In the following biographies were accurate at the time of service on the Committee, but are no longer current.
Cal Anderson designed the first Izzies Awards. He was the founding art director and designer for in dance, a publication of the Dance Coalition, and taught Design at the San Francisco Art Institute. For a decade he designed all the posters, programs, and ads for the San Francisco Ballet, where he did sets and/or costumes for eight San Francisco Ballet productions, including the Fiftieth Anniversary Celebrations, Life – a Do-It-Yourself Disaster, Totentanz, N.R.A., Peter and the Wolf, Orpheus, Scarlatti Portfolio, and Love-Lies-Bleeding. He has also done projects for Pacific Northwest Ballet and Theater Flamenco, and has worked with Val Caniparoli, Carlos Carvajal, Adela Clara, Lew Christensen, Robert Gladstein, Lucas Hoving, Miguel Santos, Kent Stowell, and Jerome Weiss. He worked with Steven Steinberg on the design of exhibitions at the Opera House, Encore, and books for the SF Performing Arts Library and Museum.
Karen Attix, native of Oakland, has performed professionally with the companies of Kathryn Posin, Merce Cunningham, and Margaret Jenkins, and developed her own touring company, Dances for 1 and 2, with Virginia Matthews and guest composers. A recipient of two NEA Choreography Fellowships, she also worked as an Affiliate Artist in the states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Idaho. For the past 16 years, she has worked as an arts administrator developing a performing and literary arts program at UCSF and most recently, a marketing program at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center. She has served as a panelist on the California Arts Council Dance Touring Program and Organizational Development. Currently, she is training to be a Pilates personal trainer and mat teacher.
Molly Barrons graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in Dance. From 1989 to 1990 she studied at The Laban Centre for Movement Studies and Dance, in England. In 1992, at an International Improvisation workshop hosted by Jacob’s Pillow, she met Butoh master Koichi Tamano and his wife Hiroko, and since 1993 has trained and performed with them. In 1996 Barrons joined the Tamanos on a tour of Japan with Grammy Award-winning musician Kitaro, with performances in Tokyo, Mt Fuji, Osaka, Nigata, and Ise. In 2001 Barrons spearheaded Motor City Butoh, a weeklong workshop with the Tamanos at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. From 1999 to 2002 she was the Associate Producer of Dance Network’s San Francisco Butoh Festival. In 2002 Molly helped facilitate an article by Bernice Yeung entitled The Bizarre World of Butoh, a cover story for The SF Weekly. In 2004 she was interviewed for a documentary commissioned by KQED for Spark, a Bay Area arts program. Currently she facilitates Metropolitan Butoh, an independent network for Butoh information, and offers weekly classes called Mission Butoh.
Gail Barton has been on dance faculty at City College of San Francisco since 1980,
where she directs & choreographs for the College’s Folk & Ballroom dance groups. Her MA, Secondary Credential, & BA were earned at San Francisco State University. She has served on the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival judging panel, the California Arts Council dance panel, and as a Vice President for California Dance Educators Association (CDEA). In addition to serving for nine years as dancer, choreographer and Assistant Director for Khadra Ethnic Music & Dance Ensemble, Barton has performed with The SF Chamber Dancers, Pacific Ballet. and as a “super” with American Ballet Theatre, National Ballet of Canada & Stuttgart Ballet.
Sheila Baumgarten has worked in arts administration since 1982 including Shakespeare/Santa Cruz, Tandy Beal & Company, the New Pickle Circus, and Dance through Time. She is currently the Development Director for A Traveling Jewish Theatre. In addition to her service on the Izzies, Sheila served for four years as a member of the Northern California Hillel Board of Advisors and for five years as Co-chair of the Santa Cruz County Japanese Cultural Fair Committee. Over the years she has participated in numerous grants panels and community arts committees. For more than a decade she worked in Regional and Community Planning for the County of Santa Cruz.
Dudley Brooks is a choreographer, composer, and dancer, who is Artistic Director and co-founder of Run For Your Life!…it’s a dance company!, Associate Choreographer of Peninsula Ballet Theater, and Artistic Director of Voices/SF.
