madDASH Festival April 2019

Event Attributes

The madDASH Festival 2019 from April 12-17 features 5 days of FREE dance master classes and discussions from an amazing line-up of guest artists. Visit GO.UMD.EDU/MADDASH19 for schedule, artist bios, and class info. No registration required - first come, first to get in until room occupancy limits are reached. If you have any questions, please email Kendra Portier at


Friday, April 12


Christopher K Morgan – Contemporary Modern Technique

Studio 2 (Morning Beg/Adv Modern classes combined)


Robert Een – The Moving Voice

Studio 1 (Danc 207: Creative Process)           


Christopher K Morgan – Contemporary Modern Technique

Studio 1 (Danc 318/9: Int Modern)


Improvisation Jam hosted by DCX – Studio 2


Alumni Performance: Leaning Towards the Sky by Orange Grove Dance

Colette Krogol & Matt Reeves plus many UMD students at the United States Botanic Gardens


Opera Performance: Street Scene by Kurt Weill

Kay Theater


Sat, April 13


Kendra Portier – Big Music/Loud Dance (A Dance Class)

Dance Theater


Janet Schroeder – Tap Masterclass

Studio 1


Opera Performance:  Street Scene by Kurt Weill

Kay Theater


Alumni Performance: Leaning Towards the Sky by Orange Grove Dance

Colette Krogol & Matt Reeves plus many UMD students at the United States Botanic Gardens


Monday, April 15


Alexandra Beller – Advanced Modern Technique

Studio 2 (Adv Modern)

Last 20 minutes of class: Introduction to Alexandra’s work


Sekou Heru – RhythmMetrics

Studio 1 (Beg Modern)


Alexandra Beller – Introduction to the Artist

Studio 2 (Adv Modern)


Alexandra Beller – Creative Process: Personal Movement Making

Studio 1 (Danc 207: Creative Process)


Monica Bill Barnes – Site Specific Making

Cafritz (Fraser and Kelley’s Site-Specific Theatre Class)


Sekou Heru – RhythmMetrics

Studio 1 (Int Modern)


Toyin Sogunro – Hip Hop Masterclass

Studio 2 (Danc 468: Repertory)


Pizza Circle with Artists – Faculty Lounge

A conversation with Angie, Sekou, and Toyin moderated by Ama Law


Student Choreography Showing – Studio 1

Feedback with Alexandra Beller, Sekou Heru, and Angie Pittman

Please sign up with Sara for a slot!                                           


Alumni Event: 120 Project Documentary Showing – Dance Place (off-campus)

Sarah Beth Oppenheim's (MFA Dance '17) 120 Project/Heart Stück Bernie are thrilled to share a documentary about the inspiring stories and good work of citizen artists from across the country. This film bears witness to a spirit of fortitude, fight, and innovative approach to social justice and arts activism. Click here for more information.


Tuesday, April 16


Alexandra Beller – Mindflock

Cafritz (Theatre 310: Voice for the Actor)


Angie Pittman – Creating from Narrative – Ibo’s Landing

Studio 2 (Danc 109: Improv/Danc 228-29: Ballet I/II)


Sekou Heru – RhythmMetrics

Dance Theater (Danc 200 - K. Harris)


Angie Pittman – (dance class)

Studio 2 (Danc 200 - S. Stone/Danc 338A: Afro-Jazz)


Brown Bag Lunch with Alexandra Beller

Faculty Lounge


Alexandra Beller – Touch in Pedagogy

Studio 1 (Danc 304: Teaching Dance)


Sekou Heru – RhythmMetrics

Studio 2 (Danc 338P: Hip Hop)


Work in-progress showing: UMD students with Monica Bill Barnes


Wed, April 17


Angie Pittman – (dance class)

Studio 2 (Danc 448-49, 648-9 Beg/Adv Modern Combined)


Angie Pittman – Creating from Narrative – Ibo’s Landing

Studio 2 (Danc 239C, 207 Creative Process honors/majors combined)



