Five College Consortium

Five College Dance Department


The Five College Dance Department loves hearing from our alums! Please help us stay in touch by sending updated contact info, as well as news about what you're up to these days for inclusion in the annual FCDD newsletter to

FCDD Alumni News 2016-17

Aretha Aoki
 (SC MFA ‘08) is a choreographer, performer, and, most recently, Assistant Professor of Dance at Bowdoin College. She was a co-curator of the 2016 Movement Research Spring Festival Hand Written Note(s).



Rachel Aylward (UM ‘13) most recently performed in Gypsy at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre under the direction of Tony-nominated Marcia Milgrom Dodge. She is a proud new member of the Actor’s Equity Association.



Christiana Axelsen (MHC ’03) performed in May in Christopher Williams’s Il Giardino d’Amore at Danspace Project, Saint Mark’s, NYC



Pele Bausch (HC ’96) taught the workshop “Experiments in Making & Describing”, at Movement Research in fall 2016. She also facilitated Spring Fieldwork 2017, with participants meeting weekly to share work at all stages of development and exchange.



Kim Brant (HC ’01) received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts 2017 Grants to Artists award and presented a new work, The Volume, at SculptureCenter, as part of their In Practice exhibition, January 29– March 27 2017.



Karen Scanlon Brown (UM ’81) is currently teaching at several local dance studios. She is also a dance teacher at Mount Wachusett Community College, and regularly choreographs and stage manages for local community theater and area high schools. She is also a first responder for the Boston Marathon.



Shirah Burgey (UM ’11) earned her Doctoral degree in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University. She continues to utilize her BA in Dance as a member of Urbanity Underground, where she performs and choreographs. She also works part time as a personal trainer, and participates in fitness competitions as a bikini competitor.



Laurel Anne (Kleinschmidt) Boyd (UM ’97, SC MFA ’00) opened Ascendance Inner World Arts, a dance and expressive arts studio in Florence, MA. Along with colleagues Michelle Marroquin (HC ‘94, SC MFA ‘10) and Stephen Tracey-Ursrpung (SC MFA ‘12), she presented performances in June. When she is not teaching and mentoring young students in the community, Laurel is home with her two kids, Gabe (12) and Charlotte (7).



Nichole Canuso (HC ’96) Dance Company, performed Pandaemonium at Fringe Arts and New York Live in September, and The Garden at A.R.T. in Cambridge in October



Shih-Ming Li Chang (SC MFA ’86) and Lynn Frederiksen (SC MFA ’87) wrote a new book, Chinese Dance: In the Vast Land and Beyond, which will be published by Wesleyan University Press.



Joy Davis (SC MFA ’15) joined the Dance Division faculty at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2016. She has also been a Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University, and created commissioned works for Lindenwood University, Scottsdale Community College, and New Dialect Dance Company in Nashville. She taught Countertechnique and Improvisation at the American Dance Festival during summer 2017.



Barbie Diewald (SC MFA ‘16) was named a 2016 Bogliasco Fellow, and did a five-week residency in Liguria, Italy. In 2017, she received grants from the Northampton Arts Council and NEFA’s New England Dance Fund. She recently accepted a two-year Guest Artist appointment at Mount Holyoke College. Her current work Eighteen Refrains Re:Rhoda premiered this spring at the School for Contemporary Dance and Thought, with additional performance dates at the APE Gallery in Northampton, New Dance Alliance’s Performance Mix Festival at University Settlement in NYC, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.



Maura Donohue (SC ‘92, SC MFA ‘08) is Associate Professor of Dance at Hunter College and a Faculty Fellow at Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. Her essay “Ambivalent Selves: Asian Female Body in American Concert Dance” was published in Contemporary Directions in Asian American Dance (Wisconsin Press). She served as curator for the La MaMa Moves 2017 & EstroGenius 2017 Festivals, is on the board of Movement Research, and the NY Dance & Performance (Bessies) Awards Committee. She premiered Tides Project in May 2017. She is still raising two humans in NYC.



Brendan Drake (UM ‘09) presented The Big Finish at the 2017 La MaMa Moves Festival. In May, he premiered a work-inprogress at Abrons Arts Center in collaboration with composer Matthew Ricketts, and he is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Brooklyn Studios for Dance.


Martha Eddy (HC ’74) released her new book Mindful Movement, and was featured on the Politics and Somatics panel at Hampshire College in February.



Matthew Elder (SC MFA ’14) accepted a position at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD, and at Georgetown University as a visiting Guest Artist. His two years in DC included dancing with Christopher K. Morgan and being named one of the five “Up and Coming Dance Artists of DC” by the Ngoma Reader. In NYC, Matthew now dances with three local companies, recently completed an apprenticeship with Kate Weare, and continues working towards his second MA (in Social Work) at Hunter College, to become a full-time art rehabilitation specialist.



Angelica Falcinelli (SC’12) is a Dance/Movement Therapist living in Brooklyn, NY. She works as a Social Worker/Creative Arts Therapist in a preventive services program where she counsels families that are at risk of having their children placed in care.



Dan Farbman (AC ’01) began a new job as a law professor at Boston College Law School.



