Dances at MuCCC 2018

A festival of contemporary dance by local, regional, and visiting artists. Dances at MuCCC is coordinated by Laurie MacFarlane and Ruben Ornelas. This year's festival will include ten performances as well as classes/workshops.

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Dances at MuCCC 2018

Time & Location

Apr 12, 2019, 10:45 PM

MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Ave, Rochester, NY 14607, USA

About The Event

Dances at MuCCC 2018

view WHEC "Rochester In Focus" interview HERE begins at 7:38

Week 1: Featured Artists and Groups

Wednesday June 13 @ 8 PM

Hanlon Dance & Company presents Burnt Offerings in Repose, a synthesis of over a decade of Eran Hanlon’s artistic work and collaborations with other artists, reimagined into a multimedia dance theatre production.

Eran Hanlon is a multimedia dance artist and Artistic Director of Hanlon Dance & Company (Wed June 13), a contemporary dance troupe located in the greater Rochester, NY area. His choreography is emerging nationally and internationally, and consistently features at regional theatres, galleries, colleges & universities. City Newspaper recognized him as Best New Choreographer at the 2014 Rochester Fringe Festival and his award winning digital imagery featured on the cover of Metropolitan magazine in 2013. Hanlon received an MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University, as well as a BA in Psychology with a minor in Music Performance from the UMass-Amherst and an MSW from Boston College. He was a recent visiting artist at Eastman School of Music and Wells College with prior faculty appointments at the University of Rochester, Alfred University, The College at Brockport, and Dartmouth College.


Thursday June 14 @ 8 PM

Dances by Young Artists, including alumni and students of Rochester’s School of the Arts. Coordinated by Ethan Beckwith-Cohen, SOTA 2018

Ethan Beckwith-Cohen is a Senior Dance Major at School of the Arts. This is his third year choreographing for Dances at MuCCC and sharing his work with the dance community. This has been a unique experience, and during his final year at SOTA he wanted to open up the floor for more young artists. Ethan thanks all of his dancers, choreographers, and of course Laurie and Ruben for this amazing opportunity. He is a member of Borinquen Dance Theatre, a participant of Garth Fagan’s Summer Movement Institute, a past student at Bates Dance Festival. He is the Co-creator of Commonplace Dance Project (along with Neyda Colon-DiMaria) which was performed in the Fringe Fest 2017. He will be attending University of the Arts this fall as a Dance Major. (photo by Annette Dragon)

Tori Breen is currently a student at the University of Minnesota, seeking a B.F.A. in Dance. She is trained in modern, contemporary, ballet, and jazz styles, and is a skilled thinker, analyst, and writer. In her dancing and creating, she aims to be relevant, precise, eloquent, and challenging. She sees choreography as one expression of her curiosity, as both the means of exploration and the question itself. Tori is thrilled to be collaborating with her good friend Ethan on this show, and thanks all of the dancers involved for their work.

Amya Brice is a seventeen year old college freshman, who danced competitively from the age of nine to sixteen. During middle school she went to SOTA where she studied dance. Then she went to Wheatland Chili. There she participated in two of their school musicals, “Once Upon a Mattress” and “Hairspray”. This past summer she participated in a dance piece at MuCCC choreographed by Ethan Beckwith-Cohen as well as a piece for the Fringe Festival also choreographed by Ethan Beckwith-Cohen and Neyda Colon-DiMaria. Earlier this school year she was in a piece for the MAD (Movement and Dance) artists showcase choreographed by Hettie Barnhill, the guest artist at Nazareth this year.

Shawndel Lamar Lewis Jr has danced with Borinquen Dance Theatre since 2008, and graduated from School of the Arts in 2013. He went to Monroe Community College and Brockport for the dual program with Dance and Psychology. He plans to return to college at Nazareth to finish his Bachelors with a double major in Dance and Psychology.

Casimer (Caz) Lopata-Linn is a sophomore dance major at Nazareth College. He is a graduate from School of the Arts in Rochester. He has previously performed at MUCCC and often choreographs pieces at Nazareth. Caz would like to thank his parents and sister for their undying support and Lexi Davis for his inspiration.

