Guest Artists    
Germaul Barnes

Germaul Barnes
(New York, NY)

Germaul Barnes is the Director, Founder, and Choreographer of Viewsic Expressions. he is the recipient of the Bessie Award, New York and Performance Award for outstanding creative achievement for the work of Bill T. Jones, and the Arts international Grant that fostered his anthropology study in Kwahu Tafo in Ghana, West Africa. One of his highest achievements is assisting and demonstrating for the late legendary dancer/choreographer/anthropologist, Ms. Katherine Dunham. For nine years, he was principal dancer with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. He has also danced with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Philadanco—Philadelphia Dance Company, Movement Source Dance Company, and Group Motion Dance Company. Creating over 25 works for his company, Mr. Barnes has received commissions from Aaron Davis Hall, Atrack Dance Collective, Belarus International Modern Dance Festival, Boroditski Denis Dance Company, Cleveland Contemporary Dance Company, Dance Immersions, DanceNow, Danspace, Dixon Place, Ghana National Dance Company, Lublin International Dance Festival, Movement Source Dance Company, Judson Memorial Church, Nikkie Bradford Dance Company, Phoenix Arts Commission, P.S.122, Restorations Plaza- Choreoquest, Thelma Hill Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Skidmore College and Summer Stages among others. Mr. Barnes directed and performed in a collaborative work with South African composer Bongani Ndodana, Uhambo an opera-oratiorio in Graham Town, South Africa and Lâ'Histoire du Soldat Opera in Toronto, Canada. His collaboration with Thollem McDonas Bitahkiz Ayeli - premiered in Porto, Portugal commissioned by Teatro Campo Allegre.

Mr. Barnes performed his work Half Full: Manifest Destiny for Cyrus Art Production in 2009

Aran Bell

Aran Bell
(Bethesda, MD)

Aran Bell began studying ballet at the age of 4 in Bremerton, WA. He went on to train at The School of the Washington Ballet with Rudolf Kharatian, and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, before moving to Italy in 2008, where he spent 4 years training with Denys Ganio of the Paris Opera. He recently moved back to the U.S., and now trains with David Howard in NYC, and Magaly Suarez in Florida. In 2008, at the age of 9, Aran won the gold medal at the Youth America Grand Prix competition. In 2009, and again in 2010, Aran won the top award (Hope Award) for his division at the Youth America Grand Prix finals in New York. In 2011, at age 12, he was the Junior Grand Prix winner of the Youth America Grand Prix finals in NYC. He won the 7000 euro Grand Prix at the International Ballet Competition in Milan. In 2011 and 2012, he won the gold medal and Critic's Choice award in Florence, Italy, as well as the Grand Prix at the Rieti International Ballet competition in Rieti, Italy. In 2012, at age 13, he won the gold medal at the Tanzolymp, Classical Ballet competition in Berlin, Germany. In 2011, he was the youngest ever recipient of the Premio Positano award in Italy, an award also received by Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, and his former teacher, Denys Ganio. In 2012, he received the Premio Roma Jia Ruskaja award, which included a full scholarship to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia. Aran has performed in galas in Italy, France, Romania, Poland, Germany, England, Israel, and the United States. His repertory includes solos from Don Quixote, Paquita, Flames of Paris, Coppelia, La Bayadere, Giselle, La Chauve Souris by Roland Petit, and Petit Pan by Norbert Schmucki, as well as contemporary works by Dominic Walsh, and Italian choreographer, Luca Barbagallo. Aran has been featured in Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, and Pointe Magazine, as well as magazines and newspapers in Italy, France, and Israel. He is also featured in the recently released documentary film, "First Position."

