New Dances 2016

6 female dancers walking on toes in white safety suits

Showdates: April 15 - 17, 2016

Celebrated performer, choreographer and educator Katherine Kramer has revisited a work originally created 30 years ago entitled “Blue Blue Skies”. “In 1986, in response to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and a personal loss, I choreographed Blue Blue Skies. As part of a recent UAA Dance Program residency I decided to re-visit this dance. Reflecting through a historical lens of 30 years I chose to layer the original musical score with a sound track drawn from broadcasts of the event and subsequent reports and documentaries, while also building on the particular strengths of this wonderful cast of talented UAA dancers”. Katherine Kramer

Theatre and Dance faculty Brian Jeffery spins his new work “Sage Advice” on UAA Dance Ensemble. Accompanied by a narrative of wise and prudent thoughts, Jeffery’s dance is punctuated by dynamic partnering interactions and movement that challenges the boundaries of the performance space.

UAA Department of Theatre and Dance will present “Blue Blue Skies” and "Sage Advice" by these two veteran choreographers along with eight other dance premieres by UAA Dance Program faculty and students as part of New Dances 2016, April 14-17  Mainstage Theatre in the UAA Fine Arts Building.

The stage will be bursting at the seams as 60 performers and designers showcase diversity in choreographic styles in 10 eclectic dances. Becky Kendall of Momentum Dance Collective offers “Bound” an unabashedly intimate solo for Courtney Meneses. Adjunct faculty Melissa Jabaay’s “Seasonal Circus of my Mind” is a full of serious fun and clever surprises. Gabe Harvey of Underground Dance Company premieres another of his always popular Hip-Hop dances. Work by UAA Dance Program outstanding student choreographers will include Racin Engstrom “Arrive”, Crystal Dosser “Astral”, Katie O’Loughlin “Another Minute”, Carmel Young ”Sentimental”, and Taylor Hicks “Vibes”.

Performance run time: 2 hours with 15 minute intermission

Performances held at the Mainstage Theatre, 3700 Alumni Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508

  • Program

    Another Minute

    Choreographer and Performer: Katie O’Loughlin
    Music: Sleeping at Last
    Lighting Design: Jordan Crenshaw
    Costume: DieselX

    Choreographer’s note: “Every time I choreograph I seem to learn more about myself, and this time has been no different. There are significant inspirations for me personally within this piece, but my hope is that you will find some for yourself.” “The product of art is not the work of art.” -John Dewey

    A Note to Music

    Choreography: Gabe Gray-Harvey
    Music: Mims, Nicki Minaj, Missy Elliot, Sevyn Streeter, DJ T-Ray
    Lighting Design: Meghan Stanford
    Costumes: Gabe Gray-Harvey
    Performers: Ezra Abalos, Sierra Baker, Celestina Castro, Silvia DeSantiago, Asey Fowlis, Arvinelle Gandia, Kimberly McGrath, Kiana Morris, Ashley Smock, Clarence Summers, Daiga Sypakanphay, Katrina Thomas. Understudy: Kolbjorn Lindberg

    Choreographer’s note: “Dear Music, Thank you for being there when no-one else was.”


    Choreography: Crystal C. Dosser
    Music: Dale Warland Singers, Jo Blankenburg
    Lighting Design: Meghan Stanford
    Costumes: DieselX
    Performers: Crystal C. Dosser, Racin Engstrom, Kimberly McGrath, Nancy Ott, Rhiannon Roseman, Pam Wolfe

    Choreographer’s note: “Space, the final frontier” -Capt. Jean-Luc Picard.

    Space captures the imagination - majestic in its black vastness. Look at the night sky, what do you see?

