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Igal Perry - Artistic Director

Born in Israel, Igal Perry began his dancing career with Karmon, a folk dance company, and later joined the Bat-Dor Dance Company where he worked with leading teachers and choreographers including Inesse Alexandrov, Benjamin Harkarvy, John Butler, Rudi Van Dantzig, Alvin Ailey, Paul Sanasardo, and Lar Lubovitch. Upon arriving in the United States, Mr. Perry joined Dennis Wayne's Dancers as a ballet master and choreographer. During that period, he staged John Butler's work for the New York City Opera, the Opera of Munich, Caracas Ballet, and Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, where he also directed the world premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki's opera Paradise Lost.

Mr. Perry's first full evening of ballets, Chromatic Motions, was presented in 1979, in collaboration with the Manhattan School of Music, presenting works to original music by Rand Steiger, Randy Packer, Edward Billous, and more. In 1981 and 1982, he headed the ballet department at Jacob's Pillow, and went on to co-direct the Clive Thompson Dance Company. In 1983, Mr. Perry celebrated the opening of his dance school Peridance Center, now Peridance Center, which has since been providing a nurturing and professional environment for all dancers. A year after the opening of his school, he founded his dance company the Peridance Ensemble, now Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, for which he has choreographed over 50 works. Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), The Joyce Theater, and City Center are amongst the many theaters in which the Company has performed through the years. Mr. Perry has collaborated with numerous composers including John Mackey, Quentine Chappetta, Phillip Hamilton, and Avner Dorman, with whom he has created the full length workDreams and Demons (2003).

Mr. Perry's international engagements as a teacher and choreographer include The Scapino Ballet and Het National Ballet (Holland), Laterna Magica and the National Ballet (Prague), Architanz (Tokyo), The Royal Ballet of Sweden, The National Ballet of China, and the Kwang-Ju City Ballet Company (Korea), where he also serves as Artistic Director for the Kwang- Ju International Ballet Competition. Mr. Perry's works are in the repertories of companies throughout the world, including the Batsheva and Bat-Dor Dance Companies (Israel), Companhia de Danca de Lisboa(Portugal), the Alberta Ballet (Canada), Complexions (USA) and Alvin Ailey II (USA). Since 1995, Mr. Perry has been serving as guest master teacher at Juilliard, where he also staged his Intimate Voices, and premiered Mourning Song, created for the Juilliard Dance Ensemble. Mr. Perry's work has been repeatedly presented at the prestigious Florence Dance Festival (Italy) by his Company as well as by Florence Dance Company. In May 2007, Mr. Perry was inducted into the Dance Library of Israel Hall of Fame.


Program Directors

Roya Carreras - School at Peridance Director

Roya Carreras is an Iranian-Hispanic artist, choreographer, and educator who works within commercial, film, and theatrical settings from New York City to Los Angeles.

On stage, Carreras' work has been presented at the CURRENT SESSIONS, Dixon Place, Baruch Performing Arts Center, and The Green Building in New York City; in California, she has presented at The Odyssey, Highways Performance Space, Electric Lodge Theater, Glenn Wallichs Theatre, Diavolo, Brockus Project Space, and BRAVA. She was a resident choreographer for Columbia Ballet Collaborative of Columbia University in 2015 and in 2018 participated in the MANCC residency funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. She has taught ballet, contemporary, and improvisation at Harlem School of the Arts, New Canaan Dance Academy, American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Peridance, Riverside Ballet Arts, Riverside City College, Pasadena Dance Theater, Norwalk Metropolitan Youth Ballet, East Pointe Dance, and Brockus Conservatory. As a performer, she has worked closely with Barak Marshall at BodyTraffic, Bryan Arias, Danielle Russo Performance Project, and Lux Boreal Danza Contemporanea in Tijuana, Mexico. Carreras holds a BFA in Dance with Honors from UC Irvine's Claire Trevor School of the Arts, with additional training from The Ailey School and Springboard Danse Montreal.

Her most recent work "Naneh," premiered inJanuary 2020, set on the L.A. Contemporary Dance Company.

 

Kelly Voelpel - School at Peridance Coordinator

Kelly Voelpel began her early dance training at the School of Performing Arts/Fineline Theatre Arts in New Milford, CT under the direction of Elizabeth Parkinson and Scott Wise. Following a year studying ballet at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, she attended the LINES Ballet Training Program and later joined The Ballet Theatre of Maryland. Since 2014 Kelly has been teaching ballet in the tri-state area and regularly performs with Mooney Cooley Dance.

 

Diego Funes Headshot

Diego Funes - Youth Ensemble Director

Diego Funes has choreographed all over the world, including London, Italy, Spain, France, Sweden, Norway, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala and throughout the United States, including New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, St. Louis, Kansas City, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. His credits as a dancer and choreographer include major works in dance theatre, musical theatre, film and television.

