BERKSHIRE PULSE TEACHING ARTISTS
Lindsey Berkowitz • Joanne Bockemuehl-Jackson • Ashley Clarke • Kathy and David Crowe • Sunie Gorey • Cindy Gutter • Ryoko Kudo • Kendra Lassor • Anna Masiero • Paula Modaferri • Erin Naylor • Rick Shrum • Tom Truss
SUMMER GUEST TEACHING ARTISTS
Founder/Artistic Director, Modern Dance Director
Bettina holds a BFA in Dance, Cum Laude, from Temple University. She has performed professionally with Philadelphia’s Sybil Dance Company, Artistic Director Eva Gholson, and Dance Conduit, Artistic Director Ann Vachon, with choreographer Dawn Lane, Artistic Director Community Access to the Arts, as an independent choreographer and as a member of choreographer/film maker Laurie McLeod’s Victory Girl Productions with whom she performed extensively throughout the Berkshires, New York, and abroad. Bettina’s dance training began with her mother Christa Montano, a student of renowned dancers Mary Wigman, Herald Kreuzberg, Martha Graham, José Limón, Alwin Nicolais, Murray Louis, and Louis Horst. Her early training continued under the direction of Truda Kashman, Debra Zall and later with Educators/Choreographers Eva Gholson, Ann Vachon, Hellmut Gottschild and Marilyn Middleton Sylla. Bettina’s passionate belief in accessible dance education led her to teaching and inspired the creation of The Flowering Child Performing Arts Program in 1995 which ultimately evolved into Berkshire Pulse in 2003. Bettina has been teaching classes in modern dance for students of all ages and levels throughout her 20 year directorship of the organization. See REVIEW, PICS & VIDEO
World Music and Dance Program Director, In-School Program Coordinator
Kim has studied a variety of dance styles and has come to love the traditional dances of Africa. She has been studying, teaching, performing and sharing these dances with children and adults for over twenty years. Kim holds a Masters Degree in Education and her extensive classroom teaching experience makes her dance classes accessible to students of all levels. In addition to the Pulse, she currently teaches throughout the Berkshire public school system in grant funded programs. Kim choreographs traditional dance and performs with her students, and local talent, such as Gaia Roots and The Berkshire Bateria. She has been working with Berkshire Pulse since its inception as the Flowering Child Performing Arts Program in 1996. See REVIEW, PICS & VIDEO
Dance for Boys & Musical Theatre Dance Program Director
Tom Masters holds an MS in Special Education from The City College of New York and a BS in elementary education with a concentration in dance and movement for elementary school children. As a performer he has danced with The Park Avenue Dance Company in Rochester, NY, The Alvin Ailey Student Ensemble in New York City, and with various musical theatre productions both nationally and internationally. He has taught dance and creative movement since 1990. Most recently he was on staff at the Center for Kinesthetic Movement in NYC as an educational tutor using dance to teach literacy, and using movement to increase the attention span of students with ADHD. Tom has been with Berkshire Pulse since 2009 teaching dance for boys, Humphrey-Weidman repertory, tap, and Broadway jazz. See REVIEW, PICS & VIDEO
AIMEE GELINAS, M.Ed.
World Music Program Director
Aimee is a musician and environmental educator who has been performing, teaching, facilitating, and developing educational programs for more than 15 years. She co-founded and performs in the all-woman world music drumming and vocal ensemble Gaia Roots, the Berkshire based original rock band Sifer and the Latin group, Trio Candela. Her educational business, Tamarack Hollow Environmental & Cultural Educational Programs, “Inspires environmental and cultural awareness, appreciation and stewardship” by providing drumming and nature programs for all ages. She has studied extensively throughout the Caribbean, Cuba, Mexico, Africa and the U.S. and co-produced her ensemble Gaia Roots CD entitled Mother Drum as well as the Afro-Caribbean Groove Dance instructional DVD with Live Drumming. Visit her website at www.tamarackhollow.com. Aimee has been teaching for Berkshire Pulse since its inception as the Flowering Child Performing Arts Program in 1996.
