Collective Thread
Photo Credit: Kiya Marie

MADC presented its second annual dance festival entitled Collective Thread on Saturday, March 11, 2017 3:30 & 7:30 PM at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street (between Rivington & Delancey), 10002. . The purpose of Collective Thread is to provide a voice and a platform to those women of underrepresented ethnic groups within the medium of dance. 

2017 Collective Thread Participating Artists/Dance Companies (in matinee concert order)

Anuradha Naimpally (Austin, TX): I am deeply influenced by both the ancient dance tradition that I perform and teach as well the contemporary global world in which I live. I strive for my Indian artistic practice of Bharata Natyam dance to contribute to broader cultural diversity as well as personal human experience in a meaningful way. As a teacher and mentor, I help individuals discover their own inner beauty and strength through the power of dance. As a performer, I aim to touch that universal chord that moves us all to a higher place. 

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Chatiera Ray/The CRayProject (Long Beach, CA): The CRayProject is an artistic empowerment movement influenced by black culture and events, allowing artists to create and display their unique talents through creative and limitless approaches.

​Alyssa M. Parnell (Birmingham, AL): Alyssa M. Parnell was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She is an up and coming performer, dancer, and choreographer. Alyssa is currently studying Dance at The Ohio State University where she will receive her BFA in Dance in winter 2017. She has attended various festivals and intensives such as The American Dance Festival Winter Intensive New York City, The Bates Dance Festival, The American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive, and The Alabama Ballet Summer Intensive.

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Audrey Hubbard Madison/ MoJazz Dance (Brooklyn, NY): ​MoJAZZ, founded by Audrey Hubbard Madison, consists of daughters, sisters, mothers, grandmothers, wives, friends, caretakers, educators, executive directors, nurses, psychologists, business women, administrators, retirees, and community volunteers. But more importantly, MoJAZZ women are fabulous, dynamic, wonderfully fun loving comrades who celebrate the joy of dance at all ability levels. Audrey was an original member of the Charles Moore Dance Theater. She retired from New York City Department of Education after service in both academic teaching and supervisory capacities.

Kaoru Ikeda/MoustacheCat Dance​ (New York City, NY): Kaoru Ikeda, from Japan, graduated from New York University Tisch School of the Arts, MFA in Dance. She has trained, performed, choreographed, and taught dance raging from classic ballet to Butoh to Modern Dance in the U.S., Japan, South Korean, and Mexico. Her international experiences have taught her that dance can break through cultural barriers to speak to all people so she founded MoustacheCat Dance in 2015 to fight against prejudice through dance.

Melissa Escano (formerly Melissa Garcia Velez)[Bronx, NY]: ​Melissa Escano, an undocumented, Colombian native living in the Bronx, earned her Bachelors of Social Work while minoring in Dance at Lehman College. Her work is inspired by her Colombian background and by her community stories of migration, trauma and resilience. Performance credits include the United Nations, NYU, Lehman, BAAD! and Jack. She's currently a dancer with Bombazo Dance Co of Milteri Tucker, and interning with Movement of the People Dance Company of Joya Powell.

Leah Moriarty (Brooklyn, NY): Leah Moriarty is a Brooklyn-based dance artist in collaboration with dancer Solana Hoffmann-Carter. Leah has worked with choreographers such as Shalewa Mackall, Kellie Lynch, Ni'Ja Whitson, Rosangela Silvestre, Joya Powell and Souleymane Badolo. She also works as a coordinator for ThisWorldMusic, a dance and drum intensive program based in the Volta Region of Ghana.