Over 15 years, he has created a style influenced by his ballet, gymnastics and worldwide dancing career, creating kinetic, exciting and unconventional solo and group pieces that challenge and inspire his dancers.

His company, De Funes Dance, explores the intersection of dialogue and movement in contemporary dance. Funes' choreography is a rich tapestry of nuance and expansivity and always communicates its conceptual framework. Whether sourced from literary texts, conversations with his artists, or musical scores, language forms the foundation of his choreography.

His company has performed throughout New York City, including Battery Dance Festival, DUMBO Dance Festival, Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center, Symphony Space, Judson Memorial Church, Sans Limites, Dixon Place, Joyce Soho, Salvatore Capezio Theatre and Galapagos Arts Center, among others.

In 2018, his full-length evening, Interior Dialogues, including two world premiere pieces, Fragments and V., played a sold-out engagement at the Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center in Brooklyn. His acclaimed work, Crisalida, set to music by Astor Piazzolla, has also been staged throughout the world.

His debut short film, Rendez-vous, which he choreographed and directed on location in Paris, has been featured in over 30 international film festivals, and has won awards in Spain, India and Brazil. His follow-up short film ABSENCE has been seen in 12 international film festivals and has won three awards. Un-fazed, a solo work in progress, was commissioned by the Sanskar Virtual Dance Festival in Goa, India, where it was critically acclaimed. It is now being developed into an expanded work for six dancers. He co-created and directed a dance theatre work for online platforms, First in Half, then in Quarters, that was presented by Mixily Presents: Beyond the Frame - New Plays for Zoom and ArtSpa.

In 2007, he choreographed the major motion picture, P.S. I Love You, directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Gerard Butler and Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank.

He trained in gymnastics from the age of four. As a teenager, he studied at the prestigious School of American Ballet, prior to dancing with Cincinnati Ballet, The New York City Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Baletto del Sud. He went on tour throughout Europe, later returning to the United States to break into musical theatre. His musical credits as a dancer include Cats, Hello, Dolly!, Riverdance, Anything Goes, A Chorus Line and The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. He also danced in numerous videos for MTV and with headlining music artists such as Liza Minnelli, Whitney Houston and Will Smith.

He most recently provided movement staging for actor and musician Hershey Felder's US tour of A Paris Love Story. He has choreographed acclaimed productions of Beauty and the Beast, Hello, Dolly!, And the World Goes Round, Zorba!, Leader of the Pack, the first New York revival of Subways Are for Sleeping, and shows for Tokyo Disney.

Diego lives in New York City, where he is the founder and artistic director of de funes dance, and the Youth Ensemble Director at Peridance Center.

 


Faculty

 


Carissa Fodera

Carissa Fodera, a native New Yorker, has attained a Master's Degree in Dance Education from the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program, graduating Cum Laude, a Bachelor's Degree in Dance from Hunter College, and an Associate's Degree in Dance from Nassau Community College. She is certified to teach Dance to grades K-12 in New York State.

As a dance teacher, she has taught at schools such as Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, P.S. 79, Queens School of Inquiry, P.S. 198's Dance Fest, P.S. 209, M.S. 216, American Dance and Drama, CK Kids, and currently, the School at Peridance.

As an Arts Administrator she has worked with companies such as Dance/NYC, Stephen Petronio Company, and INSTITU Dance Festival. Currently she works at Peridance Center as the Program Administrator, where she coordinates the renowned Open Class Program with over 200 weekly dance classes.

carissafodera.com

 

Colin Heininger

Originally from Pennsylvania, Colin Heininger is a current member of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company. Here, he has performed works by Igal Perry, Adam Barruch, Norbert de la Cruz, Marlena Wolfe, and Jae Man Joo. In 2016, Colin graduated as an Honors Scholar with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Musical Theater from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he was named the Valedictorian of the School of Dance. In addition, Colin attended the Jacob's Pillow Contemporary program in 2014 and Springboard Danse Montreal in 2016. Throughout these places, he has had the privilege of performing works by Sharon Eyal, Netta Yerushalmy, Andrea Miller, Helen Simoneau, Beth Gill, Sidra Bell, Mark Morris, and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, among others.

 

Rachel Hettinger Headhsot

Rachel Hettinger

Rachel has presented work at the KnJ Theater at Peridance, Galapagos ArtSpace, at San Jose State, San Jose, CA at the sjDANCEcoChoreo Project- where her work was awarded with the Audience Choice recognition for choreography. As well as the Pushing Progress Showcase Series, the Young Choreographer's Festival, In-sight Dance Company's 5th Annual Suite Summer Festival at Socrates Sculpture Park, the 14th Annual DUMBO Dance Festival, the 11th Annual Amalgamate Artists Series, and The Giving Tree, a benefit concert to raise awareness for pediatric cancer.

