TDPS Fall Dance Concert

TDPS Fall Dance Concert

November 18-21, 2021
Principal People: 

Kendra Portier, director

Featuring faculty and graduate student works

Event Attributes


For more information regarding accessible accommodations, please click here.

Estimated Length: 
90 minutes, including one 10 minute intermission

Join us in person at The Clarice! Please note that this event will not be livestreamed.

The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies’ Fall Dance Concert reflects on and celebrates the vitality of live performance. Choreographers explore a range of collaborative and technological processes through devised movement pieces. Each choreography is a living work of art that crystallizes a shared moment for performers and audiences alike.

This concert directed by Kendra Portier features faculty, student and guest choreographer works by Keith Johnson; Maura Keefe; Tristan Koepke, Andrés Poch, and Carlo Antonio Villanueva; Alvin Mayes; Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig; Shekinah Brown; and Kendra Portier.

Concessions: The Clarice lobby concession bar Encore will not be open for food and beverage sales during this event.

Health + Safety

There may be COVID safety policies such as mask requirements in place when you attend this event. Please see our health & safety page for the most up to date information about attendance!



Fall Dance Concert
November 18-21, 2021
Director: Kendra Portier
Stage Manager: Allyson Sweiderk
Choreographer: Alvin Mayes
Costume Coordinator: Heidi Henderson
Sound Designer: Sam Lincoln
Lighting Designer: Emily Pan
Projection Designer: Deja Collins
Performers: Emily Adams, Jasmine Caffee, Gabbie Cramer, Jaiden Hanley, Stephen Lyons II, Kevin Ortiz, Tiffany Ospino, Olivia Perkins
Acknowledgements: This dance is in honor of the Piscataway people, whose land houses the University of Maryland.
Coastal Paradox
Choreographer: Maura Keefe, in collaboration with the dancers
Costume Coordinator: Heidi Henderson
Lighting Designer: Luis Garcia
Sound Designer: Madeline Redding
Projection Designer: Mark Williams
Performers: Mary Kate Ford, Christina Robson, Rebecca Steinberg
Music Credits: Steve Reich's "Piano Phase," Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces"
Anonymously Empty
Choreographer: Shekinah Brown
Costume Coordinator: Heidi Henderson
Lighting Designer: Christian Henrriquez
Performer: Shekinah Brown
Music Credits: Shekinah Brown and Sonny Wilde
Choreographer: Kendra Portier in collaboration with performers
Costume Coordinator: Heidi Henderson
Lighting Designer: Luis Garcia
Sound Designer: Rebecca Hill
Projection Designer: Deja Collins
Performers: Anna Adhikari, Shekinah Brown, Casie Curry, Amber Daniels, Tristan Koepke, Tori Lanner, Nneka Onyima, Christina Robson, Olivia Shamy, Gabrielle Woska
Music Credits: Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in G Minor, Op. 8 No. 2, RV 315 “Summer”: III. Presto and “Summer”: I. Allegro non molto, samples from Mike Wall/SoundforMovement Quiet 5.
Acknowledgements: Goldfinch is created in part thanks to the Maya Brin Endowed Professorship in Dance. It is a collaborative and discursive study of the utility of ballet-based techniques towards more personalized movement techniques and creative fulfillment. This work would not be what it is without each of these performers—their energy, generosity and commitment.
Triple Helix
Devised and Directed by: Carlo Antonio Villanueva, Andrés Poch, Tristan Koepke
Costume Coordinator: Heidi Henderson
Lighting Designer: Luis Garcia
Sound Designer: Emily Pan
Performers: Christina Alemayehu, Shekinah Brown, Debanshi Chowdhury, Casie Curry, Brit Falcon, Mary Kate Ford, Charlotte Macko, Paetyn Lewis, Jalen Wilhite
Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Júlio Espinoza-Sokal from the TDPS Board of Visitors for making a gift that allowed for the purchase of technological equipment used to create this piece.
To Conquer Me Home
Choreographer: Keith Johnson
Adaptation: Brit Falcon, Javier Padilla
Rehearsal Director: Adriane Fang
Costume Coordinator: Heidi Henderson
Lighting Designer: Luis Garcia
Performers: Brit Falcon, Javier Padilla*
Composer: Kira Peck
