E|MERGE 2016 Participants

E|MERGE Interdisciplinary Collaborative Residency


Studied in Quebec city where she completed a classic contemporary dance training after witch she immediatly moved to Montreal, where she is based at the moment. She has worked with George Stamos, Lynda Gaudreau, Bettina Hoffman, and Geneviève Caron Ferron, among many others. Mainly working as a freelance dancer, Anouk started to have an interest for choreography where she questions the function of dance itself and wants to adress movement and energetic work as a way to design space, intimate and social ones. She also received a danceweb scholarship from Impusltanz Festival in Vienna during the summer of 2015.

Carolina Bergonzoni

A Vancouver-based Italian dance artist, yoga teacher and scholar. She holds a BA and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Bologna (Italy) and is currently studying in the MA program in Comparative Media Arts at SFU, specializing in phenomenology of dance and the notion of presence. She has been teaching dance and Philosophy for Children (P4C) since 2008. In 2011, she graduated as Dance Educator (Community Dance Facilitator) and has been working on building a community of movers and thinkers, moving and dancing with people from 0 to 99+ years old. As a dance artist, she started with ballet training until she discovered contemporary dance. After some years dancing for Italian dance companies, she now dances as a freelance contemporary dancer. Caroline is currently collaborating with Luciana D'Anunciação, developing a piece they first performed in April, 2015. She practices presence - through dance (Contact Improv, somatic-based techniques, etc.), yoga and her academic studies. www.carolinabergonzoni.org

Kate Blair






Kira Daube

Kira Daube is, makes, and has trouble. Here she comes; there she goes, pockets filling with rain. It’s a trick, again and again.  She explores language and music as technologies that extend reach.  At the end of this reach, a land of touch. She does not take feeling for granted. A poet, a performer, a singer who endeavours to move, Kira is propelled by curiosity. She lives in Nova Scotia, where she collaborates with The Expanse, studies with The Creative Music Lab, and plays in a band called Gift From God.


Renata Mara Fonseca de Almeida

A Brazilian artist, dancer, dance teacher, and researcher. Renata has studied ballet, modern, and contemporary dance She has also participated in many workshops in several areas: ballroom dance, somatic education, history of dance, dance-theater, musicalization, choreographic composition, and others. Latelly, She has been practicing Contact Improvisation and yoga. Her core piece of work is “Desassossego em Branco,” a dance performance created based on the relation between dance and visual impairment. During the process of this performance, she taught contemporary dance with visual disabled people. As a teacher, she taught classes in social art projects, dance schools, basic education schools, and some festivals of Performing Arts. Renata recently worked as a of Body Language teacher in the graduation of Performing Arts at Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, MG. She have a master degree in Arts from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, with a survey about “Not seeing and being seen in Dance.” She holds a post graduate degree in “Art Education and Culture,” from Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais. She gratuated in Psychology at Pontifícia Universidade Católica. She is a certificated Teacher from Dance Ability International Foundation, organized by Alito Alessi. Her current projects are related to the body as a sensorial experience and how it interferes in the creation and in the collective process of performing arts. In 2016, she will start a doctorate study in Theater in the Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis.

Rebecca DeWitt

A maker, mover, meditator, teaching artist, and youth worker living in Jamaica Plain, MA. She grew up in Brookline, MA. Rebecca currently works at a public art organization teaching art to youth in recovery from addiction and youth in re-entry from the juvenile justice system. Previously, she worked at the Gately Youth Center in Cambridge leading art and community engagement programs for youth groups. During her time at the Gately, she worked as a Teaching Artist for My City My Voice, the Neighborhood Service Project, and brought a youth group to perform at the 2015 Harvard Alumni of Color Conference. Rebecca graduated with a BA from Oberlin College in 2012, where she studied English and Studio Art. Her thesis work at Oberlin revolved around issues of the body. For her Senior Studio and Thesis exhibition, she investigated her empathetic connection to other people's corporeal suffering through art making. Now, Rebecca's work exists at the intersection of play, critical civic engagement, and empathic connection. As a Teaching Artist, she works with teens to usher their unique truths into the world through multi-media creative inquiry. As an artist, she embarks on the circuitous path of introspection through visual art and embodied movement practices. Rebecca enjoys the art of inquiry in all varieties of expression, including written, visual, embodied, verbal, and energetic.