 

Lauren Jaeger

Lauren Jaeger graduated magna cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College with a BFA in Dance. Lauren has toured both nationally and internationally as a member of MOMIX, Buglisi Dance Theatre, Michael Mao Dance, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, and Catapult. Lauren is an Assistant Rehearsal Director for Buglisi's Table of Silence Project, which is performed each year on September 11th at Lincoln Center. She has also performed with Alma Dance, ACB Dance, Ballet Ambassadors, and as a guest artist with Eva Dean Dance. Lauren is a guest artist and master teacher for Adelfia Ballet School and the Fini Dance Festival in Southern Italy and NYC. In addition to her performance work, Lauren has been teaching for Peridance since 2009 and also teaches for several schools in the area including The Joffrey Ballet School, and Greenwich Dance Studio. In the past she has taught for the Steffi Nossen School of Dance, Center Stage, the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance, and Ballet Hispanico.

 

Maggie Joy

Maggie Joy is a freelance dancer living in New York. A Dallas TX native, Maggie is an honors graduate of Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in Dance from NYU Tisch, and also studied internationally at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance. Maggie is currently performing with Dual Rivet, cullen+them, and with Kayla Farrish Decent Structures Arts. Other recent credits include Helen Simoneau Danse's The Delicate Power Project Research Lab, participation as a dancer in Jacob's Pillow's Ann and Weston Hicks Choreographic Fellow Program and as an inaugural participant in the GLUE x TRISK program. Maggie has presented work Arts on Site, including in a produced and self-curated performance, and at the DiMenna Center. Maggie is currently on faculty as an adjunct at Adelphi university and on faculty at the School at Peridance, in addition to other guest teaching at various universities and programs including the Juilliard Summer Dance Intensive, Dancewave, and Gibney Dance Center. In addition to her performance and creative pursuits, Maggie works as a Community Leader at Arts on Site, helping curate and run performances and community events.

 

Jonathan Mendez

Jonathan began dancing at the age of nine in Cali, Colombia at the Colombian Institute for Classical Ballet (Incolballet). Upon graduation, he joined Incolballet, Colombia's premier dance company. Jonathan received a full scholarship to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. He performed with Dances Patrelle in the Nutcracker and their 2010 Spring Season. In May 2010, Jonathan performed with Avi Scher and Dancers at the Kennedy Center. In December 2010 Jonathan was a Guest Artist with Alberta Ballet for the production of the Nutcracker in Canada. Jonathan joined Les Ballets Grandiva in July 2010 for which he performed in many tours all around Japan. In 2012 Jonathan joined Les Ballets Eloelle for which he performed in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, China, South Africa and Japan. Jonathan is an American Ballet Theatre certified teacher and he also featured in the American Dance Documentary "First Position".

 

Jonathan Peña

Jonathan Manuel Peña who is popularly known as Shwing; is a dancer who started his performance career in the rough and competitive yards of Greek life. He has won numerous step and stroll competitions and later on continued his passion for performing arts by pursuing dance. He has been dancing professionally as a commercial Hip Hop and Reggaeton dancer for 5 years and has toured with choreographer J Romeo 2 times in both Miami and the Area. "Shwing" has opened up for Urban Latin sensation Nicky Jam and has performed for El Duo Perfecto, Koryn Hawthorne, Elle Winter, Jingle Ball 2019 and more. "Shwing" has performed on major televised programming like Telemundo and several music videos and is currently choreographing within the Urban Latin Reggaeton industry and teaching in the tristate area.

 

Karin Rendelman

Karin, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., is a working choreographer and teacher residing in New York City. Graduating Cum Laud from Florida International University, Miami Florida, she earned a BA in Dance. Her infectious energy and her passion for dance were seasoned while she mentored under Broadway tap dancer, Jimmy Tate. Karin has been teaching for over 20 years and during this time, was honored to become the Director of the Dance Department at the nationally renowned Weiss School. She has also directed a youth tap company in South Florida where her students performed locally for community events/fundraisers and her choreography was recognized with numerous awards at a variety of competitions on both regional and national levels. Currently, Karin continues to teach master classes and create choreography for students all over the country and abroad as well as teaching on the competition/convention/intensive circuit and she is ecstatic to be beginning her 11th year on faculty at Peridance Center (NYC) where she is the Director of SynKopate - AN NYC Tap Project & SynKopate II - the first Peridance youth Tap companies. Karin's passion for her art and the technique that supports it, for rhythm and energy and the combination of it all, can be seen in each and every class she teaches as well as in her ambitious and expressive choreography!

