Category Archives: Bios

Michelle Erard

I am a dance artist and educator trained in physical theater and non-western dance forms, the traditions of which underpin my artistic work.

My work has been presented at Smith College, University of New Mexico, Tricklock Company, and other US venues. I have performed in works by Angie Hauser, Marilyn Sylla, Barbie Diewald, Rujeko Dumbutshena, Bill Walters, Tomaz Simatovic, Sonia Olla, Alejandro Granados, and with the companies Los Flamencos, Alma Flamenca, and Afriky Lolo.  

My journey with somatic practices and bodywork began in the year 2000. My bodywork training wove together physical, energetic, and somatic healing practices. I was introduced to OSF in 2015 and found the work life-changing. OSF bridges my healing and creative work.  

I trained at the Conservatory of Flamenco Arts, received BAs from University of New Mexico, and my MFA from Smith College. I am a certified teacher of Action Theater and Open Source Forms and am currently on faculty at Keene State

Raha Behnam

Raha is an Iranian-born, Canadian-raised, US-based artist. Her performance work has been presented in at Danspace Project (Food for Thought), Para\\el Performance Lab, The Wild Project (the CURRENT SESSIONS), and the Knockdown Center (Sunday Service). She has also shown work at the Performance Studies international 2017 conference (Hamburg), FRESH Festival (San Francisco), and Figure One Gallery (Illinois).
Raha holds a Master’s in Urban Planning and Bachelor’s degrees in Dance and Anthropology.


MANUELA BONDAVALLI is a dance artist, teacher, performer.

Manuela is a remarkably potent and experienced dancer, with a strong foundation in traditional and alternative techniques. She has the courage, flexibility and passion – plus integrity, eloquence and humility – to be among the most innovative leaders in her field”.

Stephanie Skura

Manuela holds a Degree from University of Brescia, graduated in Dance studies and then obtained an MA in Choreography and Choreology -Trinity Laban of London, University where in 1995, she started her personal course of choreographic research receiving the “Sylvia Bodmer Award”. She lived in London from 1994 to 1998. Continued her studies in the USA, she is a Certified teacher in Skinner Releasing Technique™ – Ongoing and Introductory level – Skinner Releasing Institute – Seattle (USA). Certified Teacher Trainer of Open Source Forms -OSF- under the guidance of Stephanie Skura.

As a teacher, her investigation includes both in-depht analysis of the contemporary releasing technique, improvisation and compositional techniques. Contact Improvisation it’s a further, nodal source of inspiration and research for Manuela, as is real-time composition. Her work has been influenced and inspired by Steve Paxton, Lisa Nelson, Simone Forti e Nita Little.

As a dance artist, she has carried on her career for more than twenty five years, creating about thirty works and presenting her group choreographies, compositions and collaborative works locally, nationally, and internationally. 

From 1995 to 2011 she was Artistic Director of the Company Manuela Bondavalli. She collaborated with Stephanie Skura in the creation of “ Ruins memories “ and “Prima fila”.

From 2006 to 2014 she was Director and choreographer of the project Sperimental Company No Frills, which aimed at supporting the creative process and the stage presence of young dancers, investigating on-scene improvisation. 

Her creations have been supported by Cariplo Foundation, the Regional Council for the arts (winner of the NEXT award in 2013 and 2014),  Lombardy Dance Circuit, Brescia Theatre Center, ASM and the Municipality of Brescia.

Apart from working with many Lombard actors and directors, she collaborates with the American choreographer Stephanie Skura, musicians and composer like Markus Stokhausen, Fausto Beccalossi, Paolo Benvegnù, Luca Formentini, Ludovico Peroni.

Many of her works are site-specific and were made in collaboration with Croydon College (UK), Dams in Bologna, Teatro Grande in Brescia, Museum Santa Giulia in Brescia, Laba Academy of Fine Arts.

From 2009 to 2014 she was Artistic Director of the Container Festival dedicated to improvisational dance and videodance(in collaboration with Cinedans). She realized “Dance insights”, a project for the dissemination of the history of contemporary dance realized with Francesca Pedroni, in collaboration with the Santa Giulia Museum in Brescia

Currently Artistic Director and Teacher at the International Dance Center former Container12.

Catrina von Radecki

Catrina von Radecki co-founded the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival in 1998 and acted as the Co-Artistic Director and General Manager of the festival until 2015. In 2015, she became the Festival Artistic Director. Catrina has created innovative programming with artists coming to Guelph from across Canada and Internationally and has assisted in developing educational and outreach programs, which reaches children form JK- to Grade 12. Catrina co-founded, directs and teaches through the Guelph Youth Dance Training Program since 2005, a dance program which runs throughout the year for children ages 4-19 years.  The emphasis of the program is to provide a unique space for children to express themselves creatively, develop body awareness, strength and flexibility and to provide non-competitive venues to perform.

Catrina taught dance to pre-professionals at the innovative European Dance Development Centre in Arnhem, Holland and Dusseldorf, Germany and has also taught children and adults (including classes for students, both adults and children, with disabilities) in Montreal, Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph. She has danced for the internationally renowned Compagnie Marie Chouinard (Montreal), Dance Alliance (Germany) and various independent choreographers (Montreal, Guelph). Catrina has been creating her own works since 1992 when she graduated from Concordia University’s dance department (Montreal). Catrina became certified in Open Source Forms in 2017.


