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Students Dancing on Stage

Danceworks 2021Online | April 16-17

 

Note from the Artistic Director

Congratulations — if you’re reading this you are pretty technologically advanced! You either scanned the QR code, or used the link to arrive here at this digital program. It also means that you are an engaged audience member; someone who wants to have a deeper connection to the work presented in this evening’s concert. Hence, you’re reading the program, and this note. In the realm of digital performance, you are a rarity. So, great job! And, thank you.

As I’ve moved through over a year of creating and producing art for digital presentation, I’ve found myself questioning each part of the process’ function, as well as transmission, to the digital sphere. For example, this program you’re reading serves multiple functions. It signals to you, the audience member, content, meaning, and process through piece titles, collaborators’ crediting, and director’s notes. Perhaps the most important function is that the program documents a particular moment in time. What work was made, who was a part of it, what they did, and how they collaborated. While this past year is not one we’re likely to forget (even if we’d like to) it is incredibly important to document this moment. This gathering of students and artists who found meaningful connection by making dance together via digital rehearsals, in-person filming, and live on zoom. As you'll see in the dancer’s bios, coming together as a company this season created a tether to our community when we needed it most.

The AU Dance Program community is not found in our studio or theatre. It is found in the people themselves. This has been the foundation of our processes this year. Each work, each individual performance in tonight’s concert, is a unique moment in time where artists have engaged in something new, applying known strategies to new circumstances. As dancers, we are practiced at this. We also have learned new skills ranging from technology, to camera operation, to dancing in small spaces, to endurance for film shoots, to unison via zoom performance. While this may be new terrain, we are kept firmly planted by using our dancerly skills and connecting to our compassionate community.

DANCEWORKS 2021 marks this moment by acknowledging that the transition to dancing at home has reawakened the reality that dance is a form that began in the spaces where we lived, learned and worked. The studio and stage were later inventions the indeed had great impact. Tonight we welcome you, our audience, to the spaces where we live, learn, and work throughout the DMV. Thank you for marking this moment with us.

— Britta J. Peterson, Artistic Director

Program

  • Opening the Way” 
    Choreography: Marcia Howard
    Videography: Lauren Jessica Brown
    Music: Uasuf Gueye and Erica Owusu
    Audio Recording Engineering: Salim Williams
    Costuming: Barbara Tucker Parker         
    Rehearsal Assistance: Dominique Dempsey
    Performance by Angela Camara, Dominique Dempsey, Paige Hofschire, Abigail Jackson, Jenny Jercois, Lexi Richards
  • Vital Repertoire” 
    Choreography and Video Editing: Britta Joy Peterson
    Music: John Meier
    Videography: Aaron Tucker
    Costuming: Sydney Moore        
    Movement Collaboration and Performance by Jess Carrel, Natalia Cervantes, Malik Gomes Cruz
    Special Thanks to Malik Burnett, Olivia Weber, and Jane Rabinovitz
  • Hardwear” 
    Choreography: Sarah Beth Oppenheim
    Music: “black screen” by LCD Soundsystem, “Infancy” by Museum of Love, “Ruby's Wheel” by TRZTN, Yesh, “Crosswinds” by TRZTN, Estræl Bøisø
    Videographer and Graphics Creation: Oliver Mertz
    Costuming: Sydney Moore and Barbara Tucker Parker
    Props, Headpiece and Scenic Design: by the dancers, in collaboration with Sarah Beth Oppenheim        
    Rehearsal Assistance : Jennifer Cinicola
    Sound Assistance : Paige Hofschire
    Performance by Jennifer Cinicola, Jocelyn Hartman, Lauren Morris, Emma Sack, Gretchen Venema
  • Marking Time” 
    Choreography: Erin Foreman-Murray
    Music: “Zucht 2” by Machinefabriek
    Video Creation: Jay Williams
    Costuming: Sydney Moore and Barbara Tucker Parker
    Rehearsal Assistance: Emma O’Brien         
    Performance by Allison Grant, Sydney Houston, Emma O’Brien, Scout Pruski, and Anja Voges
    Recorded on loaction at Airlie
  • Re-Vision” 
    Co-Direction: Jonathan Hsu and Britta Joy Peterson
    Music: Dylan Glatthorn
    Costume Design: Ayla Taffel
    Editor: Jonathan Hsu
    Rehearsal Assistance: Sydney Houston and Jenny Jecrois         
    Choreography: Britta Joy Peterson and Company
    Performance and Videography by Grace Bruer, Angela Camara, Jess Carrell, Natalia Cervantes, Jenn Cinicola, Dominique Dempsey, Michela Dwyer, Annika Falta, Jalynn Gerard, Hannah Gmach, Malik Gomes Cruz, Allison Grant, Jocelyn Hartman, Sara Hamilton, Paige Hofschire, Sydney Houston, Lizzie Huettl, Abigail Jackson, Jenny Jecrois, Lauren Morris, Emma O’Brien, Scout Pruski, Lexi Richards, Caroline Routh, Emma Sack, Suzie Stitt, Gretchen Venema, Anja Voges, Bryony Whitelaw, Eliza Wright
  • Post Show Conversation with the Choreographers and Company
    Facilitated by Artistic Director Britta Joy Peterson

