David Vaughn, Dance Magazine
NANCY KARP has been making work in San Francisco for four decades. She has created more than 80 dance works for her San Francisco-based company Nancy Karp + Dancers founded in 1980. Karp and the company have toured throughout the U.S. and abroad, including extended artist residencies in Germany, the former Yugoslavia, India, and Japan. She has been awarded commissions by the Für Augen und Ohren and the Sprachen der Künste Festivals in Berlin, the Cabrillo Music Festival, and the American Institute of Architects in San Francisco, among others. As an artist-in-residence at the Kyoto College of Art in Japan in 1990, she choreographed Terrace Canon, a site-specific work for 32 performers as part of the Kyoto International Contemporary Music Forum. Site-specific performance work has been an important part of Nancy Karp + Dancers’ programming. Performances have included site pieces commissioned for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Oakland Museum, and a commission for the Choreographers’ Festival at Yerba Buena Gardens for the work, La Processione with music performed by the Green Street Mortuary Band.Nancy has received numerous grants and awards for her work, including the Bay Area Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2005, a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship (1995-96) to India, where she worked for five months with dancers and actors from the Kerala Kalamandalam, choreography fellowships and dance company grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Rockefeller Foundation/MAP Fund. An active member of the San Francisco Bay Area arts community she served as a trustee of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, chairing its Arts Committee from 1993-2000 and was a mentor in CHIME Program, Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange, in 2004-05.
In 1993, Karp’s evening-length work, Kristallnacht, Night of Broken Glass, created in collaboration with composer Alvin Curran and designers Jack Carpenter and Sandra Woodall, was premiered before sold-out houses at San Francisco’s Theater Artaud. Kristallnacht was Karp’s first work with a historical context, and received widespread critical acclaim. Subsequently, in 1995, Ms. Karp was invited to return with the Company to Theater Artaud for a second two-week sold-out run of the work. Other major works which have toured internationally include Prima Materia (1987), with music by Ingram Marshall and visual decor by Carol Law, First Light (1985) with a sound score by Bill Fontana and visual decor by Berlin-based artist Wolfram Erber, and Dot Bunch (1984) with music by Charles Amirkhanian and visual decor by Carol Law.
In 1986 she published Six Dances/Nancy Karp, a limited boxed edition of dance scores, and in 2003 published a second edition of scores, photographs, essays and drawings entitled Nancy Karp + Dancers: Dances 1977-2003. Karp and the dance company also released Four Dances: The Music, a selection of music compositions commissioned by the New Arts Foundation/Nancy Karp + Dancers for choreography by Nancy Karp. Memory/Place, in a limited edition of 50, was released in April 2019, and is a collection of selected drawings from Karp’s notebooks from this work.
Sonsherée Giles (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and costume designer. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend Mills College and received an MFA in performance/choreography. She enjoys making dances based on observations of animals, landscapes, art history, and daily life experiences. From 2005-2021, she worked for AXIS Dance Company as a performing/teaching artist, rehearsal director and associate director. She has shared her choreography, taught dance and performed for audiences in the United States, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Russia, Scotland, Canada, China, and Japan. Sonsherée received an Isadora Duncan Award for ensemble performance, and a Homer Avila Award for Excellence in the field of integrated dance. ~ www.sonsheree.com
Anna Greenberg Gold
Katie Kruger has been performing and teaching dance since returning to the Bay Area in 1998. In recent years she has worked with notable choreographers and companies including Paufve Dance, Ahdanco, Rogelio Lopez, and Nancy Karp. She has taught in multiple private and public schools and dance centers to students of all ages. She is currently the Director of the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center Youth Program as well as on faculty at Head-Royce School in Oakland for K-12 students.
Nol Simonse is from Washington, D.C., and trained at the Boston Conservatory of Music. He moved to San Francisco in 1997, and helped form the punk rock dance company, Kunst-Stoff. He has worked extensively in the Bay Area, with Stephen Pelton, Eric Kupers, Kara Davis, Christy Funsch, Janice Garrett, Charles Moulton, Sean Dorsey, Carey Perloff, and Val Caniparoli. Nol currently teaches modern technique at the Lines Dance Center, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, ODC, and Dance Mission Theater; and he has taught choreography and repertory workshops to teens and adults. He has been awarded an Izzy, a GOLDIE, Luna Dance Institute’s Choreofund prize, and was a CHIME artist in 2017 with mentor Margaret Jenkins.
Calvin L. Thomas, Jr.
Company, Dance Theatre of San Francisco, Kiandanda Dance Theater, Mark Foehringer Dance Project, Garrett Moulton Productions and ODC Dance. Calvin enjoys time in the studio sharing knowledge, teaching the next generation, and has recently developed a passion for coaching.
