Spirit & Bones Artists Bios
Artistic Director, Sarah Bush creates her inimitable style of movement by combining her training in ballet, modern, hip hop, jazz, Afro-Caribbean, and contact improvisation. She has performed in the Bay Area since 1997, and since 2007 she has been the Artistic Director of Sarah Bush Dance Project (SBDP). Her work has received awards from Curve Magazine and BayAreaDanceWatch. Sarah is a member of Dance Brigade, has choreographed for Mona Khan Company, Oakland’s AXIS Dance Company, Destiny Arts Center and The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep and been a guest performer with Bill T. Jones. Sarah is currently the Berkeley Art Center’s 2018 Dancer In Residence. She regularly is a guest artist in schools and offers private lessons and group classes throughout the Bay Area.
Assistant Director, Rose Huey is a free-lance dancer and choreographer based in Oakland, CA. Rose grew up dancing at Destiny Arts Center and later graduated summa cum laude with a BA in History and American Studies from Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN. Rose has danced with Ananya Dance Theatre in Minneapolis, MN, and locally with Mix’d Ingrdnts, BANDALOOP, AKDP, Kim Ip, Chris Black, Joslynn Mathis-Reed, Bianca Cabrera/Blind Tiger Society, and others, touring both nationally and internationally. She currently dances for Hope Mohr Dance. Spirit and Bones is Rose’s second production as the Assistant Director of Sarah Bush Dance Project. Additionally, Rose is a co-founder of ragbag, a creative collective started in 2016. She also teaches grounded and vertical dance throughout the Bay Area.
Anne Bluethenthal’s choreography is respected for its formal sophistication, its eloquence, and its ability to effortlessly bridge the worlds of formal concert dance, political art, and ritual. Through her choreography and community collaborations, Bluethenthal has presented work on subjects such as Israel & Palestine, globalization, the environment, genocide, the gift economy, and gender. She has received awards and recognition from Curve Magazine, the SF Chronicle’s Best of the Year, SF Weekly’s Black Box, the SF Bay Guardian’s Goldie Award for Achievement in Dance, and the Rhinette Award for Best Choreography. Bluethenthal co-founded and co-directs the Center for Art and Social Justice and founded and produced the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Dance Festival as well as the Dancing the Mystery series, a festival of dance, music and poetry celebrating women’s spiritual traditions. Bluethenthal is on the faculties of the MFA Creative Inquiry Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies and the MA Women’s Spirituality Program at Sofia University. “… Her work is brainy, her own, and full of soul …” – Rita Felciano
Richelle Donigan is a Masterful Life Coach, Teacher and Spirit Guide. She has been in the work and study of transformation, yoga and Meditation for 20 years. But first last and forever there is DANCE. Richelle has danced across stages and continents for more than 40 years. She is a member of the revolutionary dance company Dance Brigade, she performed on numerous occasions with Robert Henry Johnson’s Dance Company, was a featured dancer in Warrior Marks a film by Alice Walker and Pratibha Parmar. Richelle choreographed and danced on the BBC series “The Real McCoy” from 1990-1993. She performed in award-winning music videos with Seal, Elton John and proudly opened Prince’s club Erotic City in Minneapolis. She has performed her solo work across Europe, Africa, India & the US. Richelle is filled with gratitude for the grace that has allowed her to continue to bring forth her gift. At 60 she dedicates her movement to all of her ancestors whose lives were taken yet whose spirits fly and inform every whip of her head, curve of her back, clap of her hands & sweep, turn and pound of her feet. She walks deep and she knows who and whose she is. Richelle says, “I am Dance all else follows.”