Angel Chinn/ NonaLee Dance Theatre (Brooklyn, NY): ​Artistic director, Angel Chinn, founded NonaLee Dance Theatre in May 2011. The Brooklyn, NY based company strives to create socially conscious work that challenges, enlightens, and, entertains audiences through a movement experience. NonaLee Dance Theatre stretches the imagination and tells stories through syncopated rhythms and dynamic movement. The company not only presents dance works, but also creates an experience that is memorable, thought provoking, and beautiful. The company has presented work at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Green Space, Dixon Place, The Secret Theatre, Irondale Center, Joe’s Movement Emporium and The Atlas, Washington DC, and the Hippodrome Theatre Ballroom in Baltimore.
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Cyrian Reed/ Creative Discipline (Riverside, CA): ​​Cyrian Reed “ The Dancer” AKA SUGA LUMP is one of the most innovative, sophisticated, graceful, and soulful dancer and choreographer in the Los Angeles and Inland Empire areas. She is a graduate of California State University in Long Beach, California where she received her Bachelor of-Arts Degree in Dance and a Master Degree Education. Cyrian has worked with artist such as Beyonce, David Foster, Gnarls Barkley, Ceelo, Mitchel Musso, Cheryl Lynn, Trinere, KC & The Sun Shine Band, Lil Gavin, 3RDegree, Jaydagrace and Brutha. She recently choreographed for the Emmy nominated “Hip-Hop-Harry” sitcom on the Discovery Kids and TLC television channels. She is currently working with Academy awarding winning actor Quinton Aaron, along with Fredro Starr and Marcus Paulk on up coming sitcom “ Blaze Studio”; “Steady Mobbin”, a sitcom for the new Dance Network and a guest judge and choreographer for Steven Spielberg’s Realty TV Show on Bravo, “America’s Next Top Producer.”

SunAe Hwang / SUNPROJECT (Queens, NY): ​By presenting “SUNPROJECT”, I aim to exhibit how one’s spirituality can develop by speaking with body instead of one’s voice through movement I can only describe as “natural” and unique to each individual. My choreography emphasizes, not technique, but movement that is naturally elicited from the body and is expressed differently by each dancer’s personality.

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2017 Collective Thread Participating Artists/Dance Companies (in evening concert order)

Chien-Ying Wang/OcampoWang Dance (Monmouth Junction, NJ): ​Chien-Ying Wang danced professionally with Taipei Ballet Company and Utah’s Repertory Dance Theatre. She has worked with Zvi Gotheiner, Gideon Obarzanek, Stephen Koester, Molissa Fenley, Douglas Nielsen, Shapiro & Smith, and many others. In 2006, she was a recipient of the Project Support Grant from SLC Arts Council to present Bridging Bridges. Wang has presented works in the U.S. and Asia and is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University.

​Sadé M. Jones/Ashé Arts (Austin, TX): ​Sadé M. Jones is a multi-disciplinary performance artist and founder of Ashé Arts Austin. Her awards include Best Movement for "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf", by the Austin Critic's Table, "Best Supporting Actress" as "The Woman In Green" by the Austin Theater Examiner, and Fire & Brimstone and B. Iden Payne Awards for Best Choreography in “Hands Up Hoodies Down”. She has been commissioned by Spectrum Theatre, Austin Community College, Fusebox, and Six Square. She uses her Master’s Degree in Social Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin to provide healing arts therapy in the community.

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Natasha Natraj ​(New York City, NY)​: ​Natasha Natraj graduated from Otterbein University. A recent transplant to NYC, her work was last seen at the MultiPurpose Dance Project at the Access Theater and in the official music video of Gojira’s single ‘Stranded’ where she both choreographed and danced. She is interested in creating work that has a direct interaction with space while exploring both playful and socially relevant topics.

Beverly Lopez/​REDi Dance (Bronx, NY): ​Beverly has presented independent work in New York City festivals, including Triskelion Arts Comedy and Dance Festival, Collective Thread, HVCCA, and BAAD! ASS Women Festival. She is a company member of the ModArts Dance Collective, and the Herbert H. Dance Company. She recently performed at the Harlem school of the Arts in Harlem Voices and has performed in the off-Broadway production, Bountiful, under Luis Salgado of R.Evolucion Latina. Beverly earned a BFA in Multi-Media and Performing Arts, and is working to inspire children as a modern dance teacher at Cache Dance Studios, and as an education coordinator at the AATT Academy at BAAD!. Beverly trained at the Dancing-to-Connect Institute under Battery Dance Company and created her own Dance Bridge Program in the Bronx in 2015. Beverly recently choreographed and produced her first full-length dance-theatre production on October 2016. She continues her work as an artistic director/choreographer of REDi Dance.

