Artist Statements

(Alex)andra Taylor Dance
 (Alex)andra Taylor Dance is a project-based modern dance company that ventures to captivate audiences and create stimulating artistry with the exploration of situational concepts through live dance and alternative media. With collaboration being a key factor in their creation process, projects are a culmination of research, communal inspiration and original scores. (Alex)andra Taylor Dance aims to promote artist sharing and collective investigation to expand the breadth and potential of each project.
Amy Larimer
I create dance theater work that uses movement, text and song to explore characters generated through imagination, experience and observation. Currently, I’m fascinated by improvisation. In both set and improvised work, I enjoy discovering the eccentric edges and ordinary longings of the characters that emerge. I believe that humor is a valuable way to connect with the audience and I’m interested in exploring the relationship between comedy and tragedy. I have been influenced by the passion and feminism of the early modern dance pioneers, the innovation of Cunningham and Judson Church, the spontaneity and physicality of improvisational forms, the joy of social dance, the expressive possibilities of dance theater, the wit of stand up comedy, the vulnerability of singing and the philosophy of yoga. I am interested in the things we hide, the ways we separate ourselves from each other and what it is that makes us want to engage despite the risks. I am fascinated by the way change takes place and am curious about the role that art plays in that process, particularly in a culture that seems ambivalent about both art and change. I keep performing because I like it and because I believe it’s important for people to sit in a room together, be reminded of the crazy situation we are in as humans and to be moved by the ways that we keep on trying.

Anri Nakano
I dance simply to share my joy, passion, and energy. Other time, I explore the deepest emotions in myself, and I seek the answer for a question that comes up to me. With the use of my body, I create movement that allows my inner self to be seen because I want people to feel something when they see me dance. I see dance as a way of exchanging humanity, not just as a way of entertaining. Therefore, what happens in my life and in the world is somehow connected to what I portray in my dance. What I love about dance is that there is no use of language involved. Because of that, dance is universal and borderless. I make dance to make visible my philosophy, imagination and curiosity, so that people can receive the message through their eyes and have it transmitted to their mind and soul.
Barbara Mahler
My interest, my passion, is the body – the limitless possibilities of the body as an expressive instrument, to carry a story, create an environment. I work primarily in solos, duos and trios. All are intimate dances for large and small spaces.  I think of  my dances as being in dialogue with the spaces in which they are created and/or performed, and for each particular audience. Current theories of physics teach us that nothing exists alone;  that all things exist in only in relationship. This is how I approach and view my work, choreographing as well as teaching. All dances are given a new life with each  audience, in each new environment, in each performance.  Although all dances are created to realize a particular form or shape, to convey an event, fulfill a concept, I view, and create my dances with the premise that they are innately possessed of a spontaneity and flexibility that give rise to various interpretations and meanings.  Solos in particular, in the absence of other dancers, call upon the interpreter/ dancer’s inner dialogue as primary tools in creating and maintaining a relationship between themselves  and the audience, while the dance itself creates the structure for the communication.  The audience, an assortment of individuals, come together in what I think of as a collective vision.  The audience,as a  collective, can affect the outcome and the interpretation;  of what is being presented on the canvas. The relationships thus created are with the self, the audience and the space, and, in the case of duos and trios,  with the other performers as well..   Although I know what my dances are, they acquire new life in each different circumstance. I mold and craft my dances in detail and design, and in paradox, aim for spontaneity and immediacy.  My current trajectory includes but is not limited to rigorous improvisational and collaborative process in rehearsals and performance.
Beth Megill
I'm in a new place. All over again. Amazed once more at the shifting sands that shape and reshape in the landscape of life. But, amidst the self examination, the questioning, the challenges, the joys, the complexity and simplicity, I keep making dances. I am tired of trying to be "good" at it. Instead, I make dance because it has to be made. Sometimes its heavy, most times its playful and silly. But, whatever comes comes. Tap, Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Theater. The art comes alive and am just following the call.
Derrick Curtis
To explore natural movement and move without reservation.
Emily Berry
My process begins broad and allows specific ideas and stories to emerge. We remain open throughout the creative process, leaving room for more stories and ideas to emerge as we work. I’m interested in how the topic I’ve chosen resonates within our own lives, as well as within society. My work develops through intense discussions and detailed movement investigations. The improvisations are drawn from an emotional place with the focus on “intention of concept”. My approach is a fusion of my experiences in dance, theater, and film, and my background as a Certified Movement Analyst. With an unwavering commitment to concept, I address every moment with a fine toothed-comb.

Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) and I first collaborated in 1998. Fourteen years later, our artistic practices continue to weave together our shared concepts in art making. While we come from different disciplines, our motivation for creating our art, our approach to our art making, and the subjects we are drawn to, are exactly the same. We both have a strong desire to bring to light unseen and under-represented topics, relationships, and stories with a strong emotional content that pulls at your heartstrings.
Hart Pulse Dance Company
All HPDC productions are geared towards establishing community strength with dance. Hart Pulse aims to be a leading force in dance exposure, of their own HPDC and for others through MixMatch Dance Festival. Dance is important and a community builder. People love dance and we want to bring them more!
Jamie Carbetta Hammond - Pony Box Dance Theatre!
What's in a Name:

One day our daughter's friend created a drawing that is now our logo. When questioned about what she drew, she replied, " A pony box. You put everything in it."

The term "pony box" became a catch all phrase that means everything and anything.

art + music + dance + theatre + film=pony box dance theatre

We are a 21st century Ballet Russes.
We create contemporary ballets with a political and social consciousness.
 Jessica Kondrath | the movement, Long Beach
Through my work, I constantly seek to find beauty in movement and how the movement connects to the environments created for each piece. By crafting spaces which house each particular dance, it is my interest to allow new sets of rules to exist for each environment inside of which each dance is created. Using the score as an integral aspect of each environment, it is by following the movement of the music that I create choreography. It is also my intent to create a visual re-presentation of the score through the movement of the body and the crafting of the bodies as they move through the space. Additionally, I seek to bring awareness to the relationship between audience/viewer and performer with the desire to bring the viewers awareness to their participation in the dance as an entity.

Kristin Hatleberg
"The word for soul in Latin is anima, the root of animal and animated; these are the roots of my art. With active, listening senses I partner dance and environment to transmit the physical necessity inherent in living. Life is motion, and that motion is created in response to each living being’s realization of the world that holds it. I work to expose the connections between humans and their physical environments that may not be noticed during day-to-day life. I aim to deepen awareness and focus so we may approach issues with more creative perspective.

Presence is the lifeblood of my work. As humans, we naturally absorb our physical environments and imprint them on everything we create. Dance is the platform to offer these imprints as a gesture of how we can embody our world in powerful, grounded ways.

The oscillation between perceiving and imagining is the lifespan of a dance. My works create a space hold that gives minds a productive, guided setting in which to wander. I believe in subjective narratives and use the narrative trajectory as the skeleton of my work to expose connections that may not otherwise be noticed, particularly those between humans and their physical environments. Imagery is a driving inspiration throughout my creative process, and education is the cornerstone of my work. Dance, the physical rendering of all we perceive, offers continual re-education of the body and the mind, of what it means to be human, animal, mortal. Dance is a format that invites open forum concerning our perceptions of context, space and time."

Mariana Oliveira
As a choreographer my goal is to explore dancers’ own way of moving and expressing, and sharing new experiences and ideas. Collaboration between other styles of art is vital to my creative process.
Marilyn Romeo - Got Country? I am so thrilled that Misa and Stephen invited ‘Got Country?’ to perform at their event! The team is so excited to be a part of this production! Even though they dance for the fun of it, they are very serious and focused when it comes to dancing the routine.
Matthew Nelson
Life is movement, and dancing is a direct pathway to aliveness. I can walk my thoughts, spin my ideals, leap my loves, and balance my intentions. In dancing I exercise my ability to respond—responsibility—continually alternating between practices of attention and intention. I attend to my own being, those of others, and the world within which we exist. I attend to the patterns that reveal themselves internally and externally, microcosmically and macrocosmically. I attend to my own responses, grateful that there are constant surprises, and some trusted landmarks, in my identity. I intend, and my agency is asserted as I participate in my own patterning, and that of my world.