Charles Dietrich

A multimedia artist interested in exploring how interactive technologies can inform dance practice. He is interested in exploring how digital technologies can be used in the choreographic process and to create visual art that reflects the essence of dance. He has recently worked on sonifying human movement, both in real-time and from recorded data, and has also worked on projects that investigate distributed computation and optical effects.


Debra Disbrow

Debra Disbrow creates, performs, and directs ensemble theater and solo works that cross disciplines of dance, theater, and music. Based in Brooklyn, she has taught for The Center for Arts Education, Community Works, Wilma Theater, Mumpuppet Theater, University of Colorado, Naropa University, Earthdance, Spoke the Hub, and others. Founding member of Workshop for Potential Movement (dance theater). MFA - Theater - Naropa University.


Raquel Esquives






Ellen Furey

A dance artist based in Montreal and Toronto. Her recent solo work is concerned with problematizing the performance of self and the role of the performer; what it performs, what performs upon it. While trying to sit on the normative forces imposed and upheld by society, she calls into being bastardized versions of all archetypes that can help. Ellen tours internationally with Daniel Léveillé Danse and has been a company member at Dancemakers for over three years. She freelances with a wide range of makers including Dana Michel, Montreal Danse, Nicolas Cantin, Benjamin Kamino, Christopher Willes, Susanna Hood, Marten Spangberg, Adam Kinner, Simon Portigal, Amanda Acorn, and Alicia Grant.

Winnie HO (superhova)

A space witch/performance artist who often uses her own existential crisis to create more unresolved solutions. Her current research of “Body as moving sculpture/sculpture as moving body in site-specific spaces" questions boundaries between spectator and performer according to the felt presence of immediate experience. Her works are characterized by collective yet personal explorations in experimental settings. Her durational and site specific works/installations and performances have been shown in various places in Europe (Germany, Sweden, Finland), Canada (Calgary, Montreal) and U.S. (Austin, New York City, Philadelphia).

Tera Kilbride

Tera Kilbride graduated from New College of CA Experimental Performance Institute in 2007 and has created and collaborated on theater/dance projects as performer, choreographer, or director around Minneapolis/St Paul at venues such as Bedlam Theatre, Mixed Blood, Interact, Tarnish and Gold Gallery, Paper Moose, Public Functionary, 1419, Open Eye Theater from 2008-Present. Her work has ranged from devised theater, solo performance to contemporary dance. Her work currently focuses on ethereal, playful, internal themes through movement/dance layered with original text and audio. She was the recepient of 975 Howard Space Artist in Residence in 2008, Soap Factory's Artery 24 in 2009, and E|MERGE Residency 2016.

Electra Kouloumpi (Kikk)

A Greek dance artist and sustainability engineer currently based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. As an engineer, Electra works in the field of sustainable architecture devising design solutions for buildings and cities. As a dancer, Electra collaborates with different artists and creates her own performance works. Her practice is moving in the interstices of new dance, instant composition, live art, and devised theater. Her work is mostly site-specific and is often inspired by the architecture of the space. Working in close collaboration with live music, she aims to bring forth images and sounds that challenge the way we look at everyday familiar urban scenes and ordinary buildings. Electra is currently working on developing her own cross-disciplinary research on the interrelationship between dance, music, and architecture. By bringing together dancers, musicians, architects and urban designers her aim is to investigate how we can use the body and sound as vehicles for re-imagining the way we design the places we inhabit. www.electrakikk.com

Judah Levenson

A dancer, poet, and educator based in Brooklyn. He recently returned to the East Coast after 5 years in Oakland, CA where he was teaching and creating multimedia dance performances. This past summer he completed an arts residency at betterFarm in Redwood, NY. There he wrote a play and completed a poetry chapbook. In NY he has performed with the Loom Ensemble and danced with Movement Research at Judson Memorial Church.


