballet Choreography Award and Choreography Awards from Youth American Grand Prix. Mark was an Emerging Choreographer at Springboard Danse Montreal in 2018 and the recipient of the 2019-2020 EMERGE Choreography Award from Springboard Danse & Gibney Company. Mark has been commissioned by Gibney Company, Whim W'Him Contemporary Dance Seattle, DanceWorks Chicago, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, Kit Modus, Peridance Youth Ensemble, PA Ballet II, The Ailey School at Fordham University, Pace University and University of the Arts School of Dance. Mark was co-director of The Thriving Artist Project, a program offering a free Pre-Professional experience to young dance artists in Plano TX. Mark currently is Artist in Residence at University of the Arts School of Dance, Contemporary Faculty at Gibney Dance NY & Peridance Capezio Arts Center, a guest artist with MindLeaps and a freelance educator, dancer, choreographer. Mark founded BigKid Dance in 2018.

Jamison Curcio

Jamison Curcio

Jamison Curcio (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist and community curator. Working at the intersections of performance art, visual art and Black Feminism, Curcio cultivates and fosters stories of liberation and reimagining. Throughout her youth, she has been invited to study at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Junior and Professional Division Programs, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and Dance Theatre of Harlem, and in college, had the honor to perform works by Shani Collins Achille, Tamara Thomas, Stephanie Powell, Loni Landon, Milton, Myers, Iquail Shaheed, and Iyun Ashani Harrison. Her professional credits include dancing with Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, Kyrtsal Collins/new growth collective, Gesel Mason Dance Projects alongside the Women Dance Artists of Cohort-DMV and Tariq Darrell O’Meally. As a graduate from Goucher College (2019), Jamison holds a B.A. in Performance Art for Social Justice and is the recipient of the 2019 Phi Beta Kappa Brooke Pierce Award in Fine Arts for choreography. Jamison has shown her most recent performance art work HOW WE GET FREE at the 38th Annual Choreographers Showcase, Celebrate 845 Showcase, MODArts Dance Collective: Collective Thread, Mashup LA International Women’s Day Showcase, The Southeastern Center for Contemporary of Art Black @Intersection Exhibition and the Women in Dance Leadership Conference. Upon graduation, Jamison interned at Jacob’s Pillow and served as one of the Community Engagement Interns in the Summer of 2019. Since then, Jamison has gone on to become the company manager of Christopher K. Morgan & Artists and the Audience Services Associate at Dance Place. Jamison has guest taught at the University of Houston and Colby College and continues to teach youth at Dance Place and the VIVA School of Dance.


Symara Johnson 

Symara Johnson, a Portland Oregon native, currently residing in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, has immersed herself in interdisciplinary and choreographic studies globally. Her work varies due to the different influences she’s embraced throughout her life. She is a recipient of the Dai Ailian Foundation Scholarship based in Trinidad and Tobago. The scholarship led her to Beijing, China where she spent two years gaining an associate in modern choreography at the renowned Beijing Dance Academy. Symara is a graduate of SUNY Purchase’s Conservatory of Dance program. She was a resident artist for Bearnstow, Gibney 6.2 Work Up, Gallim moving Artist, BAX's Fall space grant and CPR 2022 AIR program. She has had film works commissioned by Berlin based choreographer, Christoph Winkler. Johnson has presented work at the WIP Showing at Bates Dance Festival, Smush Gallery, The Craft, BAAD, CreateArtXGallim, WIM Salon, Mount Vernon Community Theatre, ACMA, The Forum Art Space, Moving Art Exchange, Chez Bushwhick, The Beijing Dance Academy Theatre and venues throughout NYC and Germany. She is an Urban Bush Women company member and is grateful to have worked alongside artists such as Ley Gambucci, Ogemid Ude, Jasmine Hearn, Pioneers Go East Collective, Rena Butler, Slowdanger and Joanna Kotze.


