Department of Dance



Ph.D. Students


Ph.D. Students

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Kelly Bowker

Kelly Bowker

kbowk001@ucr.edu

Kelly Bowker is a Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside where she has received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship, Gluck Fellowship, Digital Humanities Fellowship, and Dissertation Year Program Fellowship. Her research uses critical race studies to examine the way that technology is represented and utilized in both popular and concert dance. Bowker completed her M.A. in Choreography at Trinity Laban and her B.F.A. in Dance at the University of Michigan. Bowker has received grants from Zellerbach Foundation in San Francisco and the DCASE in Chicago for the development of her choreography.

Photo by Kevin Wong

 

Sinjini Chatterjee

Sinjini Chatterjee

Sinjini Chatterjee is a first year P.hd student in the Department of Critical Dance Studies at University of California, Riverside. She is a recipient of the Dean's Distinguished Fellowship and the Gluck Fellowship Program. She has received training in Odissi dance from Guru Aloka Kanungo and Guru Pracheeti Dange.

Prior to starting the P.hd program at UCR, Chatterjee completed Master of Arts degree in South Asian Studies from SOAS, University of London; MA Comparative Literature from King's College London and earned Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University, India. She received the King's India Scholarship (2015) during her study at King's college London.

Chatterjee has presented at various international conferences such as: ECSAS, Paris; Memory Studies Association, Spain; Annual South Asian Conference, Madison. She is interested in looking at Indian classical dance through the lens of decolonization.

 

Rainy Demerson

Rainy Demerson

rdeme003@ucr.edu

Rainy Demerson is a Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California Riverside, researching how South African women use Indigenous philosophies and practices to decolonize contemporary dance. She is honored to have received a Eugene Cota Robles Award and three Gluck fellowships. Her fieldwork in South Africa has been supported by the Dance Research Grant and the Humanities Graduate Student Research Grant. Demerson holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University, an MA in Dance Education from New York University, and a BA in World Arts and Cultures/Dance from the University of California Los Angeles. She has trained in traditional and contemporary forms at L’ecole des Sables in Senegal, Teatro Nacional de Cuba, Escola de Dança da FUNCEB in Brazil, and in Belize, Indonesia, The Netherlands, and Germany. She produced her choreography in New York and Senegal and presented it in festivals nationwide. A state-certified educator, Demerson taught Dance and Yoga throughout New York City public schools for seven years before serving as an adjunct at Lindenwood University, and as an Assistant Professor at El Paso Community College. She taught Dance History and Modern Dance at Crafton Hills College, and Critical Perspectives on Dance: Race, Gender and Sexuality at Scripps College. She enjoys teaching World Dance and Cultures, and Dance and its Artistic/Cultural Influences at Cal Poly Pomona, as well as Moving Cultures at Cal State San Marcos. Demerson has articles published in the Journal of Dance Education and the Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship.

www.vimeo.com/rainydemerson

 

Xiomara Forbez

Xiomara Forbez

xforb001@ucr.edu

Xiomara Forbez is a Ph.D. Candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Born and raised in Miami, FL, she completed her B.A. in Linguistics and French Language and Literature at Boston University and proceeded to work in Research Administration for four-and-a-half years. Her dissertation research focuses on bad dancing as it relates to identity and representation. Some of her dance interests include hula, ballet, bachata, and kizomba. She is a recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Fellowship and five Gluck Fellowships for the Arts. In 2017 she was a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship Honorable Mention and Alternate.

 

Dav D. Hernández

Dava D. Hernández

dhern038@ucr.edu

Dava D. Hernández is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside where she researches the dance expressions of the U.S./Mexico borderlands. Hernández is a three-time recipient of the Gluck Fellowship for the Arts, the prestigious Eugene Cota Robles Award, and the Graduate Research Mentorship fellowship (2019-2020). She holds an MA in Dance and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Texas Woman’s University, where she earned the 2015 award for Outstanding Graduate Student from the Former Student’s Association and the department of Dance. Hernández also holds a BA in Mexican American Studies with a concentration in Literary Studies from the University of Texas, San Antonio. She was a long-time member of the Guadalupe Dance Company, one of the nation’s leading professional folklóricoand flamenco dance companies and has been involved in various dance-theater productions throughout the U.S. Southwest, including Teatro Campesino’s touring anniversary production of Zoot Suit. Hernández’s current research seeks to better understand the relationships between dancing/performing bodies, identity, culture, and the social and political implications of Mexican American carpas or traveling tent shows of the early twentieth century.