He has choreographed for City Summer Opera (San Francisco) and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has taught at the San Francisco School of Circus Arts (now The Circus Center) and served on their Board of Directors, and was Resident Choreographer and Stage Director for Bay Area Youth Opera. He performed with the Nikolais Dance Theater in NYC and with San Francisco Dance Spectrum, and has taught workshops and master classes in Ballet, Modern Dance, Mime, Improvisation, Composition, and Physical Comedy, throughout the United States and in Europe. He currently performs Balinese music with Gamelan Sekar Jaya. Mr. Brooks has served as a juror panelist for the Marin Arts Council, Theater Bay Area CA$H Grants, and the SF School of the Arts. He has a BA in Mathematics from UC Berkeley, and has tutored and taught Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science.
Brooke Byrne studied classical ballet at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and jazz, tap and musical theater at the Melodia Arts Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She double-majored in dance and theater at Bard College in New York and graduated with honors. Upon graduation, Ms. Byrne was invited to perform classical ballet and modern dance with Festival Ballet USA in England. In 1986 she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she performed with several choreographers and became a founding member of Moving Basis, a modern dance collective, and a member of Khadra International Dance Theatre, of which she is now Artistic Director. As Artistic Director, she choreographed many notable works, specifically The Snow Maiden, Are You My Mother? and Murmuro al corazon. She is also a founding member of Las Estrellas, performing Argentine boleadoras, and has performed Central Asian dances from the ancient Silk Route as a soloist with Ballet Afsaneh, and Tango A Media Luz. On the faculty of several Bay Area dance schools, Ms. Byrne teaches ballet, modern, character and folk dance to children and adults and specializes in early pre-school movement education to children as young as 15 months.
Susan Cashion has been with the Stanford Dance Division since 1972. She holds a BA and MA from the UCLA Dance Department, as well as an MA in Anthropology and PhD in Education from Stanford University. Her primary dance research areas are Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America. She is the co-founder of Los Lupeños de San José and has served as President of the California Dance Educators Association and Panelist for the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. She has received two Fulbright grants, an AAUW fellowship, an award from the Mexican Government for her contribution to the teaching of Mexican folklore within the United States, and was awarded an NEA Honor Award for pioneer work in the Convergence of Traditional Hispanic/Latino Music and Dance in the USA.
Since arriving in the US in 1995 from Taiwan, Chang has performed with critically acclaimed companies such as Ballet Afsaneh, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Gadung Kasturi Balinese Dance and Music, Harsanari Indonesian Dance Company, Chinese Folk Dance Association, and Westwind International Folk Ensemble, which she directed from 2001-2002. Following her passion, celebrating the harmony of world dance and bringing her diverse disciplines togethe, in 2008 she founded Wan-Chao Dance, an ethno-contemporary dance company which aims to create new works rooted in traditional dance forms. Her goal is to sensitize audiences to the human commonality, while embracing the diversity and beauty reflected in society through the language of dance.
Ruth Yafonne Chen, a Contributing Writer for Asian Week and a member of the Dance Critics Association, helped to launch Bay Area Celebrates National Dance Week in 1999. Trained in classical ballet, Chinese and modern dance, Ms. Chen is currently an ensemble member of the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company and General Manager for Chinese Cultural Productions. Ms. Chen danced with Unbound Spirit, the resident modern dance company of Asian American Dance Performances. She received her BA in English with Humanities Honors from Stanford University, where her studies culminated in a senior thesis on prophetic worship dance in 20th century American dance. An avid member of the Bay Area dance community, Ms. Chen has worked in various writing and administrative capacities for non-profit arts organizations including The San Francisco Ballet Association, ODC/San Francisco, Theater Artaud, Asian American Dance Performances, and California Lawyers for the Arts.
Mary Cochran was Assistant Professor at Mills College. She was a principal dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1984-1996. She directed Taylor 2, Taylor’s second company, during its ’98-’99 season. Ms. Cochran is a certified reconstructor of the Paul Taylor repertory and has staged numerous Paul Taylor works for Taylor 2 and for dance departments throughout the country. As a choreographer, Ms. Cochran has been commissioned to create works for the Oakland Ballet, Tenth Street Danceworks, Full Force Dance Productions, the University of Michigan, Purchase College, Southern Methodist University, Mills College, and Agnes Scott College. Her works have been produced in New York City, domestically, and abroad. Currently director of the Mills Repertory Dance Company, Ms. Cochran is the former Artistic Director and co-founder of NCNY Dance, and.directed the modern dance company of the Roanoke Summer Institute for the North Carolina School of the Arts. Ms. Cochran continues her performing career as a guest artist with Sara Hook Dances. Renowned as “an interpreter of Paul Taylor’s work who absorbs technique into her bones”, Ms. Cochran has performed and taught on every continent except Antarctica. Ms. Cochran has been a Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Michigan, Agnes Scott College, and at Mills during the ’97-’98 academic year. Additionally, Ms. Cochran was a member of the Nikolais Dance Theatre from 1981-1983 and trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts and with her mother, Jerry Bywaters Cochran.
