Current and Recent Guest Artists
2014 - 15
2014-15 Allesee Artist in Residence - Doug Varone (staged by company member Eddie Taketa)
Award-winning choreographer and director Doug Varone works in dance, theater, opera, film, television and fashion. He is a passionate educator and articulate advocate for dance. By any measure, his work is extraordinary for its emotional range, kinetic breadth and the many arenas in which he works. His New York City-based Doug Varone and Dancers has been commissioned and presented to critical acclaim by leading international venues for nearly three decades. In 2008, Varone’s Bottomland, set in the Mammoth Caves of Kentucky, was the subject of the PBS Dance in America: Wolf Trap’s Face of America.In the concert dance world, Varone has created a body of works globally. Comissions include the Limón Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Rambert Dance Company (London), Martha Graham Dance Company, Dancemakers (Canada), Batsheva Dance Company (Israel), Bern Ballet (Switzerland) and An Creative (Japan), among others. In addition, his dances have been staged on more than 75 college and university programs. Varone received his BFA from Purchase College where he was awarded the President's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007. He has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, an OBIE Award, two individual Bessie Awards, two American Dance Festival Doris Duke Awards for New York, and four National Dance Project Awards.
2013 - 14
2013-14 Allesee Artist in Residence - Dwight Rhoden (Founding Artistic Director/Resident Choreographer, Complexions Contemporary Ballet)
Dwight Rhoden has established a remarkably wide-ranging career, earning distinction from The New York Times as “one of the most sought out choreographers of the day.” A native of Dayton, Ohio who began dancing at age 17, Rhoden has performed with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Les Ballet Jazz De Montreal and as a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. As a performer, he has appeared in numerous television specials, documentaries and commercials throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and has been a featured performer on many PBS “Great Performances” specials. In 1994, Rhoden and legendary dancer Desmond Richardson founded Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Together they have brought their unique brand of contemporary dance to the world for nearly 2 decades. CCB is widely considered as “America’s Original Multicultural Dance Company”, and is celebrated for its pioneering spirit, and the building of a universal brand that continues to challenge traditional ideas, and redefine possibilities in the dance arena.
For nearly 2 decades, Rhoden’s choreography has been the lynchpin in the development of the Complexions repertory. Since 1994, Rhoden has created over 80 ballets for Complexions, as well as numerous other companies. Rhodens’ work has filled some of the most prestigious theaters across the globe including, The Joyce Theater (NYC), The Bolshoi Theater (Moscow), The Marinsky Theater (St Petersburg), Maison De La Danse (Lyon), The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Los Angeles), BAM (Brooklyn), Cairo Opera House (Egypt), The Arts Center (Melbourne Australia), The Auditorium Theater (Chicago), Tel Aviv Opera House (Israel), The ASB Theater (New Zealand), Holland Dance Festival, Grand Theatre De Geneva (Switzerland), Isle De Dance Festival (Paris), to name a few. CCB and Rhodens’ work has been presented on 5 continents and in over 20 countries - including the USA, Canada, South America, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, The Baltic Region, Egypt, Israel, and the Middle East. “Musicality, innovation, purpose, consistency, a brilliant use of stage space and the ability to tell a story -- all these qualities make him (Rhoden) one of today's elect choreographers The LA Times. Rhoden is a beneficiary recipient of various honors and awards including the New York Foundation for the Arts Award, The Choo San Goh Award for Choreography, and The Ailey School’s Apex Award in recognition of his extensive contributions to the field of dance.
To Sangana Guest Artist - Aminiyea Payne
Dance Company Guest Artist - Trudy Cobb
Dance Workshop Guest Artist - Kate Hutter
Kate Hutter is co-founder and Artistic Director of the L.A. Contemporary Dance Company (LACDC). Dance Spirit magazine described LACDC as a "vibrant, youthful repertory company under the creative leadership of rising star Kate Hutter." Kate is an alumnus of the Walnut Hill School and a graduate of the University of Southern California with a BFA in Theatrical Design. Kate also holds an MFA in Dance / Choreography from Purchase College, SUNY. Kate has won awards from the USC School of Theatre for Outstanding Choreography 2001-2004 as well as the Stanley Musgrove Award and the James and Nony Doolittle Award for her unique contributions in the theatre, and received the MFA award for excellence in her program at SUNY. Kate's work has also been nominated for two Lester Horton Awards for "Best Small Ensemble." Kate continues to create new works for the L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, choreograph for theater and commercial productions, and teach at the Brockus Project Space in downtown L.A.
