Meet the 2015 Summer DanceFest Choreographers: Sara Keller

Alaskan-native, Sara Keller, began dancing with Alaska Dance Theatre, where she worked with Amy Martin, Maureen Whiting, Minh Tran, Ballet West, Cincinnati Ballet, and Oregon Ballet.  Her training includes studying with Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet, Ririe Woodbury, Diavolo, Cincinnati Ballet and Ballet West. Sara holds a BFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  As a student, she performed the works of Doug Elkins, Jose Limon, and Alwin Nikolais.  In 2011, she was a part of Sharing the Legacy in NYC and performed Nikolais’s “Gallery.” Sara spent a season dancing for Charlotte-based dance company, Kinetic Works, before moving to Asheville, NC. She is starting her fourth season with Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre and is a founding member of the Asheville dance improv group, the Accidentals.


Meet the 2015 Summer DanceFest Choreographers: Carson Reiners


Carson Reiners was born in NJ, moved to NYC at 16, lived/worked in Europe,South Africa, Peru, India,Israel and is now a Chicago based Choreographer/Visual Artist and Educator. She is a 2015 recipient of an IAP Creative Project Awards Grant from the City of Chicago Cultural Affairs and Events(DCASE). Her recent work, From Whence Unknown, was recognized by DanceChance Redux 6.0’s independent panel which was awarded a monetary award. Since moving to Chicago in August of 2014 her work has been presented venues across Chicago and her first dance/video was presented at Aplomb Gallery in Chicago and Carnegie Library in London as part of project Overheare,21 Artists. She also worked on T.Daniels Production, Magical Night, as a mime performer which was presented at the University of Illinois Normal with live accompaniment conducted by Glenn Block.

She attended CODARTS (Rotterdam, NL) and graduated from the Anton Bruckner Universitat (AU) with a BA in 2007. Returning to the USA in 2008, she freelanced with many prominent choreographers in NYC. From 2011 to 2013 she was abroad partaking in collaborations including “Crossings” (South Africa), “Las Sacerdotistas de Machu Picchu” (Peru), and “Kindling” (India). In 2014 she resided in Israel where she performed in the Stage’s production of “The Vagina Monologues” in Tel Aviv and taught dance. She has also worked as collaborator/performer with directors Ksenia Petrenko and Aleksei Zherebtsov of Liquid Theatre(RU) and was an original member of the music/dance collaboration, Dovetail, headed by Andrea Hoag in DC. Her work has been shown in nationally and internationally in Holland, Austria, Peru, and India.

Meet the 2015 Summer DanceFest Choreographers: Janice Lancaster

Janice Lancaster is a freelance dancer, choreographer, and teacher living in Asheville, NC. She  performs internationally with Shen Wei Dance Arts based in NYC. Her projects are a nexus for collaboration, research, and the generation of work that expands how and where dance is shared. She is inspired by dance’s power to both commune with the unknown and serve as a cultural artifact revealing performative perceptual modes. She received her MFA from Hollins University / American Dance Festival, BFA from the University of NC School of the Arts, Restorative Yoga certification through Judith Hanson Lasater, and Hatha Yoga certification from the Asheville Yoga Center. She has received commissions through the Bard Music Festival (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY), Bessie Schönberg Choreographers Residency on the Yard (Chilmark, MA), the Hubbard Street 2 Dance Company (Chicago, IL), the Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center (Asheville, NC), and many through co-founding VIA Dance Collaborative (New York, NY); and enjoyed residencies at Robert Wilson’s International Summer Program (Water Mill, NY) and the Omi International Dance Collective (Ghent, NY).


Her work has been presented in New York at Movement Research’s Judson Church, Dance New Amsterdam, The Ailey Citigroup Theatre, Galapagos Art Space’s FRAMEWORKS Film Series, Joyce Soho Presents, Dixon Place’s Underexposed Series, Movement Research’s Open Performance, One Arm Red, and elsewhere: The American Dance Festival Draftworks and MFA Concert (Durham, NC), the Chisenhale Dance Space’s TV Dinners Festival (London), WUK Association for the Creation of Open Culture and Workshop Houses (Vienna), CCN-Ballet de Lorraine (Nancy, France), Performática (Puebla/Cholula, Mexico); The Fulton Opera House (Lancaster, PA), The McCallum Theatre (Palm Desert, CA); The Casa Hoffman (Curitiba, Brazil); and The Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Honolulu, HI).  She teaches contemporary techniques and practices, improvisation, composition, and yoga. Her classes celebrate each dancer as a unique constellation of possible movement styles and meanings, emphasizing clarity of choice and freedom for abandon.


