MEET THE ARTISTS:
KATIE KASARI / KASARI DANCE
Katie Kasari is the director and producer of Louisville Dance Series, which she founded in 2016. Katie also directs a rotating collective of dancers under the name Kasari Dance, producing new modern dance works each year. Katie received her early dance training in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and graduated with a B.A. in Dance from DeSales University. She has performed and taught extensively throughout the Northeast, and was Co-Founder and Artistic Director of a Philadelphia-based modern dance company, VADA Dance Collective, from 2005-2013. Since moving to Louisville, Katie has choreographed for Moving Collective, Suspend Performing Arts, and Vandivier Ford Dance Company, and she is currently an instructor at Louisville Dance Alliance. Katie has directed two short dance films, ‘Day Chases Night’ and ‘Unearthing Color’, shot in various locations around Louisville. This past year, Katie presented her work in the Kentucky Refugee Ministries’ ‘We Create’ World Refugee Week Festival, and the Americana Festival, and performed as a dancer in Amberly M. Simpson’s evening-length work "Only weeds will rise in winter". Kasari Dance has also performed for New Hope Services ACES program for adults with intellectual disabilities for the past two years. Katie is committed to creating and furthering dance opportunities in Louisville through performance and outreach. Follow Louisville Dance Series on facebook and instagram to stay up to date on happenings and performances!
AMBERLY M. SIMPSON / AMBO DANCE THEATRE
Amberly M. Simpson is a dancer, aerialist, and choreographer currently living in Louisville, KY. Before moving to Louisville, she attended Purdue University where she received a minor in Dance, as well as Bachelors degrees in Psychological Sciences and Creative Writing. During this time, she trained and performed with the Purdue Contemporary Dance Company (2011-2015) where she traveled and performed in multiple American College Dance Association Festivals (2013-2015), the American Dance Festival (2013), two TED Talks (2013, 2015), and the Prague Quadrennial (2015), as well as co-directing a production for Obsessive-Compulsive Dance (2014). She later attended Bellarmine University (2015-2017) where she received her Masters of the Arts in Teaching for English Language Arts, and is now the full-time Dance teacher at Noe Middle School. Additional performance and choreography credits include Voices HEaRD (2017, 2018), Fund for the Arts Opening Night at Churchill Downs (2017, 2018), Blackbird Dance Theatre (2015-2016), the Allegro Dance Project (2016-2018), and the 6th No Borders Project (2018). She has been a choreographer and performer for Suspend Productions since 2016, including directing/choreographing her first evening-length work, "Only weeds will rise in winter" (2018).
Theresa Bautista has been hailed by the Louisville Courier Journal as “a delight to watch”, by Louisville Arts Review as “mesmerizing”, and by artintercepts.org as “a petite powerhouse” on stage. A dancer, choreographer and educator, she has performed with ICONography Dance, The Susie Thiel Collaborative, Anna Sapozhnikov’s MOYAMO DANCE, Gordon Dance Projects, Rachel James, jan street dance theatre, and Art! Art! Barking Dog Dance Company. She was the founder and Co-Artistic Director of Moving Collective, and has choreographed for the University of Kentucky’s Department of Theatre and Dance, Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble, Lexington’s SCAPA, Louisville’s YPAS, Centre College, Moving Collective, the Berea College Modern Dance Troupe, the University of Louisville Dance Theatre, The Center for Women and Families, Empujon, Bluegrass Youth Ballet, and the University of Kentucky Dance Ensemble. In March 2019, Theresa presented “Inalienable Wrongs” at the ACDA Festival in University, MS and “Listen to This”, co-choreographed with Lauren Frederick, at the National High School Dance Festival in Norfolk, VA. Theresa performed her solo work, “I am a pretty girl” at the Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival in Chicago, IL, Regional Alternative Dance Festival in Kalamazoo, MI and the Big River Dance Festival in Huntington, WV garnering rave reviews. She is on faculty at the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance, Kentucky Center’s Governor’s School for the Arts, the Louisville Ballet School, University of Louisville Dance Academy and Gloria Deo School for the Arts. Find out information about upcoming projects, performances and classes at www.theresabautistadance.com.
CirqueLouis is a nonprofit (501c3) dedicated to connecting and entertaining our community through experiential circus arts. Learn more by visiting our website: www.CirqueLouis.com. #ExperienceTheCirqueSideOfLouisville
Abi Elliott began her dance training at Allegro Dance Theater in Radcliff, Kentucky before expanding her studies at the Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts in 2011. Abi’s exposure to various contemporary forms and experience with interdisciplinary collaboration at GSA led her to pursue a BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During her time at UIUC, Abi shadowed the Mark Morris Dance Group and appeared in works by Tere O’Connor, Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, Endalyn Taylor, and Abby Zbikowski, as well as various undergraduate and graduate theses. Invested in serving the community that sparked her passion for movement, Abi returned to Kentucky to serve as the Dance Discipline Assistant at GSA for two consecutive summers before appearing as a guest speaker on the dance alumni panel in 2018. She currently teaches at various studios in Louisville, Kentucky and the surrounding region and recently performed with Louisville’s Moving Collective during their 2017-2018 season.
