Faculty

Lisa
Andrea
Thurrell

Lisa Andrea Thurrell, Artistic Director, Choreographer, faculty, dancer, KDC (’95-date) was faculty at Academy of Russian Ballet, Denver, CO (‘01-04); Illinois State Univ., Normal, IL (‘05.); Ballet Minnesota, (‘98 - to date), UN-Lincoln, NE ('92,'94.) She danced with the Martha Graham Co. in NYC; and in the Spoleto Festivals in Italy and South Carolina ('91-'94); she also worked with Omega Dance Co and other NYC choreographers (‘88-‘94.). She was faculty at Idrætshøjskole, Oure, Denmark, toured her choreography to Odense (‘97.); and has presented in NYC (‘89-‘93) at The Field, Dance Space, Laban Center, and in the Midwest. She holds a Certificate of Completion, Professional Trainee and Teaching Program, from Martha Graham School for Contemporary Dance, NYC (’93) (3yr program nationally accredited); and an MFA in Dance, minor in Asian Theatre, UW-Madison (‘86.) She studied under: Yuriko, Diane Gray, Carol Fried, Ethel Winter, Hanya Holm, Nancy Hauser, Phyllis Lamhut and others. She shares awards (‘96-‘08) from: WAB, CitiARTS MCCF, DCCAC, Pleasant T Rowland, Overture, MCF; nominated for the Bonnie Bird International Choreography Award (Laban Center London ’97)

Robert
E.
Cleary

Robert E. Cleary, Artistic Director, faculty, choreographer, dancer, KDC ('95-date); former principal dancer with Minnesota Ballet and Minnesota Dance Theater, trained under Frank Bourman, David Voss, Loyce Houlton, Bonnie Mathis, Mary Hinkson, Tisha Von Burpee, received his BA from Univ of Minnesota in Dance and History (’90). Cleary studied at the School of American Ballet; and the Susan Klein-Releasing Technique, NYC. He danced with Bebe Miller, Bill T Jones, Danny Ezralow, Paula Mann, Carolyn Brown and others. While on faculty at Oure Idrætshøjskole, Denmark, he toured his choreography to Arhus, Odense, and Copenhagen and danced as soloist in Nini Theilade's Ballet Schubert. He served as Guest Faculty at Southwest Texas State and Academy of Russian Ballet, Denver, CO ('01-03.) He annually performs in "The Nutcracker" for Ballet Minnesota; danced with companies in the Midwest including Wendy Hambidge. He has awards ('95-date) from WAB, CitiARTS, MAC, MCF, Pleasant T Rowland Fdtn, MCCF, DCCAC.

Tiana
Ching
Maslanka

Tiana Ching Maslanka, began dancing at age 4 in Honolulu, Hawaii. She has performed professionally in a variety of dance forms including Modern, Hula, Tahitian, Swing Dance, Belly Dancing, and Musical Theatre Jazz. In 2011, Tiana earned her MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her choreography has been shown in Honolulu, Hawai’i; Madison, Wisconsin; and Tacoma Washington. This is Tiana's 4th season with Kanopy.

Sarah
Wolf

Sarah Wolf, attended Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi, for two years working on her BFA in dance. She attended Milwaukee Ballet School’s summer intensive for multiple years, as well as summer intensives at the Ailey School and Masterworks Dance Festival. While completing her BFA in dance with honors form UW-Milwaukee, she worked with a variety of choreographers including Simone Ferro, Ed Burgess, and Luc Vanier. Ms. Wolf danced one season with Danceworks Performance Company in Milwaukee before joining Kanopy in 2010. Ms. Wolf is an ABT Certified Teacher in Primary through Level 7, and currently teaches at Kanopy Dance Academy, First Position Dance Studio, and Beloit College.

Brienna
Tipler

Brienna Tipler, has pursued her passion for dance since the age of four when she first began training with the Makaroff School of Ballet in Appleton, Wisconsin. At the age of 16 she was selected to attend the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, rigorously studying ballet under renowned instructors. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance from the University of Oklahoma on scholarship. She had the opportunity to work with Austin Hartel, Derrick Minter, Dudley Williams, Betty Jones, Nancy Allison, and Fritz Ludin among others. While at OU, she was a member of the Oklahoma Festival Ballet and Contemporary Dance Oklahoma. Her choreography was selected by OU’s School of Dance faculty to be presented in the 2009 Young Choreographer’s Showcase performance. Brienna has spent many summers studying on scholarship at the Milwaukee Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Boston Ballet, Ballet Magnificat!, and Ad Deum. She is a ballet and modern dance instructor and choreographer for Madison Professional Dance Center, Kanopy Dance School, and A Step Above Dance Academy in Madison, WI.

