Excessive Realness | Faculty 2019
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Faculty 2019

Kebrina Josefina De Jesus

Professor, Artist, Performer, Choreographer born into Puerto Rican ancestry, Kebrina Josefina grew up with the heartbeat and rhythms of Salsa music and as a thespian studying musical theatre and drama. She has performed as an actor, dancer and choreographer: in musicals, plays and independent films. Kebrina holda a B.S. in Speech Communications and Theater from Millersville University, and received her MFA in Contemporary Performance from Naropa University in 2014. She founded Samba Colorado in 2013 in Boulder, Colorado. Her mission is to share somatic healing arts through Afro-Brazilian culture, traditions, movement and music. Providing a contemplative positive and safe space for everyone to self-express, connect, inspire and grow spiritually. Kebrina wishes to express gratitude to her ancestors, to her master teachers, mentors and elders for believing in her and sharing their light.

Leah Wilks

Leah Wilks is a dancer, teacher, musician, and choreographer originally from North Carolina. She is currently finishing up her MFA in Dance at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where her research focuses around death/dying/decay practices, memory/memorialization, the South, and queer classrooms. She likes to move big, eat up space, and fall off-center as often as possible – and aims to create spaces and situations for others to do the same.

Donald C. Shorter Jr.

Donald is a former company member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. During that time he had the honor of creating THE NAZ with Bill T. Jones, which was performed in his one-man show As I was Saying. Broadway national touring credits include Hairspray, La Cage Aux Folles, A Chorus Line, and Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. His regional credits include: The Muny Theater, Theater Under The Stars, Theater Of The Stars, Gateway Playhouse, and Riverside Theater. Donald is the creator, writer, and performer of his one-woman show GENDEROSITY, which looks at the process of his drag transformation and uses drag to talk about gender nonconformity. Shorter has restaged choreography from the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company at Barnard College, Towson University, and University of Idaho. He has premiered solo works at the Pompidou Centre, The Wild Project, Dixon Place, The American College Dance Festival, ALLGOLD artist space at MOMA PS1, The Actor’s Fund Building, Center for Performance Research, 92nd Street Y, and at the Performance Mix Festival. Shorter is currently a co-host of the PBS Digital Studios web series First Person PBS. He holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies from West Chester University and received an M.F.A. in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts under a Dean’s Fellowship. Donald is currently Assistant Professor of Dance at Sam Houston State University.

Dani Tirrell

Dani Tirrell Is a queer, BLACK, two Spirit dance artist. Dani choreographs, performs and guides others through movement using the principles set in the African Diaspora.  Dani guides others at Northwest Tap Connection and as a part time lecturer in the dance department at the University of Washington. The work that Dani creates is centered on Dani’s experience being guided by BLACK Femmes and BLACK queer communities.

Mandy Hackman

Mandy Hackman is a movement artist who splits the difference between the worlds of circus, contemporary dance, and interdisciplinary performance art. She has an abiding obsession with tying herself in knots, with bird women, with unexpected intimacies, with the subterranean and the monstrous. She is the founder of guerrilla acrobatic troupe Tree Project, and is a founding member of performance art group ShapeShifter. She has helped create shows in collaboration with companies across the US, including Double Blind Productions, Submerge Theater, and most recently as a consultant for Rainbow Militias immersive circus. She has performed with a variety of dance and circus companies including Frequent Flyers, Control Group Productions, Sinechdoche Dance, and others. As a teacher, Mandy has taught aerial arts, contemporary dance, and fitness around the world. She coaches aerial technique with Frequent Flyers Productions, and is a professor of Anatomy and Somatics at MSU Denver.

Erika Randall

Erika holds an MFA in Choreography from The Ohio State University; a BA in Dance, University of Washington, and is an Associate Professor, Chair of Theatre & Dance, and CU faculty member since 2007. Randall is a teacher, choreographer and filmmaker who has worked with Teena Marie Custer, Joy French, Sara Hook, David Parker and the Bang Group, Michelle Ellsworth, Gabriel Masson, Anna Sapozhnikov, Rebecca-Nettl-Fiol, Esteban Donoso, the Mark Morris Dance Group and Buglisi/Foreman Dance. She is also a founding member of the Seattle born company Cava-Parker Dance whose new home is in Puebla, Mexico. The Columbus Movement Movement (cm2), the organization Erika formed in 2004 to support contemporary dance in Columbus, OH, was named one of Dance Magazine’s “Top 25 to Watch” in 2007.  Erika’s choreography has been seen in four countries and 14 states over the last eight years. Her dance films, “more,” “self defense,” “less,” and “down for the Count,”  created with primary film collaborators, Daniel Beahm and Markas Henry, have screened at festivals such the Sans Souci Dance Cinema Festival, the Starz Denver Film Festival, the Florence GLBT Film Festival in Italy, and the Façade Film Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. www.teahmbeahm.com


Randall co-wrote, directed, produced and choreographed the queer feature dance film, Leading Ladies, which premiered at the Sonoma International Film Festival in 2010, and has played to sold-out audiences at over 65 festivals world-wide, including: New York’s NewFest, Los Angeles’ Outfest, San Francisco’s Frameline, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Starz Denver Film Festival, the Cannes Independent Film Festival, and won “Best Feature” at the Palm Beach Women’s Film Festival. Her interest in dance, its relationship to popular culture, and its ability to impact change, is at the heart of all of her research and teaching.

Kristianne Salcines

Dancer. Maker. Collaborator. Facilitator. Kristianne Salcines is a queer Filipino born and raised in the Philippines. They explore their cultural heritage and gender representation in their choreographic works. To integrate their culture and non-western ideologies in their artistic work, they incorporate the epistemologies of Filipino Martial Arts and other Southeast Asian movement practices such as Qigong, Taiji, and Kung Fu in their movement practices. Their physical practice includes, but is not limited to: Contact Improvisation, Martial Arts, Improvisation, Authentic Movement, and Contemporary Dance. Currently, their research focuses on queer identifying people of color and their ways of developing survival strategies to cope in our current socio-political realities. They examine how these strategies can be translated into a communal physical practice, which they then use as a catalyst to a creative healing process. They are interested in re-imagining the process of making dance. How can the process serve the dancers as they continue to have agency in directing the trajectory of the work? How can they create a community that functions beyond identity while honoring identity?