Guest Artists & ADJUNCTS

Meet our Guest Artists and Adjunct Professors
The Ursinus College Dance Program brings world class guest artists and adjunct professors to our campus to teach and create choreography for our students. Through these guest artists, we offer our students the opportunity to study and perform a wide range of dance forms, including ballet, jazz, modern, African dance, Hip Hop, tap dance, dance theater, contact improvisation, ballroom dance, and others. Recent guest artists have included Danny Buraczeski (jazzdance), Duane Lee Holland (Hip Hop), Colleen Thomas (modern dance), and Joe Chvala (percussive dance theater).
Below is a listing of guest artists over the past six years:
Pictured on right: Sekou Sylla and drummers

Duane Lee Holland, Jr., AEA began his career as a gymnast as a member of the Jr. National Team. He competed in the 1991 Jr. Pan-American Games, 1993 and 1994 Portugal Invitational, USA vs. Mexico dual and 1991 McDonald's International Mixed Pairs. Duane began his professional dance career at the age of 17, dancing for the first Hip-Hop theater dance company, Rennie Harris Puremovement (RHPM). While performing with RHPM, he also taught at MIT, Stanford University, Jacobs Pillow, University of Utah, UCLA, Monte Carlo Ballet Company, Pennsylvania Ballet Company, Philadanco, Alvin Ailey Dance

Theater and Broadway Dance Center. Duane has also had the privilege of working with other choreographers: Ronald K. Brown Evidence, Garth Fagan The Lion King (Original Broadway cast), Jeff Masted - A Few Good Men. He was also assistant choreographer and assistant dance captain of Maurice Hines' Broadway production of "Hot Feet". He was also featured in Jerry Mitchell's 2006 "Broadway Bares Aids Benefit New York Strip". Duane is an adjunct faculty member at Ursinus College and at Temple University, Philadelphia. In January 2008, he was honored to be named the Assistant Artistic Director to Rennie Harris Pure-movement. He is currently conducting community outreach programs within the suburban Philadelphia area as well as in conjunction with select universities across the nation. He is currently in the studio, preparing for his future solo releases.

Joe Chvala (Artistic Director/Flying Foot Forum) is the founder and artistic director of the Flying Foot Forum. He has spent most of his choreographic career based in Minneapolis, and Gothenburg Sweden. As a multi-disciplinary artist, he has worked as a director, choreographer, writer, composer, performer, designer and teacher for opera companies, experimental and non-experimental theater companies, concert dance venues, performing arts academies, and universities. The range of Chvala's work with the Flying Foot Forum has been described as "somewhere between Sammy Davis, Jr. and Samuel Beckett" and has earned him such diverse titles as "Fred Astaire on acid" and "the Agnes DeMille of tap". Chvala founded the Flying Foot Forum in 1991. He has toured with his company both nationally and internationally. In addition to the many works he has created for Flying Foot Forum, Chvala has choreographed, directed, and been commissioned to create new works for a variety of theater and dance companies including the Guthrie Theater, the Walker Art Center, the Ordway Music Theater, the Minnesota Opera, The Children’s Theatre Company, Gothenburg’s Balettakademien, Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, the Great American History Theater, The Alpine Theater Project, Park Square Theatre, and Zenon Dance Company. His theatrical endeavors have earned him both Ivey and Sage awards for theater and dance as well as numerous “Best of the Year” honors from various US newspapers and periodicals. Chvala has held the Cowles Chair in the Dance Department of the University of Minnesota four times and also works as a member of its adjunct faculty. He has received numerous choreographic and interdisciplinary awards, fellowships, and grants from such organizations as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Bush Foundation, Target, the Jerome Foundation, Intermedia Arts Minnesota, the Minnesota Dance Alliance, and the McKnight Foundation.

Danny Buraczeski (Choreographer) is a Professor of Jazz Dance at Southern Methodist University. A classic jazz stylist for over two decades, his work has traced a clear and deep investigation of jazz – its sources and its ongoing evolution – with keen attention paid to the rich lineage of individual performers and movement makers. After a career on Broadway appearing in such musicals as Mame with Angela Lansbury and The Act with Liza Minnelli, Danny Buraczeski formed the original New York City based JAZZDANCE in 1979. Based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul since 1992, the company performed at leading concert halls and festivals in more than 40 states, in Europe, Russia and the Caribbean. In April of 2005, JAZZDANCE closed its doors with a twenty-five year retrospective concert at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis. Many of Buraczeski’s works for JAZZDANCE were commissioned by presenters around the country including the Walker Art Center, Bates Dance Festival, Joyce Theater, American Dance Festival, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (VT), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Library of Congress, whose 1997 support of AMONG THESE CARES was this institution’s first dance commission in more than 50 years. Buraczeski has created works for the Boston Ballet, Ballet Memphis, and many repertories and universities around the nation. He has taught at each of the nation’s major dance festivals. Among other awards, he has received multiple fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the recipient of a 2003 McKnight Artist Fellowship in Choreography and was a 2004 Bush Foundation Fellow. He was named Artist of the Year by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2000.

Melissa Chisena (Choreographer) Melissa Caterina Chisena has danced professionally with Richmond Ballet and North Carolina Dance Theatre. Her award winning choreography has been performed at The American Dance Festival, Richmond Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Philadelphia Dance Theatre, Regional Dance America, and various venues throughout the United States. She currently dances with Jeanne Ruddy Dance, Tania Isaac Dance and freelances with numerous artists in Philadelphia, PA. She is the founder and artistic director of her own company, Chisena Danza. Her mission is to enlighten, inspire, and connect with humanity through her dance and choreography. Ms. Chisena is currently adjunct faculty for the spring semester in the Theatre and Dance Department at Ursinus College, teaching Contemporary Ballet.