Elena Rose Light

A Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist working in dance, performance art, photography, and video. Her interests lie at the intersection of historical research, feminism, performativity, and viewership. She has presented work at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center (Work Up), Triskelion Arts (Summer ShakeUp), Brooklyn Studios for Dance, Green Space, and the Yale University Art Gallery, among other venues. She was a summer 2015 artist in residence at The School of Making Thinking and recently collaborated and performed in Bruno Isakovic’s "Disclosures" as part of the Queer New York International Arts Festival at Abrons Arts Center, “interweav[ing] thoughts on the female nude in art with memories of growing into her voluptuous physique” (The New York Times). In 2013, Elena graduated with a BA in French and the History of Art with honors from Yale University, where she was awarded the Jonathan Edwards College Arts Award and performed in the work of Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham, Akram Khan, and Reggie Wilson. Elena now writes about dance for her blog danceandcircumstance.com and for contemporary performance blog Culturebot. She is also currently the Programs Manager at Gibney Dance and provides freelance marketing and grant-writing support to artists. elenaroselight.com

Janna Meiring

A performing artist and teacher/guide currently based in Philadelphia, PA. Through all endeavors, Janna seeks to rattle up and re-work the deepest knowing that is housed in the body through mythical/somatic/creative practices in the hopes re:integrating warrior-ship into presence. Her art-interest manifests in structured solo-improvisations, performance installation, site-specific events, collaborative new plays and dances, curating and facilitating new creative works, and leading people down the rabbit hole and back up again. At the basis of her work is study in Body Mind Centering, Contemplative Dance Practices, and The Performative Self. She holds an MFA in Contemporary Performance from Naropa University where she began to cultivate a mediation practice, studied Viewpoints, Grotowski-based acting, and worked with members of the SITI Company, Roy Hart Theatre, and Tectonic Theatre Company. Janna has presented solo work at Philadelphia Presented FringeArts, Boulder International Fringe Festival, Denver Performance Research, and Work/Space Denver, and collaborated with other artists and companies such as The LIDA Project, Flagrante Delectico, and Giving Voice Productions. She continues to facilitate and support artists in process through one-on-one consultation and workshops in creative embodiment and contemplative movement practices.


Memo studied Visual and Performing Arts in his home town of Miami. He has been involved with many companies including Nettles Artists Collective, La MaMa ETC, and HaitiDansCo. He brings to his work a toolset influenced by his experience in African dance, Suzuki, Sculpture, Photography, Viewpoints, technology, writing, Film Art Direction and more that allow for a wide spectrum of exploration. Memo always looks for opportunities to collaborate on experimental and mixed discipline projects and would like to thank Earthdance, the E|MERGE team, and all the wonderful participants, both past and present for making this such an amazing program. www.memosworld.com

Mersiha Mesihovic

Founder and Artistic Director of CircuitDebris - a space for interdisciplinarity, radical dance, and community engagement is a Bosnian/Swedish; NYC-based dance artist/curator/cultural organizer/teaching artist whose work is primarily interested in human behavior, movement invention, and pushing boundaries of what dance should address. With an ongoing collaboration with saxophonist/composer James Brandon Lewis, Mesihovic initiated CircuitDebris in 2011 to formally conceptualize her collaboration with artists across disciplines and passion for community engagement. In New York she has worked closely with Jaamil Olawale Kosoko/Anonymous Bodies, Karen Bernard, and Reggie Wilson. Most recently Mesihovic was hailed as ”Rising NYC Choreographer” by TheWorldDances.com and CircuitDebris was referred to as a vibrant, eclectic, and fresh NYC Dance Company to watch. Mesihovic has taught her unique Movement Invention/Composition Method EMBODIMENT at Universities, Dance Centers, and Dance Companies in US and abroad including Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, and Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria in South Africa, Gibney Dance-NY, and Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers in Philadelphia. circuitdebris.org