Laura Elaine Ellis maintains a non-stop career of performing, choreographing and producing in the Bay Area. She has toured nationally and internationally as a principal dancer with Dimensions Dance Theater, and she is co-founder and executive director of the African & African American Performing Arts Coalition, co-presenters of the Black Choreographers Festival: Here & Now. Ellis’ artistic career spans 30 years, and she has worked on projects with amazing artists — Deborah Vaughan, Joan Lazarus, Anne Bluethenthal, Robert Moses, Nora Chipaumire, Robert Henry Johnson, Joanna Haigood, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Kim Epifano, Christy Funsch, and most recently, Jo Kreiter. Ellis has been awarded an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Outstanding Individual Performance and numerous funding awards, including the Dance USA/Irvine Foundation Dancemaker Grant and the Haas Creative Work Fund for her choreographic and producing projects. Ellis has served 25 years on faculty for the dance departments at the Athenian School and CSU East Bay. She serves as a board member for CounterPULSE Theater, Robert Moses’ Kin, and Oaktown Jazz Workshops.
Since 1979 Joanna Haigood has been creating work that uses natural, architectural and cultural environments as points of departure for movement exploration and narrative. Her stages have included grain terminals, a clock tower, the pope’s palace, military forts, and a mile of urban neighborhood streets in the South Bronx. Her work has been commissioned by many arts institutions, including Dancing in the Streets, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Walker Arts Center, the Exploratorium Museum, the National Black Arts Festival, and Festival d’Avignon. She has also been honored with the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Cal/Alpert Award in Dance, the US Artist Fellowship, and a New York Bessie Award. Most recently, Haigood was a recipient of the esteemed Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. Joanna has had the privilege to mentor many extraordinary young artists internationally at the National École des Arts du Cirque in France, the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in England, Spelman College, the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, the San Francisco Circus Center and at Zaccho Studio.
Dominique Hargrove was born and raised in Chicago. She began training at Chicago high school for the Arts (ChiArts) and Chicago Multicultural dance center under Homer Hans Bryant. While in high school she attended Alonzo King LINES ballet summer intensive in 2012, where she then became a part of the four year BFA program in 2013. She graduated, Cum Laude, from the program in May 2017. She has performed in works by Amy Seiwert, Keelan Whitmoore, Michael Montgomery, Gregory Dawson, Alivia Schaffer, and many more. Since graduating, she has had the opportunity to dance with Alive and Well Productions, Call-It-Art, and currently Sarah Bush Dance Project.
Courtney Hope wandered up to the Bay Area and received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of San Francisco. Since then she has spent her time dancing, working in a chemistry lab and taking pictures of it all. Her dance credits include PUSH, Sarah Bush Dance Project, David Herrera Performance Company, Khala Brannigan, SoulSkin, Jennifer Parfillio and FullStop dance, amongst others. She is cofounder (along with Rose Huey and Nina Wu) of a creative collective, ragbag.
Rebecca Johnson started her modern dance training on the East Coast in 1985 with Moving West Dance Company at the age of 14 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Dance and English Literature from Rutgers University. While in New Jersey and New York City she performed in companies directed by Michael Gary and Val Suarez. Rebecca earned her Master of Education degree from the University of New Hampshire. She relocated to California in 1999 and since then has performed with Nina Haft & Company, Paufve Dance, Della Davidson, Abigail Hosein’s ahdanco, Rogelio Lopez & Dancers and Dana Lawton Dances amongst others. Since 2015, Rebecca has been the Executive Director of Shawl-Anderson Dance Center. She has also served as faculty at Saint Mary’s College in Orinda, CA for the Master of Fine Arts program in Dance.
Courtney King graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2015 with a double degree in Communications and Performing Arts & Social Justice with an emphasis in Dance. King has attended Impulstanz, studied Gaga in Tel Aviv with Ohad Naharin, taken workshops with Miguel Gutierrez, and attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance Summer Intensive. She dances and choreographs in the Bay Area for Chlo & Co Dance. King has shown work in the National Queer Arts Festival, the San Francisco International Arts Festival, ODC’s Pilot Program, and West Wave Dance Festival.