Acknowledgements: Keith Johnson would like to thank and acknowledge Brittany Falcon, Javier Padilla, Adriane Fang and Colleen Hendricks for their creative contributions to this dance.
* Brit Falcon will perform on Friday, November 19 and Sunday, November 21 at 7:30PM. Javier Padilla will perform on Thursday, November 18 at 7:30PM and Sunday, November 21 at 2PM.
Ordinary Festivals (excerpt)
Choreographers: Sara Pearson, Patrik Widrig
Costume Coordinator: Heidi Henderson
Lighting Designer: Christian Henrriquez
Performers: Emily Adams, Christina Alemayehu, Caroline Bailey, Shekinah Brown, Debanshi Chowdhury, Alexis Cowan, Casie Curry, Avital Dresin, Tristan Koepke, Charlotte Macko, Megan McDevitt, Tiffany Ospino, Gaya Shechter, Cailey Solano
Music Credits: Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare
Notes: Ordinary Festivals premiered at P.S.122 in New York City in 1995 and has been seen by over 25,000 people worldwide since then.
This performance will last approximately 90 minutes with a 10 minute intermission included.
Assistant Stage Manager: Yani Hill
First Hand: Amy Vander Staay
Costume Graduate Students: Clare Lillig, Connor Locke
Stitchers: Katie Rees, Robbi Duncan, Amelia Yasuda, Anabel Lee
THET 284 Students: Celia Richardson, Jade Hull, Nicole Panebianco, Mel Mader, Leilani Clendenin, Anabel Lee, Katy Cawley, Tien Tran, Ariella Cohn, Nicholas McQuain, Lisa Myerovich
Lead Electricians: Malory Hartman, Lauren Hawley, Christian Henrriquez, Zachary Rupp, Cassandra Saulski, Cameron Smith, Christina Smith, Erin Taylor
Student Electricians: Max Abramovitz, Taryn Carone, Alie Karambash, Ray Panzer, Jonah Pereyra, Liza Raney, Miguel Sarmiento, Dylan Speiser, Evan Thanicatt, Hanna Zakharenko
Projections Technicians: Sam Biuk, Deja Collins, Jerran Kowalski, Cassandra Saulski
Audio Technicians: Nick Cameron, Mike Houser, Neel Madan, Lindsay McElhinney
Prop Shop Artisan: Vanessa Spring-Frank
Prop Shop Graduate Students: Abigail Bueti, Mark Williams
Prop Shop Student Artisans: Adam Hawley, Melissa Mader, Atia Mohammad Gharibani
Carpenters: Dan Horstman, Devin Kohn, Mel Mader, Carl Ostrenga
Student Carpenters: Marcus Campbell, Hannah Damanka, Kailee Goldberg, Olivia Graham, Jillian Harvey, Cassidy Henning, Roxy King, Maggie Laszewski, Leah Packer, Olubunmi Shabi, Dylan Speiser, Emily Zhou
Scenic Change Artist: Andrea Ball
Scenic Painters: Kristin Brain, Bobbie Carter Dewhurst, James Raymond, Stephanie Warrington
Student Scenic Painters: Nicole Panebianco, Jalen Wilhite
Stage Crew Leads: Steven Bronocco, Alexis Hayes, Cole Owens
Show Crew
Dresser: Etta Goldstein
Light Board Operator: C. Jordan Darrow
Sound Board Operator: Evan Thanicatt
Projection Board Operator: Vicki Zhang
Run Crew: Rachel Timmerman
To see a list of full-time production staff, please visit and


Directors’ Note

Performance is a form of research, philosophy, expression and communion driven by questions about ourselves, the world and the stories and systems we find ourselves operating within. The TDPS performance season exists to support students in rigorous artistic practice and collaboration. This season, making art together is particularly relevant and urgent. As we shift from dancing solos in at-home spaces to vibrant group choreographies, the grief and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic is entangled with the joyful relief of being together once again. With this in mind, the Fall Dance Concert is an act of returning—returning with compassion and grit towards a deeper understanding of our shared humanity.
Weaving together movement, lighting, sound, costume and projection design, each dance is an invitation to lean in and to revel in the moments you find compelling, beautiful or curious. The choreography may not have a familiar storyline or directly translate an event into movement. Instead, a moment might resonate with you viscerally or personally—illuminated by the subtlest touch, a swell of action, a shift of light and color. Such moments channel empathy and connectedness into vitality. Please indulge in these moments, think about them, discuss them and return. Thank you for being here with us.
--Kendra Portier, director