Modern & Ballet Foundations
Dance Making, Dance Discovery Program
Susan Quinn loves to dance! To foster the development of choreographers in the Triangle area of North Carolina, she co-founded Choreo Collective, a laboratory for choreographers to engage in the creative process and produce new work; she co-directed the group for seven years. She also developed the Choreographers’ Workshop Series to showcase artists across North Carolina and provide them with feedback. Her work has been produced in a variety of venues in New York and North Carolina, including the American Dance Festival. She collaborated with and choreographed Arrow In for director Nina Morrison as part of the Hot! Festival at Dixon Place in NYC. She directed the dance department at Cardinal Gibbons High School, and has been a guest choreographer in high schools and colleges. She has been fortunate enough to study composition with Donald McKayle, Marlies Yearby, Neil Greenberg, Faye Driscoll and David Dorfman. She studied privately with master teacher Sarah Neece and Alexander Technique with Anne-René Petrarca. Susan has also performed with many dance companies and choreographers, including HMK Dance, Thread Dance Theater, Sarah Daunt, Insurgo Stage Project, Sara Smith, Carol Finley/The Postcards Project, Isabel Gotzowsky, Stephanie Landouer, Caroline Williford and Five Chick Posse Productions. She currently dances for choreographer Beth Fath.
Lindsey Berkowitz began ballet classes at 3 years old and hasn’t been able to stay away from dance since. She discovered her true love for dance through the Flowering Child Performing Arts Program at age 9, and has been exploring world music and dance rhythms through Berkshire Pulse since age 13. Now 26, after a few years away in Philadelphia, she is back in the Berkshires and a licensed Zumba instructor. She loves teaching this fun, accessible and energizing form of dance fitness, blending Latin, pop, Bollywood and belly dance for a class that is suitable for all ages and skill levels. She is motivated by her passion for dance and love for her community. See REVIEW, PICS & VIDEO
Joanne Bockemuehl-Jackson recently immigrated to the Berkshires, was born in Germany, where she began her flamenco dance studies at the age of 19. Since then, while working as a nurse and as a cranio sacral therapist, she danced and studied Flamenco. Falling in love with Flamenco, she went to Madrid to study at the traditional Flamenco School “Amor de Dios”. She has taken classes with Ciro, Camela Greco, Tomas de Madrid. She continued to study with Regina Marinez, Amparo de Triana, Antinea, Maria del Mar, Manuel Sancez, Michela Lama, Rafaela Stern and took Workshops in Tanzhause NRW. See REVIEW PICS & VIDEO
Ashley Clarke has 10 years of extensive teaching experience in the dance arts in and around Berkshire County. She began her teaching journey by providing ballet education to the competitive gymnastics team at Gymfest of the Berkshires, continuing on to teach at dance schools such as Dalton Ballet Studio, Rozs Dance Works, Studio North Dance Arts, Karen’s School of Dance and more. From 2014-2016 she directed the dance department at Renaissance Arts Center. She has taught hundreds of students of all ages and ability levels in various disciplines such as ballet, jazz, hip hop and modern. She has ran community outreach dance programs in public elementary schools as well as choreographed and staged full-length dance plays. Amongst her dance experience, Ashley has worked as a Youth Counselor for children and teens with special needs, such as Autism, Down Syndrome and ADHD. She fell into life-long love with the dance arts at age 10, when she began training with Michelle Noel Furlong, a former principal dance at Albany Berkshire Ballet, and Lydia Clarkson, former soloist at Kazakhstan National Ballet. She is a passionate, enthusiastic dancer and teacher, and aims to infuse her students with technique, knowledge and love for the dance arts.
KATHY AND DAVID CROWE
Berkshire Tai Chi is a traditional, lineage school. Sifu David Crowe and Sifu Kathy Crowe, with 18 years experience, are certified lineage tai chi and qi gong instructors under the Kuoshu Federation of the Republic of China. They trained under Master Eric Sbarge, a member of the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame, at The Hall of the Peaceful Dragon In Charlotte, NC. Outside of teaching tai chi, Sifus David and Kathy lead busy and creative lives. Sifu David is a composer and teaching artist, whose works have been performed across the country. Read more and hear samples of his music at www.DavidCroweMusic.com. Sifu Kathy is a web and graphic designer, including the design of websites, logos, brochures, etc. You can see samples of her work at www.KathyCrowe.com.
