FRESH Festival sounds like something that might attract foodies. In fact you do need an appetite — for thinking way outside of the box. The participating dancers, musicians, designers, and writers feed on each other’s disciplines to stretch their own thinking about who they are and what they want to do. If sometimes the “how” intrigues more than the “what,” so be it. Watching new modes emerging can be such an upper.
— Rita Felciano


January 4-27, 2018 / San Francisco
10th annual Festival of Experimental Dance | Music | Performance

FRESH Festival starts the new year with an extravaganza of embodied art, action and interaction, celebrating and showcasing new work, research and ideas in dance, music and performance. FRESH 2019 is 4 weekends of risk-taking mainstage Performances, 3 weeks + weekends of immersive studio Practices and 12+ social and inclusive Exchanges inspired and transmitted by the curiosity and generosity of 50+ cutting-edge artists from the Bay Area and beyond. FRESH is open to all interested bodies. 

FRESH is produced by ALTERNATIVA, directed by dancer Kathleen Hermesdorf with musician Albert Mathias, is an apparatus for deeply integrated contemporary dance and music via collaboration, creation, improvisation, performance, production, curation and education. Active in San Francisco since 1998, the organization supports the creative work of the directors, known for research, practice and performance pieces that explore human behaviors and conditions, corporeality and other ineffabilities. Activities, including an annual FRESH Festival, workshops in the Bay Area, residencies at universities, festivals and studios worldwide and PORCH/Ponderosa/POSSE in Germany, engage an extensive population of artists, audiences and participants. ALTERNATIVA is fiscally sponsored by Dancers’ Group and has received support from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, William + Flora Hewlett Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, CA$H Grant, CHIME/MJDC, San Francisco Arts Commission and The Suitcase Fund. /

FRESH 2019 Artists

Jøse Abad | ALTERNATIVA | Juan Manuel Aldape | Arletta Anderson | Larry Arrington | Raha Behnam | Byb Chanel Bibene | Adi Brief | Chani Bockwinkel | Christine Bonansea | Alexa Burrell | Malia Byrne | Sherwood Chen | Gabriel Christian | Abby Crain | Alex Crow | DAFUQ | Claudette Decarbonel | Karen de Luna | Nicia De’Lovely | Ryanaustin Dennis | Manon Siv Duquesnay | Sofia Engelman | Kim Epifano/Epiphany Dance Theater | Regina Evans | Wiley Evans| Richard Festinger | C.D. Fisher | Daria Garina | Europa Grace | Cookie Harrist | Keith Hennessy | Kathleen Hermesdorf | Jesse Hewit | Cherie Hill | Steven Horner | Antoine Hunter | Monique Jenkinson | David Jensen | Jonah Kagan | Debby Kajiyama | Kinetech Arts | Ayisha Knight-Shaw | Kata Kovács | Kentaro Kumanomido | Andrew Ross Kushin | Angelina Labate | Raymond Larrett | Daiane Lopes da Silva | Tanja London | Twyla Malchow-Hay | Ursula Marcussen | Diego Martínez Lanz | Albert Mathias | Elaine Maurer | Delaney McDonough | Magdalena Meyers Dahlkamp | Rena Meyers-Dahlkamp | Nathaniel Moore | Gizeh Muñiz | NAKA Dance Theater | José Navarrete | Gareth Okan | Thomas Anthony Owen | Em Papineau | Chrysa Parkinson | Jonathan Pattiwael | ProyectoCASĀ | Proyecto al Margen| Zoe Reich-Aviles | Randy Reyes | Tim Russell | Sebastian Santamaría | Johnny Sapinoso | Najwa Seyedmorteza | Sara Shelton Mann | Coral Short | Mica Sigourney | Zahna Simon | Adam Smith | Laurel Snyder | Andréa Spearman | Amara Tabor-Smith | Ainsley Tharp | Janine Trinidad | Jessy Tuddenham | Amy Wasielewski | Hannah Wasielewski | Marvin K. White | Ian Winters | Weidong Yang | Pamela Z | more TBA

ALTERNATIVA, directed by dancer Kathleen Hermesdorf with musician Albert Mathias, is an apparatus for deeply integrated contemporary dance and music. Active in San Francisco since 2000, the organization supports the creative work of the directors alongside programming which includes an annual January FRESH Festival, classes and workshops in the Bay Area, and residencies and commissions at universities, festivals and studios worldwide. ALTERNATIVA is fiscally sponsored by Dancers’ Group and has received support from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, William + Flora Hewlett Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Dancers’ Group’s Matching Grant and CA$H Grant, CHIME/MJDC, the San Francisco Arts Commission and The Suitcase Fund. |

Kathleen Hermesdorf is an international dance artist, educator and producer based in San Francisco. She is the director ALTERNATIVA, with musician Albert Mathias, and teaches, creates and performs around the world. She was a member of Bebe Miller Company, Contraband and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, and co-directed Hermesdorf & Wells Dance Company with Scott Wells. She is the co-director of PORCH Training Program, with Stephanie Maher, at Ponderosa in Stolzenhagen, Germany, and WILD [West Cork Contemporary Dance Festival] in Ballydehob, Ireland, with Tara Brandel. Hermesdorf brings over 20 years of experience from the field, studio and stage to her work and holds a BFA and an MFA in Dance Performance + Pedagogy.