2012 - 13
2012-13 Allesee Teaching Artist in Residence - Ralph Lemon. Lemon is Artistic Director of Cross Performance, a company dedicated to the creation of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary performance and presentation. Lemon builds teams of collaborating artists - from diverse cultural backgrounds, countries and artistic disciplines - who bring their own history and aesthetic voices to the work. Projects develop over a period of years, with public sharings of work-in-progress, culminating in artworks derived from the artistic, cultural, historic and emotional material uncovered in this rigorous creative research process. Lemon's visual art has been presented in New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, and other places throught the country. He was the recipient of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Artist Award (2012) and was one of fifty artists to receive the inaugural United States Artists Fellowship in 2006. He has received two "Bessie" (NY Dance and Performance) Awards, 2009 and 2004 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2004 Fellowship with the Bellagio Study and Conference Center. In 1999, Lemon was honored with the CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts. He has been artist-in-residence at Temple University in Philadelphia (2005-06); George A. Miller Endowment Visiting Artist at the Krannert Center (2004); and a Fellow of the Humanities Council and Program in Theater and Dance at Princeton University (2002). From 1996-2000, Lemon was Associate Artist at Yale Repertory Theatre. In 2009, he was an IDA fellow at Stanford University and in 2011 he was a Visiting Critic with the Yale University, School of Art, Sculpture Department.
Lemon's most recent work, How Can You Stay In The House All Day And Not Go Anywhere? (2008-2010) was a four-part project consisting of live performance, film, visual art and an accopanying mixed-media exhibition of works created by Lemon and longtime collaborator/muse Walker Carter. Other recent projects include Paradance, a series of performed lectures, which Lemon presented at universities and art centers throughout 2011; an online installation (www.ralphlemon.net); and Rescuing the Princess, a 2009 performance commission for the Lyon Opera Ballet. Lemon curated An All Day Event, The End (2012), a marathon performance installation, and presented I Get Lost (2010), a performance and humanities series, both for Danspace Project in New York, NY. In 2005 Lemon concluded The Geography Trilogy - a ten-year project encompassing three full-evening dance/theater works - Geography (1997), Tree (2000), and Come home Charley Patton (2004); two online art projects; three books - geography: art/race/exile, Tree: Belief/Culture/Balance and Come home Charley Patton; several gallery installations featuring video, drawings and photographs; and a three-DVD set with an essay written by project dramaturg, Katherine Profeta.
2012-13 Allesee Artist in Residence - Wanjiru Kamuyu. Kamuyu’s career spans over a decade. Choreography credits, inclusive of community engagement projects, theater and concert dance, has toured the US (NYC and Philadelphia) and Europe. Performance credits: New York based companies Urban Bush Women, Molissa Fenley and Dancers, Nathan Trice/RITUALS, Dean Moss/Gametophyte and Philadelphia based choreographer Tania Isaac. As an original cast member Kamuyu has performed in Tony Award winning Broadway musicals - Director Julie Taymor's The Lion King (Paris, France) and Director and Choreographer Bill T. Jones' FELA! (London, European and First US National Tours). In 2009 Kamuyu founded her project based dance company, WKcollective (www.wkcollective.com) and jewelry line, Urembo Designs (urembodesigns.com).
Fall 2012 Dance Workshop Guest Artist - Ron Todorowski. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Todorowski has had a diverse career in concert, musical theater & commercial dance. He has been a member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, The Parsons Dance Company, Mia Michaels Dance Company "RAW" and guested for many others. He's been in 6 Broadway shows, 3 under the Direction/Choreography of Twyla Tharp. Broadway credits include Come Fly Away, Wicked, Guys and Dolls, The Times They Are A- Changin’, Movin’ Out and Footloose. Ron starred in London's West End production of Movin' Out as well as the First National tour where he received a Helen Hayes Award for Best Actor in a musical. Off Broadway and other theater credits include The Wild Party, Chess for the Actor's Fund with Josh Groban, Copacabana, Spirit and Cinderella. As a commercial dancer he's been on SNL, The Today Show, The View, 2 appearances on the Tony Awards and The VMA's with choreography by Wade Robson for the artist Ne-Yo. Ron was recently the lead dancer in a music video for Brett Pemberton called, "Don't Wake Me Up" and a dance double in a featured short drama called, "Now" under the direction of Lydia Galeno. He was Assistant Choreographer for a production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at the Lyric Theater in Oklahoma City as well as Celine Dion’s, "A New Day" in Las Vegas.
Fall 2012 To Sangana Guest Artist - Papa Hanne. Papa Hanne is a master instructor of Sabar dance, drum, and Senegalese history. He has performed with Wyclef Jean, Youssou N’Dour, and Maimouna, and he has traveled and taught extensively throughout the U.S. Mr. Hanne is a master teacher, fluent in English, French, and Wolof, and he continues to bridge the gaps across many diverse groups and cultures through the power and beauty of rhythms and movement.
