Gaspard & Dancers' TRILOGY Set for Schimmel Center

By: Aug. 25, 2015

On Friday and Saturday, September 25th and 26th, choreographer, Gaspard Louis will bring his company, Gaspard & Dancers to perform their Trilogy which pays tribute to the people of Haiti who endured the horrific 2010 earthquake that caused devastation to the island nation. "The Trilogy was my own personal response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake," says choreographer and Artistic Director, Gaspard Louis.

Louis comprises his Trilogy with three different dance pieces to tell the gripping story of the earth quake's aftermath and the human lives that were affected by it. The first piece Souke, "demonstrates the strength and resiliency of the Haitian people. It also shows that when we all come together for a common cause we can do anything. The Haitians did not have big fancy machines to dig the bodies from underneath the rubble; that did not stop them from using their bare hands to help their fellow citizens," says Louis. The dead are given a tribute in the next piece known as Annatations. "This piece is about the 300,000 souls who perished from this natural disaster. These souls found themselves in the realm of purgatory, having to undergo a final cleansing process before they moved to their final destination." Trilogy culminates with a promise of hope and renewal in the final piece L'Esprit (The Spirit).

The works feature exuberant and haunting music by composers Joshua Starmer, Randall Love, and Paul Leary.

Haitian-born Gaspard Louis rose to prominence as a dancer and choreographer with the internationally renowned Pilobolus Dance Theater. His work has been praised for breathtaking combinations of Pilobolean shape building and fluid lyricism that resonate in the emotional core of human nature. In five seasons with Durham-based Gaspard & Dancers, Louis has built a distinct and deeply moving body of work. Gaspard & Dancers performances are sponsored by the SHS Foundation and the Haiti Cultural Exchange.


GASPARD LOUIS (Founder & Artistic Director) was born and raised in Haiti. He danced with the internationally renowned Pilobolus Dance Theater. In addition to performing, touring, and teaching globally with Pilobolus, he collaborated on nine major dance works. He has also choreographed for Freespace Dance Company in New Jersey and the Kentucky University Dance Ensemble. Currently, he directs the American Dance Festival's year-round creative movement outreach program, which provides free dance classes to Triangle youth. He founded Gaspard & Dancers in 2009. Over the past few years he has created a trilogy about the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which has personal resonance for him. With each of these works, he has explored themes of loss and aspiration on personal, communal, and national levels.

RIVKINS CHRISTOPHER (Dancer) was born and raised in Miami Florida where he began his training at the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet under the direction of Ruth Wiesen. He is a graduate from New World School of the Arts where he received his BFA in dance. He had the pleasure of dancing with Momentum Dance Company, Peter London Global Dance Company and has spent one season as an understudy with Miami Contemporary. In addition he has attended intensives such Ailey, Deeply Rooted, the American Dance Festival and the Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Workshops. He has had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Darshaun Bhuller, Kyle Abraham, Jamar Roberts, and performed works by Jose Limon, Robert Battle, Rennie Harrris ,Kevin Iega Jeff and BillT. Jones. He recently presented his first professional work entitled "Self M.A.R.C" at Miami's Open Stage. He joined Gaspard & Dancers in 2014, this will be his second season working with the company.

AJ GUEVARA (Dancer) is a New York-based artist that hails from California's central coast. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.F.A in Dance and Choreography. AJ was accepted into the Academia dell'Arte (Arezzo, IT), where he studied the Architectonics of Dance. Currently a member of Company E, AJ travels internationally as a performer, educator, and artistic ambassador through the US Department of State promoting cultural diplomacy through dance. AJ's Choreographic work has been presented both nationally and internationally including premiers in California, Cuba, Italy, North Carolina, New York, Uruguay, and Washington DC. He has danced professionally with Amaranth Contemporary Dance Company, Company Danzante, Dance Iquail! Ground Zero Dance, and Von Howard Project. AJ studied as a scholarship recipient at The American Dance Festival in 2013, where he performed the first reconstruction of Bill T. Jones' "Love Re-Defined" for ADF's 80th Anniversary Season. That year he had the opportunity to work with Dr. James Frazier and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar as an understudy for the restaging and documentary of her masterwork, "Shelter." He also performed at the biennial National College Dance Festival Gala, presented at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. AJ is thoroughly excited for his first season with Gaspard and Dancers.

MARGARET JONES (Dancer) fell in love with dance at a young age and her passion continues to grow as she teaches, choreographs, studies, and performs. Margaret's early training took place at CC & Company Dance Complex in Raleigh, NC where she had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Mandy Moore, Stacey Tookey, Jason Parsons, Lauren Adams, Peter Chu, and Sonya Tayeh. She has performed at several national dance competitions across the country, including the Capezio ACE Awards in New York City. She continued her training at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. While at UNCSA she has studied with Dance Forum Taipei, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, performed alongside Hubbard Street's second company in a piece by Maurya Kerr, and performed an excerpt of "Sweet Fields" at the Kennedy Center under the direction of Twyla Tharp. In May of 2015 Margaret graduated from UNCSA with a BFA in Contemporary Dance.