Dance Program Faculty

Esperonto Bean, Adjunct Faculty
Lisa Clarkson, Adjunct Faculty
Princess Mhoon Cooper, Adjunct Faculty
Erin Foreman-Murray, Program Director, Professorial Lecturer
Marcia Howard, Adjunct Faculty
Quynn Johnson, Adjunct Faculty
Ama Law, Adjunct Faculty 
Sarah Beth Oppenheim, Adjunct Faculty
Britta Joy Peterson, Professorial Lecturer
Kristopher Pourzal, Adjunct Faculty 
Robert Woofter, Adjunct Faculty
Irina Wunder, Adjunct Faculty

Special Thanks

Dan Erickson for steering our digital ship; Rick Putnam and Charles Smith for helping us access the beautiful grounds at the Airlie Center; Jeff Watts for the always brilliant documentation; Scout Pruski for directing and editing the company photographic promotional series; Malik Burnett and Annie Mancuso for the brilliant marketing development and execution; Jane Rabinovitz for the support in using the Kennedy Center REACH lawn; GreenKat team for their support throughout this process.

American University Dance Company Biographies

  • Grace Bruer (she/her, they/them)
    Grace Bruer is a senior International Relations major looking to enter law school this Fall. She performed in Jess Carrel's CHOREOLAB 2019 piece, Erin Foreman-Murray's DANCEWORKS 2020 piece, and Scout Pruski's CHOREOLAB 2020 piece. Grace has been dancing since they were four years old, and is incredibly grateful to the AU Dance community for the accepting, positive, and loving environment everyone in it has offered. They are extremely excited to perform in Jonathan Hsu's piece in this year's DANCEWORKS 2021.
  • Angela Camara (she/her/hers)
    Angela is a junior International Studies and Dance double major from Fairfield, CT, primarily interested in the different ways abstract and artistic modalities of thinking can inform U.S. domestic and foreign policy. In recent years, Angela choreographed “Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze” for CHOREOLAB 2019, and presented the work to the American Collegiate Dance Association’s 2020 conference for professional adjudication. She has also performed in CHOREOLAB 2018, Gallery 2018 and DANCEWORKS 2019.
  • Jess Carrel (she/her/hers)
    Jess Carrel is a senior Dance and Anthropology major studying how movement research can be mobilized as ethnographic methodology in order to produce complete data on the human embodied experience. To this end, she created: "The Missing Link Framework" which was presented at ACDA 2020 as well as choreographing "The Missing Link" which debuted as part of CHOREOLAB 2019. She has performed in CHOREOLAB 2017 & 2018 as well as Gallery 2018 & 2019, in addition to premiering her own work "How Does Your Migraine Move?" in Gallery 2021. She has been a member of the American University Dance Company for four seasons.
  • Natalia Cervantes (she/her/hers)
    Natalia Cervantes is a second-yearmore from California double majoring in Psychology and Dance with a particular curiosity about how the subconscious mind inspires psychologically healing movement. She has collaborated and performed in projects within CHOREOLAB 2019, DANCEWORKS 2020, the American College Dance Association Conference 2020, and Gallery 2021, alongside choreographing her own movement research project last semester in CHOREOLAB 2020. She is beyond grateful to have been part of this year's DANCEWORKS 2021.
  • Jenn Cinicola (she/her/hers)
    Jenn Cinicola is currently a second year studying dance and history. During her time with the dance program Jenn has participated in CHOREOLAB 2019 and 2020, Gallery 2019 and 2021, and DANCEWORKS 2020. Jenn has learned to fall in love with dance all over again, as her creative practice made its way from the studio into her living and bedroom. She looks forward to sharing and seeing the beautiful work that continues to be produced during these harrowing times. 
