JANET EILBER (Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance) has been the Center’s artistic director since 2005. Her direction has focused on creating new forms of audience access to the Graham masterworks. These initiatives include designing contextual programming, educational and community partnerships, use of new media, commissions and creative events such as the Lamentation Variations and Prelude and Revolt. She has also remixed Graham choreography and created new staging in the Graham style for theater/dance productions of The Bacchae and Prometheus Bound. Earlier in her career, as a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Ms. Eilber worked closely with Martha Graham. She danced many of Graham’s greatest roles, had roles created for her by Graham, and was directed by Graham in most of the major roles of the repertoire. She soloed at the White House, was partnered by Rudolf Nureyev, starred in three segments of Dance in America, and has since taught, lectured, and directed Graham ballets internationally. Apart from her work with Graham, Eilber has performed in films, on television and on Broadway directed by such greats as Agnes deMille and Bob Fosse and has received four Lester Horton Awards for her reconstruction and performance of seminal American modern dance. She has served as Director of Arts Education for the Dana Foundation, guiding the Foundation’s support for Teaching Artist training and contributing regularly to its arts education publications. Eilber is a Trustee Emeritus of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. She is married to screenwriter/director John Warren, with whom she has two daughters, Madeline and Eva.
DENISE VALE (Senior Artistic Associate) joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 1985, attaining the rank of principal dancer. Roles performed include the Pioneer Woman in Appalachian Spring, Woman in White in Diversion of Angels, Chorus Leader in Night Journey, Chorus in Cave of the Heart, the Attendant in Hérodiade, Leader in the 1980s reconstruction of “Steps in the Street”, and Night Chant, a ballet created for Ms. Vale by Martha Graham in 1989. Graham solos performed include Lamentation, Frontier, Satyric Festival Song, and Serenata Morisca.
Tadej Brdnik (Principal) has been with the Company since 1996. He began his dance career in Slovenia and has performed with Battery Dance Company, Avila/Weeks Dance, White Oak Dance Project, Robert Wilson, and Pick Up Performance Company, as well as in works of Maurice Béjart, Lucinda Childs, Yvonne Rainer, Susan Stroman, Steve Paxton, and Deborah Hay. He has taught extensively in the United States and Europe, is on the faculty of the Martha Graham School and is currently education director for the Downtown Dance Festival. He is a recipient of the Benetton Dance Award and the Eugene Loring Award.
Katherine Crockett (Principal) joined the company in 1993 becoming principal dancer in 1996 performing major roles such as Jocasta, Clytemnestra, Circe among many others. She has been featured in works by Robert Wilson, Anne Bogart, Lucinda Childs, Martha Clarke, Susan Stroman and Yvonne Rainer. She dances as Cate Blanchett in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
, starred with Mikhail Baryshnikov in Richard Move’s The Show
, performed Lamentation
in Kosovo by invitation of Vanessa Redgrave, at The Cannes Film Festival Gala of the Stars, the Vogue Fashion Awards, and runways of Alexander McQueen and Victoria’s Secret. She recently played Helen in SITICompany’s production of Trojan Women
Jennifer DePalo (Principal) joined the Company in 1997, performing leading roles in Chronicle
, Errand into the Maze
, Embattled Garden
, Diversion of Angels
, as well as others. A recipient of the Princess Grace Award and the Coca-Cola Award for Artistic Excellence, Ms. DePalo is also a certified GYROTONIC® and yoga teacher. She has set Graham’s Chronicle
and Diversion of Angels
at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, which was documented by ETV. Ms. DePalo holds a BFA magna cum laude from The Boston Conservatory, has worked with Ballet Hispanico, Buglisi/Foreman Dance, Ramon Oller’s MetroDanza where she also guested as a ballet mistress. She has taught in Seville, Spain and Queretaro, Mexico.
Maurizio Nardi (Principal) a native of Florence, Italy, began his career with Beppe Menegatti and Carla Fracci. He came to New York with a scholarship to the Graham School in 1998, became a member of Graham II, and joined the Company in 2002 dancing many leading roles. Mr. Nardi has also danced with Pearl Lang Dance Theater, Coyote Dancers, Mary Anthony Dance Theater, and Battery Dance Company. He has starred in galas throughout Europe and the US, is winner of the 2007 “Les Etoiles de Ballet2000,” and the artistic director of Key West Modern Dance.
