Amy Wilson joined the Dance Faculty at GVSU in Winter, 2011. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wichita State University (WSU) with a BFA in Dance. Upon graduating, Amy moved to New York City and trained in the work-study program at Merce Cunningham Studio and at various New York City studios, including Dance Space, Peridance Center, Alvin Ailey, Limon, and Steps on Broadway. Moving to Grand Rapids in 2001, Amy began work with the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) Dance Collaborative. She began instructing dance at city studios while forming Pick-Up Dance Project, choreographing and performing in downtown Grand Rapids. In 2008, Amy co-founded Dance In The Annex (DITA) a Grand Rapids local modern dance collective. DITA hosts Master Classes regularly throughout the year – with intensive sessions in the summer. DITA also produces bi-annual original and live events: including “Salmagundi” (annual Fall event) and “Trip The Light” (every spring.) DITA regularly performs at institutes and cultural centers throughout the city, including Site:Lab, GRAM, UICA and RAD Festival, while classes and major performances take place at Wealthy Theatre.
Seemingly from somewhere else, but not, Astro Bats make interesting noise with instruments. The band was formed in Grand Rapids in 2007 with the intent of creating atmospheric music while combining elements of Experimental, No-wave, Psych, Trance, Jazz and Rock. With a revolving line-up which has included: Lance Phelps, Tony James Spielmaker, Chris Szubinski, Gary Perrine, Mickey Mackenzie, Ken Mienke, Braden Bronco Haroo and Don Mangione, the band has traversed some eclectic territory.
Rachel Finan has been a performer, director, dancer and choreographer for over 20 years. She studied theatre at New York University and stripping at New York Dolls. After a few years of drug abuse and low self esteem, Rachel moved back to Grand Rapids where, oddly, her passion for theatre and performing came to fruition. Not happy with the local theatre scene and endless the productions of Peter Pan, she started X Performance Group (XPG). XPG produced local plays and classic avant garde pieces in dingy warehouses, small theatres and the UICA (when the UICA was cool). During this time she discovered Butoh Dance, a contemporary dance born out post WW2 Japan. Rachel pursued any and all avenues relating to butoh until she found her teacher Diego Pinon. His teaching style altered her perception of dance (and reality) allowing her to explore unfamiliar movements and go beyond conventional performance. Rachel has choreographed many solo and ensemble butoh pieces that have been featured at Butoh Rituale in Mexico, Links Hall in Chicago, New York Butoh Festival in NYC, Damned Exhibition in Detroit, and Trip the Light and GRAM in Grand Rapids. She is honored to be choreographing for Trip the Light this year. Rachel is still a stripper currently shaking it with Super Happy Funtime Burlesque.
Expunk began as a solo project by Jef Collis. After numerous albums, the project evolved into a group with the addition of a drummer, additional guitarist and bassist. Since the addition of new members from the Grand Rapids area, Expunk has released two albums and are currently recording their new album “Swoon” to debut in the Summer of 2012. With each member come several influences such as Mogwai, Medicine, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and many others. This conglomeration of influences results in a spectrum of sounds ranging from ethereal serenity to a full onslaught of distorted intensity. Within the thriving arts community of Grand Rapids lie many opportunities to collaborate with other musicians and artists. Expunk has been featured with other local musicians, choreographers and dancers in the events ‘Trip The Light Ephemeral 2011,’ ‘Salmagundi III’ and the upcoming event ‘Trip The Light 2012’ with numerous performances alongside fellow area musicians at various venues in the area.
Expunk is: Jefrey Collis – Guitar, Trevor Goldner – Guitar, Ryan Goldner – Bass Guitar, Joe Russell -Drums/Percussion
Sarah Powell: Artist Bio Coming Soon
The Crane Wives: Artist Bio Coming Soon
Carrie Brueck Morris, originally from Minnesota, graduated cum laude from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Dance and earned her M.F.A. in Dance at Temple University. She is currently Assistant Professor of Dance at Grand Valley State University. Prior to her time in Michigan, Ms. Morris taught at Western Kentucky University, University of Southern Mississippi, William Carey University, and Temple University. She has been fortunate to work and perform with choreographers such as Lou Antonini, Marianela Boán, and Meghan Durham Wall, performing in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York. Carrie has also produced her own choreography professionally in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia and, most recently, had her work presented in Civitavecchia, Italy.