  • Malik Gomes Cruz (he/him/his)
    Malik Gomes Cruz is a second year Dance and African American and African Diaspora Studies double major. He previously performed in Gallery 2021 within work by Eliza Wright, CHOREOLAB 2020 within work by Emma O'Brien, and DANCEWORKS 2020 within work by Erin Foreman-Murray. His interests include researching the uses of Black dance practices as forms of political protest and Black liberation as well as music composition. He is excited to continue developing his own dance practice through DANCEWORKS 2021.
  • Dominique A. Dempsey (she/her/hers)
    Dominique Dempsey, aka the dancing diplomat, is a senior International Relations and Dance double major. She is extremely passionate about diplomacy, arts advocacy, and dance accessibility. She has been a part of many AU productions such as CHOREOLAB (2017, 2019), Gallery (2018, 2019). Her most recent endeavor being Gallery 2021 where she premiered “Dancing Through Colorism: Finding Empowerment Through Movement”. She is so thankful to have been a part of AU/DC family for three seasons.
  • Michela Dwyer (she/her, they/them)
    Michela is a senior Philosophy and Dance double major who is simply thrilled to be performing in her third and final DANCEWORKS concert. She recently premiered her senior capstone research in her film, "Voyage," at Gallery 2021. Michela finds the most rewarding part of being a company member the lifelong friends she has made along the way. Dancing in these works and with these people has informed Michela's understanding of performance as a deeply communal practice.
  • Annika Falta (she/her/hers)
    Annika Falta is a Second-yearmore International Studies major with a minor in Dance. This is her second season dancing with the American University Dance Company, where she has performed in a project by Angela Camara. She has previously performed in CHOREOLAB 2019 and performed in a work at the American College Dance Association Conference in 2020. She looks forward to this year's DANCEWORKS 2021 and expanding her experience in dance for camera.
  • Jalynn Gerard (she/her/hers)
    Jalynn Gerard is a first-year psychology major. Previously, she has performed in CHOREOLAB 2020 for the first time and has since then been involved with the dance program. This is her first time participating DANCEWORKS and Gallery this year and she has been so grateful for the knowledge she has pertained from her peers and teachers. She is very optimistic for future dance experiences and hopes to continue to grow within this artform!
  • Hannah Gmach (she/her/hers)
    Hannah Gmach is a junior Anthropology major with a minor in International Relations. At AU she has previously been a part of Gallery 2019 and DANCEWORKS 2020. This is her second season dancing within American University Dance Company and is looking forward to exploring the new kind of creativity that dancing through a camera involves.
  • Allison Grant (she/her/hers)
    Allison Grant is a first-year student who intends to major in Dance and Political Science. This year, she collaborated with Abigail Jackson and Jocelyn Hart in their works for CHOREOLAB 2020. She also collaborated with Katie Kirouac in her research for Gallery 2021. She is excited to continue her work with AU/DC, and hopes to conduct her own research in the future.
  • Sara Hamilton (she/her/hers)
    Sara Hamilton is in her second year at AU and is studying Health Promotion and Dance. She has previously performed in CHOREOLAB in 2019 and 2020, and in DANCEWORKS 2020. She also danced in Gallery 2021 this semester and is excited to begin her own work in the future.
  • Jocelyn Hartman (she/her/hers)
