Program for Spring Dance Festival — May 13

Presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance on

May 13, 2021, at 8:00 PM


 r i s e (premiere)

Featuring: Natalie Lu ’21*
Choreographer: Christine He
Cinematographer: Wilfred Wong
Videography Assistant: Man Hong Lo
Editor: Daniel Madoff
Sound Design: Vince di Mura
Musicians: Hannah Yang, erhu; Laura Haubold ’24, cello

Special Thanks from Natalie — To Giselle Liu for connecting me with Christine, and to Josephine Bayog for masterfully mending my costume.

Shot on location at Tai Tam, Hong Kong Island.

Conversation with Natalie Lu and Christine He


Lock in Let go (premiere)

Featuring: Auset Taylor ’21*
Choreographer: Christopher Ralph
Cinematographer & Editor: Daniel Madoff
Composer: Vince di Mura
Musician: Laura Haubold ’24, cello

Special Thanks from Auset — I am beyond grateful to the choreographer Christopher Ralph for crafting a beautiful artistic process and allowing me to participate in his art. Thank you!

Special Thanks from Christopher — To the faculty and staff for making this process so wonderful, and a special thanks to Mary-Sue Gregson for her unwavering support and advice!

Conversation with Auset Taylor and Christopher Ralph


Thea (premiere)

Featuring: Thea Zalabak ’21*
Choreographer: Loni Landon
Cinematographer & Editor: Daniel Madoff
Sound Design: Vince di Mura
Music: Franz Schubert
Text: Dr. Lee Polus
Additional Cinematography: Allyson Adrian

Special Thanks from Thea — To my roommates for their willingness to help turn our house into a film set! Thanks also to Daniel, Vince, Aaron, Mary Jo, the costume department and especially Loni, for all of their energy and contributions to the project.

Special Thanks from Loni — To Daniel, Vince, Aaron, Mary Jo, the costume department and especially Thea, for all of their energy and contributions to the project.

Conversation with Thea Zalabak and Loni Landon


As it Happens (premiere)

Featuring: Samantha Grayson ’21*
Choreographer: Jermaine Spivey
Cinematographer & Editor: Daniel Madoff
Composer & Pianist: Vince di Mura

Special Thanks from Samantha — Thank you to Jermaine for being the most incredible mentor and inspiration. I am ever thankful for your generosity, patience, and care. Thank you to the Dance Program for your endless support.

Thank you to Roni Blak for providing rehearsal space for this project.

Special Thanks from Jermaine — I would like to thank Vince for his gorgeous music composition and of course all the LCA staff for the work put in to make this as special as possible for Sam and all the graduates.

Conversation with Samantha Grayson and Jermaine Spivey


in time (premiere)

Dancers: Yolore Airewele ’21*, Ysabel Ayala ’21*, Sophie Blue ’21*, Jane Brown ’21*, Runako Campbell ’21*, Samantha Grayson ’21*, Natalie Lu ’21*, Sydney Maple ’21*, Enver Ramadani ’21*, Auset Taylor ’21*, Leila Ullmann ’21*, Phoebe Warren ’21*, Thea Zalabak ’21*
Creator and Director: Elisa Clark, based on movement vocabulary by Robert Battle
Editor: Danica Paulos
Composition & Sound Design: Vince di Mura
Cinematography: Robert C. Banks, Jr. (Cleveland), Emily Lu (Hong Kong), Daniel Madoff (Princeton)
Musicians: Dan Johnson & Wesley Rast, percussion; Dre Dimura, guitar

Special Thanks from the students — To Elisa Clark for working with us all year amidst the unpredictability of these times. Both virtually and in-person, you lifted our spirits and shared with us the joy of dance and gave us a community when we were all separated. To Daniel, Vince, and Danica, thank you for supporting this creative process through your videography, music development and editing. You made this work come to life and gave us seniors the opportunity to have a final product to share with our friends and family. To the dance program faculty and staff, thank you for advocating for studio space and on-campus filming opportunities despite the uncertainty and scariness of our times. A special thank you to Robert Battle for entrusting us with his choreography and giving us a wonderful set of movements to explore over this past year.

Special Thanks from Elisa Clark — I would like to thank the dancers, my creative collaborators, and the artistic leadership and staff members in the Program in Dance and at the Lewis Center for your patience, tireless efforts, artistic contributions, and unparalleled support. And thank you to Robert Battle for sharing your movement, which served as inspiration to create.

Special Thanks to Ingenuity Cleveland for making their location available.


