Company Bios



Martha Graham Dance Company

         

Principals

Tadej Brdnik
PeiJu Chien-Pott
Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch
Lloyd Knight
Mariya Dashkina Maddux
Blakeley White-McGuire

Soloists

Abdiel Jacobsen
Ben Schultz
XiaoChuan Xie

Dancers

Natasha M. Diamond-Walker
Charlotte Landreau
Lloyd Mayor
Ari Mayzick
Lauren Newman
Lorenzo Pagano
Lucy Postell
Ying Xin

New Dancers

Gildas Lemonnier

Apprentices

Cain Alfonza Coleman, Jr.
Anne O’Donnell
Dani Stinger
Konstantina Xintara


Artistic Staff

JanetJANET EILBER (Artistic Director) 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 LamentationFrontier, Satyric Festival Song, and Serenata Morisca.

Principals

Tadej BrdnikTADEJ BRDNIK (Principal) began his career in Slovenia, joining the Company in 1996. He has danced with Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, Robert Wilson, Battery Dance Company, among others and in works by Maurice Béjart, Nacho Duato, Lucinda Childs, Yvonne Rainer, Susan Stroman, Anne Bogart, Doug Varone, Andonis Foniadakis, Larry Keigwin, and others. He teaches internationally, at the Graham School and for “Dancing to Connect.” He is a former director of Teens@Graham and Education Director for the Downtown Dance Festival. He is a Manager of Special Projects at the Martha Graham Dance Company and owner of smARTconcierge. He is a recipient of The Benetton Dance Award and the Eugene Loring Award.
PeiJu Chien-PottPEIJU CHIEN-POTT (Principal) joined the Company in 2011 and performs lead roles in Graham’s iconic repertory, such as Chronicle, Errand into the Maze, Cave of the Heart, as well as in new contemporary works. Ms. Chien-Pott received a B.F.A. from Taipei National University of the Arts and was a Merce Cunningham Studio scholar. She has danced with Taipei Royal Ballet, Taipei Crossover Dance Company, Buglisi Dance Theatre, Korhan Basaran Artists, Morphoses and Nimbus Dance Works, directed by her husband Samuel Pott. Ms. Chien-Pott was honored with the Positano Premia La Danza – Léonide Massine 2014 for “Most Outstanding Female Dancer on the Contemporary Scene.”
CARRIE ELLMORE-TALLITSCH (Principal) joined the company in 2002 and has performed leading roles in Appalachian Spring, Chronicle, Circe, Clytemnestra, Embattled Garden, Lamentation, and Night Journey. Ms. Ellmore-Tallitsch has worked and continues to work with contemporary artists such as Ryan McNamara, Buglisi Dance Theatre, Philadanco, Lauri Stallings GloAtl, Kate Skarpetowska, and Martin Lofsnes 360 Dance among others. In addition, she is the co-founder and director of P.E.A.C.E. Community Garden in Jersey City. The garden produces organic vegetables for the community food pantry and is a part of an emerging eco-village committed to urban permaculture and composting.
Lloyd KnightLLOYD KNIGHT (Principal) joined the Company in 2005 and performs leading roles in Appalachian Spring, Embattled Garden, Errand into the Maze and others. Born in England and raised in Miami, he trained at Miami Conservatory of Ballet and graduated from New World School of the Arts, under the direction of Daniel Lewis. There he worked with choreographers Donald McKayle, Robert Battle, and Michael Uthoff. He received scholarships to The Ailey School and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Dance Magazine named him one of the “Top 25 Dancers to Watch” in 2010. Recently, he partnered Ballerina Wendy Whelan in Graham’s Moon and Misty Copeland in Graham’s At Summer’s Full.
Mariya Dashkina MadduxMARIYA DASHKINA MADDUX (Principal) joined the Company in 2007 and dances lead roles in Graham’s Embattled Garden, Serenata Morisca, Chronicle, Diversion of Angels, Errand into the Maze, and Appalachian Spring as well as works by Bulareyang Pagarlava, Luca Veggetti, and Andonis Foniadakis. A native of Kiev, Ukraine, she moved to the United States, trained at the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet of Miami, FL, and graduated summa cum laude with a B.F.A. from New World School of the Arts. She was recently featured in Dance Magazine‘s “Dancer’s Choice,” the film Fall to Rise, and in a Martha Graham technique instructional video.
Blakeley White-McGuireBLAKELEY WHITE-MCGUIRE (Principal) joined the Company in 2002. She performs the major roles of Graham’s iconic repertory including Appalachian Spring, Cave of the Heart, Chronicle, Deaths and Entrances, Deep Song, and Frontier. She has also danced in numerous commissioned works including those by Anne Bogart, Martha Clarke, Nacho Duato, Lar Lubovitch, Richard Move and Robert Wilson. A recipient of the international Positano Premia La Danza – Léonide Massine for “Most Outstanding Female Dancer on the Contemporary Scene”, Ms. White-McGuire holds an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College and serves on faculty of New York City’s famed Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

