The Department of Theatre and Dance strives to promote the artistic endeavors of artists around the world. We encourage students to broaden their understanding of dance by viewing and collaborating with a variety of guest artists and strive to provide a fulfilling and holistic dance experience.
Darla Johnson a choreographer, teacher, and author was the co-artistic director of Johnson/Long Dance. Johnson founded the Austin Community College dance department and has received three teaching excellence awards. She is the co-director of The JUSTICE Project, a collaborative performance work with co-director Nicole Wesley, that has been presented in Atlanta, Austin, San Marcos, and in Bedford and Newcastle, England. Her most recent publication is as co-author of a chapter published in The Young are Making Their World, Essays on the Power of Youth Culture which documents the process and impact of creating The JUSTICE Project with dancers at the McCallum Fine Arts Academy in Austin.
Tamara Ashley is a choreographer and dance artist based in the UK. She co-directed the performance company Brief Magnetics, with whom she made a series of environmental dance works. For five years, she was the artistic director of dance digital. She has received over 7 grants from Arts Council England. She has also written for dance journals, Choreographic Practices and the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices. Tamara is a yoga teacher, and she holds an MFA and PhD from Texas Woman's University. Tamara runs the MA Dance Performance and Choreography at the University of Bedfordshire, UK.
Sonja Dumas is a performer, choreographer, writer, filmmaker, teacher and arts development consultant who lives and works in Trinidad and Tobago. A graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Business School, she recently defended her thesis for her second masters degree – this time a Master of Arts in Carnival Studies at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. She is the recipient of several international grants and fellowships for her choreography, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Fellowship in Modern Choreography, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Prince Claus Fund. The first female laureate of Caraïbes en Creation, a project of the French Government, she has performed with and/or choreographed for Trinidad- and New York-based dance companies, including The Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Theatre, The Trinidad Theatre Workshop and Reggie Wilson’s Fist and Heel Performance Group. She currently creates work for her own pickup company – Continuum Dance Project. The company explores the contemporary Caribbean aesthetic through the language of movement. She is also a co-founder and co-director of the Contemporary Choreographers’ Collective, a group which produces COCO Dance Festival, one of the largest annual contemporary dance festivals in the Caribbean.
Nathan Montgomery is the founder and director of Syzygy Butoh. While at Prescott College he studied multiple forms of contemporary dance, improvisation, theater and choreography with Delisa Myles, Liz Faller and Jay Ruby. In 1997 he met Diego Piñon who introduced him to Butoh and Ritual Dance. He then traveled to Japan to study and perform with some of Butoh's most influential teachers including Yoshito Ohno, Natsu Nakajima and Butoh dance company Sankai Juku. Since then Nathan has developed his own approach to Butoh and Ritual Dance that he teaches and performs throughout the United States and abroad. His work is deeply influenced by his practice of Native American ritual dance and both his teaching and performing are rooted in an intimacy with the Wild in Nature. He believes in dance as a way to touch our indigenous soul as an expression of wholeness in response to the destitution of culture in modern times. His work has been showcased in Mexico, Hawaii, Japan and in many US cities. He has taught Butoh as adjunct faculty at Prescott College and Naropa University and as a guest artist at numerous university and residency programs. He is the co-founder and director of the Boulder International Butoh Festival and the MESA (Movement and Ecology Sanctuary for Art) Project in Ouray, CO.
Ellen Bartel Dance Collective (formerly SpankDance) is an Austin-based contemporary dance company founded by artistic director Ellen Bartel who is continually seeking out, and inspired by, new and evocative ways of presenting dance. The company is dedicated to creating original dance work that asks independent interdisciplinary artist to share contemporary ideas that reflect current issuesCollective within the arts, politics, and the world. The work is shown though projects that may either be site-specific, theatre dance, dance festivals, dance on film, works-in-progress, or improvisation. Our mission is based in the belief that community can be built through dance; be it in the studio, theater, or through education, and in doing this contributes to a more democratic and caring society.
Keith Hennessy is an award-winning performer, choreographer, teacher and organizer. He was born in Canada, lives in San Francisco and tours internationally. His interdisciplinary research engages improvisation, spectacle, ritual, and social movement as tools for investigating and revisioning political realities. He has an MFA in Choreography and is a PhD candidate in Performance Studies at University of California, Davis.
Bonnie Cox is a dance graduate student at The University of Colorado Boulder where she combines the disciplines of dance, performance studies, women and gender studies, and ethnic studies to explore identity in performance, the process of dis-identifying from hegemonic views on marginalized identities, and incorporating post-colonial theories and feminist methodologies into research, pedagogy, performance and choreography. Her present research investigates identity politics and the performance and aesthetics of borders. She currently teaches dance and popular culture, a lecture course that deconstructs the roles of race, class, gender and sexuality in dance phenomena. Bonnie received her BFA in dance from Texas State University in 2011 where she was a student teacher and member of Merge Dance Company. She danced with Diverse Space Dance Theater, Sharon Marroquin, Shay Ishii Dance Company and Nicole Roerick Collective in Austin, Texas. Bonnie has studied with acclaimed choreographers in the U.S., Mexico, and Colombia. She was nominated for an Austin Chronicle critic’s choice award for her production Silence to Power: Dance as a response to trauma, through which she encouraged dance artists to transform trauma and societal pressures into growth and power through performance and choreography.
The school of music, together with the dance division hosted Jennifer Arnone from Colorado March 23-28, 2013. During her residency, she taught 3 traditional Balinese dances, to culminate in an informal showing on March 28. The dances were performed at a later date with a live gamelan orchestra and traditional costumes!
Cecilia Appleton, Mexican Choreographer and Artistic Director of Contra Danza along with company member Yseye Appleton conducted an Artistic Residency at the Dance Division from Saturday, December 8th-December 15th, 2012. The piece created by Cecilia was performed on March 7th, 2013, at the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema.