despina sophia stamos
is a dancer/choreographer living and working in NYC since 1989. Her work has been presented through out New York City at such venues as Dance Theater Workshop, PS122, PS1,as well as internationally in Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Puerto Rico.
Her interest in site-specific work has been developing since 1998 when she was invited to be a participating artist in Julie Atlas Muz’ 24 Hours on the Staten Island Ferry. Since then, she has performed and organized events in a plethora of locations including Times Square, the NYC subways, piers, parks, bathrooms and gardens.
As a dancer she has worked with various companies and choreographers including Chen and Dancers, Hikari Baba and Dancers, Anahi Galante Dance Theater and the National Caravan Theater, Felix Ruckert, Zendora Dance Theater, Aspassia Yaga and Wendy Osserman Dance Theater.
Stamos has also curated various dance events including Deli Dances in Times Square, Dancehouse at Workhouse Theater, 21 Suffragettes at Galapagos and Oasis.
She is currently dancing with Blum Dance Theater, Vanessa Walters, the Daisy Spurs, Time Lapse Dance, and the MDC . Stamos is founding member of the Modern Dance Awareness Society.
Irene Siegel is a NY-based performer, educator, community organizer, and writer. She has been creating and performing her own solo and collaborative work, and performing in the work of many dance & theater companies throughout the US & Europe for several decades. Highlights include Maxine Moerman Dance Theater, Roseanne Spradlin Dance, The Butoh Rockettes, Rococco Dance Theater, Tanya Calamoneri/SoGoNo, Margolis/Brown Adaptor Movement Theater Company, Poppo Shiraishi, Dani Nikas, Mikerline Dance Theater, the Hungry March Band and Laura Shapiro/quicksilver Dance. She is also a founding member of There’s No Law improv physical-theater collective. Her solo and collaborative work has been presented by NY venues such as Triskelion, Roulette, the Brick Theater, Dumbo Dance Festival, Spoke-the-Hub, and the Knitting Factory, as well as sites in California and Europe.
Irene’s eclectic training includes extensive studies in improvisational forms, particularly Action Theater and butoh, as well as ballet, contemporary dance, Theater of the Oppressed, voice, Haitian, and somatics. She has also been a practicing yogini for 26 years. She has taught dance, physical theater and yoga in the US and the Middle East, and has been honored to collaborate with passTRESpass’ 2015 and 2016 projects with refugees, immigrants and locals in Athens and Lavrios, Greece. She looks forward to being part of their NYC-Athens linked performance in Fall 2016.
In addition to her dance life, Irene has been involved in community organizing in the US for decades addressing issues including Middle East policy, Islamophobia and racism, and the prison-industrial complex. She’s done human rights work, advocacy and translation in Israel/Palestine, Egypt and Greece. Irene also teaches writing and Arabic language, and has taught and conducted research in French and Arabic cultural-studies, gender, and performance-studies at UC Berkeley & Hofstra University, in Palestine/Israel, and in North and West Africa. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature (Arabic / French) from UC Berkeley.
Florence Benichou’s expansive repertoire includes site-specific performance – both as a dancer and a choreographer and voice over as well as acting work. She sees dance as a language and aims to use movement within various media to express individual and social relationships, limitations, conflicts and connections.
Starting her training in classical dance in 1984 in France at the Café de la Gare Centre De Danse du Marais in her hometown of Paris and continuing in the United States at the Perry Dance Center, DNA and Cunningham Studio where she explored modern and contemporary dance, butoh, improvisation and theater. She has worked with a variety of underground New York artists and dance companies which include Modern Dance Awareness Society, Human Kinetics Movement Art, the Sanctuary of Hope before creating her own projects which were featured at Gallery138 in Chelsea, New York, France…
She is presently collaborating with Z Collective on performances which have been featured at the Chelsea Art Museum and at the Loft in the Red Zone in New York City.