Soloists

Abdiel JacobsenABDIEL JACOBSEN (Soloist) joined the Company in 2011 and performs lead roles in Graham’s iconic repertory, including Errand into the Maze with prima ballerina Diana Vishneva, as well as in new contemporary works. Mr. Jacobsen received a B.F.A. from the University the Arts in Modern Dance performing works by Roni Koresh, Scott Jovovich, Christine Cox and Louis Johnson and was a company member of the SLJ Arts Initiative, directed by Zane Booker. He is also a Professional Competitive Ballroom and Latin dancer/instructor, and a guest artist with the Cecilia Marta Dance Company.

Ben SchultzBEN SCHULTZ (Soloist) joined the company in 2009 and has danced leading roles including King Hades in Clytemnestra and Jason in Cave of the Heart. He premiered Martha Graham’s work in Russia performing Errand into The Maze with prima ballerina Diana Vishneva at the Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg. Mr. Schultz attended Indiana University where he studied ballet, theatre and opera. Earlier dance credits include the Tony Award® winning Blast, the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, and Hannah Kahn Contemporary Dance. Mr. Schultz has served as faculty and resident choreographer for the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities.
Xiaochuan XieXIAOCHUAN XIE (Soloist) joined the Company in 2010 and dances many soloist roles. She was honored with “The Year’s Best Dance” By Chicago Sun-Times and was nominated for a Clive Barnes Award in 2014. Ms. Xie was born in Nanjing, China, where she received classic dance training and danced with the prestigious Nanjing Jingling Arts Organization for six years, during which she performed for two former presidents and won several national dance awards. She holds a B.A. from SUNY.

Dancers

Natasha Diamond-WalkerNATASHA M. DIAMOND-WALKER (Dancer) joined the Company in 2011 and performs principal roles in Appalachian SpringDiversion of Angels, and Cave of the Heart. She graduated with a B.F.A. degree from Fordham University and has performed the works of Alvin Ailey, Lester Horton, William Forsythe, Alonzo King, and Nacho Duato. Ms. Diamond-Walker appeared in Dance Spirit, Bust, and Spirit & Flesh magazines, and in TV commercials for HBO and GNC.

 
CHARLOTTE LANDREAU (New Dancer) joined the Company in 2013. A native of France, she began her studies with rhythmic gymnastics and studied ballet, circus, acting, and modern dance at the Maurice Béjart School. In 2012, she received a scholarship to study at the Martha Graham School. Ms. Landreau danced with Graham 2, and was honored with the Pearl Lang Award.

 
Lloyd MayorLLOYD MAYOR (Dancer) joined the Company in 2012 and performs lead roles in Appalachian Spring, Diversion of Angels, Echo, and in Richard Move’s The Show (Achilles Heels), first danced by Mikhail Baryshnikov. Mr. Mayor has a background in Hip-Hop and Gymnastics and trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. In 2014, Mr. Mayor was honored with the Clive Barnes Award recognizing young emerging artists.

