Kyle Abraham, Brittanie Brown, Rena Butler, Chalvar Monteiro, Rachelle Rafailedes, Addison Reese, Maleek Washington

Original Performers

Carley Manion, Elyse Morris, Carrie Schneider, Dan Scully, Hsiao-Jou Tang, Kristi Wood

Kyle Abraham, professional dancer and choreographer, began his training at the Civic Light Opera Academy and the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He continued his dance studies in New York, receiving a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Over the past few years, Abraham has received tremendous accolades and awards for his dancing and choreography including a 2010 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show along with a 2010 Princess Grace Award for Choreography, a BUILD grant and an individual artist fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, a Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship and 2009 was honored as one of Dance Magazine’s 25 To Watch.

Abraham was heralded by OUT Magazine as one of the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama.” His choreography has been presented throughout the United States and abroad, most recently at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Bates Dance Festival, Harlem Stage, Fall for Dance Festival at New York’s City Center, Montreal, Germany, Dublin’s Project Arts Center, The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum located in Okinawa Japan and The Andy Warhol Museum in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

Abraham’s most recent work, The Corner, commissioned by Ailey 2, is currently touring internationally with great reception.

As a performer, Abraham has worked with acclaimed modern dance companies including David Dorfman Dance, Burnt Sugar Dance Conduction Continuum, Nathan Trice/Rituals, Mimi Garrard Dance Theater, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Dance Alloy, The Kevin Wynn Collection and Attack Theatre.  In addition to performing and developing new works for his company, Abraham.In.Motion, Abraham also teaches his unique approach to post-modern dance in various schools and studios throughout the United States.

Brittanie Brown, graduating from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas, where she was a member and assistant rehearsal director of the Repertory 1 Dance Company, has recently received her B.F.A. in dance from The Juilliard School in May of 2011. Brittanie did not begin her formal dance training until the age of 12 at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. By 2007, Brittanie was a Silver Award 2007 YoungArts winner in modern dance and a Texas Young Master recognized by the Texas Commission on the Arts. In the same year, Brittanie was also named Presidential Scholar in the Arts. In previous years, she has performed original works by Alexander Ekman, Shannon Gillen, Kanji Segawa, Ohad Naharin, Robert Battle, Stijn Celis and Victor Quijada. She has had many opportunities to travel throughout the world, teaching and learning through outreach programs and workshops. Upon graduating, in summer of 2011, Brittanie was honored to go on her first international tour and perform in Company XIV’s Pinnochio in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is currently a full time company member with the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company and Roadwork Dance. Brittanie is excited and honored to finally have the opportunity to work with this incredible company, Abraham.In.Motion.

Rena Butler is a native of Chicago, IL. There, she studied at the Chicago Academy for the Arts under the instruction of Anna Paskevska, Randy Duncan, and Sandra Kaufmann. During her tenure at the Academy, Rena performed with Luna Negra Dance Theater, and in 2007, performed on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. In 2003, she went on tour with salsa dance company, Pasos Con Sabor, to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Rena is currently in the class of 2011 at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. While at Purchase, she has had the great privilege of studying dance abroad at the Taipei National University of the Arts in Taipei, Taiwan. She has also worked with choreographers such as Doug Varone, Luca Vegetti, Pam Tanowitz, Kevin Wynn, and Dianne McIntyre. She is thrilled to be working with Kyle Abraham and the members of Abraham In Motion, and is excited to see what the future brings.

Carley Manion is an Oregon native. She trained in dance before starting work as a Stage Manager. She began in college while studying for her Bachelors’ degree in dance at the University of Oregon. The UO Dance Department awarded her the Outstanding Service Award for her commitment stage-managing for the University of Oregon Repertory Dance Company and other various shows within the department. After graduation, Carley was accepted for the technical production internship at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. She continued work in technical production in Portland, Oregon and after a time, returned to work at the Pillow as seasonal staff in 2009. She has been an Associate Production Manager at Jacob’s Pillow from 2009 to 2011. Carley first met Abraham.In.Motion and had the wonderful opportunity to work with them at the Pillow.

Chalvar Monteiro began his formal dancing training at Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts. He went on to study at The Ailey School under the direction of Denise Jefferson, and earned his BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase. After graduating in 2010, he joined Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion and that fall, joined Elisa Monte Dance for her 30th Anniversary Season. He has been privileged to perform works by Judith Jamison, Merce Cunningham, Kevin Wynn, Sidra Bell, Paul Taylor, Doug Varone and Helen Pickett.

Elyse Morris is a native of Brooklyn, NY and graduated from LaGuardia High School of Music and Art & Performing Arts in 2006. She has received scholarships to study at Ballet Hispanico, The Alvin Ailey School, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, Alonzo King’s LINES ballet school and Springboard Danse Montreal. Elyse holds a B.A. in Dance (Cum Laude) with a concentration in dance science from Goucher College. While at Goucher, Elyse also received a scholarship to study the history and performance of contemporary and traditional dance in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in 2008. She has performed works by artists such as Robert Battle, Thaddeus Davis and Tanya Wideman-Davis, Larry Keigwin, Heather McArdle, Robert Moses, Troy Powell, and Nathan Trice. Elyse joined Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion in 2010 and is also a part of The Seán Curran Company. She credits God for all her artistic success!

