top of page



Artists in




Emerging Artist in Residence: Emma Quan Dewey

Emma Quan Dewey (any pronouns) is a dancer and choreographer based in Ramaytush Ohlone lands. Emma’s practice weaves together dance, oral history, archival research, and poetry to build worlds where she can process how identity and power structures live in the body. Emma’s work currently explores the embodied legacies of US empire in their Chinese lineage, and how these legacies interface with whiteness, assimilation, and citizenship structures within their Chinese and white identity. Emma holds a BA in Dance and Anthropology from Bowdoin College and has danced with Dancing Earth Creations, Aretha Aoki, Adanna Jones, Gwyneth Jones, and Lucia Gagliardone.


Emerging Artist in Residence: Ciarra D’Onofrio

Ciarra D’Onofrio (they/them) is a queer dancer, aerialist, and educator with a passion for using dance as a means of storytelling, social analysis, and community building. They have performed in redwood forests, deserts, cathedrals, and on trampoline walls, and most recently have danced here in the Bay Area with Zaccho Dance Theater, Epiphany Dance Theater, Olallie Lackler, and Helen Wicks Works. Their current work and choreography explore grief, the co-creation of queer identity, and how internal experiences and identities reside in both the body and in physical space. 


Established Artist in Residence: Karla Quintero

Karla Quintero is a Latin-American, female artist whose work explores intimacy, consumption, and biculturalism. Recent highlights include the dance film Flavedoom, which screened at the 2021 San Francisco Dance Film Festival (co-created with Shareen DeRyan) and the bilingual audio series "Danzacuentos: Voz, Cuerpo, Y Raíces" (; co-curated with David Herrera & Mario Ismael Espinoza for Bridge Live Arts' Anti-Racism in Dance Series). Her current practices include: a solo practice rooted in cross-genre improvisation, and a shared practice with collaborator Belinda He rooted in partnering. Karla also appears in the works of other artists, most recently including Gerald Casel, Catherine Galasso (NYC), Hope Mohr, Maxe Crandall, and Risa Jaroslow. Off-stage, she works at Pilates Done Differently and Bridge Live Arts.


Black Choreographers Festival Residency: Justin Sharlman

Justin Sharlman began his dance career at California State University East Bay dancing in many theatre and dance productions and studying contemporary, modern, and hip hop. Justin will be completing his B.A. degree in dance by the end of this year and after he will pursue his masters. Currently Justin is a lead choreographer for Covenant Church’s Worship in Arts Ministry, and he has been dancing with Dimensions Dance Theater since 2011. Justin wants to continue to develop his artistic voice and share it with the world.


Summer Residency: Antoine Hunter and the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival

Oakland native Antoine Hunter, aka Purple Fire Crow, is an award-winning internationally known African-American, Indigenous, Deaf, Disabled, choreographer, dancer, actor, instructor, speaker, producer and Deaf advocate. He creates opportunities for Disabled, Deaf and hearing artists, produces Deaf-friendly events, and founded the Urban Jazz Dance Company in 2007 and Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in 2013. Awards include the 2023 USA Artists Fellowship, 2022 Disability Futures Fellowship, 2021 Dance Teacher Award, 2019 National Dance/USA fellowship recognized by the Mayor of Oakland, 2018 inaugural Jeanette Lomujo Bremond Humanity Arts Award and 2017 Isadora Duncan (Izzie) for BAIDDF.

Hunter’s work has been performed globally and he has lectured across the U.S. including at Kennedy Center’s VSA, Harvard and Duke University, and the National Assembly of State Arts as an ambassador for social change. Hunter utilizes his company’s artistic talents to engage with audiences, empower Deaf and disabled communities, and advocate for human rights and access, working to end discrimination and prejudice. 


Kara Davis Headshot by Andy Mogg.jpg

Kara Davis/

project agora


In my choreography, I am drawn to the intersection of set material with improvisation because I feel the collision of predictability and random occasion most accurately expresses the trajectory of any given human life. My feeling body is far more creative than my conscious mind. When making work, I follow what feels right based on my connection to myself as well as the individuals I am working with, and a piece presents itself. I invite the dancers in front of me—human bodies in motion, marked with the chaos of memory, generational histories and herstories, and the impact of unseen outside forces—to enlist their intuitive impulses as we search for the shores of a piece’s arrival. In my process I enlist my collaborators’ differences as a source of expressive power inside the work’s subject matter. I will building work that will premiere in June 2020 at Dance Mission Theater.