Mr. Bell performed the ballet variations Flames of Paris and Don Quixotefor Dance Gala Greensboro: The Vital Grace Project in 2013

Maurice Chestnut

Maurice Chestnut
(Newark, NJ)

Maurice Chestnut began dancing at the age of five, under the direction of Mr. Alfred Gallman. He became a professional dancer at the age of nine as an original member of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble under the direction of Ms. Deborah Mitchell. As one of tap's brightest young stars, he was featured on The Sally Jesse Raphael Show in the My Kid's A Star segment, where he proudly proclaimed that he loved to dance and would keep doing it "until I die". He was a gold medalist in the NAACP Act-So competition and was crowned Top Dog Performer at The Apollo Theater. At the age of fourteen, the Newark Star-Ledger's arts reviewers named Maurice, "one of the twenty New Jersey faces to watch for in the new millennium." In 2003, Maurice was recruited by tap master Savion Glover, to join the national touring company of the Tony Award winning Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk. Maurice received critical favor in that role. He has continued to work with Savion as a member of his Improvography and Bare Soundz tours, as well as performing in productions such as Classical Savion, Tappin' Into Monk, Invitation To The Dancer and on ABC-TV's Dancing With The Stars. Off-Broadway credits include Shades of Harlem, The Wiz, Bubbling Brown Sugar directed by George Faison at Atlanta's Fox Theater and Can I Hit That. Maurice has developed an impressive list of credits. In addition to performing with his own band, he is often invited to perform or tour as a special guest with such prominent jazz musicians as Christian McBride, Cyrus Chestnut and Thelonius Monk III. His high profile engagements have included the JVC Jazz Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival, The Apollo Theater and Birdland, as well as appearances at Carnegie Hall and throughout Europe with the Geri Allen Trio. As a featured soloist and choreographer, Maurice skillfully uses these venues to further develop his signature style of playing tap as a live instrument. He seamlessly weaves complex dance steps to interplay with musical notes, creating a powerful and distinctive energy that resonates with his audiences. Inspired by such hoofing greats as the Nicholas Brothers and Jimmy Slyde, yet equally influenced by and connected to urban culture, Maurice Chestnut dances with truth, soul and power. As his appearance on BET's 106th and Park demonstrated, watching him dance is like walking through Harlem in the 1940's while bumping a hip-hop beat.

Mr. Chestnut was a guest artist for Stars of American Dance at the Carolina Theatre on October 5, 2011

Katherine Crockett

Katherine Crockett
(New York, NY)

Katherine Crockett is a Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. She began her dance training with Ballet Metropolitan in Columbus, Ohio. She attended SUNY Purchase before receiving a full scholarship to the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York. In 1993 she joined the Martha Graham Dance Company, became a Soloist in 1994 and a Principal Dancer in 1996. Ms. Crockett's roles include; The Woman in White in Diversion of Angels, Pioneering Woman in Appalachian Spring, Chief Celebrant in Acts of Light, The Chorus in Cave of the Heart, Athena in Clytemnestra she of the Ground in Dark Meadow, The Attendant in Herodiade, Circe, and the Martha Graham signature solos Frontier and Lamentation. She was televised performing Graham's Appalachian Spring (PBS) and the solo Lamentation (BBC), and invited by Vanessa Redgrave to perform this same solo as a guest artist for the "Return Festival"in Kosovo. In 1998 Tony Award winning Broadway choreographer Susan Stroman featured her as the soloist in But Not For Me. In 2002 she performed as the star soloist in the role of Helen of Troy in Achilles with Mikhail Baryshnikov in his White Oak Dance Project. In 2003 Ms. Crockett was invited as a guest soloist to perform the role of Amneris in Placido Domingo's Aida at the Washington Opera. In 2004 she was filmed by PBS performing Herodiade. Ms. Crockett has had works created for her by Robert Wilson, Lucinda Childs, and has performed as a guest artist in Complexions under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. She was invited to perform in the "Gala of the Stars of the 21st Century in Paris. Ms. Crockett also performs with Richard Move nationwide in Martha@...

Ms. Crockett performed Graham's Lamentation for Cyrus Art Production in 2006 and is a regular Guest Artist and teacher with the company.

