Shimin (Choreographer, Waterwheel) has performed with The Martha
Graham Company in Primitive Mysteries and has toured throughout
the USA, Europe and the Mid East with the Jose Limon Company, Pearl Lang
Company, and as a soloist with Anna Sokolow’s Player’s Project,
Mary Anthony Dance Theater and Repertory West Dance Company. She has created
over 35 works for The Dance Division of The University of California,
Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Dance Alliance, Santa Barbara Dance Theater
and the VUS Company in Prague, The Czech Republic. Tonia has taught extensively
in the United States and in Mexico, Israel, France, Italy and The Czech
Republic. Since 1980 she has been on the faculty of the Department of
Dramatic Art/Dance at the University of California, Santa Barbara, currently
as Professor. Awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Choreography
Fellowship and an Individual Artist Award from The County of Santa Barbara
Arts Fund. Her dance film Passage won a Cine Gold Eagle Award.
Her most recent contribution to dance filmmaking, the video documentary,
Mary Anthony: A Life in Modern Dance, premiered at The Dance
on Camera Festival, Lincoln Center, New York in 2004 to a standing ovation.
It received a Certificate of Recognition for esthetic achievement and
contribution to the field of screendance from The American Dance Festival’s
Dancing for the Camera Video and Film festival has since been screened
nationally and internationally. Tonia received the 2005 Lifetime Achievement
Award from the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance and is currently working on
a new film with the acclaimed dancer Nancy Colahan.
Valerie Huston (Choreographer, Two Blues) began her training in the San Francisco Bay Area with Olga Ziceva, the Christensens of the San Francisco Ballet School, Robert and Carol Hanlin, and Alan Howard. She holds a BFA from the University of Utah. 1976-1985 she directed the Valerie Huston Dance Theatre, a ten-member professional contemporary ballet touring company based in Santa Barbara. She is the recipient of three National Endowment Fellowships in choreography. In 1983 Valerie joined the faculty at UCSB. She has also been a guest instructor at the University of Hawaii, the Fifth International Dance Festival in Hong Kong, and has served as an adjudicator for the Southeast Regional Ballet Festival. She was awarded an Independent Artist Award for Choreography in 1995 by the Arts Fund in Santa Barbara and in 1999 the Lifetime Achievement Award in Dance from Santa Barbara Dance Alliance. In addition to her position at UCSB, she teaches at the Santa Barbara Ballet Center and serves as an advisor to the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet Board of Directors.
The pas de deux, Two
Blues was created for Chelsea Retzloff and Victor Fung for the 2006
Summer Sessions dance concert. The work explores the relationship of two
individuals. They begin the dance involved in their own worlds and slowly
develop a playful awareness of each other. The work is set to the second
movement of Maurice Ravel’s Sonate pour violon et piano
- Blues, moderato.
Pilafian (Choreographer, BASK Quartet) has danced on stage, television
and in film with choreographers Alvin Ailey, Judith Jamison, Charles Moulton,
Louis Falco, Matthew Diamond and others. In New York, after attending
The Juilliard School, Mr. Pilafian became a founding member, principal
dancer and Associate Artistic Director of Jennifer Muller/The Works, touring
throughout Europe, The Middle East, North, Central and South America from
1974 to 1989. His over 40 choreographed works include commissions for
Princeton University, Dance Kaleidoscope, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Repertory-West
Dance Company, San Diego Dance Theater, Santa Barbara Dance Theatre and
American Repertory Dance Theater. He is co-creator with UCSB Professor
Catherine Cole, of Five Foot Feat, which was performed in New
York City and toured internationally. In 2003 he created The Pilafian
Project for San Diego Dance Theater and collaborated with composer
Joel Feigin and visual artist Lane Clark on Thin Skins for Santa
Barbara Dance Theatre. With colleague Nancy Colahan, Mr. Pilafian created
and performed Dream Dancing at the Glendale’s historic
Alex Theater for the American Repertory Dance Company. He also choreographed
the award-winning feature film Boy Culture, directed by Q. Allan
Brocka. He is currently in preparation for a production in Xian, China.
Mr. Pilafian has taught ongoing or master classes in New York, France,
Guatemala, Israel, Argentina, Canada, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
He joined the faculty of UC Santa Barbara in 1990.
Stephanie Nugent (Choreographer, Frame / ReFrame) is a choreographer, performer and educator with special interest in dance/theater and improvisational dance forms. An Associate Professor of Dance at the University of California Santa Barbara, she specializes in teaching modern dance techniques, improvisation, and contact improvisation. Ms. Nugent holds a BFA from the North Carolina School of the Arts and a MFA from California State University -Long Beach. She is Artistic Director of Nugent Dance and a performer with Keith Johnson / Dancers and choreographer/film maker Victoria Marks.