Kara Davis, Co-Artistic Director of project agora, danced for Atlanta Ballet, Ohio Ballet, and Ballet Jörgen in Toronto, Ontario. She is a founding member of KUNST-STOFF and Janice Garrett & Dancers, both of whom she danced for ten years. Her choreography and dancing have received multiple Isadora Duncan Awards and nominations. Her choreography has been presented at the ACDA Nationals at the Kennedy Center, YBCA, SF MOMA, SF International Arts Festival, Bates Dance Festival, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Davis has taught and choreographed at LINES Dominican University and Training Program since 2005.

Established Artist Residency
Carmen Roman 2 by RJ Muna_edited.jpg

Carmen Roman


My work is deeply rooted in Afro-Peruvian culture. I use traditional dance genres within Afro-Peruvian culture as the basis to create and add movements inspired by modern dance and other dances of the African Diaspora. I am interested in the intersection of dance and spirituality, creating ritual through song, dance, and rhythm. I am interested in decolonizing space, spiritual practice, and the body. Performing in public spaces to reclaim and activate space. I explore within Afro-Peruvian dance aiming to connect to my roots and make Afro-Peruvian culture known across cultural boundaries.


Carmen was raised both in Lima, Peru, and in the Bay Area. She is the founder and artistic director of Cunamacué, a dance company that promotes the continuity of Afro-Peruvian culture. As a choreographer, her work is deeply rooted in Afro-Peruvian dance vocabulary fused with movements inspired by other dances of the African Diaspora and modern dance using her practice as an art form and vehicle for self-expression.  Carmen has published dance research in the African Performance Review (2013). In 2015-2016 she was awarded a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship in Dance to Peru. Her dance documentary “Herencia de Un Pueblo (Inheriting a Legacy )” shot in El Carmen, Peru was awarded Best Documentary and Best Cinematography at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival (2016). Carmen holds a B.A. in Dance from San Francisco State University and an MFA in Dance from Mills College.

Established Artist Residency
Audrey Johnson by BMBO Creations_edited.

Audrey Johnson


I make work with the belief that embodiment is a survival practice in the midst of climate, political, and human rights crises. I believe that movement is healing and generates transformation on the personal, cellular level, and in the collective, macrocosm. I create to remember my self, and to call in intuitive and ancestral knowledge. I make space for excavating unknown knowns, and I write a future into space that I want to be a part of. My work honors Black feminism in its praxis, and looks to the textures of Earth for physical memory.


Audrey‌ ‌Johnson‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌movement‌ ‌artist‌ ‌with‌ ‌roots‌ ‌from‌ ‌Plymouth and Detroit,‌ MI, ‌currently‌ ‌living‌ ‌in‌ ‌Berkeley, CA.‌ Her‌ work sources black feminist metaphysics, afrofuturism, time travel, geology, and joy as embodied resilience practices and survival strategies. Audrey‌ ‌currently dances with GERALDCASELDANCE, was‌ ‌a‌ ‌collaborator‌ ‌for three years with‌ ‌Harge Dance‌ ‌Stories‌ ‌under the artistic direction of Jennifer Harge (Detroit),‌ ‌and‌ ‌has‌ also‌ ‌worked‌ ‌with‌ ‌choreographers‌ ‌Biba‌ ‌Bell (Detroit),‌ ‌Dafi‌ ‌Altabeb (American Dance Festival),‌ ‌and‌ ‌Stephanie‌ ‌Hewett (San Francisco), among others.‌ Audrey‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌co-founder‌ ‌of‌ Collective Sweat Detroit and holds‌ ‌a‌ ‌BFA‌ ‌in‌ ‌Dance‌ ‌with‌ ‌Honors‌ ‌from‌ ‌Wayne‌ ‌State‌ ‌University.‌

Emerging Artist Residency
Kristen Rulifson.jpg

Kristen Rulifson


I am currently in research of decay and regeneration, and the in-between spaces of life and death. I am inspired by the erotic nature of soil, warmth, and dampness, and how these darks spaces of digestion serve us. How can one embody their own decay? How can we be with our shared, collective morbidity? As much of my understanding of these questions comes from lived experiences relating to  cancer, addiction, and loss, I am looking to termites, mushrooms, and salamanders as my teachers to research a process that is strongly rooted in memory, fear, and shame. I am inspired to make work that connects us with our humanity and interconnectedness with the environment. I strive to create spaces that surface visceral remembering and provide opportunities for integration of stories that don’t follow a linear narrative.


