Photo Credit: Tanner Sebastian

M.F.A. STUDENTS

Antonix. , They/Elle
antonio.hernandez@email.ucr.edu
Double B.A. in Theatre and Dance, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón
Decidí con mami nacer en Borikén, since then (I)ve <lived>played>studied>worked>died<relived> in this powerful island held by Atabey. Transdisciplinary artist, in dialogue around political action, feminism, the gender binary and race discrimination within the puertorrican context (I) inhabit. Artist in residence, “Melaza: decolonizing stories” (2018-2022) collaborating with Boston based company, Danza Orgánica directed by Mar Parrilla. Most of my practice navigates around public spaces, every[body] is invited to actively interact. Exploring within endurance, durational and site specific methods of working to create systems of chance that allow a collaborative meta-communication about/with surrounding ecosystems.

Mariia Bakalo , She/Her
mbaka003@ucr.edu
B.A. in Choreography, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
Mariia Bakalo is a dance artist, choreographer and educator in the realm of contemporary dance from Ukraine. Her research focus integrates two of her biggest passions which are literature and dance. In 2015-2017 she led regular experimental dance classes at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv (Ukraine). Her choreographic works of 2017-2019 years were dedicated to an idea of dance as a life practice and choreography as an ongoing reality-construction process. In 2019 was designated as laureate of a Presidential artist scholarship (Ukraine). In 2022 she became a scholarship holder of the DanceWeb program (ImpulseTanz festival Austria).

Al Ellison, She/Her/Hers
aelli037@ucr.edu
B.A. American Studies and Dance, Tufts University
Al Ellison (she/her) is an artist from the unceded ancestral lands of the Wampanoag people, also known as Fall River, Massachusetts area. Her research involves collaborating with the body as an archive and creating inside the potentials of what’s excavated through embodied inquiries. She loves working with “non-dancers” to renegotiate understandings of dance through activating the body’s knowledge to move, question, storytell, create in spite of-, and heal. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University in 2019 and studied American Studies and Dance. There, she worked closely with Daniel McCusker, Renata Celichowska, Jaclyn Waguespack, Ruka White, and professors Elana Jefferson-Tatum, Lily Mengesha, and Kris Manjapra. Al is a recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship and is in her second year.

Justin Morris , They/Them, He/Him
jmorr056@ucr.edu
B.F.A. in Dance, CSU Long Beach
Justin Morris began his dance training at Riverside City College in multiple genres including modern, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop. Justin has performed in numerous choreographic works presented in the Inland Empire, the greater Los Angeles area, and nationally. These works include Collaborations with Jay Carlon, Sue Roginski and Kirsten Johansen. They have performed in works created by Kevin Williamson, Alexx Shilling, Colleen Thomas, visual artist David Lamelas, Rebecca Bryant, Rosa Rodriguez-Fraiser, and Summation Dance Company. Justin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from CSU Long Beach’s Department of Dance and was a faculty member at Renaissance High for the Arts in Long Beach.

Giovanna Sosa Santos , She/Her/Hers
gsosa008@ucr.edu
Bachillerato en Artes Escénicas con especialidad en Danza. Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, Puerto Rico
Giovanna Sosa Santos is an experimental dance artist who focuses her dance making in rhythmical, improvisational and traditional dances from Puerto Rico, specifically Bomba Puertorriqueña. Currently developing several interdisciplinary projects, the artist questions are invested in the process of knowledge production by afro-Caribbean ontologies of the body. Her actual research is motivated by the sound perceptions that the body can grasp from the musical instruments, songs, corporeal relationships, and the eventual reminiscences left in the space where the bodies performed. Her aim is to create cultural appreciation and navigate possibilities in the meaning making of culture and its practice.

Keisha Turner, She/Her
keisha.turner@email.ucr.edu
B.F.A. Dance, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Performer, choreographer, educator, and root woman, Keisha Turner, has Chicago roots, was refined in Brooklyn, and is based in Oakland, CA.  Her artistic practice activates ancient Afro-diasporic cultural wisdom and reimagines them in a contemporary context to conjure radical liberation for Black people, womxn, and the planet.  Turner is a former company member with Urban Bush Women, Embodiment Project, Deep Waters Dance Theater and many others.  Her current research centers on ideating a Reparations strategy for the labor of Black cultural production. She is a proud Gluck Fellow and awardee of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship.

Ji-yoon Um, She/Her
jiyoon.um@email.ucr.edu
B.F.A. Industrial Design, Rhode Island School of Design
Art Praxis ’84′, LungA School
Ji-yoon is a multidisciplinary artist navigating life by observing and dancing through the ordinary magic of every day. Her practice involves engaging in non-verbal conversations with found objects, materials, spaces, and touch in her surroundings. She is curious to further explore spatial and bodily experiences by creating conditions that allow playful encounters to unfold. Ji-yoon is a first year Experimental Choreography M.F.A. student and is the recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship and Gluck Classroom Fellowship.

Kevin Wong, He/Him
kwong039@ucr.edu
B.A. in Dance with an Education Minor, University of California, Riverside
Kevin Wong is a Queer Asian-American artist from San Francisco, California with a background in experimental, contemporary, hip hop, modern, pedestrian, and Chinese dance. He has danced with STEAMROLLER, Project M, and the Flying Angels Chinese Dance Company, and produced several works with his childhood best friend Matthew Wong. His work researches ideas of intimacy, desires, and memories through improvisation scores, experimental choreographic approaches, and reactive conversations. His goal is to develop an analytical and bodily practice that cultivates a safe space for generating a deeper understanding of the self.