Niles Ford (Choreographer) is the founder of the Urban Dance Collective. Ford holds an MFA from New York University’s Tisch Dance Program and a BFA from the University of the Arts. He began his professional dance career in 1977. In 2003 his piece, A Dream Deferred, was performed at PS 122 and received critical acclaim from New York Times’ reviewer, Jack Anderson. His 30-plus years in the professional dance world have filled his dance card with such note worthy names as the Boston Ballet, Bill T. Jones, Ron Brown, Gabri Christa’s dance on film project Savonetta, Danny Sloane and Company, the Rod Rogers’ Dance Company, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Philadanco, and a recent collaboration with Marlyse Yearby on her piece, Brown Butterfly, a tribute to boxer, Mohammed Ali. Throughout his career, Ford’s work has received grant support from the Jerome Foundation, NY State Council for the Arts, the Harkness Foundation for Dance and the Puffin Founda tion. He has also received grant awards from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Asian Cultural Council. In 1998 Ford was granted a residency at Djerassi. And for his outstanding performance in Merian Soto’s, Historias, Ford was awarded the prestigious Bessie Award in 1993.

Marilyn and Sekou Sylla- Artistic Directors of Bamidele Dancers and Drummers, a company of art educators, composers, musicians, dancers and choreographers from Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean who are dedicated to the preservation of African and African rooted cultures through dance, music and song. The company has presented concerts, lecture demonstrations, workshops and classes for student and adult audiences throughout the world. They were selected to perform for Nelson Mandela in 1990 and have performed with folk singer Pete Seeger. Marilyn is a Five College Dance Lecturer based at Smith College in Massachusetts. In her capacity as Director, she teaches African, Brazilian and Haitian dance forms at several universities. She has studied African dance forms in Guinea, Senegal, the Gambia, the Casamance, Brazil, Haiti and Puerto Rico. She has taught and performed throughout the United States. She has taught several times at the Bates College Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine.

Sekou is a master dancer and musician from Guinea, West Africa who has taught and performed all over the world. He was a principle dancer, acrobat and musician with Les Ballet Africanins, the National Dance Company of the Republic of Guinea, West Africa. Since relocating to the USA Sekou has taught African dance and music in Bahia, Brazil at the Universidade Federal da Bahia and at Male Du Bale. He is currently an adjunct professor of African Dance at Greenfield Community College in Massachusetts. He has taught several times at the Bates College Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine.

Marianela Boan (Choreographer) is an internationally known choreographer, recognized as one of the most important artists of contemporary Cuban dance. She is considered a leader of the Hispanic-American dance vanguard. Her revolutionary style “Contaminated Dance” radically merges all the arts in dance performance to produce an original form. As choreographer, dancer and professor Boán has worked in more than 40 countries around the world and created more than 50 choreographies. She is now working in Philadelphia, USA, where she teaches at Temple University, founded her new company BoanDanz Action and opened BoanDanz Studio. As a founder director of DanzAbierta and BoanDanz Action, she has been awarded numerous prizes in Cuba and abroad. Her new piece “Voyeur” was premiered at Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, in September 2007 and performed at Bogotá, Colombia, National University in November 2007. False Testimony (2006) has been successfully performed at la MaMa Experimental Theater in New York, Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, Bates Dance Festival (2007), Annenberg Center (By Local Festival, Philadelphia). Chorus Perpetuus, the last piece she created for DanzAbierta (Cuba, 2001) have been touring for five years all over the world.

Her work has been presented at major venues throughout the world, including Greece, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Eastern Europe, Latin America, India, Nigeria and Japan. She has been a Titular Professor at the High Institute of Arts in Cuba (ISA) and has contributed to the education of several generations of Cuban and Latin American dancers. Since 2000 she has developed many works as a guest artist, choreographer and performer with her solos Blanche Dubois, Fast Food, Seagull and Lifting and teaching composition, creative process, improvisation, Choreographic Project, Repertory, Dance technique, and Movement for actors and visual artists. She has created works for companie, universities and institutions including the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, NYU, and Politic and Performance Hemispheric Encuentro (2001 in Mexico, 2002 in Peru, 2003 in NYC.

Guest Artists (teachers and choreographers 2003 – 2009)

  • Marilyn and Sekou Sylla (African dance)
  • Mariusz Olszewski (Ballroom)
  • Moncell Durden (Hip Hop)
  • Duane Holland (Hip Hop)
  • Clyde Evans Jr. (Hip Hop)
  • Janine Bryant (Ballet)
  • Sally Rousse (Ballet)
  • Heather Dougherty (Ballet)
  • Melissa Chisena (Ballet)
  • Danny Buraczeski (Jazz)
  • Shelley Oliver (Tap)
  • Ruth Andrien (Modern)
  • Keith Thompson (Modern)
  • Colleen Thomas (Modern)
  • Bill Young (Modern)
  • Marianella Boan (Modern)
  • Ming Shen Ku (Taiwan)- Modern
  • Aviva Geismer 1 year guest artist position (Modern)
  • Andrew Harwood (Improvisation and Contact Improvisation)
  • Kathleen Hermesdorf andf Albert Mathias (Contemporary/Improvisation)
  • Joe Chvala (Modern)
  • Niles Ford (Modern)
  • Nicole Wolcott (Modern)
  • Peter DiMuro 1 year visiting faculty (Modern)
  • Meredith Lyons 1 year visiting faculty (Modern)