Past Collaborator Bios

Gudbjorg Halla Arnalds (performer) grew up in Reykjavík, Iceland, where she began studying at the Icelandic National Ballet School. In New York Gudbjorg has performed with Daniel Charon and Helen Simoneau as well as being a company member of VIA Dance Collaborative for several seasons. Gudbjorg was awarded the Kenan Fellowship at Lincoln Center Institute in 2007 which allowed her to further her choreographic endeavors. She has performed her own work in several venues in New York and her evening length work Casa Susanna (a collaboration with composer Justin Pointdexter) was performed at the Clark Theater. Gudbjorg holds a B.F.A in modern Dance from North Carolina School of the Arts and continues to enjoy teaching Pilates to the fine folks in Brooklyn Heights.

Leanne Darling (violist/composer) has appeared with virtuoso oudist Simon Shaheen in Carnegie Hall, with poets Robert Bly and Clarissa Pinkola-Estes at the Omega Institute, and with the Cedar Lake Ensemble’s premiere performance in Chelsea. Her work on Toy Box Theatre’s “The Landlord” earned her the Best Original Music award from the New York Innovative Theater Awards in 2007. She has worked with choreographers Jodie Gates and Ann Robideaux. A classicaly trained violist, Darling now specializes in Arabic music, jazz, blues and composes her own repertoire for solo viola and loops. The CD release party for her debut album, “Spiral” will take place June 6 at the Brooklyn Conservatory.

Cheri Paige Fogleman (performer) holds a BFA from North Carolina School of the Arts. She was a founding dancer in Shen Wei Dance Arts, performing at the American Dance Festival, The Kennedy Center and Switzerland’s STEPS Dance Festival. Cheri was the recipient of the Terry Sanford Scholarship at the American Dance Festival in 2000. In New York, Cheri has been seen dancing with VIA Dance Collaborative, Maryanne Chaney, Alethea Adsitt, Emily Tschiffely, and Aynsley Vandenbroucke. She is also persuing acting (having completed a two year Meisner technique program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio) and has just been cast as a lead in an indi feature film, Deus Ex, to begin filming in Philadelphia, May 2008.

Geoff Gersh (Guitarist/Composer) explores the sonic boundaries of the electric guitar with and without the aide of electronic devices and found objects. He performs with various bands in and around the NYC area that range in styles from singer/songwriters to ambient/improv/experimental groups. Geoff has composed music for installations by painter David Stoupakis that have been shown at galleries in Los Angeles. He has worked with choreographers Robert LaFosse, Cynthia Oliver, Karen Graham, Lawrence Goldhuber and Benoit-Swan Pouffer. In May of 2005 Geoff spent a month in Greece & Germany working with composer Jonathan Bepler on video artist Eve Sussman’s new piece, The Rape of the Sabine Women, which was premiered in NYC in February 2007. In 1999, Geoff had the opportunity to study the shamisen with Kiharu Nakamura for 2 years and appeared on Japanese TV with her multiple times. Currently, Geoff is the full time zither player for the Off-Broadway production Blue Man Group in NYC and has performed for the Chicago and Las Vegas shows as well. Geoff has received grants from Meet the Composer, American Music Center, New York Foundation for the Arts and a Bessie Award for his collaborative score for Cynthia Oliver’s SHEMAD.

Designer Jenny Lai heads an experimental studio called NOT that combines artistry and function to create a living wardrobe. She designs both a ready-to-wear line – for those that perform daily- and custom performance wear – for those that perform on stage. Prior to starting her own brand, Jenny strove to experience design from all different angles of the industry. She studied traditional artisans’ techniques in Mexico city, designed jewelry in Rwanda for a women’s cooperative, and apprenticed with Viktor & Rolf in Amsterdam and Boudicca in London.

Djamila Moore (performer) grew up in Kohala, Hawaii where her first dance training was in Hula. She received her BFA in Contemporary Dance from North Carolina School of the Arts. She has studied and performed at the American Dance Festival and Impulstanz in Vienna, Austria. Djamila is a founding member of VIA Dance Collaborative and was a company member of AMDaT. Currently she also collaborates and performs with Liz Sargent. By day she is a teacher of three year olds and is also working towards a degree in Landscape Architecture. This is her fifth season performing with AVMG.

Naoko Nagata (costume designer) has established herself as one of the industries most versatile and unique costume designers. She has collaborated with an impressive list of talent, including David Dorfman Dance, David Neumann, Doug Elkins Dance Company, Bebe Miller, Zvi Gotheiner and Dancers, Jeanette Stoner, Amos Pinhasi, Jeanine Durning, Sara Pearson and Patrick Widrig and Dancers, Cherlyn Lavagnino, Janis Brenner, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Nina Winthrope, Hetty King, Diversions in the United Kingdom, Mollie O’Brien, Nami Yamamoto, Curt Haworth and Karl Anderson among many, many others. Her background is biochemistry. What changed her life is a long story. Nowadays, her laboratory is a rehearsal studio.