    Jocelyn Hartman is currently a second-year at American University intending to double major in Dance and SIS. She was previously apart of Jess Carrel's CHOREOLAB 2019 piece titled "The Missing Link" and Rosy Simas' DANCEWORKS 2020 piece titled "Weave" as a performer. Additionally, she had choreographed work for CHOREOLAB 2020 titled "Blended." She looks forward to this year's DANCEWORKS 2021 expanding what she knows about site specific pieces.
  • Paige Juliet Hofschire (she/her/hers)
    Paige Juliet Hofschire is a junior, double majoring in Public Health and Dance. She has recently collaborated with Michela Dwyer as a dramaturg for Dwyer’s capstone project in Gallery 2021, performed in Natalia Cervantes's CHOREOLAB 2020 piece, and performed last year in "Weave: Procession" for DANCEWORKS 2020. The work she has done in Marcia Howard and Jonathon Hsu's pieces has allowed her to connect with others during this difficult time and expand her embodied knowledge. She looks forward to delving into her own research this upcoming fall for her own senior capstone project.
  • Sydney Houston (she/her/hers)
    Sydney Houston is a second-year Dance and Literature Major. She has participated as a Gallery 2021 collaborator and is both a performer and self-professed book nerd. After beginning dance in her high school, she chose to continue dance in college with a great interest in ballet and contemporary forms. At AU she has found great community and love for dancing as well as Literature and hopes to be a participant in other productions in the program in her time at AU.
  • Lizzie Huettl (she/her/hers) 
    Lizzie Huettl is a second-year Dance major with double minors in Business and Chinese Language. A passionate and empathetic performer and creator, she has taken part in DANCEWORKS 2020, CHOREOLAB 2020. Her main goal at the moment is to become a choreographer for CHOREOLAB Fall 2021. She is an adoptee from Vietnam with hopes of becoming a professional choreographer and performer in Asia. Special thanks to Britta for supporting her through an injury!
  • Abigail Jackson (she/her/hers)
    Abigail Jackson is a second-year double majoring in Psychology and Secondary Education. She has been a part of the dance program since coming to AU, performing in CHOREOLAB 2019 and Gallery 2019 with works by Angela Camera and Marita Anastasi. This is her second season with the American University Dance Company where she previously performed in work by Britta Joy Peterson in Spring 2020. This fall, she was also a choreographer for CHOREOLAB 2020 where her debut work "Metamorphosis" was presented virtually.
  • Jenny Jecrois (she/her/hers)
    Jenny is a junior SIS major and Dance minor. She has performed in CHOREOLAB (2019) for Dominique Dempsey’s piece titled, “Go Play in the Sun.” Jenny also had the privilege to perform in The American College Dance Association Conference for Angela Camara’s “Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze” and Jess Carrel’s “The Missing Link.” This is Jenny's third year dancing with AU Dance Company and is very excited to expand her experience to dance for the camera.
  • Lauren Jessica Morris (she/her/hers)
    Lauren Jessica Morris is a second-year majoring in Public Relations & Strategic Communication. This is her second season with the American University Dance Company and third semester involved in dance at AU. Lauren is a dual citizen of the US and Australia and enjoys art, drinking coffee, and hanging out with her cats.
  • Emma O'Brien (she/her/hers)
    Emma O'Brien is a junior Dance and CLEG (Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government) double major. She recently showcased her first movement research project, "Multimodal Processes" in CHOREOLAB 2020. She has performed previously in CHOREOLAB 2018 and 2019, Gallery 2018 and 2021, and DANCEWORKS 2019 and 2020. She looks forward to sharing her virtual exploration through time and space in DANCEWORKS 2021.
