There is SO much happening in our studios this February- check it out!
See who is leading class and when, and make plans to join as often as you can.
Foundations in Contemporary DANCE
Tuesdays, 6 to 7:30pm
…w/ Juliana Ponguta: February 7, 14, 21
Contemporary dancer, teacher and dance movement therapist, Juliana Ponguta Forero was born in Colombia and currently lives in the Washington DC area where she is a member of the Nancy Havlik Dance Group. Trained in classic, modern and contemporary dance in Mexico, Peru and Argentina, she started dancing Colombian folk dances and tango in her youth: since then, she has been wondering about movement, creativity and expressivity. More recent work has led her into a variety of techniques such as Yoga, Judo, Contact Improvisation and Dance Movement Therapy among others.
She has performed for the Contemporary Dance Company of the National University of Arts of Argentina (UNA), and the Contemporary Dance Company of the Universidad de San Martin (UNSAM) Argentina. She also collaborated on independent projects with choreographers Gabriel Contreras, Elia Mrak, Pablo Rotemberg, Gustavo Lesgart (Argentina) Jhonatan González (Colombia) and Nancy Havlik (USA). In 2014 she founded the art collective “La Montón” with Samanta Leder, Lucía García Pulles and Delﬁna Thiel. She has guided contemporary dance classes, improvisation, and movement research workshops in Argentina, Perú, Colombia and Brazil. She deeply enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences, hoping to bring new and rich experiences for all. At present she is researching the relationship between body and instinct, body intelligence and the difference between creativity and imagination in trying to develop body language.
…w/ Assane Konte: February 28
Assane Konte, a national of Senegal, West Africa, is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director, Choreographer, and Costume Designer for KanKouran West African Dance Company. Mr. Konte began his dance training at age 12, and studied with many prominent traditional dancers and musicians throughout West Africa. These teachers/mentors from Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and Senegal, were key to his development as a multi talented artist. His career as a professional dancer began at age 15 with the “Ballet Africaine de Diebel Guee” of Dakar, Senegal. During his ten years with the company, he electrified audiences with his performances, while simultaneously developing his own movement style. In 1978, following a tour in Cote d’Ivoire where he worked and performed as a guest consultant for a locally based dance company, Mr. Konte came to the United States to pursue a career as an independent performer and worked with numerous organizations as a musical arranger and choreographer.
Mr. Konte soon realized that he needed to develop his own dance company in order to accomplish his ultimate goal of introducing traditional African dance and drumming to wider audiences in the U.S. Thus, in 1983, along with his childhood friend, Abdou Kounta, a master drummer also from Senegal, Mr. Konte founded the KanKouran West African Dance Company. Mr. Konte assumed the responsibilities of Artistic Director of the company. Since that time, his lifelong dedication to preserving and sharing Africa’s rich culture through dance and music has made him a goodwill ambassador, promoting cross-cultural appreciation and understanding in the many performance venues in which he and the company appear. His choreography and costume designing have enhanced not only KanKouran’s stage professionalism, but countless other local and national dance companies as well. Although Mr. Konte choreographs primarily for his own company, his ingenious creativity and spirit is always in demand at home and abroad. Consequently, he conducts programs in Poland, Hawaii, Japan, and St. Croix. Mr. Konte has held faculty positions in the dance departments of several prestigious universities in the Washington, D.C. area, including American University and George Mason University, and presently serves on the faculty at Howard University. Mr. Konte’s knowledge and experience of African dance as a universal language has allowed him to reach out to other artistic traditions. As a result, KanKouran has performed with symphony orchestras, chorales, church-based dance groups, tap-dance companies, ballet companies, theatrical productions and other drum and dance companies from around the world.
Fridays, 9 to 11:15am
….w/ Sam Horning: February 3
Sam Horning is a dancer, educator, and dance maker currently based in Washington, DC. At Dance Exchange, Sam is the Facilities Manager and Programming Coordinator, and steps into Dance Exchange projects as an adjunct artist. As an artist, his choreographic mind has been heavily influenced by the quotidian and poetic spectrums of dance. He values everyday experiences and archival knowledge, mining both for the inspiration, materials, and compositional structures that become the textures of his dancing. Sam relies on efficiency and chance encounters as a means of movement invention. His work is produced from detailed improvisation techniques and is rooted by the information the body can receive from the floor. Read more about Sam here.
…w/ Stephen Clapp: February 10
Stephen Clapp, M.F.A. is a choreographer, composer, performer, arts educator, writer and cultural activist. He is Co-Artistic Director of Dance Box Theater (with Laura Schandelmeier) and serves as the Executive Director for Dance Metro DC. Clapp and Schandelmeier have co-created and performed in eight original full-evening dance theater works, toured regionally and internationally, and received commissions from the Creative Communities Fund of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Clapp is a dedicated advocate for dance. Through his work with Dance Metro DC, he develops and implements programs that aim to help artist and professionals in dance to strengthen existing networks and build partnerships that contribute to a diverse and prolific cultural landscape. He is a certified Arts Integration Specialist and facilitates movement-based cultural equity trainings and educational workshops for young people and adults. Clapp has received multiple awards from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Prince George’s County Arts and Humanities Council for Individual Artistry. He has performed and toured with the ClancyWorks Dance Company, CatScratch Theater, Kinding Sindaw and was a founding member of the Boston-based ensemble, The Other Theatre. For more information, please visit danceboxtheater.org and dancemetrodc.org.