Ritsu: Artist Bio Coming Soon
Marlee Grace is a performance artist, community organizer, improviser, crafter, maker, and all around enthusiast of life. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI, Marlee returned after receiving her BFA in dance from the University of Michigan in June of 2010. As a part of Dance in the Annex Marlee has had the opportunity to perform at the GRAM, UICA, ArtPrize, Richard App Gallery and RAD dance festival, as well as help organize, teach, and promote classes and create new work for shows at Wealthy Theatre. Marlee is a board member at the Division Avenue Arts Collective where she books shows, teaches the occasional yoga class, and curates the series ART GEOGRAPHIC with her partner/collaborator John Hanson. Marlee’s work heavily emphasizes improvisation as a tool for performance, as it creates a platform for chance and risk taking, as well as honors the moment where we make choices and the bravery it takes to push through them.
John Hanson is a musician from northern Michigan. Debuting with the band Photographers, John has been a part of numerousbands and projects including Frontier Ruckus and Strawberry Heritage. Spending 2010 in the City of Chicago John collaborated with the dance company Oos Imaginary and toured from Illinois to Michigan playing the eclectic set of music with the professional contact improvisers. That period kindled an appreciation for dance and this type multi-dimensional collaboration. After moving to Grand Rapids in the summer of 2011 john was quick to make his rounds in the artistic community within the city and was introduced to the local dance scene through Marlee Grace Cook-Parrott. As a board member of the Division Avenue Arts Collective, John is a local contributing member of the developing artistic culture in Grand Rapids.
Brandon Harneck is a senior at Grand Valley State University graduating this December with majors in Dance and Spanish. Raised in East Michigan, Brandon began his dance career with beginning hip-hop and tap classes at The Dance Company in Port Huron. Nine years later, Brandon works to eventually leave his mark on the contemporary-jazz world. Aspiring to be a successful choreographer and teacher, Brandon strives to fuse varying genres of dance in unconventional manners. After graduation, he will explore different avenues for pursuing dance. He is extremely honored to have had this opportunity with Dance in the Annex as well as his incredibly talented cast.
AOK steps out on the indie scene with a unique blend of electronic trip rock that refuses to be ignored. Band members AngelaB andKyle fuse inspirations from their diverse backgrounds and emerge with a bombastic in-your-face sound that is sure to keep the party goin’. Watch out for their debut EP this spring, but in the mean time, check them out at reverbnation.com/aokmusic.
Deven P Brawley is a distinguished artist who strives to push the bounds of dance in his own performance, choreography, and as a teacher/mentor. His training began as a competitive ballroom dancer, but he nurtured his artistry with San Diego based artist Faith Jensen-Ismay and Michael Mizerany in college where his evolution into contemporary dance began. Upon graduation he danced with companies such as Tokyo Disney, Mojalet Dance Collective, MizeranyDance!, Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, Imago Moves, The San Diego Opera, Collette Harding Contemporary Dance, Anjanette Maraya-Ramey & Dancers, and Regina Klenjoski Dance Company. Deven was pushed as a technical mover and from this an explosive journey into choreography was pursued, he formed the d’shire dance collective, an all-male dance collective & DK Dance a duet company with partner Keely Campbell in fall of 2007. Since then, Deven has been involved in many exciting projects such as Diversionary Theatre’s Dance/Theatre Project, 4×4 Dance Series, Bottle Night, Dance Moves, and the APAP Festival. In 2008, he was selected to present his work and the d’shrie dance collective at the Blurred Borders International Dance Festival, receiving critical acclaim and many ventures touring his work TruthOut!. He is the proud recipient of the Artist-of-the-Month named by the San Diego Union Tribune for Nov. 2008. As part of the ddc and DK Dance, Deven has produced Around/About Contemporary Dance Festival & Workshops, onONE Dance Festival, Intersection:A Community Fundraiser, and ECHOES; all community based events to support the local dance scene through annual productions. He has served on the mentor’s board for Emerge Dance Festival in San Diego and was the instructor and choreographer with the JCompany Youth Theatre, for over 1,500 students and 3 seasons of award winning musical productions. An active choreographer, teacher, and mentor Deven continues to grow as an artist as he roves around the US and abroad.
We spread a blanket in each new lawn like bustling, whimsical folk-singers. Except when it’s night. Then the songs are sad and the blankets never leave our shoulders. Ribbons of Song is essentially an intuitive folk songwriter/performer named Ben Scott-Brandt, but he most often performs with friends in any opportune variation as a larger folk-pop ensemble. We released Pocket Dream in 2010. We’ve started the recording process for our New Album!
WendiRae Putzke received her B.A. in Dance, with High Honors, from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has choreographed for Dance Dimensions (Lancaster, CA), Soles of Our Feet (UCSB) and various other studio and community dance events. She has performed in Dance Dimensions, various UCSB concerts, as the Swallowtail Butterfly in the exclusive production of The Rainbow Goblins, and in Trip the Light (2010, 2011). She holds a M. A. in Teaching from Chapman University. She is currently on the faculty of Avalon School of the Arts in Holland, Michigan.