  • Scout Pruski (they/them/theirs)
    Scout Pruski is a graduating senior majoring in Film and Media Arts with a minor in Dance. After appearing in works by Sergio Guerra Abril (DANCEWORKS 2018) and Orange Grove Dance (DANCEWORKS 2019), they're thrilled to be time traveling in Erin's work this year. Scout choreographed "Alterations" for CHOREOLAB 2018 and directed the dance film "INPUT/OUTPUT" for CHOREOLAB 2020. Their other passions include yoga, sewing, fostering queer communities, and writing critically acclaimed fan-fiction.
  • Lexi Richards (she/her/hers)
    Lexi Richards is a senior Dance major with a minor in Education Studies. Her most recent research, "in and within," was presented in Gallery 2021 as part of her Dance Capstone Project. She has previously performed in Gallery 2018 and this will be her third season dancing with the American University Dance Company.
  • Caroline Routh (she/her/hers)
    Caroline Routh is an International Studies major with a focus in East Asia and a Chinese language minor. Her current Olson Scholar's research investigates the quest for Russian identity and cultural appropriation during the Golden and Silver ages of ballet. Previously, she performed in CHOREOLAB 2019 in a piece by Dominique Dempsey, and she looks forward to this performance of DANCEWORKS 2021. She loves dogs, lighthouses, needlepointing, and of course, dancing!
  • Emma Sack (she/her/hers)
    Emma Sack is first-year studying Psychology at AU. Emma has been dancing since the age of nine in her hometown of Chicago, and this is her first season with the American University Dance Company. She is extremely thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with the company on DANCEWORKS 2021, and has learned a lot about herself as a dancer, collaborator, and performer while navigating through this artistic process virtually.
  • Suzie Stitt (she/her/hers)
    Suzie Stitt is a first year Business major. Suzie grew up performing with Mass Motion Dance, and participated in the advanced dance program in her high school all four years. She has performed with Contemporarily Out of Order, and has done summer intensives with both Joffrey Ballet and Alvin Ailey Dance Company. She is very excited to be performing in DANCEWORKS 2021!
  • Gretchen Venema (she/her, they/them)
    Gretchen Venema is a second-year Music and Dance major. This is their first performance with the AU Dance Program. She is excited for DANCEWORKS 2021 as a way to join the community and expand her artistry.
  • Anja Voges (she/her/hers)
    Anja Voges is a second-year majoring in International Studies. Anja has previously performed in Gallery 2019, and at the American College Dance Association Conference with her American University Dance Company 2020 cast. This academic year, she had the honor of being a performer in CHOREOLAB 2020 and Gallery 2021. Anja looks forward to this year's DANCEWORKS 2021 performance in Erin Foreman-Murray and Jonathan Hsu's work where she expanded her experience with improvisation and dancing for a camera.
  • Eliza Wright (she/her/hers)
    Eliza Wright is a senior Dance major with a minor in Political Science. Choreographic works include "the Function" in Gallery 2021 and "iii" in CHOREOLAB 2019. Performance work includes CHOREOLAB 2017 and 2018, DANCEWORKS 2019, and Gallery 2019. She is deeply grateful to be spending her final months at AU with the American University Dance Company before she moves out west to learn how to brew beer.
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Creative Team Biographies

