Allie Papazian is from Los Angeles, CA. She trained at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and was a member of the inaugural class in the Alonzo King LINES ballet BFA at Dominican University of California, where she graduated summa cum laude in 2010. While in college she danced professionally with Mark Foehringer dance project SF, Central California Ballet, and performed with Zhukov Dance Theatre for their 2010 and 2011 seasons. Upon graduation she joined the Compañía Nacional de Danza in Madrid, Spain. In her five years with the CND she has had the privilege of performing works by Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, Johan Inger, and Alexander Ekman among others. Later she joined ODC/Dance for their 2015/2016 season. After freelancing and working with numerous bay area companies including Post:Ballet, Kambara+Dancers and Dance Theatre of San Francisco she returned to ODC/Dance as a company member in 2019.
Cora Cliburn grew up in Santa Fe, NM, and trained at Moving People Dance, the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program. She was chosen by DANCE Magazine as one of “25 to Watch” and her ensemble work with Post:Ballet in Robert Dekkers’s “Yours is Mine” was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2016. Cora graduated from Stanford University with honors in Environmental Anthropology and minors in Theater and Performance Studies and East Asian Studies in 2019. She has danced with Post:Ballet, Robert Moses’ Kin, Liv Schaffer, and ARCOS Dance, among others. Cora joined ODC/Dance in 2020.
Christian Squires, originally from Charleston, South Carolina, began his artistic career as a professional dancer, performing soloist and principal roles with Boston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theater, Smuin Ballet, Diablo Ballet, and Post:Ballet of San Francisco. He is currently a member of ODC/Dance, and has danced in works by Helen Pickett, George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Val Caniparoli, and Twyla Tharp. In addition, Christian has performed in and restaged ballets for choreographers including Amy Seiwert, Adam Hougland, and Robert Dekkers.
In 2012, he designed his first costumes for Post:Ballet, and has since designed and created costumes for companies including sjDANCEco, Grand Rapids Ballet, Kansas City Dance Festival, and Diablo Ballet. In 2015, Christian designed and constructed costumes for Quixotic Cirque Noveau's celebrated Firebird production, and most recently, he designed costumes for Louisville Ballet's new evening-length Romeo and Juliet. He is also the costume designer for Art Haus, a Playa-based performance ensemble that presents live music, dance, and structural art collaborations at Burning Man. With Art Haus, he has costumed reimagined versions of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Firebird as well as We, Human, a contemporary work set to Reich’s Eight Lines.
A natural evolution of his work as a dancer, costume designer, and repertieur, Christian was appointed Creative Director of Post:Ballet in 2016, where he collaborates intimately with the artistic team to bring the company's repertoire and evening-length programming to life. Christian's extensive experience in all aspects of dance, together with his wildly imaginative creative voice, has enabled him to unite his passions for fashion and movement into cohesive, meaningful, and moving performance experiences.
Kate Weare Company
Douglas Gillespie is a founding member of Kate Weare Company, originating memorable roles in over 15 years of Weare’s work, as well as teaching, rehearsal directing and assisting Weare in creating commissions throughout the U.S. Gillespie is currently a Brooklyn-based Dance Artist passionate in the making, teaching and embodiment of dance as an art form. He works at colleges and dance centers around the world, including The Juilliard School, NYU Tisch Summer Program, Mark Morris Dance Group, National Taiwan University of the Arts and at Gibney Dance Center in New York. Gillespie is an avid dance maker choreographing for Teoria De Gravidad, Limon Professional Training Program, Moving Current Dance Collective, Sarasota Contemporary Dance and Doug Varone DEVICES workshop. He has also created his own student commissions for SUNY Brockport, Cleveland State University, University of Florida and Santa Fe College; two of his works have premiered at American College Dance Association. Gillespie has premiered two international self-choreographed solo projects; most recently for Festival Danza Urbana in Monterrey, Mx. in August 2018 and Taipei, Taiwan November 2015. Gillespie joined David Dorfman Dance in 2018 and has performed in Punchdrunk Emursive’s Sleep No More and Third Rail Projects’ Then She Fell. Born in San Diego, raised in Jacksonville, Fl. he received his BFA in Dance from Florida State University in 2005.
Emily Mann grew up in Big Sur, CA, and is now based in Nashville, TN. At home in many genres, her focus is on Appalachian Oldtime music and American Folk music traditions and songwriting. She toured and performed in the Oldtime stringband The Crooked Jades from 2015-2020. In 2019 The Crooked Jades were nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award in the category of Music/Sound/Text for “World’s On Fire”, a collaboration with the Kate Weare Company and ODC/Dance. She writes and tours with her duo project, Paper Wings, set to release their third album in 2022. “Gorgeous, big-hearted and masterfully played” says Kristin Andreassen of their most recent album, “Clementine”. In 2020 they opened and performed alongside Avi Kaplan (of wildly popular pop acapella group Pentatonix) for his “I’ll Get By” tour of the US.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
James Gilmer, from Pittsburgh, PA, trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School. After graduating, he performed with Texture Contemporary Ballet and joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2011. While dancing with the Cincinnati Ballet for six seasons, Mr. Gilmer was promoted to Soloist in 2015 and performed works by Victoria Morgan, Amy Seiwert, Septime Webre, Ohad Naharin, Val Caniparoli, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Edwaard Liang, Jennifer Archibald, and George Balanchine to name a few. Mr. Gilmer was also a member of Amy Seiwert's Imagery, performing during the summer seasons since 2013, and of ODC/Dance, performing works by Brenda Way, KT Nelson and Kate Weare. Mr. Gilmer joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2019, so far performing works by Donald Byrd, Jessica Lang, Rennie Harris and of course, Alvin Ailey.
