THE NEW YORK CHOREOGRAPHY PROJECT APRIL 2017

PHOTO GALLERY

Artistic Directors

Marian Hyun

Marian Hyun has studied jazz and ballet in New York with Luigi, Bob Audy, Ed Kresley, Shirley Bassat, Julia Dubno, and wonderful teachers in Paris, France, Susan Sparks and Frédéric Lazzarelli. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she was a freelance writer and a writing instructor at the New School before enrolling in the Dance Education Lab (DEL) at 92nd Street Y. Since then she has taught dance to people of all ages, from two-year-old pre-ballerinas to senior citizen jazz buffs in various New York studios and community centers. She has choreographed for the New York Jazz Choreography Project, Choreographer’s Canvas, the Fridays at Noon Marathon at 92nd Street Y, and the Comedy in Dance Festival at Triskelion Arts. In May 2007 at New Dance Group, Marian produced the first performance of the New York Jazz Choreography Project, a showcase devoted to jazz dance.  It sold out.  Subsequent performances of the Jazz Project have been produced semiannually by Jazz Choreography Enterprises, Inc., a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization established in 2007 to promote the creation of original jazz choreography.  Marian is the president and co-artistic director of Jazz Choreography Enterprises.
Merete Muenter

Merete Muenter

Merete Muenter is a founding member and co-Artistic Director of Jazz Choreography Enterprises, Inc.  Choreography credits: Off-Broadway – Fiddler on the Roof - In Yiddish (Assistant Choreographer – Director, Joel Grey),  The Golden Bride (Chita Rivera Award Nomination), Amerike – The Golden Land, The Megile of Itzik Manger, and Lies My Father Told Me (The National Yiddish Theatre – Folksbiene), Eddie and the Palaceades (Midtown International Theatre Festival “MITF”), The King of Second Avenue (New Repertory Theatre), South Pacific (Lancaster Opera House), Sherlock Holmes – The Early Years (New York Music Theater Festival). Director/choreographer credits: Chicago, The Who’s Tommy and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Woodstock Playhouse), They Walk Among Us (MITF – Award for Best Choreography), Roar of the Greasepain, Smell of the Crowd (Lancaster Opera House). Assistant Director credits: World AIDS Day Gala (Capetown, South Africa, Jesus Christ Superstar (European Tour – Director, Baayork Lee).

Featured Choreographers

Antuan Byers

Antuan Byers

Antuan Byers (Dallas, Tx) is currently a senior in the Ailey/Fordham BFA program and a graduate of the certificate program at the Parsons School of Design. He is a alumni of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, under the direction of Lily Weiss. Antuan has danced alongside Grammy Award Winner, Erykah Badu, Tony Award Winners, Jennifer Holliday and Melba Moore, and Tony Award Nominee, Felicia P. Fields. Antuan has been featured in New York Magazine, Dazed Digital, and Tribeca Film as a dancer in Erik Madigan-Heck’s “The Enemy,” choreographed by Elena Vazintaris. He can also be seen in the music video,“Bury Me” by The Skins featuring D.R.A.M.. Antuan has performed with KEIGWIN + Co. for the Park Avenue Armory’s 2015 Gala as well as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for both their Lincoln Center and City Center Opening Night Gala’s. Antuan is currently a dancer with The Metropolitan Opera Ballet under the direction of Joseph Fritz, performing works by Kim Brandstrup, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon, among others. Additionally, Antuan is a dancer with Washington National Opera Ballet as well as an apprentice with Ailey II.

Ashley Carter

Ashley Carter

Ashley Carter is passionate about her work as a dancer, teacher and choreographer; and as co-director of NYC-based company DoubleTake Dance www.DoubleTakeDanceCo.com. She has had the opportunity to perform and/or choreograph at venues such as Jacob’s Pillow, SummerStage, Battery Dance Festival, Webster Hall, the New York Jazz Choreography Project and Carnival Choreographer’s Ball. Ashley is on faculty at Ballet Academy East and Joffrey in New York. She can be seen working alongside artists such as Ricky Martin, NeYo, Lady Sovereign, Nicki Minaj and Mila Kunis, for companies like Pilobolus, Balasole, Derek Mitchell, Germaul Barnes/Viewsic Expressions, Ruddur Dance, HannaQ Dance Co, the Little Opera Theatre of NY and Balasole, and for brands such as Nike, Athleta, Nokia, Microsoft, Heineken, Yahoo, Ameriprise, the Rachel Ray Show and Lush Cosmetics. She has been seen off-Broadway in “West Side Story”; performed in a music video for Sia, a Boost Mobile commercial, a feature film with Justin Timberlake, and is credited with choreographing independent feature film “The Ride of Tom and Valkyrie” and the musical “Dragula.” Recently, Ashley was featured in the original dance film “Here We Go Again” (dir. Nathan Cohen), performed as Fritz/Rat King/Russia in “DIY Nutcracker,” danced in “Barber of Seville” with the Amore Opera, and worked on “Peter Pan” for Broadway Asia.