*denotes a student earning a certificate in the Program in Dance


All films were recorded with the approval of the Princeton University Environmental Health & Safety’s Covid Resumption of On Campus Operations Committee, following the masking and social distancing protocols specified. Special thanks to Eric Hamblin, Director of Conference & Event Services, for University locations support.



Costume Designer: Mary Jo Mecca
Lighting Designer: Aaron Copp
Music Director: Vince di Mura
Film Production Manager: Daniel Madoff
Event Stage Manager: Mary-Susan Gregson
Preshow Music: Daniel Johnson, Wesley Rast, Vince diMura
Faculty Liaison: Tina Fehlandt
Stream Master — Matt Pilsner
Stream Associates — Torrey Drum, Jesse Froncek



Chair: Tracy K. Smith
Executive Director: Marion Friedman Young

PROGRAM IN DANCE (2020-2021)

Dance Faculty
View all faculty and guest profiles »
Kyle Abraham
Alexandra Beller
Elisa Clark
Tina Fehlandt, Acting Associate Director, Spring 2021
Judith Hamera, Professor
Francesca Harper
Dyane Harvey-Salaam
Rebecca Lazier, Associate Director, Senior Lecturer
Susan Marshall, Director, Professor
Dean Moss
Silas Riener
Joseph Schloss
Rebecca Stenn
Olivier Tarpaga
Aynsley Vandenbroucke
Sasha Welsh
Raphael Xavier
Netta Yerushalmy, Princeton Arts Fellow

Guest Artist
Peter Chu

Hearst Choreographer-in-Residence
Miguel Gutierrez

Co-curricular Instructors
Laurie Abramson, Ballet
Lauren Auyeung, Hip-Hop
Sherry Greenspan, Somatic Pilates
Adam Hyndman, Musical Theater Dance
Elaine Matthews, Ballet
Mecquel, Yoga
Kathleen Moore Tovar, Ballet
Christopher Ralph, Contemporary/Heels

Vince di Mura
Ian Howells
Daniel Johnson
Timothy Motzer
Wesley Rast
David Tenney
Abdoulaye Toure
Ryan Wolfe


View all staff profiles »
: Darryl Waskow
Production Manager: Chloë Z. Brown
Production Stage Manager: Carmelita Becnel
Resident Musical Director/Composer: Vince di Mura
Assistant Stage Manager: Rob Del Colle
Costume Shop Manager: E. Keating Helfrich
Assistant Costume Shop Manager: Julia Kosanovich
Draper: Caitlin B. Brown
Technical Director: Timothy Godin
Assistant Technical Director: Jesse Froncek
Theater Technician: Torrey Drum
Lighting & Stage Supervisor: Matt Pilsner
Props Master: Allie Geiger Khanna
Scenic Artist: Melissa Riccobono
Master Carpenter: Michael A. Smola
Sound Supervisor: Kay Richardson
Dance Program Associate: Cindy Rosenfeld
Physical Therapist: Claudia Wohl
Director of Communications: Steve Runk
Multimedia Specialist: Zohar Lavi-Hasson
Visual Communications Specialist: Tracy Patterson
Web & Multimedia Strategist: Jonathan Sweeney
Communications Associate: Jaclyn Sweet
Communications Assistant: Hope VanCleaf




robert battle

Photo by Andrew Eccles

ROBERT BATTLE (Choreographer) has been the artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater since 2011, after being personally selected by Judith Jamison. In addition to expanding the Ailey repertory Mr. Battle also instituted the New Directions Choreography Lab to help develop the next generation of choreographers. Originally from the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami, Florida, Mr. Battle studied dance at New World School of the Arts under the direction of Daniel Lewis and Gerri Houlihan, as well as at The Juilliard School under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy, where he met his mentor, Carolyn Adams. He danced with The Parsons Dance Company from 1994 to 2001, where he also staged his work, and Mr. Battle then founded his own Battleworks Dance Company, which made its debut in 2002 in Düsseldorf, Germany, as the U.S. representative to the World Dance Alliance’s Global Assembly. Mr. Battle was honored as one of the “Masters of African-American Choreography” by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2005, and he received the prestigious Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA in 2007. He has honorary doctorates from The University of the Arts and Marymount Manhattan College. Mr. Battle was named a 2015 Visiting Fellow for The Art of Change, an initiative by the Ford Foundation.