I imagine, and my intentions act as a magnet for my hopes, attempting to draw them into reality. I hope that we recognize a global community. I hope that we recognize body and earth as our home. I hope that we experience compassion, ease, and perhaps even happiness. I hope that awareness is worthwhile. I hope to integrate knowledge, building interrelationship. I hope that sharing my path, as an artist and educator, brings aliveness."
Michael A. Green
Mojca and I joined our forces to create a theatrical production that uses movement, songs, lyrics, acting skills . Our main goal was to present our talents in different fields of Arts and join them in a form that allows us to do some new investigations, new improvisations and new ways of exploring the Art of the Theater. As we come from different training background it does allow us to explore new boarders of dance, movement, singing, acting as well as musical and drama theater. And we seem to get more and more impressed by the amazing connections the Theater ( and the Art in general ) can provide.
Misa Kelly
It shifts – as I shift, morph, evolve.

To spite the ever shifting in the ephemeral now there are a few things that consistently float to the surface when I rework my artist statement.

It is true, that I create – because if I don’t, I’m miserable.

It is also true, that with wild and reckless abandon I embrace the honesty and integrity of the lifework I feel compelled to manifest – a creative being passionate about balancing being of service to others with selfishly pursuing what brings me the greatest joy in life. I feel most connected and vibrant when I am performing, drawing, improvising, writing, in nature, snorkeling on Santa Cruz Island, hosting dinner/art parties, camping, gardening, travelling, playing with the cat, skyping with collaborators and loving the love of my life and fellow co-creator Stephen Kelly.

It is also true that I am somewhat a child of the 60s and am a bit of a rebel and love playing the role of the trickster and mischief maker while weaving daisy chains in my imagination. I am keenly interested in breaking down the walls of the religion of art in order to enable the ordinariness of the creative process to be more accessible to the human species.

I observe that I am a survivor and have harnessed the power of my lifework to alchemically, shamanically and cathartically shift stories that are best left untold and best expressed through movement art, poetry, music.  I also observe that I love interpersonal growth, change, honesty, integrity, and value communication, friendship, compassion and tolerance.
Mojca Majcen

Beauty of the dance: Seek beauty, Show mutability, Move like a blaze of consciousness, Perfection is the devil, Express the eroticism of gravity, Experiments in balance. Serve to convey emotions and ideas!

 Sometimes Giselle but always a Black Swan, who is not afraid to change, to experiment and to go in unusual directions. Creativity lies in exploring alternatives, in new directions, in old revisited and changed, in breaking of patterns and reshaping new ones, in using media in ways other than traditional, in using traditional media to see in a different way. Result? Great satisfaction producing new waves of creativity.
 To be physical is to be present, to be present is to be fully alive, to be fully alive is to animate the moments, animate the moments is to dance, dance comes as a religion to me! Follow your passion, and success will follow you. MODERN BALLERINA. The primary source of my work and a basic technique is classical ballet, which serves me as a foundation, by combining ballet with new thinking about what ballet is today, and how this basic technique links with others dance techniques. Still very sure of the statement:
“If you want to be a professional dancer you should be aware of all the techniques and have to be very curious and know how to risk”. AS A DANCER I enjoy any moment of the movement and the energy that was provided by the movement, when feeling free always trying to put everything what I have ever experienced, learned the movement and analyze it emotionally.
 IN DANCE drive is the base, determination is its upgrade, and success is its result. The challenge is the X-Factor, because dancing itself is always considerable physical challenge, stage is one step more and the audience is the answer.
 For a ballet dancers who have usually being told what to do. My challenge is always to be collaborative, to trust others to make choices, to be part of the development. “Knowing the rulebook and then torching it.
 Feeling pain and then beating it,” is my motto.
Noelle Andressen Kale
I believe in a strong network of artists supporting one another, not only artistically, but also to help one another get their work seen with venue reciprocity and exchange. I believe an artistic community is stronger when the family is larger.
No Strings Attached Dance Company
Rooted in the belief that collaboration evokes strong creations, the company makes new statements about the poetic world by linking theater, music, and the visual arts. Using classically trained dancers, they create new works that cultivate and evolve the language of contemporary movement. Since its inception in 2011, the group quickly built collaborative relationships with such innovative choreographers as Kathryn Roszak, Alan Scofield, Adelle Binelli, acclaimed violin duo DoubleTake, Southern California soprano Leah Klaver, Lightsey Fine Arts, and a variety of Southern California visual artists and galleries. No Strings Attached strives to become the moving art of the artist's vast canvas of life.

