Johnny Castro, He/Him/His
M.A. in Creative Enterprise Cultural Leadership, Arizona State University
B.S. in Nonprofit Management & Leadership, Arizona State University
Johnny Castro is a first year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at UCR. He holds a M.A. in Creative Enterprise Cultural Leadership from Arizona State University. He is a member of the Furious Styles Crew and co-founder of Worth The Weight event series. Johnny is a leader in the Arizona dance community as a bboy, practitioner, and event organizer/host & has witnessed unique aesthetic trends form in the Arizona dance scene. His research is rooted in the lived experiences of street dancers and examines the relationship between social media and feelings of belonging and dis-belonging as experienced by street dancers.
Sinjini Chatterjee, She/Her/Hers
B.A. in Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, India; M.A. in Comparative Literature, King’s College London, University of London; M.A. in South Asian Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Sinjini Chatterjee is a fourth year Phd student in the Department of Dance at UCR. Her research is on the interdependence between Odissi dance and other folk, tribal, and ritualist performance practices of Odisha. She studies how recent choreographic ventures in Odissi might alter the understanding of ‘classical dance’. Sinjini has trained for 15 years in Odissi dance under the guidance of Smt. Aloka Kanungo, and has performed widely in India and the United Kingdom. She has received the Dean’s Fellowship, multiple Gluck Program of the Arts Award, and the Department of Dance Graduate Fellowship.
Colette Marie Eloi, She/Her/We/Us
B.A. in Development Studies, International Relations, UC Berkeley
M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies Creative Inquiry, California Institute Of Integral Studies
Ms. Eloi is an accomplished dancer/commissioned choreographer and director of ELWAH Movement Dance and Research. Her area of focus is the African Diaspora and Indigenous dance. Ms. Eloi is interested in Pre-colonial Archives of African Rooted dance culture. Her research methodology is dialogical bridging knowledge of cultural communities to the academy. She has conducted fieldwork in Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, Benin, Ghana, and the US. Her work looks at the way the commodified imperialized body undergoes the extraction of its wholeness. Colette has received many awards as a social justice artist and she is a sought after guest lecturer.
jemuel jr. barrera garcia, He/Him/His
Bachelor of Physical Education (Major in Dance & Sports), West Visayas State University, Philippines
Master in Physical Education (Dance Stream), West Visayas State University, Philippines
jemuel jr. barrera garcia is an Akeanon 6th-year Ph.D. Candidate in Critical Dance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Southeast Asian Studies at UCR. He is a Filipino Fulbright scholar, UCR Gluck fellow, licensed professional teacher (LPT), and an accredited Philippine folk dance educator. His choreographic works have been performed in countries like Thailand, Germany, Spain, Japan, and the USA. Foregrounding an Indigenous-centered, decolonial, and transpacific lens, jem’s dance ethnography dissertation nuances the intercultural convergent experiences of Filipino Indigenous communities and folk-dance companies in the homeland and diaspora. (Panay Bukidnon panubok collar shirt by Regina Villanueva, 2021)
Dava D. Hernández, She/Her/Ella
M.A. in Dance, Texas Woman’s University
B.A. in Mexican American Studies, University of Texas, San Antonio
Dava D. Hernández is a Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside researching dancing and performing bodies from early twentieth century Mexican American carpas or traveling tent shows. Hernández has received the Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship, Gluck Fellowship, and Eugene Cota Robles Award. She was a long-time member of the Guadalupe Dance Company in San Antonio, TX and has been involved in various dance-theater productions throughout the U.S. Southwest. She taught Dance throughout San Antonio and as an adjunct at Palo Alto College, San Antonio College, Texas Woman’s University, and California State University, San Marcos.
Cinthia Duran Larrea, She/Her
B.A. (Honors) in International Affairs, Double-Minor in Dance and Latin American Studies, Skidmore College
M.A. in Dance Knowledge, Practice and Heritage, at the CHOREOMUNDUS consortium: UCA(France), SZTE(Hungary), NTNU(Norway), and RU (United Kingdom)
Cinthia is a movement researcher with a decolonial vision and a commitment for social and environmental justice. Her international trajectory includes ethnographic research in Ecuador, Peru, the United States and Austria on contemporary forms of ritual dance as a tool for decolonial praxis. As a performer and activist, Cinthia has participated in several productions in Ecuador, the US, and the UK addressing issues ranging from gender and racial violence to mental health stigma. Her current research focuses on the embodied decolonial strategies articulated by Latin American Mestizas in the context of migration, assimilation, uprootedness, transgenerational trauma, and transnational constellations of belonging.
