Company Bios



Martha Graham Dance Company

Principals

PeiJu Chien-Pott
Abdiel Jacobsen
Lloyd Knight
Ben Schultz
Xin Ying

Soloists

Charlotte Landreau
Lloyd Mayor
Ari Mayzick
Lorenzo Pagano

Dancers

Anne O’Donnell
Konstantina Xintara
Leslie Andrea Williams

New Dancers

So Young An
Laurel Dalley Smith
Anne Souder

Apprentices

Guyonn Auriau
Alyssa Cebulski
Jacob Larsen
Carley Marholin
Cara McManus
Marzia Memoli


Company Leadership

LARUE ALLEN (Executive Director) came to the Martha Graham Center in 2005 when she assumed responsibility for retiring a $5 million deficit and returning the Center to a sound financial footing. She accomplished these goals within two years of her arrival and turned her attention to building an effective plan for transforming the Martha Graham Dance Company into the leading repertory group it is today, increasing the budget by 200% and providing a successful structure for the creation of new work, important historical reconstruction, and an extensive touring program supported by earned income. Her principal accomplishments include rebuilding the Center’s Board of Trustees, attracting important funders, launching the largest dance archive in modern dance, and restructuring the Center’s historic School. She came to the Center from the North Carolina Dance Theatre where she created a new touring initiative and brought the company to New York’s Joyce Theater for the first time. Previously, she served as Executive Director of the Trisha Brown Company, producing seven new dance works and three operas, and the Senior Program Specialist for Dance at the National Endowment for the Arts, where she served as funder for dance companies and presenters. She has been a consultant for the NEA, Mid-Atlantic Arts Consortium, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, North Carolina Council on the Arts, American Dance Festival, and a variety of dance companies. She founded and directed the Pennsylvania Dance Theatre and taught dance at Penn State University.
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 Lamentation, Frontier, Satyric Festival Song, and Serenata Morisca.



Principals

PeiJu Chien-Pott-1PEIJU CHIEN-POTT (Principal) joined the Company in 2011. Awarded the Positano Premia La Danza 2014 for Best Contemporary Dancer, named one of the year’s “Best Performers” by Dance Magazine, and the honoree of the “Women’s History Month” by Hudson County, Ms. Chien-Pott has created lead roles by many of the world’s most celebrated choreographers including Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, and Andonis Foniadakis. She 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.

Abdiel JacobsenABDIEL JACOBSEN (Principal) a native of Cote d’Ivoire, joined the Company in 2011. He performs in lead roles of Graham’s repertory and in works by Nacho Duato, Robert Wilson, Sonya Tayeh, Luca Veggetti, Andonis Foniadakis, Michelle Dorrance, Larry Keigwin, Doug Varone, Richard Move, and Bulareyaung Pagarlava. He partnered with Diana Vishneva in Errand into the Maze as part of the Company’s gala in 2012. Jacobsen received a BFA in modern dance from the University of the Arts. He is also a professional competitive ballroom and Latin dancer/instructor, and a guest artist with the Cecilia Marta Dance Company.

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.

Ben SchultzBEN SCHULTZ (Principal) joined the Company in 2009 and dances 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. 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. Mr. Schultz recently starred in the world premiere of AXE, a work created by Mats Ek for the Company.
Ying XinXIN YING (Principal) was born and raised in Yichun, China. Since joining the Company in 2011 she has performed lead roles in Chronicle, Diversion of Angels, and Errand into the Maze, among others, and has created featured roles in several new works including those by Nacho Duato, Pontus Lidberg, and Marie Chouinard. She received the 2008 China Dance Lotus Award. She has been faculty at Sichuan College of Arts & Culture and a guest teacher at the Beijing Dance Academy and Nanjing University of Arts. She was awarded a full scholarship to the Martha Graham School and was a member of Graham 2.



Soloists

CHARLOTTE LANDREAUCHARLOTTE LANDREAU (Soloist) a native of France, joined the Company in 2013. She dances lead roles in Graham’s Appalachian Spring (The Bride), Errand into the Maze, The Rite of Spring (The Chosen One) and Maple Leaf Rag. She trained as a rhythmic gymnast and studied ballet, circus, acting, and modern dance at the Maurice Béjart School (Switzerland). In 2012 she received a scholarship to study at the Martha Graham School. Landreau danced with Graham 2 and was honored with the Pearl Lang Award.

 

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

 

Ari MayzickARI MAYZICK (Soloist) 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.

