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SVDF 2017 Guest Artists

Stefani Berger

Guest Choreographer

Stefani has been a fulltime member of the teaching faculty at The College Preparatory School since 1994, serving the entire time as the Director of the Dance Department. Stefani chaired the Arts Department from 2003-2009. Prior to working at College Prep, Stefani was the dance faculty at San Francisco University High School, The Urban School of San Francisco, and directed dance programs for the City of Oakland, Walnut Creek Civic Center, and the Oakland Unified School District. Stefani taught for 10 years at Shawl-Anderson Modern Dance Center and founded and directed All City Dance, a pre-professional dance company in San Francisco, where for 13 years she taught, trained and professionally prepared adolescents to have a future career in dance. Originally from NYC, she had the opportunity to learn from many of the 20th century Modern Dance Teachers and Choreographers, studying the techniques of Lester Horton, Martha Graham, and Katherine Dunham. She is committed to teaching and educating dancers and audiences alike about these late great quintessential Modern Dance Masters.

Christian Burns

Guest Choreographer

David Harvey

Guest Artist

David Harvey is from Seattle. He studied dance at Interlochen Arts Academy, the Kirov Academy of Ballet, and the Lines Ballet Training Program in San Francisco. Harvey joined Alonzo King Lines Ballet in 2007 where he performed soloist roles internationally for seven years. He has been on faculty for the Alonzo King Lines Ballet educational programs since 2010, and is currently a member of Kate Wallich + The YC. His own choreography has been performed at multiple SF venues and in Seattle. 

Photo by Quinn Wharton

Margaret Jenkins Dance Company

Guest Artist

The Margaret Jenkins Dance Company (MJDC) has been a part of the cultural fabric of San Francisco for over four decades—dedicated to the making and touring of new work, international exchange, and programs that support process, choreographic mentorship and performance opportunities. At the heart of the organization's mission is Ms. Jenkins belief that it is incumbent on us as artists to be in conversation through our work—to break the isolation and expand who sees and responds to the arts.

The MJDC was founded in San Francisco in 1973. Margaret Jenkins herself is a fifth-generation San Franciscan, steeped in its particular cultural and artistic traditions. Yet the origins of the Company's singular artistic philosophy can undoubtedly be found among the radical developments that took place in all the arts in the New York of the 1960’s.

While studying and working with Merce Cunningham during that time, Jenkins began to reimagine the concepts of both choreographer and dance company. It was in the environment of Cunningham and John Cage that she was first exposed to the collaborative efforts of Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol and many others, as well as to the music of Earle Brown, Gordon Mumma, Morton Feldman and Cage himself.

 

Jenkins returned to San Francisco in 1970 and immediately began to teach and make works prior to the formal founding of her Company three years later. Her goal was less to create a choreographic entity in the traditional sense than to fashion a fluid site for exploratory, collaborative interaction among all the arts, a place of "company" in its deepest meaning. 

The dancers have been critical to the development of this highly physical and gestural world that is her signature. The Company creates dances by continually layering, disrupting rhythms and shattering spatial planes. There is a loose and brazen quality to their explorations, with an abundance of information offered through movement, music and spoken text. Jenkins has continued to emphasize this focus across her entire career, welcoming the participation of such multi-disciplinary artists as Rinde Eckert, Bruce Nauman, Terry Allen and Yoko Ono, and composers Paul Dresher, Jay Cloidt, Bill Fontana, Alvin Curran, David Lang, among others.

The MJDC began touring extensively in the late 1970s. During the NEA’s National Dance Touring Program, the Company traveled throughout the United States on a regular basis. The Company has also traveled internationally in Western and Eastern Europe, as well as Asia. Dances have been commissioned by a long list of presenters, including the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco,CA, BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), NY, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD, the Krannert Center in Urbana, IL, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Lee, MA, Cal Performances in Berkeley, CA, Arizona State University and University of Arizona, AZ, Peak Performances at Montclair University, NJ and on a number of occasions by Dance Center of Columbia College and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL.

In the summer of 2004, the MJDC opened a new studio in San Francisco. The Margaret Jenkins Dance Lab (MJDL) is the home of all MJDC creative activities and provides the community with a vital space for new types of exchange. No other space in San Francisco can afford to devote its entire day to creative research, open rehearsals, and free lectures and demonstrations of interdisciplinary work, uninterrupted by “training” classes or the daily array of demanding activities of a resident company/space-owner. The particular emphasis of this space and for the MJDC is to create programs and interactions among choreographers that emphasize process not product.