  • Lauren Jessica Brown, Videographer (she/her/hers)
    Lauren is a DC based interdisciplinary artist. Her practice is heavily steeped in photography, film and documentation. She’s an avid traveler, gifted conversationalist, and excited collaborator. Her passions for movement, interactivity, and visual arts collide in her UX/UI work. Lauren is an SPJ Mark of Excellence Award recipient, an American University inaugural Dance major cohort member, and has performed at CPRD theater, Greenberg Theater, and the National Gallery of Art.
  • Dylan Glatthorn, Compser (he/him/his)
    Dylan Glatthorn is a Brooklyn-based composer & lyricist. He has composed numerous original musical scores for Orange Grove Dance including REMNANTS (Premiere: The Terrace Theater @ The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC) and Leaning Toward the Sky (commissioned by the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, DC). His original musicals include: The Pelican (2020-2021 Frank Young Fund for New Musicals Grant from NAMT), Bittersweet Lullaby (currently licensed through MTI), and two O’Neill National Music Theater Conference finalists, Edison and Republic. He co-wrote and arranged all original songs for Diana DeGarmo‘s album GEMINI. Dylan has written music for seven feature films, numerous shorts, documentaries, and commercials for brands like Nickelodeon, Oakley, Red Bull, Alessi, and PBS. For his work he has been awarded the 2019 New Hampshire Theatre Award for Best Sound Design, the Clive Davis Award for Excellence in Music in Film, Best Original Score at First Run Film Festival, and he is a two-time recipient of the Alan Menken Award. Dylan is a proud member of both ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. To see more visit Dylan's website
  • Uasuf Gueye, Musician (he/him/his)
    Uasuf Gueye, of Washington, DC, is a nationally acclaimed musician and artist. He belongs to a family of Nguewel/Diali, or oral historians and musicians. He began his study and performance of Manding and Wolof music at a very young age. Uasuf is a dynamic djembe and dundun drummer as well as a skilled instrument craftsman. He also plays the 21-key Bala, which he learned from master artists of the Manding tradition of West Africa. Uasuf has dedicated his life to the task of becoming an ambassador of African culture to the world. The catalyst for such a responsibility is the passion he has for reconnecting those of the African Diaspora to one another. His repertoire as a recording and performing artist ranges from traditional songs from the 13th century to contemporary original compositions incorporating hip-hop, blues and jazz riffs.
  • Marcia Howard, Choreographer (she/her/hers)
    Marcia Howard began her dance training in Baltimore, MD, studying ballet, modern, and jazz at The Francine School of Dance. She performed professionally with The Baltimore Dance Theater, under the direction of Orville Johnson and Eva Anderson. In 1995, she began her studies in traditional African dance of Guinea and Senegal, with Sylvia Soumah, which lead to becoming company member of Coyaba Dance Theater. Marcia traveled to Senegal in 2000, to study with Bouly Sonko of Les Ballet du Senegal she returned in 2008, to further her studies in traditional dance and culture of Senegal and Guinea. Her studies into the African diaspora led her to Havana, Cuba in 2017, studying Afro-Cuban dance and to Accra, Ghana in 2019 with Coyaba, studying with Folkoric Selamta. Marcia has been on faculty at the Dance Place since 1999 and American University since 2004. At Imagination Stage she is the Senior Faculty of Dance Education. Performing nationally and internationally with Coyaba Dance Theater; Seoul, Korea, Dance Africa Chicago, for Michael Jackson at the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, DC and Uncommon Heights, a celebration by Dorothy Height (NCNW) honoring Oprah Winfrey.
  • Jonathan Hsu, Project Director (he/him/his)
    Jonathan Hsu has a BA in Dance and BS in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland College Park. Currently dancing with Orange Grove Dance, he has also performed with Rennie Harris Puremovement, PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER, Project ChArma, and Culture Shock DC both nationally and internationally in Russia, Germany, Cuba, Mexico, the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre, San Diego Civic Theatre, and many local venues in the Maryland and DC area. He also has extensive experience teaching hip hop in the DMV community and draws on his background in both street/club forms and modern to create a unique curriculum and pedagogy. Along with dance performance and teaching Jonathan is also interested in the intersection of dance and media through photography, videography, and projection design and used all of those skills as the digital content and social media manager at Dance Place from 2017-2020, and created a YouTube channel called “Dance Tech with JHsu” with the goal of helping dancers become more proficient in the digital space. For more information visit Johnathan's website.