Riane Parés-Kane is 19 years old and grew up in Rochester. She is now attending Binghamton University. An alum of Borinquén Dance Theatre and dancer all her life, she has been using dance as a form of creative expression and way to feel closer to her Hispanic culture.

Claire Spenard is a junior dance major at SOTA and tremendously invested in her future as a dancer. She has been in the Dance Concert production the past two years and also part of the dance ensemble for SOTA’s Productions of The Addams Family (2015) and In The Heights (2017). Claire takes classes at the Garth Fagan Dance School, and also studies human anatomy and genetics which she believes enriches her artistry. This past summer Claire attended the NYS Summer School of the Arts and will attend again in 2018; this experience was transformative and was the inspiration for this piece. Claire would like to thank her amazing Rochester dance community and Ethan for encouraging her.


Friday June 15 @ 8 PM

Render, a short evening of new and evolving works by established choreographers James Hansen, Heather Roffe, and Melanie Aceto.

James Hansen performed for 15 years with both modern and ballet companies in and outside New York City and is an Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director in the Department of Dance at The College at Brockport. He is an internationally accomplished choreographer and teacher who has been commissioned to create dances by professional dance companies including Cuerpo Escrito Danza in Santiago, Chile, the Pennsylvania Dance Theater, Moving Currents in Tampa, Thread Meddle in Chicago, and Second Wind Dance Company in Norfolk and by numerous universities including Ohio University, University of Washington in Seattle, and Case Western Reserve. He has been produced by several prestigious dance festivals including two summers at Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, the Toronto Fringe Festival (fFIDA), the International Dance Festival in New York City, The American Dance Guild Festival, Yes Virginia Dance, The Pasadena Dance Festival, DUMBO Dance Festival in Brooklyn, the National ACDFA conference at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, and for two years at Encuentro Internacional de Danza-Teatro in Chile. His work has received enthusiastic reviews across the United States. Lisa Jo Sagolla of Backstage NY described Pulse as “full of blood,” “grippingly aggressive,” and “a wonderful example of how much the human body can communicate.” Leona Baker of Portfolio Weekly in Norfolk, VA described Three Olive Martinis as a “spiritual and tormented duet” that was “gifted and mesmerizing.” Julinda Lewis of The Richmond Times Dispatch described White W(h)oles as “breathtakingly sexy with startling lifts and the violent impact of a tango.” Marty Clear of the St Petersburg Times wrote Ophelia’s Reclamation “delivered lasting impact” and Erika Kinetz of the NY Times described Fade to Snow and Gray as a “thoughtful meditation on group dynamics.” Since founding James Hansen/Assemblage Dance, Hansen has received over $40,000 in grants for his choreography including support from New York State Council for the Arts and the Puffin Foundation. (photo courtesy of James Hansen)

Heather Roffe, MFA, is an Associate Professor and the Program Director of Dance at Nazareth College. Roffe is an active scholar in the field of dance, presenting nationally and internationally on Dance Pedagogy, Somatics, and Dance and Feminism, guest teaching in academic and professional venues, and creating choreography as part of her creative/academic research. She has performed nationally and internationally with the Garth Fagan Dance Company, and at Jacob’s Pillow, the International Dance Festival, and the American Dance Guild Festival, in her own work, with Bill Evans Dance Company, FuturPointe Dance, and Assemblage Dance. Roffe’s choreography has been presented in venues across the country and internationally, and has been commissioned by dance companies and college programs. Most recently, her choreography was presented in the International DUMBO Dance Festival in NYC, October 2017, at MAD Festival in November 2017, and at Montclair State's Northeast ACDA concert in March 2018. Roffe’s choreography has been described as “entertaining...but with a cutting edge...a sharp one,” (Carlsen, City Newspaper, 2012) “Her choreography is fascinating to behold, shifting from style to style. The movements are sometimes so different that it seems impossible that they spring from the same mind.” (Rezsnyak, City Newspaper, 2014) (photo courtesy of Heather Roffe)