Rachelle Rafailedes, a native Ohioan, began dancing at the age of three and has received her BFA from The Juilliard School in 2009 where she was awarded the honor of the Martha Hill Prize for excellence in leadership and dance. Rachelle has performed with Keigwin + Company, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Loni Landon, and with the Juilliard Dance Ensemble in New York City Center’s Fall for Dance festival. In her career thus far, Rachelle has been fortunate to perform works by Ohad Naharin, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, and Aszure Barton. Rachelle joined Abraham.In.Motion in 2009 and is a Bessie Award winning collaborator for Kyle Abraham’s The Radio Show.

Addison Reese began dancing at the age of 3, and is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. She attended the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, and graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts. Some of her performance credits at Purchase College include The Nutcracker, Rise choreographed by Doug Varone, and Dream Support choreographed by Wallie Wolfgruber. In 2010, she was part of the world premiere of Habiki Hana Ma choreographed by Luca Veggetti at the Judson Church. While attending Purchase College, Addison was awarded the David Falk Scholarship, Robert Weiner Scholarship for Dance, and the Director’s Award. Addison began dancing with Abraham.In.Motion in 2012, and has also danced with contemporary companies the DASH ensemble and Red Vern, both based in New York City. In addition to dance, Addison enjoys teaching Hatha yoga, and received her Yoga Alliance teaching certificate from Birchwood Center Nyack, New York.

Carrie Schneider (Filmmaker; b. 1979 Chicago, lives Brooklyn) is an artist working in performative photography, film, and video. Exhibitions include: The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; the Third Azerbaijan Biennial in Baku; Gallery 44, Toronto; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; Istanbul’s santralistanbul; and The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki. Awards include the Joan Mitchell Foundation Residency Fellowship, and production grants from the Jerome Foundation and the Finnish Center for Media Culture (AVEK). Schneider attended Carnegie Mellon University (BFA 2001), The Art Institute of Chicago (MFA 2007), the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2007) and the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, as a Fulbright Fellow (2008). Currently Carrie is faculty at the International Center of Photography in New York.

Dan Scully (Technical Director/Lighting Designer): Dan is a New York based lighting and projection designer, and has been designing lighting for Kyle Abraham and Abraham in Motion for over six years.  Recent work includes 1969 (Alarm Will Sound/Carnegie Hall), The Witch of Edmonton (Red Bull Theater), The Orchestra Rocks! (Carnegie Hall), Seven Last Words (Lincoln Center Chamber Orchestra Society), The Wii Plays (Ars Nova), Christmas is Miles Away (Babel Theater), Caligula (Soho Rep.) and Di Ksube (Folksbeine National Yiddish Theatre), among other credits. Regional: Trinity Rep., GEVA, Asolo Rep., and Two River Theater Company.  Other work includes resident lighting designer for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and lighting designer for Amy Brenneman’s one-woman show, Mouth Wide Open. MFA-Tisch/NYU.

Hsiao-Jou Tang was born and raised in Taiwan. She moved to New York in 2004 to attend SUNY Purchase College, and graduated in 2008 with a BFA in Dance. Tang has had the great pleasure of working with a number of wonderful people and companies including Doug Varone and Dancers, Adriane Fang, Daniel Charon Dance, Nora Petroliunas/ The Pharmacy Project, Alex|Xan The Median Movement, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Kevin Wynn Collection, and Sidra Bell Dance NY. Hsiao-jou is trilled to be here and has had a great time working and dancing with all of these lovely folks.

Maleek Washington was born in the Bronx, New York, and at seven years old was introduced to dance at Broadway Dance Center and the Harlem School of the Arts. After attending Laguradia High School for Performing Arts, Maleek continued his education at The Boston Conservatory while performing with the Commonwealth Ballet and working with Complexions. He attended Jacob’s Pillow for 2 consecutive years and has collaborated with CityDance Ensemble and toured to over 8 countries with them. Recently Maleek attended SpringBoard Danse where he was able to join Jose Novas’s Company Flak for a season of European tours. In addition, he has interacted with choreographers such as Azure Barton, Helen Pickett, Michael Utoff, Milton Meyers, Yuriko Takata, and Tim Rushton of the Danish Dance Theater. This is Maleek’s First season with Abraham in Motion. Maleek would like to dedicate his season in the loving memory of his late Grandmother Duella Smith.

Kristi Wood (Costume Designer) currently works wardrobe on the Broadway Show WAR HORSE at Lincoln Center. Past works include: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, A Chorus Line (Broadway), BLAST! (Broadway), America’s Next Top Model, All My Children, August Wilson Dance Ensemble, Jacob’s Pillow, School of American Ballet and Time Stands Still with Christopher Lancaster.

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