Photo Credit: Tanner Sebastian

M.F.A. STUDENTS

Al Ellison, She/Her/Hers
aelli037@ucr.edu
B.A. American Studies and Dance, Tufts University
Al is an artist from Fall River, Massachusetts. Believing there is art and sacredness in the every day, Al creates through observation of people. Through collection of gestures, she is focusing her choreography on the embodied archive. Al believes the best “dance” comes from the “non-dancer.” She graduated with a B.A. from Tufts University in 2019 where she studied American Studies and Dance. There, she worked closely with mentors such as Daniel McCusker, Renata Celichowska, Jaclyn Waguespack, and professors Elana Jefferson-Tatum, Lily Mengesha, and Kris Manjapra. Most recently she collaborated on a video project with the Umbrella Arts in Concord for her piece, “The Trap.” Al is entering Riverside as a recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship.

Megan Danielle Kendzior, She/Her
mkend008@ucr.edu
B.F.A. in Dance, University of Florida
Megan Danielle Kendzior, second year M.F.A. student, is a dance maker and arts advocate, originally hailing from Sarasota, Florida. Her practice and research are centered on the convergence of choreographic, improvisational, and community organizing structures. Her work has been presented/commissioned by venues in New York, California, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Virginia, Montana, Washington DC, Mexico, Guatemala, and Israel. Her five year project Witness was celebrated through the National College Dance Festival’s Outstanding Student Choreographer Award at the Kennedy Center, publication in University of Florida’s Journal of Undergraduate Research, and an evening-length presentation at Danspace Project (NY). 

Priscilla Marrero, She/Her/Hers
pmarr003@ucr.edu
B.A. in Performance and Choreography, Florida International University
Priscilla Marrero is a performer, choreographer, teaching artist, and writer. She is a passionate storyteller and loves to discover new ways to collaborate with interdisciplinary artists.  She is currently developing her short film-”Un Día (One Day)” to be filmed in Cuba.  Priscilla is an M.F.A. student in Experimental Choreography at the University of California Riverside where she has received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship and a Gluck Classroom Fellowship.  She lives in NYC and often travels to Miami Beach for some cafecitos, the ocean, and familia time. Visit www.priscillamarrero.com for more information.

Talia Mason, She/Her/Hers
tmaso009@ucr.edu
B.A. in Dance and French/Francophone Studies and Concentration in Education, Bates College
Talia Mason, second year M.F.A. student, is the recipient of a Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship, Gluck Fellowships, and an M.F.A. Graduate Fellowship. Talia studied at Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Her choreography has been in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Movement Research’s Open Performance, and Fringearts’ Scratch Night. Field Notes on Remembering, a collaboration with Christina Catanese, premiered at Bartram’s Garden. Talia taught Movement to preschool-Kindergarteners at Greene Towne Montessori in Philadelphia and has led community-oriented engagements for Dance Exchange. Her current research looks at process and performance as sites of memory in understanding her Jewish American ancestry.

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.