Emily Adams (performer, Dream.Catch.Release and Ordinary Festivals) first-year government and politics and dance double major. Justice and Legal Thought Scholars Program. Training: Ballet Royale Institute of Maryland, San Pedro City Ballet, McDonogh School. Company member of Ballet Company M.
Anna Adhikari (performer, Goldfinch)
Christina Alemayehu (performer, Triple Helix and Ordinary Festivals) is from Prince George’s County, MD and is a senior studying communications and non-profit leadership. She has found ways to incorporate dance during her time at UMD. She trains with Zion Dance Project based in Dallas, TX.
Caroline Bailey (performer, Ordinary Festivals) first-year psychology and dance double major. She trained with Towson University Community Dance in the pre-collegiate program and has performed in works choreographed by Koresh Dance Company and Peter Pucci. She hopes you enjoy the performance!
Shekinah Brown (choreographer and performer, Anonymously Empty; performer, Triple Helix, Goldfinch and Ordinary Festivals)
Jasmine Caffee (performer, Dream.Catch.Release)
Debanshi Chowdhury (performer, Triple Helix and Ordinary Festivals) freshman currently pursuing a double major in dance and marketing. She is a Creative & Performing Arts (CAPA) scholar. Debanshi is trained in styles like Odissi, jazz, hip hop, Bollywood, musical theater and fusion.
Deja Collins (projection designer, Dream.Catch.Release and Goldfinch) M.F.A. candidate in projection and media design at the University of Maryland, College Park. She specializes in multimedia art, with a keen interest in film, photography, screen printing and 3D modeling. Recent work includes: The Revolutionists (media design assistant), After Hours (co-designer) and The Real James Bond Was Dominican (co-designer).
Alexis Cowan (performer, Ordinary Festivals) is an upperclassman transfer student in dance. She holds an associate’s degree from Prince George’s Community College. She earned her training from Prince George’s Community College and Joy of Motion Dance Center. She is trained in ballet, Horton technique, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary dance forms. Thank you for supporting the dance concert!
Gabbie Cramer (performer, Dream.Catch.Release)
Casie Curry (performer, Goldfinch, Triple Helix and Ordinary Festivals)
Amber Daniels (performer, Goldfinch) third-year M.F.A. candidate in dance at the University of Maryland of College Park. She has served as assistant coordinator of the 2020 Mid-Atlantic North American College Dance Association (ACDA) conference, a panelist for the Maryland Arts Council, and a guest instructor for the Maryland Thespian Festival.
Avital Dresin (performer, Ordinary Festivals) freshman dance major from Baltimore, MD. She is a Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) scholar and is in the Media, Self and Society Scholars Program. She trained at The Moving Company Dance Center, danced in The Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet and has passed three Royal Academy of Dance examinations.
Brit Falcon (performer, To Conquer Me Home and Triple Helix) grew up in Massachusetts and upstate New York. As a performer, she has had the pleasure of working with William Evans, Kista Tucker Dance, Inc., Steeledance, Renegade Performance Group and David Dorfman Dance. In 2013, she began making work under Falcon Dance and has been The Floor's winter/spring 2019 artist-in-residence, the Brockport Summer Dance 2018 guest artist and the Bates Dance Festival 2017 Emerging Choreographer. Brit has taught at the University of Hartford, Oregon University, Idaho State, Nazareth College, Brockport College, New York University, Bates College, Gibney Dance Center, Mark Morris Dance Center, Freeskewl and Performática. In addition to this, she is a NYS Licensed Massage Therapist and co-owner of Root Movement and Massage. Brit holds a B.F.A. in dance from The College at Brockport and is an M.F.A. candidate at the University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies.
Mary Kate Ford (performer, Coastal Paradox and Triple Helix; she/her) first-year M.F.A. candidate in dance and media design. She is from Louisville, Kentucky and holds a B.F.A. in dance from the University of Illinois. MK is a performer, creator and instructor of dance and yoga.
Luis Garcia (lighting designer, Coastal Paradox, Goldfinch, Triple Helix and To Conquer Me Home; he/him) is originally from Florida and is currently a first-year lighting and media graduate student. He received his B.A. in theatre arts from Stetson University. He has designed in spaces such as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theater and Athens Theater. Being a first-generation Peruvian-American and the first in his family to attend graduate school, he would like to thank his family and fiancée for supporting him on this journey.