 

Jordan Ryder

Jordan Ryder hails from Illinois where she trained at LoMastro Performing Arts, Extensions Dance Company and the Scholarship Program at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. She attended New York University Tisch School of the Arts where she graduated with a BFA in Dance and a double minor in Sociology and the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology. After graduation, Jordan formed her dance collective, RyderDance. Since then, she has shown work at 10+ venues in the tri-state area including the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Loew's Jersey Theatre, and the Martha Graham Studio Theater. Her choreography has been broadcasted on PBS, Dance Parade, and other online platforms. Choreographic Commissions include Eryc Taylor Dance Company, NYU Tisch Dance Summer Residency, Art City's Bromance (Web Series), One Day Dance, and Melange Dance Company. Grants include Brooklyn Arts Council, NYU Tisch Space Grant, and ETD/ NCG New Choreographer Grant. As a freelance dancer, Jordan has danced in original works by Crystal Pite, Abarukas Dance | Yoshito Sakuraba, Guanglei Hui | Cross Move Dance Lab, Pamela Pietro, James Martin, and others. www.ryderdance.com

 

Uko Snowbunny

YUKO TANAKA Aka Uko Snowbunny was born in Japan, moved to New York to search for the roots of Hip Hop culture. She is trained by the legendary Hip Hop dancer/choreographer/instructor Buddha Stretch of Elite Force Crew. Since her performance debut in 2008, she has been raising the bar in her work as a choreographer, performer,& teacher, with the goal of becoming a well-rounded street dancer. Uko is a principal dancer of MopTop Music & Movement Company and has toured around the country in Buddha Stretch's "Hip Hop/Be-Bop" show, a mesh of Hiphop, & Jazz culture collaboration. This work was featured at the San Francisco Hip-Hop Dance Festival, the Denver Dance Festival, and the Choreographers Ball Carnival N.Y.C. Additional performing credits, “the Rock/Lock" (Locking) at NYC Summer Stage, "Chocolatino (House/Salsa)," and in "EFC with Friends" with the legendary Elite Force Crew at the Moptop 21st Anniversary at the Alvin Ailey City Theater, and the 4th annual L.A. J.U.I.C.E. festival at the Ford Atmosphere Theater featured on KCET-TV.

Uko has performed in "Rhythmdome," a collaboration of Tap & Hip-Hop at the Fall For Dance Festival at N.Y. City Center,with choreography by the Tony Award-Winning Choreographer Jason Samuels Smith and Buddha Stretch. Uko was one of the leading performers for Dancing In The Streets presents "Centrifugal Force" at Lincoln Center, the star of "F.E.L.A." on Broadway Adesola Osakalumi, and Gus Solomons Jr, and "Hip Hop/Kung Fu" at the Asia Society. Uko's dance crew called Soulsations!, with whom she choreographed, and performed at the Apollo theater, Danceathon with Nick Cannon on N.B.C, South Bronx Culture Trail at Casita Maria Arts and Education Center, and Ladies of Hip Hop Festival. Uko is currently a part of the faculty at Peridance Center, she also serves as an assistant of Buddha Stretch, teaching worldwide. Uko was a primary dancer in Rennie Harris Puremovement Company, toured for two years. Uko's goal is to be, the best performer, choreographer, & dance teacher possible, who can teach not only movement but also the moves, & motive behind the movement.

 

Caterina Rago

CATERINA RAGO: Founding Artistic Director and Choreographer of CRDANCE Company (2007) and its educational program,Tecniche Di Danza Moderna. Rago, a native of Italy, joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 2009 after completing its Professional Training Program, and has received commissions from Ailey/Fordham, Steffi Nossen Dance Foundation, Accademia Nazionale di Danza and Peridance Dance Center where she currently teaches. Rago also teaches at the Joffrey Ballet School and the Martha Graham School and was named Emerging Choreographer for MET Dance Company (Houston). Rago restaged Martha Graham's Panorama for Accademia Nazionale Di Danza at Rome's Soirees Dans and Karole Armitage's American Dream for the Ravello Festival. Rago's contribution to the field of modern dance and its history has a global reach that is diverse and ambitious in its goal to use dance as a language to make us see.

 

Natalie Stehly

Natalie Stehly is a Brooklyn-based dancer, maker, and educator. Raised in Wisconsin, she graduated with highest honors from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign earning her BFA in Dance. During her time in Urbana, she had the pleasure of performing in works by Mauriah Kraker, Leah Wilks, Kendra Portier, Charli Brissey, Renée Wadleigh, and Rachel Rizzuto. In addition to teaching dance, Natalie is a 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher and certified Children's Yoga Instructor. Her choreography and teaching practices are interwoven with her love for improvisation and somatic practices, such as the Alexander Technique. Alongside collaborator Phoebe Ballard, her choreographic work has been presented at Current Showcase (Current Take.5 and Current Take.3) and Green Space's Fertile Ground Showcase.

 

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