Mathew Pokoik (company photographer) is a photographer, curator, educator, and arts administrator. He is the co-director, with Aynsley Vandenbroucke, of Mt. Tremper Arts. Since 1999 Mathew has been a Teaching Artist with Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education where he teaches Aesthetic Education. He is a member of LCI’s Collaborative where he conducts professional development for classroom teachers and has taught Aesthetics at numerous colleges including Queens College, SUNY New Paltz, Bank Street College, St. John’s University, and CCNY. He lectures at many museums around the NY area, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the International Center of Photography among others. In 2001, two portfolios of his photographs joined Lincoln Center Institute’s repertory in the visual arts, and since have been studied at schools and universities throughout the New York Metropolitan area. Mathew received a B.A. in photography from Bard College, where he studied with Stephen Shore. He also studied privately with Frederick Sommer.

Bobby Previte  is a performer/composer whose work explores the nexus between composed and improvised music. One of the seminal figures of the 80s “Downtown” scene, his music has been labeled as “utterly original,” by the New York Times, while The New Yorker says his ensembles “speak in visionary tongues,” and the Village Voice calls him “a serious composer with the heart of a roadhouse rocker.” Leading a plethora of diverse ensembles from his instrument, the drums, he travels constantly, presenting his music at clubs, concert halls, and festivals with musicians from around the world. He has collaborated with many of the leading lights in and beyond the world of music – from master composer John Adams to rock icon Tom Waits to the legendary filmmaker Robert Altman.

Vicky Shick has been involved with the New York dance community for over three decades as performer, choreographer and teacher. During her six years with the Trisha Brown Company she received a “Bessie” for performance. She has also worked and collaborated  with many other performers and choreographers. In NYC , Shick teaches at Hunter College, for the Trisha Brown Company and for Movement Research. She is a 2006 grant recipient from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and a 2008-9 Guggenheim Fellow.

Liz Sargent (costume designer) works as a designer, administrator and director. As a costume designer Liz has worked with AVMG, Djamila Moore’s garden pieces and Daniel Charon among others. Liz’s performance installations have been produced by Danspace Project City/Dans, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Sitelines, Dance Theatre Workshop’s 40th Anniversary and at The Chocolate Factory. Her new piece will be shown at Chez Bushwick’s CAKE on June 27th. Liz is also designing with Zack Morris for an artistic haunted house at Abrons Art Center.

K. Tanzer (performer) is an interdisciplinary theatre-maker and director who has been creating original theatre for ensembles since 1994. In 1996, she founded Collision Theory, an award winning interdisciplinary performance company, and served as co-Artistic Director until 2005. Currently, Tanzer is the Director for Exhibit A Performance Group, which she co-founded in 2006. Exhibit A recently premiered Lock 10 with MacArthur Fellow Ken Vandermark. It was adapted from Kathy Hendrickson’s play Lock 10, and presented by Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater. Tanzer is currently developing an untitled multi-media performance piece in collaboration with fiction writer, and long-time collaborator, Patricia Eakins. In addition to her artistic work, Tanzer teaches at The New Actors Workshop and the Laban Institute of Movement Studies, among other institutions and organizations. She is also a Certified Movement Analyst.

Rebecca Warner (performer) grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia with a BA in Neuroscience. She dances with RoseAnne Spradlin, Beth Gill, Stacy Grossfield, Aynsley Vandenbroucke, Karen Harvey and Megan Byrne. She has performed with Sarah Michelson, Deganit Shemy, Neta Pulvermacher, Muna Tseng, Mark Morris, the Metropolitan Opera, Diana Crum and Buck Wanner. She sings with We Are Your Friends (a capella group) and choreographed a story ballet for the National Yiddish Theatre. Her work has been shown at the 2011 Meredith Monk Benefit, La MaMa Moves Festival, CATCH, and Movement Research at the Judson Church.

Kristen Warnick (performer) has been working with AVMG since 2005. She earned her BA in Dance and Anthropology from the University of Oregon in 2002. In the year following, she danced with Margo Van Ummersen Dance Company in Eugene, OR. In May 2005, she became a Certified Movement Analyst from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. She will graduate as a Licensed Massage Therapist from the Swedish Institute this August.

John Wieczorek (percussionist) has been playing and studying various styles of contemporary, ethnic and electronic percussion for the last 30 years. He’s fortunate to have performed w/ the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, Bassists Gary Peacock & Mark Dresser, Bansuri Flutist Steve Gorn, Tablaji Pandit Samir Chatterjee, Layne Redmond’s “Mob of Angels”, Saxaphonists Joe McPhee & David Rothenberg and the Epiphany Project.