James Gilmer appears in Up for Air/Decameron with thanks to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Jeremy Bannon- Neches was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in Augusta, GA, where he received his initial training for the Augusta Ballet School. He graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts where he performed leading roles in Don Quixote and the Nutcracker. Jeremy then spent 7 years with the Nevada Ballet Theater, performing principal roles in Balanchine's Rubies and Serenade, along with works by Twyla Tharp, Frederick Ashton and Mathew Neenan. In 2012 Jeremy moved to San Francisco where he danced for Robert Moses Kin, Post:Ballet, Zhukov Dance Theater, Hope Mohr Dance, and DawsonDanceSF. He has been a company member with ODC/Dance since 2015.
Mia J. Chong
Mia J. Chong is from San Francisco, California. She received her training from the Kirov Academy of Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, the Ailey School, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the School at Jacob’s Pillow’s Contemporary Program, and ODC School, where she trained for over a decade. Mia has danced with Robert Moses’ KIN, Post:Ballet, San Francisco Symphony, and Dance Theatre of San Francisco. She joined ODC/Dance as an apprentice in 2016 and was promoted to company dancer in 2018. Mia has received a Princess Grace Award, Chris Hellman Dance Honor, Aninstantia Foundation Grant, LINES Ballet Homer Avila Award, Isadora Duncan Dance Awards and nominations, and Jacob’s Pillow Ann & Weston Hicks Choreography Fellowship. She currently studies Organizational Behavior and Change at New York University.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Miche Wong is a dancer, educator, and choreographer. Seasoned in that order, it's led her to dance with Guangdong Modern Dance Company, Garret +Moulton Productions, Santa Barbara Dance Theater, Ziru Dance, Capacitor, and most recently, ODC/Dance. She brings her international experience and local expertise in the field to her classes and workshops throughout California and abroad. She's taught for Alonzo King LINES Ballet training program, vocational schools in China, and frequently for UC Santa Barbara where she earned her BFA in Dance. Miche's choreographic work has been shown at the Beijing International Dance Festival, Silicon Valley Dance Festival, the Asian Art Museum, Dance Mission Theater, and Cowell Theater.
Kate Weare Company
Nicole Vaughan-Diaz has been a member of Kate Weare Company since 2013, performing in and originating roles in works such as Dark Lark, Garden, Unstruck, Marksman, Bridge of Sighs, Praise and Landfall. Vaughan-Diaz is a choreographer and performer, newly-based in Asheville, NC. Additionally, she has performed works by Sasha Waltz and Kate Hilliard. Vaughan-Diaz's own choreographic work has premiered at venues including: Judson Memorial Church (NY), The Public Theater (NY) and Arts on Site (NY). In 2019, she won the Challenge Winner Award for the 24th Annual DanceNOW Festival at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, and development of her work has been supported by Connecticut-based residency The Dragon's Egg and DanceNOW.
Rachel Furst is from Baltimore, MD, where she began her dance training in competitive dance and then formally trained at the Baltimore School for the Arts. She graduated summa cum laude in 2013 from the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA program at Dominican University of California. In 2012, she was awarded the Dizzy Feet Foundation Award. Rachel began her professional dance career with Amy Seiwert’s Imagery under the expert mentorship of Ms. Seiwert. She has also had the opportunity to be a guest artist with Dawson Dance SF and Smuin Contemporary Ballet, where she eventually joined as a full company member in 2015. She joined ODC/Dance in 2016.
Ryan Rouland Smith
Kate Weare Company
Ryan Rouland Smith has been a member of Kate Weare Company since 2014, performing in and originating roles in such works as Dark Lark, Unstruck, Marksman and Praise. Smith hails from Colorado where he graduated from the Denver School of the Arts. A recipient of the Carpenter Scholarship, Smith graduated cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Dance and Choreography in 2013. While a student at the American Dance Festival, he had the pleasure of working with John Jasperse, Reggie Wilson and performed in the first reconstruction of Bill T. Jones’ Love Redefined. Most recently Smith performed in Stefanie Batten Bland’s Look Who is Coming to Diner and Nicole Vaughn Diaz’s A Portrait of Them in 2019. He is thrilled to be back in SF with ODC/Dance, continuing the collaboration around Decameron.