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BalaSole Dance Co. to Bring MIXTUS to Ailey Theater This Weekend

ROBERTO VILLANUEVA, Executive & Artistic Director and Founder of BalaSole Dance Company, presents the 6th Year Anniversary and 17th NYC concert season of BalaSole in "MIXTUS," a new program of solos in a broad range of dance styles, music choices and artistic voices, on August 13 & 14, 8PM, at Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 West 55 Street.

Past BalaSole participants include artists from other prominent companies such as the Limón Dance Company, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Martha Graham Dance Company, Parsons Dance, Lucinda Childs Dance, Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, Philadanco, The Isadora Duncan Dance Company, and Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago.

At the August concert, BalaSole will feature:

NIKA ANTUANETTE

DAVONNA BATT

VANESSA CALDERON

MEAGAN CUBIDES

LAURIE DÉZIEL

DAJUAN HARRIS

ALEXANDRIA JOHNSON

ALEXIS JULIAN

NURIA MARTIN FANDOS

ROBERTO VILLANUEVA

Roberto Villanueva explains: "I created BalaSole because I believed it was time for a multi-ethnic organization that would open its doors to dance artists of all genres, styles, artistic expressions, shapes, sizes, ages, and background." BalaSole, described by Tim Martin (Dance Europe Magazine) as a "hybrid creature"--"part dance company and part showcase," is the only dance company of its kind in the U.S. with a mission to address the gaps in the field of concert dance. The company's artists are provided artistic freedom and mentored to find and hone their own voices. Diversity and individuality are the keywords of the organization, which has mentored and given performance opportunities to over 160 dancer/choreographers since 2010. The Company has presented seasons at Baryshnikov Arts Center's Jerome Robbins Theater, Ailey Citigroup Theater, New York Live Arts, and Tribeca Performing Arts Center. BalaSole is the resident company of Mount Saint Vincent College in Riverdale, NY.

IF YOU GO:

BALASOLE DANCE COMPANY PRESENTS "MIXTUS"

A New Program of Varying Artistic Expressions - 2016 NYC Season

August 13 & 14 at Ailey Citigroup Theater
Saturday & Sunday, August 13 & 14 at 8PM

Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 West 55 Street, NYC

Tickets: $25 General Admission, $20 Students/Seniors
Reservations: 212.868.4444 or www.smarttix.com

MORE ABOUT THE COMPANY:

NIKA ANTUANETTE

PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: The struggle with an "itch you cannot scratch."

BIO: Nika Antuanette recently returned from a five-month Dance Journey in Israel with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. A Chicago native, Nika graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities with a double major in Dance & Psychology. Nika performs regularly with SARAH BERGES DANCE, enjoying a bi-coastal dance experience from New York City to Los Angeles and back. Nika has also danced with Anne-Marie Mulgrew & Dancers Company, ColliDe Theatrical Dance Company, Creative Development International, and Skylark Opera. She has performed work by Rami Be'er, Paul Taylor, Mats Ek, Larry Keigwin, Carl Flink, Penelope Freeh, Arnie Zane, Olga Stesyuk, Shapiro & Smith, Christine Maginnis, and Angharad Davies.

DAVONNA BATT

PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: A hazy state of existence--a new mental dimension.

BIO: Davonna Batt, a native New Mexican, studied ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, tap and musical theater. She holds a B.F.A. in Dance and a minor in Business Management from the University of Arizona. In those years, she studied under artists including Melissa Lowe, Amy Ernst, Sam Watson, Tammy Dyke-Compton, Robert Moses, Loren Fletcher, and others. Since moving to New York, she has had the pleasure of working with artists such as Jessica Taylor (DAMAGEDANCE), Hollye Bynum (of bones dance), Amanda Hameline (Amanda Hameline Dance), Marc Andrew Nunez (Gotham Dance Theater), Zanza Steinberg (ALMA NYC), and Sarah Berges (Sarah Berges Dance).

VANESSA CALDERON

PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: A journey of a woman from happiness to desperation.