Olana Flynn (HC ‘13) started the MFA program in Experimental Choreography this fall at the University of California Riverside. She received a Deans Fellowship and full funding for her studies.



Olivia Fauver (SC ’14) lives in Seattle, and dances with the contemporary Butoh company The Three Yells. She also works with Faunix Dance, a multimedia dance company directed by Ashleigh Claire Miller. She was a guest artist with the physical theater company DangerSwitch, and is also working with a group of dancers on her own work, THAW, which premiered at Converge Dance Festival in April.



Meghan Frederick (HC ’07) had residencies at Denmark Arts Center, Marymount Manhattan College and Barn Arts Collective. She presented new material in March in Boston and in May in NYC, and ran a week-long movement studies course at Summer Festival of the Arts in Bar Harbor, ME in July.



Karen Frances Freeberg (UM ’14) is an actor based in NYC. She recently worked on television in The Cobblestone Corridor, The Haunting, Six Degrees of Murder, and Trending. Karen plays Everby in the award-winning film Silence Equals, and also performed in the New York Fringe Festival in The CoOperatives. Her first self-produced film, Kit, just wrapped production.



Katy Wakeman Forline (MHC ‘81), uses the embodied anatomy and physiology from her dance experience at MHC to enhance her practice of massage therapy and movement education, Yoga Tune Up®, InterPlay® and the recent birth of her new LLC, Move2Joy. She recently returned to the MHC studios to teach a movement session at Reunion II in May.



Lily Gold (HC ’08) premiered Good Mud at Danspace Project in April.



Merli V. Guerra (MHC ‘09) continues to co-direct Luminarium Dance Company in Boston, with Kimberleigh A. Holman (MHC ‘09), now in its seventh season. Merli recently completed a six-month guest cohort position with We Create— celebrating female artists in Boston—in which she created new work tackling Alzheimer’s and memory loss. She also received a grant to bring Luminarium to Fuller Craft Museum for a one-week residency, building five large-scale art installations, each with a dancer inside—continuing her breathing installation series that began in 2011.



Annie Heath (UM ’15) recently presented new works, including REV at TADA Youth Theater (NYC), Score, meet space at UMass, and The Stable Edge at Arts on Site (NYC).



Carina Ho (SC ’09) has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to promote access to dance for people with disabilities in Uruguay. Her project goal is to deepen her understanding of how artists and educators in countries where integrated dance has been recently introduced are influencing the discourse surrounding inclusivity of people with disabilities in the arts.



CJ Holm’s (HC ’04) latest duet, this is an abstract dance about a dog, premiered at STUFFED at Judson Church in December. He sang in the chorus for Iele Paloumpis’s new work at DraftWork at Danspace Project, and he presented his one-person musical dramedy about white fragility, Becky’s Lament, at the Exponential Festival in January.



Julia Hudson (SC ’08) graduated from the University of Roehampton in London with an MA in Dance Studies with a focus on digital archives. Though her day job is in travel, she trains in Horton with David Blake at London’s DanceWorks studio, and performs with City Academy Contemporary Dance.



Emma Jaster (AC ’07) is working in New York as a choreographer and movement director. She just completed work on Heartbeat Opera’s adaptation of Madame Butterfly which was featured and reviewed in the New York Times. She recently founded an international collective of performing artist mothers creating a new work together each week for a year. You can follow and join in their Artist Residency in Motherhood by checking out #mamaisamaker or following @notapapercrane on instagram.



Jane Jerardi (HC’ 97) presented her work, again (again) at Links Hall in Chicago in January.



Renata Kiburyte (SC ’04) has been living in Madrid for over ten years and is currently working on her PhD in Philosophy and Dance. She also studies Flamenco and Graham technique.



Eliza Larson (SC MFA’13) expanded her Smith graduate research on gender among choreographers and artistic directors into a chapter recently published in the 2017 bookDance and Gender: An Evidence-Based Approach (University Press of Florida). In January, she performed with Tahni Holt in Sensation/Disorientation, and in March premiered her latest evening-length work In Circadia with her company Fault Line Dance. She got married in August.



Jennifer Lawson (MHC ‘91) is a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. Much of her public diplomacy work concentrates on arts, education, and professional exchange programs. She has performed with a modern dance company in Serbia, taught dance to second graders in rural Guatemala, brought aerial dancers to Ecuador and coordinated a performance of traditional local dances for Dr. Jill Biden’s official visit to Zambia. Last year, Jennifer was on sabbatical in Paris while her husband completed his tour at the U.S. Embassy there. Next stop: Washington, DC in fall 2017.



Stephanie Mahler (SC ’16) recently published her book, Reflections: A Place Called Ponderosa, on intersections between dance practice, philosophy and environmental consciousness in the context of Ponderosa, the festival in Stolzenhagen, Germany, that she has directed for several years.



Kristen Mangione (SC ’94) is the founder and director of ZenSpace in Hoboken, NJ, a dance and healing arts center offering dance, yoga and meditation. In 2017, ZenSpace’s dance company in residence was launched, and premiered its first work to Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe. The company is the culmination of over 10 years of Kristen’s dreams of dance, community, and transformation coming together. She teaches, choreographs, and performs, as well as leading retreats through ZenSpace.



