Alejandra Duque Cifuentes
Alejandra Duque Cifuentes is an immigrant activist, artist, producer, and educator. With more than 10 years of production and stage management experience in theatre and dance, she has toured nationally and internationally with Zaccho Dance Theatre, Bandaloop, Dancing in The Streets, The Foundry Theatre, and Columbia University School of the Arts, among others. As a teaching artist, Ms. Duque Cifuentes taught children and adults of all ages how to express themselves through theatre and movement practice in over 100 New York City public schools and through community theatre programs. In 2011 she founded Theatre That Transcends, which taught local, underserved communities how to express themselves and address community issues through the art of theatre. As an activist, she plays an integral part in advancing a more equitable arts and cultural ecology by working on measures to increase access, justice, equity, and inclusion within dance for disabled artists, immigrant artists, and artists of color in the five boroughs of New York City. Ms. Duque Cifuentes is a member of the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture, Women of Color in the Arts, the Children Museum of Manhattan’s Dance Portal Advisory Board, and Eva Yaa Asantewaa’s Curatorial Advisory Team at Gibney, and she is an advisor for the Latinx Artists Retreat, an annual convening for Latinx cultural producers across all artistic disciplines and fields. She was born in Medellín, Colombia and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Theatre Arts from Columbia University School of General Studies.
Alexeya EM is a performing artist and thought-leader dedicated to raising the collective consciousness through her life and artistry. Alexeya was born and raised in Queens, New York. She holds a BA in Dance Studies from the University of South Florida with an emphasis on research in Leadership Studies. Upon graduation, Alexeya joined Gibney Dance Company as a full time dancer, performing internationally and conducting movement based workshops in DV shelters. Alexeya has presented concert dance and commercial choreography throughout NYC and Philadelphia while building a repertoire as a creative director, choreographer and performance coach for music artists such as Columbia Records artist Léon, Cailee Rae, Dim Mak Records artist Noise Cans, and more. In 2016, Alexeya began directing LEAD: Leadership for Emerging Artist Development, a immersive leadership training program geared towards developing strong leadership awareness in NYC’s young dancers. Recognizing the current cultural rise and demand of the multifaceted artist, LEAD is designed to give emerging artists the tools to enter every space with a commanding and inclusive leadership presence to further the advancement of art making in the world. Alexeya has conducted leadership seminars for NYU School of Professional Studies, Move(NYC), and Gibney Dance Center. In 2017, Alexeya released her debut EP entitled ‘Dancing with the Devil’ and has since been building her repertoire as an independent recording artist. She resides in New York City.
Brinda Guha is a born administrator, artist and leader. With an extensive background in choreography, teaching, performing, arts administration and event planning, she is excited to bring her knowledge of the arts to the job as Symposium Coordinator at Dance/NYC. She is trained in North Indian Classical Kathak dance, and has experience in Manipuri, Flamenco, Contemporary and street styles of movement. She was Dixon Place's 2018 Artist-In-Residence, who commissioned Brinda's company Kalamandir to produce urbanJATRA, a full-length Contemporary Indian production, for three weeks. Most recently, Brinda dances with a percussive dance trio featuring Flamenco (Arielle Rosales), Tap (Amanda Castro), and Kathak called Soles of Duende. Soles was just picked up for the New Spotlight Residency Series at Gibney for 2020. Her company Kalamandir has performed at Gowanus Arts Center, BDC, Actor’s Fund Arts Center, Knockdown Center, Dixon Place, Secret Theater, Brooklyn Dance Festival, NYCDA Dance Festival, Symphony Space, Highline Ballroom, Madison Square Garden, Hammerstein Ballroom, and much more. After six years at Broadway Dance Center as the organization's full-time training Programs Coordinator and International Student Visa Program's Designated School Officer, Brinda founded her own independent endeavor of bringing together the international dance community and activism work. She is the curator of WISE FRUIT NYC, a seasonal live arts showcase benefiting Planned Parenthood of NYC. In this phase of her career, she feels this time of leadership and growth is a means to learn more about herself as a person, performer, and eternal student of the arts.
Manager of Justice, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, now local to Brooklyn, NY, operates between the spheres of dance, cultural production and fitness and wellness, with a focus on the Contemporary Caribbean. She has had an established career as a performer, choreographer, fitness professional, cultural producer, teaching artist, community facilitator and Caribbean dance specialist. In addition to her work in these areas, she leads ContempoCaribe, an ongoing choreography and performance project and is the founder of Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE, an organisational platform for Caribbean dance in the diaspora that spearheads the New Traditions Festival in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Adelphi University's BFA program for Dance, and has presented, performed and taught at major venues including: Queen's Hall (T&T), John F. Kennedy Center, New York Live Arts, Brooklyn Museum, and The Ohio State University. She was an inaugural member of the Dancing While Black Fellowship Cohort 2015/2016, was an awardee of Adelphi University's 2017 - 10 Under 10 program, and a Dixon Place Artist-in-Residence for fall 2017. As a cultural producer and strategist, Candace has worked with many organisations and artists bringing their works and visions to life. These include the Dance and Performance Institute of Trinidad and Tobago, WIADCA (NY), Sydnie L. Mosley Dances, Renegade Performance Group, most recently assisting Claire Tancons, a curator for the Sharjah Biennial 2019, on her performance series within the platform ‘Look For Me All Around You’. Ms. Thompson-Zachery is currently a candidate in the M.A. in Performance Curation program at the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University and recently completed the Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy at University of Pennsylvania with National Arts Strategies. Of tantamount importance to her is the vital role dance plays in our communities and she is eager to see dance artists of various styles, practices and traditions thrive in New York City.