Albert Mathias is a multi-disciplinary musician based in San Francisco since 1991. He creates and performs composition and sound design for dance, theater, film, video and audio mediums, and is the music director of ALTERNATIVA, with dancer Kathleen Hermesdorf. He was a member of Bebe Miller Company and Contraband. Mathias has produced 15 records of original music and collaborated in numerous bands, most notably LiveHuman, an internationally acclaimed improvisation-based trio with DJ Quest and bassist Andrew Kushin. Mathias attended California Institute of the Arts and Ali Akbar College. His eclectic sounds can be found on I-Tunes, Bandcamp and CD Baby.

Arletta Anderson & Adam Smith are a dance artist and a theater artist, respectively. Together, they make live performance that sits somewhere between, and outside of, dance and experimental theater. Their work deals with the quotidian and the extraordinary, the body and effort, and the blurred lines between what is real and what is absurd.

Larry Arrington is a dance-artist working in hybrids of idea and practice. Her work in dance (time/space/body/whole) pivots around a desire to orient towards the capacities in us all that can glimpse unseen and unutterable horizons. Her body is her life and her life is her work.

A performing and visual artist, a cook & a yoga teacher, Lithuanian Agnė Auželytė is an interdisciplinarian by nature. After her Contemporary Dance studies in Scotland, Agnė relocated to Berlin in 2013 and have been engaging with ideas of improvisation, space activation, community, embodiment, social experiments as art, food politics and sound making. Currently working on a documentary film with Vagittarius Rising, a feminist art duo with Shelley Etkin,  putting together Neer Yoga, a series of waterside yoga sessions in Berlin and getting ready for DRAGONS, a brand new musical solo experience. Email:

Maranda Barry is an East Bay dance artist with fourteen years of performing and choreography experience. I am most moved by dance work that works on an emotional and subconscious level to communicate something greater than what can be conveyed in words. I love collaboration and honest process. 

Raha Behnam is an Iranian-born, Canadian-raised, US-based artist; a first-generation immigrant to occupied Indigenous territory. She is the daughter of Persian cultural workers, Darab Behnam Shabahang and Mahvash Vatankhahi.

Her performance work has been presented at Danspace Project (Food for Thought), The Wild Project (the CURRENT SESSIONS), the Knockdown Center (Sunday Service), Performance Studies international 2017 conference (Hamburg), FRESH Festival (San Francisco), and Figure One Gallery (Illinois).  She has performed in the works of Abby Crain, Tino Seghal, and Jessie Young, as well as performed for Pearson/Widrig Dance Company, and DEVIATED THEATRE.

Raha is concerned with systems and practices for collective healing, and engaged in liberation work through community-based counseling. She holds a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning and Bachelor’s degrees in Dance and Anthropology. She is currently working towards teacher certification in Open Source Forms (OSF) lead by Stephanie Skura and is an active member of Movement Research’s Artists of Color Council.

Byb Chanel Bibene is a dance instructor, researcher, choreographer and performer working in theater and contemporary dance. His own technical and aesthetic sensibility is rooted in the culture and dances of his country of origin, the Republic of Congo. He has toured the world and performed internationally with companies and choreographers originating from Africa, England, France and the USA. Artistic Director of Kiandanda Dance Theater, Bibene initiated Mbongui Square festival, a multidisciplinary arts festival that gathers dance, music, spoken word and visual artists from the Bay Area and across the world. Outside of his professional careers of Theater and Dance, Bibene has a passion for writing. He is author of numerous poetry and shorts. Bibene owns a Bachelor in Science, Economics/Finances from Marien Ngouabi University/Brazzaville, an MFA in Dance Creative Practice and a certificate in Dance Production Management, earning the Dean’s award for Academic Excellence from Saint Mary's College of California.

Christine Bonansea is a US-European dancer and choreographer with 17 years of international experience in conceiving, directing/choreographing and performing movement-based works. She creates performances, installations, and films. She is the Artistic director of Christine Bonansea Company, founded in 2010.

Alexa Burrell is a Bay Area multimedia artist who composes intricate sonic and video works consisting primarily of sampled and found media. Burrell’s works emphasize the textural and visceral qualities of body, voice and identity. She is the video artist for House/Full of Blackwomen, a ritual performance collective created by Amara Tabor-Smith and Ellen Sebastian-Chang. Her work has been featured at Pro Arts Gallery, The Luggage Store Gallery,  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, SomArts, Gray Area, Betti Ono Gallery, Ashara Ekundayo Gallery and Eastside Arts Alliance. She is the recipient for the 2018 Soundwave Festival "Buzz Award" for innovation in music.

Malia Byrne is an Asian-Caucasian American movement artist. She is interested in integrating her academic and experiential inquiries-- rooted in research in peace & conflict studies-- with her lifelong dance education. Her work aims to process, dismantle, and re-envision various systems of oppression and violence.

Sherwood Chen performs and leads workshops internationally. He has worked as a performer with artists including inkBoat, Grisha Coleman, Xavier Le Roy, Amara Tabor-Smith, Anna Halprin, Yuko Kaseki, Jess Curtis, Min Tanaka, Sara Shelton Mann, Arcane Collective and Christine Bonansea. For over twenty years, he has contributed to Body Weather research.

