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March 16, 17, and 18, 2021 on Zoom.
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The Virtual International Arts Festival for Social Change highlights the works and inspirations of MDD’s global artist and scholar colleagues. The international festival creates a space for artists, scholars, and audiences to share, respond, and reflect beyond traditional, hierarchical, and commercial performance spaces and their support structures that often exclude people and limit access. In three evenings, the March 2021 Festival presented 19 artists from 5 countries.

Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

Charisma Bosley

Charisma Bosley is a dance major at Georgian Court University. As a dancer, she hopes to raise awareness for critical concerns and social conflicts for instance, Black Lives Matter protest, animal cruelty, women empowerment, and other modern-day circumstances through dance performances. Dance is the language that the body expresses through movement and she fell deeply upon the philosophy.  

Ramya Kapadia

Ramya Kapadia is a Durham-based Bharatanatyam dancer, choreographer, instructor and a Carnatic vocalist. She tours all over the United States & abroad to present solo & group works. She also provides vocal accompaniment to dancers around the world and composes music for their productions. Ramya has Master’s degrees in Medical Physics and Neuroscience and pursues the arts full time now. She runs the Natyarpana School of Dance & Music in Durham, NC, and is also the Associate Director of Maryland-based Prakriti Dance. 

She received the Ella Pratt Emerging Artist Award from the Durham Arts Council in 2010 and the Choreography Fellowship from the North Carolina Dance Alliance in 2016.

Ramya believes that art can and should tell stories that move audiences to becoming better and more compassionate human beings. She is grateful to her many mentors for providing her with rich and varied experiences in the arts.

Saraswathy Lakshmivaraham

Saraswathy Lakshmivaraham began her training in dance (Bharatanatyam) at a tender age of 4. After her arangetram, she was initiated by Guru Kalamandalam Vimala Menon into Mohiniyattom and ever since, she has been able to stay true to both dance forms thanks to the strong support of her gurus. She has performed extensively in India and USA at various platforms.Some prestigious events she has been honored to present at are Nishagandhi dance festival, Trivandrum, International dance festival organized by SJDanceCo, Barnstorm International dance festival, Houston Performance for Welcoming the Adjutant General of India to the San Francisco consulate. Recently, she has been invited to present Mohanam: Danca la classica de India, at Iskcon and Nada Temple, Lisboa, Portugal.

Her passion for dance combined with a strong foundation in carnatic music has enabled her to choreograph to modern concepts without breaking away from the traditional style of Mohiniyattom. In an effort to take the artform to a wider audience, Saraswathy co founded the first ever organization in the Bay area exclusively encouraging Mohiniyattom, the Mohini Studio.

Aishwarya Madhav

Aishwarya Madhav is an Indian classical dancer, choreographer, and educator. Trained from the age of six in Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi, she began her solo performing debut at the age of nine.  Since then, she has widely performed across India and the US, at prestigious venues like 92StY, Lincoln center, and Yale University, as well as in Drive East, Jamaica, and other dance festivals, showcasing her art forms. Aishwarya has also conducted dance workshops for ballet students at the American Ballet Theater, 92StY, and the Juilliard School exposing them to the technique and discipline of Indian classical dances. Considered one of the upcoming dancers in New York City, she currently serves as a teaching artist introducing her art form to thousands of students in New York City public schools.

Luca Villa

Luca Villa was born and raised in Milan, Italy. He graduated from MTS- Musical! The School Conservatory in Music Theatre (Milan, Italy) and holds a Diploma in Music Theatre issued by London College of Music – University of West London. He’s currently a scholarship student in Peridance Dance Center’s Certificate Program, NY. Performance credits include Musical Theatre (“Pippin, Hair), commercial events for Braun and Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica (Milano), dinner and variety shows, dance concerts (Igal Perry’s Nutcracker) and Dance Theatre work. Creative experience includes direction and choreography for Musical Theatre (Les Miserables, Alice in Wonderland, Chicago, A Chorus (On)Line), Dance Theatre (Evelyn Evelyn, Yes); assistance to the direction for Musical Theatre (Hair, Pippin); and Company Assistance for AnabellaLenzuDanceDrama. His performance will include dancers Alessia Secli’, Alma Kidman, Sara Grassi, and Arianna Wellmoney, with music by Carlo Chiarappa and K. Weill.

Morgan Walker

Morgan Walker, currently a company member with The Dancing Wheels Company in Cleveland, OH, is a dance artist, choreographer, and teacher. Graduate of Kent State University, she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance. In New York, NY, she extensively trained in contemporary and modern styles and attended on scholarship at The Ailey School professional program. Morgan toured with Cardell Dance Theater and has internationally performed throughout the U.S., Italy, Dominican Republic, and China. Recently her work presented at the Museum of Contemporary art in Cleveland, OH and was commissioned by Kent State University to choreograph for their BFA 2020 Senior Dance Concert. Her accomplishments include presenting and performing work at the American College Dance Association regional and national festivals, certifying in The Dancing Wheels Teacher Certification for dancers with disabilities, receiving the Kent Dance Ensemble Guest award and outstanding choreography and performance awards by Kent State University.  