Sharlane Conner

Sharlane Conner

Sharlane Conner majored in Dance at Dean College, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and then went on to train in The Alvin Ailey School’s Summer Intensive and Independent Study Program. In 2010, she fell in love with Latin styles and Salsa on 2, training under Sekou McMiller and Nelson Flores, which led to her perform at the Int’l New York Salsa Congress, Brooklyn Salsa Congress, and Int’l Chicago Salsa Congress. She’s also had the pleasure of performing alongside Maurice Hines in “Apollo Club Harlem” at the Apollo Theatre. She has toured with Catapult Entertainment, a shadow dance company seen on “America’s Got Talent” in 2013, performing in numerous corporate events in Africa, Las Vegas, AZ, Iowa, MD, and CT. Recently, she had the pleasure of dancing in Bare Opera’s production of “Goyescas,” choreographed by Liz Piccoli. She is currently an assistant manager and dance instructor at Dance With Me Studios and is very excited to be a part of the NY Jazz Choreography project for the second time as a performer and first time as a choreographer!

Rachel Leigh Dolan

Rachel Leigh Dolan

Rachel Leigh Dolan is a Choreographer and Master Dance Teaching Artist based in Washington, DC. She is a Helen Hayes Award Nominated Choreographer whose highlights include: Hair and Cabaret at the Keegan Theatre, Oliver at Adventure Theatre MTC, recently James and the Giant Peach, directed by Michael Baron, and A Year with Frog and Toad at Imagination Stage. In 2014, Rachel was honored to be selected as part of the 2014-15 Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Prestigious Observership Class, and has since become a proud Associate Member. She continues to grow her portfolio of unique choreographic style, and always strives to take on challenging projects with progressive theaters. As a professional performer, Rachel made her debut in 2000 in Debbie Allen’s Dreams at the Kennedy Center, and performed with Ms. Allen again in 2002 in Pearl. A dance educator, she has had the privilege to teach at numerous prestigious studios, schools, and universities in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, including Catholic University of America, American University, Montgomery College, Joy of Motion, and Loudoun School of Ballet. In 2014, Rachel became a faculty member at the innovative private performing arts secondary school, The Academy at Metropolitan School of the Arts.

Kavin T. Grant

Kavin T. Grant

Kavin T. Grant is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. He is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Alabama State University and Adjunct Professor of Dance at Troy University. He received his MFA in Dance with a concentration in Choreography and Performance from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Mr. Grant has trained with Kariamu and Company: Traditions, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Florida Community College at Jacksonville, and Jacksonville University where he earned a BFA in Dance with departmental honors and a minor in Sociology. He has been a guest instructor at Tri-Cities High School, Booker T. Washington Magnet High School, Temple University, Penn State University, The University of the Arts, The University of Akron, Rowan University, Muhlenberg College, Tallahassee Community College and Jacksonville University. He is the founder/CEO of Kavin Grant Productions and Entertainment, LLC. Three of his choreographic works were adjudicated and selected for the Gala program at various Regions of the American College Dance Festival and one chosen for the National American College Dance Festival. He was a member of Kariamu and Company: Traditions for three years. Mr. Grant specializes in classical ballet (Vaganova), contemporary ballet, contemporary modern, hip-hop, jazz, African (Umfundalai), musical theater and step dance.

