Panel

INDEPENDENT PANELISTS

STEVEN WEISZ
PhiladelphiaDANCE.org
Weisz founded PhiladelphiaDANCE.org in 2005 as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of Graffito Works, a unique platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

GREGORY KING
Gregory King received his MFA in Choreographic Practice and Theory from Southern Methodist University. In addition, he is certified in Elementary Labanotation. His dance training began in Washington DC at the Washington Ballet and later at American University. He went on to participate in the Horton Project in conjunction with the Library of Congress. His training continued at the prestigious institutions such as The Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Alvin Ailey School. Gregory has performed with The Washington Ballet, Rebecca Kelly Ballet, Erick Hawkins Dance Company, New York Theatre Ballet, Donald Byrd /The Group, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, New York City Opera, and Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway. His desire to integrate social activism into his choreography began with his graduate thesis, where he used the platform to push the conversation about homophobia and heterosexism. He is a lover of movement exploration and describes his aesthetic as a classical base with a theatrical flair. He has taught at Boston Ballet, Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Bowdoin College, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Texas Ballet Theatre. Additionally, he has served as a teaching artist in public schools in and around Dallas, as Resident Guest artist at Temple University and Assistant Professor of Dance at Dean College. Recently, Gregory received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success. He is currently a Visiting Professor of Dance and Consortium on Faculty Diversity Fellow at Swarthmore College where he teaches Modern and continues to use his choreography as a means for social change.

ZORNITSA STOYANOVA
Zornitsa Stoyanova is a performance artist based in Philadelphia, PA. A native of Bulgaria, she holds B.A. in Dance and Sound Design from Bennington College, VT. After concluding her studies in VT she moved to Philadelphia, where she started creating, producing and presenting performing art and video under the name Here[begin] Dance. In 2008 Zornitsa was a fellow with Headlong Performance Institute, where she focused on abstract character building, clowning and interactive theatrical performance. Later that year she studied with Deborah Hay.  Her studies with Hay sparked a new interest in performance presence and deconstruction of communication.  Since then, Zornitsa has sought out professional development opportunities researching art practices in abstracting the body and looking for potential for meaning. She has studied with Miguel Gutierrez, Michelle Boule, Ishmael Houston Jones, Fay Driscoll, Luciana Achugar, Danny Lepkoff amongst others. In 2011 she was an invited artist in Meet the Next Generation program, part of eXplore Dance Festival in Bucharest, Romania, where she studied with Meg Stewart. This influenced her tremendously and furthered her research in identifying abstracted gestural movement and theatrical presence.  Mylar reflective material and custom lighting are integral part of her most recent work and in September 2015, she is starting a yearlong residency at <fidget> space in Philadelphia. Zornitsa also teaches improvisation technique for performance and has done so in Philadelphia, France and recently in her native Bulgaria. Since moving to Philadelphia, Zornitsa has choreographed and performed numerous dances, improvisations and human installations.  Her work has been presented by Rutgers Camden Center for the Arts, Bowerbird, NEXUS Gallery, The New Edge Mix Festival, Etc. Series, StudioSeries, Inhale Performing Series, The A.W.A.R.D. Show! Philadelphia, Spiel Hhr, New York Dance Exchange as well as Mascher Artist in Residency show.  Apart from Philadelphia, she has also shown work at Joyce SoHo, Danspace at St. Mark’s Church in NYC, Hubbart Hall in Cambridge, NY, Wanted Festival in Rennes, France, her native Sofia, Bulgaria, as well as Budapest, Hungary.  Zornitsa has danced with Emergent Improvisation Project, based in Vermont, Lionel Popkin Dance, Group Motion Dance, Idiosyncrazy Productions, <fidget>, Nicole Bindler and others in Philadelphia.