Jessica
Hoyt

Jessica Hoyt trained at the National School of Canada. As a student, Jessica had the honor to perform with the National Ballet of Canada and the Kirov Ballet (Mariinsky Ballet). She also studied at Interlochen Arts Academy, graduating with academic and artistic honors, performing lead roles and dancing along side the Martha Graham Company. Jessica received her BFA in dance and her BA in political science from the University of Michigan, where she danced works by Peter Sparling, Lucinda Childs, Merce Cunningham, and others.

Vivian
Tomlinson

Vivian Tomlinson, KDC, faculty; Teaching has been a big part of Vivian Tomlinson’s life for over three decades…and he still loves it. He has taught men, women, old and young, beginners and experienced —"even UW football players." While attending the University of Capetown in South Africa, he studied ballet and performed with the University of Capetown Ballet Company (1973-76.) “The highlight of that time was dancing with Margot Fonteyn of the Royal Ballet in Swan Lake. I was so impressed with her because she was very gracious and humble. She sat on the floor with us and chatted like everyone else.” Tomlinson arrived in Madison in 1973 to join Wisconsin Ballet Company. Mr. Tomlinson, a founding member of the Kanopy Dance (1976), danced in the Edinburgh Arts Festival in Scotland with KDC (‘78.) He performed in France and Switzerland. Mr Tomlinson has been teaching for the Madison School of Ballet, the UW Dance Program and the University Department of Liberal Studies and the Arts, Division of Continuing Studies, in Madison and in outreach programs around the state. He has taught, performed and choreographed at the Jewish Community Center in Omaha, NE; at East High School in Madison; at Columbus High School and at Watertown High School. He has worked with the Central Wisconsin Ballet Fdtn in Wausau since 1976. He has presented with Madison Civic Opera and University Opera. He reprised one of his most delightful works Just for Kicks for Kanopy's Generation to Generation concert in 2000. He was awarded the Wisconsin Dance Council 2000 Distinction Award.

Amy
Panganiban

Amy Panganiban, KDC faculty, is a native of Madison. Amy performed professionally with Minnesota Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theater and American Festival Ballet. After retiring from dancing, she began designing and building costumes for Christopher Aponte at Spokane Ballet and later worked as a costume designer for Eugene Ballet Company in Oregon. While at EBC, Amy designed several of Toni Pimble’s ballets including Raramuri, Still Falls the Rain, Channel Surfing, Wild Indigo and Slipstream. Amy also created costumes for classical productions of Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. In addition to her work with EBC, Amy has also designed costumes for Charleston Ballet Theatre; Ballet Teatro de Guadalajara; University of Oregon Dance Department and for the Oregon Ballet Theatre’s American Choreographer’s Showcase in Portland; and, worked with several choreographers including Eloy Barragán and Lisa de Ribere.

Juan
Carlos
Díaz Vélez

Juan Carlos Díaz Vélez began his dance training in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he studied under several teachers including Carmen Sandoval, Lucila Arce, and Alex Zybin. He also attended summer programs at the San Francisco and Pacific Northwest Ballet schools in the U.S. and was an apprentice with the American Festival Ballet. As a professional dancer, he danced with Idaho Dance Theater and Spokane Ballet, and as a principal dancer with Charleston Ballet Theater, Ballet Idaho and Eugene Ballet Company. Juan Carlos has performed throughout Mexico, United States, Canada, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Syria, Jordan, Tunisia and Taiwan. He has worked with many accomplished choreographers including Christopher Aponte, Toni Pimble, Jill Eathorne Bahr, Lisa de Ribere, Elisa Monte, Beth Corning, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, David Berkey, Sandra Kaufmann and Martin Lofsnes.

Olivia
Claire
Rivard

Olivia Claire Rivard, a Wisconsin native, began dancing at the age of four. After following this passion throughout her childhood and teenage years, she entered the dance program at the University of Minnesota in 2004. Five years later, she received both a B.F.A. in Dance and a B.A. in French Studies. Her international dance experience extends to training in Paris at Studio Harmonic and the Centre de danse du Marais in addition to organizing and teaching her own modern dance technique classes for adults. Previously as a student and now as a teaching assistant, she has been participating at the American Dance Festival for several years where she has performed works by Erick Hawkins and Trisha Brown. In Wisconsin, she has set and performed her choreography as part of the Bare Bones Dance Collective.