Joan Lazarus has performed in the works of Alonzo King, Cliff Keuter, Ellen Bromberg, Mark Morris, Victoria Morgan, Krissy Keefer, Frank Shawl, Bill DeYoung, Toni Pimble, Kathleen, McClintock, Richard Colton, John LeFan and Alan Ptashek. She has been on the dance faculties at University of Oregon, Mills College, San Francisco Ballet, Dance Circle of Boston, The Princeton Ballet, RoCo Dance and Shawl-Anderson. Lazarus has been awarded the Bay Area National Dance Week’s Contribution to the Field of Dance Award (2006), Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Sustained Achievement (2012) and SF Chronicle “2011 Dance MVP.”
Sue Li Jue has been teaching and choreographing in the Bay Area since 1986. She holds a Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degree from UCLA and Mills College, respectively. This year marks her retirement after 32 years of dance teaching at UC Berkeley — these last three years as the Director of Physical Education. Sue is the Artistic Director of Facing East Dance & Music whose achievements include an Izzie Award for Best Ensemble, California Dancemaker Award, James Irvine Artist Advancement Initiative, grants from Zellerbach Community Arts, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, CA$H, Clorox, and more, as well as touring nationally and internationally. This July she was recognized by the Mayor and City of Berkeley for her many years of service in the arts. She is thrilled to be working with Sarah Bush and is thankful to still be dancing.
Elvia Marta is a native of Panama. Elvia has studied dance with many teachers on the East and West Coast. She has performed with Raymond Sawyer, Impulse, Roberta Flack Live, Ntezake Shange, Rhiannon, Duncan McFarland, Enrico Labayen, Summerfest, San Francisco Opera Ballet,and Laurel Burch. She choreographed for Black Choreographer Festival for two seasons and is a recipient of an Isadora Duncan award for lifetime achievement. Elvia has been teaching in the Bay Area for over 40 years. She was the Director of the dance department at Asawa SOTA until her retirement in 2016 after 34 years of service. She is presently teaching modern/jazz/blues at ODC.
Priscilla Regalado was a dancer, teacher and choreographer in the Bay Area for 30 years before retiring in 2008. She was on the faculty of The American Conservatory Theatre for 22 years and University High School for 11 years. She also taught Jazz, Latin Jazz, and Salsa at studios in the East Bay and San Francisco for many years. She has choreographed for many dance companies, including her own, and theater companies, such as ACT, Traveling Jewish Theater and Brava. A native of Los Angeles, she received her BFA from Cal Arts and completed graduate studies in Dance Ethnology at UCLA. Currently she partners with international students and scholars to practice conversational English. Priscilla’s primary means of self expression these days is writing.
Jane Schnorrenberg has performed and toured in the companies of HT Chen (NYC), DanceArt Co. (UK/US), Lily Cai (SF), Lazarus/DANCE, Tracy Rhoades’ Exploding Roses, Nancy Karp + Dancers and numerous other San Francisco Bay Area companies. A longtime dancer/collaborator with her beloved friend and mentor, the late Della Davidson, Jane performed with her dance company from 1986 to 2007. Her most recent work was with Kegan Marling, in their shared company, SPOON. Jane is delighted to be working with Sarah, and this phenomenal cast! And of course, is excited to dance again with Laura Elaine Ellis, Joan Lazarus and Sue Li-Jue, since they have not danced together since the last millennium! A bay area native, she received her BA in Dance from Mills College and her MFA in Choreography at UC Davis.
Frances Teves Sedayao, a native of the Philippines, is a multi-disciplinary dance artist who has performed and toured with wonderful Bay Area notables over the past 20 years. She has done collaborative and independent dance works both locally and internationally and is an alumna of Alvin Ailey American Dance School and CSU East Bay where she is a lecturer. She’s a Serpent Source grant recipient, Featured Dance Artist for SF Apature, and a Dance Resident of Art OMI International in NY. Her current projects include works with Bandelion Dancetheater, Anne Bluethenthal, Slovakian touring project – Bonjour Monogramista, and Alleluia Panis’ Kularts. Her current work, ‘I Am But a Mighty Bird’ premiered in SF in 2017 and was revamped in 2018 for the Queer Arts Festival/ Kreatibo. Frances is deeply honored to finally work with Sarah Bush and perform amongst an amazing group of women, including 3 of her most influential teachers and mentors: Anne Bluethenthal, Laura Ellis (her very first dance teacher), and Sue Li Jue.