Michelle Marroquin (HC ‘94, SC MFA ‘10) earned her license as a Physical Therapist Assistant last year, and has been working in a hospital rehab center helping people recover from traumatic injuries. Recently, she has been choreographing two very different dances: Garden of Eve, and Love Poem for my Parents, that will premier in September 2017 at Studio 4 in Northampton.



Christopher-Rasheem McMillan (HC ’07) has accepted a tenure track position at the University of Iowa, one specially designed across three departments to combine his areas of expertise. He will begin fall 2017 as Assistant Professor of Dance Theory and Practice and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies and affiliate Faculty in Religious Studies.



Desiree Monet-Anderson (MHC ’74) oversees the health and safety, general happiness, and level of community inclusion for 41 individuals with special needs, including her two  children, thirty various types of poultry, and nine pygmy goats. She lives on a small farm, which was her early childhood dream.



Leah Moriarty (UM ‘10) is currently based in Brooklyn, working with choreographers Joya Powell and Souleymane Badolo. Her work has been recently performed at Dixon Place, Arts On Site and Triskelion. She was an artist in residence at the Denmark Art Center in Maine this summer and continues to work for ThisWorldMusic, a Ghanaian dance and drum intensive study abroad program.



Anne Morris (SC ‘03) lives in Greensboro, NC with her wife and daughters. She is currently the Co-Executive Director of the Dance Project, a nonprofit dance organization; she also coordinates the NC Dance Festival and teaches dance to children and adults through the School at City Arts.



Cathy Nicoli (MFA ’04) is currently Assistant Professor of Dance and Performance Studies at Roger Williams University, where she is also very active in social justice and environmental sustainability initiatives across campus.  She continues to work independently as a choreographer and dancer.


Gwen Niven (HC ‘07) graduated this spring with an MS in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Ailey Picasso (HC ‘14) begins the MFA in Dance program at the University of Iowa this fall


Ellen Setchko Palmerlee (MHC ’16) is dancing with the UPside Modern Dance Company in Healdsburg, CA. She is also an assistant for a jazz/modern dance class and has been creating a lot of her own choreography for the class. She is looking into auditions around the Bay Area—particularly for site specific projects.



MiRi Park (UM ‘00) is the Associate Choreographer for the 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT. She also teaches hip hop at UC Santa Barbara and CalState Channel Islands. She resides in Thousand Oaks, CA with her husband and two children.



Marta Renzi (HC ’75) While working on post-production on Her Magnum Opus in February, Marta had time to go through her archives and make some of that available to see. To view one of her seldom-seen b&w experimental videos featuring David Thomson, go to: martarenzi.



Jen Rosenblit (HC’05) collaborated with musician Geo Wyeth in The Inflection Point, a companion to Rosenblit’s Clap Hands presented at the Invisible Dog in 2016. They were exploring what they describe as “the indiscernible moment of change”, at The Kitchen through March 4, 2017.



Laura Ann Samuelson (HC’11) performed her project, practicing, in rep with square product theatre’s production of Damaris Webb’s THE BOX MARKED BLACK: Tales from a Halfrican American Growing up Mulatto in Colorado. This fall, Laura Ann will begin the MFA in Dance program at the University of Colorado Boulder where she was granted a Center for the Humanities and The Arts’ Arts & Sciences Fellowship.



Kerry Schaefer (AC ’01) has been busy with the non-dance activities of starting a medical practice as a holistic family doctor and raising two children in Portland, Oregon. She has been keeping connected with dance through exploring aerial arts, pole dance and dancing her 11-month old to sleep. She is excited to be on the board of a local non-profit, Dance Wire (dancewirepdx. org) dedicated to helping enrich and support dancers and dancer health in the Portland community.


Brenda Lynn Siegel (HC ’00) is the Executive/Artistic Director of the annual Southern Vermont Dance Festival.



Jenny Spicola (MHC ‘15) just completed her first of two years en route to obtaining a Master of Arts degree in Spanish at University of WisconsinMadison with a focus in Linguistics.  Jenny taught beginner-level Spanish at UW and has recently started teaching a dance fitness class for women over 40. 



Stephen Tracy-Ursprung (SC MFA ‘12) just started as an Assistant Professor in Dance Studies at Dean College.



Mariana Valencia (HC ’06) offered a lab and performed at the School for Contemporary Dance and Thought in Northampton in March.



Kristen Duffy Young (UM ‘00) is celebrating her 10th year as Director of the Colleges of the Fenway Dance Project, a performance ensemble of more than 200 college students in the Fenway area of Boston. In addition to serving as adjunct faculty for Dance at Emmanuel College, she is also a faculty member of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies certification program at Lesley University. This summer, she performed with her company Accumulation Dance, at the Southern Vermont Dance Festival.



Joanne Casey Zullig, (UM ’83) is a dance/ movement therapist and licensed professional counselor in NJ.  She works with children and adult victims of domestic violence. Currently, she is doing dance/movement therapy work in the women’s prison in NJ and has been asked to speak at the National Dance Therapy Conference in San Antonio, fall 2017