Kendall Loyer, She/They
B.A. in Dance Performance, Columbia College Chicago
M.F.A. in Experimental Choreography, University of California, Riverside
Kendall Loyer is a dancer, dancemaker, dramaturg, scholar, educator, photographer, and creative writer. Her most recent works, created during the pandemic, “These Roots That Grow Between, ” “Echo Collection,” “HomeLove,” and “#pantsoptionaldancing,” have explored memory, caretaking and finding collaborative surprises in quarantine. Her dissertation titled “Radical Folk: Embodying the Revolutionary in Appalachian Performance” looks to folk lifeways, mutual aid praxes and embodied geographies for a radical lesson in how to live otherwise under the necropolitical violence of racial capitalism.
B.A. in Gender, Ethnic, and Multicultural Studies, Minor in New Dance, Cal Poly Pomona
M.F.A. in Dance, California State University, Long Beach
manuelMANNYmacias is an interdisciplinary artist from La Puente, CA. He is a founding member of Mechanism Dancetheatre Collective, a Pomona-based project that centers de-colonial performance practices//processes//experiments in the areas “East of the 605.” He is also a collaborator//instigator with FEK-MAC, a bicoastal (NYC/LA) project with Gayle Fekete. His research//practice explores power structures and the cultivation//manifestation of emergent//divergent frameworks.
Yeji Moon, She/Her/Hers
B.F.A. in Dance, Dongduk Women’s University
M.A. in Dance Education: Teaching Dance in the Professions, New York University
Yeji Moon is a second-year Ph.D. student in Critical Dance Studies at UCR. As a professional dancer, her background is in performing, choreographing, and directing contemporary dance. She is also a certified Yoga and Pilates(RCCB) instructor. After her BFA program, She moved to New York City and continued to choreograph and perform with various choreographers and dancers. She also studied and worked at the Laban / Bartenieff Institution of Movement Studies as a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA). Her current research interests include K-pop dance, ritual dance, communal identity, and especially the relationship between K-pop culture and young audiences.
Cuauhtémoc Peranda, They/He/She/Prince/Father/Ella
B.A. in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity, Stanford University
M.F.A. in Dance, Mills College
(Mescalero Apache, Mexika-Chichimeca/Cano; cihuaiyolo butch queen) Their research focuses on the development of the House Ballroom Scene, and how queer, transgender and two-spirit black, and blackened indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere have deployed the dance form of vogue as a praxis of decolonization, realness, colonialism, transformational resilience via shade, and queering indigenous knowledge reclamation. They walk and raise children as “Overall Prince Don’Té Lauren” of The Legendary House of Lauren, International. Their studies have been supported by several fellowships including the U.S. Dept. of Education Native American Studies Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (G.A.A.N.N.).
Preethi Ramaprasad, She/Her/Hers
B.A., in Political Science and Cultural Anthropology, Rutgers University
Preethi Ramaprasad is a Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at UC Riverside, where she has received the Gluck Fellowship, Dance Department Fellowship, and Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship. She has trained in Bharatanatyam from Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy and music from Padma Srinivasan. Ramaprasad has performed/taught workshops in India, Europe, and the United States. She co-curates When Eyes Speak and the Varnam Salon, which both provide new platforms for South Asian expressive forms in San Francisco. Ramaprasad’s dissertation focuses on the mobilization of mythology in transnational Bharatanatyam performance.
Sur Sanford, They/Them
B.A. in Communication Studies and Minor in Africana Studies, CSUN; M.A. in Communication Studies focus on Performance Studies, CSUN
Sur is a Black/Queer/Trans-Nonbinary Movement Artist & Researcher whose work is rooted in using movement to navigate through trauma amongst people within the Black Diaspora. Sur’s work looks into pain practices such as BDSMKink in relation to movement as a pain practice to investigate these sites as locations for healing amongst Black bodies. Sur’s origin of performance work started in the form of movement focused primarily on sensorial exploration, pain management and soundscaping centered in breath. Sur has also had the opportunity to serve as Co-Director, Movement Coach and Instructional Student Assistant on CSUN Performance Ensemble Creatives for Social Change.