Alexx Shilling is a Los Angeles-based dance artist creating site-adaptable, live and filmic dancescapes that invigorate memory and investigate transformation under the moniker alexx makes dances and ann and alexx make dances (2004-2010). Shilling’s original choreography and experimental films have been presented by the Jüdisches Museum München (Germany), REDCAT, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, the Hammer Museum, Highways, Pieter, PAM, homeLA, SOKA Performing Arts Center, Silverlake Independent JCC, Annenberg Beach House, Outlet Dance Festival (NJ), Oklahoma Dance Film Festival, and in New York by Dance New Amsterdam, Dance Film Association, Open House New York, Moviehouse, BAAD, Bushwick Starr, and Chashama. Her work has been supported by generous organizations including Yiddishkayt, Asylum Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, CHIME, UCLA and the Institute of Jewish Creativity. California Arts Council.

As a performer, she has collaborated as a performer with Victoria Marks since 2010 and Richard Rivera/PHYSUAL since 2002. Other choreographers she has had the privilege to dance for include Kevin Williamson, Laurel Jenkins, Nickels Sunshine, Christine Suarez, DaEun Jung, Hana van der Kolk, Ros Warby, Rebecca Bryant, Alison D’Amato, Ariane Anthony, Artichoke Dance, Alan Danielson, Niles Ford, Dwight Rhoden, Debra Fernandez, Kristen Smiarowski and Rebecca Pappas. Ongoing interdisciplinary collaborations include: Latin Alternative Folk band Cuñao, Yiddishkayt, Taso Papadakis, Pablo Santiago, Sarah Leddy, Alberto Denis, Alethea Pace, Janusz Jaworski, Mimi Yin, Ann Robideaux, Maria Garcia and DANCEBAND.

Alexx holds an MFA in Choreography and Dance from UCLA’s World Arts & Cultures/Dance Department and a degree in Dance from Skidmore College. She is the Pilates Specialist at Loyola Marymount University and a Guest Lecturer at Cal State Long Beach. Alexx co-founded the performance platforms Hi, Solo and Gold Series, and co-curates the experimental screen dance platform MOTION CAPTURE at Highways. In addition to Open Source Forms, she holds certifications in Pilates, Maureen Fleming Technique and Yoga.

Photo by Taso Papadakis



Jennifer Arave is a dancer, choreographer, who conceptualizes and facilitates community collaborations. She believes that collaborative art-making, which includes movement and dance, is a viable modality for cultivating change in community through action and stories. Jennifer Arave is the former co-director of ArtShare. And current founder of Water Bar& Public Studio. Jennifer is solidly invested financially and ecologically in her home and neighborhood of Northeast, Mpls.

She is certified in Lisa Nelson’s Tuning Scores and Stephanie Skura’s Open Source Forms, an extension of Joan Skinner’s Releasing Technique.  Our Bodies are the tools of perception for interacting with the world around us and others, let’s keep them in tuned and active!

Nikolai Lesnikov

Nikolai Lesnikov is a Seattle-based multidisciplinary artist and lawyer who has trained in a variety of movement disciplines that include ballet, contemporary, capoeira angola, contact improvisation, and the aerial arts. He has performed in many venues in and around Seattle beginning in 2008 and has appeared in works by Petra Zanki, Kris Wheeler Dance & Co., Jessica Jobaris and General Magic, Markeith Wiley, Emily Johnson / Catalyst, and AJnC Dance-Theater, among others. Since 2012, he has engaged in intensive study and practice of Open Source Forms and received his OSF teacher certification in July, 2017.

Nathan Dryden

Nathan Dryden is a movement artist, teacher, and performer with a MFA in Dance and Choreography from the University of Utah. His work crosses through the fields of contemporary dance, improvisation, theatre, and aerial-dance. Dryden is on faculty as an Open Source Forms teacher trainer and is a certified instructor of the Skinner Releasing Technique at the Introductory and Ongoing levels. He has taught as a guest artist at various universities across the U.S.A. and internationally – including workshops in Turkey, New Zealand, Canada, and England. He is a regular guest artist at the Juniata College Theatre Department teaching, mentoring, and creating/directing works including: And They Lay…Dreaming, Charles Mee’s Big Love, and most recently Samuel Beckett Circus with Kate Clarke.

Amanda Hamp

Amanda Hamp is an Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of New Mexico, where she teaches in the areas of dance practice and dances studies, including courses in choreography, pedagogy, history, modern/contemporary technique, and the MFA/MA core curriculum.

Amanda’s research focuses on how dance artists work beneath and beyond the visual. Her scholarship considers how contemporary, experimental dance artists choreograph experience for the stage. On this subject, and with projects that inhabit the territory of practice-as-research, she has published articles in Choreographic PracticesTheatre Topics, and TDR: The Drama Review. In her creative work, she explores the performative potential of vulnerability. She regularly performs and presents her choreography and scholarship at inter/national venues and conferences.

Amanda is a co-founding member of AGA Collaborative, a trio of artist-scholars who collaborate across geographic distance and in residencies together on experimental performance and research projects.

Amanda became a certified teacher of Open Source Forms in 2010. She holds a BA in theatre/dance from Luther College, a Professional Diploma in Dance Studies from the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance, and an MFA from the University of Iowa, where she focused in choreography. Prior to joining the faculty at UNM, she taught full-time at Luther College and Colby College.

Bee Pallomina


Bee Pallomina is dance artist; performer, collaborator and creator, currently making work for stage, installation and film/video. Born and raised in Toronto, she has worked with numerous independent choreographers, and several dance companies including Dancemakers and Dancetheatre David Earle. Pallomina has appeared in several short dance films by filmmakers Magali Charrier, Michael Downing, and John Oswald. and co-created two films with photographer/videographer John Lauener. Current long-term collaborative relationships include performance and creation with Public Recordings, Saskatchewan dance-artist Johanna Bundon and multi-media artists Sean Frey and Lee Henderson. She also has an active teaching practice, and is certified to teach Moksha Yoga and Open Source Forms. Pallomina holds an MFA in contemporary choreography from York University.