Gabriel Christian is an increasingly amorphous artist bred in New York City and baking in Oakland. Their work metabolizes the vernaculars within BlaQ diaspora –– futurity, afrovivalism, faggotry ––  through body-based live performance and poetics; moreover, they feel the bio to be an unfortunate by-product of capitalistic modes like chattel slavery.

Abby Crain is a  Houston Born, new England raised teacher, performer and dancemaker  currently based in the California Bay Area. Teaching credits include Movement Research NYC,  Mills College, NYU, Ponderosa Tanzland, Beloit College, Liverpool University, and an annual summer retreat with Sara Shelton Mann called Drop Your City Armor.  She has performed extensively nationally and internationally primarily with Miguel Gutierrez (NYC) and Sara Shelton Mann (SF). Her own solo and collaborative work has been seen in places such as NYC,  LA Portland, Berlin, Liverpool, Cork and Chicago. She was certified to teach OSF by Stephanie Skura in 2013 and has been teaching at the FRESH Festival since 2011. Her current work centers around non human and ecological affinity,  eco-somatic research, radical pedagogy, and unpacking her own cultural subjectivity. She has two children ages 10 and 14.

Claudette Decarbonel BA, MA,PHD is currently saving the world one psyche at a time as a psychotherapist in private practice 10 years. Previous Performance 2000 to Current Multiple Dance Performances at ODC and Dance Mission, Afro Brazilian and Samba. Previously co-wrote and performed a play based on Angels in America around reactions to the new millinium using the style of Anna Devere Smith.  Traveled to Bali for a graduate Consciousness/Dreamwork seminar and created and performed a dance piece based on a character I brought to life (as part of the seminar) 

Oakland, CA native Nicia De'Lovely is a published Poetess, multifaceted Artist, anti-sexual abuse Activist, spirited Survivor and Entrepreneur. She’s the creative proprietor of Nicia De'Lovely Presents, an independent, grass-root production that makes provocative survivor-based performances for awareness, prevention and healing of sexual violation. Nicia uses her poetry to encourage and empower community.

Ryanaustin Dennis is an Oakland based curator/artist/writer. As the founding member of The Black Aesthetic, a curatorial collective, his practice is concerned with how 20th and 21st century experimental performance, film, and writing histories are shaped by the metaphysics of blackness. He has done curatorial work for E.M. Wolfman Bookstore, Kadist, Eastside Arts Alliance, Betti Ono, Soundwave Biennial, and is a Southern Exposure Curatorial Council Fellow.

Manon Siv Duquesnay is a French Danish dancer, performance artist, choreographer and teacher. She has a BA in Dance Performance from DOCH, Sweden 2015 and has danced in pieces by Mette Ingvartsen, Jefta Van Dinther and Cristian Duarte amongst others. She is part of DuquesnayLavrennikov and currently creating her latest solo Ode to You.

Kim Epifano has a 35-year history as a choreographer, director, performer, vocalist, educator, curator, collaborator. The Artistic/Executive Director of Epiphany Dance Theater, her work has been nominated/awarded several Izzie Awards. Recently received a Bogliasco Fellowship, in Italy. A master teacher who mixes vocalization, movement, theater, and various forms to transcend boundaries of performance to create community.

Abolitionist Regina Y. Evans is an Oakland native and the owner of Regina's Door, an Oakland based social enterprise vintage clothing store which operates as a creative arts healing and sanctuary space for survivors of sex trafficking and young artists. Ms. Evans is a poet, playwright, costumer and performer.

Wiley Evans has been creating sub-sonic dirtiness with the tuba for the past few decades. As an integral part of  Guy Goode & the Decentones, and the Extra Action Marching Band, Wiley helped create bombastic compositions while performing with crazed waggery. He studied with an amazing collection of artist including: Zachariah Spellman, Roger Bobo, Morton Subotnick, Barry Schrader , and Roscoe Mitchell. Wiley holds a Bachelor’s Degree in music performance from San Francisco State University, and a Master’s Degree in music composition from California Institute of the Arts.

Richard Festinger’s music is noted for its blend of “propulsive energy with an impeccable sense of poise and balance.” Founder of the Earplay Ensemble. Published by C.F. Peters and Wildcat Canyon Press. Recordings on Bridge, Centaur, CRI, CRS and Naxos labels. Major awards from the NEA, Jerome, Fromm, Koussevitzky, Argosy and Barlow Foundations, and others.

Caitlin (C.D.) Fisher is a former pro athlete turned football-activist and performance artist. She is involved in organising around the labour rights of female players and promoting gender justice in sport through movement. She remains committed to the great potential of the world’s most popular game to create community and collective action, to allow for subversive and free bodies, and offer us alternatives beyond our current order. She is co-creator of the Guerreiras Project and the contes/xtingSPORT collective.)

Daria Garina arrived in the Bay as a 6-year-old refugee from Moscow, Russia. He began studying dance at 25. Daria’s movement work explores displacement, chronic illness, being transgender and mixed race.

Europa Grace is a mixed race Afro-Caribbean spoken word poet, movement artist and educator originally from New York currently living in San Francisco. They forge a tool from movement and language to access the vulnerability necessary to embody a plurality of presence. They are an Artist in Residence at SAFEHOUSE Arts, some of their work has been featured in the National Queer Arts Festival, Queer Rebels Performance Showcase.