Christian von Howard

Christian von Howard
(Newark NJ)

Christian von Howard is the Artistic Director of the VON HOWARD PROJECT, a Mid-Atlantic contemporary dance company based out of New York and Virginia. He is an Assistant Professor of Dance & Choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University and also teaches at the Alvin Ailey School in NYC. Christian's choreography has been produced in various venues including Joyce SoHo, DanceNow/NYC Festival, and the Spoleto Festival (SC). His choreographic work has been commissioned by various dance companies, colleges and universities including Columbia College (SC), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Jacksonville University, The Power Company and various others. In 2006, Christian received a Choreographic Fellowship from the NJ State Council of the Arts. In 2010, his choreographic work was selected to represent the Mid-Atlantic Region at the 2010 National Conference of the American College Dance Festival Association at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Professionally he has worked with such artists as Doug Varone, Fernando Bujones, Douglas Becker, and has performed with numerous companies including Footprints Dance Co.,Fred Benjamin Dance Co., Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Co., and the Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Co. He holds a BFA from Texas Christian University and a MFA from Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. For more information visit: www.vonhowardproject.com

Mr. Von Howard was a guest artist for The Vital Grace Project's Fall 2010 Season

Christopher L. Huggins

Christopher L. Huggins
(Boston, MA)

Christopher L. Huggins is a former member of the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Huggins trained under Andrea Herbert Major, Danny Sloan, and Martha Gray. He attended SUNY Purchase, The Julliard School, and was a fellowship student at The Ailey School. Huggins appeared as a guest artist for several dance companies in the United States an abroad. As a master teacher and choreographer, he works in Europe, Japan, Korea, and throughout the United States. He has taught countless master classes and workshops at several universities and dance institutions including Howard University in Washington, D.C., Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Huggins, a much sought after choreographer, has created ballets for numerous companies, including Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Ailey II, Philadanco, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Broadway Dance Center of Tokyo, Oslo Dance Ensemble in Oslo, Norway. He is a 2002 and 2008 recipient of the Ira Aldridge Award for Best Choreography from the Black Theatre Alliance in Chicago for his work Enemy Behind the Gates and Pyrokinesis.

Mr. Huggins choreographed Dreamplay in 2009 for Cyrus Art Production

Ben Ingel

Ben Ingel
(Charlote, NC)

Ben Ingel is currently a member of the second company of North Carolina Dance Theatre in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has studied with the Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy as a scholarship/stipend member, Boston Ballet, NCDT and attended North Carolina School of the Arts in high school. He has had the privilege of working with Ethan Steifel, Dwight Rhoden, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, Johan Kobborg, and Claudio Munoz.  He has performed and learned various classical and contemporary ballet repertoire including George Balanchine's Who Cares, Alonzo King's Chants, Mark Diamond's Bolero, Dwight Rhoden's World Premiere of The Groove, and Twyla Tharp's Golden Section with North Carolina Dance Theatre II.

Mr. Ingel performed an excerpt of the balletVerge by Dwight Rhoden for Dance Gala Greensboro: The Vital Grace Project in 2013

Kim Jones

Kim Jones
(New York NY)

Kim Jones is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received her MFA Summa cum Laude from Florida State University and her BFA from Marymount Manhattan College. She has performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, King and I(principal dancer, U.S national Broadway tour). Most recently, Kim premiered several solo works at the Drachengasse Theater in Vienna, Austria, Pietrasanta International Dance Festival, Italy, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center, NYC. She has also presented work for the North Carolina Dance Festival, North Carolina Dance Alliance, CenterStage Theater, Santa Barbara, CA, Joffrey Midwest, Flint Michigan, Florida State University, and Swing Space, NYC. Kim is honored to have performed Ms. Graham's solo Deep Song (1937) in Turin, Italy. She is a Regisseur for the Martha Graham Resource Center. She re-staged Martha Grahams' 1962 ballet Secular Games for Millennium Dance 2000 in London, UK (first school outside the US to perform the work), and Steps in the Street (1936) for Arke Dance Ensemble in Turin, Italy, Florida State University and UNC Charlotte. Some of her teaching experience includes: Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, The Ailey School, and Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus. Internationally: Arke, IALS, Italy, Laban, Middlesex University, Roehampton University and The Place in London, UK. Kim was awarded a 2010-2011 National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces Grant to restage Martha Graham's Primitive Mysteries (1931) for students at UNC Charlotte. She created a successful UNC Charlotte dance study abroad program to Turin, Italy.