Billy Griffin

Billy Griffin

Billy Griffin is a New York City based artist who received his BFA from New York University/Tisch School Of The Arts.  Performing credits include the Broadway/1st National productions of Mary Poppins, Young Frankenstein, and White Christmas, as well as Jeff Amsden’s A Few Good Men Dancin’, The Electric Company on PBS, and the video game Dance on Broadway for Nintendo Wii. As a director/choreographer he has created work for Hershey Park, Waldameer Park, The Miss America Organization, The National YoungArts Foundation, Fleet Week at South Street Seaport, The Neighborhood Playhouse, Steps Conservatory and NYU. Associate/assistant credits include working with Andy Blankenbuehler on Only Gold, Josh Bergasse on episodes of NBC’s SMASH, Marlo Hunter on My Life Is A Musical at Bay Street Theater/Duke on 42nd and Al Blackstone on Broadway Backwards, BC Beat, Gypsy Of The Year, the new musical Crazy In Love, Freddie Falls In Love at the Pershing Square Signature Center and the Fire Island Dance Festival and most recently The View Upstairs which is currently running off-Broadway.  Billy also teaches regularly at Broadway Dance Center, Steps On Broadway and NYU.

Karin Kawamoto

Karin Kawamoto

Karin Kawamoto spent her early 20′s playing Connie Wong in A Chorus Line in several International Tours as well as in regional theaters, working for Baayork Lee and Mitzi Hamilton, among other notable directors. She also sang and danced for Ms. Lee and Marvin Hamlisch at the Hollywood Bowl and the opening of the Cincinnati Performing Arts center. In addition to performing in industrials, at theme parks, and Civic Light Operas, Karin has assisted Baayork in recreating Turkey Lurkey from Promises, Promises at NYU and for private workshops. In 2015, she dusted off her dance shoes to perform in National Asian Artists Project’s 5th Anniversary Gala, where she performed in two of her favorite numbers, Big Spender from Sweet Charity and Turkey Lurkey, from Promises, Promises. She also danced in the 2016 Annual BC/EFA Easter Bonnet at the Minskoff, finally performing on a Broadway stage. Recently, Karin also made her film debut in the soon-to-be-released film short, Parental Pride, and teaches an open jazz dance class for NAAPs Professional Development program that is open to the public. Karin has a B.A. from UC Irvine in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in classical voice.

Ali Koinoglou

Ali Koinoglou

Thriving in New York City, Ali Koinoglou spent numerous summers studying at the Joffrey Ballet School, American Ballet Theater and continued her training with Joffrey Ballet’s pre-professional year-round program after graduating high school. Ali then trained at Broadway Dance Center in the Professional Semester. While training at BDC, Ali created a relationship with master teacher/choreographer, Derek Mitchell, the Resident Choreographer of Hamilton the Musical. Since Derek’s move to LA, Ali has taken over his various positions choreographing industrials for several companies including Big Hit Events & GoSeeDoNYC. Ali’s company Koin & Co Dancers (est. 2013) created a Junior Training Program division to the company allowing Ali’s network of teachers/choreographers/agents to contribute to the success of the next generation of dancers. Currently, Ali is assistant to five-time Emmy Award winning Mia Michaels and is a resident choreographer/teacher for many intensives including The Academy of the Holy Angels, KLICK’T, Peridance Capezio Center, Artistic Dance Exchange and more. Ali’s long-term goal is to one day be educating & inspiring dancers around the world to grow to their full potential as talented dancers, kind humans and all-around creative, versatile individuals!

Gregory Kollarus

Gregory Kollarus

Gregory Kollarus trained at the Joffrey Ballet School, the Martha Graham School, and Long Island High School of the Arts. He currently performs with independent choreographers, choreographs for musical theater, and teaches dance at The Studio on Long Island. Recently, he has been seen in West Side Story at the John Engeman Theater, and in an interactive incarnation of Carrie, the Musical at Long Island’s SoLuna Studio. Gregory has also appeared in competition-winning performances with xyz nyc, dancing with Barbara Montero at The Tank. He is one of the founding members and creative choreographers of the Logos Dance Collective. Greg values innovation in the arts and enjoys collaborating with others who are similarly willing to risk making inroads into uncharted territories.

Cat Manturuk

Cat Manturuk

Cat Manturuk is the founder and artistic director of DANCE CAT-ALYST, a soul-driven contemporary dance company. A native of Detroit, MI, she holds a BFA in Dance and BS in Exercise Science from Western Michigan University. After graduating, Cat was a scholarship student at Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Center in Chicago, later moving to LA, where she performed with LA Modern and Ballet Company, Blue13 Dance, Regina Klenjosky Dance Company, and Collage Dance Theatre. Upon her arrival in New York, she joined Dance 2XS and became rehearsal director to Decadancetheatre. Her music video credits lie with BET and MTVIndia, and she has been featured in Dance Spirit, Shape, and Elle magazine.