Photo by RJ Muna

Robert Moses

Guest Choreographer

The MoveMessenger(s)

Guest Artist

Originally from Somerset, Pennsylvania, Angela Dice Nguyen is a dancer and choreographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. After earning a BFA in dance from the Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park University under the direction of Susan S. Stowe, Nguyen performed throughout the U.S. and abroad with DanceWorks Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Project.b., August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, Robert Moses’ KIN (guest artist), Dayton Arts Project, and The Mountain Playhouse, among others, before founding The MoveMessenger(s) in 2015. Inviting artists to find voice through body language while sharing dance as a communicative and entertaining art form, the company became fiscally sponsored by Dancers’ Group in June 2017. TheMoveMessengers.org

Photo by Cheryl Mann

Nico O'Connor

Guest Artist

A California "Bay Area" native, with over ten years of dancing, teaching, and choreography experience, Nico's ability to dance and learn syncopated movement has always come natural to him. Specializing in Jazz Funk and Hip Hop, his training also includes Folklorico (Mexican Folk dancing), Salsa, Jazz, Contemporary, and Ballet. Growing up in northern California, Nico immersed himself within the dance community around him, taking all the classes he could and eventually dancing for a handful of companies and several bay area artists. He was a member of the well known non-profit dance troupe Culture Shock Oakland, and a backup dancer for artists like Disney's Kristy Frank, and Wrath Records’ filipino star Kim DelFierro.  He was a featured dancer in the Bollywood film “Duhaan in America” and at San Francisco’s main radio station, “Wild 94.9 Doghouse” Comedy Jam. His theater credits include “The Nutcracker” with California Ballet Academy, Chino in “West Side Story”, Fleance in African American Shakespeare’s Company, “The Macbeth Project”, and in the ensemble casts of “The Wizard of Oz”, and “Cinderella”.  

Working professionally in Los Angeles, Nico has danced in ads for: Wal-Mart/Latin Grammys, Sean T's Rockin Body Fitness, and MC hammer's reality show. He has appeared in music videos for Finger 11, Stephie Ray, NLT, and was a dancer for artists Kat Graham, Prima J, AB Soto, former Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta, and for Pink at the AMA’s.  You can see him on the DanceNetwork’s,“Steady Mobbin”, on SiTv’s “The Drop” and he has also worked with Tabitha & Napolean Dumo on FOX ’s "Mobbed" and casted in their “No Ho Ho Hooligan” Holiday Show. 

As an assistant choreographer he has worked closely with Chonique Sneed & Lisette Bustamonte on MTV's Americas Best Dance Crew, Britney Spears Femme Fetale World Tour & korean pop girl group, Girls Generation. In addition to that he’s assisted Candace Brown on several international dance showcases including Poland’s “You Can Dance” setting a duet and group number. On television his own choreography includes setting a duet between actors Kristen Bell and Don Cheadle on a promo for Showtime’s “House of Lies”, and China’s vocal competition show “Heroes of Remix”. Created for the stage, Nico’s work has been featured on Todrick Hall’s “Twerk the Halls” national touring Christmas Show, Latin Artist Noelia on her “40 Degrees” international tour, and “Ms. Viet Nam Continents” beauty pageant. Other credits include: Bloomingdales, Disney, Boeing, Chevrolet, Rupaul’s Drag Con, Gold’s Gym, DanceOn, DancePlug, Turning Stone Casino, Choreographers Carnival Ball, Mischief Makers, and Boxcuttuhz.

As an internationally known dance instructor, he has taught classes in regions like Japan, China, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, Canada, Russia, Germany, Poland, and England. Nationally he’s been able to instruct at some of the countries most reputable dance studios such as Debbie Reynolds Dance Studios, International Dance Academy (IDA), American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), Broadway Dance Center (NY & TOKYO), and Peridance Capezio Center.

 

Nico is currently on faculty at Millennium Dance Complex, and EDGE Performing Arts Center both located in the Los Angeles area. He continues to teach at various gyms, schools, workshops, community events and kids programs, educating youth on the principles of dance and promoting active lifestyles. His inner groove and sharp ear for musicality sets him apart from the rest. Creatively he’s known for his dynamics, visual concepts, and staging. As a professional dancer, choreographer, and instructor, Nico's passion for dance has allowed him to follow his dreams and achieve many goals, now able to share his experience and knowledge with others who share the same passion.

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