Michael J. Love

Michael J. Love (he/him/his) is an interdisciplinary tap dance artist, scholar and educator. He is a 2021-2023 Princeton University Arts Fellow and Lecturer at Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts. Love’s embodied research intermixes Black queer feminist theory and aesthetics with a rigorous practice that critically engages the Black cultural past as it imagines Black futurity. He works between the fields of Black dance studies and performance studies and his writing has been published in Choreographic Practices. Love’s work has been supported and presented by Fusebox Festival and ARCOS Dance. Love has also collaborated with film-based artist Ariel René Jackson on video and performance projects that have been screened by The Museum of Modern Art and the New Museum in New York, featured in The New York Times Style Magazine’s #TBlackArtBlackLife Instagram series, and programmed by Digital Arts Resource Centre’s Project Space in Ottawa, CUE Art Foundation in New York, the Galleries at the University of Northern Colorado and the Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington. Love and Jackson were the recipients of the 2021 Tito’s Vodka Prize. Love's performance credits include the Broadway laboratory for Savion Glover and George C. Wolfe’s Shuffle Along and roles in works by Baakari Wilder. Love holds an M.F.A. in Performance as Public Practice from The University of Texas at Austin and is an alumnus of Emerson College.


Shanice Mason 

Shanice Mason (she/her) is a dance artist, arts administrator and educator residing in the Washington, D.C. area. Shanice’s skills, at the intersection of art and digital media, include graphic design, media production and content creation. Her work in storytelling within digital media connects the creative aspects of artists’ work to its production and content delivery.  


Shanice freelances with a variety of D.C.-based dance companies while periodically creating her own work. In addition to her footprint in the district, Shanice is a founding company artist of New York-based company, Johnnie Cruise Mercer/TheREDProjectNYC. She currently spearheads the company’s fellowship program designed for undergrad and post-grad students and serves as process manager for company projects.


Shanice is the Sr. Manager of Marketing and Communication at CityDance, serves on the Board of Directors at Dance Metro DC, holds a faculty member position at the VIVA School for Dance and periodically advises on national digital marketing campaigns for organizations within the dance sector. Shanice is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University where she received her B.F.A. in Dance and Choreography and a minor in General Business.

Christian A. Warner

Christian A. Warner is a multidisciplinary artist with a career that displays his curiosities in dance, theater and film. He has danced repertoire from choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Aszure Barton, Sidra Bell, Kyle Abraham, Bryan Arias, Alan Lucien Øyen, Guy Shomroni/Yaniv Abraham, Darius Barnes, Sonya Tayeh, Dwight Rhoden and Yoshito Sakuraba. His company credits include Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Omar Roman de Jesus' Boca Tuya and TU Dance, in which he was a founding member of "Come Through"–an evening length collaboration with the grammy-award winning band Bon Iver. His musical theatre credits include productions such as Disney's The Lion King, Oliver! The Musical, Hairspray and Little Shop of Horrors. As a creator, Christian's choreography and direction has been commissioned at HSPVA (Once On This Island, Ragtime, Dance Dept.), James Madison University, TX State University, Jeremy McQueen's Black Iris Project, the 40th Annual Battery Dance Festival, McCoy Dance Project, New York Times Best-Selling Author Michael Levin and most recently, an evening-length original collaboration with The Black Creatures for Owen with Cox Dance Group in Kansas City, Mo.




MK Abadoo

MK Adadoo (they/she) devises intergenerational and immersive dance performance rituals that combine Africanist and post-modern movement vocabularies with place honoring community building. Moving from a spirit of joy and ease, their work amplifies the lives, stories and wisdom of gender expansive, queer, Black cultures. MK’s work has been commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the University of Richmond, Dance Place and the Dance Exchange. She is a 2022 Dance/USA Artist Fellow and a 2017 U.S. Fulbright Fellow, where they worked with the Noyam African Dance Institute and the National Dance Company of Ghana. They received a 40 Under 40 award from Prince George's County Social Innovation Fund in 2017, were included as a "rising star" in Dance Magazine’s 2018 “25 to Watch,” and were awarded by Richmond, Va. Dance Awards for their choreography in the 2019 commemorative justice site-specific work performed at one of the United States’ oldest African burial grounds. MK is an assistant professor of Racial Equity, Arts and Culture in the Department of Dance +Choreography and the Institute of Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation at Virginia Commonwealth University. 


