Weekly Announcements – September 4 to September 10

Jacobs Pillow

This Week: A message from Julia, Administrative Notes & Reminders, Week 1 Ballet & Technique Schedules, Auditions, New Faculty for Fall 2016, and Kudos & Shout-Outs.


A big welcome to all our new students, staff and faculty as well as returning members of our community! Please check all the pages of this blog for important information. Have a great year!


Student Schedules:

All students, please check your schedules online to confirm that you’re registered for the correct classes. Students can check their schedule via:

MyRutgers:  https://my.rutgers.edu/ Or Student Transcripts & Grades: https://sis.rutgers.edu/tags/

If there are any issues with your schedule, please contact Frederick Curry, Undergraduate Director, frederick.curry@rutgers.edu, or Leidy Garcia-Cosbert, Student Affairs Assistant, leidyg@rutgers.edu, as soon as possible.

Important Drop/Add Registration Dates:

Tuesday, September 13: Last day to DROP courses without a “W” (Withdraw) grade appearing on your transcript

Wednesday, September 14: Last day to ADD courses

Wednesday, September 14-Monday, October 31: Drop period WITH a “W” grade



110    Ballet 6 section 01    Erica Mero/David Cheifer
111    Ballet 4, section 02   Peggy Petteway/Christine Ciufredda
112    Ballet 4, section 01   Sherry Alban/Ted Elias
LOR  Ballet 6, section 02    Alex Dutko/Tom Getty
WALT Ballet 6 section 03   Nora Cotter/George Lykogiannis


110  Group C  Ritchie/Benford
111  Group B  Peterson/Smith & Singer
112  Group A  Ocampo/Austin & Riss
WALT group D Eckert/Kaminaguchi


University DanceWorks Auditions

Thursday, September 8 in Studio 111, NMC

Students interested in joining UDW for AY 2016-201are required to participate in all auditions below.

Chien-Ying Wang   12:30-1:00pm

Brian Brooks    1:00-1:45pm

Ellen Cornfield      1:45-2:30pm

Keith Thompson     2:30-3:00pm



Repertory Auditions

Friday, September 9 in Studios 110 & 111, NMC

Faculty advisor: Julia Ritter                      

Staff assistance: Brillana Castillo

Students must sign up to audition no later than Thursday, Sept. 8 at 4:30pm

Please see Brillana Castillo in Anne Marie’s Office.

All students must audition for both Repertory artists.

Please bring knee-pads for Martha Graham audition.


8:30-9:30am           Ballet Warm-up

Studio 110 — if you are in Tech A, B or C

Studio 111 — if you are in Tech D or E

Walters 240 – if you are in Tech F

9:45-11:45am         Concurrent auditions

  • Group A — Martha Graham Repertory – 110
  • Group B — Randy James Repertory – 111

11:45-12:45pm      LUNCH

12:45-2:45pm        Concurrent auditions

(groups stay in studio/artists switch)

  • Group A — Randy James — 110
  • Group B — Martha Graham Repertory– 111

2:45-3:30pm           Choreographers meet for casting



Stephanie Batten Bland - final
Second, third and fourth-year students: Please pick up your tickets for the Friday, September 9 performance from Anne Marie and Brillana in the front office



IMG_0171Marielis Garcia is a native New Yorker. She is currently a member of the Brian Brooks Moving Company and Peter Kyle Dance.  She is also a collaborator with Madeline Hollander a visual performance art choreographer. In 2016, Marielis had the honor to premiere her own dance production company MG DanceArts, which exhibits the creative work of Marielis Garcia and her collaborators. Marielis’ work has been presented at Dixion Place, Appalachian State University, and Steps on Broadway.

While in school Marielis had the honor of performing works by Johannes Wieland, Robert Battle, Jennifer Muller, Denise Vale, and others. She was awarded a scholarship to attend the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival: Contemporary Workshop under the direction of Milton Myers, as well as a full scholarship to The Alvin Ailey Summer program. While at Marymount Marielis made her Joyce Theater debut performing in the May O’Donnell Memorial.

Marielis has danced with ODC of San Francisco, City Dance Ensemble, Douglas Dunn and Stefanie Battan Bland. For three years, Marielis danced with Steps Repertory Ensemble where she had the opportunity to  work with Larry Keigwin, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Andrea Miller, Shannon Gillen, Aszure Barton, and Manuel Vignoulle, among others. She also had the pleasure of touring to South Africa to teach and perform with Ikapa Dance Theater (CT, South Africa).

In 2014 Marielis was awarded a full tuition to the Twyla Tharp Winter Session Workshop. She was also invited to continue her studies by taking classes with the Twyla Tharp company. Marielis has also had the pleasure of workshopping an upcoming Broadway show, under the direction and choreography of Andrew Palermo. In collaboration with Kristin Draucker and Nicole Restani, Marielis created Chimera Project, a multi-medium arts collaboration, which made it’s debut in Spoleto, Italy in August 2014 through a generous residency from La Mama Theater NYC.

Her teaching and commissions have been requested by Appalachian State University, Salem College, Howard Community College and University of North Carolina. Marielis teaches at Steps On Broadway and in NYC public schools.


lotus on beachWhile studying philosophy in high school, Tarra became intrigued by Eastern thought, the concept of living in harmony with nature and the power of the human mind. She pursued her interests at Rider University and graduated in 1994 with a BA in Psychology and minors in Philosophy and Social Work.

Tarra’s path to becoming a psychologist was changed when she began receiving chiropractic adjustments and discovered the amazing alignment and harmony she felt in her body. Her desire to share this with others and to help people without the use of medication led her to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa from 1996 to 1999. It was there that a friend introduced Tarra to yoga because it fit well with both her beliefs and her pursuit of natural health.