Heather is the Managing Director of the NY Dance and Performance Awards, The Bessies. She is Founder and Artistic Director of Alma Dance Company. A Brooklyn-based choreographer and performer, she has worked with many artists including Yvonne Rainer, Sidra Bell, Pavel ZusI?tiak, Nathan Trice, DANCENOISE, AndreI? M. Zachery, Buglisi Dance Theater, Fredrick Earl Mosley, and currently Suzzanne Ponomarenko Dance. She is on the board of Renegade Performance Group, Brooklyn Dance Festival, and a member of Eva Yaa Asantewaa’s Curatorial Advisory Team at Gibney. Heather is also a dance educator, teaching artist, producer, founder of the blog Community of Motion, advocate for mental health in the dance field, and a certified birth doula at her company, Our Birth Doula.
Development and Grantmaking Assistant
Kirsten Reynolds is passionate about the arts and advancing the field of dance. As a dance artist, Kirsten has worked with several companies including: Rachel Thorne Germond Performance Collage, Ninja Ballet, 7 Midnights Physical Research, Golden Hour Dance and Nuo Spiritual Art Foundation. Kirsten has also had the pleasure of working as an arts administrator with Stephen Petronio Company where she cultivated the organization's archives and worked closely with the Development Associate. Kirsten is a recent graduate of Texas Christian University where she earned BFA degrees in Ballet and Modern Dance and is very excited to be working with Dance/NYC.
Kyle is of German and Puerto Rican descent. A stage actor by trade, he has been working in a multi-disciplinary arts environment as an administrator for over a decade. Kyle graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.S. in Business Management and moved shortly afterwards to Upstate NY where he spent time working for institutions such as the Glimmerglass Festival and Bard College SummerScape Festival. Upon moving to NYC, he continued a musical career at New York City Opera, then transitioned to manage operations at the Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory of New York - thus sparking a new zeal for dance! On stage, Kyle has most recently been seen in a Chekov production of Platonov at the Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance on Roosevelt Island and will be seen there in the Bald Sapranos this June. His active role in theatrical improvisation and film production has deepened his knowlege as an artist. Aside from the arts, Kyle is strongly passionate about travel and food.
“We rise by lifting others.” That is the mantra that allows Maleni Palacios to bring forth her leadership together with her eclectic background. She believes team synergy and community support is the key to genuine success. At the age of 16, Maleni began interning at Georgia-Pacific (2014- 2016) through the Summer Economics Institute of Westminster, and later the Technology Association of Georgia Education Collaborative. Alongside GP, Maleni also worked with the non-profit Youth Entrepreneurs of Georgia (YEG) where she worked on their Alumni Program and Summer Entrepreneurship Incubator. In 2014, Maleni joined the Junior League of Atlanta program: La Amistad Estrellitas, which aims towards academic and social success for Latinas across Atlanta. In 2015, Maleni joined the Hispanic Organization Promoting Education (HoPe) organization, and founded the first chapter in Atlanta. As HoPe Chapter President, Maleni and the founding team, increased the graduation rate of Hispanic students at her high school. From 2016- 2017 she worked with BRAVA Investments, a holding company that invests in high-growth, scalable businesses that positively impact the financial health of women. In addition, Maleni has held internships at Georgia Power and Invest Atlanta, the City of Atlanta’s economic development agency. Maleni is currently earning her B.A. in Economics at Barnard College of Columbia University. She is a candidate for Barnard College’s Athena Leadership Scholars Program.
2017 Bessie Award Recipient for Outstanding Performance with Skeleton Architecture, is a movement artist, writer, podcast host, and arts administrator swirling on the edge of impossible, swimming in the sea of the minority. She has presented work around New York City and abroad with generous support from New York Live Arts, Gibney Dance, Actors Fund Summer Push Grant, Dancing While Black Fellowship, Bogliasco Fellowship, Marble House Project, Brooklyn Arts Council, and MANCC. Greene has contributed written works to The Dance Enthusiast and Dance Magazine, and is currently co-host of the Dance Union Podcast and Movement Research Artist in Residence. A southern belle turned Brooklynite, Greene holds a special place for buttery biscuits, country ham, and collard greens. Stay tuned.
Powell Mayas is a New York City-based communications consultancy focused on generating engagement and media exposure through experiential marketing, programming, content development, fundraising, and strategic partnerships. Its services focus on creating visibility and other opportunities for designers, lifestyle brands, non-profits, and for-profit enterprises that are making significant contributions to urban communities and society. Partners and clients have included established and emerging artists and designers, individual entrepreneurs, design firms, cultural institutions, governmental agencies, business improvement + community development organizations, and media companies.