Casey Middaugh






Zinzi Minott






Matthew Nelson

A movement artist, activist, educator, researcher, and therapist particularly in love with the participatory act of dancing. Matthew is eternally curious; he asks questions about living embodiment, making meaning of real movements through the subjective wisdom that comes from moving. Matthew has an MFA in Modern Dance and certifications in Laban Movement Analysis, Massage, and Pilates. He currently maintains a practice as a somatic movement educator and bodyworker, and has worked with many institutions as a choreographer and teacher. Matthew is a performer, living his beliefs with a desire to be witnessed. He believes that humans can learn to live with resilience and in diversity, efficiently and easefully collaborating with each other compassionately on a live earth. Our experience of embodiment is ground zero for this interaction; we are living systems, made up of living systems, and participating in living systems. Matthew has a family. His wife Kendy and son Eliot are the most important people in his life. They have lived in many places, and recently settled into Boise, ID. www.bodysensate.com

Leslie Parker






Bronwyn Preece

Bronwyn Preece lives completely off-the-grid, in a solar and waterwheel-powered house on the remote island of Lasqueti Island/Xwe'etay, British Columbia. She is simultaneously a renegade-boundary-pushing improvisational site-sensitive performer and dedicated-community applied theatre practitioner, author and poet, walking and visual eARThist, and the pioneer of earthBODYment. She is continuously questioning and challenging her own activist practice/layers of privilege/ethics through her art. She comes from  generations upon generations of activists....this rebel-rousing tendency, button-pushing thumbing pulses through her veins as a continuous motivating elixir. Bronwyn is currently doing a PhD-at-a-distance through the University of Huddersfield, examining her own embodiment of Ecology and Disability, through an extensive series of performances she is doing in Canada, the USA, and the UK. All of her performance and written work interrogates the tiers of our imbricated relationships with place/self/other, and the nexuses of our own (imposed) dichotomies. She facilitates workshops and performs in Canada, the UK, and the USA. Highlights include performing at the juried World Stage Design 2013, in an outdoor edible stage; in an internationally collaborative project examining how local gardening can serve as a metre for climate change; in New York at the Women’s Caucus for Art; the Disability/New Grounds Performance Symposium in Michigan in 2015; and with the Kokoro Dance in their 2014 and 2015 Wreck Beach butoh performances in Vancouver. Bronwyn studied with Master American Improvisor Ruth Zaporah for more than 17 years, and became Canada's first certified teacher of Action Theater™. She is the author of "In the Spirit of Homebirth: Modern Women, An Ancient Choice" (Seven Stories Press, 2015), "Gulf Islands Alphabet" (Simply Read Books, 2012), and "Off-the-Grid Kid" (Eifrig Publishing, 2015), among many other publications. Bronwyn has received artistic financial support from the Canada Council of the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council, Artists Project Earth UK, Our Food UK, the Lasqueti Arts Council, and ArtStart BC.

Paul Rogé

A research associate at Michigan State University. His focus is on agroecology in Latin America and Africa. He has studied farmer adaptation strategies to climatic variability in Mexico and the importance of perennial crops for farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. He is currently embarking on a new project to study the network of  extension services for small farmers in Malawi. His perspective on agroecology is shaped by his upbringing on California's Central Coast where there is a vibrant history of sustainable agriculture. He was once a member of a worker's collective that used worms to compost food scraps in Berkeley, CA. He also ran a Community-Supported Agriculture program at the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association in Salinas, CA. He has supported Latin American social movements in various ways over the years. Among others, he has collaborated with the Landless Rural Worker's Movement (MST) in southern Brazil and the Center for Integral Small Farmer Development (CEDICAM) in Oaxaca, Mexico. He has a desire to more explicitly incorporate his dance practices with his scholarship. He hosts a weekly ecstatic dance space and regularly attends the contact improvisation jams in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is curious about how the language and practice of improvisational dance connects with his other research interests. Part of his reasons for participating in the E|Merge retreat is to collaborate with others who might be considering similar questions in their own creative lives.

