Company Bios

Artistic Staff

(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 LamentationFrontier, Satyric Festival Song, and Serenata Morisca.

Tadej BrdnikTADEJ 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 CrockettKATHERINE CROCKETT (Principal) joined the Company in 1993. Her favorite roles include Clytemnestra, Jocasta, and Phaedra. She is Cate Blanchett’s dancer double in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and starred with Mikhail Baryshnikov in his White Oak Dance Project. Ms. Crockett represented the USA for UNICEF, performing in Kosovo with Vanessa Redgrave. She played Helen in SITICompany’s Trojan Women and is currently starring Off Broadway as the Queen in Queen of the Night.
Maurizio NardiMAURIZIO 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 OriharaMIKI 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-McGuireBLAKELEY 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.

PeiJu Chien-PottPEIJU CHIEN-POTT (Soloist)(Soloist)  joined  the  Company  in  2011  and  performs  lead  roles in  Chronicle, Diversion of Angels,  Echo,  Errand into the Maze,  and  Witch Dance. Ms. Chien-Pott  received  a B.F.A  from  Taipei  National  University  of the  Arts  and  was a  Merce  Cunningham  Studio  Scholar.  She  danced  with  Taipei  Royal  Ballet,  Taipei Crossover  Dance  Company,  Buglisi  Dance  Theatre,  Korhan  Basaran  Artists, Nimbus Dance Works, and Morphoses.

Lloyd Knight
LLOYD KNIGHT (Soloist) 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 MadduxMARIYA 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. cx

Ben SchultzBEN 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.

Xiaochuan XieXIAOCHUAN XIE (Soloist), 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.

Natasha Diamond-WalkerNATASHA DIAMOND-WALKER (Dancer) joined the Company in 2011 and has toured Italy featured in the Company’s special projects Cercando Picasso, Prometheus Bound and The Bacchae. Ms. Diamond-Walker earned her BFA with the Fordham University/ Alvin Ailey School and has danced professionally with the Francesca Harper Project, 360 Dance Theater, and Buglisi Dance Theater, among others.

Abdiel JacobsenABDIEL JACOBSEN (Dancer) joined the Company in 2011 performing several leading roles including partnering prima ballerina Diana Vishneva in Errand into the Maze. He is a Professional Champion Ballroom & Latin dancer/instructor. Born in the Ivory Coast, Mr. Jacobsen received a B.F.A. in Modern Dance from the University of the Arts 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.

Lloyd MayorLLOYD MAYOR (New Dancer) joined the Company in 2012 dancing roles in Diversion of Angels, Lamentation Variations, and the lead in Richard Move’s Achilles Heels. Mr. Mayor trained at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. With a gymnastic, hip hop and ballet background, he joined the Martha Graham School in 2011 and as a member of Graham II performed roles in Diversion of Angels and Dark Meadow.
LAUREN NEWMAN (Dancer) joined the Company in 2008 and toured Italy in its special project Cercando Picasso. She began her training with Jacksonville Ballet Theater and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and graduated at the Southern Methodist University where she performed lead roles in Diversion of Angels, “Steps in the Street”, and Acts of Light. In 2007, she joined Graham 2.

Oliver Tobin
OLIVER TOBIN (Dancer) has toured nationally with Chamber Theatre Productions and the Pittsburgh Boychoir. His off-Broadway credits include The Kentucky Cycle, Nirvanov, The Lesser Magoo, and Tallahassee. Mr. Tobin is a graduate of the American Muscial and Dramatic Academy and the Sivananda Yoga Institute and has danced with the Graham II, Dankmeyer Dance Co., AmDat, White Wave Dance, and NuTang Dynasty. He joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 2007.

Ying XinYING XIN (Dancer) joined the company in 2011 and performs the women in red in Diversion of angles and Moon. She graduated college from the Nanjing University of the Arts. She was a dance teacher and choreographer in Mianyang Arts College of SCCM. Her work received the China Dance Lotus Award in 2008. Ms. Xin was also a full scholarship student at the Martha Graham School and was a member of Graham II.
LORENZO PAGANO (New Dancer) joined the Company in 2012. 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 (New Dancer) joined the Company in 2012. She graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School and attended Mount Holyoke College where she studied English Literature and Dance. She enrolled in the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance as a scholarship student in 2011 and was chosen to be a member of Graham 2.

TAMISHA GUY (Apprentice) joined the Company in 2013.  A native of Trinidad and Tobago, she began her dance training at Ballet Tech, attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, and SUNY Purchase College as a double major in dance and arts management where she graduated with honors. She has performed works by William Forsythe among others.

CHARLOTTE LANDREAU (Apprentice) joined the Company in 2013.  A native of France, she began her studies with rhythmic gymnastic and studied dance at the Maurice Béjart School before moving to NYC to study at the Martha Graham School. Ms. Landreau danced with Graham 2, received the Pearl Lang Award, and currently dances the Princess in Cave of the Heart among other roles.

GILDAS LEMONNIER (Apprentice) 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.