The Early Bird Show: Bios

Originally from Argentina, Anabella Lenzu is a dancer, choreographer and teacher with over 25 years experience working in Argentina, Chile, Italy and the USA. As Artistic Director of Anabella Lenzu/DanceDrama, Lenzu draws on her diverse background to create thought-provoking and socially-conscious dance-theatre in the interest of improving our human condition. Classically trained at the renowned Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Lenzu studied the modern dance techniques of Humphrey/Limon and Graham in New York. Her studies of Tango and the folkdances of Argentina, Spain, and Italy, further inform her work. Her choreography has been commissioned all over the world, for opera, TV programs, theatre productions, and by many dance companies, such as Anna Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble (New York) and Movimento Danza (Naples, Italy). Lenzu founded her own dance school L’Atelier Centro Creativo de Danza in 1994 in Argentina, and has maintained an active teaching career ever since. Currently, Lenzu conducts classes at Peridance Capezio Center, Wagner College and Lehman College. Lenzu has written for various dance and arts magazines, and published her first book in 2013, entitled Unveiling Motion and Emotion. The book contains writings in Spanish and English on the importance of dance, community, choreography, and dance pedagogy. Photography by Todd Carroll documents Lenzu’s vast range of experiences dancing, teaching, and choreographing. 

Apples and Pears Ltd./Martin Casella THEATER: (Plays) THE REPORT (2015 Fringe NYC); The Irish Curse (Off-Broadway, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Prague; published by Samuel French), Directions for Restoring the Apparently Dead, Scituate, Mates, Paydirt, Desert Fire, Beautiful Dreamer, Grand Junction, George Bush Goes to Hell.  (Musicals) Mary Modern; Play It Cool (Off-Broadway), Paper Moon, Happy Holidays, Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll, Saint Heaven, DOO-DAH! AWARDS; FringeNYC 2015 Overall Excellence Award for Playwriting, THE REPORT; New York Outer Critics Circle nomination, Best New Off-Broadway Musical, Play It Cool ; GLAAD nominations for Outstanding New LA Play, The Irish Curse and Best New Off-Broadway Musical, Play It Cool; FringeNYC 2005 Overall Excellence for Playwriting Award, The Irish Curse; Dramalogue and LA WEEKLY Outstanding Play Awards for Mates.

Founded in 2005 by Naomi Goldberg Haas, Dances for a Variable Population (DVP) promotes strong and creative movement among adults of all ages and abilities, with a special focus on seniors. The organization’s programming includes: a multi-generational performance company that engages community members as participants and audiences; Movement Speaks® and Dances for Seniors, free, community-based programs for culturally underserved older adults; performance and choreographic opportunities for older professional dance artists; and Variable Pop Method Expressive Dance and Fitness classes, offered year-round to adults of all ages and abilities. DVP’s site-related performances have been presented in some of New York City’s most iconic public spaces, including Times Square, Washington Square Park, and the High Line. DVP has also performed at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and internationally in Poland and British Columbia.  Choreographer Naomi Goldberg Haas has worked in concert dance, theatre, opera and film; performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet; and was awarded LMCC’s 2014 President’s Award for the Performing Arts.

Ellen Robbins has been teaching dance since 1966. She was the resident dance educator at Dance Theater Workshop in NYC for 34 years. Robbins is a recipient of the 1993 Arts in Education Roundtable Award and the 1986 Bessoe (New York Dance and Performance Award) for her work with children. In May 2015, she was the honoree of the LaMama Moves Gala. She has taught Dance Education at Sarah Lawrence College and has guest-lectured around the country and abroad. She has been on the faculties of the 92nd St. Y, Bennington College July Program, and with ArtsConnection, a performance arts project for public school children. She has directed the Young Dancers School at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. In the summer of 2001, Dances by Very Young Choreographers was produced at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in the Doris Duke Theater. Robbins is known for her extensive repertoire of group dances choreographed in collaboration with children.

Kendra Ross is a dancer, teaching artist, choreographer from Detroit, MI. She started her dance career as a young Afro-Cuban folklore dancer with Danys Perez with whom she later danced as a guest artist with her New York based company Oyu Oro.  Kendra received a BFA from Ailey/Fordham University in Dance. Upon graduation Kendra began sharing her knowledge as a teaching artist in the New York City Public Schools which she has been doing since 2007. As a dancer in New York City, Kendra has worked with Urban Bush Women, Andrea E. Woods/ Souloworks, Genesis Dance Company, Vissi Dance Theater, and Motion Sickness with Monstah Black, Moving Spirits and MBDance.  Kendra is currently a company member of Ase Dance Theater Collective.  Kendra also completed a European tour dancing with Adira Amram and DJ KId Koala in Vinyl Vaudville 2.0. Kendra’s work has been presented at the Detroit Performing Arts High School, Joffrey Summer Intensive, and at Halftime Performances at Florida A&M University, the off Broadway show 7 Sins, and Museu de Arte in Salvador, Brazil.

Sydnie L. Mosley Dances is an all-women, New York City-based contemporary dance company that works in communities to organize for gender and racial justice through experiential dance performance. SLMDances' works involve audiences in the artistic process, provoke a visceral reaction to the physicality on stage, and incite conversation.   Mosley's emerging artistic voice reflects real life experiences and pulls focus to the stories of women and black people. The movement vocabulary spans modern, ballet, and African dance, while dancers frequently use their voice with spoken text and audible breath. Through dimensional compositions, specific, textured movement, humor and character development, choreographed works appeal to a sense of humanity.   The company situates itself amongst the Harlem arts community by creating and presenting dance uptown; partnering with other Harlem artists and businesses; and focusing community-based initiatives within Harlem. SLMDances travels for projects both domestically and internationally as relevant to the mission and interests of the company.

Tia Nina is a feminist punk rock dance band started by Leah Curran Moon (J Van Stone), Ilana Silverstein (Sammy Rain) and Lisi Stoessel (Sticks) in 2011 in Washington, DC. Tia Nina performs and teaches at festivals (Capital Fringe, Asheville Fringe, SlutWalk DC, Supernova Performance Art Festival, Festival of Subversive Ideas and Minds), theaters (The Lang Theater, Single Carrot Theater, Gesa Powerhouse Theater), and college campuses (Whitman College, University of Maryland, DeSales University, The George Washington University).  The band has been known to tailgate modern dance concerts and throw feminist parties for artists and scholars.  Their work is frequently included on gender studies syllabi for Gender Studies and Dance courses.  Tia Nina works with celebrated composers Michael Moon and Eric Shimelonis, performer Colleen Hutchings (Chymes Maloney), and costume designers Katy Kincade and Deb Sivigny. www.tianinarocks.com