Melanie Aceto is a dancer, choreographer, educator and researcher whose creative interests are in interdisciplinary solo and large group works. Melanie’s choreography has been performed internationally in Toronto, Guatemala, and Germany; nationally at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and at venues in Philadelphia, North Carolina, Atlanta, Virginia, and Kentucky; in NYC at The Kitchen, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Ailey CitigroupTheater, The Duplex Cabaret and John Ryan Theater, among others; and in Buffalo, NY at venues including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Burchfield Penney Arts Center. Current research projects include Choreographic Lineage, a web-based resource presenting the lineage of dance Earning her MFA in dance from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Melanie is currently an Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo. (photo courtesy of Melanie Aceto)


MAKING CHOICES, MAKING CHANGE presented by Artists Coalition for Change Together (ACCT)

Saturday June 16

Workshop 10 AM - 2 PM and

Performance 8:00 PM

Collaborative Workshop facilitated by Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp, Donna Davenport, and Heather Roffe, co-founders of ACCT.

The purpose of the workshop will be to discuss strengths and assets of communities, as well as aspects participants want to change or improve. Out of that discussion, we will generate a Movement Choir with live music, which will be performed in the concert that day.

To register on-line, go to:<>

Click on “Subtracting the Divide” and tell us who you are and why you’d like to join this project. We are looking for a diverse group of people who are willing to be part of performance art making.

Performance at 8 PM will include:

“Subtracting the Divide,” the performance piece (Movement Choir) developed earlier in the workshop;

socio-political works by five or six different choreographers;

and opportunities for audience/performer interaction.

Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp (MFA, CLMA) is a dance artist, somatic educator, filmmaker, and activist. Co-founder of Artists Coalition for Change (ACCT) and SirensProof Films, her interdisciplinary dance theater work has been featured internationally. As a dance educator, with interests rooted in somatics and body awareness, Rose is honored to have worked at various schools such as SUNY Brockport, Dean College and the University of Virginia. Currently on faculty at the University of Rochester, Rose’s research focus is dance and social activism exploring metaphor as it relates to socio-political art making.

Donna Davenport (EdD, RYT) has been performing, collaborating with artists, and presenting choreography in Western NY for two decades. Professor of Dance at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, she is co-director of the Social Justice Studies Program and former Associate Dean of Faculty. Recent choreography / performances include this year’s “Non-sequitur,” last year’s comic solo about yoga, and “Looming” by Bill Evans. Her choreography was commissioned by BIODANCE for Geva Theater, Fringe 2016, and appears often in dance showcases at MUCC in Rochester and CRS Barn Studio in Ithaca. She is Dean of Faculty at St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy in Geneva.

Heather Roffe (MFA) is an Associate Professor/Program Director of Dance at Nazareth College, and is also is a Certified Evans Technique dance educator whose pedagogical practice includes the teaching of modern dance and ballet technique, with an anatomical, embodied/somatic, and constructivist approach. Roffe is an active scholar in the field of dance, presenting and guest teaching in academic and professional venues, and creating choreography that deals with current issues and the universal human experience. She has performed/toured with the Garth Fagan Dance Company, Bill Evans Dance Company, FuturPointe Dance (as performer, choreographer, co-director), and Assemblage Dance, as well with her own company, Heather Roffe, Dance.

(photo courtesy of ACCT, dance by Mariko Yamada & Mara Ahmed, photo by Annette Dragon)


Sunday June 17 @ 2 PM

Destiny, a multimedia art installation by Martha Schermerhorn and Kathy Clem with dance by Laurie MacFarlane and music by Karsten Brooks.

Karsten Brooks is a performer who uses textural elements rather than traditional harmonic elements to create unique soundscapes.

Laurie MacFarlane has performed her choreography and improvisations for more than 20 years in the US, in Canada and Mexico; in theaters, on the street, in storefront windows, cafes, and even a garage. She is deeply grateful to Martha Schermerhorn and Kathy Clem for making Destiny available to MuCCC and amenable to live performance; and special thanks to Karsten Brooks for collaborating once again.