 

Maiko Le Lay

Maiko Le Lay

mlela001@ucr.edu

Maïko Le Lay is a French and Japanese 5th-year Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She holds an M.A. in Cultural Studies from the University Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle (France) and an M.A. in Political Science from the University Catholic of Louvain (Belgium). Her research focuses on embodied hip hop pedagogy and the intersection and tension between Western and Hip Hop knowledge in academic and K-12 institutions. Le Lay was one of four to be selected among 250 000 UC students to lobby at Congress and at the White House in Washington D.C. She is a recipient of the Dissertation Year Program Fellowship and the Gluck Fellowship for the Arts, and the Carbon Neutral Initiative, the Humanists@Work, and the Healthy Campus Initiative grants. She recently was awarded the first Outstanding International Student Award. In Europe, she was Maurice Bejart’s conservatory coordinator, and was involved in the Hip Hop street dance community.

 

Rosalia Lerner

Rosalia Lerner

Rosalia Lerner is a third-year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside where she is a recipient of the Dean's Distinguished Fellowship and multiple Gluck Fellowships. She has presented artistic work in San Francisco, at places such as The Feedback and The LEVYdance Salon and has founded her own dance company, Unfinished People. In New York, she was a part of the Gibney Dance Choreographic Process program, concentrating her artistic efforts on solo improvisational movement studies influenced by her experiences of limited mobility due to rheumatoid arthritis. Her current research looks at the intersections of disability, race, and choreographies of space to interrogate ideas around compulsory recovery. Lerner holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Studies from New York University, where she received the Performance Studies Award (2017), and a Bachelor’s in Dance and Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was awarded the Florence Shwimley Memorial Scholarship (2013) and the Mark Goodson Prize (2014).

 

Kendall Loyer

Kendall Loyer

Kendall Loyer is a third-year PhD student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She is the proud recipient of the Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship award, a former MMAA Military Spouse Scholarship and a former Gluck Fellow. She is also a former Humanities Graduate Student Research Grant recipient. She holds a Bachelor of Art degree in Dance Performance from Columbia College Chicago and a Master of Fine Art degree in Experimental Choreography from the University of California, Riverside. Loyer is a dancer, dancemaker, dramaturg, educator, photographer, and creative writer. Her current research interests explore queer dance performance, embodied storytelling, labor and labor protest as well as embodied and expressive resistance practices in Appalachia.

 

Evangelina Macias

Evangelina Macias

evangelina.macias@email.ucr.edu

Evangelina Macias is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Macias is honored to have been supported as a GAANN Fellow, and as a recipient of the prestigious Eugene Cota Robles Award. Macias holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (2015) in Dance with a Modern Emphasis from Utah Valley University. Her dance and movement background also include Fancy Shawl, Pole fitness, and Samba. Macias was a member of the Samba Fogo Dance Company in Salt Lake City from 2013-2015, and 2018-2019. Macias has also served as a member of the UCR Graduate American Indian Alliance, and of the UCHRI multi-campus faculty working group on Indigenous Dance and the Academy. She is grateful to have had the opportunity to aid as an assistant coordinator in a variety of projects, which include: The special edition of Indigenous Dance Today in Dance Research Journal (2015), UCR Medicine Ways Conference (2015), Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside (2016), UCR Medicine Ways Powwow (2017), Dancing Earth and V'ni Dansi collaboration at the Talking Stick Festival in Vancouver (2018). In her research, Macias' primary interests are in Native women's practices of danced defiance and Native women's sexual expression through different dance sites.

http://evangelinaalopez.weebly.com/

 

