DR. ANDY TEIRSTEIN

Arts Professor Andy Teirstein writes music inspired by the rich and diverse folk roots of modern culture.  A student of Leonard Bernstein and Henry Brant, Teirstein composes for the concert hall, film, theater, and dance. His CD, Open Crossings, draws on Balkan and Appalachian influences.  He has composed film scores for BBC and PBS, an opera, and a new work inspired by William Blake, The Vagabonds.  A recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Richard Rodgers Foundation, he has lectured and toured internationally with Woody Sez, a show depicting the life and times of Woody Guthrie.  

 
 Photo by Kirk Donaldson

Photo by Kirk Donaldson

Pamela Pietro

Dancer, Teacher, Choreographer Pamela Pietro has made dances for companies internationally including in Malaysia, Philippines, India and Panama. She is an Award-winning teacher and scholar, a longtime faculty member of American Dance Festival, a Full-time, Associate Arts Professor in the Department of Dance at NYU Tisch, and a Neuromuscular Rehabilitation and Pilates Instructor.
https://tisch.nyu.edu/about/directory/dance/106821567
http://www.pamelapietro.com/

 
 Photo by bokovfactory 

Photo by bokovfactory 

WENDY PERRON

Author of Through the Eyes of a Dancer, Wendy Perron had a 30-year career as a dancer/choreographer. She danced with the Trisha Brown company in the 70s and later led her own group, which has performed throughout New York City. She has taught dance at Bennington and Princeton, lectured as a guest across the country, and curated exhibits on dance and the arts. The former longtime editor in chief of Dance Magazine, Wendy has also written for The New York Times, The Village Voice, and vanityfair.com. Currently, as editor at large of Dance Magazine, she posts a new video series called "What Wendy's Watching." She also teaches a graduate seminar at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and posts commentary at wendyperron.com.

 
 PHOTO BY cARy Littleford

PHOTO BY cARy Littleford

Cari Ann Shim Sham

Cari Ann Shim Sham* is a wild artist and a Manhattan/Brooklyn based prestidigitator who lives a wild life often finding herself traveling across borders with cameras and projectors to capture, manipulate or throw light into screens, objects & spaces of all sizes. A newly annointed Associate Arts Professor of Dance & Technology at NYU, TISCH School of the Arts Dance Department, Shim Sham is currently designing video art for The Strayhorn project by David Rousseve is the video artist for the interactive immersive inflatable project Dance Like No One is Whale Watching and the Director for “The Parksville Murders” a 360 degree film VR  Episodic Horror for Opera on Tap which won Best VR at NYC Indie Film Fest.  

 
 Photo by John Mazlish

Photo by John Mazlish

Alison Lehuanani DeFranco

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Alison Lehuanani DeFranco is a freelance dancer and a strong advocate for indigenous and environmental rights. She graduated with a MFA degree in Dance at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and currently works for Dia Art Foundation as a Senior Gallery Attendant, managing the galleries in Chelsea.  Aiming to promote cultural awareness, Alison is involved in the indigenous communities in New York City and furthers her own knowledge as a member of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. She has performed works by Merce Cunningham, Robert Battle, Brian Brooks, Sydney Skybetter, Rubén Graciani, Jack Gray and The Martha Graham Dance Company; and worked with the Ensemble ACJW and The New York City Ballet.

 
 Photo Courtesy of Isabel Soffe

Photo Courtesy of Isabel Soffe

isabel Soffer

Isabel Soffer has been at the forefront of global music programming, cultural diplomacy through music and dance projects, peace through music campaigns and the dissemination and preservation of traditional music from around the world, in the USA for more than twenty-five years. She is founder of Live Sounds, an independent company that produces, creates and curates numerous concerts and festivals of diverse traditions from around the world in New York and across the country. Her innovative programming aims to encourage and cultivate ancient traditions, as well as to highlight musical styles at the intersection of old and new. She is co-founder and co-director of globalFEST, Inc, a non-profit organization serving the world music community since 2003.  gF aims to move world music into the center of the performing arts field and produces an annual groundbreaking festival, administers a touring fund, produces a national tour, and curates stages at Bonnaroo, SXSW and other events. Isabel's radio program Foreign Exchange is on LittleWaterRadio.org    livesounds.org  globalfest.org @livesoundsnyc@globalFEST_ny

 
Deborah Kapchan headshot small.jpg.preset.square.jpeg

Deborah Kapchan

Deborah Kapchan is Associate Professor of Performance Studies at New York University. She is the author of Gender on the Market: Moroccan Women and the Revoicing of Tradition (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press 1996), Traveling Spirit Masters: Moroccan Music and Trance in the Global Marketplace (Wesleyan University Press 2007), as well as numerous articles on sound, narrative and poetics. She is translating and editing a volume entitled Poetic Justice: An Anthology of Moroccan Contemporary Poetry, and is also the editor of two recent volumes:  Intangible Rights: Cultural Heritage in Transit (2014 University of Pennsylvania Press) and Theorizing Sound Writing (in press, Wesleyan UP). She was also the editor (with Pauline Strong) of a special issue of the Journal of American Folklore, Theorizing the Hybrid (1999). She is currently writing a book entitled Listening to Islam: The Festive Sacred and the Islamic Sublime, and is co-authoring  a book with Martin Daughtry entitled, Listening Methods. A Guggenheim fellow, she has also received grants from the Fulbright-Hays Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Social Science Research Council as well as other agencies and NYU. 
https://tisch.nyu.edu/about/directory/performance-studies/95592220

