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Artist Bios – Comparison Group

Andre M. Zachery

André M. Zachery (b.1981, United States) is a Chicago bred and now Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist, scholar and technologist with a BFA from Ailey/Fordham University and MFA in Performance & Interactive Media Arts from CUNY/Brooklyn College. As the artistic director of Renegade Performance Group his practice, research and community engagement artistically focuses on merging of choreography, technology and Black cultural practices through multimedia work. André is a 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts Gregory Millard Fellow in Choreography and 2019 Jerome Hill Foundation Fellow in Choreography. His works through RPG have been presented domestically and internationally, receiving support through several residencies, awards, commissions. These have included the CUNY Dance Initiative, Performance Project Residency at University Settlement, ChoreoQuest Residency at Restoration Arts Brooklyn, 3LD Art & Technology Center, HarvestWorks and a Jerome supported Movement Research AIR. Awarded grants have been from the Brooklyn Arts Council, Harlem Stage Fund for New Work and a Slate Property SPACE Award. Commissions have come from the Brooklyn Museum, Five Myles/BRIC Biennial and Danspace Project.


BAIRA is a Detroit based dance-theatre company under the artistic direction of Shaina and Bryan Baira. BAIRA creates and presents a harmony of gripping performance work, social consciousness, and artistic innovation; cultivating dialogue around the intricacy and intimacy of the human experience. Our unique approach to movement is rooted in exhilarating athleticism, refined sensitivity, and a deeply evocative theatricality. We share BAIRA Movement Philosophy through performances at home and abroad, in community outreach and development programs and by providing movement education and dance training for students of all levels, ages, and abilities. Shaina and Bryan relocated from New York City to Detroit in July 2018 and in collaboration with Wayne State University, have launched ‘BAIRA Intensive Detroit’ – Summer and Winter Movement Training Intensives for professional/pre-professional dancers. BAIRA is proud to be housed at Wayne State University as the Department’s Resident Professional Company and to be current Artists-In-Residence at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Detroit. | @mvmntphlosphy

John Zullo

John J Zullo, Artistic Director originally from the Bronx, New York and currently resides in NYC. He graduated from American University in 1996 with a Bachelors in Anthropology and 1999 with a Masters of Arts in Dance. Zullo/RawMovement has been performing at various venues in NYC since January 2010. Zullo/RawMovement was selected for the CUNY Dance Initiative Residency and is the artist-in-residence at City College for the creation of the new evening length work “Liable to Change” premiering fall 2017. RawMovement was presented at the 92nd Street Y, BAM for the Everybooty Festival June 2015 & 2016 and was selected for FLICfest 2015 at the Irondale Center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. RawMovement was co-presented at the Dance Complex in Cambridge, MA, and was presented at the American Dance Institute in Rockville, MD. RawMovement presented 3 seasons in New York City at the 14th Street Y October 2015 with the evening length “The Architecture of Proximity”, “The Memory Suite” evening of three works at Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church 2013 and the evening length “How Brief Eternity” at Theater for the New City 2011. RawMovement has performed for the LaMaMa MOVES! festival 2013, as well as multiple evening presentations of works at Dixon Place and has shown work at Eden’s Expressway at Movement Research, the Dumbo Dance Festival and the CoolNYC Festival at the John Ryan Theater in Dumbo, the Ailey Center, City Center Studio 5, Green Space, The LES Festival 2011 through 2016 at Theater for the New City. Zullo was selected for the LaMaMa Spoleto Open in Spoleto, Italy. In 2018 Zullo initiated the Queerly Contemporary Festival presenting regional and national LGBTQ+ artists. Partnering with the 14th Street Y, Zullo is coproducing the 2020 Queerly Contemporary Festival June 2020 and Zullo/RawMovement’s 10th anniversary season at Green Space in LIC in March 2020 .

Marjani Forte

Marjani Fortè-Saunders is a Mother, collaborative artist, and organizer most notably known as a 3 time Bessie award winning, choreographer, performer, and educator. She refers to dance as her sorcery- revolutionary, transformative, wild, ancient, and fresh. Her tools, have been choreography, performance, teaching, and galvanizing community through the arts. She is a proud recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Production and Visual Design Bessie Awards for her latest work Mem- oirs of a… Unicorn, and a 2017 Outstanding Performance Bessie Award as one of 21 Black Womyn and Gender Non-Conforming artists of the collective Skeleton Architecture. She is an Inaugural recipient of the prestigious DanceUSA Fellowship, Jerome Artist Fellowship, and the UBW Choreographic Center Fellowship, and a two-time Princess Grace Foundation awardee. Her work has been nurtured through residencies at the Maggie Allesee National Choreographic Center (MANCC), Lower Manhattan Cul- tural Center Extended Life Residency, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and the CUNY Dance Initiative. Humbly, she defines her work by its lineage stemming from culturally rich, vibrant, historic, loving, irreverent conjurers!