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

Tal Halevi

Tal Halevi is a choreographer, dancer, and teacher based in New York City. Born and raised in Israel, she was a member of the Rina Schenfeld Dance Theater In Tel Aviv and performed with choreographers Nimrod Fried and Jeanette Stoner, and the New York Theater Ballet. Her choreography, exploring the interplay of physical embodiment, shifting states of consciousness, and their expression through movement, has been presented in the Canada, Belgium, Israel, and in New York at venues including Dance Theater Workshop (Live Arts), La Mama, 92nd Street Y, and Movement Research at Judson Church.

Grace Lopez

Grace Lopez is a dancer and aspiring choreographer from Pittsburgh, PA. As a current student at Point Park University, she is earning her B.F.A Degree in Modern Dance with a minor in Mass Communications, and has plans to graduate this Spring. She motivated to preform post graduation and grow her experience with Choreography.

Daniel Navarro Lorenzo

Daniel Navarro Lorenzo was born in Barcelona. After graduating from the professional Conservatoire of Dance of Barcelona, Institut del Teatre in 2010,  He has danced with companies such as Frontier Danceland (Singapore), Y-Space (Hong Kong), Nunzio Impellizzeri Dance Company (Switzerland), Simba Dance Ensamble (Norway), Phoenix Dance Theatre (UK), White & Givan (UK), Polish Dance Theatre (Poland), Dantzaz Konpainia (Spain), Compagnie Ballet Junior Epsedanse (France) among others.

Daniel has worked with choreographers such as Ohad Naharin, Itzik Galili, Jo Strømgren, Lukáš Timulak, Eric Gauthier, Claude Brumachon, Thoma Lebrun, Shahar Binyamini, Thierry Malandine, Patricia Lent, Errol White, Gabrielle Nankivell and others.

Since 2018, Daniel has been artistic director at Dan Lourenço Dance creating his own productions, externally collaborating with national and international companies and delivering workshops and choreographing for artists and young companies internationally. His pieces have been shown at Goodman Arts Center (Singapore), Adelaide Fringe Festival (Australia), Atoa Arts on Talk (New York, USA), Kwai Tsing Theatre (Hong Kong), Chisenhale (London, UK) among others.

Emilee Lord – photo by Andre Tulet

Emilee Lord is a visual and performing artist. She investigates the multiple ways through which a drawing can be made, performed, and defined. She creates quiet, sparse, and repetitive or ritualized long durational performances, installations, works on paper, and dance films. Her current research explores ideas of accumulation, solitude, memory, and drawing as a performative act. At the core of this research is the following question: When is a drawing? 

She received her BA from Bennington College, in sculpture and dance – 2004 and her MFA in Fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art – 2007. She has been an artist in residence at Vermont Studio Center, Santa Fe Art Institute, Jentel Artist Residency, and SIM in Reykjavik, Iceland. As either visiting artist or professor, she has taught and lectured at Pratt Institute of Art, Caldwell University, College of Dupage, Bergen Community College, and Bard Highschool Early College. 

She has performed and exhibited both nationally and internationally including Santa Fe, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Reykjavik, and Toronto. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

She will perform with Eric Biondo.

Carlotta Storelli

Carlotta Storelli and Sabina Lane are two international interdisciplinary artists who are dedicated to contemporary creation within the framework of the Inervo company, of which

Carlotta Storelli is the director, And she works in the “80 despertadores”collective created by Carlotta Storelli, Sabine Lane and Javier Arocena Monje. Both study theater, dance, audiovisuals and fine arts and develop scenic and audiovisual creations dedicated to the study of new interdisciplinary languages and social and environmental criticism and reflection. Inervo company works on several projects since 2014 in Spain, Switzerland, France, the United States of America, Denmark, Morocco among other countries.

Miranda Stuck

Miranda Stuck is a 22 year old professional dancer from Seattle, Washington and currently resides in New York City. Prior to graduating from the Ailey/Fordham Bachelor of Fine Arts program, Miranda trained classically at Pacific Northwest Ballet School.

While dancing within the professional division at The Ailey School, Miranda has danced on scholarship at Perry-Mansfield and Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, as well as training with Ballet Hispánico and Visceral Dance Chicago. Miranda’s most recent professional endeavor includes dancing for Marc Jacobs in the closing show of New York Fashion Week, February 2020. She has worked closely with artists and choreographers such as Gabrielle Lamb, William Isaac, Karole Armitage, Earl Mosley, Nicholas Garr, Olga Kostritzky, Kyle Marshall, and Devalois Fearon.