Stephen Kelly
The artist takes us out of this world to return us to it, in love with its beauty and mystery. To share this journey with others – whether audience, or creative partners – is an arduous but joy-filled service.
 Trina Mannino
As a young child, my family called me inquisitive as I asked question after question, ranging from the mundane to the esoteric variety. Despite my constant prodding in my formative years, my curious nature still has not slowed in my adulthood. But fortunately for my friends and family, I now have a way to channel my need to question: in my career as an artist and writer.

In the last few years, I’ve made a series of works based on historical figures and events. These works allowed me to create answers to my own questions in order to retell a story. These interpretations have included Jack Kerouac’s exploration of New York City and the dynamic friendship between Joyce Johnson, Hettie Jones and Elise Cowen. I have illustrated these tales through studies of rhythm, improvised partnering and exercises in large dynamic shifts.

The biggest challenge for me as an artist is to successfully sneak in an element of surprise into my dances without interrupting the storytelling. When facing this task, I know must fearlessly take the plunge, and take the advice of one my favorite authors, E.B. White, when he said, “Be obscure clearly.”

Fred Hatt

I approach figurative drawing as a complete and self-sufficient discipline with its own special qualities, not just a subsidiary aspect of other art forms. My focus is on process and practice, on art as a path of transforming perception to experience a more unified reality. I use experimental creative processes in my large scale drawings, working improvisationally with live models and allowing compositions to emerge organically from a practice that enlists chaos and seeks to discover order from within it. I try to create work that defies the passivity of the viewer, eliciting a way of looking that is more active than the straightforward pictorial response. My work is rooted in the practice of drawing from life. I have pursued life drawing as a core practice for twenty years. All work is done in direct observation of the live model, without the use of preparatory sketches, photographs, or other intermediate steps, in strictly limited, timed sessions. Thus the work is a spontaneous record of perception and response in the moment. Deliberate design and conceptual or narrative content are intentionally excluded from the process. 

Jillian Bernstein 
Words cannot describe the work – it can only be experienced. 

KIMCHIKIM focuses her artwork on figurative movement drawings and watercolors, referred to as "croquis", a French term meaning a quick sketch. She has shown her drawings and watercolors in both solo and group exhibitions in NYC's SoHo. KIMCHIKIM is also a contributing writer / artist to Newsroh and, Korean news service agencies where her columns are accompanied by her drawings and watercolors. 


" I repeat the same thing, searching for just one living line... which comes from speed and concentration."

Masha Braslavsky 
"Anything created with love is Art..." Masha Braslavsky Born in Moscow, Russia, studied piano at Gnessin School of Music from the age of five. Immigrated with family to USA at the age of 12. Studied Architecture and Fine Art at Cooper Union. After dedicating ten years of life to raising her four kids is back to reclaiming herself as a full time artist. Currently a self employed painter, studying classical ballet at New York Conservatory of Dance and freelancing as a fine art/photo model. Have started writing poetry a year ago... "I try to realize all of my dreams and live my life as a masterpiece... I believe in fairy tales and happy endings... For me Love is a source of inspiration for all I try to accomplish." 