Jessica T. Pearson (Providence, RI): ​Jessica T. Pearson is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Rhode Island College. Ms. Pearson is a dancer, educator and choreographer who danced with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Gesel Mason and Concepts In Motion, Bermuda. This sought out educator has been invited to teach at Ballet West Summer Intensive, Urbanity Summer Intensive and taught overseas for two years. In 2015, Pearson received the honor to be the guest choreographer for Urbanity Dance Company of Boston. Quell premiered in Urbanity Next at Green Street Studio in February 2016. Other recent accomplishments were performances in Collective Thread and The Series Vol. 1. in New York City and Southern Vermont Dance Festival.
Allyson Ross/ Southern Belle Stories (New York City, NY): ​Southern Belle Stories is a platform for how I see and imagine the world around me.

Courtney J. Cook (Brooklyn, NY): ​I am a Black woman intrigued by and interested in exploring the depth and complexities of Blackness. All the while indulging in the nostalgia of my memories as they manifest in my body and voice; a purge and sharing of my Black Woman self and my stories. Exposing the good and bad, gems and poisons, through this sacred art form that has always been known as space of liberation for Black folk.

Francine E.Ott (Brooklyn, NY): ​Francine Elizabeth Ott, a native of New Orleans, and received her B.F.A in Dance from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and studied at many dance intensives, including the American Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow, where she received scholarships. She has worked and danced with Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company, Brian Green, and Tony Kundu, among others. She has had the opportunity to teach many workshops, classes, and residencies and her choreography has been showcased at Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Festival, Homegrown at the CAC in New Orleans, APAP, SummerStage Dance, BAM: Black Brooklyn Renaissance, Dance Harlem, Aaron Davis Hall, Dance Place in Washington, D.C., This Woman’s Work, Dixon Place, International Association of Blacks in Dance, and more. Ms. Ott has been featured in the July 2011 issue of Dance Magazine in the article, “When Words Hurt,” and the February 2011 issue of SHAPE Magazine, in “Confidence Queens.” Francine has been a Studio Assistant and teacher at Cumbe Center for African and Diaspora Dance, and Rehearsal Director of Camille A. Brown and Dancers. She has assisted Ms. Brown in works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Urban Bush Women, and LaGuardia High School, among others---and presently assists Ms. Brown when needed. She is also a teaching artist, as well as a choreographer for Crossing Point Arts, Black Girl Spectrum and Whole Heart Productions. Francine has received her Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling at Nyack College, and is currently the Interim Administrative Assistant at Nyack College's Manhattan Campus for the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling. Ms. Ott also has her own company, Francine E. Ott/The Walk, where she is able to combine her work in the mental health field with the arts. (Photo credit: Hayim Heron courtesy of Jacob's Pillow Dance)
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Clarice Young (Brooklyn, NY): ​Clarice Young of New Roads, Louisiana, is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a BFA in Dance. Young is the first recipient of the Evelyn Elizabeth Lochman Dance Scholarship in 2001 and received a full tuition scholarship to attend the America Dance Festival in 2003. She has performed with Francine E. Ott/The Walk, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Shani Collins Achille and Bridget L. Moore, to name a few. Young was featured in TRACE Magazine in 2007 as one of NYC’s “dancers on the rise” and received a ChoreoQuest Award for mentoring at The Restoration Youth Arts Academy. She joined Evidence, A Dance Company in 2007 and was appointed Rehearsal Director in 2011. Young is currently enrolled at Hollins University and will receive an MFA in Dance in the summer of 2014.