elisa in profile with face towards camera, with short crop hair

Photo by Andrew Eccles

ELISA CLARK (Creator and Director) is an award winning artist, educator, and administrator from the Washington, DC area, who trained at the Maryland Youth Ballet before receiving a BFA from The Juilliard School under Benjamin Harkarvy. Clark was a founding member of Robert Battle’s Battleworks Dance Company, where she also served as Company Manager. Additionally, she was a featured member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and Mark Morris Dance Group, and she performed with Nederlands Dans Theater and The Metropolitan Opera in works by Jirí Kylián and Crystal Pite, respectively. As an educator, she has held residencies and faculty positions at the Ailey School/Fordham University, Alabama School of Fine Arts, American Dance Festival, Brown University, George Mason University, Indiana University, Jacob’s Pillow, Marymount Manhattan College, MOVE (NYC), University of North Carolina School of the Arts, New World School of the Arts and is currently on faculty at the University of the Arts and Princeton University. As a repetiteur and rehearsal director, Clark frequently restages the works of Mr. Battle and Mr. Morris. Clark is a Princess Grace Award Winner and a Certified Life Coach, often leading seminars and empowering artists to navigate their respective field. She is also most recently touring alongside Monica Bill Barnes with Monica Bill Barnes & Company in Happy Hour.


aaron with black frame glasses and grey hair, smiles in black collared shirt

Photo courtesy Aaron Copp

AARON COPP’s (Lighting Designer) recent projects include The New One by Mike Birbiglia on Broadway, One Line Drawn by Brian Brooks for Miami City Ballet, Newsies at Village Theater, Shahrazad for The Royal Ballet of Flanders, and Rules Of The Game, created by Jonah Bokaer, Daniel Arsham and Pharrell Williams at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas. Music projects include designs for The Silk Road Ensemble, Natalie Merchant, The Goat Rodeo Sessions, So ̄ Percussion, Maya Beiser and the Bang On A Can All-Stars. Aaron has designed for The Old Globe, The Kennedy Center, Dallas Theater Center, and other major theaters around the country. He has worked extensively in the dance world, and in 2008 he received his second Bessie Award for Jonah Bokaer’s The Invention Of Minus One. He had a long association with Merce Cunningham, designing such pieces as Ground Level Overlay, Windows, and Biped, for which he also won a Bessie.


vince seated at piano

Photo courtesy Vince di Mura

VINCE DI MURA (Resident Composer/Musical Director) has appeared on concert stages and theaters throughout North America, Canada, Europe and Latin America. He has conducted theater seasons in virtually every region of the United States. He is best known for his arrangements of My Way: A Tribute to the Music of Frank Sinatra, Simply Simone, and I Left My Heart, (with over 900 productions nationally). He is also the author of A Conversation With The Blues, a 14 part web instructional series on improvisation through the Blues produced by Soundfy Inc. He holds fellowships from the William Goldman Foundation, Temple University, Meet the Composer, CEPAC, the Union County Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Puffin Cultural Forum, and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. He has six CDs on the market including his most recent release, Meditations on the Sacred Heart. He is currently engaged in a collaboration about the Great Migration with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Yusef Komunyakaa. The new work is slated to premier in 2021 and was commissioned by the Jazz Disciples.


MARY-SUSAN GREGSON (Stage Manager) has worked with Princeton’s Program in Dance since 2012. Recent credits include Gabriel Kahane’s 8980: Book of Travelers, Lincoln Center’s Global Exchange: Art for Good, A Proust Sonata for Da Camera Chamber Music, Narcissus Now Festival for the Onassis Cultural Center, Sufjan Steven’s Round Up and Gabriel Kahane’s The Ambassador, both at BAM. At The New Victory Theater she has stage-managed over twenty shows in the last 20 years and spent 20 summers production coordinating for Lincoln Center Festival. She has production managed Divinamente Festival and the New Island Festival on Governor’s Island. New York shows include Dance Africa, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, The Gate, BQE, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Jazz Nativity, Breaking the Code and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Regional credits include McCarter Theatre, Yale Rep, Williamstown, The Huntington, and the White House. She has toured with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Elisa Monte, Jennifer Muller, Pilobolus and internationally with Forbidden Christmas starring Baryshnikov.


christine with light skin and hair, smiling with head leaning against hand

Photo courtesy Christine He

Born in Germany, CHRISTINE HE (Choreographer) received her diploma in Contemporary Dance at the Ballett Akademie Nuremberg/Fuerth (Germany) from 2004 to 2008. There she also discovered her passion for choreography. In 2007 she received the Talent Award of the City of Fuerth for Modern Dance. From 2008 to 2009 Christine was a member of Modem Studio Atelier, the youth department of the Compagnia Zappalà Danza in Catania in Italy. She moved to Hong Kong in September 2009. She now works as an independent freelance dancer, choreographer and teacher. In January 2018 she finished her first big cast, full length project, CYCLE, supported by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Her latest performances include A Common Question for two Strange Strangers by Lin Yingchi, performed at the Sheung Wan Cultural Centre Theatre as part of the 4th Hong Kong International Choreography Festival in June 2019 and the solo performance Deeper than Shadows for the “Antenna” program of E-Side Company in December 2019 at the Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre. She also took part in the video project STATE by international choreographer Daniel Navarro Lourenço in early 2020, which has recently been awarded the winner of the Audience Choice Award by Wild Dog’s International Screendance Festival 2020. She also is the mother of two energetic little boys who inspire her to new movements every day and teach her to see the world with open eyes.