Martha Schermerhorn is an artist living and working in Rochester, who loves theater in all its forms. Please visit Martha’s website:

Kathy Clem has worked in many different media for about 30 years, exhibiting extensively in the Rochester area and NY state. Please visit to learn more.

Dances at MuCCC 2018

Week 2: Shared Programs

Tuesday June 19 @ 8 PM

Karsten Brooks (music) is a performer who uses textural elements rather than traditional harmonic elements to create unique soundscapes.

Neyda Colon-DiMaria is a soon-to-be-graduate of School of The Arts as well as Borinquen Dance Theatre. Her greatest love has been sharing dance and art with the community. Dancer Claire Spenard, incoming SOTA senior, has been a huge inspiration to Neyda's choreographic process. Her solo Spring, performed by Claire Spenard, is about release. The freeing feeling of just moving through times of change, fear, and growth.

Roseanne DiMaria began dancing in her senior year of high school, and then found herself drawn to African and Brazilian Dance. She spent many years traveling, studying, and performing. Her untitled solo represents a new pathway in the dance world and a different part of who she is.

Laurie MacFarlane has performed her choreography and improvisations throughout the US, in Canada and Mexico; in theaters, on the street, in windows, cafes, and even a garage. She is a MuCCC artist and co-coordinator of Dances at MuCCC. Thank you Doug, John, Kevin, Cassandra, Marilyn and all the other MuCCC’ers who have made this space and these dances possible; thank you to Cobblestone Arts Center for ongoing support. Managing Visibility, Time and Space is a new solo. (photo by Annette Dragon)

Ruben T. Ornelas has been dancing for a minute. Thank you to Doug, John, Kevin, Karsten, Laurie, Cielo and all the artists who are participating in this festival; thanks as well to Cobblestone Arts Center. Ruben will be dancing to the poems of Luis Alberto Urrea and popular and traditional Mexican music. (photo by Annette Dragon)

Jose Anthony Ortiz will perform his solo, Consumed by Negativity, as well as a duet made with Claire Spenard, Confined. Confined examines the “prison within a prison” of solitary confinement, in which prisoners are isolated for 22 to 24 hours a day without seeing the outside world. The dance shows not only how this effects the person confined, but also their family members or loved ones. Ortiz and Spenard are SOTA dance students, class of 2019.


Wednesday June 20 and Friday June 22 @ 8 PM

BIODANCE is a contemporary repertory dance company founded in 2002 that collaborates with multi-disciplinary artists in Rochester, performing work by a roster of recognized choreographers including Missy Pfohl Smith, Bill Evans, Heidi Latsky, Randy James, Ivy Baldwin, Jeanne Schickler Compisi, D. Chase Angier and more. BIODANCE explores social, political and environmental issues through its works and interacts with and outreaches to its own Rochester community members and inter/nationally. BIODANCE’s work directed by Missy Pfohl Smith, has sold out shows at Rochester Fringe for three years, including two evening length shows crafted for the 4-story Strasenburgh Planetarium in collaboration with W. Michelle Harris and live musicians. It was called "Gorgeous...astonishing...exceptional" and "a brilliantly crafted world of beauty, melody and calmness" by Rochester City News. BIODANCE is grateful for support from its individual contributors, Community Arts Organization Grants from the Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, New York State Council on the Arts and the NYS Legislature, administered by Livingston Arts, from the Rochester Area Community Foundation, the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, among others. BIODANCE will perform Solo Countersolo, a masterwork created by internationally renowned artist Heidi Latsky in 2013 for her NYC-based company. Solo Countersolo focuses on a soloist (Missy Pfohl Smith) as the counterpoint to the ensemble, weaving through a landscape of vigorously moving bodies to British composer Chris Brierley’s passionate score. (On Friday, the solo excerpt will be performed.) (photo by Nadine Sherman)

