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“His work exhibits his own quality of movement that seems effortless even when it requires great strength, and control. His works also embody emotion that touches the core of our humanity.” – Susan Broili, The Herald Sun
Come for an evening of five uplifting pieces that celebrate the human spirit’s abilities to survive, re-group, reform, and remain. Straight from Durham, North Carolina, home of the venerable American Dance Festival, this energetic company was founded by former Pilobolus Dance Theater member, Gaspard Louis. His choreography marries playful physicality with lyrical, athletic partnering resulting in works of haunting beauty and emotional force.
Photos: Grant Halverson
Gaspard Louis – Artistic Director, was born in Haiti. He founded Gaspard&Dancers in 2009. The company produces an annual performance season at Duke University in Durham and has been presented at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts in New York City, Cape Fear Stage in Wilmington, NC Museum of Art in Raleigh, and Bermuda as well as across North Carolina as part of the NC Dance Festival. Gaspard also directs the American Dance Festival’s year-round creative movement outreach program, ADF Project Dance, which provides free dance classes to children throughout the Triangle. Additionally, Gaspard has been a guest teacher at Duke, North Carolina Central, and Elon Universities. He has most recently returned to Elon to set work from his triology, based on the 2010 earthquake that struck Haiti, on students. Prior to forming his own company, Gaspard was a dancer with Pilobolus Dance Theater. In addition to performing, touring, and teaching globally with Pilobolus, he collaborated on nine major dance works. In 2012 he received his MFA from the Hollins University/American Dance Festival program in dance. Gaspard has always sought to push the envelope technically and creatively in his choreography. His mission is to engage the audience in a way that is emotional and visceral.
Tareake Dorill Ramos was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2017 with a BFA in Dance and Choreography. Mr. Ramos trained with The Ailey School, New York State Summer School for the Arts (NYSSSA), Dancing Classrooms, Rosie’s Theater Kids and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Throughout his training, he has performed in works by Robert Battle, Juel D. Lane, Ming-Lung Yang, Merce Cunninham, Twyla Tharp, Jose Limon, Doug Varone, Paul Taylor, Kira Blazek and Susan Jaffe. Tareake started his own organization, Dorill Initiative, to bring awareness to different social issues in our world today through art. Tareake has taught at First to Fifth Summer Intensive (New York), EPIC Dance Convention, and assisted at the Broadway Dance Center (Children Teen Program). Tareake is grateful to be a part of the G&D Family and excited to start his first season with the company.
Jihyun Kim was born and raised up in Seoul, South Korea, started dancing at the age of 8 and got B.S degree in dance from Hanyang University in South Korea. She won the Golden-prize for Senior contemporary in ‘The 41st Dong-A Dance Competition’, which is the most influential competition in Korea and she started to gain attention as a remarkable dancer. Post graduation, Jihyun had danced with Garimda Dance Company and had performed many pieces in Korea. In 2012, Jihyun decided to move to New York in order to enhance her experience. She received training in many styles of dance – ballet, modern, contemporary, house, Jazz and African dance – at Peridance Capezio Center and she earned her master degree from Tisch School of The Arts, NYU in 2017. Jihyun has worked with prominent choreographers such as Crystal Pite, Trisha Brown and Stefanie Batten Bland. Also, she started challenging to choreograph as an emerging choreographer in New York.
Frankie Lee III was born in Uniontown, PA, grew up in Raleigh, NC & Phoenix, AZ & currently lives/dances in California in The Bay Area. He was first inspired to dance by his family, friends & dance teachers in grade school. He received his BFA in Contemporary dance from the University of North Carolina school of the Arts in May 2014, where he performed works by Larry Keigwin, Alwin Nikolai, Maurya Kerr, Shen Wei, Juel Lane, Doug Elkins & Merce Cunningham. He has been a consistent scholarship student & faculty assistant at the American Dance Festival. He has danced/toured for 2 seasons with contemporary-ballet company, “dawsondancesf”. He’s thrilled to be back with Gaspard&Dancers for another great season.
McKenna May is from Wrentham, MA and began her training at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts in the ballet conservatory program. She graduated from Elon University in 2017 with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and BA in Strategic Communications. While at Elon, she had the opportunity to perform works by Gerri Houlihan, Diane Coburn Bruning, Lauren Kearns, Jen Guy Metcalf and Sara Tourek. McKenna has danced professionally with the Kearns Dance Project and Terranova Dance Theatre and has attended several summer intensives, most recently including Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, Elements Contemporary Ballet, Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts and Boston Ballet. McKenna also spent four months studying ballet, pointe, modern and contemporary movement in Florence, Italy at the Florence Dance Center under the direction of Marga Nativo and Keith Ferrone in 2016. She is so excited to join Gaspard & Dancers for this upcoming season!
Garrett Parker was born in North Carolina and spent much of his childhood in New Delhi, India. He graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2017 with a BFA in Dance and Choreography. He is humbled to have received a merit-based full scholarship, the Sarah Kenan Scholarship. Garrett has performed in works by Trisha Brown, Wayne McGregor, Bill T. Jones, Ming Yang and Helen Simoneau. To further develop his choreographic voice and study of movement, he has attended the Movement Invention Project (2015), the Gaga Winter Intensive (2016), the Kyoto Dance Festival (2017), and the American Dance Festival (2013, 2014, and 2015). Garrett is very excited to be apart of the G&D family.
Bailey Reese was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. She found her love for dance at the age 3, while attending a dance studio called CC & Company Dance Complex. She attended University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) as a junior in High School, and remained there until she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in May of 2016. Following her graduation, she moved to New York to continue her dance training. She participated in intensives such as the Movement Invention Project, Vim Vigor, Ririe Woodbury, and Shen Wei Dance Arts. She performed many works by choreographers such as: Shen Wei, Twyla Tharp, José Limón, Merce Cunningham, Juel Lane, Kimberly Bartosik, Helen Simoneau, and Brenda Daniels. She dances with Ashley Lindsey and the Blue Morph Collective in New York City and is thrilled to be starting her first season with Gaspard&Dancers (G&D).
Taquirah Thompson 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 nations 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.