Fall 2012 Dance Company Guest Artist - Nycole Ray. A Detroit native, graduated from The California Institute of the Arts with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance. Mrs. Ray has performed with the Bruce Wood Dance Project, Walt Disney World Entertainment, Christopher and Friends directed by Christopher L. Huggins, the Lula Washington Dance Theater and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II. She has worked with noted choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Dianne McIntyre, Christopher L. Huggins, Alonzo King, Donald Byrd and Camille A. Brown. She is the Artistic Director of DBDT II and the Director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre's Summer Intensive program.
2011 - 12
Winter 2012 Allesee Arist in Residence - Nathan Trice. Trice is a native from Detroit and the artistic director and founder of Nathan Trice/ Rituals Project-by-Project Dance Theatre, based in New York City. Trice began his training at Mesa College in San Deigo, California. He was also accepted into the Alvin Ailey Certificate program soon after he finished his Naval service. Trice has worked and performed with Momix, Complexions, Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre, Kevin Iega Jeff and many more, while continuing to freelance with an array of artists nationally and internationally.
Fall 2011 Allesee Artist in Residence - Julie Bour. Bour is artistic director of Compagnie Julie Bour, an international, multi-cultural entity, relying strongly on the networks, experience and bridges provided by The Flying Mammoth, founded by Bour and Loic Noisette in 2006 as a bridge between the different arts, cultures and countries they have encountered over the course of their careers. The combination of energies, cultures and identities within and around the Compagnie Julie Bour translate into a unique array of collaborations and interactions – and a unique voice. Motivated and inspired by her accumulated experience as a performer, teacher and assistant director around the world, Bour began her own choreographic work in 2006. Since then, she has created original works presented at New York City’s Dance New Amsterdam Theater, City Center’s Studio, Steps on Broadway, Florence Gould Theater, LaGuardia Performance Arts Theater, New York University’s Skirball Theater, Ambient Art Projects Gallery in Las Vegas and in the festival Cadences in Arcachon, France, where she was appointed "fil rouge" of the festival.
As a dancer, after graduating from the Conservatoire National de Paris, Bour’s career brought her to work with a variety of renowned choreographers around the world including Angelin Preljocaj, Inbal Pinto and Cave Canem Company. As assistant to the French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, Bour restaged his repertory in New York City and Bordeaux, France. She also had the pleasure to work with the director Julie Taymor on the Opera Grendel. She received a Bessie Award for “Best Performer of the Year” in New York City. Bour will be collaborating with world-renowned videographer, Gilles Papain.
Fall 2011 Dance Company Guest - Scott Bartell. Scott Bartell, an alumnus of Renaissance High School and Wayne State University in Detroit and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, is the current Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of Jeffrey & The Artists, a new contemporary dance company in Detroit. Bartell is a former dancer with Spectrum Dance Theater under the direction of Donald Byrd. He also performed with Philadanco II and Smoke, Lilies, and Jade (Zane Booker). His training includes ABT Detroit Summer Intensive, and Jacob's Pillow Contemporary Traditions Program (Milton Myers), and he received the 2008 Excellence in Dance Award while at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Under Bartell's direction, Jeffrey & The Artists is a collaborative of Artists of vast disciplines that create high caliber and thought provoking works relevant to current local, national and or global social themes. The company consists of highly technically skilled dancers and artists and will work with other artists on the local, national, and international level. It will also present dance works that embark upon a journey to connect and engage with community through dance. The training of style and movement vocabulary will be derived from Scott Bartell.
2010 - 11
Winter 2010 Allesee Artist in Residence - Larry Keigwin. Larry Keigwin is artistic director of KEIGWIN + COMPANY, founded in 2003 to create and share provocative, witty and engaging dances. Combining physicality with theatricality, K+C’s electrifying brand of contemporary dance samples a variety of mediums and fuses art with entertainment. K+C has performed at The Kennedy Center, The Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, American Dance Festival and more. Keigwin has created 16 dances, including the large-scale choreographic event Bolero and recent acclaimed works such as Runaway (2008), the site-specificSidewalk (2009) and Bird Watching (2010). Now a centerpiece of K+C’s outreach work, Bolero incorporates a cast of community members and dancers into a tableau of a specific demographic or geographical region. Based on the success of Bolero ADF (2007) and Bolero NYC(2007/2009), K+C has developed Bolero Colorado, Bolero Santa Barbara, Bolero Suburbia and most recently, Bolero Akron.