Ms. Jones was a guest artist for The Vital Grace Project's Fall 2011 Season dancing TheCenterCannotHold with Duane Cyrus and presenting her own work Trio.

 
Ursula KJ

Ursula Kendall-Johnson
(Atlanta, GA)

the Atlanta native, renowned dancer, instructor, and choreographer, Ursula Kendall has accomplished greatness with her unique style of choreography and dynamic energy on stage. She is technically trained in Classical Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, African, and Gymnastics, and has created her own dance flow called JOI.

Mrs. Kendall-Johnson performed excerpts of Wha Cha Don't Wanna Tap Into for the Vital Grace Project 2011 Spring Showcase and Fall 2011 Season. She was a guest artist for Stars of American Dance at the Carolina Theatre on October 5, 2011

   
Lloyd Knight

Lloyd Knight
(England, UK)

Lloyd Knight was born in England, reared in Miami, and trained at the Miami Conservatory of Ballet. He has a BFA from the New World School of the Arts, where he worked with many renowned choreographers, including Donald McKayle, Robert Battle, and Michael Uthoff. He received scholarships to the Alvin Ailey Center, Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Martha Graham School. Mr. Knight joined the Martha Graham Company in 2005, was promoted to soloist in 2009, and performs starring roles in Appalachian Spring, Embattled Garden, Errand into the Maze and others. Most recently, Dance Magazine named Mr. Knight as one of the “Top 25 Dancers to Watch” in 2010.

Mr. Knight performed Conversation of Lovers from Martha Graham's Acts of Lightfor Dance Gala Greensboro: The Vital Grace Project in 2013

Juel Lane

Juel D. Lane
(College Park, GA)

Juel D. Lane attended Tri-Cities Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School under the direction of Freddie Hendricks, Dawn Axam, and Roscoe and Diane Sales. In 1998, Juel was named Magnet Student of the Year. He also toured with the Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta. Upon graduation, he pursued a contemporary dance education at North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While in New York, he has work with Andrea Woods/Souloworks and Dancers, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Ebony Ruffin, Camille A. Brown and Dancers, and Bridget L. Moore. He recently finished six years of touring nationally and internationally with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence Dance Company. Juel also made his choreographic debut at North Carolina School Of The Arts with, ”Transition to Truth.” Juel is featured on Matt Karas and Richard Calmes Photography.

Mr. Lane performed his work Window of Love for Cyrus Art Production in 2009
Premiered Just Another Day co-produced with Duane Cyrus in 2010
Presented excerpts of Wha Cha Don't Wanna Tap Into for The Vital Grace Project 2011 Showcase with Ursula Kendall-Johnson
Mr. Lane was a guest artist for Stars of American Dance at the Carolina Theatre on October 5, 2011

Keith Lee

Keith Lee
(Bronx, NY)