Cookie Harrist has danced in works by Joe Goode, Sara Shelton Mann, Larry Arrington, NAKA Dance Theater, Catherine Galasso, and Kim Epifano. She teaches contact and technique at ODC. Cookie’s own artistic/political work fights the culture of sexual assault in Contact Improvisation, as featured in the latest issue of CQ.

 Keith Hennessy dances. His performances engage improvisation, ritual, collaboration, and street protest as tools for responding to political issues. He observes self and society using a queer-feminist approach to critical whiteness. Hennessy directs Circo Zero and was a member of Contraband with Sara Shelton Mann. MFA, PhD from UC/Davis.

Cherie Hill is a bay area based dancer, teacher, scholar and artistic director of Cherie Hill IrieDance. She has choreographed and performed works for the Live Oak Theatre, Shotwell Studios, the African American Cultural Center, the Black Choreographer’s Festival, Anschultz Theatre, Bao Bao Festival, P.L.A.C.E Performance, the San Francisco Cathedral, Omni Oakland Commons, SF Moving Arts Festival, Kinetech Arts, Alena Museum, SAFEhouse Arts, and the Dance A World of Hope Festival in Holland, MI. 

Cherie holds a BA in Dance and Performance Studies from UC Berkeley, a MFA in Dance from the University of CO Boulder, and graduate certificates in Somatics and Women and Gender Studies. She is currently on faculty at Luna Dance Institute.

A Bay Area native, Antoine Hunter is an award-winning internationally known African-American Deaf choreographer, dancer, instructor, speaker and Deaf advocate who performed throughout the Bay Area and the world including Europe, Africa and South America.

Monique Jenkinson is Fauxnique. She performs in a variety of contexts locally, nationally and internationally, most recently in her feminist cabaret show The F Word at ART/Harvard and her most recent work Girl (a collaboration with Marc Kate) at Joe Goode Annex. She is writing a drag memoir for Amethyst Editions/Feminist Press.

David Jensen (1987) Actor, Danish. Has a BA in Acting from the Norwegian Theater Academy in Fredrikstad 2015. Founding member of the performing arts collective by Proxy, currently artists in residence at Theater Freiburg. Has taught at The National School of Performing arts, Ryslinge Højskole and Rødkilde Teaterhøjskole. Awarded by Körber Studio Junge Regie (2015) and has received the Danish Arts Funds’ working grant for performing artists (2016 & 2017) as well as artist travel grants to Palestine (2015) and Guatemala (2017). Main interests are post-political theatre, social dramaturgies and analog synthesizers.

Jonah Kagan made the website.

Kinetech Arts

Daiane Lopes da Silva is a dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Kinetech Arts, where she works on the intersection of dance, science and technology. She is currently in residency at ODC Theater and Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and is on faculty at Alonzo King Lines Ballet Dance Center and Western Ballet.  

Weidong Yang, co-founder of Kinetech Arts is a scientist, dancer, photographer, and Taiji. Born in China and educated in the US, he works to synthesize his background in technology and art into new forms of expression. In addition to his work with Kinetech Arts, Weidong is CEO of  Kineviz, a data visualization company he founded in 2014 with Travis Bennett.

Ayisha Knight-Shaw is a Deaf multimedia artist, poet, educator and Reiki Master Teacher. The daughter of a White Jewish mother and Black Cherokee father, she was raised by her mother in an ethnically diverse community of poets, painters, sculptors, photographers and storytellers who taught her that creating and sharing art is as much a political act as a thing of beauty. As a Deaf photographer, she loves to focus on hands, eyes, facial expressions, and quirky subjects not typically seen in mainstream media. Her interests in photography began at age 13, and has evolved over the years.  Shaped by her life as a Deaf woman in California, Washington D.C, MA, as well as visits to Cuba, Mexico City, and Oaxaca have given her an opportunity to create a tapestry of many cultures in her work. Past solo and shared photo exhibits have been showcased at Java Joes Café, The Meeting Place, Very Special Arts Boston, Club Passim, Boston Public Library, the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, Salem Access TV, Espresso Royale Café, Two Dogs Working, Galant Gallery, North Shore Career Center, Deaf Expo, Disability Expo, Maine Deaf Expo, and Dorian’s in Provincetown, MA.

Kata Kovács is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and arts organiser. After her studies as a contemporary dancer in Budapest, she wound up in Ponderosa in the summer of 2010, as a participant in the first year of P.O.R.C.H. Since 2011, she has lived and worked in Berlin, spending most of her summers at Ponderosa, working as a co-ordinator, facilitator, and curator.

She was present at the establishing of FAKE company in 2016 (?) at Ponderosa and has been involved ever since, performing both at Ponderosa and in Berlin. Her own artistic works frequently focus on repetition, combined with elements of slow looking and listening, often putting herself into unusual spatial situations. She is also part of the duo Kovács/O’Doherty, in collaboration with the artist Tom O’Doherty together with whom they presented works in museums and galleries in Europe and in the USA.

Kentaro Kumanomido is a queer-identified media artist passionate about social transformation through artistic expression and research. His creative experiments include participatory performance, movement improvisation, experimental filmmaking, poetry, drawing, and workshop facilitation. His projects have been presented in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Germany, Austria, and Greece.

