Ben Coolik [lighting design] is a collaborative artist whose work crosses and often combines multiple disciplines including lighting design, music composition, interactive multi-media as well as performance. At present, he is creatively influenced by his studies in California and India into the healing arts of Watsu® and Waterdance. Ben’s recent bio-essay on lighting designer, Peggy Clark, will be included in USITT’s book, Late & Great American Theatre Designers, 1960 – 2010. His collaborations have received grant support from ICE (Ideas for Creative Exploration) and The Kitchen, NYC. Ben holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theatrical Design, UGA 2005. (www.elinomad.com)
Jessica Gomula-Kruzic [collborator] is the Executive Director of the //Building Imagination Initiative. As an artist Jessica Gomula-Kruzic’s intermedia installation work employs the use of animation and video sequences projected into large scale installation environments which elicit viewer interaction and participation. Her work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, in traditional and non-traditional settings. She is Associate Professor of Time Based Media at California State University, Stanislaus. The //Building Imagination Initiative continues her goal to create collaborative intermedia art work in alternative public spaces and continues her social-consciousness subject matter through the metaphorical use of architecture. http://liquidneon.net/
Jennifer Mellor [dancer + collaborator] grew up in Oklahoma and has toured professionally throughout the U.S. and Europe. A Stanford grad, she performs with DOUBLE VISION and directs her own modern dance works for Jennifer Mellor Dance Project. Her own work was recently live streamed around the world for the WiredArts Fest and has been presented in New York’s DUMBO Dance Festival, CoolNY Dance, Wave Rising Series (featured on PBS’s NYC-ARTS), with the Tulsa Ballet, 2011 Women on the Way Festival (San Francisco Bay Guardian weekly pick), and 2012 EXCHANGE Dance Festival. Jennifer has been an artist in residence at The Garage in San Francisco and the Living Arts LAB in Tulsa. Jennifer collaborated as dancer and choreographer for Andy Byers’ film-based live performance of “Goodbye Brooklyn”, and she has also presented work through Movement Research, Dance New Amsterdam, and Triskelion Arts, among others. She has danced for companies in New York and San Francisco, including Beth Soll & Company, Ella Rosewood Dance, Copious Dance Theater and Courage Group. Jennifer enjoys collaborating with musicians, technologists, and other genres of artists, and she also serves on the board of directors for STEPOLOGY, a nonprofit promoting tap dance. http://www.jennifermellor.com/
Hanna Satterlee [dancer] was born and raised in Vermont, and has spent the last 15 years traveling the world to study various dance and movement forms, along the East Coast, West Coast, in Ghana and in Brazil. She attended Goucher College in Maryland, and graduated with a double BA in Dance and Psychology, with a Dance Therapy concentration. She later attended Laughing Lotus Yoga School in San Francisco to gain certification to teach Vinyassa yoga. Satterlee is currently back in Montpelier where she serves as the Director of Professional Programming and the Artistic Director of the Teen Jazz touring dance company at the Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio. In addition, she is a choreographer and member of the the Montpelier Movement Collective, and also enjoys being a freelance dancer, yoga teacher and modern guest artist teacher at UVM.
Ellen Smith Ahern [dancer + collaborator] grew up dancing in Illinois. She came east to earn her BA in Dance at Middlebury College ‘05, where she studied with Penny Campbell, Amy Chavasse, Andrea Olsen and Peter Schmitz. Since then she has worked with many artists, including Jane Comfort & Company, Kate Elias, Double Vision, Polly Motley, El Circo Contemporaneo, Tiffany Rhynard’s Big APE and her duet partner, Lida Winfield. Ellen has toured throughout Mexico, Cuba, Qatar, Europe and the USA. With grant support from The Field, The VT Arts Council, The Flynn Center and The Nat’l Endowment for the Arts, she has shown her work in venues such as Dance New Amsterdam, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, The Flynn Theater and FlynnSpace, The Ionion Center of Kefalonia and The Rococo Theatre in Prague. Based now in New York and Vermont, Ellen continues to choreograph, teach and perform as an independent artist. www.ellensmithahern.com
Avi Waring [dancer] is a native Vermonter who studied classical ballet voraciously until she was 17. When it dawned on her that there must be dance outside of a dance studio, she moved to New Orleans and found her groove in jazz and funk clubs. She then joined Zendik Arts in West Virginia, where she became a member of an improvisational dance and sketch comedy company. She moved back to VT in 2005 and has since performed with the Vermont Dance Collective, Moving Light Dance Company and the Montpelier Movement Collective. She is also co-director of Ballet Wolcott, a dance school dedicated to creativity and community through dance.
Lida Winfield [collaborator] began performing at age fifteen as a member of Hannah Dennison’s multi-generational, improvisational dance theater company, Working Ground, in Burlington, Vermont. She continued to perform in the United States for several years, later studying improvisation abroad at The School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, Netherlands. After returning to the US she founded the Lida Winfield Performing Arts Studio in Massachusetts. Five years ago she moved back to Vermont and has become a community leader in promoting the use of expressive arts as a healing and transformational tool. Currently, Lida teaches at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. She is also a core teaching artist in the Words Come Alive! program, training educators to use dance and theater to teach traditional academic curriculum. For the last six years, Lida has focused on original solo work, merging storytelling, dance and visual art to create captivating and poignant performances. These shows have been featured in such venues as The West End Theater, Gloucester MA; Saint Michael’s College, Colchester, VT; Theatre Ste. Catherine, Montreal, Canada; The Flynn Space, Burlington, VT. In 2009, Lida was a principal dancer in Heddy Maalem’s From the New World. She was also commissioned to choreograph her own work as part of this same festival. In 2010 Lida joined Tiffany Rhynard’s Big Action Performance Ensemble. www.lidawinfield.com
Willow Wonder [dancer] is a California native turned Vermonter. In between the two, she was a New Yorker, which is where she received her BFA in Modern Dance from SUNY Purchase and The London Contemporary School of Dance. She has performed original works by Doug Varone, Tere O’Conner, David Dorfman and many others. Since moving to Vermont from NYC, Willow has joyfully worked with VT based dance artists Tarin Chaplin, Hannah Dennison, Paul Besaw, Polly Motley, and Pauline Jennings. In 2010 she co-founded the Montpelier Movement Collective and has had her own work presented at the Flynn Mainstage, Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center, Phantom Theater, Goddard College, and The Barre Opera House.