Samuel Adams is a composer whose music weaves acoustic and digital sound into “mesmerizing” (New York Times) orchestrations. A 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, he has received commissions from a broad range of organizations including San Francisco Symphony, Carnegie Hall, New World Symphony, The Australian Chamber Orchestra, and Spektral Quartet, and has collaborated with performers and conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Robertson, MTT, violinists Anthony Marwood, Jennifer Koh, Karen Gomyo, and pianists Emanuel Ax, Sarah Cahill, David Fung, and Joyce Yang. Adams was Mead Composer In Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2015 to 2018 and in the 2021-22 season was the Composer in Residence with Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He has held residencies at Civitella Ranieri (Umbria, IT), Djerassi Resident Artists Program (California, USA), Ucross (Wyoming, USA), and Visby International Centre for Composers (Gotland, SE).
David A. Jaffe
Hailed by The San Francisco Chronicle for its “resourceful intricacy and variety of writing,” David A. Jaffe’s music traverses an expansive landscape, from American bluegrass to Yiddish folk melodies. A protege of composer Henry Brant, Jaffe has written over a hundred works spanning all genres of classical music. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stanford University and has taught at Princeton University, Melbourne University and the University of California San Diego. His works have been presented by the San Francisco Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuanian Opera and Ballet Theatre Orchestra and numerous chamber ensembles; and featured at such international music festivals as Other Minds, the Berlin Festival, the Bergen Festival, the Warsaw Autumn Festival, the Venice Biennale, and the American Festival in London. He has been awarded commissions from the Kronos Quartet, Chanticleer (as their National Endowment for the Arts Composer-in-Residence), Cello Octet Amsterdam, the Lafayette String Quartet and others. His music has been recorded extensively.
Jack Carpenter designs lighting and scenery for Dance, Music, Theater, Museum Exhibits and Opera. His work can be seen with the Bishop Museum, Oakland Museum, Exploratorium, SF Ballet, SF Symphony, Kronos Quartet, Detroit Symphony, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Joe Goode Performance Group, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, ODC/SF, Project Bandaloop, Eureka Theatre. Notable productions for Mr.Carpenter include design and direction for Inspired By America for Cypress String Quartet, Kristallnacht, for Nancy Karp + Dancers, the world premiere of Angels In America, for the Eureka Theater Company, Harboring, and Bound(less), for Project Bandaloop, Beauty Queen of Leenane for Berkeley Repertory Theater, Traveling Light, and Rambler, for Joe Goode Performance Group, Concerto Romantique for San Francisco Ballet, and MLADA for SF Symphony. Mr. Carpenter was recently appointed lighting design lecturer at UC Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance,and Performance Studies, has received four Bay Area Critics Circle Awards, and five Isadora Duncan Awards.
Sandra Woodall is a visual artist and scenic and costume designer. Ms. Woodall has contributed scenic and costume designs to San Francisco Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, and the national ballet companies of Finland, Georgia and Norway, the State Opera Ballet of Austria, Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Project, and Singapore Dance Theatre as well as Nancy Karp + Dancers, on many occasions. She has received five Isadora Duncan awards in dance, and many Critics Circle awards in theatre. In 2015-16, Ms. Woodall contributed scenic and costume designs for the premiere season of Theatre Above in Shanghai, China, working with playwright and director Stan Lai. In 2019, she again worked with Mr. Lai in Berkeley and in Shanghai on the premiere of his six-hour production AGO. She has worked with many other choreographers, including Val Caniparoli, Jorma Elo, Trey McIntyre, Yuri Possokhov, Amy Seiwert, Michael Smuin, Helgi Tomasson, Della Davidson, Victoria Mordan, Adam Hoagland, Margaret Jenkins and Brenda Way, among others.
Chelsea Marie Hill, Company Manager and outreach program lead instructor
Chelsea holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Contemporary Dance from Michigan State University, and her Master’s of Arts in Dance Movement Therapy & Counseling from Columbia. She began studying yoga and personal training in 2013, to better understand the science and philosophy behind the human trinity – body, mind, and soul. Chelsea has lived in the Bay Area for 9 years, performing with Roxanne Gray, Cat Call Choir, Sarah Bush Dance Project, Stephanie Unger & Co., and Caroline Liviakis & Co. She has studied Aerial Dance with Bandaloop and Flyaway Productions, and produced a dance film featured in the Bliss Dance Film Festival. She assisted in managing Margaret Jenkin’s Dance Company’s 50th season, and is elated to be on the Nancy Karp + Dancers team.
Alexa Janezell, outreach program dance apprentice
Alexa has been dancing for 11 years, beginning her journey with a newly established hip-hop by the name of Talent Allstars. She was introduced to a variety of styles including Jazz, African, and Pom (cheer), all while being able to travel, to compete, and perform. After 5 years with Talent Allstars, she joined an organization called Project Level, a non-profit that encourages youth to pursue the arts. This work inspired Alexa to pursue dance as a career. She began taking classes, auditioning, and engaging in conventions throughout California. Alexa is a senior at Saint Mary’s College of California, studying JCL (Justice, Community, and Leadership) in order to earn her elementary teaching credential, as well as a Dance degree. She is expanding her movement language studying new styles such as modern, Ballet Folklorico, and West-African dance.