Andrew Ross Kushin is an american bassist & visual artist born in nyc 1969. he grew up in san pedro california. he has lived in san francisco since 1992. shortly after arriving in the bay area, he began playing with albert mathias & charles sharp in the free jazz trio thread. in 1995, he joined sara shelton mann’s multidisciplinary performance troupe contraband - touring, performing & teaching throughout north america. in 1997, he & mathias formed livehuman with dj quest. the trio released recordings on fat cat & matador records - performing internationally for over 10 years, including an appearance at the montreux jazz festival. he co-led the improvisational string trio closer to carbon with peter whitehead & norman rutherford, releasing 2 titles on out of round records - a label he co-founded with rutherford. outside his recent work with dafuq project, he studies jazz performance with saxophonist joshua smith.

Angelina Ponzio Labate is a choreographer, dancer, performer, teaching artist, documentarian and the Founding Director of Snowflake Productions which “celebrates our dance communities and their stories through choreography, videography and photography.” Ms. Angelina teaches, choreographs, performs and films throughout the Bay Area and beyond. She sees herself as a student and teacher for life.  

Tanja London is a German kinesthetic, visual and haptic artist. Her work has a feminist viewpoint and explores sociopolitical and ecological discourses such as erosion of democracy, sustainability and epigenetics. Besides a BA in Social Pedagogy and Contemporary Dance she holds a MFA in Modern Dance including a Screendance Certificate.

Twyla Malchow-Hay is a curious creator originally from Portland, Oregon. She relocated to the Bay Area about a year ago after completing her degree in dance from Chapman University to pursue dance, writing, and healing arts. Since living in the Bay, Twyla has worked with Michael D. Lee and Caroline Liviakis, as well as continually investigating her practice in solo work.

Ursula Marlee Marcussen (1988 DK) is a dancing artist, based in Amsterdam. She has a background in theatre, dance, performance and photography and is currently attending the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. She has performed and produced in various collaborations with artists such as Signa, Yoshiko Chuma, Mute Comp. and Baby Skin Collective. Her skills span across many disciplines including photography, painting, video, performance art, poetry and singing.

Delaney McDonough is a maker & producer based in Brooklyn, NY. Their collaborations have been presented by Triskelion & NOGO Arts (NY), Studio 303 (Montreal), Vermont Performance Lab (VT), and School of Contemporary Dance & Thought (MA), among others. Delaney’s performed with Heidi Henderson (CT), Annie Kloppenberg (ME), Hana van der Kolk (NY), Asher Woodworth (ME) and served as a Teaching Artist at Colby College 2016-2017.

Nathaniel Moore is a performer living in San Francisco. Everything he is has been given to him. He is thankful to whoever is responsible for this. and he is excited to dance with you.

Founded in 2001, NAKA Dance Theater creates experimental performance works using dance, storytelling, multimedia installations and site-specific environments. NAKA builds partnerships with communities, engages people's histories and folklore and expresses experiences through accessible performances that challenge the viewer to think critically about social justice issues.

José Navarrete is a native of México City where he was first exposed to theater and dance, choreographing and performing in parks, hospitals, and children's parties as a clown and dancer. He studied dance at the National Institute of Fine Arts in México, and has a B.A. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley and M.F.A in Dance from Mills College. He has studied dance with Sara Shelton Mann, Taiko with Hiroyuki Nakagawa and Argentine Tango with Nora Dinzelbacher. In 2004, José was the recipient of a Bessie Schönberg residency at The Yard, and a Djerassi residency. José is the recipient of a CHIME Mentorship with Jess Curtis, and a CHIME Across Borders fellowship with Ralph Lemon. Navarrete has taught dance and performance to youth and adults in Mexico, and in the San Francisco Bay Area at Berkeley High School, Marin Academy, Cal State East Bay, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He has recently been named a U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Fellow and will be traveling to Tohoku, Japan in 2018. José currently curates and produces the Live Arts in Resistance (LAIR) initiative at Eastside Arts Alliance, which provides residencies and performing opportunities for artists of color in East Oakland.

Debby Kajiyama loves repetition, synchronization, chaos and surprise. She was born in California’s central valley, grew up in the walnut and cherry orchards of her grandparents’ farm and also spent several years living in Tokyo. Her interests lie in the intersection of cultural studies, social justice and performance. She is inspired by influential teachers Jenny Bitner (writing), Jimi Nakagawa (taiko), and Anne Bluethenthal (social practice); the movement research of Kira Kirsch, Sara Shelton Mann and Nita Little; and the passion of Susanne Takehara and the cultural workers of Oakland's EastSide Arts Alliance.  Debby’s artistic practice includes an attention to story, in particular trauma narratives; objects, in relation to the moving body; and the liminal state between the conscious-unconscious. Since 2001, Debby has created eight full-evening programs and numerous shorter works with NAKA that have been presented nationally and internationally. Debby has has also performed with Dandelion Dancetheater, June Watanabe in Company, ZACCHO Dance Theater,  the Dance Brigade, and Somei Yoshino Taiko Ensemble. She has traveled to Cuba to share Obon Festival folk dances and music, and to conduct oral histories of the Japanese Diaspora in Cuba. Debby has been an artist-in-residence at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, an Irvine Fellow at Montalvo’s Lucas Artists Residency Program, and a recipient of an ACTA Apprenticeship to study Tsuzumi with Jimi Nakagawa. She is the recipient of the 2014 The Della Davidson Prize.