Jaiden Hanley (performer, Dream.Catch.Release)
Heidi Henderson (costume consultant)
Christian Henrriquez (lighting designer, Anonymously Empty and Ordinary Festivals) is a first-year MFA lighting design candidate. This is his first design onstage at UMD. Christian was recently the assistant lighting designer for Hookman. A California native, he has worked extensively around the SoCal area and the Disneyland Resort.
Rebecca Hill (sound designer, Goldfinch)
Yani Hill (assistant stage manager)
Keith Johnson (choreographer, To Conquer Me Home) has danced for Ririe/Woodbury Dance Company, Creach/Koester, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Doug Varone and Dancers. In addition, he has performed with Bili Young/Colleen Thomas and Dancers, Nancy Bannon and Victoria Marks. Keith is the artistic director of Keith Johnson/Dancers and the Co -Director of Fistbomb Films with Gregory R R Crosby. He was named the Distinguished Alumni for 2012/13 from the Department of Modern Dance at the University of Utah. He has been awarded two Lester Horton Awards for Choreography, been a Djerassi Artist Resident, has taught at ADF, Doug Varone and Dancers Summer Intensives and Beijing International Dance Festival and has performed in major venues internationally. Keith is on faculty at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).
Maura Keefe (choreographer, Coastal Paradox)
Tristan Koepke (co-director, Triple Helix; performer, Goldfinch and Ordinary Festivals) third-year M.F.A. candidate in dance at the University of Maryland, College Park. Tristan is a dancer, educator, choreographer, and Rolfer®. He is currently the associate director of the Young Dancers Workshop at the Bates Dance Festival. For more information, see
Victoria Lanner (performer, Goldfinch) is a communication studies and public relations major. She is from Long Island, NY and is excited to perform in the 2021 Fall Dance Concert. Victoria is honored to be dancing alongside such amazing talent.
Paetyn Lewis (performer, Triple Helix)
Sam Lincoln (sound designer, Dream.Catch.Release)
Stephen Lyons II (performer, Dream.Catch.Release)
Charlotte Macko (performer, Triple Helix and Ordinary Festivals) first-year dance and environmental science and policy double major from Raleigh, NC. She trained at Graceful Expressions Dance Education, the American Dance Festival (PDI 2020 and SDI 2021) and Arts Together.
Alvin Mayes (choreographer, Dream.Catch.Release) has worked collaboratively with colleagues in dance, theatre and music throughout his tenure at UMD, including Scot Reese, Adriane Fang, Isiah Johnson and Sam Crawford. He has created more than 150 dance works for the University of Maryland. Some of these works were performed at V Festival de la Cultura de Origen Caribeño in Santiago de Cuba, at the Port Sisters City Festival in Nagoya, Japan, many festivals in the mid-Atlantic region of American College Dance Association and the Choreographers’ Showcase. In spring 2021, he received a grant from Greenbaum Charitable Foundation to create CHASING THE MOON/CROSSING JORDAN, a short dance film for dance alumnus Atlas Hill. Other Greenbaum Charitable Foundation grants have supported him to make LOS OJOS SOBRE MANABÍ for Compañía Ceibadanza in Manta, Ecuador, which was accepted in XI Festival Internacional “Fragmentos de Junio” 2013 in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Mikayla Mattheis (performer, Goldfinch)
Megan McDevitt (performer, Ordinary Festivals) senior dance and behavioral neuroscience double major. PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER Ordinary Festivals (2021, Dance Place), Project ChArma Dance Company (2019-2020). Cora and John H Davis Performing Arts Scholarship recipient (2021), Summer Scholars Research Grant Recipient (2020), George and Ruth Tretter Performing Arts Scholarship recipient (2019), Jody Gottfried Arnhold Foundation Fellow (2019). UMD Credits: Second Season choreographer and performer for Strangers (2021), Spring Dance Concert choreographer and solo performer for “The Floor and Four Corners” (2021), Spring Dance Concert Chuck Wilt's “Mural” (2021), Faculty Dance Concert Crystal Davis' “Holding Fast” (2018), Second Season Suze Creedon's “Fuse” (2019), UMoves Dance Concert Suze Creedon's “sit tight” (2019). Jimenez-Porter Writers' House poetry candidate (2019-2022).