Ronya-Lee LaVaune Anderson

Ronya-Lee LaVaune Anderson, known professionally as Ronya-Lee of Ronya-Lee and the Light Factory, is a Caribbean-American folk-soul singer-songwriter from Washington, D.C. Born from Jamaican immigrants, she spent most of her formative years in the suburbs of the nation's capital cultivating a career as a dancer/choreographer and performance artist, while garnering a Master's of Divinity from Duke University and an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Maryland.


The 2021 recipient of the Pola Nirenska Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, Ronya-Lee’s multimedia work has been commissioned by Dance Place, Duke University, the Maryland State Arts Council, Aunt Karen’s Farm and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The ukulele-playing fem-crooners' musical stylings are of a unique species fusing folk, soul, and rock with underlying strokes of psychedelia dazzlingly displayed on her forthcoming debut EP "THE LIGHT SESSIONS pt.1" and highlighted by her first single Light.


Ronya-Lee is a former member of the Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble and of Liz Lerman’s Dance Exchange. She has published articles in the Journal of Dance Education, Sojourners Magazine and the UCC Journal of Worship, Music and Ministry. Ronya-Lee is currently pursuing a doctorate in Theater and Performance Studies and is on dance faculty at American University.



The Clarice's BlackLight Summit comes to life through collaborative curation that prioritizes a diversity of voices and ampliflies people, partnership, process and performance. Our community committee is made of experienced dance professionals, scholars and artists who contribute tirelessly to our summit.



Ronya-Lee LaVaune Anderson

Ronya-Lee LaVaune Anderson is the daughter of Pauline and Roxroy Anderson; the granddaughter of Madge McLellan and of Mavis Lawrence, both healers and entrepreneurs. She is an Afro-Caribbean woman of Jamaican heritage. An artist, scholar and educator, Ronya-Lee works with movement, spoken word, costume design, film and original music. Her multimedia work has most recently been commissioned and supported by Dance Place, Duke University, the Maryland State Arts Council, Aunt Karen’s Farm and The Kennedy Center. A former member of the Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble and Liz Lerman’s Dance Exchange, Ronya-Lee has performed and taught both nationally and internationally. She has collaborated with choreographers Erica Rebollar and Tarik O'Meally, mixologist, Rita Burns, visual artist, Alonzo Davis and dance film maker, Carlos Funn. She has published articles in the Journal of Dance Education, Sojourners Magazine and the UCC Journal of Worship, Music and Ministry. Ronya-Lee is the recipient of the 2021 Pola Nirenska Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance. She holds a Master’s of Divinity from Duke University, an M.F.A. in Dance, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Theater and Performance Studies.


danah bella

danah bella, is an acclaimed choreographer who has performed, presented work and been artist in residence at festivals and universities throughout the United States and abroad. She is the artistic director of d a n a h b e l l a DanceWorks, a modern dance company focused on reclaiming evocative movement as social practice and a founding member of Colectivo Caliban, an artist collective that transgresses disciplinary borders through sound and movement. danah is currently the Founding Chair of the B.F.A.dance program at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and the Artistic Director of the award-winning Peabody Dance Ensemble. She received the Maryland Dance Education Association’s 2021 Dance Educator of the Year Award for Higher Education. She was named one of Baltimore Sun’s “25 Women to Watch in 2018;” and most recently, was conferred one of Musical America’s “Top 30 Professionals of the Year for 2022.” danah was awarded an M.F.A. in performance from the Ohio State University and a B.A. in Dance and Asian American Studies from the University of California in Santa Barbara.


paris cyan cian

paris cyan cian is a movement architect, educator and bodypoet working with and through various interdisciplinary forms of dance, drawing, film, photography and sound. Rooted in New Orleans, cyan’s creative work mobilizes embodied memory and ecological play into a worldmaking practice. cyan cian received her B.F.A./B.A. in Dance with a concentration in social justice, gender women’s studies from Hollins University (2018) and Master’s of Fine Arts in Choreography at Roehampton University, London, U.K (2021).