In addition to his work with K+C, recent commissions include Works & Process at the Guggenheim, The Juilliard School, The New York City Ballet's Choreographic Institute and The Martha Graham Dance Company, among many others. This past summer, Keigwin was named the Vail International Dance Festival’s first artist in residence, during which time he created and premiered a new work with four of ballet’s most prominent stars. He most recently staged the opening event of Fashion Week: “Fashion’s Night Out: The Show,” which was produced by Vogue and featured over 150 of the industry’s top models strutting in formation around the fountain and plaza at Lincoln Center.
In 2004, Dance Magazine named Keigwin in their annual list of “25 To Watch.” Keigwin’s other choreographic credits include work with the pop band Fischerspooner, comedian Murray Hill, and as an associate choreographer for both The Radio City Rockettes and the Off-Broadway musical The Wild Party. Keigwin has also created Keigwin Kabaret, a fusion of modern dance, vaudeville, and burlesque presented by the Public Theater at Joe's Pub and by Symphony Space. He is a co-founder of the Green Box Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, a multi-disciplinary festival designed to increase cultural opportunities in the region, as well as provide creative residencies to young, emerging choreographers.
Fall 2010 Allesee Artist in Residence - Ray Mercer. Omaha Nebraska native, Ray Mercer is presently in the Broadway cast of The Lion King. He began his dance training at the University of New Orleans. He furthered his studies with Deeply Rooted Theater (Chicago, IL) and at The Alvin Ailey American Dance School and Broadway Dance Center (New York City). Ray was a company member of The Detroit City Dance Company, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater and was a guest artist with Boston Ballet and Joel Hall Dancers.
He has taught extensively for schools and community outreach programs including the Alvin Ailey Summer Camp Program, the Joffrey Ballet Educational Program, and the National High School Dance Exchange.
Ray won top honors for best presentation for his choreography representing the Lion King in the BC/EFA’s17th Annual Gypsy of the Year Competition in 2005. His work also earned The Michigan Dance Council Award and Chicago’s Black Theater Alliance Award. Ray has served as resident choreographer for the All-City Dance Companies in Detroit and Chicago. His choreography has been commissioned by Dallas Black Dance Theater, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, and DRA:Dancers Responding to Aids/New York and has been featured in the New York Times, the Chicago Sun Times, and Movmnt Magazine. Ray has worked with Aretha Franklin, Rod Stewart, Stephanie Mills, Kevin “Iega” Jeff, George Faison and Louis Johnson.
Fall 2010 Dance CompanyOne Guest Artist - Christopher Huggins. As a dancer, teacher, and choreographer Christopher Huggins works in Europe, Japan, and throughout the United States. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Huggins trained under Andrea Herbert Major, Danny Sloan, and Martha Gray. He attended the State University of New York at Purchase, The Juilliard School, and was a fellowship student at The Ailey School. Huggins appeared as a guest artist for several dance companies in the United States and abroad. He was a featured performer for the Essence Awards, Broadway's A Few Good Men, and Debbie Allen's production Soul Possessed. Huggins is a 2002 recipient of the Ira Aldridge Award for Best Choreography from the Black Theatre Alliance in Chicago for Enemy Behind the Gates, and worked on several projects for Disney in Orlando, Florida.
Crucial to a young dancer's development, training and educational experience is extensive exposure to dance artists of national and global repute. Each year the Allesee Artist in Residence program provides dance students with intense periods of study with nationally and internationally renowned choreographers and master teachers. Students gain new insights into the professional world of dance through classes. workshops, rehearsals, and repertory choreographed by some of today's most prominent dance artists. Each March, the Dance Department's Annual Spring Dance Concert showcases a WSU premiere by the Allesee Artist in Residence, as well as the repertory of former guest artists.
Previous Artists in Residence include Melissa Allen Bowman. Seán Curran, the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Z'eva Cohen, Jim Coleman and Terese Freedman, Doug Elkins, Garth Fagan (Tony Award-winner for Lion King), Joshua Hilberman, Raymond Robinson, Alvin Mayes, Ronnie Marshall, Gloria Newman, Meggie Patton, Claire Porter, Art Bridgman & Myrna Packer, Ann Weaver Warren, Erica Wilson-Perkins (founder of CounterGroove Dance Company), Leni Wylliams, Urban Bush Women. Erica Wilson-Perkins, Twyla Tharp under the direction of Meg Paul, Ben Munisteri, Jan Van Dyke, Penny Godboldo, Ray Mercer, Nicholas Leichter, Janis Brenner, and Sonya Tayeh (So You Think You Can Dance).