loni with long curls looks to side with arm stretched out front

Photo by Art Davison

LONI LANDON (Choreographer) is a Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship Winner and a NFAA YoungArts Modern Dance. As a sought-after choreographer, her work has been commissioned by The Joyce Theater, Keigwin and Company, BODYTRAFFIC, James Sewell Ballet, Whim Whim, LEVY DANCE, The Juilliard School, American Dance Institute, Northwest Dance Project, Groundworks Dance Company, Hubbard Street II, BalletX, Ballet Austin, SUNY Purchase, NYU, Boston Conservatory, and Marymount Manhattan College. Her company has performed at The Joyce Theater, Pulse Art Fair, Jacob’s Pillow, Bryant Park, Beach Sessions and Guggenheim Works and Process Series. Landon won first prize in Ballet Austin’s New American Talent Competition, Northwest Dance Project’s “Pretty Creatives” Choreographic Competition, and Next Commission from CityDance Ensemble; she was a finalist in the International Solo Tanz Theater Competition in Stuttgart, Germany, and at the Hannover International Choreography Competition; and she was named an Emerging Choreographer at Springboard Danse Montreal. Landon choreographed the feature film Saturday Church. She has been an adjunct faculty member at NYU, Barnard, SUNY Purchase and Princeton University. Landon is passionate about Entrepreneurship in the Arts and has co-founded THE PLAYGROUND, an initiative designed to give emerging choreographers a place to experiment while allowing professional dancers to participate affordably. The Playground was recognized by Dance Magazine as a “25 To Watch” and by four/four presents, a platform that commissions and presents collaborations between dancers and musicians. Landon received her BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and has performed with Aszure Barton and Artists, Ballet Theater Munich, and The Metropolitan Opera.


daniel in profile with head tipped, back, laughing

Photo by Lisa Lancin

DANIEL MADOFF (Film Production Manager) is a film director, cinematographer, editor, and producer. His work includes award-winning films which have screened worldwide, as well as commercials for national television. He has created content for The New York Times, BBC America, Grey Goose Vodka, BMW, Dewar’s Whiskey, Michelob Ultra, Dermalogica, People Magazine, The Empire State Building, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Trisha Brown Dance Company, Celebrity Series of Boston, Princeton University, SUNY Purchase, East Carolina University, BRIC Media Arts, among others. Daniel was a dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 2007 to its closure in 2012. He served as Director of Media for the Merce Cunningham Trust during Cunningham’s centennial celebration.


mary jo smiling with long brown hair

Photo courtesy Mary Jo Mecca

MARY JO MECCA’s (Costume Designer) work includes Nicole Wolcotts’ Luggage Lost at Triskelion Arts; Ellen Cornfelds’ Raw Footage; Aaron Landsman’s Empathy School & Love Story at Abrons Art Center; Joanna Kotze’s Find Yourself Here at Baryshnikov Arts Center; Liz Magic Laser’s Like You; Laura Petersons’ Forever at The Kennedy Center; Rashaun Mitchell’s Tesseract, Interface at Baryshnikov Arts Center and Nox at Danspace Project; Rebecca Lazier’s There Might Be Others at New York Live Arts, Coming Together/Attica at the Invisible Dog and I Just Like This Music, Terminal; Zvi Gotheiner’s Bear’s Ear, Detoura, Escher/Bacon/Rothko, Surveillance at New York Live Arts, Sky and Water at the MUSA! Festival; Jody Sperling’s Time Lapse-Fantasy at Danspace Project; Laura Peterson Dance’s Atomic Orbital and traceroute; and Barkin/Sellisen Project’s Differential Cohomology. Mecca has designed for the Theater and Dance Programs at Princeton University since 2009. She studied Couture Design with Miss Alice Sapho of Paris and New York. Creator of the Sippi, a social distance Drinking Mask.