Sunie is a Kripalu trained Yoga Teacher. Her compassion and energy create a sense of focus and ease during class. She has been teaching for 10+ years throughout Cape Cod, CT & NYC. Sunie is well seasoned in most styles of Yoga with a strong understanding of the physical body. She is responsible for launching beginners workshops at several yoga studios through the Northeast. Sunie is thrilled to make her home the Berkshires where she continues her practice.
Cindy was raised in Manhattan and graduated from the High School of Music and Art. She received her undergraduate and masters degree from Boston University with a major in music education. After teaching music in Bedford, Massachusetts she moved back to Manhattan and worked for a film and commercial production company. She owned a successful outerwear business for twenty years. Since moving to the Berkshires twelve years ago she has never looked back. After making the Berkshires her home she has taught music regularly, as a vocal coach, choral conductor, piano accompanist, and music director. She has music directed the Monument Mountain High School musicals for the past five years along with other musicals regionally. It’s pure joy to be part of the Pulse family again!
(photo credit: Nilaya Sabni)
Modern, Limón Technique, Ballet, & Pilates
Ryoko Kudo MFA, has worked with the Limón Dance Company since 2001 and has had the privilege to dance works by world-renowned choreographers such as Graham, Taylor, Lubovich, Kylian, Linke, Koner, McKayle, multiple works by Limón and Humphrey. Kudo is also an aerialist with Airealistic and has performed at the Beijing Olympics, Hangzhou, China, Bregenz Opera, and in the show Breaking Surface in NYC. She teaches and restages Limón works and has taught at various institutions such as Marymount Manhattan College, Canadian Children’s Dance Theater (Canada), Congresso Brasileiro de Dance Moderna (Brazil), Arte Centro (Guatemala), Bratislava Academy of Dance (Slovakia), ArtEz (Holland), Puglia Talenti (Italy), Casa de la Cultura (Mexico), and schools in the U.S. such as SUNY Purchase, Point Park College, Bryn Mawr, Mont Clair, University of the Arts, Drexel University. Kudo is also a certified Pilates instructor (read more…) since 2008. Kudo received her training from Emerson College, The Boston Conservatory, Ailey School, Graham School, Limón Institute, and Kane School of Core Integration.
Ryoko’s classes explore movement based on the principles of the Limón Technique, which incorporates the effect of gravity and use of breath as an initiation of movement. We explore coordinating breath and weight in terms of falling, recovering, and suspending. The classes also address use of space, time and energy with clear intention and musicality for greater dynamic range of movement and richer coloring of human expression. [/column]
Kendra began her formal dance training at age four at the Cantarella School of Dance in Pittsfield, MA. She studied the Cechetti method of ballet as well as contemporary dance. Prior to graduating from the school at age eighteen, she was a professional member of the parent company of the school, The Albany Berkshire Ballet, and for several years toured all over New England. Her brief professional career was highlighted by dancing the principal role of the “the Snow Queen” in the company’s annual production of the Nutcracker. She also attended the Pennsylvania Ballet’s School of Dance in Philadelphia at the age of sixteen.
After taking a hiatus from dance and relocating to the southern Berkshires in 2005, Kendra discovered the newly formed Berkshire Pulse in Housatonic, MA. She began studying with Bettina Montano and Ruby Aver and rediscovered her joy of dancing! She has been dancing there for the past twelve years and has appeared in numerous performances at the annual Gala as well as the “Made in the Berkshires Festival.” Aside from dancing, she has also been a student of yoga since 2006 and in 2015 received her 200+ hour Ashaya YogaTeacher’s Certification.