    “Live Long and Prosper” -Spock

    Seasonal Circus of my Mind

    Choreography: Melissa Jabaay
    Music: Raphaël Beau, Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman
    Lighting Design: Katie Bailey
    Costumes: DieselX
    Performers: Robert Denholm, Marlee Hughes, Dawn Jensen, Brooke Jimenez, Stephanie Lahn, Jeremy Lamb, Molly Matlock, Nancy Ott, Josephine Persons, Rhiannon Roseman, Tia Wagner, Maria Weiss, Pam Wolfe, Mila Zeng

    Choreographer’s note: “I feel overwhelmed by the amount of roles and lack of time I am given to fulfill each job I feel compelled to take on (being a wife, mother, employee, teacher, you name it I try to do it). I just want to enjoy life again without pressure, yet each year there seems to be more to do and never enough time to do it. This dance is a reflection of my past year and how my “mind” danced its way out of the darkness of winter and into the light of summer.”

    Sage Advice

    Choreography: Brian Jeffery
    Music: Richard Dorfmeister & Rupert Huber, Tim Cox & Nigel Swanston
    Lighting Design: Daniel J. Anteau
    Costumes: DieselX
    Performers: Stephanie Brenner, Olivia Brown, Crystal C. Dosser, Racin Engstrom, Katie Haxby, Taylor Hicks, Courtney Meneses, Katie O’Loughlin

    Choreographer’s note: “I’m consistently inspired by the many generous and intriguing personalities that make up Dance Ensemble. Big thanks to all of the company for their enthusiasm, playfulness and movement contributions! This year one of our outstanding dance students, Taylor Hicks, is graduating. Taylor has been intricately involved every semester since her freshman year with our department. She has been an ongoing member of Dance Ensemble, contributed choreography to numerous productions, held positions with Dance Club as President and VP, represented the Dance Program numerous times at national conferences and much more. This dance is for Taylor, and to wish her well with her future adventures in movement.”

    Blue Blue Skies (1986) Reimagined for UAA Dance Ensemble (2016)

    Choreography: Katherine Kramer
    Original Music Composer: Liam Wilson   
    Sound Score: Buzz Kemper and Katherine Kramer
    Lighting Design: Ryan Anderson
    Costumes: Katherine Kramer
    Performers: Stephanie Brenner, Olivia Brown, Crystal C. Dosser, Racin Engstrom, Katie Haxby, Taylor Hicks, Courtney Meneses, Katie O’Loughlin

    Choreographer’s note: “The original version of Blue Blue Skies was created in response to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, which took place on January 28, 1986. Through a historical lens of 30 years, Blue Blue Skies is revisited with the addition of a sound track created from broadcasts of the actual event and subsequent reports and documentaries. The voices of engineers Robert Ebeling and Roger Boisjoly, astronaut/teacher Christa McAuliffe, and President Ronald Reagan are included in the new score. I also enjoyed building on the particular strengths of this wonderful cast of talented UAA dancers.”


    Choreography: Racin Engstrom
    Music: John Butler
    Lighting Design: Katie O’Loughlin
    Costumes: DieselX
    Performers: Carly Campbell, Racin Engstrom, Taylor Hicks, Ashley Roylance

    Choreographer’s note: “Rule #1: Find a place you trust, and then, try trusting it for awhile” - John Cage

    Love Stories

    Choreography: Carmel Young
    Music: Bing & Ruth
    Lighting Design: Nancy Ott
    Video Projections: AJ Cariño
    Costumes: DieselX
    Performers: Anthony B.A. Cruz, Jocelyn Hanson, Enriqueta Hill, Kimberly McGrath, Alyssa Willett, Carmel Young

    Choreographer’s note: “In the world of existence there is indeed no greater power than the power of love”. - Abdul-Baha


    Direction: Becky Kendall
    Music: Harold Arlen
    Sound Editing: Becky Kendall
    Lighting Design: Daniel J. Anteau
    Costume: DieselX
    Performer: Courtney Meneses
    Assistant: Taylor Hicks

    Choreographer’s note: “My most heartfelt gratitude to Courtney who chose to explore this piece with the richness and honesty that she always brings to the stage.” “The ties that bind us to life are tougher than you imagine, or than anyone can who has not felt how roughly they may be pulled without breaking”  - Emily Bronte