…w/ Sylvana Christopher + live music w/ John Lee: February 17
Sylvana Christopher is a DC native, dance choreographer/performer/teacher. She co-founded Glade Dance Collective in 2009 whose mission it is to move, create and engage. A Buckeye, Christopher studied the art of performance and choreography with Dorfman, Miller, Stanton and created modern works sampling from Afro-Cuban and Breakdance. As a professional dancer she has performed original works by Glade, Angelov, Bass, Bosma, BowenMcCauley, Havlik, King, Mason, Rebollar, Rincones, Saint Amour, Wilkins, and Word. Christopher teaches at Joy of Motion Dance Center, Sitar Arts Center and Howard Community College. John Lee and Sylvana are collaborating on an show that highlights both artists strong suits and together they are raising their son Jasper who enjoys community class at Dance Exchange.
…w/ Joy Davis + live music w/ David Schulman: February 24
Joy Davis is a dance artist, educator, and scholar. She received an MFA in Choreography and Performance from Smith College and a BA in Performing Arts through the College Scholars Program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Joy began training in the Countertechnique with founder Anouk van Dijk in 2005 and completed the CTTT (teacher’s certification) as one four American instructors in 2012. She teaches Countertechnique workshops at Gibney Dance (NYC), BodyVox (Portland), New Dialect (TN), Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation, Fact/SF and Mocean Dance (Halifax, NS) amongst many others. Joy is honored to have taught as Visiting faculty at Smith College, Wesleyan University and Harvard University; and is on the advisory board to co-curate performance, discussions, and training programming with Jen Polins’ School for Contemporary Dance and Thought (SCDT) in Northampton, MA. Under the moniker joy davis project, Joy produces collaborative and location-based dance performance since 2006. She was a Chicago Dancemakers Forum (CDF) Greenhouse Artist, received a choreographic residency at the Workspace for Choreographers in Virginia, and has premiered work in Northampton, Boston, Chicago, Nashville, Knoxville, Seattle, Philadelphia, and San Diego. She is currently creating a new works for New Dialect in Nashville and at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona. She recently joined Mountain Empire Performance Collective with dance artists and scholars Katie Sopoci Drake, Eliza Larson, and Rachel Rugh; and begins a new project with Sarah Gamblin and Matthew Cumbie in 2017. She currently lives in Boston and is on Dance Division faculty at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Takoma Park MOVES
Saturdays, 10 to 11:30am
…w/ Cassie Meador: February 4
Cassie Meador is a choreographer, performer, educator, writer and Executive Artistic Director of the Dance Exchange. Her works have tackled numerous social and environmental issues such as How To Lose a Mountain, which reflects on a 500-mile walk Meador took from Washington, DC to a mountaintop removal mining site in West Virginia to trace the impacts of the energy that fuel her home. Meador’s Moving Field Guides, an interactive outdoor experience led by artists, naturalists and regional experts in ecology, is being implemented nationwide in partnership with the USDA Forest Service. She recently led two multi-year projects: “New Hampshire Ave: This is a Place To…” a creative placemaking project funded by NEA and ArtPlace America in Dance Exchange’s home community of Takoma Park, MD; and Bricks and Bones: A performance series in response to the erasure of black lives and communities in Dallas, TX and the movements to recover, rebuild and honor those lost histories. This project, supported by the Embrey Family Foundation, Ignite|ArtsDallas and SMU, and Dallas Faces Race, is co-directed by Meador and Paloma McGregor of Angela’s Pulse. Read more about Cassie here.
…w/ Elizabeth Johnson: February 11 & 18
Elizabeth is a choreographer, dancer, and educator with a focus in socially engaged dance practices. Elizabeth connects communities through choreography, creating dance that promotes civic dialogue, and designing participatory experiences that apply artistic practices in multiple contexts. She has a particular interest in working with youth and elders, developing embodied structures for science learning, and promoting leadership development through the arts. Elizabeth holds a BA in Dance with a minor in Theater from Connecticut College and a MFA from Arizona State University. She has studied at London Contemporary Dance School, taught and performed internationally, and was the Associate Artistic Director of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in metro DC for over a decade. For the past five years she worked at Arizona State University as the Coordinator of Socially Engaged Practice, collaborating with an interdisciplinary team to create new curricula focused on training artists to work in, and engage with, diverse communities. She is currently in Chicago and working with Columbia College Chicago while doing projects with Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Holy Cross University, Hubbard Street Dance, and Mesa Arts Center. She is currently and Associate Artist and Director of Partnerships with Dance Exchange.
…w/ Matthew Cumbie: February 25
Matthew Cumbie is a dancemaker, educator, and collaborator based in Washington, DC, and is the Associate Artistic Director of Dance Exchange. His work explores his interests in activism and improvisation, bringing a poetic lens to a specifically queer experience. He has been commissioned to create and share performances at places like Harvard University, Texas State University, Dance Place, Triskelion Arts, and AS220, and his interest in collaborative processes has led him to work with a wide range of artists, including Liz Lerman, Keith Thompson, Sarah Gamblin, jhon stronks, Paloma McGregor, Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser, Betsy Miller, and Annie Kloppenberg, among others. Matthew began working with Dance Exchange in 2011, shortly after receiving an MFA in dance from Texas Woman’s University. He currently lives with his lovable dog Lucas and visits Providence often to see his partner and collaborator, Tyler. Read more about Matthew here.