Gareth Okan was born in Auckland New Zealand a whole 26 and a bit years ago. he has been dancing for 21 of those 26 years, though started taking it somewhat more serious when he went to study at the New Zealand School of dance in 2010 graduating in 2012 as a contemporary major. since then he has dabbled in professionalism by working with the New Zealand Dance Company. SALTED:SINGLET, Christof Winkler, among others. Currently, he has a bittersweet love for ceramics with the decision that he will forever admire them but never make them.

thomas anthony owen is a trans-identified social justice activist, film maker, writer, lover and friend. Their living is based in the forging of (more) honest relationships to land and people, collaborative media strategies, femme-forward healing practices & building future fabulations. Their film and performance works have been shared in Berlin, NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Athens, France and beyond.

Em Papineau and Sofia Engelman are dance artists based in New England. At the heart of their work is their queer relationship which they negotiate not so much as a narrative, but as a feeling, a state, a world, and a logic. Their first collaborative work, “Where the air is light and clear,” was presented at the National College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Em and Sofia are both editorial interns at Contact Quarterly, went to the Bates Dance Festival as teenagers, and have co-taught at Moving Target Portland. The pair began developing their current project, “Things That Are: for two,” through residencies at The Living Room and Ponderosa and performed an early iteration at Movement Research at the Judson Church in October 2018.

Chrysa Parkinson has been performing and teaching internationally since 1985.

Her focus is on experiential authorship in experimental dance practices.

She is a Professor of Dance at DOCH/Uniarts in Stockholm.

Jonathan Pattiwael started as a hip-hop dancer in Indonesia. After relocating to the US to perform, he is now teaching dance at Texas Woman’s University. He leads a collaborative artistic process to create dialogue towards social justice informed by the raw energy of hip-hop and the breathtaking rawness of performance art.


Proyecto CASĀ is the product of a twenty year friendship. Their intimacy allows them to question their human condition and explore the unconscious in a vulnerable and irrational way, using dance and performance as their playground. Their investigation has resulted in “Recipientes”, winner at the 5th Choreography Contest 4x4 TJ Night in Baja California and “Submerge”, in collaboration with Albert Mathias. By the beginning of 2018, ProyectoCASĀ enjoyed a residency at SafeHOUSE Arts in San Francisco, California, where they created “Submerged” in collaboration with Albert Mathias.

Gizeh Muñiz

Mexican artist and educator. Believes that creation through the body  is the best path to generate consciousness and empathy in the world. She has performed as a dancer and creative collaborator in Lizz Roman & Dancers Company San Francisco, CA; Silla Danza and Teatro de León in Baja California; Ocho Proyecto Gato, Mexico City as well as personal projects with tours in Mexico. United States, Europe and Central America. She co-created Proyecto CASĀ with Sebastián Santamaría. Two of their most recent creations are Submerge, in collaboration with Albert Mathias in San Francisco, CA and Recipientes, winner of the 5th 4x4 TJnight Choreography Competition. 2015 she studied at the Centro de Danza y Producción Escénica de Baja California directed by Lux Boreal Dance Company Lux Boreal in Tijuana California. She complements her training on different dance techniques with Karen de Luna, Shantí Vera, Lourdes Luna, Charlotte Griffin, Edy Esquivel, Erika Méndez, Ugo Ruíz, Leliani Maciel Cabañas, among others in Mexico; Kathleen Hermesdorf, Sara Shelton Mann, Lizz Roman and Axis Inclusive Dance Company in  San Francisco California; Alix Eynaudi, David Zambrano and P.A.R.T.S in Belgium. Committed to social projects related to education and art. She works with children and adolescents to promote their integral development, using dance, theatre and music as tools. 2013 Graduate of Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City where she studied Pedagogy. She has collaborated with various organizations of social impact,  inclusive art and dance for specific audiences such as Asociación Cultura Contemporánea, Arte, Obra y Sociedad (CCAOS), Ciudad de México y Lux Boreal, Fronteras Tijuana, Borboleta Danza Inclusiva y Acuna danza para bebés en Baja California. In 2017 she was invited by the National University of Theatre and Cinematographic Art I.L. Caragiale of Bucharest, Romania to be part of the international conference “Applied Theatre in Contemporary Education” giving master classes and lectures. She began her artistic training in singing with Eva Padrón and in acting at the Centro Universitario de Teatro (UNAM).

Sebastian Santamaría

Sebastián Santamaría Barajas, mexican dancer, teacher and choreographer. Graduated from the Bachelor of  Dance at Universidad de las Américas Puebla. In 2016, he creates ProyectoCASĀ with Gizeh Muñiz, a dance collective with the intention to create performative art by collaborating with artists among the world. Sebastian and Gizeh performed their first piece “Recipientes” at the dance contest 4x4 Tj Night in Tijuana, Baja California. In 2017, he joined Provincial Dances Theatre in Yekaterinburg, Russia, where he performed pieces by Tatiana Baganova, Walter Matteini and Skandalisi Dance. During his residency in Russia he created IN-Courage, in collaboration with Theatre 27/1 Independent Dance Theatre, performing at the Museum of History of Yekaterinburg. Since April, Sebastian lives in Mexico City, working at a High School for the Arts and collaborating with Nómada Proyecto Escénico and Skandalisi Dance.