Jes Kramer is a one-woman band from Grand Rapids, MI. She started playing shows at 17, learning how to loop and layer, and has since released two EP’s and two full length albums. Jes was named Outstanding Female Performer at the 2012 WYCE Jammies. Kramer puts a keyboard-heavy twist on the singer songwriter. She is heavily influenced by bands like the Postal Service, Mirah, and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. Heather Baker Jackson and Joanna Perry from The Soil & The Sun will be joining Jes on stage for this one time collaboration.
Shawn T Bible, grew up in Roseville, Michigan and received a BA in Social Science and Dance from Michigan State University and an MFA in Dance Choreography and Performance from the University of Michigan. He has been an active choreographer in Michigan and the Northwest United States areas, setting works for Trip the Light, Midwest RADfest, MOCA Detroit, Men Dance Michigan, Nosh Night at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Michigan Youth Arts Festival, Michigan Dance Day, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, ArtPrize, Southwest Dance, and on the Grand Rapids Ballet, I~Move, Southwest Dance of Detroit, Michigan State University’s Repertory Dance Company, University of Michigan Dance company and MoreDances Contemporary Dance Company. Shawn is also certified in Elementary Labanotation through the State Bureau of New York and has danced professionally with DanceTECH, I~Move, People Dancing, and Ann Arbor Dance Works. Bible is on the Board of the American College Dance Festival Association and a member of the Michigan Dance Council. Bible is also the artistic director of his modern dance company, stbdance, which was established in 2007. stbdance has continued to perform throughout New York City as part of Fielday at the Field, Idaho, Atlanta, Michigan and Texas. Shawn has studied film/video technology and modern dance technique in Australia, New York, San Francisco and Chicago. His videodance, Dominique, won a Rackham Film Festival award and he was awarded an International Institute Travel Grant to study Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel in Italy. In 2008, Bible’s videodance Moonplay was featured in the Sans Sousi Festival of Dance Cinema, at the Contemporary Museum of Art in Boulder, Colorado and he has just completed videodance entitled Cell 24-51-60-83. Prior to his dance experience, Shawn is a former graphic designer and Product Designer for the Joe Boxer clothing brand and Kmart Corporation. Shawn joined the Dance faculty of Grand Valley State University in 2008 where he received a Distinguished Faculty Award in 2012 and continues to develop the Dance Program and choreograph on the GVSU Dance Ensemble.
Heavier Than Air Flying Machines (HTAFM) is a noise rock trio from Grand Rapids, MI. The band was formed by JeremyPyne(Winnie Cooper, Chance Jones), Jaymes Pyne (Joyride, Pyne), and Trevor Goldner (Expunk, Chance Jones) in an effort to experiment with the musical boundaries of discord, chaos, and distortion.
Seth grew up in the cow pastures of Wisconsin (literally; he was not allowed inside the house after The Incident) before moving to Madison to join a band. He forgot to join a band, but he did get a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in photography and printmaking. In Chicago, he spent a decade trying to erase his soul by working in advertising. It almost worked. To counteract this, he earned a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Arts (performance art!) from Columbia College Chicago. Then he remembered about joining a band. So he did. And then he didn’t. But he continued writing and performing music, sometimes with a band, and sometimes as a drum-playing, guitar-picking one-man band. If you listen real close on moonless nights, sometimes you can almost hear him. On a whim in 2006, Seth moved to Grand Rapids where there were no soul-sucking advertising jobs so his family wouldn’t think he was throwing away a perfectly good career in order to be a photographer and make videos, which is all he wanted to do in the first place. Since then he has been hired all over the country as a photographer, but is most proud of his collaborations right here in Grand Rapids, most notably with Rick Beerhorst Band, Ric Carroll in Everyday Pompeii, Super Happy Funtime Burlesque, and DITA. If he could work with dancers and only dancers the rest of his life, that would be perfect. Except dolls and animals he finds on the side of the road. He’d still want to work with them too. Oh, and mannequin heads.
Red Tail Ring is the Kalamazoo-based americana roots duo of Laurel Premo and Michael Beauchamp that began in 2009. The band has made haunting, close harmonies a centerpiece of their performances, which they support with a bed of intricate instrumentation on fiddle, clawhammer banjo, mandolin, and guitar. Working as stewards of the traditional music that they love, they have presented workshops and performances to audiences ranging from Michigan primary schools to university groups in Denmark (2011). Red Tail Ring is part of the Earthwork Music Collective which houses many members of the blossoming Michigan music scene. For more information, visit: www.redtailring.com