Courtni Poe (​Hermitage TN): ​Nineteen year old emerging choreographer & dancer, Courtni Poe, is currently located in Nashville, TN. She graduated from high school at the Nashville School of the Arts in 2015 with a major in dance and choreography. She plans on attending The University of the Arts this following year or just moving to NYC to further her career as a professional. During her career as a choreographer, Courtni has produced two live full-length 75 minute shows as well as a choreographic film series called "Self vs Soul". She has also recently choreographed her first music video and has submitted her work to many film festivals in the US. "My goal as a creative artist/choreographer is to choreograph with depth in mind. I always do my best to create based off of the deepest thought of the most simple concept. That builds more inspiration and thought which then creates feeling. That's what art is all about."  Website
Robyn Ayers (New York City, NY): ​Robyn is a recent graduate of the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. program, where she dual majored in dance and philosophy. Currently, Robyn dances for Nathan Trice, as well as smaller project-based work in the NYC area. As a young choreographer/movement explorer, Robyn’s main focus is to develop intellectual works that unpack the intersectionality of the experiences of queer women of color, with a couple projects (like the presented solo) thrown in for humor.

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The 2016 Collective Thread Dance Festival featured works from the following choreographers/dance companies: Brianna Anderson, Robyn Ayers, Jenny Boissiere, Angel Chinn/NonaLee Dance Theatre, Shauna Davis, Chieh Hsiung, Sun-ae Hwang / SUNPROJECT, Darnetha Lincoln M'Baye/Roots In Revolution, Jessica T. Pearson, Lauren C. Smith/ Alabama State University, Leah Tubbs/ MADC, Chien-Ying Wang & Paul C. Ocampo, and Brittany Wilson/Herbert H. Dance Company. Click here to view the reel.

MADC and RahDanceWorks presents Harlem Voices

Photo Credit: Scott Shaw

ModArts Dance Collective (MADC) and RahDanceWorks presents Harlem Voices: an evening of work performed by Harlem based dance companies on Saturday, September 16, 2017 3:30 & 7:30 PM at the Harlem School of the Arts Theater. MADC and RahDanceWorks are passionate about bringing movers and audiences uptown to experience the transformative power of dance. Let's get to know more about RahDanceWorks!

Sarah Horne (Artistic Director of RahDanceWorks) grew up in St. Croix, USVI and founded RahDanceWorks in 2011 so that she could combine her artistic passions with her interest in community development. Considering herself a “Third Culture Kid,” someone who was raised in a culture outside of their parents’ culture, her education came in many forms because of her non-traditional upbringing. Moving from country to country allowed an exposure to different movement lifestyles and has continued to inform her artistic voice.  Her formal dance training started at age sixteen while living in Bangkok, Thailand and her passion for choreography began at SUNY Brockport while completing her BFA in Dance. She developed and showcased several works while a student there, establishing a deep love for the creative process. After attending Impulstanz in Vienna, Austria, she grew another love – arts administration – and started volunteering for the dance department in an administrative capacity to help coordinate their dance festivals, performances, and events. After graduating, she continued her education at NYU with a Master’s Degree in Performing Arts Administration. Sarah’s performance credits include works by Anne Burnidge, Bill Evans, Kelly Kavanaugh, Jostle, and Juanita Suarez. Sarah also holds an MA from NYU in Performing Arts Administration. Since graduating NYU in 2011, she founded RahDanceWorks and works full-time at New York City Ballet.

The mission of RahDanceWorks is to promote positive community collaborations through movement.

RahDanceWorks  presented Trust and Warnings. Trust and Warnings explores desire, doubt, selflessness, atonement, and transformation by watching conversations unfold through painful solos, touching duets, deceptive trios, and all-consuming quartets. In an evening that delves into raw emotion and the nature of intimate human stories, the work inspires us to heal from heartache and gain understanding through pain.