Sammitha Sreevathsa, She/Her
B.A. (Honors) in English Studies, Christ University
M.A. in Philosophy, MCPH, Manipal University
Sammitha Sreevathsa has worked as an arts writer, documentarian and as a social science teacher for middle school students. Her columns for Firstpost and for Pulse, focus on the historical and the political aspects of classical dance in India. She has also reviewed performances for the Friday Review section of The Hindu newspaper. In her research, she is interested to interrogate how the politics of upper caste hetero-patriarchal domestic space, have come to structure the contemporary ecosystems of classical dance in India. She follows and tries to learn from the ongoing Ambedkarite anti-caste movement and wants to explore how the Indian anti-caste discourse could help in re-imagining the savarna dominant Indian dance field more equitably.
Andrew Ssebulime, He/Him/His
B.A. (Honors) in Music, Dance, and Drama. Makerere University Kampala-Uganda; M.A. in Dance Knowledge, Practice and Heritage, at the CHOREOMUNDUS consortium: UCA(France), SZEGED(Hungary), NTNU(Norway), and Roehampton University -RU (United Kingdom)
Andrew Ssebulime is a Ugandan first-year Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California Riverside. He began active stage performance and choreography in Uganda in the early 2000s but later moved to China where he has expanded and extended his Ugandan folk dance practice since 2009. Andrew has conducted and presented numerous dance conferences, workshops and masterclasses on Ugandan folk dances and trainings in various countries and cities around the world. Always inspired by the notions of identity, de-coloniality, change and continuity in dance, Andrew’s academic and research interests are more focused on dance and diaspora/migrant discourses.
Fabiola Ochoa Torralba, She/They
B.A. in Mexican American Studies & Anthropology, University of Texas at San Antonio
A.A. in Dance, Palo Alto College; M.F.A. in Dance, University of Michigan
Fabiola is a movement artist, cultural worker, and activist who shares embodied learning with inner city youth, seniors, im/migrants, Spanish monolingual speakers, QTBIPOC, and working class people through choreography, research, practice, and performance. She has worked with SpareWorks Dance, Dance Exchange, Safos Dance Theatre, Forklift Danceworks, Urban-15, Dancing Earth Contemporary Creations, Erison Dancers, and the S.A. Parks and Recreation Department. Recent initiatives include the East to West Project centering the cultural expressions, politics, and histories of descendants of the African Diaspora and nx/sx, a performance project of kuir, questioning, gender fluid, and non-conforming im/migrants.
José Eduardo Valadés, él/He/Him/His
B.A. in Humanities, Universidad de Quintana Roo, México
M.F.A. in Creative Writing, New York University
Jose Eduardo is a 3rd year PhD student in Critical Dance Studies at UCR. He has worked as an editor, teacher, blogger, translator, freelance writer and shiatsu practitioner. He gained interest in Dance Studies on account of the extended influence of literary theory and language theory on art interpretation. His research interests focus on the connections between dance, intimacy, failure and the philosophy of action. He’s doing a UCHRI/UCOP funded research called “Performance in the Wake of the Political.”
Jorge P. Yánez, He/Him/His/They/Them
B.A. in Performing Arts (Hons), Universidad Central del Ecuador. BA in Law (Hons), Universidad de las Américas (ECU). M.A. in Dance Knowledge, Practice and Heritage, CHOREOMUNDUS consortium, Université Clermont Auvergne (FRA)
Performer, academic and researcher focused on the legal and artistic aspects of the digitization of intangible cultural heritage. Jorge is a member of S:PAM (Studies in Performing Arts and Media) and IPEM (Institute of Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music) at Ghent University wherein he explores new technologies of human movement recognition and blockchain architectures. His most recent publications are included in Dance Chronicle, Dance Articulated, and Revista de Humanidades Digitales. As a Fulbright scholar, he is joining the Dance Department at UCR as a Ph.D. fellow and Teaching Assistant in 2022. For expanded information please follow lasospechaperpetua.wordpress.com.
Magnolia Yang Sao Yia, She/Her/Hers
B.F.A. in Dance and Minor in Asian American Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Magnolia is a dance artist and Ph.D. candidate in Critical Dance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Southeast Asian Studies. Her dissertation examines Hmong dance as a site of HMoob identity formation in the U.S. diaspora. Working from a transnational feminist and decolonial praxis, she imagines and works to activate a cultural politic of HMoob belonging and self-determination that is anticolonial and critical of white supremacist heteronormative patriarchal systems of power. Magnolia is a former dance company member of Ananya Dance Theatre (2013-2017, 2019), and as a choreographer, works to activate dancers’ bodily histories and knowledges to craft performative sociopolitical conversations, critiques, and inquiries on stage. magnoliayangsaoyia.com (Photo by Bill Cameron, 2019)