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August 14th – Eva Yaa Asantewaa
Eva Yaa Asantewaa (pronouns: she/her) is Gibney’s Senior Director of Artist Development and Curation as well as Editorial Director for Imagining: A Gibney Journal. She won the 2017 Bessie Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance as a veteran writer, curator and community educator. Since 1976, she has contributed writing on dance to Dance Magazine, The Village Voice, SoHo Weekly News, Gay City News, The Dance Enthusiast, Time Out New York and other publications and interviewed dance artists and advocates as host of two podcasts, Body and Soul and Serious Moonlight. She blogs on the arts, with dance as a specialty, for InfiniteBody.
Ms. Yaa Asantewaa joined the curatorial team for Danspace Project’s Platform 2016: Lost and Found and created the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds, an evening of group improvisation featuring 21 Black women and gender-nonconforming performers. Her cast was awarded a 2017 Bessie for Outstanding Performer. In 2018, Queer|Art named one of its awards in her honor, and Detroit-based choreographer Jennifer Harge won the first Eva Yaa Asantewaa Grant for Queer Women(+) Dance Artists. In 2019, Yaa Asantewaa was a recipient of a BAX Arts & Artists in Progress Award.
A native New Yorker of Black Caribbean heritage, Eva makes her home in the East Village with her wife, Deborah, and cat, Crystal.
July 31st – Clarence Brooks
CLARENCE BROOKS has toured throughout the USA, Europe, and Asia with Nikolais & Murray Louis, Bill Evans, Marcus Schulkind, Loyce Houlton, Laura Dean, Robin Becker, Deborah Carr, Ohio Ballet, and Anna Sokolow to name just a few and can be seen in the video documentary “The World of Alwin Nikolais.” A published author, his essay “Dancing with the Issues” was published in One Teacher in 10: LGBT Educators Share Their Stories (Alyson Books). He directs the Repertory Dance Theatre Ensemble which has performed in festivals from Miami to Boston and, last year, the Library of Congress recorded his performance of Talley Beatty’s “Mourner’s Bench” (1947) for the national archive. He continues performing with his own company and freelancing with Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, Bill Evans, and David Parker & The Bang Group. Brooks holds advisory positions with the Florida Dance Education Organization and the FAU Women, Gender and Sexualities Studies and sits on the boards of the Florida Black Dance Artists Organization and Compass, Palm Beach County’s LGBT community services center. An Associate Professor and Director of Dance at Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton), he holds an MFA, is a Certified Laban Movement Analysis, and is certified to teach the Evans Method of Teaching Dance Technique. Awards and honors include induction into the OCU Performance Hall of Honor, two Associate Artist-in-Residences at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Japan Foundation Fellowship, and recipient of both the Clyde Fyfe and the Randolph A. Frank Prize for the Performing Arts Awards.
July 17th – Ronald K. Alexander
RONALD K. ALEXANDER is an arts consultant, administrator, educator, choreographer, activist, and an advocate for the arts. He has performed with the following international and national ballet companies: The National Ballet of Canada, the Frankfurt Ballet, the Hamburg Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in NYC.
Mr. Alexander received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Choreography from New York University, the Tisch School of the Arts in New York City. He has taught and choreographed for numerous schools and university dance programs, including Clark Center for the Performing Arts, the Ailey School, the Dance Theatre of Harlem School, Peridance, the Joffrey School NY, New York Theater Ballet School, Ballet Hispanico School, Boys and Girls Harbor Conservatory, Adelphi and Marymount University Dance Departments, and LaGuardia Community College, among others.
From 1994-2002, Mr. Alexander was a certified dance instructor with the New York City Department of Education and has held artistic/administrative positions in the following: Director of Dance, the Harlem School of the Arts, NY, NY, Principal, High School for Contemporary Arts, Bronx, NY, School Administrator, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, NY, NY, and Principal, Nutmeg Conservatory, Torrington, CT.
He has been the subject of “Five Teachers, Five Venues,” a 2011 article in Dance Teacher Magazine.
He was the former Director of Education at RestorationArt, the Youth Arts Academy in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY. and is currently on the faculties of the following: The Black Arts Institute, RestorationART, the Billie Holiday Theatre, Brooklyn, NY, the Stella Adler School of Acting, and the Ailey School, NY, NY.
He currently serves on the following boards and committees: New York City Arts in Education Roundtable, the School of Peridance Center, and the New York Dance and Performance Awards, the Bessies.
July 3rd – Anne Harris
ANNE HARRIS is an American-Australian playwright, dramaturg, videographer, performance poet and academic based in Melbourne. Her play HEAVIER THAN AIR (co-devised with Stacy Holman Jones) was produced at FEAST Festival (2016) and Edinburgh Workers Theatre (2017). Her film Neir Chi Puj (Educated Girls) premiered at Refugee Week Short Film Festival 2008. Her play HEAT was shortlisted for the Patrick White Playwriting Award in 2006. Other theatre credits include: SURVIVING JONAH SALT (JUTE Theatre, Knock Em Down Theatre, 2004, published by Playlabs Press); one-woman show DUST (Red Dust Theatre for Alice Springs Festival and Darwin Theatre Company, 2003); TRAIN DANCING (composer, musical director), produced by Red Dust Theatre for Adelaide Festival 2002. Anne has worked as dramaturg, script assessor, and workshop leader for Playworks, the Australian National Playwrights’ Centre and in the US at NY Theatre Workshop, New Dramatists and the Young Playwrights’ Festival. She holds an MFA in Playwriting/Screenwriting from New York University. She is a Principal Research Fellow at RMIT University, where she directs the Creative Agency research lab, an interdisciplinary network of artists and researchers.