Ben Collins has been a dance fan since 1962 when at age 15 he spent his hard-earned summer money to see Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev at the Seattle World’s Fair. He has lived most of his adult life in San Francisco where he has worked at Zuni Café, 544 Natoma Performance Gallery, and Project Inform. He serves on the board of Stephen Pelton Dance Theater and was the event chairman for the Izzies Committee for the 2004 awards ceremony.
Helen Dannenberg is a choreographer, performer, teacher and Certified Activity Program Coordinator. She performed with Michele Larsson, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, and Doug Skinner, among others. Her teaching has included Sonoma, Hayward, and San Jose State Colleges, as well as the Arts Conference at Star Island, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A recipient of several NEA Choreography Fellowships, she was an artist-in-residence with the Artworks Program of the Mt. Zion Institute on Aging. In a previous residency at a senior housing complex, sponsored by the California Arts Council, she directed residents in creating autobiographical performance pieces. She co-taught a workshop, The Courageous Body ™ for the Institute of Spirituality and Aging. Her work has been performed throughout the Bay Area as well as at Dance Theater Workshop in New York City. Ms. Dannenberg was a founding member of Circuit Network. She is a member of the advisory board of Legacy Oral History Project and was head of the Activity Department at a skilled nursing facility, at which she is now a social worker. She is interested in the continuum of her own and other dancers’ performing from young dancers through the middle years and on to elderhood.
John W. DeRoy is a longtime supporter of Dance in the Bay Area and the Izzies.
He is a chiropractor for dancers and sits on the advisory board of Kunst-Stoff Dance Company. His generosity to the dance community is demonstrated in many ways, from being a constant audience member to annually contributing flowers to the annual Izzies Award ceremony.
Zak Diouf is the founder and director of Diamano Coura West African Dance Company. Born in the African nation of Senegal, Dr Diouf received his PhD in Ethnomusicology from UC Berkeley. Dr Diouf has combined a brilliant career as a choreographer and performer with teaching. He has done extensive research into African music and dance along with choreographing some of the best dance and dramatic pieces for renowned companies such as African-American Dance Ensemble, Dimension Dance Theater of Oakland, CA, Harambe Dance Company, a variety of dance companies in New York, and Diamano Coura. Dr Diouf’s expertise has extended to consultancy on the Classical/African fusion choreography Lambarena with the San Francisco Ballet, and the Ballets of Utah, Florida, Indiana, Singapore, and South Africa. From 1958-62, Dr Diouf was director of the Mali Ensemble, a multinational company representing the unity of the West African countries of Mali, Senegal and Guinea. He became director of Les Ballets Africaines in 1963, and later the Senegalese National Dance Company, from 1964-68. In 1969 he joined the faculty of Southern Illinois University while working with Ms Katherine Dunham. Dr Diouf’s knowledge and expertise in African art and culture was so valued that in 1970 he was among performers invited to the White House Conference for Children. In June of 1996, Dr Diouf was one amoung hundred drummers selected to attend the World Drum for Peace Parade in Atlanta, Georgia, as a prelude to organizing the opening of the Olympics. Since 1973, Dr Diouf has taught at San Jose State University, Sonoma State University, University of San Diego, UCLA and UCSF, CSU Hayward, and Laney Community College in Oakland.
Austin Forbord‘s artistic and professional pursuits include documentary filmmaking, choreography, performing, photography, and videography. Austin co-directs the Rapt Performance Group with his wife Shelley Trott. Their work was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award for Performance in 2001 and Design in 2003. Austin has performed with a diverse group of local companies in addition to Rapt, including AWD, Scott Wells & Dancers, On-Site Dance Co, Kunststoff and Sara Shelton Mann/Contraband. He has created video backdrops for performances by Joe Goode Performance Group, Robert Moses’ Kin, Sara Shelton Mann/Contraband, Stephen Pelton, Erling Wold, and Motion-Lab. Rapt is also a film company, and Austin recently finished directing and editing dance films for Anna Halprin and Deborah Hull. Rapt is responsible for the critically acclaimed full length documentary, Artists in Exile: A Story of Modern Dance in San Francisco. Currently Austin is directing and editing two new documentaries, Bay Area Dance: The Early Years and Normal People, a film about Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina.