Kendra lives in the Berkshires with her husband and two children. When she is not dancing, she is the office manager at Nature Works Land Care Inc., the landscape company of which she and her husband are owners.[/column]
Hip Hop/Contemporary, Dance Intensive program
Anna began her dance training at Cantarella School of Dance as well as Studio One in the Berkshires. In college she studied Ballet Pedogogy at the Hartt School, furthered her dance education at Bates College and Duke University and completed her undergraduate work at UMass Amherst, where she also served as captain of the Dance Team.
Working with children and teens has been Anna’s passion since 2010. She taught at Art OMI for three consecutive summers, guiding children in their discovery of interdisciplinary arts. With her students, Anna explored combining dance with one and two-dimensional art forms while collaborating with visiting international artists.
Anna has spent time teaching in California at low income schools as well as serving as an assistant to the Directors of the non-profit Discovery Arts Organization by bringing the healing power of the arts to children with cancer and blood disorders.
Through her twenty years of studying and performing dance, Hip Hop is where Anna found her nitch. Her goal as a teacher is to let her students find their self expression through the open doors of Hip Hop as a diverse and contemporary art form.
Paula Modafferi is an American performer, choreographer, and dance instructor originally based in Ann Arbor, MI. She is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a Performing Arts Management Minor and is employed at Jacob’s Pillow for the 2017-2018 season as an Education Apprentice. As a dancer, Modafferi has performed works by renowned artists including Meredith Monk, Camille A. Brown, Alex Springer & Xan Burley, Umeshi Rajeendra, Robin Wilson, and Amy Chavasse. Additionally, she has been featured at Triskelion Arts, American Dance Festival, American College Dance Association, Ann Arbor Dance Works, and M-agination Films among others. As a teacher, Modafferi has instructed all age groups in various dance forms including Modern, Ballet, Jazz, and Improvisation. In class, you can expect to receive highlights of classical technique, movement quality, physical awareness/safety, and the exhilaration of dancing.
Erin has been an avid dancer since she could walk. Throughout her youth she studied ballet, Modern, and Jazz as well as Hip Hop and Afro-Caribbean, being one of the first graduates of the Flower Child Performing Arts Program that became Berkshire Pulse. As a young adult she began teaching gymnastics and ballet to children at Berkshire South Regional Community Center and Berkshire Country Day School. In 2013 and 2014 Erin studied and completed Ashaya Yoga Teacher Training with Todd Norian, and in 2017 she completed Zumba Teacher Training. Erin enjoys helping people become better versions of themselves through all kinds of movement!
Rick Schrum has been drumming since age 3 when his dad (also a drummer ) gave him his first drumsticks and began teaching him classical percussion. Rick played in school orchestras, concerts stage bands,drum and bugle ensembles,percussion ensembles and rock bands . He credits Arthur Hull, from Santa Cruz, as his primary teacher of African drumming. He began studying Afro-Cuban drumming in his 20s and has been playing and teaching this art for the last 30 years. In the 90s Rick played for Dance Kinetics (now called yoga dance ) at Kripalu. Having been a Waldorf teacher for almost 20 years Rick has taught drumming to all of his classes incorporating rhythm into the learning process. He has played for Afro-Caribbean dance classes at the Berkshire Pulse for the last six years . Rick has led drum circles at Mountainside drug alcohol rehab center for the past year . Having a Masters degree in neurobiology Rick has been a registered nurse from 2010 to present.
Modern, Intro & Foundation Level Dance, Dance for Boys, Acting & Dance Improvisation, Rhythm, Tap
Co-Director, Theatre Intensive Program
Tom Truss is a performing artist and educator who has had a thirty year career as a dancer, actor, choreographer and director. Tom has created with and taught all ages and abilities from children, firefighters, and inmates to teens, older adults, and professional actors and dancers. He has been teaching for Flying Cloud Institute since the 90’s, toured with the Liz Lerman/Dance Exchange for four years, had his own company for ten years, was a community artist at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival for five years (with residencies at the majority of south county Berkshire schools) and taught at American Dance Festival for seven years. Along with obtaining an MFA in dance from the University of Iowa, he received his MFA in Acting from the University of Texas and graduated from the College of Wooster with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance. Currently, he teaches for Flying Cloud Institute, has a private practice as an Alexander Technique teacher and most recently choreographed the spring musical at Monument Mountain High School.