 
ARI MAYZICK (Dancer) hails from New York where he began his professional dance training at the age of 11. Mr. Mayzick has danced with Pearl Lang Dance Theater, Pascal Rioult Dance Theatre (now Rioult), Scapino Ballet (Holland), Washington Opera as a guest soloist, Les Ballets Grandiva, Buglisi Dance Theatre and Dance Iquail, just to name a few. He is a recipient of the Princess Grace Award of Excellence in Dance and is currently on faculty teaching at The Ailey School.

LAUREN NEWMAN (Dancer) joined the Company in 2008. As part of its Italian project Cercando Picasso, she danced lead roles in “Steps in the Street” and Deep Song. From Florida, Ms. Newman attended Southern Methodist University, earning a B.F.A in Dance and a B.A. in Art History. She appeared in the feature film Fall to Rise and a Martha Graham technique instructional video.

 
L. Pagano ColorLORENZO PAGANO (Dancer) joined the Company in 2012 and was chosen to perform featured roles in Echo by Andonis Foniadakis, and Depak Ine by Nacho Duato. Mr. Pagano has danced at Impulstanz Tanz Wochen in Vienna and the Doris Humphrey Foundation in Chicago. He received scholarships to both the School at Jacob’s Pillow and the Martha Graham School. He was a member of Graham 2.

 
LUCY POSTELL (Dancer) joined the Company in 2012. She attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts while dancing in the Young Artists Program at the Martha Graham School. She studied English Literature and Dance at Mount Holyoke College, and enrolled at the Graham School as a scholarship student in 2010 where she was a member of Graham 2.

 
Ying XinYING XIN (Dancer) joined the Company in 2011. She performs lead roles in Chronicle, Diversion of Angels, Echo, Errand into the Maze, Satyric Festival Song, among others. She received the 2008 China Dance Lotus Award, and is a guest teacher at the Beijing Dance Academy and Nanjing University of the Arts. She was awarded a full scholarship to the Graham School, and was a member of Graham 2.


New Dancers

  GILDAS LEMONNIER (New Dancer) Dancer) joined the Company in 2013.  Originally from France, he began his dance training at the IFPRO in Paris and came to New York in 2012 with a scholarship to the Martha Graham School.  As a member of Graham 2, he performed roles in The Rite of SpringActs of Light, and Cortege of Eagles. Mr. Lemonnier currently dances with Pushing Progress Contemporary Dance and Peridance Contemporary Dance Company.  

Apprentices

CAIN ALFONZA COLEMAN, Jr. (Apprentice) trained at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase. He danced with Philadanco and performed works by Paul Taylor, George Balanchine, Talley Beatty, George Faison, Christopher L. Huggins, Ray Mercer. Mr. Coleman has presented its works at Purchase College, Regional Dance America, The Girl Effect, Bare Bones Dance Project. He now dances with Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

 
ANNE O’DONNELL (Apprentice) trained on scholarship at The Ailey School before being invited to join Ailey II. She has danced with Buglisi Dance Theatre and performed works by Robert Battle, Jessica Lang, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, among others. She attended Jacob’s Pillow 2010 Contemporary Dance Program, 2014 Springboard Danse Montreal, and was a YAP at the 2013 Glimmerglass Opera Festival. This is her first season with the Company.

KONSTANTINA XINTARA (Apprentice) started her dance training at the National Dance School of Greece, in Athens, where she graduated in 2013. Ms. Xintara won the first prize at several dance competitions and danced with the Hellenic Dance Company. In 2014 she performed Panorama with the Hellenic Dance Company and Graham 2 at New York City Center. This is her first season with the Company.

 
DANI STINGER (Apprentice) began her training in Houston, TX. She received her B.F.A. in Dance Performance and B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Southern Methodist University where she performed works by Paul Taylor, Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey, and Martha Graham. Upon graduating she worked with Ad Deum Dance Company in Houston, TX. Ms. Stinger is a member of Graham 2.