Nina Wu is a second-gen, Chinese-American, multi-disciplinary artist floating between dance and visual art. Studied in math, art, and education, with interests in identity, mechanics, and play, Nina spends her time designing math games for kids and creating art, especially in collaboration with friends. She is a co-founder (with Rose Huey and Courtney Hope) of the creative collective, ragbag. You can find her dancing for a variety of companies and projects around the Bay; present and past credits include: Sarah Bush Dance Project, Mix’d Ingrdnts, Five Feet Dance, Fullstop Dance, AKDP, Duniya Dance & Drum. She is also a member of CTRL+SHFT, a really rad art collective.
Original Music by:
Skip The Needle features five performers who lead other local bands: Kofy Brown (drums) of the Kofy Brown band, Katie Cash (guitar) of Dolorata and Year of the Fist, Shelley Doty (guitar) of the Shelley Doty X-tet, Vicki Randle (bass), formerly of The Tonight Show and currently backing Mavis Staples, and Julie Wolf (piano) music producer and renowned side-player. Skip the Needle is the collective effort of these five bandleaders, each a lead singer, multi-instrumentalist, performer and songwriter. Lead singing duties rotate among the members while the others add background vocals. The songs are collectively written to showcase each member’s unique contributions, bringing together rock, funk, soul and fusion in an amalgam that rocks hard and is also musically diverse and complex; carries a strong, socially conscious message but wants everybody to party while hearing it. The band self describes: “If Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Chrissie Hynde and Chaka cloned a baby, this band would be the result. Skip the Needle is reckless, eclectic, fearless and fun, dedicated to love, and like nothing you’ve ever heard before.”
Kofy Brown, an Oakland, CA musician, singer and songwriter has been a pioneering force in the Bay Area’s hip-hop soul scene since the early 90’s. Leading her band on tour paving the way for other indie artist to trek forth, the KBB have spread the gospel of Brown’s unique style of soul, rock, funk and more all over North America, Canada and Europe. Kofy Brown has thrived by following her own creative path. She and her band the KBB have developed a reputation for putting on an outstanding live show. Her music is a soulful combination of funk, rock, blues and hip-hop topped off with a singing and rap style she calls word song.
The music of Katie Cash harkens to a time when rock n roll inspired revolution. In the manner of legends, she handles her guitar with an unparalleled command, embodying the music with every fiber or her being — hair flung as staccato punctuations to the heart she wears on her sleeve. She owns her vocal delivery, swinging you between high & low in an array of lustful richness and provocative rhythms. Perhaps most known for her wellloved band and brainchild Dolorata, she currently shares lead vocal and guitar duties in Oakland based bands Year of the Fist, & Skip the Needle, gliding between punk rock and rock n soul with graceful authenticity her fans have come to love.
Labeled “a future legend” by one reviewer and a “guitar goddess” by another, Shelley Doty is considered one the best independent performers in the business. Watching her perform is awe-inspiring due to her masterful guitar licks, soulful voice and charismatic stage presence. As a songwriter, she creates articulate songs for today by sprinkling them with respect for the music of her youth (rock, R&B, jazz, funk). Shelley sings with passion and plays with an authentic raw energy that cuts through the air with jubilant imagination and freshness. In addition to fronting her band, the Shelley Doty X-tet, Shelley also often performs solo acoustic. When Shelley plays electric guitar she rips into it like no other woman ever has – she has a swagger and confidence to play lead guitar that is as rare as it is electrifying. But she also has the subtly and tenderness to cause an audience to shiver at the elegance of her voice and insightful lyrics.