L. Pagano ColorLORENZO PAGANO (Soloist) joined the Company in 2012 and dances lead roles in Graham’s Appalachian Spring, Embattled Garden, Night Journey, Dark Meadow, and Diversion of Angels and in contemporary works by Andonis Foniadakis, Nacho Duato, Pontus Lidberg and Sonya Tayeh. A native of Torino, Italy, he moved to the US and trained as a scholarship student at The School at Jacob’s Pillow and The Martha Graham School. In 2016 Pagano received the Italian International Dance Award for “Male Rising Star”.  

Dancers

 

ANNE O'DONNELLANNE O’DONNELL (Dancer) 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.

 
KONSTANTINA XINTARAKONSTANTINA XINTARA (Dancer) 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 Helleånic Dance Company. In 2014 she performed Panorama with the Hellenic Dance Company and Graham 2 at New York City Center.
 

 

LESLIE ANDREA WILLIAMSLESLIE ANDREA WILLIAMS (New Dancer), raised in Raleigh, NC, received her BFA degree from the Juilliard School, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. During her senior year, she performed the lead role of “She of the Ground” in Martha Graham’s Dark Meadow. She has been described in an Oberon’s Grove review as “a girl who dances in her own sphere.” This is her first season with the Company.


New Dancers

LAUREL D SSO YOUNG AN (New Dancer), joined the Company in 2016. Ms. An received BFA from Dong-Ah University in Korea. She is the recipient of the 1995 International Arts Award and the Grand Prize at the Korea National Ballet Grand Prix in 2001. She has danced with Korea National Ballet Company and Buglisi Dance Theatre and has also performed works by Yuri Grigorovich, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Mats Ek, Patricia Ruanne and Samantha Dunster.

 

 

LAUREL D SLAUREL DALLEY SMITH (New Dancer), from Bath, England, graduated from Central School of Ballet, London with 1st Class Honours. There she performed works by Russell Maliphant, Christopher Hampson, and David Nixon. She has also performed in the UK Tour of West Side Story, with Joss Arnott Dance and Yorke Dance Project. Ms. Dalley Smith created a role in Robert Cohan’s 2014 work Lingua Franca. She is currently a member of Graham 2.
 

 
ANNE SOUDERANNE SOUDER (New Dancer) began her dance training in Tennessee and continued to earn her degree in the Ailey/Fordham BFA program. There she performed works by Alvin Ailey, Ron K. Brown, Dwight Rhoden, Jennifer Archibald, and more. Upon graduating, Ms. Souder joined Graham 2 and is a Dizzy Feet Foundation scholarship recipient.


Apprentices

GUYONN AURIAUGUYONN AURIAU (Apprentice), graduated with a National Diploma of Dance and BFA from the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, France. There she performed leading roles in Vaslav Nijinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Paul Chalmer’s Juliet. In 2014, she joined the Ballet de Lorraine and performed in Merce Cunningham’s Soundance, Martha Graham’s Chronicle, Noë Soulier’s Corps de Ballet. She is currently a member of Graham 2.

 
ALYSSA CEBULSKI (Apprentice) was born and raised in Michigan, where she trained at Valentina’s School of Ballet. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in 2016 with a BFA in Ballet under the direction of Katie Langan. She has performed works by Dwight Rhoden, Kate Skarpetowska, Aszure Barton, and Darrell Grand Moultrie, among others. She is currently a member of Graham 2.

 
JACOB LARSEN (Apprentice) received his BFA from Marymount Manhattan College where he performed works by Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Aszure Barton, Loni Landon, and Ray Mercer. At Springboard Danse Montreal 2015, he performed works by Alexander Ekman and Banning Boulding. Mr. Larsen trained at the Graham School and was a member of Graham 2. This is his first season with the Company.

 
CARLEY MARHOLIN (Apprentice) ) trained at Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts before receiving her BFA from Long Island University, Brooklyn. Upon graduating, she immediately joined Bradley Shelver Contemporary Dance Theater and Steps Repertory Ensemble in New York. She has performed works by Jae Man Joo, Lar Lubovitch, Elisa Monte, and Twyla Tharp, among others. She is currently a member of Graham 2.

 
CARA MCMANUS (Apprentice) trained in her native Falmouth, MA before earning a BFA in dance and a BA in Comparative Literature from Fordham University and the Ailey School. She has performed works by Robyn Mineko Williams, William Forsythe, Norbert de la Cruz III, and others. She is currently a member of Graham 2.

 
MARZIA MEMOLI (Apprentice) is originally from Palermo, Italy. She began her training at the age of 16 at the Academy of Teatro Carcano in Milan where she graduated with high honors. In 2014 she studied at the Rudra Bejart School. This is her first season with the Company.