Miki Orihara (Principal) joined the Company in 1987. She has performed with various other prominent companies and choreographers including the Broadway production of The King and I
, Elisa Monte, Dance Troup (Japan), Twyla Tharp, and Robert Wilson. Ms. Orihara was a special guest artist for Japan’s New National Theater. As an independent artist, she premiered her works in New York and Tokyo. Her teaching credentials include numerous workshops in Japan, Art International in Moscow, Peridance, the Ailey School, New York University, Florida State University, and New National Theater Ballet School; she also works as an assistant for Yuriko. In addition, Ms. Orihara performs with PierGroupDance and Lotuslotus.
Blakeley White-McGuire (Principal) joined the Company in 2002, performing major roles in the iconic Graham repertoire including Medea and the Bride in Appalachian Spring
. Her repertory also includes works by Jacqulyn Buglisi, Martha Clarke, Richard Move, Bulareyaung Pagarlava, Pascal Rioult, Robert Wilson, SITI/Company and the Metropolitan Opera. Ms. White-McGuire has served on the faculties of The Ailey School, The Actors’ Studio and The Martha Graham School and is a choreographer, filmmaker and published writer. In 2011, Ms. White-McGuire was the featured dancer in the Martha Graham Google Doodle and was honored with the Premio Positano Leonide Massine Award.
Lloyd Knight was born in England, reared in Miami, and trained at the Miami Conservatory of Ballet. He has a BFA from the New World School of the Arts, where he worked with many renowned choreographers, including Donald McKayle, Robert Battle, and Michael Uthoff. He received scholarships to the Alvin Ailey Center, Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Martha Graham School. Mr. Knight joined the Martha Graham Company in 2005, was promoted to soloist in 2009, and performs starring roles in Appalachian Spring
, Embattled Garden
, Errand into the Maze
and others. Most recently, Dance Magazine named Mr. Knight as one of the “Top 25 Dancers to Watch” in 2010.
Mariya Dashkina Maddux (Soloist) was born in Kiev, Ukraine where she began her dance training. She continued at Thomas Armour Youth Ballet in Miami and attended New World School of the Arts performing lead roles in works by Donald McKayle and José Limón among others. In 2006 she graduated summa cum laude. She joined the Company in 2007 and dances lead roles in Embattled Garden
and Lamentation Variations
Ben Schultz (Soloist) originally from Denver, Colorado, began his dance training at age 15 and joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 2009. He studied ballet and theatre performance and minored in opera at Indiana University. Since leaving Indiana, his dance credits have included touring with the Tony Award-winning production Blast, and dancing for the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Hannah Kahn Contemporary Dance, and Opera Colorado. Mr. Schultz has also served as resident choreographer and contemporary dance teacher for the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities in Arvada, Colorado.
Andrea Murillo (Dancer) was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami. She received a BFA with honors from the New World School of the Arts, where she performed works by Paul Taylor, Michael Uthoff, and Robert Battle among others and was a semi-finalist for the Presidential Scholar Award in the Arts. She joined the company in 2009, performing roles such as Serenata Morisca
and the lead in ‘Steps in the Street’.
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Xiaochuan Xie (Dancer), a Martha Graham Dance Company member since 2010, was born in Nanjing, China. She trained in ballet and modern dance at Nanjing Secondary School for Dance Performance and joined in Qianxian Art Theater in China at the age of 16. She has performed for the former President Jiang Zemin and President Hu Jintao. Ms. Xie won the first prize for modern dance performance in the National Dance Competition in China in 2008 and enrolled in the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in 2009.
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PeiJu Chien-Pott (Dancer) received her BFA in dance from Taipei National University of the Arts. She was a lead dancer with Taipei Crossover Dance Company and served as rehearsal assistant for national and international tours. In 2008, she was awarded a Merce Cunningham Studio Scholarship. She has performed with Buglisi Dance Theatre and with Turkish choreographer Korhan Basaran. Ms. Chien-Pott is a member of Nimbus Dance Works, performing lead roles and serving as a teaching artist.
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