Lauren DeVera

Lauren DeVera is a movement and mental health artist, certified life coach and host of the Thrive + Thread, a wellness and entrepreneurial podcast inviting others to love themselves and pursue their purpose. The podcast was a finalist for the best wellness podcast at the 2020 Asian Podcast Awards. She’s a 2021 recipient of the iFundWomen and Neutrogena Health and Wellness grant. Known for her warmth, infectious energy and ability to curate healing spaces, she's been invited to speak and lead experiences including Asian Mental Health Project, PCOS Awareness Association, LA Family Housing, NPR and Women in Tech. A proud dance alumnus of Old Dominion University, Lauren has been teaching and performing professionally for 12 years. Her credits include The Kennedy Center, Howard Theatre, Dance Place, Culture Shock DC, World of Dance, BET, CW Network and various universities. She's the proud founder of The Lion’s Den, an inclusive community connecting people through dance, wellness and self-expression. She debuted her choreographic work Nanay (about the mother wound) in May 2022 at Joe’s Movement Emporium as a 2021-2022 Arts Incubator Resident Artist and most recently at the 2022 District Choreographers Dance Festival. Lauren is excited to continue creating work centered around mental health and intergenerational trauma as the 2022-23 NextLOOK Resident Artist, in partnership with The Clarice.

Rebecca A. Ferrell

Rebecca A. Ferrell (she/her) is a dance advocate, artist, educator, producer, programmer and researcher. She holds a B.F.A. in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University as well as an M.F.A. in Dance from Arizona State University. Her research interests focus on equitable practices in the dance sector, specifically traditional transactional procedures, labor rights, pay equity and performing arts unions. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Arts Management at the College of Charleston and the Research Lead and Programming Consultant for Dance Data Project®, an organization that utilizes metric-based analysis to promote gender equity in the dance field. Ferrell has also served on advisory and grant panels throughout the U.S. including the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, United States Artists, the Arts Education Partnership Council and Virginians for the Arts, where she was a member of the Legislative Committee. She has held academic positions at American University, Arizona State University, Shenandoah Conservatory, University of Illinois and Virginia Commonwealth University. Her previous professional positions include Director and Curator of the Flatlands Dance Film Festival, Executive Director of Dance Metro DC, and the Director of Programs for Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance

Van Tran Nguyen

Van Tran Nguyen is a multimedia artist and scholar. She was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In 2021 she earned her doctorate in the Philosophy of Electronic Art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute located in Troy, New York. Tran Nguyen has exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions including Ill at Ease: Dis-ease in Art (2017, University at Buffalo), Shape of a Pocket (2017, Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Art Center), Strange Agency (2017, Buffalo Arts Studio) and, Paris, Orange County (2020, Lycoming College). In 2016, Tran Nguyen and collaborator Natalie Fleming co-curated The Measure of All Things: Rethinking Humanism through Art at the University at Buffalo Department of Art Gallery. In 2017, Tran Nguyen and Fleming premiered their group exhibition Forging American: Art in the Workings of an Asian American Rust Belt at Big Orbit Project Space (CEPA Gallery) in Buffalo, New York. Their third curatorial project, Art Stands Still, was exhibited in Troy, NY at Collar Works Gallery in May 2019. In 2021, her short film Erie County Smile was broadcasted on PBS and has been screened internationally. In 2022 Tran Nguyen was the Windgate Artist-In-Residence and was commissioned new work through the Purchase Foundation. She is currently the Maya Brin Institute for New Performance and Technology Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland. Her first full-length feature film, IN THE SHIT will be released in winter 2023.