  • John Meier, Composer (he/him/his)
    Guitarist and electronic musician with a strong background in the composition and performance of improvised music for a variety of ensembles including small group jazz, chamber group, and rock groups. John Meier seeks to utilize sound and space to build unorthodox and unexpected soundscapes where genre, timbre and form collide to form unique and peculiar sonic worlds.
  • Oliver Mertz, Video and Graphics Creator (he/him/his)
    Oliver Mertz believes comics can change the world, along with excellent video production, graphic design, DC post-punk music, and all the humor (as long as it’s his, and you’re laughing at it). Depending on the hour of the day, he is a comic book creator, a self-trained troubadour, or a freelance video producer and designer for non-profits, arts organizations, and dance company Heart Stück Bernie. He lives in Silver Spring, MD with his modern dance teaching artist wife, his two kids, a television shamelessly placed over the fireplace, and lots of construction paper things.
  • Barbara Tucker Parker, Costume Designer (she/her/hers)
    Barbara Tucker Parker is the costume designer/manager for the Greenberg Theatre. At American University, she received the University Award for Outstanding Service in 1992. Several productions have won regional American College Theater Festival competitions. She received her MFA from George Washington University and BA from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA. A Washington DC native her area work includes most of the local professional theaters.
  • Erin Foreman-Murray, Choreographer (she/her/hers)
    Erin Foreman-Murray is a contemporary dance artist who researches improvisational performance practices and somatically investigates what the body can do across time. Her choreographic work has been presented by New Faces New Dances (Salzburg), Raw Matters (Vienna), Temple University, the Field, Here[begin] Dance, and in the Philly Fringe Festival. Erin built her early career as a freelance dancer and independent choreographer in Philadelphia, PA. There, she was one of the earliest collaborating members of the Mascher Space Cooperative, co-producing the first Fresh Juice performance series, and serving as the founding director of Philly Dance Cosmos. More recently, Erin served on the faculty and staff at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD) in Salzburg, Austria. Erin graduated with an MFA in Dance from Hollins University and holds a post-graduate certificate in choreography from the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance. Erin is currently the Director of Dance at American University. She is working on an ongoing choreographic project titled Permeable Body. 
  • Sydney Moore, Costume Designer (she/her/hers)
    Sydney Moore is a DC-based costume designer and is thrilled to celebrating her 5th year at American University. She holds her MFA in Production Design from The George Washington University and her BA in Theatre Technology and Design from Winthrop University. She has worked in costume shops from Texas to Maine and her work has been seen on stages across the DMV with companies such as Folger Theatre, Prologue Theatre (founding artist), Rorshach, and many others. Recent works include Airness (Keegan Theatre/1st Stage), Dog Sees God (Prologue), The Explorer's Club (Prologue), Macbeth and Winter's Tale (Folger, asst. design).
  • Sarah Beth Oppenheim, Choreographer (she/her/hers)
    Sarah Beth Oppenheim hails from the Wild, Wild West where she could never cut on the dotted black line, so she read Steinbeck and became a modern dancer instead. She earned her BFA at SUNY Purchase and MFA at University of Maryland. Career highlights include dancing in forsaken storage closets and performing for Baryshnikov with kale in her incisors, along with gigs at Dance Omi, Ponderosa, the Kennedy Center, Dance Place, The Duke on 42nd St., Marfa, TX, on top of the Chelsea Hotel, National Gallery of Art, U.S. Botanic Garden, and secret performances in Lincoln Center’s Koch Theater when she was done cleaning up at the end of the night. As an inaugural Artist in Residence at Dance Place from 2018-2020, she programmed and facilitated community events for students and choreographers, created new works exploring hypermagicalrealism, politics, and systemic deconstruction experiments, and she established a research practice of land, music, and movement acknowledgement. She currently works as Artistic Director of Heart Stück Bernie, Education Coordinator for BlackLight Summit, and Adjunct Professorial Lecturer at American University. Current research includes site-specific meaning making, social justice community engagement, acknowledgement practices, and subversive and durational studio pedagogy. To see more visit Sarah's Website or Instagram.