Carrie Gaiser is PhD student in Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include twentieth century ballet, dance historiography, and religion and performance in traditional and avant-garde Japanese dance (Noh and butoh). She holds a BA, summa cum laude, from Smith College, and in 2003 received an Andrew W Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies. Carrie also trained as a full-scholarship student at the Kirov Academy in Washington, DC, graduating with distinction under the tutelage of Alla Sizova. She danced professionally as a member of the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet (Paul Mejia, Artistic Director) from 1993-1997. She currently enjoys practicing flamenco, capoeira, and yoga.
Jill Guillermo-Togawa is a native of Hawai‘i. Her career as a dancer, choreographer, artistic director and arts administrator spans more than three decades. After receiving a BA in Dance from the University of Hawai’i, she continued her professional training In New York at the schools of all the major modern dance choreographers, taught at the Graham School and performed in the company of Saeko Ichinohe. Her formal training also includes hula, folk and classical Japanese, Middle Eastern, Butoh, and Balinese dance. In the 1980’s Ms. Togawa began to choreograph her own work, and explore artistic expression that would fully reflect her multicultural background. In 1992 she founded Purple Moon Dance Project which explored intimacy and desire between women. Her work has been presented in Hawai‘i, throughout the U.S., Vancouver and China. The New York Times described Ms. Togawa’s work as ‘radiant’ and ‘filled with a quiet joy’.
Rachel Howard writes about dance for the San Francisco Chronicle, Voice of Dance, and Dance Magazine. She began her career as a staff arts writer for the Santa Barbara Independent and the Orange County Register, and was the dance critic of the San Francisco Examiner from 2000 to 2002. She has served as a dance division panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the Village Voice. Her memoir about her father’s unsolved murder will be published by Dutton in January 2005. She has a website at www.rachelhoward.com.
Patricia “Gigi” Jensen was born in Colombia, South America, and raised in the US. Graphic designer and public school teacher by background, she co-founded Tango A Media Luz in 1998 with Argentine dance star Pampa Cortés, to present traditional Argentine dances. Gigi has worked with SF Ethnic Dance Festival, Bay Area Celebrates National Dance Week Steering Committee, Carnaval SF, and Theatre Bay Area’s CA$H Grant (dance) program. She is the publisher of the Bay Area Danceline Ebulletin, a weekly missive listing dance performances in the greater SF Bay Area.
Kimun Lee’s interest in dance, music, and other the arts goes back many years and has included positions on the boards of several local arts organizations, including Chanticleer and Film Arts Foundation in the past, and Chinese Performing Arts Foundation, San Francisco Ballet, and CAL Performances currently. Professionally, Lee is a business advisor.
Sue Li-Jue is a Bay Area native and has been dancing, choreographing, teaching and contributing to the dance community since 1985. With BA and MFA degrees in dance, Ms. Li-Jue’s extensive teaching experience includes 21 years as a Lecturer in dance in U.C. Berkeley’s Physical Education Program and professional dance studios. Her modern dance company, Facing East Dance & Music officially debuted in 1999, and since then she has created four full-length, multimedia productions inspired by her feminist and Asian roots. Her critically-acclaimed, multi-media production of “Rice Women” in 2000 was co-produced by Theater Artaud under the California Artist Advancement Initiative, and nominated for four Isadora Duncan (Izzie) Dance Awards in two years for Set Design and Ensemble Performance, with a win for Outstanding Ensemble 2000-2001. In 2004 she was awarded the coveted Irvine Foundation California Dancemaker Award for East/West Canvases: Questioning Beauty.
Raquel López studied flamenco dance in Seville, Spain with Matilde Coral and Rafael El Negro.
She performed with Rosa Montoya’s Bailes Flamencos, Cruz Luna Spanish Dance, and was a soloist with Los Flamencos de La Bodega at the Old Spaghetti Factory in San Francisco. She was Artistic Director of El Cuadro Flamenco and a guest lecturer in World Music and Dance at Sonoma State and Golden Gate University.