Artist Bios & Class Descriptions


Alexandra Beller

Alexandra Beller, Artistic Director of Alexandra Beller/Dances, (2002-present), was a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company from 1995-2001 and has danced in over 50 countries and throughout the US. Alexandra has created over 40 original Dance Theatre works, both for her own and other companies. Her choreography has been presented at/commissioned by Dance Theater Workshop, 92nd St. Y, Aaron Davis Hall, Danspace Project at St. Mark's, Abron’s Art Center, Joyce SoHo, P.S. 122, WAX, HERE, The Connelly Theater, SUNY Purchase College, Dance New Amsterdam, Symphony Space, and Jacob’s Pillow and has been commissioned by companies in Korea, Hong Kong, Oslo, Cyprus,  and the US.  Alexandra has choreographed for numerous Theatre companies, including Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Bedlam Theatre Company, and others.  Recent projects include choreographing for the Off-Broadway show, “Sense and Sensibility”, and “As You Like It” at The Folger Shakespeare Library in DC, and Sarah Ruhl’s “How to transcend a happy marriage” at Lincoln Center Theatre. Recent credits include “Pride and Prejudice” at Dorset Theatre in Vermont, and “Antonio’s Song” at Milwaukee Rep. She has taught at Barnard, MIT, The New School, LIU and NYU as an adjunct faculty member and is on faculty at Princeton, Rutgers, and Montclair State University. Alexandra currently holds a BFA in Dance, MFA in Choreography, and a CMA (Certified Movement Analyst) in Laban Movement Analysis and Bartenieff Fundamentals.  She develops and teaches courses in Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Directing, Dramaturgy, Choreography, Pedagogy, Dance Production, and Career Mentorship through Alexandra Beller/Dances throughout the year. For more info:

Advanced Modern Technique: This class explores the qualities of released and off-balance dancing while daring students to find disparate qualities of stillness and explosion. Students are encouraged to develop an individual style driven by their internal life and the specificity of their bodies. By researching movement tasks as opposed to re-creating shapes, students will begin to solve kinesthetic problems in a profound and personal way. We will focus on becoming compelling and magnetic performers, and working within a broad range of movements, from vigorous and athletic, to gestural and theatrical. The movement is approached from many systems: muscular, skeletal and nervous system, inviting dancers to work with versatility, intuition, strength, flow, stamina and ease.

Personal Movement Making /Making Movement Meaningful: creating material that is personal, expressive and narrative without falling into patterns of mime, cliché, or confessional movement. How do we speak through movement in a way that is open to interpretation but strongly felt? How do we use material from our lives to make work? Can our lives inspire phrase material that is daring, expressive, and true?

Mindflock: A workshop in Directing and Dramaturgy for Choreographers and Directors. We will focus on developing strategies for jump-starting new work from scratch by layering compelling visuals, vivid relationships, coherent text, and propulsive narrative. Geared towards Theater and Dance makers, regardless of experience level, wishing to build skills in movement, spatial relationships and imagery, and seeking tools for devising and coaching text, character development, and specific meaning. We will work to create dynamic, innovative, personal, challenging material where both speaking and moving can be acts of survival and subversion.

Touch in Pedagogy: This class engages touch as a tool for active listening, relationship building, initiation and sequencing, and profound learning growth. This session hopes to inspire a new perspective on touch, and the larger environment, by viewing touch through the lens of space. Included in the day’s study will be some of the ideas in Choreutics, or Laban’s Theories of Space Harmony, at the service of using touch to serve a larger purpose for the student a deeper relationship to their environment. We will be trafficking through the Spatial Scales to clarify our understanding of spatial planes and invite specificity to our goal-setting. We will be using hands-on techniques and discussing ideas of Stability/Mobility, active consent, and relational engagement.


Tony “Sekou Heru” Williams

Tony “Sekou Heru” Williams is a dancer from Trenton, New Jersey and based in Brooklyn, New York. His unique dance style fuses an array of forms from hip-hop, house, martial arts and fitness training. Heru’s experience spans television, stage, movies, and videos. He is a sought after teach, performer, choreographer, and mentor.