Malik Nashad Sharpe






Tal Shibi

A Jerusalem native, visual artist, and stage/street performer. He is a student and teacher of Contact Improvisation, movement art, and therapy. As a shiatsu and Watsu therapist, he appreciates the interplay between dance and bodywork, as well as art and therapy.
 Tal is curious about the exploration of the healing arts through movement and touch, and enjoys collaboration between different art forms. He draws inspiration from Authentic Movement, Invisible Theater, Playback, Contact Improvisation, music, and dance.


Patty Solórzano

A movement artist working at the intersection of dance improvisation, choreography, and environment. Born and raised in Michoacán, México, she received her BFA from Texas Christian University and upon graduation worked with various dance companies and projects throughout Houston, TX including Psophonia Dance Company and Earthen Vessels: The Sandra Organ Dance Company. Patty has presented her choreography in the Estada Intertour Dansa (Spain), 60x60 St. Louis, and at Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex. In 2011, she relocated to Michigan where she received her MFA from the University of Michigan, and danced for DDCdances, Kristi Faulkner Dance, Ann Arbor Dance Works and People Dancing. Her work has been shown and she has taught at the Detroit Dance City Festival, DDCdances, the Michigan Dance Festival, and the American College Dance Association. Most recently she traveled to Bari, Italy for a teaching and performance residency with ResExtensa DansaTeatroDansa. Currently, Patty is training with Vertigo Dance Company in Jerusalem, Israel while continuing her choreographic research linking environmental issues and psychology with dance.

Allison Waggener

An operatic mezzo soprano recently praised by critics as a singer of “strength and vocal beauty” with “a fine legato.” Ms. Waggener made her Carnegie Hall debut this fall, playing Prince Orlofsky in New York Lyric Opera Theatre’s Opera Gala. In addition to opera she has extensive experience in acting, physical theater, and dance. Highlights of last season include playing Ruggiero in Alcina, collaborating with composers to create a recital of new music, premiering an opera about the Ebola epidemic, and performing Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with three different companies. Winner of the 2014 championship at Fresco Opera Theater’s Opera Smackdown in Madison, Wisconsin, Ms. Waggener has also recently returned to the dance concert stage, performing works by Becky Radway and Nathan Trice in Mixt Company’s spring concert. Favorite operatic roles include Miss Pooder in the Texas premiere of The Hotel Casablanca, Prince Charmant in Cendrillon, Maddalena in Rigoletto, and the title character in Cenerentola. Born in San Francisco, raised in Boston, and now residing in Bridgeport, CT, she graduated cum laude from Yale College with a degree in Theater Performance and spent a semester abroad at the Moscow Art Theater School studying acting, movement, acrobatics, and voice.


Author of three books of poetry and an international performance poet, she has presented to standing room audiences around the world. She has performed original works off-Broadway and featured at The Badilisha Poetry X-Change Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, Lincoln Center, The American Museum of Natural History, The Montserrat Poetry Festival, The Daniel Sorano National Theatre in Senegal, and The Austin International Poetry Festival. Tantra is a 2010 Pushcart Prize nominee for her poem “Girl,” a recipient of the Kings County District Attorney’s Women’s History Month Award, and in 2014, received the honor of Pan African Princess. As a mentor for the Girl-Child Network Worldwide, she is donating a portion of the proceeds from her books to GCN. Tantra-zawadi performs regularly with The Senegal-America Project, appears on several global music compilations, radio, television, and publications including Essence and Spoken Vizions Magazines. She is the director of two short documentaries, and her poem and video “Scarlet Waters” was featured on the Product(RED) video wall to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS in Africa. www.tantra-zawadi.com