Nugent’s choreography, a unique blend of dance and theater, has been well received through out southern California, in North Carolina, Ohio, Washington, Kentucky, Minnesota, Italy and most recently in New York. As a collaborative artist she has worked with many west-coast dance artists, including Kim Epifano, Stefan Fabry, Carmela Hermann, Kristen Smiarowski and Shel Wagner Rasch; visual/media artists Erin Martinez and Catherine Siri Nugent; composers Eve Beglarian, duo Skin and Bones, and for twelve years, she has created and performed many new works with her husband, composer/violinist Robin Cox and the Robin Cox Ensemble.
In November 2006,
Nugent's work Frame / ReFrame was premiered at Dance New Amsterdam,
were the concerts were met with high praise and standing ovations. Other
recent projects include several performance of Nugent’s solo show
One in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and New York City and two
shared evenings with Choreographer Keith Johnson in SB and LA. One, presented
at DIAVOLO Performance Space in LA, garnered a special out-of-town review
in the Santa Barbara Independent titled Peerless Performance,
in which Elizabeth Schwyzer referred to Nugent as “a powerhouse
of a performer, a prolific dance-maker and an articulate communicator
of her chosen art form.”
Keith Johnson (Artistic Director Keith Johnson / Dancers) is originally from Tempe, Arizona. He was a competitive gymnast through college before he became interested in dance. He received his MFA in dance with an emphasis in choreography from the University of Utah in 1991 where he received the Dee R. Winterton Award for Excellence in Dance. While in Salt Lake City, Keith danced in the Ririe/Woodbury Dance Company working with such choreographers as Alwin Nikolais, Murray Louis, Shapiro and Smith, Kei Takei, and Douglas Nielsen. In New York City he joined the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, touring the widely acclaimed work Still/Here both nationally and internationally. He also danced in the companies of Creach/Koester and Doug Varone and Dancers. He has also done pick-up work dancing in the companies of Spencer/Colton in Boston and Janis Brenner in California. As part of Doug Varone and Dancers, Keith performed with The Denver Opera and in a site-specific work Neither, which took place in The Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City. As a performer he has performed in major festivals and concert halls worldwide including the Joyce Theatre, Tokyo International Festival, the Melbourne Festival, and Queen Elizabeth Hall in England.
In 1998, Keith formed Keith Johnson/Dancers. The company received favorable reviews from the Los Angeles Times. Since 1998, the company has performed in California, North Carolina, Utah, and Arizona. Keith continues to perform, most recently with Colleen Thomas at St. Mark's Church in New York. Keith is currently on the faculty at California State University in Long Beach. He is an Associate Professor who teaches both composition and contemporary dance techniques. He is an advisor to the MFA candidates and the BFA students. In addition, Keith has been a guest teacher at the following institutions: NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Summer Program, The Julliard School, Dartmouth College, LaSalle College of the Arts in Singapore, The Ririe/Woodbury Summer Dance Intensive, Doug Varone and Dancers Summer Workshop, University of California at Santa Barbara, Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, Virginia Commonwealth University, St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, University of South Florida, Ballet Pacifica Summer Intensive, Southern Methodist University in Texas, the University of Utah, and Velocity Dance Center in Seattle.
In 2005, Keith was
named “Most Valuable Professor” at CSULB. Keith received the
Choo San Goh Award in 2002 for emerging choreographers and has had support
from the Dance/USA Foundation. His work has been shown in various venues
including the University of Utah (with Stephen Koester), The LIT Series,
Joyce Soho (with Colleen Thomas), The Rose Wagner Theater in Salt Lake
City, and The Diavolo Space.
One of the most important American choreographers of the 1940s, Jane Dudley, who also made a significant contribution to contemporary British dance, died in 2001 at age 89. A leading dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company in New York from 1937 to 1944 - and later a guest artist - she was, in 1970, a founder of the London Contemporary Dance School.
Her roots were in
German expressionist dance, and her greatest artistic period was as part
of the Jane Dudley/ Sophie Naslow/William Bales Trio, launched in 1942.
Her unforgettable solo work Harmonica Breakdown (1938), inspired
by the music of blues harmonica player Sonny Terry, expressed a link between
the work of the great expressionist soloists - Mary Wigman, Hilde Holger
and Gertrud Bodenweiser - but within an American social framework. Other
work she choreographed in this period included The Lonely Ones
and Conte Flamenco, inspired by La Pasionaria, Dolores
Ibarruri Gómez, the communist Spanish civil war heroine. Dudley
also appeared in Celebration, Primitive Mysteries, American
Document and Letter To The World.