RhythmMetrics: A method created by Heru that combines sacred geometry, sound and specialized movement to enhance spatial awareness. This is achieved by the teaching of African Diasporic dance genealogy, fitness basics and House dance fundamentals. RhythmMetrics is an intense training methodology that brings awareness to injury prevention and directly mirrors the raw elements found in the club scene by including cypher sessions and a live DJ or drummer during class.


Angie Pittman

Angie Pittman is a New York based dance artist, dance maker, and dance educator. Her work has been performed at The Kitchen, Gibney Dance, BAAD! (BlaktinX Performance Series), Movement Research at Judson Church, Triskelion Arts, STooPS, The Domestic Performance Agency, The KnockDown Center(Sunday Service), The Invisible Dog(Catch 73), and Danspace Project (Food for Thought, Draftworks, Platform 2018). Angie is currently working as a collaborator and dance artist with Antonio Ramos, devynn emory/beastproductions, Jasmine Hearn, MBDance, and Donna Uchizono Company. She holds a MFA in Dance and Choreography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a graduate minor in African American Studies.  In 2017, Angie was awarded a “Bessie” for Outstanding Performer for her work with Skeleton Architecture, a vessel of Black womyn and gender nonconforming artists rooted in the rigor and power of the collective in practice.  Angie’s work resides in a space that investigates how the body moves through ballad, groove, sparkle, spirit, spirituals, ancestry, vulnerability, and power.

(dance class) with Angie Pittman: Rooted in the practices of Umfundalai, Soul Line Dance, and improvisation as African Diasporic dance practices this class will concentrate on the relationship of the pelvis to the earth. We will always begin with a Umfundalai practice called "Nanigo" and incorporate a Soul Line Dance as a way to relate to to each other and the space we inhabit together today. In this class, we will work together and individually using bits of the core progression of Umfundalai, improvisational scores, set material, and basic line dances.

creating from narrative- Ibo’s Landing: In this class, we will explore how we can use narrative as an expansive underlying drive in the creation of dances.  With the focus being on the subtle and nonlinear, we will look to the story of Ibo’s Landing as a point of departure.


Christopher K. Morgan

Christopher K. Morgan is the Executive Artistic Director of Dance Place in Washington, DC, where he oversees the curation of 40 weekends of performances by national and international choreographers annually, a school for youth and adults, youth enrichment programs and continues Dance Place’s leadership in creative place-making. He is the Artistic & Executive Director of Washington DC based contemporary dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists (CKM&A) and has directed Art Omi: Dance since 2006, an annual collaborative residency for international choreographers in New York. Born in Orange County, CA, Christopher’s Native Hawaiian ancestry and a diverse, international performance career that moved him to San Diego, Munich, New York, Dublin and London all influence his work as an administrator, choreographer, educator, facilitator, curator and performer.

Said to be "direct, transcendent and entrancing" by The Washington Post, his choreography has been presented in 18 countries on five continents. Christopher founded CKM&A in 2011; the same year Dance Magazine profiled him as one of six breakout choreographers in the United States. Awards include a 2013 Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Fellowship in Dance, 2014 NPN Creation Fund, 2014 NEFA National Dance Project (NDP) Production Grant, 2015 Montgomery County Executive’s Outstanding Artist Award and 2011, 2014 and 2017 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards, and an inaugural 2018 Native Launchpad Awards from the Western Arts Alliance.

Christopher taught at American University (Washington, DC) from 2011-14, in the BA and MFA programs at the University of Maryland from 2014-2017, and has conducted residencies at over 20 institutions of higher learning in the US and abroad. In demand as a speaker, panelist and grants reviewer for his informed and balanced perspective, Christopher is at the forefront of national discussions on cultural appropriation and equity. He resides in Washington, DC with his husband, opera director Kyle Lang.


Contemporary Modern Technique: Christopher K. Morgan’s diverse dance experiences and international performing and choreographic career have all contributed to the content of his technique class.  A movement vocabulary that incorporates a balletic use of the lower body, intricate gestures and a sinuous use of the spine, he is greatly interested in efficiency of movement through the use of clear timing and precise expenditure of momentum.  In recent research, he is investigating how to re-indigenize his heavily western and European influenced vocabulary with the hula and Polynesian dances that are in his DNA and childhood muscle memory. Through a warm-up that incorporates yoga, release technique, martial arts, modern dance and a thoughtful build-up to full bodied virtuosic movement, students are asked to bring their entire selves into the class and express themselves without inhibition.