Ludovic Leroy, Partner
Ludovic has more than two decades of experience in fundraising, partnerships, marketing, and sales for non-profits and institutions of higher education including Pratt Institute and the New York University School of Law. He has worked with dozens of Fortune 500 companies as well as start-ups on partnerships and business development. As head of strategic partnerships for Pratt, Ludovic managed corporate, foundation, government, and community relationships and secured millions of dollars in financial support for various initiatives. He is an alumnus of the University of Scranton and the University of Paris at the Sorbonne.
Mara McGinnis, Partner
Mara has 20 years of experience handling publicity as well as editorial and brand development at different organizations including Columbia University, the University at Buffalo, and Pratt Institute. For 12 years, Mara led communications and brand marketing for Pratt and built its in-house marketing and creative studio, which included award-winning teams in digital and print design, media relations, social media, and public programs. An alumna of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, Mara received her undergraduate degree from the University at Buffalo.
Grant Writing Consultant
Rosemary earned her B.A.'s in both International Studies and Communications from Loyola University Chicago (summa cum laude), her MSc in Global Media and Communications from the London School of Economics (merit), and her M.A. in Journalism from Fudan University in Shanghai, China where she also worked as a columnist for the Shanghai Daily. She worked as Manager of Global Initiatives at The Juilliard School in New York, spearheading international satellite programs in Mexico City, Northern China, and Brazil. She then honed her writing practice as Managing Editor and Development Manager at the contemporary art publication, Pelican Bomb, in New Orleans. Upon her return to her native New York City, Reyes led the Building Community Capacity Initiative in Southeast Queens in partnership with the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and the Department of Cultural Affairs of NYC. Reyes currently works in New York City as an independent consultant specializing in grant writing, qualitative research, communications, justice, equity, and inclusion best practices, and community engagement. She worked as the Qualitative Analyst for the NYC Mayoral Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers and was the In-House Writer and Press Consultant for Performa 17. Her past clients also include: Randall’s Island Park Alliance, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Vera Institute, Queens Council of the Arts, A Blade of Grass, Ascendant Neighborhood Development, The Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, and Xavier University. In addition to being an institutional consultant, Reyes is a certified reiki practitioner, shamanic practitioner, visual artist, and DJ. She is Co-Founder of SoulShifting Retreats, an eco-spiritual global community of conscious evolutionaries working with cross-cultural indigenous technologies in service to a shared vision of a peacefully evolving Earth, clean waters, healthy land, and liberated souls.
Research and Advocacy Coordinator
Sophie Allen is a New York-based dance artist and administrator with a commitment to social justice. In addition to creating and presenting her own work, she has had the pleasure of performing in pieces by Shannon Gillen/Martin Durov/Laja Field, Meredith Monk, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Sandra Torijano, Peter Sparling, Hanna Brictston, and Ayako Takahashi, among others. As an arts administrator, Sophie supports Daring Dances as an Event Assistant for the curatorial platform’s Experiments in Coalition and Artist-In-Residency programming. She holds a BFA in Dance and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) from the University of Michigan and is thrilled to be contributing to Dance/NYC’s research and advocacy efforts in her new role.
With a background in arts and culture, Sunita Iqbal is a consultant for the arts and culture field. (INSERT DANCE NYC POSITION HERE). She also serves as a Program Consultant/Interim Program Officer for the New York State Council on the Arts' Mid-Size Capital Improvement Fund, and the Regional and Economic Development Council's Arts and Culture Initiatives & Large Capital Improvement Fund. Previously, she served as a Program Associate in the Voice, Creativity and Culture program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Sunita began her career in philanthropy as a Program Assistant/Interim Program Associate for Dance at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation working on the Performing Arts portfolio of the Arts and Cultural Heritage program. Sunita's arts and culture knowledge base cultivation began with her role as the event and programming coordinator for Engendered, a New York and New Delhi-based transnational arts and human rights festival that presents contemporary multidisciplinary South Asian arts. Sunita also has an extensive legal background - working as a paralegal in boutique law firms, and as a legal assistant at Chanel, Inc. in intellectual property matters. She studied at Pace University, where she received a BA in Sociology-Anthropology with a minor in Middle Eastern studies. Additionally, Sunita holds an MPS in Arts and Cultural management from Pratt Institute as of May 2015.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Dance/NYC provides equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, ancestry, political belief or activity, or status as a veteran. The policy applies to all areas of employment, including recruitment, hiring, training and development, promotion, transfer, termination, layoff, compensation benefits, social and recreational programs, and all other conditions and privileges of employment in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. It is the policy of Dance/NYC to comply with all the relevant and applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Dance/NYC does not discriminate against any qualified Employees or job applicants with respect to any terms, privileges, or conditions of employment because of a person’s physical or mental disability. Dance/NYC makes reasonable accommodation wherever necessary for all Employees or applicants with disabilities, provided that the individual is otherwise qualified to safely perform the duties and assignments connected with the job and provided that any accommodations made do not require significant difficulty or expense.
Photography: Jo Chiang Photography: www.picturedbyjochiang.com