 
 Photo by Deborah Degraffenreid 

Photo by Deborah Degraffenreid 

Livia DRAPKIN Vanaver

(Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director/Performer with The Vanaver Caravan)

For the past 45 years Livia has been traveling throughout the US and abroad with her Company of dancers and musicians collecting and performing traditional dance and music. Her commitment to creating community through the vehicle of dance lead her to work with Friendship Ambassadors Foundation in their Balkan Peace and Reconciliation project and working with families of the victims of 9/11. Livia  has pioneered the teaching of world dance styles and Global Citizenry in schools in the US Sweden and India.. She is on the faculty of the Academy for the Love of Learning. Livia tewches dance at Columbia University in the Graduate Theater Program and Hofstra University. Ms. Vanaver holds a BFA in Dance from NYU School of the Arts (Tisch). www.vanavercaravan.org

 
 PHOTO BY DEBORAH DEGRAFFENREID

PHOTO BY DEBORAH DEGRAFFENREID

BILL VANAVER

(Co-Founder, Co-Artistic Director/Performer)

Well known musician and symphonic composer, Bill has been playing to audiences throughout the world for the past 50 years. He is known for his stellar instrumental work on 5 string banjo as well a myriad of other folk instruments. With his vast knowledge of traditional song and musical styles, Bill has enlivened audiences for over 50 years at such venues as the Newport and the Philadelphia Folk Festivals. Bill has taught World Dance and Music at Bard and Skidmore Colleges. Since 1985, he has brought his American and World Music and Dance into the classroom as a lead Teaching Artist with The Vanaver Caravan. He has worked closely with students as well as classroom and music teachers to broaden their multi-cultural music, song and movement repertoire.  Bill's work on the album "Pastures of Plenty", (a composition of Woody Guthrie's American folk songs) won WKZE's Best Independently Produced Folk Album of the Year Award in the year 2000. www.vanavercaravan.org

 
 Photo by University of Minnesota

Photo by University of Minnesota

DANA WHITCO

Dana Whitco directs the Tisch Initiative for Creative Research, a new strategic initiative designed to catalyze, nurture and promote the research praxis of Tisch faculty, students and staff. She is the Founding Director of the Center for Creative Research (Graduate School of Arts & Science, New York University) and Co-Founder of Positive Feedback, NYC's first inter-institutional consortium dedicated to supporting collaborations between artists and scientists working on issues of climate change.
https://tisch.nyu.edu/about/directory/general/95952626

 
 PHOTO BY TRAVIS MAGEE

PHOTO BY TRAVIS MAGEE

Indah M. Walsh

Indah M. Walsh has danced in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the US. She holds a BFA in dance from Purchase Conservatory of Dance and an MFA in dance from Tisch School of the Arts. As an emerging choreographer, Walsh has showcased work at venues and festivals including the Watermill Center, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Take Root at Greenspace, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Dixon Place, Dance New Amsterdam, The American Dance Guild Festival, among others. Her work has been featured in California at the Dance and Movement Workshop for Educators and Backhausdance Platform Production in Irvine. Indah has taught and choreographed works for high schools, colleges, and dance conventions in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, California, and New York including: Peridance Capezio Center, Steffi Nossen School of Dance, Nevada Union High School, Taipei American School, Singapore American School, Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asia Schools Cultural Convention, Southwestern College, and NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
indahwalshdancecompany.com

Staff

Andy Teirstein, Ph.D
Director,
Principal Investigator

Pamela Pietro
Associate Director

Wendy Perron
Copy Editor

Cari Ann Shim Sham Filmaker/Photographer

Alison Lehuanani DeFranco
Project Consultant

Isabel Soffer
Producing Manager

Dana Whitco
Director, Institute of Creative Research

Indah Walsh
Administrator, Institute of Creative Research
 

Artist/
Scholars

Donald Byrd
Sean Curran
Deborah Kapchan
Liz Lerman
Frank London
James Martin
Rashaun Mitchell
Valerie Naranjo
Jeremy Nelson
Joel Plummer
Joanna Sherman
Bill and Livia Vanaver

 

 
 Photo by Salvino Campos

Photo by Salvino Campos

vaLERIE naranjo

Valerie Naranjo broke the gender barrier in 1988, by playing gyil (African marimba) in Ghana’s Kobine Festival, and is the only non-West African first place winner there. Valerie has been in NBCs SNL Band for 22 years, and has performed in Broadway's “Lion King, with Zakir Hussein, Carol King,  Philip Glass, and The Paul Winter Consort.  She co-leads the African imbued multi-instrumental quintet "Mandara". Drum! magazine named Valerie "World Music Percussionist of the Year" twice, and "Mallet Player  of the Year”.  She teaches African Percussion at NYU, and has performed in nine African countries, and in such locations as The 2010 Winter Olympics; The White House, The Jay Leno Show; Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall;  Royal Festival Hall; and The Johannesburg Civic Theatre. She has  published several CDs, The series "West African Music for the Marimba Soloist", and  a collection of concerti for gyil and orchestra.

