Guest Artists


Our guest artist program is funded by an annual initiative by the Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts.  Guest artists come from all across the nation to teach master classes, set work and perform for Texas A&M students, faculty, and staff as well as for audiences within the community.  Past guests have included Katherine Duke (Erick Hawkins Foundation), Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Gary Galbraith (former Martha Graham Principal Dancer), Ballet Hispanico, Hubbard Street Chicago, ClancyWorks Dance Company, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company, Jane Weiner (Hopestone Dance/Houston), Core Performance Dance Company, Millicent Johnnie, Terry Duncan among others.  For further information about this program or other activities by the Academy go to  their website at

Students with Denise Vale from the Martha Graham Dance Company. Photo by: MSC OPAS


2018-2019 Guest Artist Residencies


Koresh Dance Company | September 16-20, 2018


Koresh Dance Company was founded in 1991 by Israeli-born choreographer and artistic director Ronen (Roni) Koresh. Known for its engaging performance and technically superb dancers, the company performs critically acclaimed works at itsbiannual Philadelphia seasons, as well as in touring performances around the country. Koresh has been hailed internationally, touring to destinations including Spain, Turkey, Israel, South Korea, Mexico, and Guatemala. Over the years, Roni has developed a vast repertoire of work that ranges from explosive and passionate to intimate and restrained.



Vanessa Muncrief, PT, DPT  |  November 2018

Dr. Vanessa Muncrief, PT, DPT is an Austin, TX based physical therapist integrating dance medicine, orthopedics, Pilates, and yoga. She is a former professional dancer and was previously on faculty at Harkness Center for Dance Injuries – NYU Hospital - in NYC where she was the treating PT for various NYC dance companies and Broadway shows. Vanessa is now in her 7th season as the Chief Physical Therapist at Ballet Austin and currently works at Baylor Scott and White Institute of Rehabilitation as well as running a private therapeutic Pilates practice. She has lectured nationally and internationally in the field of Dance Medicine.


Eisenhower Dance | February 2019

Eisenhower Dance has spent the last 25 years giving life to the repertoire of internationally known choreographers, as well as the highly acclaimed work of Artistic Director Laurie Eisenhower. Established inmetro Detroit by Eisenhower in 1991, the Company presents an annual subscription series and tours internationally.  The company has performed works by choreographers EdgarZendejas, David Parsons, Lar Lubovitch, Ron de Jesus, Gina Patterson, Lauren Edson and Harrison McEldowney, to name a few. The Company’s mission of collaboration has resulted in performances with the Michigan Opera Theatre, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, the Warren Symphony, the Immigrant Suns, Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, the Rackham Symphony Choir, the Motor City Lyric Opera and the Toledo Opera, among others.





2017-2018 Guest Artist Residencies

Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company and Sally Donaubauer I April 9-13, 2018

This past week, the dance program has been very fortunate to be able to learn from two guests artist! The first guest artist, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, taught multiple classes. After being able to learn some fun combinations from the company, they put on a beautiful performance at Rudder Theater. Also, we had Sally Donaubauer, a physical therapist, revisit us to teach some interesting topics in order to keep our dancing bodies healthy.


Yelena Laningham | September 11-22, 2017

Dance artist and filmmaker Yelena Laningham makes her home in Austin, Texas, where she performs, teaches and choreographs for the stage and screen. Her wide body of work includes Big Range Dance Festival; Austin Dance Festival; Gateway Church's "Imagine Christmas," "Stealing Christmas," "Let It Be Christmas"; several original musicals by Crank Collective; and Austin Shakespeare. Her dance film Solace Is screened at the Austin Short Film Festival in fall 2016 and will be screening this spring at the NYC Independent Film Festival and this summer at DDCF Dance Film Fest. Yelena began her career at The Illinois Ballet, followed by Charleston Ballet Theatre, and Thel Dance Theatre as Company Manager. A respected teacher of both classical ballet and modern dance, she teaches at Ballet Austin Academy.

She has worked with Sally Bliss of Tudor Foundation, Amanda McKerrow, Andrei Bossov, Grace Holmes, Meg Brooker, Lori Belilove, and Dawn Karlovsky. She is also certified in Vaganova Ballet Technique on scholarship by Ballet Master John White, RAD syllabus by Lynn Wallis, and Lester Horton technique under Ana Marie Forsythe.


ARCOS Dance | Septmeber 24-28, 2017

ARCOS experiments rigorously to discover adventurous new forms of contemporary performance—inspired by questioning dominant understandings of the world, turbulent processes of traditions in flux, and the complexity of being human today. They have performed at festivals such as MacCallum, {254} (“Best of Fest” award), Barnstorm, Currents New Media, Online Performance Art, Kansas City International Theater Festival, and Edinburgh Fringe (“Spirit of the Fringe” award), and been commissioned for interdisciplinary symposia at Texas State University and Connecticut College’s Ammerman Center for Art and Technology. ARCOS has served as guest artists at institutions such as University of Colorado Boulder and Colorado College, participated in residencies including Playa, Ucross, and KHN Center for the Arts, and received grants from NEA, NM Arts, Rea Charitable Trust, Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation, and the City of Austin. ARCOS offers professional-level training classes, performance intensives, development workshops, and grants to independent artists and youth.