Sarah Beth Oppenheim

Sarah Beth Oppenheim (she/her): I come from: 38 dance studios, 4 particular kitchens and 2 synagogues from the Wild Wild West, skyscrapered NYC, trampoline sidewalks of Berlin and begrudgingly beautiful sunsets over the Potomac. I like to use scraps, abandoned tools and painters tape to cut and paste curious inquisitions into everything from pelvis-motored site-specific choreography to burritos. I believe in the deepest plie to bend traditions, antiracist pedagogy to bend academia and dance as an everything salve. As a Teaching Artist Mom, I mine, swap and alchemically mix choreographic research, community engagement and arts & crafts between stage, studio, classroom and nursery. Work/love finds me as a Teaching Artist at Dance Place, Adjunct Professor at American University and the University of Maryland, Education Coordinator at The Clarice’s BlackLight Summit and Artistic Director of Heart Stück Bernie. I'm currently a 2022-2023 Fillmore Prize Winner for which I'm a resident artist at The Fillmore School where I program think-and-move-tank events: luscious deep dives in partnership with rigorous curiosity, persevering connections and heart-intensive dancers. In Summer 2023, I'll be a Parent Artist in Residence through Gallim (NY) and Marble House Project (VT). And you can catch my 40-person site-specific extravaganza Many Extra Only More at Extra Space Storage in Brookland July 8 and 9.

Jane Raleigh

Jane Raleigh is the Director of Dance Programming at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In her role at the Kennedy Center, she curates and produces the Ballet and Dance subscription series as well as a variety of dance performances on the Center's Millennium Stage and in the Center’s REACH expansion spaces. Locally, Jane serves on the Pola Nirenska Award jury and is a Board member for Dance Loft on 14. Nationally, she a co-chair of the Presenters Council and an active member of Dance/USA. Jane also performs throughout the Washington region with a variety of project-based companies.



dani tirrell

dani tirrell (Washington, D.C.) Seattle’s Mayor Arts Award recipient 2019, is a Black, Trans Spectrum, Queer choreographer, dancer and movement guide. dani has guided people in Detroit and Seattle as well as sharing movement practices in other cities in the United States. Currently dani is the curator for Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas (Seattle). dani is the host and co-creator of several online talk programs Sunday Dinner, The Living Room and Intimate Conversations. dani is the founder and current artistic director of The Congregation a movement/art group. dani has taught at Northwest Tap Connection and University of Washington Seattle and Bothell campuses. dani has created work for Dance This (Northwest Tap Connection), Strictly Seattle (advance/professional track), Seattle Repertory Theater, Nina Simone Four Women (Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton). dani is an Arts Matter Fellow, Artists Trust Fellow (Seattle) and 4Culture Arc Fellow (Seattle). dani is the Artist in Residence at Velocity Dance Center (2020/2021) and one of six Artists in Residence at On the Boards (Seattle). Currently, dani works at Dance Place (Washington, D.C.) as Dance Place’s Artistic Director. dani’s production of Black Bois (On the Boards and Seattle Theater Group) was a locally critically acclaimed work that produced sold out shows in Seattle and is in development for a documentary film. In 2019, dani was the recipient of an Artist Trust Fellowship Award and a Dance Crush Award for Black Bois (performance). dani also received a 2018 Arts Matter Fellowship grant. dani’s current work FagGod in collaboration with Anastasia Renee and Naa Akua was presented in Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas’ 2019-20 Season. dani’s new work 46 is a photo exhibit styled, staged and photographed by dani.



Patrik Widrig

Patrik Widrig has been a professor of dance at the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies since 2009, where he currently holds the Dorothy G. Madden professorship (2022-24), and co-artistic director of the internationally renowned PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER since 1987. Presenting "appealingly subversive, engaging, wry and deeply affecting work” (The Washington Post), PWDT has gained an international following for their concert stage choreography, site-specific dance installations and community performance projects throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Asia and New Zealand. Upcoming projects include the commission of a multi-disciplinary site-specific performance project at the Vlycha Bay ship graveyard in Elefsina, Greece, which has been designated the 2023 European Capital of Culture.