Kristen Rulifson is dance maker and wellness educator. She received her Bachelor's from UC Davis in Neurobiology Physiology and Behavior and Dramatic Arts (2014). She then worked as a health educator in Sacramento and developed a touring youth dance company largely composed of immigrants and refugees sharing their individual and collective stories through hip hop and spoken word. She has since trained in the Life-Art Process at the Tamalpa Institute and co-developed Naturally Expressive Leaders, an organization that offers Somatic Leadership camps for youth. Kristen shares her passion for dance as a Teaching Artist in schools and performer. She has collaborated and performed with Scott Wells & Dancers, Echo Theatre Suitcase, Piñata Collective, Artship, amongst others while co-directing an absurdist dance-theatre company called FloorPlay. Outside of the United States, her work has been received in Mexico, Turkey, and Canada.

Emerging Artist Residency
Erin Yen 3 by Sarah Cusson.jpg

Erin Yen


I am curious if understanding through the dancing body can help pave the way for a sustainable future with technology. Currently, I am considering the body as (itself) a piece of technology, one set out to absorb and make sense of all data with which it interacts. There is too much data, so what comes to the forefront are questions around balancing subjectivity and objectivity within any processing individual. Do I train towards expert expression of specifically tailored fantasies, or do I encourage pathways that challenge the breadth of individualized sensation within clarified worlds? In my work, we try both.


Erin Yen shares a personal practice which investigates one’s understanding of self and ‘other’ (in a growing age of technology.) She is a Bay Area transplant, bringing with her an eclectic movement training which begun in Chicago. She is lucky to have absorbed many grooves, incorporating styles from tap to ballet and Cunningham to Gaga in her body history. Erin holds a BFA with Distinction in Dance from The Ohio State University. She has performed works by artists Ohad Naharin, Bebe Miller, Johannes Weiland, and Eddie Taketa, and she has danced with companies such as Alvin Ailey and BalletMet. Erin is fluent in the Laban Systems of Movement Analysis, and was the first to use Labanotation to document a piece of Doug Varone’s work, Possession (‘94.) Her choreography continues to consider physical effort alongside logical design in hopes of clarifying the body’s relationship to continued technological processes. Clashes are imminent.

New Voices
Frankie Lee Peterson III Headshot by Dev

Frankie Lee Petersen III


.fLEE dance stands for the acronym fleeked, loving, enlightened & educating. The purpose is to bring glory to God the Father, the Son & the Spirit.


Frankie received his BFA from UNCSA & has trained with the Zion Dance Project, the Merce Cunningham Trust, The Dance Company Experience, Springboard Danse Montreal, Shen Wei Dance Arts & American Dance Festival. He has danced for Zaccho Dance Theater, Oakland Ballet, dawsondancesf, Helen Simoneau Danse, Antonio Brown Dance, Gaspard & Dancers, Rising Rhythm, Rawdance SF. He is an Izzie Award Nominee, Webby Award Winner & has choreographed for the Bay Area Ballet Conservatory, Gritty City Repertory Youth Ensemble, Alabama State University, Alvarado Elementary School, June Jordan School of Equity, Design Tech High School, Dance Mission Grrrl Brigade & Zion Dance Project. He was recently an Adjunct Professor at Mills College & also teaches for the Bay Area Ballet Conservatory, the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco, Dance Mission Grrrl Brigade, and LINES Dance Center.

Black Choreographers' Festival Residency
Natalya Shoaf.jpeg

Natalya Shoaf


i am a freelance movement analyst— as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher of my passion for movement, i focus on the embodiment of ideas as a way to tap into individuals interpretation of their lived experience through their innate movement.


Natalya Shoaf was born and raised in Southern California where she began her dance training and later attended Los Angeles County High School of the Arts. Natalya currently resides in the Bay area as she finishes out her senior year in the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA program at Dominican University of California.  She attended Springboard Danse Montreal in 2017 and now has had the opportunity to attend the Addo Platform summer intensive as a scholarship recipient. She has performed works created by, maurya kerr, gregory dawson, david harvey, katie scherman, bobbi jene smith, alex ketley, peter chu, ohad naharin, and many more.

Black Choreographers' Festival Residency

Jen Meller &
Lili Wecker


Our work dreams new futures. We look to dance-making to uplift queer, feminist identities, increase space for marginalized voices, and create avenues for female and gender-nonconforming bodies to be the subjects of our own lives. We seek connection between the ancient and the futuristic, asking questions about what the future could include if post-industrial, patriarchal capitalism did not regulate and contain our bodies, psyches and relationships. Constructing performances allows us to invigorate new self-conceptions and to populate a world onstage that is radically inclusive, cooperative and experiential, and privileges human need and connection between our somatic selves and the earth we are from and towards.