Mary Catherine Donnelly
Mary Catherine Donnelly (Director), is a theatre director, performer and writer based in NYC. MC has also worked in Philadelphia, Washington DC, San Francisco and Italy. She underwent rigorous Lecoq-based physical theatre training at Helikos: Scuola Internazionale di Creazione Teatrale in Florence, Italy where she trained with an ensemble of international performers in mime, mask work, clown and acrobatics. In 2014 she was awarded a scholarship by the Tectonic Theatre Project to study with Moises Kauffman in their Moment Work Training Lab. As a theatre director and movement coach, her credits include: Brenda Cullerton’s Jay-Z & Me (Edinburgh Fringe, Amsterdam Fringe, 59E59), Jasmine Pittenger’s, My Ass (In The World): A True Story Of Love, War, Taliban… And Dirty Lambada-Dancing (The New York International Fringe Festival), Mia Smith’s I am Hope (United Solo), Ingrid Griffith’s long running hit solo Demerara Gold (premiered Midtown International Theatre Festival, now touring), Jessica Elkin’s The Rise of the Usher (Midtown International Theatre Festival) and Ma’at Zachary’s Botched, Bare and Brave (Emerging Artists Theatre). MC’s own solo show, Inside Orion premiered at NYC’s Estrogenius Festival, October 2013 and in “Solo Sundays” at StageWerx, San Francisco, December 2013. She was commissioned this past spring to write “Re-Imagining Reality” for The Simulation Studio LLC that she co-devised with fellow Lecoq trained performer Marisol Soledad from Helikos. MC just returned from Tbilisi, Georgia in May as part of a collaboration with the International Culture Lab and The Margo Korableva Performance Theatre with whom she has been co-devising a play called DIVA DIVAN. She is thrilled to be working with the uber talented Tessa Keimes-Kim in her autobiographical solo show, The Bad German!
is a tattoo branded member of the Modern Dance Awareness Society. She is also a member ofTerrain/Rebecca Lazier, Stephan Koplowitz’s Task Force, and Jordan Fuchs. She dances with Wendy Blum, Scott Lyons, and Peter Scicoli and is looking forward to performing with Christopher Williams next spring. Her choreography has been presented by Joyce Soho, Lincoln Center Out-of Doors, BRIC Theater, Movement Research, and WOW. Storme teaches modern dance at the 92nd St Y/Harkness Center for Dance. Storme recently became an official New Yorker and an official yoga teacher.
grew up in Taiwan. Started dancing when she was 9 years old.
As a performer, Yang is currently a member of O Vertigo in Montreal, Canada.. She has also performed with Zvi Dance, Cheng-Chieh Yu, Larry Keigwin, Abby Chan, Erica Essner, Peter Sciscioli, Todd Williams, and H.T. Chen, Mark Haim, Houlihan & Dancers among others. She has appeared as the soloist in a chamber opera, “Silver River”, as part of Lincoln Center Festival and will also appear in the new Metropolitan Opera production, “The First Emperor” December 2006. Yang will soon appear in her film debut “Across the Universe” choreographed by Daniel Ezralow and directed by Julie Taymor releasing 2007.
Yang has been collaborating with Despina Stamos in creating works and performance projects since 1997 for many formal and alternative venues. The work transforms the environment through the images created utilizing the varying architectures of the spaces and actively engaging the audience. This interaction allows the audience to influence and shape the final production with the performers. Their works have appeared at P.S. 1/MOMA, Dance Theater Workshop, the La Mama Annex, Performing Space 122, Joyce Soho, Williamsburg Art Nexus, Culture Project, The German Consulate, Stoneham Theater in Massachusetts, The Howl Festival, Raw Space, The Velvet Lounge, Smack Melon Gallery, Sky Plot at Smack Melon Gallery and four week European tour, the German Consulate in NYC, Deli Dances and Oasis at Chashama Theater, Galapagos, The Frying Pan, the Upper Manhattan Arts Project, Surf Reality, Gowanus Arts Exchange, Spannwerk in Berline, Boudoir Bar, TIXE, a 24 hour performance on a Staten Island Ferry, Thompson Square Park, Bryant Park, Battery Park, 42nd Street Subway Station, Subtonic, Volume, Air Space, Altman Building, inside of a man-operated elevator, and many New York warehouse arts events… Most recently they had taught a one-week performance workshop and created a large scaled site specific performance at an abandoned school in Luquilo, Puerto Rico. Yang had also collaborated with Peter Fuchs on a multi-media web-cast performance, Pink Vibe, on Franklin Street Subway Station at New York City and an experimental performance project at Shauspielhaus in Vienna.
Jill Woodward is a filmmaker, journalist, & editor. Clients include TIME.com, Greenpeace, & Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She worked for 16 years at CNN where she shared two Emmy awards. Among her independent projects is a dance documentary about the experience of immigration in Greece, “passTRESpass”. She edited the full-length documentary “Trail of Feathers: The Missile Dick Chicks Take on America”. She collaborates with the New York-based modern dance awareness society both as performer and filmmaker, and also has danced with Abigail Levine, Jeramy Zimmerman, and the Hungry March Band.