Proyecto al Margen

Karen de Luna

Artist interested in movement-space-body-time-state of presence and listening. Founder of the company PROYECTO al MARGEN (2010) and the training program TALLERES al MARGEN (2013).Graduated from the Professional School of Dance of Mazatlán (EPDM). She has presented her work in the US, Hong Kong, Spain and important festivals in Mexico. In 2014 she was invited to make a residency with Laura Aris at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. In 2017 she assisted the TANZ + MUSIK laboratory organized by the Goethe Institut Mexiko as part of the Mexico-Germany dual year activities. From 2004 to 2010 she was part of Delfos contemporary dance company performing all over the world.  Since 2016, she has been creating and teaching the workshop-laboratory Present Body together with the musician Diego Martínez Lanz in various institutions, festivals and independent venues in Mexico and different countries (EU, Hong Kong, Spain). The laboratory seeks to encourage an active corporal-stage practice, where the student is responsible for its process and not only imitates forms. In 2014, she designed and taught the 2nd audition class of the Contemporary Dance Production Center (CEPRODAC). In recent years she has participated teaching in various collective training laboratories such as ILEGAL, La Palabra Acción (Mexico) and Encuentro de Cuerpos held in Barcelona, Spain (2017). She has received support from PECDA Jalisco in the Individual Development Program (2005-2006) and Young Creators (2008-2009), Scenic Creators from FONCA 2013 and 2016, as well as the support of Cultura Jalisco through the Proyecta program (2015 and 2017). She currently lives in Guadalajara where she has been training Aikido (Japanese martial art) for ve years, studying the Master in Environmental Education at the University of Guadalajara, working in the Center for Environmental Culture and Educational Research (CCAIE) and Teaching Performing Arts in the Communication and Audiovisual Arts program of ITESO university.

Diego Martínez Lanz

Mexican musician interested in improvisation, composition and music education. Graduated from the Bachelor of Music at the Universidad de las Américas, Puebla (Mexico). Later he studied double bass with Agustín Bernal and diploma courses and workshops in CDMX, Cuernavaca, Cholula, Xalapa, Havana (Cuba), Massachusetts and Oregon, US. He becomes member of Proyecto al Margen in 2012, as an essential element in the creations.
His practice is focused on improvisation, creation and performance of music for contemporary dance. He has collaborated with artists and choreographers (Zap McConnell, Matty McCalffe, Sam Bush, Katharine Birdsall, Alison Wadell, David Beatle, Denisse Cardenas, Susan Douglas Roberts, Santhi Vera, Francisco Cordova and Alicia Sánchez) in the US and Mexico in important festivals and universities. He performs compositions for projects and artists from disciplines such as photography, poetry, installation and video. Since 2014 he develops the workshop-laboratory Present Body with Karen de Luna. In 2011 and 2012 attends to 3OAPPC conducted by members of King Crimson.  From 2013 to 2016 joins courses and tours of Guitar Craft, participating in the Orchestra of Crafty Guitarrists, performing in the US, the Netherlands and Mexico.
He currently lives in the city of Guadalajara (Mexico) where he continues creating  several projects and developing work in music pedagogy and ear training.

Zoe Reich-Aviles I've been dancing for almost twenty years and am trained primarily in modern and ballet. I performed throughout high school and college in works of experimental dance theater. I have trained with Yale Dance Theater, the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and Shawl Anderson Dance Center. 

randy reyes is a kuir-AfroLatinx-brujx from NJ y Guatemala and is currently making love in Oakland. They excavate task-meditations, Chinese Energetics, the presence of absence, and find pleasure in the messiness/process of creating contemporary rituals within quotidian and natural landscapes. they are investigating the porosity and tension of boundaries in service of manifesting Spirit and the erotic even within the mundane.

Tim Russell creates at the confluence of the aural and the visual. His work is almost exclusively created within the context of Choreography and Improvisation. As an advocate for the necessity of the now, Tim and his audio shares the stage with a vast array of choreographic artists.

Johnny Sapinoso has been pursuing a general movement practice under the guidance of his mentor, Ido Portal, for the past decade.  Johnny teaches this general approach both locally in San Francisco and around the world.

Najwa Seyedmorteza I am a dancer and martial artist. I don't want my audience to see a dancer on stage. I want them to see a human experience. I want them to say "I can see them going through something and I can relate to that experience."

Sara Shelton Mann has been a choreographer, performer, and teacher since 1967. She was a protégé of Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis in New York City before moving to Canada where she met Andrew Harwood and fell in love with contact improvisation. In 1979 she moved to San Francisco and founded Mixed Bag Productions, for which she has continuously served as artistic director. One of its early manifestations was the company Contraband, launched as a performance group and research ground combining the principles of contact, systems of the body and spiritual practice into a unified system of research.  Among her awards are a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 6 Isadora Duncan Awards, Djerassi Artist in Residence Awards, Headlands Center for the Arts Residency 2016, Lifetime Achievement Bay Guardian Award, 10 Women Who Made a Difference, Bay Guardian "Goldie" Award, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award (2016) and special achievement award “erasing time": celebrating 30 years a radical dance legend, ( Sara Shelton Mann with David Szlasa and Norman Rutherford) Her Movement Alchemy training is an ongoing teaching project and is influenced by certifications and studies in the metaphysical and healing traditions. Sara’s performance work is a platform for collaboration and research in consciousness.