Jennifer Meller comes from a long line of visual artists and performers. She studied design at Parsons School of Design and music at California Institute of the Arts where her focus was on world music and dance. As a professional musician, she played and recorded with numerous artists and composed music for film and dance. She currently teaches Baroque Dance at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center and other Bay Area institutions, directs her own historical dance company. Lili Weckler was the recipient of a Fleishhacker Grant in 2018, was a participant in ODC’s Pilot 68 in 2017, and appeared in SPF Festival in 2016. Her work was written about in the SF Chronicle and the J Weekly. She holds an MFA from the California Institute of Integral Studies, attended the Lecoq School in Paris, toured with Bread & Puppet Theater, and founded HATCH Performance Collective. Her teaching history includes East Bay Gyrotonic, LINES Ballet, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, the Brightworks School, New Conservatory Theater Center, and for the SF Mime Troupe’s Youth Theater Program.

Creative Dialogue Residency 
with Randee Paufve

Claire Calalo Berry


My dance company, for change dance collective, has worked together for the past ten years. The deeply collaborative methods we have cultivated, allowing all of the dancers to act as choreographers and have ownership over the work, are sacred to me. The challenge I now face is how to be unafraid of my individual artistic vision, while also honoring the artistry and autonomy of my collaborators. I have

been intrigued by the ecological concept of pyriscence: the maturation and release of seeds, triggered by fire or smoke, and a larger theme around fire and it's transformational, destructive, and potential energies.


Claire Calalo Berry is the founder of for change dance collective, a dance company that seeks to make work through a process that reflects the ideals of socially conscious art. Calalo Berry graduated from Santa Clara University with degrees in Dance and Biology, and holds an MFA in Dance from the University of California at Irvine, where she studied with Donald McKayle, Loretta Livingston, Jodie Gates, and other esteemed faculty. There, she first began to cultivate a choreographic method she refers to as “democratic dance-making,” which attempts to explore deeply collaborative practices within the context of professional concert dance. She teaches at the Performing Arts Academy of Marin and has been an Adjunct Lecturer in modern dance and

choreography at Santa Clara University. Her professional performance credits include works by Tandy Beal, Angela Demmel, Sue Li Jue, Nina Haft, Nhan Ho, Kristin Damrow, and Lauren Baines.

Creative Dialogue Residency 
with Nina Haft
Zackary Forcum
Frank Shawl Residency
Molly Rose-Williams
Frank Shawl Residency
Veil of Water 1--Aileen_edited.jpg
Frank Shawl Residency
Urban Jazz Dance - Antoine Hunter
Deaf Dance Festival Residency



Established Artist Residency

Byb Chanel Bibene | Embodiment Project | Epiphany Dance Theater | Megan Nicely


Emerging Artist Residency

Liv Schaffer | randy reyes

New Voices Residency

Rebecca Morris

Frank Shawl Residency

Jessica Damon | Wax poet(s) | Andrew Merrell & Shaunna Vella

Black Choreographers Festival Residency

Shawn Hawkins | Joslynn Mathis Reed

Deaf Dance Festival Residency

Urban Jazz Dance/Antoine Hunter


Established Artist Residency

Erika Chong Shuch | Katie Faulkner


Emerging Artist Residency

Julie Crothers

New Voices Residency


Frank Shawl Residency

ka.nei.see collective | Nol Simonse

Black Choreographers Festival Residency

Visceral Roots Dance | Dazaun Soleyn

Deaf Dance Festival Residency

Urban Jazz Dance/Antoine Hunter


Iu-Hui Chua

Xochitl Colmenarez

Kim Ip

Dohee Lee

Mix'd Ingrdnts

Karla Quintero

Simpson/Stulberg Collaborations



Fog Beast | Lisa Hyde

Mid to West Dance Collective | Jessi Barber | Melanie Cutchon | Emmeline Gonzalez-Beban & Ramon Pulido


Christy Funsch | Lauren Baines | Mariah Steele | Heidi Carlsen | Claudia Anata | Aura Fishbeck | Katherine Hawthorne



Anne-Rene Petrarca | Peling Kao | Fog Beast


Rebecca Wilson | Troy Macklin | Ashley Trottier & Jochelle Pereña | Kevin Paul Hockenberry


Kate Jordan | Stranger Lover Dreamer | Tanya Chianese | Tyler Eash | Daria Kaufman

Rogelio Lopez



Nina Haft | Carol Kueffer


Paufve Dance | Dana Lawton


little seismic dance

Jane Schnorrenberg & Kegan Marling


ahdanco | Aileen Kim | Marcia Cantillana


Mo Miner | Nina Haft & Co.


Dandelion Dance Theater


Valerie Gutwirth | Nadia Oka 

Janet Collard | Anne-Lise Reusswig

Past AIR
bottom of page