Erica Gionfriddo has a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Shenandoah Conservatory. She is co-founder of ARCOS and has performed the repertoire of choreographers including Anna Sokolow, David Parsons, Robert Moses, Gail Gilbert, Arturo Fernandez, and Luciana Achugar. She has been commissioned to choreograph for Moorehead State University, Shenandoah Conservatory, Motion X Dance DC, Texas State University, and INTERDANSA, where her work toured thirty cities in Catalonia, Spain. Her choreography for Breaking String Theater received a B. Iden Payne award. She is also a certified Pilates Mat Teacher Trainer, GYROKINESIS®* and GYROTONIC®*  trainer, and an adjunct lecturer in dance at University of Texas at Austin.

Curtis Uhlemann has a BFA in Modern Dance / Dance Science and Injury Prevention from Brockport College. He has studied and performed works by José Limón, Betty Jones, Lisa Race, David Dorfman, Paul Taylor, David Parsons, and Mark Morris. Curtis served as designer and choreographer for the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps and ten-time world champions Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. His choreography has been presented throughout the United States and Europe, receiving acclaim from the government of Spain, Dancing Times, and Dance Magazine, which recognized its exceptional use of space layered with visceral movement and a keen sense of musicality.

Eliot Gray Fisher has BA degrees in Film Studies from Wesleyan University and Documentary Studies from Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. Propelling ARCOS’ inventive integration of new media and compelling dramatic narrative in performance, Eliot has composed music and designed sound for short and feature film, theater, and dance productions, produced short documentaries and cartoons, built interactive new media installations, and written and directed original theater productions. He has also designed curriculum and taught media arts at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Youth Media Project, Santa Fe Preparatory School, and the E.E. Ford Summer Teachers Colloquium.

Emma Redding | October 9, 2017

Dr. Emma Redding originally trained as a dancer and is now Head of Dance Science at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She wrote the first Master's degree in Dance Science and has since played a key role in developing dance science as a recognised field of study through her research and teaching internationally, as a founding partner of the National Institute for Dance Medicine and Science and as member of the Board of Directors and Past President of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. Emma teaches physiology and contemporary technique at Trinity Laban alongside her management and research work. She is one of the Principal Investigators of a large-scale musicians’ health study funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Co-Investigator of a creativity and imagery study, in collaboration with Plymouth University and Coventry University.

Aline Haas and Adriano Bittar | October 11, 2017

Graduated in Physical Education by the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (1992) and PhD in Medicine and Surgery - University of Cadiz (1999). Specialist in Sports Sciences, by PUCRS, in 1997, and in Pilates Method for "The Studio Pilates Brasil", 1999, and for "Power Pilates", 2006. Professor of the Degree in Dance of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul South. Professor and Coordinator of the Specialization Course in the Pilates Method of UFRGS. Professor of the Graduate Program in Human Movement Sciences, UFRGS. Leader of the Group of Research in Art, Body and Education (GRACE / UFRGS). Ballerina with classical ballet training in the? Ballet Studio Maria Cristina Fragoso? (1985). It has training courses in modern and contemporary dance, ballroom dancing, folk dances, jazz dance, Spanish dance and the Pilates method. Author of the book? Rhythm and Dance: general aspects? edited and released in the year 2003 and the book "Body Expression: General Issues" edited and released in 2008. Member of the International Association for Dance Medicine anda Science (IADMS). Member and Certified Teacher by the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA). 
Adriano Bittar is a Pilates teacher, a university professor, a researcher, a physiotherapist, a dancer and a choreographer. He has a post-graduate course in Craniossacral Therapy and Dance, a master’s in Performing Arts/UFBa, and a PhD in Art/UnB. Before dancing he was a professional volleyball player, having experienced the high performance athletic training. Adriano got to know Pilates at the Laban Centre, in London, in 1996, falling in love with it. Afterwards, he dedicated himself to dance, taking contemporary and ballet classes since 1996 at Quasar Cia de Dança, dancing for Solo Grupo de Dança (1996-2001), directing and choreographing Por Quá grupo experimental de dança (1996-2006) and working with the body conditioning of Quasar Cia de Dança since 2000. He took the Pilates courses from Polestar Pilates/1999 and Fletcher Pilates®/2011, and got certified by Polestar/1999 and Pilates Method Alliance/2013. As one of the first physiotherapists certified to teach by Polestar in South America, he was part of the first generation of teachers from this school that taught future Pilates teachers in Brazil (2000-2005). After Polestar, he created the first post-graduate course in Pilates of the central-western region of Brazil at PUCGO/CEAFI, still functioning as its coordinator nowadays. Always curious, Adriano got to know Fletcher Pilates® through videos, and after a while he met Kyia Sabin, that invited him to lead the development of this lineage, evolved from the roots of Pilates, in Brazil. He represents Fletcher Pilates® in Brazil since 2012, being a Fletcher Pilates® member of faculty. Adriano also works as a translator, having translated important Pilates teachers on international conferences, and manuals from Polestar and Fletcher Pilates®. He is one of the main responsibles for the introduction and development of Fletcher Pilates® in Brazil, and is also a speaker on the International Fletcher Pilates® Conference that happens in the USA bi-annually. He teaches at Universidade Estadual de Goiás, works as a physiotherapist for Quasar Cia de Dança, works with the body conditioning of theatre and dance groups, directs and see clients at Studio Adriano Bittar.