From the time San Francisco native Vicki Randle was nine years old, teaching herself to play Beatles songs on a battered Silvertone acoustic guitar, she’s been in love with music – singing, songwriting, playing guitar and percussion. Her jazz pianist father gave her an appetite for improvisation, and artists like Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, and Led Zeppelin gave her an appreciation of musical diversity. She has toured with George Benson, Laura Nyro, and Kenny Loggins, recorded with Aretha Franklin, and spent 18 years as the first woman in the band on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She is currently touring with the legendary Mavis Staples.
Julie Wolf is a music producer, composer, multi instrumentalist, sound designer, music director and teacher. She has appeared on stages around the world and on numerous critically acclaimed recordings. She has
collaborated with Carly Simon, Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco, Maceo Parker, Toshi Reagon, Bruce Cockburn, Eliza Gilyson, Allison Miller, Wayne Horvitz and Sia, among many others. Julie has music directed with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, La Jolla Playhouse and most recently she was honored with a 2015 L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical Direction for her work in the Cetner Theatre Group/Kirk Douglas Theatre production of Girlfriend, a musical written by Todd Almond, directed by Les Waters, featuring the music of Matthew Sweet. Her original music for the 2009 documentary Sweet Crude was nominated for Best Original Score at the Maverick Movie Awards and received special mention in Variety.
Lighting: Patty-Ann Farrell has been designing lighting for dance, drama and special events in San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Washington D.C., Tokyo, and Hawaii, and up and down the West coast for forty years. She has received four Isadora Duncan Dance Awards, a Super Star award from The Ethnic Dance Festival and a Bay Area Critic’s Circle award for lighting designs. Patty-Ann Farrell’s work has taken her into artistic collaborations with many wonderful artists over the years, a deep joy that she hopes will continue on and on.
Costumes: Krystal Harfert is a freelance costume designer based in Oakland, California. Her recent designs include Bungee Dyad VI presented during the San Francisco Aerial Festival at The Cowell Theater, choreography by Sonya Smith. Luciole presented by Lucid Chandelier. PROWL premiered at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts during ChoreFest, choreography by Blind Tiger Society. In 2008 she received a Bachelors in Dance Education and Business Arts Management from Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to her costume design, she is also a choreographer, performer, photographer, educator and administrator. Krystal currently tours with BANDALOOP as the Company Manager.
Scenic: Katarzyna Krzykawska-Apolinarski is a sculptor with exhibits in galleries and outdoor spaces in several countries. She is an author of site-specific art installations in parks and at art festivals (Land Art Festival, Poland; Geumgang Nature Art Biennale, South Korea; Laboratorio de Artistas Norte 124, Mexico). Katarzyna is involved in exploring landscapes and its sociocultural context and is attracted to the various expressions of duality in landscapes. In her artwork she likes to reveal the contradictions of two opposite spaces: the upper, idealistic and utopian and the lower one, common, everyday and mundane. Katarzyna Krzykawska-Apolinarski has a PhD and a post doctorate degrees from Academies of Fine Arts in Cracow and Gdansk in Poland. She has been teaching art at universities in Poland, Slovakia, Italy and Mexico. She works as an Associated Professor at Landscape Art Department at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. Last year she moved to the Bay Area.
Scenic: Christiane Michaela Vincent is a conceptual sculptor and installation artist born and educated in Germany and presently living in the Bay Area. Her works are reflections on nature and environment with a focus on climate change: the warming of the oceans, the importance of photo synthesis. Other projects have been on the human condition: the various notions of “hope” and most recent an installation on the meaning of love. Her work has been shown in galleries in California, Sun Valley Idaho, New York, the Bay Area, the Museum of Visual Arts in Santa Rosa. Her work is in collections in Europe, Australia and the United States. She has had a lifelong passion for music and dance and has a keen interest in stage design for contemporary dance.