AMY SMITH
Amy Smith is a founder and Co-Director of Headlong Dance Theater, a Philadelphia-based contemporary dance company.  Since 1993, Headlong has created collaborative dance theater works, and toured nationally and internationally.  Recent projects include W*LM*RT Nature Trail, an experiential journey for one audience member at a time, starting in the South Philly Walmart, and This Town is a Mystery, a series of performances created in collaboration with members of 4 Philadelphia households, followed by a potluck dinner. Outside of Headlong, Amy has performed in the work of Deborah Hay, Ishmael Houston Jones, and extensively in theater and cabaret, and has won two Barrymore Awards, as well as a “Bessie” Award for Headlong’s ST*R W*RS and other stories.   Since 2008, Headlong has been running the Headlong Performance Institute, a fall semester training program for college students and recent grads.

FOR RESIDENCY AT CHI MOVEMENT ARTS CENTER

Kun-Yang Lin. Founding Artistic DIrector, KYL/D (www.kyld.org).
Taiwan-born Lin is an artist-educator who dances in the spaces between East and West, the visible and invisible, innovation and tradition, the individual and collective.  Among the primary impulses nourishing his artistry are Buddhist and Taoist world views and the internal energetic flows of many Eastern arts he has practiced over the years including tai chi, chi gong, calligraphy, meditation and Chinese opera movement filtered through extensive training and performance experience across a broad range of contemporary dance techniques and improvisation practices and framed by ongoing cross-cultural research in dance as a medium for the integration of body, spirit and mind.  Lin’s journey as an immigrant navigating tensions between his Eastern/traditional roots and his contemporary interests and embodied research inform his view of dance as a calling that transcends particular labels, shapes and movement.  Lin’s artistry has been presented worldwide, from Lincoln Center to Jacob’s Pillow to the Tanzmesse International Dance Festival, and has received support from leading funders of the arts including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the MidAtlantic Arts Foundation, the Independence Foundation and the Jerome Robbins Foundation.

Jessica Warchal-King
Jessica Warchal-King is a performer, choreographer, educator, and dance advocate in Philadelphia. A graduate of Muhlenberg College with degrees in dance and anthropology, Jessica received her MFA in Dance from Temple University in 2010. Jessica is also a member of the Nora Gibson Performance Project and has performed for independent choreographers Jeffrey Peterson, Lisa Kraus, Tiffany Mills, Deana DeHart, Pat Catterson, Danny Buraczewski, Jacques d’Amboise, and Nicholas Leichter. Her choreography has been presented throughout Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington DC. Jessica is an adjunct professor at Widener University and Muhlenberg College, teaches Dance for PD (dance classes for people with Parkinson’s Disease), Modern and Ballet at CHI MAC, and is a Certified Power Pilates Mat I & II Instructor. She is the curator and co-founder of the InHale Performance Series at the CHI Movement Arts Center, home of Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers. Jessica joined KYL/D in 2010.


FOR RESIDENCY AT THE WHOLE SHEBANG

Meg Foley
Meg Foley is a Philadelphia-based performer and choreographer and co-creative director of The Whole Shebang, a public dance and collective arts space in South Philly. Her work has been presented locally by Thirdbird, FringeArts Festival, Bowerbird, Vox Populi gallery, Little Berlin Gallery, Icebox Project Space, and outside Philadelphia in NYC, Canada, and Poland. An improviser and a queer person, Foley is interested in the embodied potential for a more pliable sense of self and of relationship. Her dances explore the 24hr body, tracking our identities and emotional experiences to a physical core, placing the experiential act at the center. Working from physical actualities and body‐based research, since 2010 she has developed an improvisational practice, action is primary, where all aspects of the body become material: movement, voice, location, emotion, relationship, attention, herstory, and representation. This research informs tiny daily dances (she has performed a dance everyday at 3:15pm since October 20, 2012) as well as an exhibition of the research in Spring 2016, that will feature self-determined, improvisational solos created collectively by the collaborating performers. Foley is a 2012 Pew Fellow in the Arts and 2012 Independence Foundation Fellow and the first dance artist to be a member of Vox Populi Gallery. She teaches dance improvisation, composition, performance practice, and critical theory at University of the Arts. Foley received a BA in Dance from Scripps College in California in 2004 and a Professional Diploma in Dance Studies from Laban Centre London in 2003. www.movingpartsdance.org