Coral Short is a prolific creator.  Their practice is a social practice. They have lived and created art internationally in Asia, North America, and Europe for the last twenty years. They harness the collective imagination of their community and serve it up on a glittering platter to all. Their practice casts magic spells, enabling their audiences to understand the many fantastical realities that can, and do, happen at any given moment. Their group work ranges from intimate collaborations, to large scale interactive performances with over 500 people. Coral has many beloved people, communities, and locations they call home. They spend a fair amount of time dispersing their magic around the globe - in the air, on railroad tracks, and across highways. They live on the edge of enchantment.

 Mica Sigourney is VivvyAnne ForeverMORE!- co-owner of the Stud Bar and hostess of Vivvy’s Grand Opening and FACES. S/he performs and makes works in Sweden, Ireland and SF mostly. Check out or for more info. She’s great at weddings.

A San Francisco native and Deaf from birth, Ms Zahna Simon is a professional dancer, chemist, avid health nutritionist, researcher, ASL performance consultant, Deaf advocate and Deaf interpreter.   She received her BS in Chemistry and a BFA in Dance Performance. She is a former chemist by day at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and dancer by night at various Dance companies in San Diego including being featured in KPBS TV and Radio special "Deaf Dancer Performs in Trolley Dances. Ms Zahna is the Assistant Director for both Urban Jazz Dance Company and the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival under Antoine Hunter, Founder and Director and a full time office manager at a small Fiduciary Office in San Francisco.

Laurel Snyder is a dance artist, educator and musician based in NYC. Laurel has performed with artists such as Faye Driscoll, Tere O’Connor, Tatyana Tenenbaum and Kendra Portier and her choreography has been presented by numerous NYC venues. Laurel is currently a part-time lecturer of contemporary dance at Rutgers University.

Andréa Spearman is a student, teacher, choreographer, and performer of a variety of modern-based movement. Her 20-year background includes the study of modern dance, hip hop, west African, ballet, Haitian, Latin styles, worship dance, theatre, music theory, dance composition, dance history and production. She has studied under Dawn James, Dr. Linda Goodrich, Jacqueline Burgess, Dr. Zak Diouf and Carla Service. Her emerging company, A. Spearman & Co. have performed across the SF Bay Area for SOMArts, Malonga Casquelourd Center, St. Mary's College of California, D.A.M. Events, the National Council of Negro Women, Sun Gallery, Frick Impact Academy, SF City Hall, etc.

Amara Tabor-Smith is an Oakland, CA based choreographer/performance maker who describes her work as Conjure Art. Her dance making practice utilizes Yoruba spiritual ritual to address issues of social and environmental justice, race, gender identity and belonging in the Afro present with the soul purpose of dismantling white supremacy and

Ainsley Tharp is an internationally recognized artist.  She is drawn to expression in movement, film, and poetry.  She loves to ask questions and show up to dance class. Her and her dance bud Jonah Kagan are currently involved in an artistic epic.

Amy Wasielewski moved to San Francisco in January 2016. She began creating performances with her sister, Hannah, and has been deeply influenced by the history of experimental dance and performance in the city. In the summer of 2017, she completed her bachelor’s degree at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where she combined her academic work with performance. She also studied energy healing at the Academy of Intuition Medicine®. Energetic, spiritual, academic, and political perspectives continue to shape her dance practice.

Hannah Wasielewski is a dancer, performer, arts organizer, and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist based in San Francisco, CA.  In the Bay Area, she makes work with her sister, Amy, and has performed with Sara Shelton Mann, Kinetech Arts, Sam Stone, and Sara Kraft/ KraftyWorks.  Her dance work has taken her abroad, most recently in Berlin with FAKE Company under the leadership of Kathleen Hermesdorf. Her work is a deep excavation and unification of her physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies.  The seeking never ends.

Marvin K. White, MDiv, is currently the Artivist in Residence and part of the Arts Program Team at the Oakland Peace Center. He was the Public Theologian in Residence ('17-'18) at First Church Berkeley and a recent Yerba Buena Center for the Arts “Equity” Fellow ('16-'17). He is the author of four collections of poetry: Our Name Be Witness; Status; and the two Lammy-nominated collections last rights and nothin’ ugly fly. He is articulating a vision of social, prophetic and creative justice through his work as a poet, artist, teacher, collaborator, preacher, cake baker, and Facebook Statustician.

Ian Winters is an award-winning media and performance artist who create both staged and open-ended visual and acoustic media environments in performance. He has received commissions from EMPAC, Rainin Foundation and the Creative Work Fund and also worked with Francis Ford Coppola, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Britten Sinfonia, opera director Netia Jones, and many others.

Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampled sound, and video. A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she processes her voice in real time to create dense, complex sonic layers. Her solo works combine experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, and sampled concrète sounds.