Michael Alan
For Michael Alan, art is a combination of harmonious opposites, close observation, catharsis, a means of communication and a radical juxtaposition of dimensional elements. He challenges everything: concepts of figure, composition, media and movement, including the language of drawing. Exploring the ambiguity of time and history, Alan’s work focuses on translating energy into images. 

Alan was born in the summer of 1977, in Bushwick during the New York City blackout. His work has been featured in 9 New York solo shows, over 200 group shows, and over 200 Living Installations. His work has been discussed in over 200 publications, books and media sources, including the New York Times, The Huffington Post, Bomb Magazine, Art 21, NBC’s Today Show, Marie Claire Italia, Frank 151, Art+Auction, the New York Post, Fox Channel 5, the Village Voice’s “Best in Show”, The Creator’s Project, Art Forum, the Gothamist, Time Out New York, Vice, Frame, American Artist, Animal, Hyperallergic, Curbs and Stoops, Cacao and many more.

In addition to his work as a multi-media artist, Michael is the founder and director of the Living Installation, where human beings are transformed into unique, living art objects. These happenings are set to Alan’s original music, which is recorded featuring artists such as The Residents, Tommy Ramone, Ariel Pink, and Meredith Monk.

Susan M. Berkowitz 
Susan M. Berkowitz graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA and honors. Her award winning work is included in private collections, commissioned by entertainment and corporate clients such as NBC and has been displayed in galleries across the United States. Her recent accomplishments include participation in a MoMA curated exhibit along with recognition as a recipient of the prestigious NYFA Fellowship. Berkowitz’s primarily artistic focus is the exploration of human and animal forms through the intimate vehicle of drawing. The tension and sense of immediacy in her current work are created as a result of the interaction of live observation and ink applied spontaneously to paper. Her process has evolved into a journey where lines are propelled only forward and cannot be retraced or corrected. No longer tethered by literal, surface or classical interpretation, the distortions and abstractions that result have become a natural reaction to the intersection of the physical and emotional landscape of the subject. 

"Dylan & Friends" 
I am a multi-disciplinary working class creative. My work as a creator for the performing arts and my work as a visual artist is a dialog between the two mediums of expression. Although mid-career in the performing arts, as a visual artist, I perceive myself as an emerging outsider “survivor” artist. The work has both “brut” and “playful” overtones. 

The work is a testament of the power that lies within harnessing one’s life work and using one’s life work as a cathartic medium of transformation and growth. My work as a creative has enabled me to work my way out of a soulful/spiritual/emotional/physical abyss created by trauma induced acute Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I developed a Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as a multiple personality disorder) as a coping and survival mechanisms. 

Presently I am fully integrated and consider myself whole, at peace, and living my dream.

As a visual artist I am beginning to present my work as “Dylan & Friends”(Dylan being the visual art aspect of the self and friends that others aspects that also contribute to the process) and am “coming out of the closet” so to speak as a survivor.
At this phase of my development I like working on paper most because paper comes from trees and this medium has a direct connection to the power of nature which plays a critical role in my transformational and evolutionary process. The imagery is universal and tells the stories of my many “alters” and their experiences in life but in a metaphorical way that anyone who has been through difficult times in life might find themselves in the work.

The particular body of work I am sharing in the Festival  is a testament intended to give hope to those who struggle with PTSD and other forms of mental illness brought on by traumatic events, especially for the small children now grown struggling to get out of the war camps of their own childhoods that haunt their 
waking hours.

Someone once expressed to a group of survivors at a convention I attended, from a place of wholeness and health, that it DOES get better. That there is a place of calm at the end of the healing river, and I held onto those words as an anchor in my own processing vowing that if I ever came to a place of wholeness I would do the same.

Let me life be a testament that the universe supports your healing and recovery process.

It DOES get better.

One day you will know peace.

Just keep working it!