Roderick George was born and raised in Houston, Texas, where he began his studies and classical training at Ben Stevenson’s Houston Ballet Academy. George continued to develop his skill by exploring modern technique at The Alvin Ailey School, all the while developing a collaboration of the techniques at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, TX. George joined Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in 2005, which was very early on in his career engraving the beginning of his footprints in the dance world. George explored more of New York as he danced with Sidra Bell Dance NY, and the Kevin Wynn Collection, until he decided to move abroad to Switzerland where he joined the Basel Ballet/Theater Basel in 2007 and later to guest with the GöteborgOperans Danskompani in 2012. Beginning of 2014, George became a member of The Forsythe Company in Frankfurt, Germany. His career has embraced the collaborations of his work and other great choreographers such as Marie Chouinard, Peeping Tom, Jorma Elo, Jacopo Godani, William Forsythe, Johan Inger, Jiří Kylian, Sharon Eyal, Ohan Naharin, Benoit Swan-Pouffer, Richard Wherlock, and many others. George was selected to be an emerging choreographer for Springboard Dans Montreal in the summer of 2013. He was also nominated to be a choreographer and performer at the Emerging Choreographer Series for the Youth American Grand Prix of 2012. In 2015, kNonAme Artist, a project-based company, was built in Berlin under his direction, where he could continue to use prior knowledge and experiences to not only improve his choreographic work but to showcase his creations all over. DUST was his break-out work as an independent artist and has been performed in Aix-en-Provence, Berlin, Frankfurt, Mexico City, Tel-Aviv, Zurich, and others in Europe.
Iyun Ashani Harrison is the founder and artistic director of Ashani Dances, a Baltimore-based dance company founded in 2011. Alice Kaderlan of the Seattle Times reports that, “Ashani Dances showcases an artist [Harrison] of diverse talents with sophisticated musical tastes and an understanding of how to use a bare stage to full effect.” Harrison is a graduate of The Julliard School and received his M.F.A. from Hollins University/American Dance Festival. He has danced professionally with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ballet Hispanico of New York, Ailey II, Seattle Dance Project, and National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica. Harrison’s television credits include PBS’ Setting the Stage 2007, NBC’s ’20th Hispanic Heritage Awards, PBS’ Dancin’ Now? – Arts Education in Your Community, and the South Bank Show in England. Harrison has taught on the faculties of the Pacific Northwest Ballet School, the Ailey School, Cornish School of the Arts, Webster University, and he is currently an assistant professor of dance at Goucher College.
Jason Jacobs is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher based in Frankfurt, Germany. He has created works and performed internationally with renowned choreographers and companies including Hofesh Shechter (UK), Johannes Wieland (GER), Carte Blanche (Norway), Complexions Contemporary Ballet (US), and North Carolina Dance Theater (US). In 2014 he received a Master in Contemporary Dance Education from the University for Music and Performing Arts Frankfurt. His movement research centers around a method of physical translation in which a source material (text, image, concept, historical or scientific event, musical composition, etc.) is examined, and an essential aspect is subsequently transmitted through physicality. Together with choreographer Ekaterine Giorgadze, Jacobs founded the company MuddyBoots which has developed choreographic projects by applying processes of physical translation since 2012. MuddyBoots was awarded the jury prize for Best Ensemble Performance for the work “3:1” by the 2013 Hessian Theater Festival. In 2014, MuddyBoots received a research grant from the Hessian Theater Academy for the project “doing things”, and developed a 50-min. choreographic work, lecture performance, and publication including two DVDs on strategies for documenting choreographic processes. Jacobs’ research interests also include investigating collaborative strategies between artists and diverse fields of practice. From 2015 to 2017 he was selected among 14 choreographers from Europe and Africa to participate in the transcontinental choreographic exchange, Shifting Realities, a project of Tanzhaus nrw (Düßeldorf), HELLERAU European Centre for the Arts (Dresden), and École des Sables (Senegal). In this frame he created the work Fragiland in collaboration with Katia Manjate (Mozambique), Ladji Koné (Burkina Faso), and Anna Till (GER). Currently, he is developing a choreographic work and handbook on collaborative practice together with Andrew Maddick, composer and violinist from the University of Queensland (Australia). Jacobs is also involved in projects which question the role of the spectator. In 2017 he was engaged as artist-in-residence for the Hessian State Ballet and developed an interactive format to facilitate audiences in physical reflection following select dance performances. He teaches in dance institutions throughout Europe, and is a faculty member for contemporary dance technique at the Anton Bruckner University in Linz, Austria.