BIO: Vanessa Calderon is a twice award-winning actress, Jazz, Hip-hop and Contemporary choreographer and creator of the DeMotion Act technique. Besides her recent collaboration with Deborah Geffner (All That Jazz, A Chorus Line...), Vanessa worked with X-Plain as their face and image for their new clothing collection and recently finished shooting Taking East New York, a TV pilot produced by Ice-T. Among her recent works, she choreographed a music video for Million Hoodies Movement directed by Daniel Maree and music by Jay Z. Before moving to New York in 2013, Vanessa was already one of the most multidisciplinary artists of the Spanish scene. Her career started out when she starred in Defectos (Directed by Pedro del Oso) from which she received the Best Leading Actress Award at La Fila Film Festival. Vanessa walked the red carpet in 2013 at Malaga Film Festival for the premiere of her feature film, La Reina de Tapas. Her non-stop goal of taking her career one step forward lead her to co-write INSANIA along with Spanish director Daniel Diosdado. Her work won her the Best Actress Award at KO&Digital Film Festival. She stepped into the international scene as a scriptwriter for short films 3'30" DK and Con Cara de Gilipollas. These films have received nominations and awards in Spain, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Germany. Vanessa has worked for independent filmmakers such as Miguel Angel Rolland (Goya Awards nominee for Aerosol), and successful TV series likeHospital Central. She has also performed with the prestigious company La Fura Dels Baus at Teatro Real of Madrid and Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow.

MEAGAN CUBIDES

PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: An exploration of thoughts and emotions through movement.

BIO: Meagan Cubides, born and raised in Miami, Florida, began her professional training at the Miami City Ballet School. Her interest in modern and contemporary dance led her to the high school at New World School of the Arts, where she graduated with honors in 2015. She studied at summer intensive programs at Ballet Austin, The Juilliard School, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Bodytraffic Dance Company. Meagan has performed works by Sidra Bell, Uri Sands, and Francesca Harper among others.

LAURIE DÉZIEL

PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: The last living moment of a relationship.

BIO: Laurie Déziel, born and raised in a small town of Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada, trained at L'École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She is a scholarship graduate in the 2-year Professional Training Program at The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. She has performed works by American choreographers such as Martha Graham, José Limón, Jennifer Conley, Filip Condeescu and Canadian choreographers Christopher House, Sharon B. Moore, Darryl Tracy and Julia Sasso.

DAJUAN HARRIS

PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: Depression brought on by self doubt and inner insecurities.

BIO: DaJuan Harris, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, began his formal dance training with Cynthia Jones at the Academy of Performing Arts. He attended Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts training under the direction of Erin Pride. During DaJuan's training, he received full scholarships to train at Perry Mansfield Winter Intensive at The Julliard School, Ballet Forte at Wings Conservatory, New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble, Mason Gross School of the Arts, and The Joffrey Ballet School Jazz and Contemporary Program. DaJuan is currently on faculty at Art in Motion Inc. and an assistant teacher at Peridance Capezio Center. He has performed works by Robert Battle, Nathan Trice, Ryan Daniel Beck, Fredrick Earl Mosley, Guillermo Blinker, Nathan Makolandra, Brian Reeder, Kevin Wynn, Dionna PridGeon, Randy James, and Doug Elkins. He has also performed at the world famous Apollo Theater, The Peter Norton Symphony Space, and The Ailey Citigroup Theater. DaJuan has worked with MarDelDance, Marked Dance Project, The Vanessa Long Dance Company, and MoveDIPR. DaJuan currently dances for The Professionals Dance Company, a commercial company, founded and directed by Jona Biddle, which performs around the tri-state area.

ALEXANDRIA JOHNSON

PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: The parallel between the power of water and power of choice; a decision to sink or swim.

BIO: Alexandria Johnson is a Brooklyn based multidisciplinary artist from Dallas, TX. She is a Fordham University Founders' scholar and graduate of the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in Dance, with a minor in Mathematics. Alexandria is greatly inspired by the movement and culture of the Diaspora, and has always felt West African Dance and Drum is her first love. In 2014, she appeared on PBS' Sesame Street Murray Has A Little Lamb segment for West African dance. She has toured Canada as a guest artist with Les Amazones de Guinea, and was invited to perform by Stephen Rwangyezi in Kampala, Uganda as a member of Dallas Black Dance Academy's Performing Ensemble, BLOOM. Alexandria has worked with choreographers Hope Boykin, Ronald K. Brown, Hope Clarke, Francesca Harper, Frederick Earl Mosley, Darrell Moultrie, Matthew Rushing, and performed works by Christopher Huggins and Alvin Ailey. As a member of JUNTOS Collective, she taught workshops in Spanish and performed in rural areas of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Alexandria has also taught for The Ailey School and Dallas Black Dance Academy, and is currently a Teaching Artist for the Dance Theatre of Harlem and an assistant to choreographer Matthew Rushing.