    Choreography: Taylor Hicks
    Music: Odesza
    Lighting Design: Anthony B.A. Cruz
    Video Projections: AJ Cariño
    Performers: McKenzie Bradford, Stephanie Brenner, Carly Campell, Jocelyn Hanson, Kiana Harding, Katie Haxby, Taylor Hicks, Katie O’Loughlin

    Choreographer’s note: “You are the music while the music lasts.” - T.S. Elliott

  • Production Crew

    New Dances Director: Brian Jeffery
    Faculty Technical Director: Daniel Anteau
    Stage Manager: Meredith Mapes
    Assistant Stage Manager: Savannah Wilson
    Lighting Designers: Ryan Anderson, Daniel Anteau, Katie Bailey, Kyle Campbell, Jordan Crenshaw, Katie O’Loughlin, Nancy Ott, Megan Stanford
    Lighting Board Operator: Kenai Malay
    Sound Board Operator: Alex McCall
    Master Electrician: Mike Vanni
    Assistant Master Electrician: Kyle Campbell
    Projectionist: Nancy Ott
    Backstage Crew: Galina Deitz
    Costume Shop Manager: Denice Jewell
    Wardrobe: Savannah Wilson, Matthew Meyer, Nancy Ott, Lailani Cook, Kaeli Meno

  • Choreographer  & Designer Biographies

    Ryan Anderson, roving technical director, has been working in the Anchorage community for over 10 years. He is currently working with The Light Brigade as their production manager and technical guru but his most exciting work is with Momentum Dance Company where he works as a projection software designer creating interactive performance visuals. After enjoying New Dances, go check out his work at VOTH Hall at the PAC for Momentum Dance Companies show In Pieces on April 15th, 16th and 17th.

    Daniel J. Anteau received a B.A. from the University of Alaska Anchorage and his M.F.A from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in Lighting Design. He now serves as department chair, professor in design and technical director for the dance program. Professionally, Daniel’s lighting designs have been seen across Alaska & Hawaii, in New York City and internationally in Africa. For the past five summers Daniel served as technical director for Trollwood Performing Arts School in Moorhead, MN. In Hawaii, Daniel continues to stay active as lighting designer working with Manoa Valley Theatre on their January production.

    Katie “Kay Bay” Bailey is a lighting designing sexuality and gender historian with an obsession with Russia. Katie is thrilled to be working with Melissa Jabaay, Danteau, and Brian Jeffery one last time as an undergraduate before departing into the real world. She would like to thank Diet Coke and Nutri-Grain bars for making this design possible.

    Jordan Crenshaw (Lighting Designer) is a Theatre major in his sophomore year. He has taken on roles in multiple UAA productions including Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and 44 Plays for 44 Presidents. Jordan has also recently stage managed both Eurydice and Wolfpack Theatre’s production of A Steady Rain this year. Determined to light design since he was a child, Jordan is excited to utilize the knowledge he learned to create his very first design for New Dances 2016.

    Anthony B. A. Cruz is currently in his junior year at UAA, but a freshman Nursing student. Though his focus is on Nursing, he also has a minor in theatre with an emphasis on the technical side. Aside from performing onstage as an actor or dancer, he enjoys partaking in lighting design. His passion for lights extends from his curiosity as a performer on how lights can directly affect and assist in driving the mood of a piece and show.

    DieselX has had the joy of putting costumes on thousands of beautiful bodies over many, many years. Diesel and his trustworthy companion Sock Monkey often travel on fantastic adventures to exotic places far away as they wander the planet in search of the truth.

    Crystal Dosser is a senior in UAA’s Theatre program. She is a multi-talented, multi-modal artist that began her artistic pursuits in music, shifted to costuming, and morphed into dance. Recently she branched into film to produce her first screendance that was showcased at Momentum’s Dance on Camera, Northwest Regional ACDA conference, and the Anchorage Symphony concert ARTic Convergence.