 
 Photo by Ashley Duverge

Photo by Ashley Duverge

JOEL I. PLUMMER

Joel I. Plummer is a professional educator and photographer whose work has focused on amplifying the voices of people that too often go unheard. He earned a B.A. in African American Studies and a M.A. in history at Rutgers University-Newark. He also completed the Rutgers Graduate School of Education's Supervisor's Endorsement program. For nearly twenty years he has taught history at the secondary level and for the past nine years, has taught in the Africana Studies department at Rutgers University. As a professional news and sports photographer, his work has been used by The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast, Newsweek, NBC, CBS, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and numerous international media outlets. His most recent project was a photo documentary that he created from the images he made while spending four years as a photojournalist covering the Black Lives Matter Movement (www.blacklivesmatterbook.com).

 
 Photo by Lucy Goeres

Photo by Lucy Goeres

JAMES MARTIN

James Martin is currently an Associate Arts Professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Dance Department. He has danced with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane and Company, Claire Porter, Gus Solomons Jr., Donald Byrd/The Group, Jamie Cunningham and Tina Croll, Heidi Latsky, The New York Baroque Dance Company, and the Connecticut Ballet Company, among others. Mr. Martin has taught at many schools and festivals world wide, including the Mark Morris Monnaie Dance Group in Brussels, the Ballet Academy of Stockholm, the Dansen Hus in Copenhagen, the Université du Québec à Montréal, the Bat Dor School in Tel Aviv, the National Institute of the Arts in Taiwan, the American Dance Festival, the White Mountain Dance Festival, Wesleyan University, James Madison University, Tulane University and Princeton University.

 
 Photo by Joel Plummer

Photo by Joel Plummer

Alrick Brown

Alrick Brown is Assistant Professor of Undergraduate Film and Television at NYU. An award winning writer and director, he found his medium, film, after visiting the slave castle of Elmina, in Ghana, during two years of service with the Peace Corps in Cote d'Ivoire. His cinematic reach includes credits on the small screen as director, producer and writer on a variety of projects – ABC’s Final Witness, ESPN’s short doc series Spike Lee’s Lil’ Joint, and Investigative Discoveries Emmy-Award winning series A Crime Two Remember. Alrick’s collective body of film work has earned several honors. Among them is the HBO Life Through Your Lens Emerging Filmmaker Award for the critically acclaimed documentary Death of Two Sons. Alrick’s first feature, Kinyarwanda, was recipient of the prestigious Sundance World Cinema Audience Award.

 
 Photo Adrian BUckmaster

Photo Adrian BUckmaster

Frank London

Ex-Sir Frank London is a Grammy-award winning trumpeter-composer and founder of the Klezmatics. His Yiddish-opera-in-a-Cuban-nightclub Hatuey Memory of Fire (with Elise Thoron) workshopped in Havana in March 2017 (in coordination with GIDM) and will premiere at Peak Performances in September, 2018. His multi-art spectacle Salomé, Woman of Valor (with Adeena Karasick) will premiere at Vancouver’s Chutzpah! Festival in March, 2018. His Glass House Orchestra recording, Jewish Music from Astro-Hngary, was nominated for three German Kritiks’ Best-of-Year 2017 awards. He has composed the folk-opera A Night In The Old Marketplace (with Alex Aron and Glen Berger), Green Violin (with Elise Thoron & Rebecca Taichman, Barrymore Prize for Best New Musical), Davenen for Pilobolus Dance Theater, 1001 Voices: Symphony for a New America (with Judith Sloan & Warren Lehrer), and music for Tony Kushner’s A Dybbuk, and John Sayles' The Brother From Another Planet. He has worked with John Zorn, Karen O, Itzhak Perlman, Pink Floyd, LL Cool J, Mel Tormé, Lester Bowie, LaMonte Young, They Might Be Giants, David Byrne and Robert Wilson, Jane Siberry, Ben Folds 5; is featured on over 400 CDs; and has been featured on HBO’s Sex And The City.

 
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Ezequiel Viñao

Argentinian-American composer Ezequiel Viñao has been described by the members of the Juilliard String Quartet as a “particularly personal and intimate musical voice,” one that “combines an encyclopedic musical knowledge with an eclectic compositional philosophy.”  But his music might be better understood in relation to the varied sources that shape it, such as his choice of rhythm to generate form or his use of Mozarabic chant to create melodic contours that unfold into vast harmonic fields. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award; a First Prize from UNESCO’s Latin-American Rostrum of Composers; five ISCM First Prizes, and awards from the Argentinean Academy of Fine Arts; the International Music Council in Paris, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Mr. Viñao is in the faculty of NYU Steinhardt.