  • Erica Owusu, Musician (she/her/hers)
    Erica Owusu originally became acquainted with the world of the African drum and dance community in 2013 while living in her home state, Texas. She played percussion in her school bands from middle school to high school. After taking one djembe class a decade out of high school, she quickly became enamored with the rhythms and culture surrounding the ancient, West African instruments and has been involved with learning about and playing them ever since. Today, she continues to attend African drum and dance classes and learns from and plays accompaniment for her fiancé and nationally acclaimed artist, Uasuf Gueye whenever the opportunity presents itself.
  • Britta Joy Peterson, Artistic Director, Choreographer, Editor (she/her/hers)
    Britta Joy Peterson is a choreographer, collaborator and educator. Raised in the Midwest, creatively pressure-cooked by the southwest, liberated by the pacific northwest, and cracked open by the wild west, BJP is now an east coast creative based in Washington, DC. BJP’s research practice churns at the intersection of body, question, theory, relation and design. Current projects engage questions surrounding organs, organisms, organization and climate crisis; fleshy bodies and social spheres; and attunement as a strategy towards transcendent communities. BJP is an Artist in Residence at Dance Place, DC Commission for Art and Science Fellow, and an educator in university and professional settings. Active research in curricular design for the dynamic arts environment continuously yields new class, workshops, and programs such as American University’s Dance Program curriculum, launched in 2017, for which she was the co-recipient of the Anne S. Ferren Curriculum Design Award. BJP was a recipient of the 2020 AU College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Mentorship award. She teaches at Dance Place and offers workshops periodically. She holds her MFA in Dance, summa cum laude, from Arizona State University.
  • Ayla Taffel, Designer 
    Ayla is a senior studying Theatre Arts. Ayla’s incredibly grateful for the opportunity to explore costuming for dance. They’re especially grateful to Meghan Raham and BJP for making this create space a reality.
  • Aaron Tucker, Videographer (he/him/his)
    Aaron is a cinematographer who is passionate about simple human stories, told through bold perspectives. He strives to create images that feel lived in and convey a sense of soul, art and culture.
  • Jay Williams, Videographer (he/him/his)
    Jay Williams is a multi-disciplinary visual artist based in the DMV by way of North Carolina. Blending film, dance, and graphic design, Jay seeks to build innovative, personal, and inclusive worlds that feel both familiar and fantastic. As a Black and queer graduate from North Carolina Central University, he bases his work in the experiences of his identities, while also using his platform to collaborate with other marginalized artistic voices. Jay also co-owns a media company under the name Unifyed Visuals. He has previously worked with the National Dance Education Organization, Masha Maddux and the Wake Forest Dance Festival, the Fight for 15 Organization and currently serves as the Digital Content and Social Media Associate at Dance Place in Washington DC

Production Team

American University Dance Program Administration Team

  • AU Dance Program Director: Erin Foreman-Murray
  • AU Dance Program Graduate Fellows: Kaitlyn Anson, Malik Burnett, Annie Mancuso
  • AU Dance Program Student Ambassador: Angela Camara

Greenberg Theatre/Katzen Arts Center

  • Costume Designer: Sydney Moore
  • Guest Costume Designer: Ayla Taffel
  • Technical Coordinator and Streaming Engineer: Daniel Erickson
  • Costume Shop Manager: Barbara Tucker Parker
  • Operations Managers: Greg Anderson, Lisa Barr
  • Technical Support: Erin Sullivan, John Stahrr, Wyatt BalaEddy
  • Production & Event Coordinator: Michael R. Burgtorf
  • Patron Services & Event Coordinator: Samuel Megill