Keith Lee is co-founder and Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Lynchburg. Keith Lee started his dance training at the age of three. With encouragement from Ben Vereen, he later pursued his studies at the High School of Performing Arts, where he received Capezio awards for excellence in both Ballet and Modern techniques. Immediately following graduation in 1968, he joined American Ballet Theatre. Promoted to the rank of soloist the following year, Keith Lee’s repertory included choreography of such masters as: Jose Limon, Jerome Robbins, Alvin Ailey, Lar Lubovitch, Antony Tudor and George Balanchine. A versatile artist, as fluent in modern dance technique as Ballet, Keith Lee has served as Ballet Master of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, as well as Ballet Master for the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, The Capitol Ballet, and Nanette Bearden’s Contemporary Chamber Dance Company. Lee began choreographing in 1968; since, creating ballets for American Ballet Theatre, the Washington Ballet, the Geneva Ballet, the Oakland Ballet, the Garden State Ballet, the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, the Capitol Ballet of Washington DC, the Memphis Concert Ballet, and the Lexington Ballet, to name a few. .

Mr. Lee's work Trois Gymnopedies was performed by James Pierce III for Cyrus Art Production in 2009

Andrea Long

Andrea Long
(Philadelphia, PA)

Andrea Long began her dance studies at Pennsylvania Ballet. She later studied at the School of American Ballet. Ms. Long joined the New York City Ballet and danced there for eight years before joining the Dance Theatre of Harlem and becoming a Principal Ballerina. She has danced the roles of Choleric in The Four Temperaments, the lead in John Taras’ Firebird and performed Balanchine works Allegro Brillante and Concerto Barocco among others. Ms. Long is currently a freelance dance artist performing nationally and internationally.

Ms. Long performed Le Corsaire for Cyrus Art Production in 2006

Masha Maddux

Masha Maddux
(Kiev, Ukraine)

Dashkina Maddux was born in Kiev, Ukraine where she began her dance training. She moved to Miami in 1998 where she studied at the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, under the directorship of Ruth Weisen, and attended New World School of the Arts, under the directorship of Daniel Lewis. In 2006 she graduated summa cum laude from NWSA with a BFA. She joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 2007 where she currently performs as a soloist.  She dances lead roles in Embattled Garden, Serenata Morisca, Lamentation Variations and Appalachian Spring.

Ms. Maddux performed Conversation of Lovers from Martha Graham's Acts of Lightfor Dance Gala Greensboro: The Vital Grace Project in 2013

James Pierce

James Pierce III
(Philadelphia, PA)

James Pierce III began his classical training at the Wissahickon Dance Academy under the direction of Nancy Malmed and graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts as a vocal music major. Mr. Pierce received his B.F.A. from Fordham University/Alvin Ailey as a Jerome Robbins Scholar. He also trained at Philadanco and danced with the apprentice company (D/2). Mr. Pierce has worked with many companies including the Martha Graham Dance Company, Dance Theatre of Lynchburg, Ailey II, Ballet Hispanico, Ballet Met Columbus, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. He also danced in the Santa Fe Opera's Premieres of "Madame Mao" and "La Belle Helene". Mr. Pierce appeared in the film by "The Music of Regret". He also taught Horton technique in the 27th Stage Internacional De Danza in Barcelona, Spain and has been on faculty at the Ailey School. Mr. Pierce is featured in the sixth edition book "Who's Who In Black Columbus" as well as "Alvin Ailey Dance Moves"..

Mr. Pierce performed Keith Lee's work Trois Gymnopedies for Cyrus Art Production in 2009

Dartanion Anwar Reed

Dartanion Anwar Reed
(Hartford, CT)

Dartainion Anwar Reed began his dance training at The School of the Hartford Ballet under a Dance City Youth Scholarship in the pre-professional program from 1990 to 1998. In 2000, Mr. Reed joined the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company for their 2000 season and promoted February of 2001 to the American Ballet Theatre Company where he performed until 2004. February 9th of 2005, Mr. Reed returned to Hartford as an Independent Artist and founded The Hartford City Ballet; an arts organization providing education in ballet and performing arts.  Reed is currently Artistic Director for the Hartford City Ballet.    www.hartfordcityballet.org

Mr. Reed performed Le Corsaire for Cyrus Art Production in 2006

Performing Artists  
Cyrus Art Production Artists