Miro Magloire

Lauded as “refreshingly original” by Alastair Macaulay of The New York Times, Miro Magloire is a choreographer and the founder of New Chamber Ballet, for which he continues to create works in his signature, sculpturesque style. “It’s heartening to see work so focused on the meeting of dance and music,” Macaulay wrote in his Times review, “always you’re aware of an intelligence at work that resists romantic cliché.” Magloire’s choreography is strongly influenced by his initial training as a composer. At age 17 he won a state-wide composition award in his native Germany and went on to study composition at the Cologne Conservatory of Music with Mauricio Kagel, an icon of 20th Century music, before moving to New York City and turning to dance. Magloire’s passion for, and deep understanding of cutting-edge contemporary music has led him to engage in ground-breaking collaborations with musicians, redefining how dancers and musicians can interact on and offstage and introducing the dance world to many of today’s leading composers. The subject of a 2008 full-page profile in the Sunday NY Times, Magloire has been commissioned by
Joyce SoHo, Roulette, the Moving Sounds Festival, the Sarasota Opera,
Grace Farms Connecticut, and the American Academy in
Rome, Italy.

Ni’Ja Whitson

Whitson (LA/NY) is “Bessie” Award winning, gender nonconforming/astral transmogrifying interdisciplinary artist and writer, referred to as “majestic” and “magnetic” by The New York Times, and recognized by Brooklyn Magazine as a culture influencer. Through a critical intersection of gender, sexuality, race, and spirit, they engage a nexus of transdisciplinary and African diasporic performance practices in sacred and conceptual performance. Whitson is a 2019 Creative Capital Awardee, 2018-2019 Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Fellow Candidate, 2018 MAP Fund recipient and featured choreographer of the Cornel Council for the Arts Biennial. Additional cross-disciplinary residencies and fellowships include Jerome/Camargo, Dance in Process at Gibney, Hedgebrook, LMCC Process Space, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Movement Research, Bogliasco Fellowship, with commissions including EMPAC, American Realness and Vision festivals, ICA Philadelphia, and recent support from Mertz Gilmore and Jerome Foundations. As a noted innovating practitioner of the Theatrical Jazz Aesthetic, Treinel in Capoeira Angola, and accomplished improviser, Whitson performs nationally with renowned musicians, including a close collaborative partnership with Douglas R. Ewart of the AACM. Other collaborations include experimental and conventional theater, music, and performance with Cynthia Oliver, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Virginia Grise, Sharon Bridgforth, Byron Au Yong, and Aaron Jafferis. Whitson received an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a second MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, receiving merit and artist awards at both. They are the founder/artistic director of The NWA Project and an assistant professor of experimental choreography at University of California at Riverside.

Pam Tanowitz

Pam Tanowitz Dance unites critically-acclaimed choreographer Pam Tanowitz with a company of world-class dance artists and renowned collaborators in all disciplines. As a choreographer, Pam Tanowitz is known for her abstract treatment of classical and contemporary and movement ideas. The work is deeply rooted in formal structures, manipulated and abstracted by Tanowitz until the viewer sees through to the heart of the dance. The juxtapositions and tensions that Tanowitz creates draws upon the virtuosic skill, musical dexterity, and artistic integrity of the PTD dancers. Since the company was founded in 2002, Pam Tanowitz Dance has received commissions and residencies at The Joyce Theater, Bard Summerscape Festival, New York Live Arts, The Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series, Dance Theater Workshop, City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, Dancespace Project, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Chicago Dancing Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Pam Tanowitz Dance has been selected by the New York Times Best of Dance series in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre

Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre (YSDT) creates invigorating performance and education programs that expand access to- and promote understanding through- the arts. Led by Founding Artistic Director Samar Haddad King, YSDT believes art should be liberating, transformative, and accessible to all. The company operates out of the United States and Arab World, developing groundbreaking methods of working across cultural and geographic borders which have been covered in Dance Magazine, The Huffington Post, and Hyperallergic, among others. Since 2005, the non-profit has fostered the careers of over 50 emerging artists and produced more than 30 original works that have been seen in 10 countries across four continents, uniting diverse artists and audiences in the creative process. New York City area performances include: Baryshnikov Arts Center, Downtown Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, Joyce SoHo, Harlem Stage, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Queens Museum of Art, Teatro LATEA, and Whitewave Festival; with international performances in: Belgium, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Palestine, South Korea, and Tunisia. In addition to and alongside performances, YSDT provides community engagement programs that engage participants in activities and dialogues that address cultural awareness and deepen understanding, while presenting and cultivating narratives from underrepresented communities. For more information visit:

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