Gina Bonati is a dancer, dance maker, musician, singer, pianist, composer, sound artist, painter, designer, librettist, poet, director, conductor, teacher…. She’s danced all kinds of dancing from ballet to Cunningham to contact improv, to various release techniques and on and on including being a go go dancer in infamous NY and Jersey bars (not for fun, for survival). That’s bar not barre. Gina holds a BFA from Juilliard in dance, an MFA in dance from Mills and an MFA in music from Mills. Soon she heads off to Santiago, Chile for a residency: she’ll teach voice and dance, singing and moving and mount a work for the stage with the workshop participants…in yelling and screaming, singing and stumbling, dancing and talking and doing absolutely nothing at all. All at the same time!!! (photo by Jeremy Ayers)

Joshua Lang is a dancer/ choreographer from Rochester, NY. He holds a BA from SUNY Geneseo. Lamia Dance is a group piece inspired by sights and sounds from a Moroccan street market.

Katherine Marino is a Rochester-based choreographer and performer with a BA in Dance from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She has performed with esteemed company PUSH Physical Theatre for the past three years, while concurrently fostering her own artistic endeavors in teaching, choreographing, hat juggling, contact improvisation, and loving life. In Playful Partner, Katherine explores what it means to dance alone and to dance with the world as your partner, mixing a quirky blend of contemporary dance, physical theatre, and hat juggling. Her duet, Surface, explores the concept of the fantastical perfect romance and the unspoken challenges of living up to this expectation.

Ruben T. Ornelas has been dancing for a minute. Thank you to Doug, John, Kevin, Karsten, Laurie, Cielo and all the artists who are participating in this festival; thanks as well to Cobblestone Arts Center. Ruben will be dancing to the poems of Luis Alberto Urrea and popular and traditional Mexican music. (photo by Annette Dragon)

Paula J. Peters, MFA, (Wed June 20 & Fri June 22) is an Assistant Professor of Dance at SUNY Fredonia. She has also taught at the University of Washington, Cornish College of the Arts/Preparatory Dance, and Pacific Lutheran University. Her choreography has been presented by ACDA, Men In Dance, Cornish Dance Theater, Fredonia Dance Ensemble, the University of Washington, MuCCC Festival, and the BOOSTmeUp Festival. Prior to entering Academia, she danced professionally with Spectrum Dance Theater in Seattle for fourteen years. More Than Once is a quartet which playfully investigates the intersection of popular dance moves from the past, with the gestural language of current movement trends.

Amy Sullivan became enamored with movement at a young age, first with gymnastics and then with dance. Her love of dance and teaching led her to pursue a BS in Childhood and Special Education from Roberts Wesleyan College and an MFA in Dance and Choreography from SUNY Brockport. At present, Ms. Sullivan pursues teaching, performance, and choreography in the community through her company, Stilla Dance, at Roberts Wesleyan College, and as a member of Rochester Dance Theater. Ms. Sullivan’s choreographed works are largely collaborative, and she enjoys working with an array of local visual artists and musicians. Her trio, The Light We Hold, articulates the light we hold from within, and the light that surrounds us in physical form through natural and artificial sources.

MaryLee Miller (Wednesday June 20) is a choreographer and dance educator from Rochester whose work has been performed in New York, Florida and California. Through her work she seeks to express the ritual of experience through movement and allow for the exploration of issues and experiences in a place where words are insufficient. She explores personal and social issues through modern/contemporary movement forms and enjoys collaboration with visual, sound and spoken word artists in some of her works. Set to music by Edward Elgar, Knot follows a woman as she unties the knot life has her in and comes to stand in her power confidently. (photo by Al Mosher)

Alaina Olivieri and Roy Wood (Wednesday June 20) are both free-lance movement artists. Alaina is currently a member of contemporary dance companies, BIODANCE (Missy Pfohl Smith) and Hanlon Dance & Company (Eran Hanlon) and is the Director of the Dance Studio at St. Peter's Community Arts Academy in Geneva, NY. Roy has danced with numerous dance companies including Park Avenue Dance (Christine Fendley) and