Nneka Onyima (performer, Goldfinch) was named a Creative and Performing Arts Scholar in 2020 and is pursuing a dual degree in finance and dance at UMD. She is a nationally acclaimed step performer and a professional teaching artist for Step Afrika! and co-op organizations. With heavy influence from her Igbo culture, her work as a dancer, dancemaker, makeup artist and creative director is cross functional and investigative. She has enjoyed performing works by Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane set by Shayla-Vie Jenkins, and working with Ephrat Asherie, Archie Burnett, Nia Love, Ama Law, Ronya-Lee Anderson, Sarah Pearson and her fellow undergraduate students.
Kevin Romeo Ortiz-Arias (performer, Dream.Catch.Release) is an upperclassman in dance. They hold an associate’s degree from Montgomery College with an emphasis in dance performance. They would like to give thanks to Alvin Mayes, Romeo, Maritza and Joel-Armando for always pushing them towards excellence.
Tiffany Ospino (performer, Dream.Catch.Release and Ordinary Festivals) junior dance and communication double major. Vice President of DCX. Co-marketing executive for Phunktions Dance Company. Event coordinator for UMD CHAARG. Member of Pa’Lante Latin Dance Team. UMD Dance Credits: I Am Womb, Ordinary Festivals.
Javier Padilla (performer, To Conquer Me Home) first-year M.F.A. candidate in dance. Javi is a movement-based artist from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Javi has shown work through his company, The Movement Playground, and has performed with Summation Dance and Falcon Dance.
Emily Pan (lighting designer, Dream.Catch.Release; sound designer, Triple Helix)
Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig (choreographers, Ordinary Festivals) have been TDPS dance professors since 2009 and artistic directors of their internationally renowned PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER (PWDT) 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 US, Europe, Latin America, Asia and New Zealand. Financial support has included funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Performance Network, the Maryland State Arts Council, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Fund for US Artists at International Festivals, the MidAtlantic, Rockefeller, Altria, Harkness, Jerome, Joyce Mertz-Gilmore, Leon Lowenstein, O’Donnell-Green, Puffin and Swiss Center Foundations, the Asian Cultural Council, Arts International and the USIA/USIS. Recent projects include site-specific works at two UNESCO World Heritage sites. (
Kira Peck (composer, To Conquer Me Home)
Olivia Perkins (performer, Dream.Catch.Release)
Andrés Poch (co-director, Triple Helix)
Kendra Portier (concert director; choreographer, Goldfinch) is a choreographer, educator and performer. Originally from Ohio, Portier has performed in a variety of dance and physical theater productions around the world, from Janessa Clark’s digital project, COMMUNION, to a decade as a senior company member with David Dorfman Dance. Named the Maya Brin Professor in Dance, Portier joins TDPS faculty as an assistant professor. She is performing with Jasmine Hearn Collaborates and directs her project-based dance company, BAND, in their current projects: Pantone Duets and untitled vital glacier. More information can be found at
Madeline Redding (sound designer, Coastal Paradox)
Christina Robson (performer, Coastal Paradox and Goldfinch)
Olivia Shamy (performer, Goldfinch) senior government and politics and dance double major. Olivia was named a Creative and Performing Arts Scholar (CAPA) in 2021 and has performed in works choreographed by Alvin Mayes, Kendra Portier and Suze Creedon during her time at UMD.
Gaya Shechter (performer, Ordinary Festivals) second-year dance and business management double major and creative writing minor. Member of the Justice and Legal Thought Scholars program. UMD Dance credits: Mural.
Cailey Solano (performer, Ordinary Festivals) freshman dance and communication double major. Arts and Humanities Dean’s Freshman Scholarship recipient.
Rebecca Steinberg (performer, Coastal Paradox)
Allyson Sweiderk (stage manager)
Carlo Antonio Villanueva (co-director, Triple Helix) second-year M.F.A. candidate in dance. Visit
Jalen Wilhite (performer, Triple Helix)
Mark Williams (projections designer, Costal Paradox)
Gabrielle Woska (performer, Goldfinch) senior double major in hearing and speech sciences and dance. She is from Yorktown Heights, NY and has been dancing for almost 18 years. She plans to graduate in the spring and then pursue a master’s degree in speech language pathology. UMD credits: The Visit (dancer), Hana with Gabi by Tristan (dancer), Cruel Spiral (dancer).