danica smiles with long dark hair, holds camera

Photo courtesy Danica Paulos

DANICA PAULOS (Editor) is a dancer, photographer, filmmaker, dance educator, and sound healer from Huntington Beach, California. She first studied dance at Orange County Dance Center and continued training at world renowned institutions such as The Juilliard School, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and The School at Jacob’s Pillow. Danica joined the prestigious dance company Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2014 after joining Ailey II for one year. Danica originated several roles and was featured in the Ailey Company’s repertory while traveling across the world. She also performed on television stations in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. While at Ailey, she modeled and was featured in Elle Magazine, Double Magazine, Refinery29, and graced the cover of Dance Magazine, where she was named “25 to Watch” in 2015. She has trained with Gong Masters Don Conreaux, Aiden McIntyre and Kay Karl in the sacred healing art of Gong playing for individual and group sound baths, as well as all-night Gong Puja. Danica has been practicing photography for over ten years and working professionally for four years. She is a dance photographer and dance filmmaker. You can find articles written about her work from Dance Spirit Magazine and The New York Times.


chris in tank, seated and leaning on chair back

Photo courtesy Christopher Ralph

CHRISTOPHER RALPH (Choreographer) was born and raised in Long Island, N.Y. He began his dance training at Holy Trinity High School, where he was accepted into the theater/dance program led by Cathy Murphy and James Whore. While training at school he simultaneously attended classes at Broadway dance center and Steps on Broadway with teachers such as Dorrit Koppel, Frank Hatchett and Shelia Barker. In 2005 he attended SUNY Purchase College to complete his B.F.A. in dance. Christopher has performed with choreographers and companies such as Gregory Dolbashian (The Dash Ensemble), Loni Landon dance projects, Aszure Barton and Artists, Janis Brenner, Doug Varone, The Metropolitan Opera, Rebecca Lazier, Patrick Corbin, and Sonya Tayeh. Most recently Christopher worked with the recording artist FKA Twigs on an upcoming video project. He currently teaches contemporary and Heels classes at Peridance Capezio Center in New York City.


jermaine closeup with brown eyes, dark skin, black short hair and black facial hair

Photo courtesy Jermaine Spivey

JERMAINE MAURICE SPIVEY (Choreographer) was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and is a graduate of Baltimore School for the Arts and The Juilliard School. From 2002-2017, Jermaine lived and worked predominantly throughout Europe. He has been a company member of Ballet Gulbenkian and Cullberg Ballet, worked as a freelance/guest artist for Hofesh Shechter Company, Robyn Live 2016, The LID, Arias Company, The Forsythe Company, and as a cast member of American Repertory Theater’s original production The Shape She Makes conceived by Susan Misner and Jonathan Bernstein. Since 2008, Jermaine has been a member of Crystal Pite’s project-based company Kidd Pivot. He has rehearsal assisted and/or staged Crystal Pite’s work for companies such as Cedar Lake Ballet, Carte Blanche, Hessisches StaatsBallett Wiesbaden, Netherlands Dance Theater and Paris Opera Ballet. Jermaine has instructed dance all across North America and Europe for professional companies, universities, studios and training programs including USC Kaufman School of Dance, Cal Arts, The Juilliard School, UCLA, NYU Tisch, Baltimore School for the Arts, The Performing Arts Project, MOVE NYC, No)one. Art House, Nuova Officina Della Danza and GöteborgsOperans Danskompani. He is a 2001 Princess Grace Awardee and a 1998 National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts First Level Awardee. As a choreographer, Jermaine has been commissioned by Salt Contemporary Dance, Rambert 2 and most recently LA Dance project. Jermaine has also created and performed two full evening works with partner and collaborator Spenser Theberge titled Rather This Then and Position 3.


WILFRED WONG (Cinematographer) graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He formed an experimental art group HerStory Polygon with young artists in 2011 and showed his interest in directing, multi-media creating, performing and writing. Works include How I learned to do BAD drifting (New Vision Arts Festival 2018), Regarding O (Documentary Theatre Festival 2017), Kitchen of her own (2015), Time with Antonin Artaud (2014), In Search of The ReXXlution Scene(s) (2012), Panorama of Gluttony of The Last Rendezvous presented by On&On Theatre Workshop (2012), and etc. In addition, Wong has also been involved in multimedia video creation intended to research the aesthetics of combining interactive multimedia and theatre. The works include Red Poppies by Hong Kong Dance Company, Love and Information and Postcolonial Affairs of Food and the Heart by Onandon and etc. Moreover, his dance film 9 has been selected by multiple international dance film festivals and was awarded from Fiver International Screendance Movement and One Minute Jumping Frames Dance Video Competition. Wong is currently working on his feature dance film Mountains, Seas, Panorama.