Creative Process: This class explores dance and theater making that stem from investigations of personal identity. Sourcing from personal and family histories, racial and ethnic identities, students will utilize research, journaling, and a variety of creative process approaches to uncover the elements of making a solo for performance. The class will look at performance as a mode of action essential to human identity and culture and will ask fundamental questions about the nature and purposes of art.


Robert Een

Robert Een is an award-winning composer, singer, cellist and teacher.  The recipient of an “Obie” for music composition and two New York Dance and Performance “Bessies” for music composition and sustained achievement, his genre-defying music is presented worldwide.  He composes for film, theater, dance and the concert stage and teaches at universities and professional schools around the globe.  His unique solos for voice and cello highlight extended techniques while his ensemble music is distinguished by its unusual combination of instruments.  Recordings are available at www.

The Moving Voice: A master class for artist of all disciplines and levels to discover and explore their voice. Beginning with breath and its innate connection to the physical body vocalization is a natural extension of being in the world.  This is a physical approach to the technical and creative use of the voice as an instrument with singing being defined as all possible vocal sounds.  This exploration makes use of improvisation and composition based in archetypal forms and practices.


Janet Schroeder

Janet Schroeder, MFA, PhD, is a percussive dance artist, scholar, and teacher, with a particular interest in tap dance, Appalachian clogging, and body percussion. She maintains her physical practice of these rhythmic dance forms throughout the U.S. and Mexico, creating and presenting choreography as well as taking and teaching classes. From 2005-2010 Schroeder toured with music and dance company Rhythm in Shoes. She holds a BFA in musical theatre from Ohio Northern University, an MFA in dance from The College at Brockport, SUNY, and a PhD in dance studies from The Ohio State University where she was a Presidential Fellow. Schroeder is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at University of North Carolina, Charlotte. During the summer, she works as scholar-in-residence at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and she recently published an article on tap dancer, Michelle Dorrance, in the magazine, Arts and Culture Texas.

Tap Masterclass: Intermediate to intermediate-advanced dancers will address rhythm tap dance technique through historic people and practices including rudiments from Steve Condos and various steps and exercises from Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Honi Coles. The class will also include improvisation challenges and choreographic phrase-work from Schroeder’s current works-in-progress. Throughout the class, dancers will continually engage with two fundamental tenets of rhythm tap dance including the importance of musicality and the embodiment of the Africanist aesthetic.


Kendra Portier

Kendra Portier (BAND|portier) is an NYC-based maker, teacher, and performer. The projects she takes on are dance-centered collaborations that draw upon her visual arts. Her current choreography is a multi-installment investigation of color, color theories, and perception (Color Works: BurnishPhosphorium). Kendra has held faculty and guest artist positions at numerous dance programs, facilities, festivals, and repertory companies around the world. As a performer, Kendra has been danced with a breadth of dance-makers, including Lisa Race, Vanessa Justice, Nicole Wolcott, Alexandra Beller, and a tenure with David Dorfman Dance. She is currently Artist in Residence at the University of Maryland. More information is available at

Big Music/Loud Dance: In this class, we will stretch our movement capacities through guided improvisation, visceral imagery, and dynamic (and very sweaty) phrase material. We will mobilize in and out of the floor, explore the qualitative + durational + rhythmic range(s), and challenge physical and creative endurance. Movement tends towards a weighted use of the pelvis as both anchor and piston for multidirectional action. We will dance via poetic physics with and without other bodies; processing and cultivating our together.


Toyin Sogunro

Born and raised in the Washington D.C. area, Toyin is an internationally established dancer dedicated to preserving and cultivating the urban dance culture and community. She has gained the respect as one of the best House dancers of this generation and is perhaps most well-known for earning the distinction, of winning and judging some of the top dance competitions in the world. 

Hip Hop Masterclass: Coming up in dance culture and from her extensive experience in teaching, performing and competing, she will be sharing her unique understanding of dance on this special occasion.