Upon returning to New Jersey, Tarra opened the NJ Wellness Center. She continued to practice various yoga styles. As her love for yoga grew, Tarra developed a desire to teach it. She completed the Yoga Teacher Training program in Hatha Yoga at Freehold Yoga Center, which emphasizes the strong traditional lineage of yoga brought over from India by followers of Master Sivananda. Advancing her study of the yoga traditions, she has completed her 500 training at the prestigious Himalayan Institute, deeply influenced by the world renowned Swami Rama.

Tarra moved on to study Anusara yoga and has completed all 3 Anusara Immersions, Level 1 & 2 Teacher Trainings. She has studied with John Friend on the Melt Your Heart, Blow Your Mind tour and Dancing with the Divine tour!

Tarra brings a wealth of knowledge to her yoga classes and teaches a blend of styles from which she has practiced with an emphasis on balance and alignment. Tarra brings her extensive knowledge about the human anatomy and physiology, as well as, the deeper study of philosophy to all her classes. She allows students to fully experience yoga in its true tradition.


Kenya Massey-Rodriguez HeadshotKenya Massey-Rodriguez is a native New Yorker. She majored in dance at the LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, where she studied classical ballet and Graham technique with Penny Frank, Elisa King and Deborah Zall. After graduating with honors Kenya went on to attend Columbia University in NYC, where she received a B.A. in sociology/education and became a certified elementary school teacher. Throughout high school and undergraduate school Kenya was also a scholarship student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. She studied classical ballet, Horton, Jazz, Dunham and Graham under a variety of teachers including Steve Rooks, Jaqueline Bulglisi, Denise Jefferson, and Celia Marino, to name a few. She became a member of the Ailey Repertory Ensemble under the direction of Sylvia Waters in 1997. After traveling and dancing across the U.S and Europe, she went on to explore Broadway. Her Broadway credits include: Fascinating Rhythm (1998), Aida, choreographed by Tony award winner Wayne Cilento(1999-2003), Sweet Charity (2003) Never Gonna Dance, choreographed by Tony award winner Jerry Mitchell (2003-2004), and The Color Purple on Broadway, choreographed by Donald Byrd (2006-2008). Her regional theater credits include: Sweet Charity (Barrington Stage, MA), Elaborate Lives – the Legend of Aida (Atlanta, GA), and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enough (Apollo Theatre, NYC). Her TV/film credits include: “Egg – The Art Show”, “Gossip”, and “Sisters”. In 2004 she joined the faculty at the Bronx New School, a charter elementary school in The Bronx, NY, as a dance teacher and arts administrator. In 2008 Kenya joined the faculty at Dance Theatre of Harlem as a Graham instructor, where she taught and choreographed for all levels from beginners to members of the Professional Training Program. In 2010 she joined the administrative staff at Dance Theatre of Harlem. By 2014 she had risen to Administrative Director for the Dance Theatre of Harlem School. Kenya joined the faculty at Rutgers University in 2011 as a modern dance guest instructor. She is very happy to return to Rutgers as an instructor for the fall 2016 semester.


MSU 042216Contramestre Gaivota, David Morgan, has been living and teaching martial arts for over thirty years. After training Tai Kwon Do as a child he took up Shotokan as a teenager. In college he began training Enshin which is a full contact style of karate. As a Black Belt in Enshin he competed in several bare-knuckle, knock down tournaments and placed as a finalist in all of them. He was first introduced to Capoeira, an Afro Brazilian Martial Art disguised as a dance, in Bahia in 1999 and began teaching classes at the NJ Capoeira Arts Center in 2003.

In 2006 Contramestre Gaivota founded the Afro Brazilian Cultural Center of New Jersey located in Bloomfield, New Jersey. As the Director of the Center he is responsible for developing the curriculum used in classes at the Center and at the many After School Enrichment sites contracted by the Center. He teaches an Afro Brazilian Arts course on Capoeira for three credits in the Dance Department of Montclair State University and in the Kinesiology Department of William Paterson University. ABCCNJ is very active in the community, performing in local events, providing presentations, residencies and After School Enrichment in schools and other venues in the area.


Peggy Petteway headshotPeggy Petteway holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Florida State University graduating magna cum laude. Born in Orlando, she began her ballet training at the School of Performing Arts and continued through the apprentice program of Southern Ballet Theatre (currently Orlando Ballet) under the direction of Barbara Riggins. Ms. Petteway danced principal roles in a wide range of classical and contemporary ballets with Bay Ballet Theatre, Southern Ballet Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Chautauqua Dance Company, and Pennsylvania Ballet prior to joining American Repertory Ballet (ARB) under the artistic direction of Graham Lustig in 1999. From 2010 until her retirement in 2014 she danced for Lustig Dance Theatre, one of 10 professionals. Ms. Petteway has been a member of the teaching faculties of Southern Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Rock School, ARB’s Princeton Ballet School and Lustig Dance Theatre. In addition Ms. Petteway has been a guest at universities and ballet academies throughout the United States. She has served as a visiting ballet mistress and repetiteur, trusted by choreographers to instill their vision and stage their work on professional dancers and students. Ms. Petteway served as School Principal for Lustig Dance Theatre since her retirement from dancing August 2014.



Congratulations to BFA senior Javier Padilla and the dancers who performed his work “A Conversation on Drowning” at Jacob’s Pillow on August 26, 2016!

Take a look at all the MG Dance students featured on the new DEL website! http://www.danceedlab.com



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