Scroll down for biographies of the participating choreographers.
Choreographers and Companies
The film festival will be available on the Queens Theatre YouTube channel the day after the premiere.
This screening will feature seven up and coming female-identifying choreographers and female-led dance companies, presenting original filmed works.
HANNAH GARNER (she/her/hers), recently named ‘25 to Watch’ by Dance Magazine, is a NYC based dancer/choreographer making dance theatre work that “tackles topics like death and queer identity through rigorous, inventive movement and wit” (Dance Magazine). Having graduated SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance Performance and Composition, minor in Arts Management, and semester at the Beijing Dance Academy, Hannah has gone on to work with Doug Varone & Dancers, Raja Feather Kelly, Sue Bernhard, and Megan Williams, in venues such as The Joyce Theater, NY City Center, the Park Avenue Armory, and New York Live Arts. Her work as 2nd Best Dance Company has been commissioned by GroundWorks DanceTheater, GALLIM x CreateArt, Kizuna Dance, and SUNY Purchase. 2nd Best creates and performs frequently all over New York City in addition to hosting weekly classes at Triskelion Arts. Their work has gone past the traditional dance proscenium to include collaborations in sculpture, animation, theater, film, and site-specific works connecting to both dance audiences and dance newcomers. Hannah currently teaches in New York City and Connecticut. In real life Hannah lives in Manhattan, on the internet she lives at 2ndbestdance.com.
JOY-MARIE THOMPSON is a dancer, choreographer, and certified ANIMAL FLOW© instructor based in Osage Land-otherwise known as Pittsburgh, PA. After graduating from SUNY Purchase’s Conservatory of Dance in 2018, she professionally performed choreography by Shamel Pitts, Staycee Pearl Dance Project & Soy Sos and Sidra Bell. Before COVID-19, she was a resident at The McKittrick Hotel in SLEEP NO MORE (NYC); performing choreography by Maxine Doyle. Joy-Marie has presented work as a choreographer and collaborator at: the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, The Heath Gallery, American Dance Guild Festival, Derida Stage, Women in Dance Conference, Festival Prisma, including multiple dance film festivals around the globe. Her most proud personal project is the photography installation, Interpretations, which can be found on her website. She is also the founder of the Instagram account Issa Dance Look and is a proud member of Dance Artists' National Collective (DANC). For more info, go to joymariethompson.com .
MACKENZIE KING grew up in Carmel, California where she started dancing at the age of three under the direction of Carol Richmond. She continued her professional training at Walnut Hill School for the Arts under the direction of Michael Owen, and the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance. Mackenzie has studied and performed works from San Francisco Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Doug Varone and Dancers, Mettin Movement, and many others. Mackenzie has performed throughout the United States and internationally. After dancing in New York, Mackenzie moved to Chicago where she founded Moonwater Dance Project and serves as Artistic Director. In 2019 Mackenzie co-founded Take Up Space, a dance festival celebrating female choreographers and Artistic Directors.
CHELSEA AINSWORTH Co-Director of Dual Rivet, is a graduate of the Dance Department of The Juilliard School. She has worked with Johannes Wieland/Staatstheater Kassel in Germany, Lorena Egan, Flexicure, Amber Sloan, Bryn Cohn + Artists, The Bang Group, Zvidance, and was on the modern/ballet dance faculty at Cap21 musical theater school and Chen Dance Center.
JESSICA SMITH Co-Director of Dual Rivet, is a New York City based dancer from New Orleans, Louisiana. She studied at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, London Contemporary Dance School, and received her BFA in dance from the Department of Dance at Purchase College. She’s currently a performer at Sleep No More NYC, Vim Vigor Dance Company and ZviDance as well as Associate Director of Arts on Site NYC.
EMILEE PRATT (They/Them) is a graduate from the SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Dance. During their time in the conservatory they performed works by Loni Landon, Sue Bernhard, Dylan Crossman, Nejla Yatkin, Manuel Vignoulle and Doug Varone. They completed their BFA in Dance in 2018, graduating summa cum laude with a concentration in composition. In 2019, Emilee created Spare/Change Dance Company, a Queens-based dance company that they look forward to expanding in order to share their work throughout New York City. Over the past few years Spare/Change Dance has presented works at Dixon Place, Greenspace, and Triskelion Arts. Emilee and Spare/Change Dance is excited to present the company's first dance film here at the Queens Theater Dance Film Festival.
EMILY KESSLER. POGO Dance creates collaborative choreographic endeavors. Under the direction of Emily Kessler, POGO explores the juxtaposition of human folly and linear clarity through shared movement, and repeatedly seeks to carve out connection and community in dance space. Kessler has been an Artist in Residence at Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center, the Peaceable Barn, and the Neuberger Museum. Her work has also been performed in New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas, as well as in Singapore and Vietnam. Only in its first year, POGO has adapted to the times by sharing work over zoom at Arts on Site Performance Party and Movement Research Open Performance, participating in socially distanced Current Showcase, as well as creating POGO in the Park, an outdoor performance platform to support the creation of new work by local dance artists. For 2021, POGO is looking forward to several music videos, a residency, and an evening-length work.