Raquel was Executive Director for Kitka and the Dance Brigade, and Artist Liaison for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She served on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Dance Series and was Chair of the Izzy Committee in 1995. Raquel served as a grants review panelist for the City of Oakland and the California Arts Council and was on the City of Oakland Funding Advisory Committee. In 1998 Raquel received an Isadora Duncan Dance Award in Costume Design.
Raquel has retired from performing and teaching flamenco dance. She now devotes her time to designing flamenco costumes.
Kitty Luce has been writing on dance and other performance arts for sfgate.com since 1998; her dance writing has also appeared in In Dance and the San Diego Union Tribune. Her dance training includes ballet, classical modern, and Butoh, and her major dance studies have been with the Oakland Ballet and the Mills College Dance Department. Until recently, she performed with Mary Armentrout and other local choreographers. She is interested in supporting and developing the audience for dance.
Hope Mohr is a choreographer and artistic director of Hope Mohr Dance, trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and began modern dance at Stanford University. She lived in New York City for eight years and danced with the Trisha Brown Dance Company and the Lucinda Childs Dance Company. Ms. Mohr has presented her choreography in New York at Movement Research at Judson Church, the Merce Cunningham Studio, the Construction Company, The Stable, in San Francisco’s West Wave Festival and ODC Pilot Series, as a Guest Artist at Stanford University, and at the American College Dance Festival. She brings a uniquely multi-faceted background to her work as a movement artist. Ms. Mohr teaches creative movement at California Cancer Care and the Palo Alto Community Breast Health Project.
Aliah Najmabadi is a performer and scholar of Central Asian and Iranian dance. Committed to the preservation and development of these performing arts practices, she travels extensively to Central Asia to study, and conduct fieldwork within the dance communities of Tajikistan. In 2008 Aliah created a dance resource & performance center in the Republic of Tajikistan through her ongoing work as program manager of the Tajik Dance Initiative NGO, a project of the Afsaneh Art & Culture Society. More locally, Aliah performed for ten years with Ballet Afsaneh and served as assistant director from 2005-2006. Presently Aliah dances with Wan-Chao Dance Company. Aliah is co-founder of Samaa Arts & Culture Foundation and dance program manager for Zambaleta World Music & Dance School in San Francisco. Aliah holds a B.A. degree in both World Arts and Cultures and Iranian Studies from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Performance from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, UK.
Kimberly Stinson Serrano is a choreographer, lecturer, performer and teacher. She holds a MA in Dance Education from Stanford University. Trained first in classical ballet, she also studied rhythm tap, jazz, contemporary dance and the dances of Hawai’i. Ms. Stinson Serrano has provided movement for American Musical Theatre of San José, CAFE Theatre, Opera Bravura, Pacific Ballet, Peninsula Youth Theatre, Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory, and West Bay Opera, among others. Her teaching style and knowledge of diverse dance forms recently earned her a position as an ARTHPATH artist-in-residence; a post enabling her to reach hundreds of school children through weekly dance sessions. She currently specializes in private sessions with actors, dancers, and athletes seeking to improve performance quality. She is founder/director of Oculus Danceworks and on the board of directors for the Carole Stinson Literacy Foundation.
Charlotte Shoemaker has been curating Dance/Screen at San Francisco Performances for the last seven years. She was a member of the jury for The Dance on Camera Festival, which is sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Dance Films Association in NYC. Before her immersion in dance performances and dance films, she was a sculptor, exhibiting in the US and Europe, teaching in various colleges and art schools, and curating art exhibitions.
Marty Sohl has been documenting dance through her photography for over twenty years. A professional ballet dancer for ten years, Marty was inspired to learn photography as a means of staying involved in the dance world she loves. Early in her photography career, she shot rehearsals in the dance studio and on stage, using only available light. Over the years, she has developed her own unique style of studio lighting. Marty has been official photographer for San Francisco Ballet for twenty years, and for San Francisco Opera since 1982. Her images of Lines Contemporary Ballet have become icons of the company. Marty has worked for American Ballet Theatre, Luis Bravo’s Forever Tango, Oakland Ballet, American Musical Theatre of San Jose, Cleveland San Jose Ballet, California Shakespeare Festival, and the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, as well as numerous other dance and theater companies. Her photos appear regularly in Dance Magazine and Opera News. In 1996, Marty received the Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Sustained Achievement for two decades of contribution to the San Francisco Bay Area Dance Community. Marty was the featured photographer for the Year 2000 Dance Magazine Calendar.