2016-2017 Guest Artist Residencies


Kathy Dunn Hamrick Guest Artist Residency | October 16-23, 2016

Kathy Dunn Hamrick received an MFA in performance and choreography from Florida State University. She has been dancing, teaching and choreographing in Austin Texas for over twenty years. During that time, she as accumulated numerous awards for her choreography, including “Best Choreographer,” “Best Duet,” and two “Best Dance Concert” awards by the Austin Critics Table plus nominations for Best Dancer, Best Ensemble, Best Lighting Design and Best Original Score.  Kathy’s work has also earned critical acclaim from the New York Times, the Dallas Morning News, and Toronto’s Globe and Mail. Kathy often teaches at professional conferences and directs artist residencies for high schools and universities. As well as being artistic director of Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company, Kathy teaches dance at Austin Community College and at Hamrick/Warren, a professional modern dance studio located at Café Dance. 


Jennifer Deckert | February 8-10, 2017

Jennifer Deckert is a native of St. Louis, Missouri where she began her training with Alexandra Zaharias. She received a BFA in ballet performance from University of Utah, performing with Character Dance

Ensemble, Eastern Arts Ensemble, and Utah Ballet.   She continued to perform with Utah Ballet and choreograph for department productions as she received her MFA in ballet teaching, choreography, andresearch. Jennifer was then invited to join Roxey Ballet, under the direction of Mark Roxey.  While with Roxey Ballet she had the opportunity to further develop her performing, teaching, and choreography skills while performing and showing her choreography in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, and surrounding areas. 

During her performance career she has performed such leads as Myrtha in Giselle, Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, Prelude in Les Sylphides, Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the principle role in Paquita.  She has made guest teaching appearances at the Mid-States Regional Dance America festival, Matheny Arts Access School, and numerous summer dance intensive programs.

Jennifer joined the faculty of University of Wyoming in the fall of '06 where she teaches advanced ballet and pointe technique, dance history, and modern dance technique.


Eisenhower Dance | March 25-31, 2017

Eisenhower Dance has spent the last 25 years giving life to the repertoire of internationally known choreographers, as well as the highly acclaimed work of Artistic Director Laurie Eisenhower. Established inmetro Detroit by Eisenhower in1991, the Company presents an annual subscription series and tours internationally.  The company has performed works by choreographers EdgarZendejas, David Parsons, Lar Lubovitch, Ron de Jesus, Gina Patterson, Lauren Edson and Harrison McEldowney, to name a few. The Company’s mission of collaboration has resulted in performances with the Michigan Opera Theatre, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, the Warren Symphony, the Immigrant Suns, Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, the Rackham Symphony Choir, the Motor City Lyric Opera and the Toledo Opera, among others.


Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts:
 Master classes offered during the 2016-2017 Season

**The following guests are part of the performing season for the Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts.  As part of their performance schedule AVPA requires guests to work with students on campus. We are lucky to be involved in this wonderful program. 

3rd Rail Dance Theatre | January 30 - February 5, 2017

Hailed as one of the foremost companies creating site-specific, immersive and experiential dance-theater, Third Rail Projects, led by Artistic Directors Zach MorrisTom Pearson, and Jennine Willett, is dedicated to re-envisioning ways inwhich audiences engage with contemporary performance. They have made work in New York, nationally, and abroad for over 15 years. Their award-winning immersive hit Then SheFell, was named as one of the “Top Ten Shows of the 2012” by Ben Brantley of The New York Times, and acclaimed as one of the best theater experiences of 2013 by Vogue magazine. The company continues Then She Fell alongside its current immersive hit The Grand Paradise which opened in February 2016. Meanwhile, the artistic directors and company work nationally on new immersive and site-specific projects and internationally through the newly launched Global Performance Studio (GPS), which combines Third Rail Projects’ creative and educational offerings through a program of cultural listening and exchange. Third Rail Projects has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including two New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Awards for Then She Fell (2013) and Vanishing Point (2008). Third Rail’s artistic directors were also recently named among the 100 most influential people in Brooklyn Culture by Brooklyn Magazine.

Fundamental to Third Rail Projects is the notion of re-imagining contexts for presenting contemporary work, as exemplified by a history of creating work sought after by both avid dance and theater goers as well as underserved populations and those seeking unique experiences. Collaboration is integral to all of Third Rail Projects’ endeavors, both in the creative process as well as the intersection with each new site, community, and cultural landscape in which they work. This manifests in numerous points of inquiry and programmatic objectives that foster artistic exchange and shared practice across unique communities.

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