RASHIDI LEWIS (Dancer) began his training in Michael Krop Senior High School's STAR Magnet program where he graduated in 2011. He continued his training at New World School of the Arts under the direction of Mary-Lisa Burns and faculty such as Peter London, Laura Murphy,Garard Ebitz, Tina Santos,Bambi Anderson and Rosline Sanders. Rashidi has had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Gregory Maqoma, Debbie Allen, Earl Mosley, Rene Harris, Germal Barnes, and Darshan Buhler. He has also been able to dance works by Robert Battle such as RUSH HOUR and Battlefield. Throughout his dance career Rashidi has created a choreographic voice by creating pieces such as ORIGIN and Rubies along with other short works. And in the spring of 2015 was given the opportunity to showcase his work at Miami Dance Festival and Mimi Open Stage. Rashidi has recently received his Bachelor in Fine Art from the University of Florida and New World School of the Arts.

COURTNEY OWEN-MUIR (Dancer) was born and raised in Toronto, Canada where she found her love for dance, and began her professional training. She studied at Cawthra Park Secondary School where she focused her studies on dance in the Regional Arts Program. A recent graduate of the The Conteur Academy, a contemporary conservatory, under the direction of Eryn Waltman, Courtney has attended the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater's Summer Program, LA Contemporary Dance Company, Ate9 Winter Intensive, The Movement Invention Project, and the American Dance Festival in both Los Angeles and North Carolina. She studied under the direction of Alexandra Wells, Shannon Gillen, Kate Hutter, Gerri Houlihan and Sidra Bell. In 2013 Courtney toured 9 cities in Greece with a performance dance company, through Ryerson University. She began her professional dance career in North Carolina in 2014, working with Code F.A.D Dance Company, The KT Collective, and performing in BELLAN Performance Dance Theater's show Birth of Existence. Additionally, she was selected to learn and perform Abby Zbikowski choreography/repertory at the American Dance Festival. Courtney has also produced work for the annual SARUS Festival in Wilmington, NC where she began receiving recognition for her choreographic work. Courtney is thrilled to be a new company member with Gaspard & Dancers, and is excited to see where this year takes her!

HEIDI MORGAN (Dancer) is a performer and arts administrator based in New York City. She graduated from Lindenwood University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Non-Profit Administration. In addition to working with Gaspard & Dancers, Heidi is currently performing with Zullo/Raw Movement and is working in administrative positions with Patricia Norowol Dance Theater and Movement Research. She has performed works with Ensemble Dance, Eunoia Dance Experiments, and Leverage Dance Theater.

TAQUIRAH THOMPSON (Dancer) was born in Chicago. She began her dance training at Chicago Academy of the Arts. At age 16 she began training with the Joffrey Ballet academy in Chicago. She was later accepted to North Carolina School of the Arts. There, she trained with some of the nation's best technical and modern instructors. She has recently performed pieces for Larry Keigwin, Shein Wei, Juel Lane, The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, and SueMo: A Dance Experience.


PAUL LEARY is currently a visiting assistant professor of music at Duke University where he teaches music theory and electronic music. He graduated from Duke with a PhD in music composition in 2012. His electronic music has been performed widely at over thirty festivals and concerts over the past few years.

RANDALL LOVE is a member of the Duke University music faculty where he teaches piano and fortepiano. He has been heard in this country as a soloist and chamber player in events ranging from performances on period instruments to contemporary concerts featuring North Carolina composers. He has performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Schubert Club in St. Paul, Minnesota.

JOSHUA STARMER's first cello, at age 7, was a cardboard box with a 12 inch ruler taped to it. Since graduating to a real instrument, he's played and recorded with REM's Michael Stipe and Mike Mills, The Love Language, The Old Ceremony, The Rosebuds, Chris Stamey, Birds and Arrows, Katharine Whalen and many more. He also composes and records original music for movies, television, theater and dance. Joshua is currently recording an album, Postcards from Home: Volume 1. This collection of songs and stories, one written and recorded each month, keeps him in touch with friends and loved ones. The music plays the role of a picture with writing on the back saying "wish you were here". Featuring cello, voice, and a variety of physical percussion instruments, the pieces convey messages ranging from simple observations about the weather, to coping with a friend's departure. Keep up with Joshua's music and writing at:

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Ticket prices for Gaspard & Dancers at Schimmel Center at Pace University are $29.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit or call toll-free (866) 811-4111.