ALEXIS JULIAN

PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: Experiencing anxiety brought on by regret, and finding ways to replace regret with acceptance.

BIO: Alexis "Lexi" Julian, a dancer and choreographer from Central New York, studied under Tricia Famalaro-Zegarelli and Juliana Muirhead at the Dance Works Studio in Utica, NY. She has performed at C.O.R.E. dance project in Auburn, NY, dance competitions, a production of Cats, the Moscow Ballet's The Nutcracker, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Lexi went on to study at the University at Buffalo, where she earned a BFA in Dance performance, and minors in Health and Wellness, and in Nutrition. She was a member of and choreographer for UB's Zodiaque Dance Ensemble and a member of the Zodiaque Dance Company. She has choreographed for and performed in the UB Department of Media Studies "Digital Poetry" projects, as well as teaching and choreographing for "Bridging Communities Through Dance," a program that brings the art of dance to students in the local public school districts as an extracurricular activity. She toured with Sesame Street Live: "Let's Dance."

NURIA MARTIN FANDOS

PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: A personal journey from beginning to present.

BIO: Nuria Martin Fandos earned a degree in Contemporary Dance when she graduated from Institut del Teatre/Conservatory in her native Barcelona. In May 2013 she won the 1st prize of III Certamen Internacional Ciutat de Barcelona that gave her the opportunity to finish her dance training in New York. After two years, she graduated from Certificate Program's Peridance Capezio Center on a full scholarship. She performed works by international choreographers such as Charlotta Övferholm, Lali Ayguade, Cindy Salgado, and Elisabeth Motley, with whom she collaborated in 2015 to create the solo work "Day, night and everything." She is a member of Michiyaya Dance Company, and also works with Estado Flotante/Alvaro Gonzalez, DeFunesDance and Suku Dance Lab.

ROBERTO VILLANUEVA

PIECE INSPIRATION/DESCRIPTION: The separation from a false sense of security.

BIO: Roberto Villanueva, born in the Philippines, is the Executive & Artistic Director and Founder of BalaSole Dance Company. He trained at The Ailey School, SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance and University at Buffalo where he received his BA in Dance Performance. Acclaimed nationally and internationally for his abilities as a dance artist, Roberto has been hailed "for the deftness and technical control of his dancing" (The New York Times). He has been described as a "small powerhouse" (The Village Voice), "breathtaking" (Swiss Newspaper La Liberté), "an extraordinarily gifted dancer" (Attitude Magazine), and "memorable" (Art Times). Roberto has performed, judged dance competitions, and taught master classes in U.S., Europe, and Asia. He has worked with renowned choreographers such as Dwight Rhoden, Kevin Wynn, Milton Myers, and Eleo Pomare. He has performed with dance companies such as Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, Steeledance, Marie-Christine Giordano Dance, Pick of the Crop Dance, and Buffalo City Ballet. Roberto has worked with artists from renowned companies such as the Limón Dance Company, Martha Graham Dance Company, Elisa Monte Dance, Lucinda Childs Dance, Parsons Dance, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, Joffrey Ballet, Donald Byrd/The Group, Ballet Frankfurt, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Twyla Tharp Dance. He has been commissioned to teach/choreograph for various institutions including the Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, University at Buffalo, East Carolina University, Glendale Community College, University of the Philippines and Ballet Philippines. He has performed his works at prominent NYC venues including the Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center's Jerome Robbins Theater, The Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, and Dance Theater Workshop. He received the title of "Mr. Dance of America 1993" from Dance Masters of America, where he also served on the faculty of its Teachers Training School. Roberto is a recipient of the 2011-2012 Harlem Stage Fund for New Work Award for the creation and development of his one-man show titled "Pieces of Me: An inside look at a dance artist's journey." Also, he currently serves as the Arts Education & Outreach Administrator for the world-renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the Director of Dance at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. Additionally, he was nominated for The Outstanding Filipino American (TOFA) 2012 Award under the Arts & Culture category. In November 2013, Roberto received a "Distinguished Alumni Award" from the University at Buffalo's Department of Theatre & Dance for his contribution to the field of dance. He also served as a grant panelist for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

www.balasoledance.org

Photo of Nika Antuanette by V. Paul Virtucio



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