GUEST TEACHING ARTISTS
SUMMER YOUTH, WORKSHOPS AND INTENSIVES
Movement Enhancement for Boys and Men
Vincent E. Thomas, dancer, choreographer and teacher, received his MFA in Dance from Florida State University and a BME in Music from the University of South Carolina. He has danced with Dance Repertory Theatre (FSU), Randy James Dance Works (NY/NJ), EDGEWORKS Dance Theater (DC) and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange (MD). His choreography has been presented at various national and international venues including DUMBO Festival (NY), Velocity Festival (DC), Modern Moves Festival (DC), Philly Fringe (PA), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (UK-Scotland), Barcelona and Madrid, Spain, Avignon, France, Athens, Greece, Bari, Italy and Copenhagen, Denmark. He was selected as one of eleven choreographers from around the world to convene for the 2005 Omi International Dance Collective and served as the guest mentor for the 2007 Dance Omi residents.
Vincent is a recipient of a 2009 Best of Baltimore- Choreographer Award, 2009 Baker Artist Choice Award (B Grant), a 2009 Metro DC Dance Award for Outstanding Overall Production (for his new work “Witness”), several Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Dance Awards, a 2008 Kennedy Center Local Dance Commission Project Award, two 2006 Metro DC Dance Awards for Emerging Choreographer and Outstanding New Work (for his evening length work the “Grandmother Project”). He received rave reviews for his performance of “Come Change” (2012) and “iWitness” (2014) in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Vincent was the Movement Coach/Choreographer for Everyman Theater’s Brother’s Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney in Baltimore, MD (2012) and Mosaic Theatre’s Unexplored Interior by Jay Sander in Washington, DC (2015).
His work “We Hold These Truths…” was selected for the 2012 National ACDFA Festival at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Vincent was awarded the 2011-2012 Towson University Student Government Association Faculty Member of the Year. He is a 2014-2015 NextLook Artist for the University of Maryland College Park and Joe’s Movement Emporium, a 2012-13 American Dance Institute Incubator Artist (MD), a 2016 Baker Artist Award finalist, the 2017 Pola Nirenska Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance (DC), an Urban Bush Women BOLD Facilitator, faculty member for the UBW Summer Institutes (NY and LA) and Professor of Dance at Towson University (MD).
Dance Discovery Program
Contemporary, Modern, Ballet
Dance Intensive Program
IAN SPENCER BELL
Dance Discovery Program
Ballet, Dance Making, Modern
Dance Intensive Program
Ian Spencer Bell is a dancer and poet combining the two in performance. He has danced his solo works at the Poetry Foundation and the Queens Museum and received grants and fellowships from Jacob’s Pillow, Lambda Literary, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Bell trained at North Carolina School of the Arts, School of American Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and NYU’s MFA in poetry program. ianspencerbell.com (Photo: Christopher Duggan)
Movement Improvisation, Improv for Actors, Voice and Movement, Devising Work, Text Analysis, Scene Study
Co-Director, Theatre Intensive Program
Before becoming a full-time theatre educator, Jolyn Unruh was a professional stage actress for many years. She studied the Suzuki Method of Actor Training extensively and has worked for repertory theatre companies all along the east coast from the American Theatre Company to StageWest and the Berkshire Theatre Festival. For more than a decade now, Jolyn has been the Theatre Arts teacher at Monument Mountain Regional High School, where she directs multiple productions a year. Her specialty is working with dedicated up and coming actors who wish to work hard, play with purpose, and meaningfully refine their craft.
Dances of Africa
Dance Discovery Program
Founded in 1985, Diata Diata presents folkloric dance of ancestral Africa as international theatre, including wildly popular performances at schools along the eastern coast. The Percussion Ensemble of Diata Diata International Folkloric Theatre is led by Pamela Badila, accompanied by her children, who were raised on the stage in New York and France. Her Husband Elombe Badila, was co-founder of the First National Ballet of the Congo, which brought peace to many villages and united them in dance. This unity played an important role in Congo’s independence in the 1960’s. Today the family performs original song and dance from Central & West Africa.