Debbie Smith is originally from Austin, Texas, but now makes her home in San Francisco. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. In her senior year, she received the Rappoport-King Fellowship to conduct research for a senior thesis project analyzing the aesthetic relationship between Arabic music and dance. She has studied and performed Middle Eastern dance since 1990, exploring regional dance styles from North African to Persian, and eventually specializing in Egyptian raqs sharqi and folkloric styles. She has performed at numerous theatrical venues and at seminar shows throughout the country. Since 2005 she has been a member of Al-Juthoor Palestinian Folk Dance Company. Debbie has worked for Dance Brigade’s Dance Mission Theater, a multicultural dance school and theater in San Francisco’s Mission district, since August 2001. As Program Manager she oversaw daily operations of the school and theater, as well as programming the theater’s spring and fall seasons and coordinating all aspects of production and publicity, serving dancers, choreographers, technicians and other artists from a wide range of dance styles and backgrounds. Currently she works full time as Cultural Events Coordinator for San Francisco’s Arab Cultural and Community Center, assisting with cultural program development, event management, grant writing, and publicity and marketing.
Kimberly Valmore has had the opportunity to study and perform with many talented choreographers and teachers including Mary Ann Kinkead, Kathleen McKlintock, June Watanabe, Michael Kelly Bruce, Molissa Fenley, Tim Wengerd and Donald McKayle. In 1992, Ms. Valmore received her MFA in Dance at Mills College. For the last 22 years, she has taught Ballet at various schools including East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Mission Dance, Danceavision, California Theater Arts, Academy Ballet, and Dance Connection Performing Arts Center. In addition to her being on staff at Danspace, Ms. Valmore holds the position of Professor of Dance at Diablo Valley College where she teaches technique classes and holds a lecture class in Twentieth Century Dance History.
Shaunna Vella teaches at St. Mary’s College of California, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, and various public schools around the Bay Area through Young Audiences. She graduated Magne Cum Laude from St. Mary’s College where she double majored in Dance and Psychology. She was the recipient of the Louis LeFevre Award for the Performing Arts in 2003. She continues to dance for local dance companies such as Liss Fain Dance, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Paufve Dance, Project Agora, Dance Ceres, and Davolos Dance Company. Her choreography has been seen at ODC Theater, Dance Mission Theater, and The Ashby Stage.
Tyese Wortham is the Programs Associate with World Arts West, the producers of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and serves as a member of the Programming Committee. She has acquired over 15 years of dance experience from hip-hop to modern, from West African to Afro-Cuban dance. Tyese has performed with various Bay Area dance companies of the African Diaspora including: Obakoso Drum & Dance Ensemble, Jaranon y Bochinche Afro-Peruvian Dance and Music and Rara Tou Limen Dance Company. Currently, Tyese is a member and collaborating teacher with Emese: Messengers of the African Diaspora. In 2007, Tyese served as a panelist for the San Francisco Carnaval King and Queen Competition and recently, for the Arts Council Silicon Valley Artist Fellowship program.
Libby Zilber is a Joint Artistic Director for San Francisco’s Theatre of Yugen and NOHspace along with Lluis Valls and Jubilith Moore. She began theater and movement training at the age of 10 with Minneapolis Children’s Theater Company, holds degrees in Theater and French from Lawrence University (1982) and is a graduate of The Drama Studio of London at Berkeley (1985). She began studying Japanese Noh and Kyogen dance-theater forms with Founder Yuriko Doi in 1986 and has toured nationally and internationally with the company and their repertoire of experimental fusion productions and Kyogen comedies. Recent projects include the role of Elizabeth / Monster Bride in Erik Ehn’s Frankenstein (2003/4), the presentation of Kyogen masters Mansaku-no-Kai from Japan (2003), the Marlin in Jubilith Moore’s adaptation of The Old Man and the Sea (2005), the Native American and Noh collaboration Moon of the Scarlet Plums (Crazy Horse) which was selected to perform at the World’s Fair in Japan (2005).