Flamenco Louisville, the oldest flamenco organization in the area, provides a home for flamenco performers, students, and aficionados. Our teachers, musicians and dancers are Spanish-trained to bring you the most authentic flamenco in the puro tradition. We offer classes, workshops and educational programs, as well as being available to provide professional and student dancers and musicians for a variety of performance situations. We're an inclusive, community-oriented 501(c)3 organization, dedicated to the life of our art, and to having the arts in our lives. www.flamencolouisville.org
GRACE McWILLIAMS / GRACEFUL MOVEMENT DANCE COMPANY
Grace McWilliams began dancing at 3 years old at Sacred Heart Schools for the Arts. She graduated in 2015 from the Youth Performing Arts School. She has performed in over 20 shows with SHSA, as well as with YPAS, Louisville Dance Alliance, and the Vandivier Ford Dance Company. Grace has created numerous works, winning awards, and having the opportunity to present her work with the 2015 Regional Dance Festival, Moving Collective in 2015, and the Vandivier Ford Dance Company in 2018. The Graceful Movement Dance Company is an upcoming contemporary dance company started by Grace McWilliams.
RACHEL M. BUCIO GROTE / HORIZONS DANCE THEATRE
Rachel M. Bucio Grote is from Louisville, KY, where she began dancing at age three from ballet, jazz, and tap; to later discovering ballroom/latin/Lindy Hop, and modern dance. The three styles she’s gravitated to the most longer term in her own training is ballet, modern, and ballroom/Latin dance. She graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. During her almost 8 years in Colorado, she also taught, choreographed, and performed with Blue Moon Dance Company (Directed by Pat Connelly), and CU Touring Dance Company (Directed by David Capps). She taught and choreographed for dance studios in Golden, and Boulder, Colorado recreational centers. She’s enjoyed dancing in choreographies by artists well established nationally and internationally through her college career and travels. After May 2008, she continued her dance career from France to NYC, back to Louisville, KY where she worked for Ballet Arts Studio from July 2013-July 2017. Upon the closing of Ballet Arts Studio, she chose to carry on the spirit of Ballet Arts Studio (1969-2017), and established Horizons Dance Theatre. Horizons Dance Theatre’s mission is to nurture the enjoyment and health benefits of dance in our students and throughout the community, through age-appropriate dance education, performance and outreach. Welcoming students of all ages and skill levels, we are passionate about providing a positive, supportive and fun environment that fosters individual growth in dance ability, musicality, creativity, self-expression and confidence. www.horizonsdancetheatre.com/
NOE DANCE THEATRE
Noe Dance Theatre is the resident modern dance company affiliated with Noe Middle School's magnet Dance program. It consists of 6th-8th graders who are interested in deepening their understanding of modern dance and dance composition using a collaborative model for dance creation. Their season concert will open May 29, 2019 at Noe Middle School and will premier conceptual works conceived and developed by the dancers themselves, as well as works under the direction of Amberly M. Simpson.
Oreya currently resides in Louisville Kentucky, and performs both belly dancing and fusion dance at events, festivals, parties and weddings. Oreya has danced at the Louisville Palace, the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Louisville WorldFest, and Belly Dance Masters in Orlando, Florida. Her dances feature swords, wings, fan and other props sure to entertain.
Kylene Stephens, WKU alumna, is currently a candidate for her MFA in Dance through Hollins University. Stephens has professionally performed and studied abroad in Italy and Germany, at the Jazz Dance World Congress, and with contemporary modern companies, Moving Collective and Numinous Flux. She has also been recognized for her outstanding choreography by the American College Dance Association, and is an Adjunct Instructor of Dance at WKU. Stephens is well versed in a variety of dance genres, and loves working collaboratively with dancers to help her creative vision come to life. As an artist/choreographer, Stephens’ goal is to find a connection to the audience, striving to alter their thought processes, forcing themselves to question the known, and to have a reaction to the idea being presented on stage. Stephens believes the beauty in watching a live performance is in the breath of the dancers, the sound of their bodies interacting with each other, the effort exuberated in each step, and the emotional presence of the dancers emanating out into the space. To her, dance is alive. You can see, hear, and feel it happening, fleeting in the sense that once it’s over, it will never be recreated the same again. It is just as alive as the human body itself; intuitive, thriving, natural, honest, and unpredictable. Stephens strives to create that ephemeral feeling of life within her work, developing an unspoken language of movement that connects the audience and the dancer in a multisensory experience, challenging our perceptions of existence.
VANDIVIER FORD DANCE COMPANY
Vandivier Ford Dance Company (VFDC) is a modern dance company based out of Louisville Dance Alliance. VFDC is a mix of students and professionals who perform in multiple events throughout the community as well as in their own annual modern dance concert held in the spring. VFDC has performed at the KY State Fair, ReSurfaced, the Chicago Youth Arts Summit, Art After Dark, the Speed Art Museum, the Louisville Dance Series, and recently performed at Walt Disney World. www.louisvilledancealliance.com/