DANCE CAT-ALYST outreach programs and performances: Nanjing, China; the NY Jazz Choreography Project; Battery Downtown Dance Festival; Brooklyn Dance Festival; Detroit Dance City Festival; Wellspring Cori Terry & Dancers; NYC’S Chelsea Piers Sports Center and Sky Rink; and Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. Cat is a recipient of the ACDF Excellence in Performance and Choreography Award, a Harkness Scholarship, a National Dance Association Outstanding Scholarship, and Presidential Award. Her choreography has been noted as “creating heat…” by the LA Times and teaching role as “crisply alive…” by the NY Times.

Vanessa Martínez de Baños

Vanessa Martínez de Baños

Vanessa Martínez de Baños is a recognized dancer, teacher and choreographer, and co-director of DoubleTakeDanceCo.com (NY SummerStage, Battery, Carnival, Jazz Choreography Project, etc). Featured twice in Dance Informa Magazine, DoubleTake Dance (DTD) has recently received several commissions: Rock that Rolls choreographic commission for Dancing Wheels in Cleveland, OH; HT Chen New Steps residency NYC; Next Step commission and performance for JPAC NYC. Currently she dances and choreographs for DTD, Daniel Gwirtzman and American Tap Dance Foundation. Other companies/choreographers include DIY Nutcracker, BalaSole, Noir Tribe Media, RSW & associates, ABT, Little Opera Theater, Ikada, Ryan Beck, Derek Mitchell, Guillém Alonso, Lynn Schwab and Tony Waag, L’OREAL, Heineken, Ameriprise, Yahoo, Ursus Vodka, KDDance, Tag Heuer, Lush Cosmetics/Gorilla Perfumes, Fuse TV, X- Box/Kinect (Times Square with NeYo and Lady Sovereign), Rachel Ray Show etc. Film credits include “Friends With Benefits” with Justin Timberlake (IMDB 2011). Vanessa is passionate about her teaching career. On faculty at Steps, Joffrey, BAE and a Tap City Leader, she’s been featured on CNN, NBC and TV Globo in Brazil.

Bryan Menjivar

Bryan Menjivar

Bryan Ernesto Menjivar is a triple threat performer from the West Coast. Born and raised in California, he was always the life of the party as a child, so much so that he enjoyed and strived for the limelight. Dancing was his escape from the harsh realities of his troubled youth; he started in Hip-Hop and contemporary in school, and salsa and merengue at home. In 2008 he graduated from the Musical Theatre program at AMDA LA. Shortly after that he joined the high seas and danced for Carnival Cruise Lines. He enjoyed the challenge and never looked back. Following those 5 years he moved to the city to pursue his dream of Broadway and hasn’t given up yet. He is currently working for Dance with Me studios where he is still building up his resume and honing his skill but also making it possible for him to create new styles and choreograph many awesome and beautiful pieces. He wants to thank his partner, Sharlane, for not giving up on him, his family for always being there, but most of all his man and dog—Teddy and Oliver—for being the family he always wanted.

Sue Samuels

Sue Samuels

Sue Samuels — performer, master jazz teacher, choreographer — has an established reputation as one of the leaders within the performing arts community. She was the co-founder/owner of Jo Jo’s Dance Factory in New York City, which later became Broadway Dance Center. Sue has been on the faculty of Broadway Dance Center since 1986 and is also on the faculty of Peridance Capezio Center NYC. Students have included numerous stage, film, and television stars such as Melba Moore, Brooke Shields, Dominique Dawes and Irene Cara. As a performer and choreographer, Sue has over 40 years of extensive credits in film, television, and theatrical productions on Broadway and around the world. In 2009, Sue founded Jazz Roots Dance, a professional company dedicated to the preservation of the classic jazz dance form while aiming to excite and educate all generations about its roots. In Spring 2013 she self-produced and presented a successful season for Jazz Roots Dance, and in Fall 2013 the company completed its first tour to L.A. to perform in the TriArt Festival in San Pedro. Sue is a 2015 recipient of the Flo Bert Award for her dedication to the Jazz Dance art form. Critics agree that this company is “a new force to be reckoned with.”