Yeji Moon

Yeji Moon

Yeji Moon is a first-year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She was born and grew up in Seoul, Korea, and holds a BFA in Dance at Dongduk Women’s University. As a professional dancer, her movement background is in performing, choreographing, and directing Korean contemporary dance. She has also been training various kinds of dance such as Korean Dance, Contemporary Dance, Ballet, K-pop Dance, Tap, Pilates, Yoga, and more. After her BFA program, She moved to New York City, and holds an MA in Dance Education: Teaching Dance in the Professions at New York University. In New York City, she continued to choreograph and perform with various choreographers and dancers, she was a dancer of Roza Dance Company. She also always studied and worked at Laban / Bartenieff Institution of Movement Studies as a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA). Her current research interests include Pop-culture, K-pop dance, ritual dance, communal identity, and especially the relationship between K-pop culture and young audiences.

 

Anna Nikulina

Ania Nikulina

akala001@ucr.edu

Ania Nikulina is a PhD Candidate and a recipient of the Mellon CLIR Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources for her work focused on state-sponsored ballet as a site of cultural and political tension. Ania’s dissertation project explores the history of ballet performances and dance training in state theatres and ballet schools of contemporary Ukraine. Prior to entering the PhD program at UCR, Ania earned her Master’s degree in Performance Studies from Texas A&M University, focusing on the relationships between state-sponsored ballet, performance and political processes. Ania is a recipient of the UC Riverside Graduate Dean’s Fellowship, the CIS Humanities Graduate Student Research Grant, the UC Riverside Dissertation Research Grant, UC Riverside Alumni Graduate Research Travel Award and the UC Riverside Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship Award. Ania has diverse dance training in Ballet, Modern and Jazz dance; her additional interests include ballet ethnography, oral narratives and interviews as off-stage performance. Ania’s recent publications include “Maya Plisetskaya's The Carmen-Suite: Recovering a Hidden Repertoire,” published in Theatre Journal and “Post-Soviet Primas: Challenging Archive and Repertoire,” published in The Journal of Performance as Research.

 

Cuahtemoc Peranda

Cuauhtémoc Peranda, M.F.A.

cpera001@ucr.edu

Cuauhtémoc (Mescalero Apache, Mexika-Chichimeca/Cano ) is a fifth-year Critical Dance Studies Ph.D. student at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). Their academic studies have been supported by the U.S. Department of Education Native American Studies Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (G.A.A.N.N.) Fellowship, the Dean’s Distinguished Doctoral Student Fellowship, and the Max H. Gluck Arts Fellowship. Their research focuses on the history of the United States’ House Ballroom Scene, in particular the West Coast Ballscene, and its involvement in how queer, trans* and two-spirit black, and blackened indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere have deployed the dance form of vogue (voguing/Performance) as a praxis of decolonization, anti-colonialism, transformational resilience, and queering indigenous knowledge reclamation. He walks and raises children in the West Coast Ballscenes, and is known as "Overall Prince Dante Lauren" of The Legendary House of Lauren, International.

 

Magnolia Yang Sao Yia

Magnolia Yang Sao Yia

myang053@ucr.edu

Magnolia Yang Sao Yia is a dance artist and PhD student in Critical Dance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Southeast Asian Studies. She holds a BFA in Dance and Minor in Asian American Studies from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Yang Sao Yia is the Assistant Coordinator of Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside, a Teaching Assistant in the Dance Department, and as Conference Chair, organized UCR’s Southeast Asian Studies Graduate Student Association’s first annual conference, “Southeast Asia and the Diaspora: Gender, Labor, and Performance,” in April 2019. Through the support of the Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship Award and the Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts, she will be researching dance and embodied practices of the Hmong diaspora in the United States.

As a dance artist, Yang Sao Yia is a choreographer, House dance practitioner, and dances with Ananya Dance Theatre (ADT), “the leading creator of Contemporary Indian Dance in the global arts and social justice movement.” Informed by the work of ADT and within a decolonial framework, Yang Sao Yia creates and envisions at the intersection of social justice, dance and transformation. magnoliayangsaoyia.com

Photo by Bill Cameron, 2019

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Department of Dance
121 Arts Building

Tel: (951) 827-3944
Fax: (951) 827-4651

Graduate Program Inquiries: danceadvising@ucr.edu

Undergraduate Program Inquiries: judith.llausas@ucr.edu

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