    Racin Engstrom is a student and performer who was born and raised in Anchorage Alaska. She has a decade of experience performingOriental, Central Asian, and Silk Road Folkloric dances as well as many years training as a Dance Minor at UAA. Racin believes that dance is a holistic discipline and aspires to experience everything she can. Her future ambition is to learn, perform, compose, and dance for the rest of her life.

    Gabe Gray-Harvey is the owner/operator of Underground Dance Company, director of professional hip-hop troupe UDC HARDCORE and adjunct faculty for the University of Alaska’s dance program. With over 18 years of experience, Gabe specializes in hip-hop, pom, street jazz, tap, and contemporary choreography. Gabe graduated from West High School’s dance program and has worked for Alaska Dance Theatre, Arctic Gymnastics. He is National Dance Alliance and AACA dance & cheer safety certified, board member of the Alaska Spirit Coaches Association, and travels throughout the country as a nationally recognized dance and cheer choreographer and judge.

    Taylor Hicks is a lifelong Alaskan, originally from Ketchikan, where she trained in ballet since the age of four and jazz/modern since the age of 9 at Ketchikan Theatre Ballet. She will be graduating this spring with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sciences, majoring in Theatre with a dance emphasis. She has been involved primarily with UAA’s dance productions, performing and traveling numerous times with the UAA Dance Ensemble, as well as choreographing multiple times in performances such as Dance Ensemble in Concert and New Dances. She also recently spent a semester teaching at East High School under the Artistic Director of East’s Dance Contempo group as a part of her Arts in Education class, setting choreography on twenty-six dancers, the biggest group she has worked with to date.

    Melissa Jabaay is a former Theatre and Dance graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is currently Adjunct Faculty at UAA teaching both Modern dance and Musical Theatre. She is a teacher at Alaska Dance Theatre and works as their stage manager. She has been a lighting designer throughout Anchorage for Momentum Dance Collective, Alaska Dance Theatre, Anchorage Theatre for Youth, as well as at UAA. She was a former UAA gymnast and later the choreography and dance coach for the team for 6 years. She has worked in the lower 48 as dancer and supervisor for companies such as Busch Gardens, Carnival Cruise Lines, Minnie Madden Productions and Neil Goldberg’s Cirque Productions. She has three beautiful children and adores her husband of 17 years. She is pleased to be contributing to her seventh New Dances.

    Brian Jeffery hails from Chicago where he was active in the city’sperforming arts communities for over twenty years. He has previously served on faculty at Northwestern University, Columbia College Chicago and University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. As artistic director of XSIGHT! Performance Group for fifteen years his vision of exploring the amalgamation of theater, dance and the visual arts, has been consistently recognized by popular and critical acclaim. Jeffery created over fifty original multidisciplinary works for XSIGHT! and toured throughout the U.S. as well as Australia, Egypt, Cyprus, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Yugoslavia. Jeffery has premiered work on numerous professional companies internationally, notably Danz Abierta of Havana at the National Theater of Cuba, Trinity Irish Dance Company at the Joyce Theater New York City, Itinerant Theatre Guild at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Scotland, Lucky Plush Productions Chicago, and Ghana Dance Ensemble in West Africa. Jeffery has lectured and presented on many conferences including African Studies Association, American College Dance Association, Congress on Research in Dance and Society of Ethnomusicology. Jeffery is also part of Secrets Under the Skin, a collaborative multidisciplinary art installation that reflects upon religious rites and rituals linked between Ghana and Cuba as a result of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Secrets has been presented on numerous venues internationally since 2010.