Jaime Shannon

Jaime Shannon

Jaime Shannon began her dance training at the age of four at the Lee Lund Studio of Dance in Milford, CT.  In 2006 she received her BA in dance from Hofstra University. Since then, Jaime has performed professionally with Azul Dance Theatre, Dance Cat-Alyst, Soluq Dance Theater, Lauren Hale Dance, and Kelley Donovan and Dancers. In 2010 Jaime met Tony Fraser and together, they quickly became a dynamic partnership in the swing dance community. Together they have performed and taught various styles of swing dance throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia.
Ashley Stafford

Ashley Stafford

Originally from Bloomington, Indiana, Ashley Stafford came to New York City by way of Lexington, Kentucky. A free-spirited and hyperactive choreographer, teacher, performer, photographer, and pianist, Ashley’s love for the arts began at a very young age with the Indiana University pre-college ballet and music programs. She graduated with honors and received her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance, as well as a minor in Psychology, from Transylvania University. Ashley currently teaches for the Children and Teens Program at Broadway Dance Center and at Downtown Dance Factory. Her choreography has been showcased in both the Brooklyn Dance Festival and Gotham Dance Theater’s performances for emerging choreographers, as well as in Chris Palacio’s Rooftop Showcase. She performs regularly for both stage and for film, and has appeared on MTV, Good Morning America, and Telemundo to name a few. Ashley aims to fuse together her diverse training, life experiences, musical knowledge, and passion for the arts to create works that are relatable, genuine, and powerful.

Kyle Weiler

Kyle Weiler

Kyle is honored to be back presenting work with NY Jazz Choreography. A recent graduate of The Juilliard School, he has performed the works of José Limon, Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, Kyle Abraham, Camille A Brown, and Brian Brooks. Recent stage credits include: Damn Yankees (Ordway) and Mamma Mia & Dear Edwina (Theatre Aspen). Kyle participated in Arts Powers Arusha, an arts outreach exchange in Arusha, Tanzania. Back home in Minnesota, he has created original material for local dance companies, Hennepin Theatre Trust, and assistant directed/choreographed Bare: The Pop Opera at Minneapolis Children’s Theatre. He is also a founding member of the Arts Fusion Initiative, a diverse group of artists who create unique, interdisciplinary performances inspired by American poets. For the next year, he will be adventuring around Europe and Asia, playing Diesel in the centennial tour of West Side Story. Much love to his family and mentors!

INSPIRATIONAL JAZZ DANCE ARTISTS

We thought you might enjoy seeing some videos of dance artists who influenced and inspired some of our choreographers in this edition of the New York Jazz Choreography Project.

Gregory Kollarus
Gregory’s piece in the Jazz Project was inspired by Judy Garland and Fred Astaire in “A Couple of Swells” and Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon in “Who’s Got The Pain.” “‘Falling Into the Current’ was inspired by classic jazz and vaudeville. It’s about two vaudevillian performers who used to be wildly successful, but at this point in their lives, they are completely washed up and homeless. These two people have basically sacrificed their lives for the art of vaudeville and jazz.”

Sue Samuels
Sue’s inspiration is Jack Cole, who is a founding father of the Classic Jazz Dance style we have today. “He traveled the world and came back with the ‘jazz hand,’ head, shoulder and hip isolations, and rhythmic moves which are used in different countries around the world. When he returned to the USA, he added his classic ballet training with the shoulder, hip and head isolations, jazz hand and other finger movements he had picked up and one of my personal favorites, the hinge!”

Rachel Leigh Dolan
Rachel is influenced by old Hollywood musicals. “Cyd Charisse is a huge influence…in choreographing for a female. Her movement is sexy and classy and captivating.” This video is from “Singin’ in the Rain” featuring Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse.

Kyle Weiler
I was actually inspired to make this piece after reading the Neil Simon play, ‘The Sunshine Boys,’ produced in 1972. The play is about the tumultuous relationship of a famous vaudeville comedy duo that reunites after 11 years apart. This Shaw & Lee video below provided additional inspiration and insight into the physicality of the due.

The April 2017 New York Jazz Choreography Project is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council empowers artists by providing them with networks, resources, and support, to create vibrant, sustainable communities in Lower Manhattan and beyond.

All of JCE’s programs are made possible in part by support from our sponsor, Salon Ishi.

We need your support.

 

Make a tax deductible donation—no contribution is too small!

Or help us by volunteering your time and talents.

GET STARTED

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This