Dance Discovery Program
Lexie Thrash is a Brooklyn, NY based movement artist, freelance arts administrator, and creative thinker. Since moving to New York, she has worked alongside artists including: Jodi Melnick and Yoshiko Chuma, Eric Gottshall, Ian Spencer Bell, and Debbie Mausner. Lexie is one half of JACKS – a dance-making collaborative with fellow moving counterpart Kelsey Kramer. Aside from dancing and making on her own, Lexie enjoys supporting dance artists and companies behind-the-scenes. Her administrative career started in curation and artist services at Jacob’s Pillow Dance, and has flourished working at institutions including: The Kitchen and Movement Research, and for dance artists including: LA Dance Project, Ephrat Asherie Dance, Joanna Kotze, Alice Sheppard/Kinetic Light, and Eiko Otake. Lexie graduated Magna Cum Laude from James Madison University with a BA in Dance, and a BA in Media Arts and Design. lexiethrash.weebly.com
Photo: Danielle Iwata
Rhythm Alive! & Dance Discovery Programs
Caitlin Peeler’s interest in dance sparked after taking her first Hip Hop class in Dalton, MA at age 13
and has since grown into her greatest passion. She graduated from Dean College with her Bachelor
of the Arts in Dance Studies in the Spring of 2017. Throughout her years of dancing, she has
expanded her experience through different technical styles, such as ballet, modern, contemporary,
and jazz, while also continuing with Hip Hop. She is currently dancing with two dance companies,
Evolve Dynamicz and The Expressive Movement! She moved to South Boston in September and
currently works at Marylou’s Coffee and barre3 South End and teaching dance classes as
much as possible!
MOLLY CHRISTIE GONZALES
Rhythm Alive! Program
Molly Christie González is an Assistant Professor in Dance/Dance Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and The Five College Dance Department. She received her MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and an MA in Dance Education with Pre-K-12 Teacher Certification from the College at Brockport, and a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of the Arts. She is an artist/scholar/educator whose artistic practice and training is dually rooted in modern dance and traditional dance and music languages. Her teaching philosophy, choreography and research is grounded in thirty years of experience in Katherine Dunham Technique and Philosophies. She has taught extensively within elementary through university level school and community settings for over twenty years, designing curriculum and directing programs for children through adults.
Molly has conducted dance and music research in Havana, Cuba, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador Bahia, Brazil, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and in 2000 received a Leeway Foundation grant to study dance and music in Dakar, Senegal. She co-founded Trio Dourado Brazilian Dance Company and Cuban Latin Cabaret Productions, and has performed, choreographed, and costumed for a range of modern, Brazilian, Cuban and West African based companies. As an artist and scholar she has focused on the translation of traditional religious and social dance and music forms, as they transition from their original settings and functions to the concert dance stage.
Sophie Alpern, a native New Yorker, has been dancing since age five. She trained at the School of American Ballet, Steps on Broadway, North Carolina School of the Arts, Houston Ballet Academy, and the Royal Ballet School. While at SAB, she performed with New York City Ballet in The Nutcracker, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, and Circus Polka.
Sophie holds a Masters degree in Dance Education with a concentration in ABT Ballet Pedagogy from New York University, and is an ABT® Certified Teacher in PrePrimary through Level Seven and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She holds a B.A. from Vassar College with honors in Sociology, and is also a graduate of The Brearley School in NYC. Sophie danced leading roles with the Vassar Repertory Dance Theater for four years, culminating in the principal role in Balanchine’s Valse Fantaisie. She has worked in the Education Department at American Ballet Theater, taught open ballet classes for faculty and students at Vassar, and helped bring dance to underprivileged children across the world, through Ballet Tech, Ballet Ambassadors, and the Village of Hope in Ghana.
Sophie has combined her dance career with ongoing academic pursuits. She is the author of a sociological study entitled “The Perception and Role of Dance and Classical Ballet in the Liberal Arts Academy,” and has published an article in Dance Spirit Magazine called “Best of Both Worlds: Balancing Dance and Academics.” Sophie currently teaches in NYC at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre, and at American Youth Dance Theater.