Maurya Kerr is a choreographer, educator, performer, and the artistic director of tinypistol, where her choreographic work has been honored by numerous awards, grants, and commissions. She was a member of Alonzo King LINES Ballet for 12 years, and has been on faculty with the LINES Ballet Education Programs since their inception, as well as teaching workshops nationwide. She most recently performed with Alex Ketley’s The Foundry and is currently a member of The Hard Corps, a year-long engagement with performance artist Julie Tolentino and three other bay area artists. She is an ODC artist-in-residence (2015-18), and completed her M.F.A. through Hollins in 2016.
Tarik Darrell O’Meally was born in Queens, New York and raised in DMV. He earned his B.F.A in dance and choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has worked and performed with companies such as Johnnie Cruise Mercer/The RED project NYC, Amaranth, in addition to Abby Z & the New Utility. O’Meally is currently a company member of the Marvin Gaye Dance Project, VT Dance, and Ashani Dances. He is a four-time, full-scholarship recipient at the American Dance Festival. As a choreographer, his work has been presented at The Clarice Smith 34 Annual Choreographers Showcase, New Releases Choreographer Showcase, the 15th Annual Richmond Choreographer Showcase, the Richmond Dance Festival, the Baltimore Theater Project, ARAS Dance series, Morgan State University, and the Mid-Atlantic North Gala performance at the American College Dance Association. O’Meally, the artistic director of the UNUM Dance Collective, is the 2016-17 artist-in-residence at Coppin State University. He is currently the 2017-18 New Releases Commissioned Artist.
Jenna Riegel, a native of Fairfield, Iowa, has been a New York-based dancer, performer, and teacher since 2007. Riegel holds an M.F.A. in dance performance from the University of Iowa and a B.A. in theatre arts from Maharishi University of Management. Since moving to NYC, Riegel has performed with Daara Dance (choreographer Michel Kouakou), Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Shaneeka Harrell, Tania Isaac Dance, and johannes weiland. She has also toured and performed nationally and internationally as a company member of David Dorfman Dance, Alexandra Beller/Dances, and Bill Young/Colleen Thomas & Company. In 2011, she joined the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. Riegel teaches classes in contemporary technique in New York City at Gina Gibney Dance Center, Mark Morris Dance Center, 100 Grand Dance, and Barnard College, as well as contemporary partnering at The Juilliard School. In addition, she has taught master classes at The Joffrey Ballet School, Columbia College, NYU, The New School, Ohio State University, SUNY Purchase, Bard College, Connecticut College, Emory College, Arizona State University, Brigham-Young University, Dartmouth College, Williams College, Skidmore College, LIU, University of Maryland, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of California-Berkeley, University of Iowa, the American Dance Festival, and the Bates Dance Festival.
Artists/Companies in Residence
Since 1993 Hollins has hosted more than 100 dance professionals as artists-in-residence. These talented artists perform on campus, conduct master classes, and create new works for and with students.
Shen Wei, described by the Village Voice as “Michaelangelo’s David as a sultry rock star,” brings his imagined world to life through choreographing, performing, painting, and writing. From the age of nine, he trained as a performer for the Chinese opera. He was trained in modern dance at the Guangdong Dance Academy. He was awarded first prize for both choregography and performance at the inaugural National Modern Dance Competition in China. In 1997, as guest artist at Hollins, he did his world premiere of “Small Room” to a standing-room-only audience on campus.
Lisa Race’s work has been featured at many venues in New York City and beyond. She has taught at festivals around the world and has served in numerous university teaching positions and choreographic residencies. She was a member of David Dorfman Dance from 1989 to 2000 and was honored in 1995 with a New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award. She received an M.F.A. from Hollins University/ADF in 2007. She is on the faculty at Connecticut College and is also an ADF faculty member.