Stephanie Gilliland is a seasoned artist and arts educator, with a 30-year history as a choreographer, composer, multimedia dance artist, performer and teacher. Since 1977 she has co-founded two dance collectives and created three of her own dance companies, most notably, TONGUE/contemporary dance, based in Los Angeles from 1997 to 2006. Committed to innovation and experimentation, Gilliland has developed her own movement system and technique which continues to evolve and grow in collaboration with her dancers and students. She has choreographed and produced numerous concerts and evening length works and has been presented throughout the United States and abroad including Scotland, Mexico, the Soviet Union and Canada.
Gilliland is the recipient of a Creativity Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Dance Maker grant from the James Irvine Foundation, and three Lester Horton awards for choreography and performance. Her work has been supported by numerous granting organizations including Dance USA, the Durfee Foundation, Los Angeles Cultural Affairs, and the California Arts Council. In 2007 Gilliland was awarded a residency at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA .
Gilliland began her teaching career in 1980 and has served on the dance faculties of UC Riverside, UC Irvine, Loyola Marymount University, Mt San Jacinto College, Riverside Community College and the Idyllwild Arts Academy where she is currently in her nineteenth year. In addition to her work in dance Gilliland is also a practitioner and teacher of yoga.
Ray McNamara grew up in the Chicago area as one of six children. He studied Percussion Performance at Northern Illinois University where he received his Bachelor’s degree in
Music and then went west to pursue further study at California Institute of the Arts where he received his MFA in World Music and Contemporary Percussion. Ray most recently performed with the LA Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. Ray’s film, television and theatre credits are extensive and include: the Grammy nominated score for Pixar’s, A Bug’s Life with Randy Newman. The Devil’s Rejects by Rob Zombie and Indian Runner directed by Sean Penn to name a few. Ray’s television credits include: The Rosanne Show, ESPN and Fox Sports. Ray has played on various stages including the Actors Gang production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", directed by Tim Robbins, Circle Theatre’s production of "Pippin", Jacaranda’s Music at the Edge and the Colburn Tap Festival. Ray can also be heard on recordings from Rob Zombie, Daniel Lentz, Harold Budd, John Ehlis, Zadonu African Group, The Calypso Pirates, Big Bamboo, Lowen and Navarro, Damaru, Susannah Blinkoff as well as his own solo projects which blend his unique style of soca and jazz on the Steel Pan. As an educator, Ray has taught at Cal Arts, Northern Illinois University, UC Riverside, Scripps College, Fullerton College and U.C.L.A. Ray is currently endorsed by DW Drums and Hardware, Gon Bops percussion products, Paiste cymbals, Vater drumsticks and Boomwhackers Percussion Tubes.
Kanisha Brown Bennett
(FALL 20 is
a dancer, performer and choreographer, was born and raised in Los
Angeles, CA and began dancing as a liturgical dancer. She holds a BA in
Dance from the University of California, Riverside and an MFA in
Performance and Choreography from Florida State University. She has
performed with the Gluck Contemporary Touring Ensemble, Phlava Dance
Company and Dance Repertory Theatre. She has set works for Instruments
of Praise School of Performing Arts. In 1999, Kanisha founded Generation
Xpectation Hip-Hop Dance ministry, and served as director and
choreographer for 8 years. Kanisha has worked and trained in the
contemporary field with various artists including Jawole Zollar, Gerri
Houlihan, Lynda Davis, Susan Rose, Wendy Rogers, Timothy Glenn, Alan
Danielson and A'Keitha Carey. Kanisha performed and toured with Urban
Bush Women during the 2010-2011 season, and is now excited to explore
her own choreographic and teaching voice throughout the Los Angeles
John Pennington is the artistic director of the Pennington Dance Group and ARC Pasadena. He
enjoyed a 14-year career with the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company as a
performer and teacher, and now serves on faculty at Pomona College and
Cal State Long Beach, and is co-director of the Lewitzky Dance Gallery.
Lorin Johnson began his training at the Pacific Dance Theatre in California, directed by Richard Gibson before becoming a full-scholarship student at the San Francisco Ballet School. He danced with the San Francisco Ballet from 1986-1987 before joining the American Ballet Theatre in New York in 1987 under the directorship of Mikhail Baryshnikov. Johnson danced for ABT until 1995, performing eight seasons at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York as well as on national and international tours. Johnson created original roles in ballets by such renowned choreographers as Ulysses Dove, Clark Tippet and Agnes DeMille, among others, and he has worked with some of the 20th century’s most influential choreographers, including Glen Tetley, Kenneth Macmillan, Twyla Tharp, and Jerome Robbins. He has also performed as a guest artist with such companies as The New York City Ballet. Johnson is currently an Assistant Professor in the Dance Department at California State University, Long Beach, where he teaches courses in ballet technique and composition. His writings on dance have been published in academic journals and in such magazines as Dance International. He has B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Southern California.