Miranda is extremely passionate about performing arts, visual and digital arts, storytelling, as well as genuine human and artist connection.

Thursday, March 18th, 2021

Jonathan Colafrancesco

Jonathan Colafrancesco has danced in productions of contemporary Italian and international choreographers, such as: “Giselle” (in the role of Hilarion) and “Fragile” by Enzo Celli, Vivo Ballet company;  “A proposito della neve bagnata” by Elisabetta Minutoli presented at the IDACO festival in New York;  “Dodici” by Dario Lupinacci presented at the festival 140 danza d’autore;  “Litania” by Roberta Ferrara;”Isidro” and “Men” by Vivake Khamsingsavath, NYC.  He danced for music videos of Italian and American bands.  He is currently a dancer for Hussein Smko’s “Project Tag” in New York.  He trained at the Certificate Program-Peridance Center in New York, USA, after receiving a full scholarship.  He moved to Melbourne, AUS in 2017 to study with choreographers from contemporary companies such as “Chunky move” and “Lucy Guerin inc.”.

Teresa Fellion – photo by Jaqlin Medlock

Teresa Fellion founded BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance in 2011, after choreographing independently since 2004. BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance is a contemporary dance company of women that captures and communicates universal human encounters through dynamic, purposeful movement. We bring a wealth of cultural arts activism experience into each work we create with community partners. BodyStories has shown work at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Jacob’s Pillow, The Public Theater, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, University of Florida, ENTPE University (Lyon, France), NYU, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Bryant Park Summer Stage, BDF Edinburgh at EICC, Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center at Gibney, NY City Center, Dixon Place, UME, ICA Boston, 92nd St.Y, Naropa University, Franco-American Cultural Center, CPR-Center for Performance Research, 14th St. Y, Merce Cunningham Theatre, The Dance Complex, Southampton Arts Center, Southampton Cultural Center, Triskelion Arts, and in concert with Phish.  

Rowena Gander

Rowena Gander is a UK based dance artist, who is also a final year PhD student at LJMU. Her thought-provoking solo performance works question and negotiate themes of sexuality, power and objectification in women. Since 2015 Rowena has worked with stigmatised objects; the vertical pole and high heels, to tease out how they can add to or dissolve female subordination. Her consistent questioning has generated a body of work that is topical, powerful and unique.

Most recently, Rowena has been in residence with Metal Culture UK where she has created a screen work “Erotic Dance for Self”. Before this, she has performed internationally and nationally at festivals including Physical Fest (bursary award winner), Resolutions, Secret Circus, Threshold Festival, Cirqadia and Leap Festival. She has also worked collaboratively with a host of other choreographers.

Christianna Giaume

Christianna Giaume was born and raised in Westport, CT where she first started studying ballet. She was trained as a modern dancer in the undergraduate program at CUNY Hunter College where she discovered her love for improvisation which became the basis of her work. In 2019 she produced her first site-specific work “Hum…A Movement Gallery”, performed outside of Hunter College. She also had the honor of performing Simone Forti’s Slant Board at the New York Public Library of Performing Arts, Marta Renzi’s film Skybridge, and Table of Silence with the Buglisi Theater Company for the Annual Lincoln Center Table of Silence Project. She also attended International Dance Week in Budapest, Hungary where she experimented with various improvisational scores that inspire her work today. After graduating Hunter with a masters in Dance Education in 2020, she started creating pieces for virtual performance spaces.

Callie Hatchett

Callie Hatchett is a New York City based dance artist.  She grew up in Alabama studying Vaganova based ballet under the direction of Meryane Martin Murphy.  She continued her study of ballet, as well as other dance forms, and found her professional performing and choreographic career in the modern dance world.  Callie holds a B.A. in Dance from The University of Alabama, an M.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and an M.S. in Education and Special Education from Touro College.  She is a certified Pilates instructor through the Pilates Certification Center.  Callie currently teaches ballet for Chrystie Street Ballet Academy and BAAD! The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance.  She is also a teaching artist for New York City Ballet and Mark DeGarmo Dance.  Callie enjoys hiking and playing at the beach with her husband, son and dog.

Abigail Ripin

Abigail Ripin  is a performing artist and choreographer based in the greater Boston area. She studied at Boston University where she completed her dance minor and took acting classes from the School of Theatre. She also trained abroad at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (JAMD), where she focused on Gaga and contemporary dance techniques and performed works by Roni Chadash and Noa Zuk at JAMD and the Suzanne Dellal Center respectively. Abigail loves floor work, partnering, and playing with choreographic prompts. She is passionate about the process of creating and has presented her work at the Boston University Dance Theatre as well as the Dance Complex in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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