Georgia
Corner

Georgia Corner is a dancer and teacher with over twenty years of experience performing, teaching, and producing dance. She performed for five years with the Erik Hawkins Dance Company; for two years with Douglas Dunn and Dancers, and New York based companies of Lise Brenner, Kriota Willberg, and Karen Bernard. She also performed throughout Minnesota with Ballet Harren, and performed domestically and internationally for eight years with Ballet Mink Colbert. In 1998, she founded and went on to co-direct and dance in The Wellspring Project, a repertory company based in the Hawkins technique. Over six years, Wellspring commissioned and premiered over a dozen new dances, produced five New York seasons, performed throughout New England, and appeared in Toronto and Montreal. Corner developed a lecture demonstration about modern dance for Wellspring and grants which were funded by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Bossak Heilbronn Foundation. In 2002 Wellspring produced the Erik Hawkins Legacy Forum in conjunction with Hunter College, which drew teacher and students from across the country and abroad. While in New York, Corner taught modern technique at the Erik Hawkins School of Dance and at the 92nd Street Y, both cradles of modern dance. For twelve years she directed the Broome Corner Studio, which offered classes, rehearsal and performance space to the New York dance community. She has been a guest artist at the University of Nebraska-Las Vegas, and has taught workshops and master classes for groups of every age and experience level.

Anna
Betz

Anna Betz, dancer and ballet instructor for KDC, began her dance studies at the Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota. She has danced in many of the classics restaged by Cheryl Rist for Ballet Minnesota including: "Don Quixote", "La Bayadere", "Sleeping Beauty" and "Swan Lake". She has been a featured dancer in works by Andrew Rist including: "The Classic Nutcracker", "Beethoven"s 9th Symphony", "Rhapsody in Blue", "Beethoven's 6th Symphony", "Mozart's 40th Symphony" and "Black Dog Cafe". Anna was made an apprentice to Ballet Minnesota for the 2010-2011 season. She studied under the instruction of Elizabeth Shipiatsky, Gelsey Kirkland, Ted Kivitt, and Karen Burns as part of her supplementary training. Currently pursuing a degree in Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is also certified in instructing the Vaganova Method of classical ballet.

Alaina
Keller

Alaina Keller, from Milwaukee, WI, began dancing at a young age with Wauwatosa Recreation dance school and Miss Connie’s Studio of dance. At the age of 14 she joined the Milwaukee Ballet School to continue her training in Ballet. Throughout her years there she attended Milwaukee Ballet School’s summer intensive where she trained in many forms of dance and worked with a variety of choreographers including Rolando Yanes and Petr Zahradinicek. Alaina also attended summer intensives at Mystic Ballet of Connecticut, working with choreographer Brian Enos, and Eisenhower Dance of Michigan where she worked with Laurie Eisenhower, Lizzie Meckenzie and Darby Wilde. After high school, she was accepted into Milwaukee Ballet’s second Company where she danced for one season performing works by Michael Pink, Nadia Thompson, Rolando Yanes, Petr Zahradnicek, and Brent Whitney. While with Milwaukee Ballet she also had the opportunity to teach with their outreach program for Milwaukee public schools. Last Year Alaina began working and teaching with Danceworks Performance Company of Milwaukee, she also had the opportunity to work with UW-Milwaukee’s Dancemakers summer dance program.

Marc
Kotz

Marc Kotz is a life-long performing artist and teacher who delights in venturing to other cultures and times through the means of dance, theatre, movement and educational exploration. His career has taken him around the world performing with companies such as the Hartford Ballet and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. He has choreographed over 50 dances, collaborated on 2 dozen musicals/ plays/ operas, and has directed/ choreographed twelve concert-length productions, half of which have original scripts written by him. Marc received a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Iowa as an Iowa Arts Fellow, has taught all ages from pre-school to the aged (including 12 years at the university level), and directs his own arts-integration company Born 2 Move Movement Adventures. LLC (www.Born2Move.org), which received a "Pinnacle Award-Honorable Mention" from the Center for Interactive Learning Collaboration (CILC) for programming during the 2013-2014 school year.

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