Meet the 2015 Summer DanceFest Choreographers: Jacqueline Dugal & Composer, Brett Copland

Jacqueline Dugal is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher currently based in Tampa, Florida. She received her BFA in Dance Performance, Entrepreneurship minor from the University of South Florida.

As an international artist, Jacqui has traveled to study and perform around the world. Summer of 2014 she had the opportunity to study dance in Paris, France with various artists, where she performed an original solo, and studied at Spellbound Contemporary Ballet Company’s Summer Intensive in Rome, Italy. In October 2015, Jacqui danced Into Mergence…, choreographed by Jeanne Travers at the COCO International Dance Festival in Trinidad & Tobago. Upon graduation on a full tuition scholarship, she studied in Mexico in the ArcDanz International program and performed at Mexico City’s Museo Soumaya.

During her undergraduate career, her choreography was selected for University of South Florida’s Student Dance Concert and Confluence Concert. Upon graduation, her choreographic work has been showcased in Tampa’s Collective Soles Community Concert and in a production of her own, Insight: kinetic senses of self in St. Petersburg, Florida.

DUGAL, Jacqueline Headshot2

Brett Copeland is a graduate student at the University of South Florida pursuing an M.M. degree in Tuba Performance and studying electro-acoustic composition.  He is primarily an electronic and electro-acoustic composer and has received awards in both styles of composition.  His works range from tuba and electronics, to flute, clarinet and live-electronics, to indeterminate ensemble (up to 10 players) and live-electronics.  In addition to electronic composition Brett has achieved success with his acoustic compositions.  His piece, “Charmer” for solo guitar was selected to be performed in the Vox Nous Fifteen Minutes of Fame series. Brett is Principal Tubist of the Venice Symphony and the South Shore Symphony Orchestra. He is an avid fan and performer of new-music and takes part in interdisciplinary collaborations such as composing for dance. He is the current President of the New-Music Consortium at USF and the Vice-President of the College of The Arts Council.


Meet the 2015 Summer DanceFest Choreographers: Jessie Laurita-Spanglet & Meredith Bove

photograph by Jonathan Hsu

photograph by Jonathan Hsu

Jessie Laurita-Spanglet is a performer, educator, and choreographer based in Washington, DC. While growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Jessie was fortunate to study and perform with Katharine Birdsall and The Zen Monkey Project. Jessie is a Stott-certified Pilates instructor through the Balance Pilates Training Center, and spent four years teaching Pilates at Thinking Body studio in Charlottesville, VA. In 2010 Jessie moved to Maryland, where she has had the great pleasure of dancing and collaborating with Meredith Bove, Matthew Cumbie, Dance Exchange, Adriane Fang, Sharon Mansur, Stephanie Miracle, Sara Beth Oppenheim, PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATRE, Maree ReMalia/merrygogo, and many others. Last May, Jessie completed her MFA in Dance at the University of Maryland, where she created a site-specific dance theatre event as her thesis project. Jessie is currently at work on three new duets with collaborators Meredith Bove, Matthew Cumbie, and Sarah Beth Oppenheim. This fall Jessie will begin work as a teaching fellow in dance at Wake Forest University.

Meredith Bove is a dancer, teacher and choreographer currently based in the Washington, DC area. She approaches movement as a mode for understanding the body as a process-oriented, unfixed, and continuously evolving entity. Her work has been seen at various venues and festivals in the US and in Berlin, Germany. As a performer, she has appeared in the work of Jérôme Bel, Luis Lara Malvacías, Sharon Mansur, Stephanie Miracle, Sarah Beth Oppenheim, Jillian Peña, and Erica Rebollar among others, and has enjoyed collaborations with dancer/choreographer Andrea Jenni, and conceptual artist Luke Munn. Meredith has taught at Hollins University, Montgomery College, The Dance Exchange, and The Collective (Baltimore). She holds a BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and an MFA from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA.