Suchi Branfman, choreographer, curator, performer, educator and activist, has worked from the war zones of Managua to Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre and from Kampala’s Luzira Prison to NYC’s Joyce Theatre, as soloist and with Wallflower Order, Crowsfeet Dance Collective, Liz Lerman, Gus Solomons Jr., Dan Wagoner and Augusto Boal. Her work strives to create an embodied terrain grounded in storytelling, dialogue, listening and action. Branfman is currently in the midst of a five-year choreographic residency at the CRC Prison, a medium security state men’s prison in Norco, CA, is Artistic Director of the multi-faceted Dancing Through Prison Walls project, serves on faculty at Scripps College and Cal Poly Pomona, is a community gardener and prison abolition activist.
Rebecca Fitton is from many places. She cultivates community through movement, food, and conversation. Her work in the dance field as an artist, researcher, administrator, and advocate focuses on arts and culture policy, labor practices, and community-led advocacy. Her practice takes shape in studios, basements, warehouses, bars, grocery stores, rooftops, gardens, sidewalks, and streets. She served on Dance/NYC’s Junior Committee from 2018-2020 and was selected to join Dance/USA’s Institute of Leadership Training in 2021. She is an active member of The Bridge Collective and Dance Artists’ National Collective. Fitton holds a BFA in Dance from Florida State University and is currently pursuing an MA in Performance as Public Practice at the University of Texas at Austin.
Photo: Rebecca, a mixed-race woman, has brown chin length hair, messy bangs, and is smiling slightly. She is wearing a blue button down and sunlight falls onto her shoulders from behind. She is in a white room and the background is blurred.
Akari Komura is a Japanese composer-vocalist. She grew up in Tokyo until she was twelve, then moved abroad due to her parent’s work to spend her teenage-hood in Indonesia. This transition impacted her to develop a deeper connection to music and to communicate with others regardless of the language barrier. From an early age, Akari has been involved in performing arts through playing the piano, singing, and dancing modern ballet. Her interest in nature-based contemplative practices is central to her artistic belief where the sonic expressions are imagined to emerge as an embodiment of natural elements. Under the influence of Pauline Oliveros, Yoko Ono, and Hildegard Westerkamp, Akari explores to curate a ritualistic performance that invites both musicians and audience for a meditative and healing experience of mind and body.
Akari’s breadth of work spans chamber ensemble, multimedia/electronics, vocal music, and interdisciplinary collaborative works involving dancers, visual artists, and architects. Some of her works have been presented at Nief-Norf, Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, Composers Conference, Atlantic Music Festival, soundSCAPE, and Penn State New Music Festival. She also has been an artist-in-resident for the Socially Distant Art program and Kinds of Kings Bouman Fellow 2020-21.
She holds M.M. in Composition from the University of Michigan (recipient of the EXCEL Enterprise Fund and Sonic Scenographies Research Grant) and B.A. in Vocal Arts from the University of California, Irvine. Her major teachers include Evan Chambers, Roshanne Etezady, and Frances Bennett.
Originally from Argentina, Anabella Lenzu is a dancer, choreographer, writer and teacher with over 30 years of experience working in Argentina, Chile, Italy, and the USA.
Lenzu directs her own company, Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama (ALDD), which since 2006 has presented 390 performances, created 14 choreographic works and performed at 100 venues, presenting thought provoking and historically conscious dance-theater in NYC.
As a choreographer, she has been commissioned all over the world for opera, TV programs, theatre productions, and by many dance companies. She has produced and directed several award-winning short dance films and screened her work in over 50 festivals both nationally and internationally, including London, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, Poland, Serbia, Cyprus, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.
Anabella’s work has been seen at La Mama, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Movement Research at Judson Church, Draftworks at DanceSpace project/ St. Mark Church, 92nd Street Y, HERE Arts Center, Abrons Arts Center, DUO Multicultural Arts Center, Queens Museum, Bronx Museum, Gibney Dance, Center for Performance Research, Triskelion, Chez Bushwick, Roulette, Chashama, Dixon Place, Sheen Center, The Consulate of Argentina in NYC, NYU/Casa Zerilli Marimo, University Settlement, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Instituto Cervantes, 3LD Center for Art & Technology, Kumble Theater/Long Island University, among many others. She has received grants from Brooklyn Arts Council, Puffin Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Edwards Foundation, The Vermont Community Foundation, and the Independent Community Foundation.
Lenzu has written for various dance and art magazines, and published her first book in 2013, entitled Unveiling Motion and Emotion. The book contains writings in Spanish and English on the importance of dance, community, choreography, and dance pedagogy.
Currently, Lenzu conducts classes at NYU Gallatin, School of Visual Arts, The Joffrey Ballet School, and Peridance Center.
Anthony Shay is professor of Dance and Cultural Studies in the Theatre and Dance Department of Pomona College, Claremont, CA. He is the author of seven monographs, and author or co-author of four volumes, the latest (with Barbara Sellers-Young), the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity (2016). His latest book is Igor Moiseyev and the Moiseyev Dance Company: Spectacle, Russian Nationalism, and the Cultural Cold War (Intellect Books, in press 2018). He has recently lectured on “What is Music? What is Popular Persian Music?” at Yale University, January 27, 2018, and “The History of Staged Folk Dance” at Siamsa Tire, the Irish National Folk Theatre, Tralee, Ireland, May 11, 2018.