June 19th – Anabella Lenzu
Originally from Argentina, ANABELLA LENZU is a dancer, choreographer, writer and teacher with over 25 years experience working in Argentina, Chile, Italy, London and the USA. Lenzu directs her own company, Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama (ALDD), which since 2006 has presented 380 performances, created 14 choreographic works and performed at 100 venues, presenting thought provoking and historically conscious dance-theater in NYC. ALDD’s work has been seen at La Mama, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Movement Research at Judson Church, 92nd Street Y, HERE Arts Center, Abrons Arts Center, DUO Multicultural Arts Center, Queens Museum, Bronx Museum, Gibney Dance, Center for Performance Research, Roulette, Chashama, Dixon Place, Sheen Center, The Consulate of Argentina in NYC, NYU/Casa Zerilli Marimo, University Settlement, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Instituto Cervantes, 3LD Center for Art & Technology, Kumble Theater/Long Island University, among many others. She has received grants from Brooklyn Arts Council, Puffin Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Edwards Foundation, The Vermont Community Foundation, and the Independent Community Foundation.Her choreography has been commissioned all over the world for opera, TV programs, theatre productions, and by many dance companies.Currently, Lenzu conducts classes at Peridance Capezio Center and NYU Gallatin, and is Artist-in-Residence at CUNY Dance Initiative, 2019-2020.
June 5th – Andra Corvino & Ernesta Corvino
ANDRA CORVINO has taught ballet at Sarah Lawrence College and Steps in New York, Montclair State College in New Jersey, Randolph-Macon Womans College in Virginia, York University in Toronto, Canada and Mills College and Dancespace in Oakland, California. She co-directed the Dance Circle in New York City with her father Alfredo and sister Ernesta from 1968 to 1993.Her performing credits include the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company under the direction of Dame Alicia Markova, the Baltimore City Ballet (later to become the Maryland Ballet) and many guest appearances with ballet companies throughout the United States, Canada and the Far East. She also appeared with the companies of Roberto Cartagena, Ruby Shang and Matteo. More recently, she has at danced the Kennedy Center and the Carmel Bach Festival with the New York Baroque Dance Company. Ms. Corvino has staged productions ranging from concert pieces to full-length ballets for companies and universities around the world. In addition to her experience in dance, Ms. Corvino has had dramatic roles on television as well as off-Broadway and musical theater. She is a charter member of Ernesta Corvino’s Dance Circle Company, with whom she still performs. She has taught open classes at the Lawrence A. Wien Center for Dance and Theatre in New York City and has been a guest teacher for the José Limón Dance Company. She served on the faculty of The Juilliard School from 1995 to 2014 and directed the Juilliard Summer Dance Intensive from 1998 to 2005. In 2008 she served as a guest teacher in Melbourne, Australia. At present, Ms. Corvino is teaching and coaching privately around the world. She is available for master classes and workshops.
ERNESTA CORVINO studied ballet with Margaret Craske, Antony Tudor, Alfredo Corvino and Andra Corvino. At the age of 14 she joined the Maryland Ballet as soloist then went on to dance with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and Radio City Music Hall Ballet Company. She toured the U.S. with the American Chamber Ballet and went to Asia with the Opera Theatre of New York. She has also performed with Ruby Shang, Bill Badolato, Roberto Cartagena and ethnic dance specialist, Matteo. In 1991 she became a member of the New York Baroque Dance Company appearing in New York City, the Carmel Bach Festival, The Kennedy Center and in Europe. Ms. Corvino has also performed as a baroque soloist with Apollo’s Banquet. More recently she has appeared at the Kaye Playhouse in New York City and The Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival in From The Horse’s Mouth, a live dance documentary and has performed in the U.S. and Denmark with BALLET MINK COLBERT.
In 1981 she formed her own company, ERNESTA CORVINO’S DANCE CIRCLE COMPANY, which appeared annually at the Riverside Dance Festival in New York City from 1982-87. The company has also performed at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, the Downtown Dance Festival, the Meet-the-Artist Series at Lincoln Center, USDAN Center, Randolph-Macon Womans College, the Nikolais/Louis ChoreoSpace and Marymount Manhattan Theatre. Ms. Corvino has choreographed over twenty pieces for the company ranging from a Charlie Chaplin two-reeler to a ballet about the Kentucky Derby. Well-known for her wry treatment of popular culture in ballets such as the critically acclaimed Holmes, Sweet Holmes, Ms. Corvino is equally adept at crafting works of pathos and tragedy. Her ballet The Early Morning Hours of the Hard Moon is a tender and heroic treatment of one man’s struggle with AIDS and of Somnus,Jennie Schulman of Backstage wrote, “This is one of the most novel utilizations of the Ravel score ever conceived.”
From 1968 to 1993 she was teacher and co-director of her own school, DANCE CIRCLE in New York City. Her teaching credits also include the Juilliard School, the Inner-City Ensemble, the Governor’s School of New Jersey, Randolph-Macon Womans College, the Tappan Zee Dance Group, SUNY/ Purchase, Stephens College, Danspace of Oakland, CA, White Mountain Summer Dance Festival and Perry-Mansfield in Colorado (all for whom she has choreographed), as well as Sarah Lawrence College, SUNY/Brockport, Long Island University, Hofstra University, and STEPS ON BROADWAY. From 1995 to 2010 Ms. Corvino frequently taught, choreographed and performed as Artist-in-Residence at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and in 2005 she served as Guest Artist at the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign. From 2006 to 2016 she was ballet master for the José Limón Dance Company. She currently teaches open classes in New York City, conducts workshops throughout the world, and is ballet master for Tanztheater Wuppertal/Pina Bausch.