    Katherine Kramer is thrilled to be back at UAA, where she enjoyed being a full time faculty member from 2012 to 2014. She is a performer, choreographer, educator, movement coach and producer and has built a long-standing career performing as a jazz tap dancer and musician, collaborating with many of the finest in both genres and specializing in coaching dancers in musicality and musicians in physicality. She is one of five artists to be awarded a 2010 Artist’s Innovation Award from the Montana Arts Council. In 2008 she received a Fulbright Grant, to work in Prague, CR. In 2008 she received a Creation Fund Grant from the National Performance Network, creating “Stop Look Listen,” which was performed in NYC at the historic Judson Church Theater. Her one-woman show, “Rhythms of the Heart,” toured from 1992 – 2000, including performances at Jacob’s Pillow and international festivals. In Havana, Cuba she has taught tap to Danza Contemporarea and Conjunto Folklorica de Cuba, and in Fortaleza, Brazil worked with Valeria Pinheiro and Co. Vata. She has conducted residencies and created choreographies at universities throughout the US and Canada and served as choreographer and movement coach for Robert Redford on his film, “The Horse Whisperer.”

    Becky Kendall is a choreographer, performer, and instructor who thrives on creating movement based in the collaborative approach. She is the Artistic Director of Momentum Dance Collective, as well as a Core4 member of the Light Brigade and a 2013 Rasmuson Fellow. Since receiving her Bachelors of Science in Health with a concentration in Sports Medicine, Becky has worked with numerous artists in New York, Colorado, Washington, and Alaska performing with Interweave Dance Theatre of Boulder, the Seattle Bridge Project, On The Boards productions, and many collaborations with local artists in the Anchorage area. Her work has been featured in productions by Momentum, the Light Brigade, West High School and East High School, and the University of Alaska Anchorage. She has taught modern dance for local schools and studios including Dance Spectrum Alaska and Alaska Dance Theatre, and currently serves as adjunct faculty for UAA.

    Katie O’Loughlin is a Technical Theatre Major with a Dance Minor who is currently completing her junior year in the program. She has been a performer in both New Dances 2014 and UAA Dance in Performance. Her choreography has been in New Dances 2015, UAA Dance in Performance, and now New Dances 2016. She has had the opportunity to be Sound Designer for UAA’s productions of Night of the Iguana, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and Eurydice. New Dances 2016 is her first time as a Lighting Designer. She hopes to use her skills to produce and design dance productions.

    Nancy Ott (Lighting Designer) is a Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Theater with a Technical emphasis in Scenic Design. Nancy hopes to use her passion for design to actively pursue the arts & strengthen Alaska’s artistic footprint in her local community. Recent credits include her scenic work for Stalking the Bogeyman and Eurydice, costume construction and scenic work for Land of the Dead, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, and Twelfth Night, as well as her assistant projection design work in M. Butterfly, and The Night of the Iguana. Additionally, this year marks the first year Nancy will participate as a Lighting Designer and the second year Nancy will participate as a dancer in New Dances.

    Megan Stanford (Lighting Designer) attends the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and is on exchange at UAA for the spring semester. She has had experience at UWEC as an Assistant Stage Manager for You Can’t Take It with You and Assistant Technical Director for The Marriage of Figaro and In the Next Room, or the vibrator play. At UAA, she was an Assistant Stage Manager for Eurydice. She is currently pursuing a career in theatrical design.

    Carmel Young was born and raised in South Carolina. After training several years for a professional ballet career, Carmel had a change of heart and life circumstance. She is currently pursuing a degree in psychology in hopes of working in the field. She has had opportunity at the UAA Dance and Theatre department to hone her skills as a choreographer and modern dancer.

  • Production Photos
    New Dances 2016, UAA Theatre and Dance, 2016
    New Dances 2016, UAA Theatre and Dance, 2016
    New Dances 2016, UAA Theatre and Dance, 2016
    New Dances 2016, UAA Theatre and Dance, 2016
    New Dances 2016, UAA Theatre and Dance, 2016
    New Dances 2016, UAA Theatre and Dance, 2016
    New Dances 2016, UAA Theatre and Dance, 2016
    New Dances 2016, UAA Theatre and Dance, 2016
    New Dances 2016, UAA Theatre and Dance, 2016
    New Dances 2016, UAA Theatre and Dance, 2016
    New Dances 2016, UAA Theatre and Dance, 2016
    New Dances 2016, UAA Theatre and Dance, 2016
    New Dances 2016, UAA Theatre and Dance, 2016
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