Bianca is a melting pot. She was a ballet soloist, a Butoh dancer, she danced for Murray Louis in Italy and came to NY on scholarship at the Nikolais and Louis dance Lab. Bianca was “adopted” by Ellen Stewart, La Mama E.T.C. There she was exposed to experimental and classical theater and created movement for actors and regular people. She was an aerial performer. Her long association with La MaMa includes choreography for several productions, “Intermezzo” (La MaMa Moves), “Apnea” (La MaMa NYC), and “Easy” (Spoleto Festival, Italy). Early 2000’s I directed a dance company, NuVoLe DT. Bianca works as a choreographer and movement director for film, theater and video. The short film “ALEX”, which won Best Fiction Film at the Directors Guild of America in 2011. In 2017 La MaMa E.T. C. produced her project “Terra dei Fuochi / Land of Fires”. The project was granted a residency by Chashama. Same year she was a teaching artist in India and was invited by Danny Tan’ to dance in Singapore. In 2018 she toured Italy, performed at Performance is Alive (Art Basel) in Miami. Bianca is a part of The Modern Dance Awareness Society since almost two decades and will co-direct in September 2019, PassTresspass a dance-theater project in collaboration with refugees in Athens, Greece.
She is from Napoli, one of the most creative, and sometimes, challenging cities in the world. Through dance, she learned that she could transcend difficulties through translating it into modern dance. She hopes to lead everyone to a different perception, a different place, where limitations are beautiful and a key for people to get together and find solutions to social issues as well as personal ones. Bianca’s is happy to be part of the MDAS! more info:website: http://www.biancafalco.com
Emily Peck has contributed improvised and choreographed solo and group works for shared concerts and festivals throughout New England, most recently for the New England Dance Project in Maine in Spring 2009. She has presented evening-length works, Volition andLeveled:The Architecture of Things Half-Remembered, on both coasts and made her New York dancing debut with Scott Lyons & Company at the Waterfront Arts Festival in August 2009. She was a participant in the New Dance Alliance Artists in Residency Project at Earthdance in Western MA in 2007, and was a dancer with Blaze Dance Group, also of Western MA. She co-founded and directed GrupoFolklórico Palo Santo, a company performing traditional Afro-Cuban folkloric dance, in 2005. Emily completed her undergraduate degree through study at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba, in the department of Folkloric Dance and is a certified Somatic and Developmental Movement Educator through the School for Body-Mind Centering. Emily currently directs The Falling Up Movement, a collaborative performance group presenting its first in-progress work this October.
has made dances for subway stations, swimming pools, airports, office buildings, gardens, and theaters in New York, Washington DC, Havana, Cuba, Caracas, Venezuela and Taipei, Taiwan. She has danced with choreographers including Jennifer Monson, Clarinda Mac Low, Alan Good, Pat Catterson, Pele Bauch, Despina Stamos, Marianela Boan, the Superamas, and the Denishawn Repertory Dancers. Levine’s work has included choreography for Lorin Maazel’s production of the Turn of the Screw at the Kennedy Center, the Escenario Urbano Festival in Caracas, Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, the Festival of Dance in Urban Landscapes in Havana and the Taipei Fringe Festival, as well as for Dixon Place, the DanceNow/NYC Festival, 3rd Ward Gallery, the French Institute and a production of Genet’s the Maids in New York City.
More information: www.abigaillevine.com
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Yina Ng currently studies and creates movement-based performances in New York City. Dance is her primary activity, but she also works as a graphic designer and video editor for various websites and her own artistic explorations, including several dance videos on her website. Since earning her BA from Middlebury College, Ng has worked with inspiring artists such as Faye Driscoll, Lindsey Drury, and David Hurwith, among others. She is a founding member of Tiffany Rhynard’s Vermont-based dance collective, Big Action Performance Ensemble (Big APE) in 2008 (www.bigapedance.com). Currently, she is working with David Hurwith and his improvisational ensemble on a structured improvisional performance opening in December, 2010. Experiences working with these diverse artists inspire Ng to create with multilayered emotional and physical complexity. Her previous choreography was shown at the highly selective American College Dance Festival National Gala 2008 at Barnard College, the Green Space Studios, and Movement Research’s Open Performance Series at Dance Theater Workshop. She recently received a commission from Manhattan Theater Source’s Estrogenius Dance Festival to create her new solo, Lust of war, my drug, opening at the Joyce Soho in Oct. For details, visit www.yinang.net
Maria Juliana Byck
Maria Juliana Byck is an ethical fashion designer, poet, experimental filmmaker, and social practitioner engaging through video, installation, social interventions and place-based collaborations. Maria loves to dance and has been collaborating with MDAS since 2016.