Dance

Julia Gay is an actor, dancer, poet, playwright, and teaching artist. She completed her B.A. at Macalester College, studying American Studies, Urban Studies, and Theatre. She is in her third season as a dancer with Minneapolis based professional dance company, Ananya Dance Theatre (ADT). Julia is the recipient of The Playwrights' Center's 2017-18 Many Voices Mentorship and was one of five artists awarded the 2016-17 Creative Changemakers Apprenticeship by The DIAL Group.

Mimi Solis is a hip hop artist and dancer who grew up on the West Side of St Paul. she is a performer with New Black City. With her disciplined dance background and use of hip hop as activism, Solis’s craft is one that makes her stand out as a promising up and coming artist in the Twin Cities.

Khary Jackson is a poet, playwright, dancer and musician. He is an alumnus of Cave Canem, the esteemed writing fellowship for black writers. He has written 12 plays, one of which (Water) was produced in 2009 at Ink and Pulp Theatre in Chicago. He has been a recipient of several grants, including the 2016 McKnight Artist Fellowship in Writing, the Minnesota State Arts Board’s 2012 Cultural Community Partnership Grant and 2010 Artist Initiative Grant for Poetry, as well as the 2009 VERVE Spoken Word Grant from Intermedia Arts.

As a Hip Hop artist from West Saint Paul's "District Del Sol" Mei graduated from the Saint Paul Conservatory's dance track, she began dancing at age 12 with a Mexican folkloric dance group, "Los Alegres Bailadores", and writing music at age 13 to cope with depression and anxiety. Growing up submerged within the combining Afro-Latino cultures of her parents, constantly surrounded music, absorbing how naturally rhythm came to them, admiring the way in which her mother spoke to be heard; for this reason she fell in love with Hip Hop before she even knew its name.

Seng Xiong is a queer non-binary Hmong American artist that is interested in how spirituality is tied to art. Having recently become more involved in dance and body movement, they are hoping to develop these art forms in telling stories that explore the experiences of queerness, cultural identity and spirituality. They have studied different modes and techniques of dance through the Ananya Theater Dance Troupe and through biological.

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Destiny Anderson's stage name is Yoni Light. Pronouns (She/Her) is a 19 year old performing artist originally from Saint Paul, MN. Yoni is a multi-disciplinary artist that not only dabbles in dance but in music and spoken word as well. She has attended SPCPA, Perpich Center for Arts Education and is currently studying at High School for Recording Arts. In 2015 She was given a full-ride scholarship to the TU Dance Center in Saint Paul. Tu Dance was founded by Uri Sands and Toni Pierce Sands (Two former Alvin Ailey Dancers).

Renée Copeland is co-founder of the dance/performance-art duo Hiponymous, a collaborator in the hip-hop based dance collective, BRKFST, and a proud member of Ananya Dance Theatre, where she performs, studies and teaches the contemporary Indian dance form, Yorchha and its intersection with social justice issues. She is also a poet, musician and singer-songwriter. She aims to create art that exposes and heals, relating to the legacies of love, violence and activisms that she inherits as a distinctly queer, female-bodied, third-generation Sicilian-American artist.

 

Gabriel Mata is an independent choreographer, educator, and performer. He graduated from San José State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. The Star Tribune has called him “Sly, subtle and totally virtuosic, theatrical dancer-choreographer Gabriel Mata holds the stage with expressive movement and witty words.” Gabriel Mata/Movements is his solo performance and choreography based project. His dances have been performed in Minnesota, California, and New York. He recently received the Twin Cities Arts Reader Best of Fringe 2017 award.

Sellers came to dance and welcomed dance because, as a woman from a small town, dance celebrated alternative voices. In dance, she found a long history of females creating change. In addition to choreography and performing, Sellers is renowned for her workshops, curatorial practice, and community engagements. Through the work of ASDC, she uses dance to tell the stories of her generation and provide a platform for other voices and experiences to be heard.

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