GUEST TEACHING ARTISTS
Repertory Spring 2018
Dancing professionally starting at age sixteen, Ms. Cohen came to New York from Israel in 1963 to study at the Julliard School and perform with the Anna Sokolow Dance Company. In 1971, she initiated her pioneering and highly acclaimed solo dance repertory program, which toured throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Israel for twelve years. In the mid eighties she founded Ze’eva Cohen and Dancers, a company for which she developed a diverse group repertory, performing in New York and on national tours. Cohen has also choreographed works for the Boston Ballet, Munich Tanzproject, Batsheva Dance Company, Inbal Dance Theater of Israel, The Alvin Ailey Repertory Dance Company, and many other national dance companies. Since 1996, she has been choreographing, producing, and performing Negotiations and Female Mythologies, programs dealing with cultural, political, and social issues with a focus on women’s myths and lives.
African Music & Dance
The Percussion Ensemble of Diata-Diata International Folkloric Theatre is led by Pamela Badila, accompanied by her children, who were raised on the stage in New York and France. Her Husband Elombe Badila, was co-founder of the First National Ballet of the Congo, which brought peace to many villages and united them in dance. This unity played an important role in Congo’s independence in the 1960’s. Today the family performs original song and dance from Central & West Africa led by Pamela, also former Dancer Emeritus with “Les Grands ballets d’ Afrique Noirs”after touring the Ivory coast with world famous ‘Rose Marie Guiraud’. Founded in 1985, Diata Diata presents folkloric dance of ancestral Africa as international theatre, including wildly popular performances at schools along the eastern coast.
As a movement educator with over 20 years of experience, Peggy brings an intimate understanding of the body and a playful creativity to her work. A recent transplant to the area, she is excited to join the Berkshire Pulse community, getting back to her roots as a dancer. Previously, Peggy was the owner/director of Finetune Pilates Studio in Brooklyn, New York where she continues to serve as director of education. In her teaching, Peggy seeks common ground between “Classical” and “Evolved” Pilates, marrying the precision and whole body flow of the classical work with a sense of curiosity and exploration. Her teaching is thoughtful, clear and demanding as she guides students toward a deeper connection to their body’s innate intelligence.
Ruby served as Associate Director and Ballet Director for the Berkshire Pulse Performing Arts Program from 2005-2017. Her extensive contributions included curriculum development, establishing policies and guidelines essential to interdisciplinary dance training for youth and teens, and mentoring of teaching artists throughout her tenure.
Ruby’s primary ballet instructor Ed Parish was trained by Bronislava Nijinska. Ruby was awarded a full talent scholarship to the Harkness House for Ballet Arts by master teacher David Howard, where she went on to apprentice with the Harkness Ballet Company. She performed as a soloist with the Chicago Ballet Company and Ballet de Caracas. She was a principal dancer for Het Scapino Ballet of the Netherlands, where ‘Firebird ‘ was set on her by choreographer Job Sanders.
In addition to classical ballet Ruby has performed contemporary ballet by Hans van Manen and Nils Christie, Jazz choreography by Matt Mattox and dance theater work by company members from Pina Bausch Wuppertaal Tanzteater. Ruby has taught for Bard College at Simon’s Rock since 2004 and guest teaches for The Florida Ballet and Brooklyn Ballet.
Christa began her dance studies in Germany with Suzanne Kabitz, former assistant of Rudolf Von Laban. She continued her studies in Germany with Modern Dance innovators Mary Wigman and Herald Kreuzberg, and in the USA with Martha Graham at the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance in New York City, as well as with other renowned choreographers/educators such as José Limón, Alwin Nicolais, Murray Louis, and Louis Horst. In 1962, Christa established a Modern Dance Department in a private high school in Windsor, CT. For many years, she taught Modern dance for students of the now Oxford Kingswood High School, as well as Creative Dance for children and adults throughout Hartford, CT, and NY. Christa is a founding faculty member, now in her late 80’s, she enjoys participating in the morning modern classes at Berkshire Pulse.