Shout-outs & Alumni Updates

Undergraduate News

Congratulations to Caroline Payne for film submission success!

Caroline Payne’s solo piece from the fall, “Aviary,” has been chosen to be in 92Y Future Dance Festival!

Tickets are available at and the programs are available from noon Friday through midnight Sunday of each weekend.

Congratulations to the BFA Juniors for their successful Student Dance Concert!

 Congratulations to our BFA juniors for their hard work and dedication throughout the spring semester. With the guidance of faculty member, Pam Tanowitz ,and MFA candidate, Merli V. Guerra, the Junior class was able to create tremendous dance films for the Student Dance Concert. Merde to All!

Congratulations to BFA dancers Jessica Michal, Sarah Liebau, and Madison Meredith, who shared their dance films as part of DANCE NOW NYC’s national platform on May 1, 2021

Congratulations to UDW for a magical year!

Congratulations to Spring 2021 Award Receipients

BFA Seniors: Sarah Liebau, Ying-Yu Lin, and Hope Reyes received the Turner Choreograph Prize

  • The Margery J. Turner Choreography Prize is awarded for a work of exceptional undergraduate student group choreography. Prizes are to be awarded to senior BFA students majoring in dance based on choreography conceived and developed by the candidate in the Department of Dance at Mason Gross School of the Arts.

BFA Junior, Marianna Allen, received the Hanya Holm Scholarship Award

  • This award was established by modern dance pioneer Hanya Holm—a dancer and choreographer considered one of the ‘Big Four’ founders of modern dance in early 20th century America alongside Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. The Hanya Holm Scholarship Award recognizes outstanding work in dance by a BFA junior or senior in the Department of Dance at Mason Gross School of the Arts.

BFA Junior, Anne Tantuico, recieved the Florence Schnepf Domeshek Memorial Merit Scholarship

This endowed award was established in honor of Florence Schnepf Domeshek, who served as the first business manager of Mason Gross School of the Arts for 21 years, and who herself embodied the qualities governing this award: dedication, excellence, and creativity. The scholarship is to be awarded to full-time undergraduate or graduate dance majors based on artistic and academic merit as determined by program administrator.

Have news that you would like to share with the Department? Email your news to Syde Orange at

Dance MFA News

 Congratulations to MFA Candidate Merli Guerra on her thesis project, which is featured in Rutgers Today!

Merli’s work integrates immersive, participatory arts practices like augmented reality with her interests in historically based community engagement arts programming and site-specific dance. Merli’s thesis committee is comprised of Jeff Friedman and Pam Tanowitz.


Dance EdM News

Congratulations to EdM Brianna Brathwaite has been selected by the faculty of the GSE to receive a Nancy Higginson Dorr Award.  The Nancy Higginson Dorr Award was established by her son to honor graduates who show promise of being exceptional teachers.  

  • The GSE faculty selects fifteen students each year who “through their academic work and clinical performance, have distinguished themselves as being among the very finest beginning teachers.”  All nominees for this award must have completed full-time clinical practice in Fall 2020. They are from either the five-year program or the post-bacc teacher preparation program. Brianna’s selection for this year’s award indicates that she ranks among the GSE candidates best able to address specific problems of practice and achieve success with P-12 student learners.
  • As a Nancy Higginson Dorr Award recipient, Brianna is eligible to submit a dossier for consideration for the New Jersey Distinguished Clinical Intern Awards. These annual awards honor and publicly recognize the year’s top three graduates from each teacher education program in New Jersey.  The GSE will submit three candidates to the state to receive this award

During this semester, the EdM 2nd Years created 5 units exploring social justice, social emotional learning, wellness, and non-western dance styles in the dance classroom. These asynchronous online learning materials were created for the use of dance educators across the state in partnership with dance New Jersey.

Congratulations 2nd Year Grad.

Students, Deja Baret, Brianna Brathwaite, Laura De La Garza Noble Gillian Popino, Claudia Soga, Kristina Kong, Cara Stine, Abigayle Wolski, Rebecca Pavelko, and Sara Rivera!

Congratulations to Spring 2021 Award Receipients

Rising BFA Senior and 1st year EdM student, Juliana Martino, received the EdM Dance Education Excellence Award

  • The EdM Dance Education Excellence Award is presented to a BFA rising senior accepted to the teacher certification program with academic excellence, excellent progress in tracking into the EdM program, and a spirit of leadership and service in the Dance Department.

EdM Post-Baccalaureate, Kassandra Ruboyianes, received the EdM Dance Education Student Scholarship Award

  • The EdM Dance Education Student Scholarship is presented to a graduating BFA student continuing in the fifth year of the EdM program or to a first-year post-baccalaureate EdM student who has demonstrated pedagogic and academic excellence and a record of service to the Mason Gross and Graduate School of Education communities or to the field of Dance Education.

Alumni News

BFA Alumna, Jennifer Payán in the NY Times

Kudos to BFA Dance alum Jennifer Payán (center in photo), dancing in Trisha Brown’s work!

…Coming up for KMC…

I + I (work in progress) As a part of the Made in Jersey series at Ramapo College, I will be sharing a filming of my work in progress solo, I + I (work in progress),  As a member of the diaspora, I have a layered relationship with my maternal homeland, Jamaica. With I +I (work in progress), formally titled Jah, I am interested in examining and reclaiming my Jamaican body, diving into questions surrounding masculinity, queerness and redemption.The film will release on Thursday, April 29th, at 8p. More information coming soon. 

STELLAR – DANCE/FILM KMC has returned in-person this week working on a commission from the Baryshnikov Arts Center. STELLAR, will be a dance-film inspired by jazz, space and afro-futures. The work will feature music by Kwami Winfield and performers Breeanah Breeden and Ariana Speight, who are new to KMC. The film will release June 7-21, 2021 on the Baryshnikov Arts Center website. More information to come!

KMC // Colored viewing party through February 28th

“Colored” 2019 BAM Next Wave Festival, performers Oluwadamilare Ayorinde, Myssi Robinson and Kyle Marshall
Photo: David Gonsier, Description: Three black performs in white and exposed skin have their arms shaped in the air with a hip bump

Beginning today, and in celebration of Black History Month, KMC will be releasing the performance recording of COLORED from BAM’s 2019 Next Wave Festival! They’re offering COLORED through February 28th, and it is a pay-what-you-wish event. No amount is too small. 100% of ticket sales will directly support Kyle Marshall Choreography, our artists, and collaborators by providing them with equitable payment for their upcoming ensemble work.

Commissioned, in part, by the Dance on the Lawn Montclair Dance Festival, EMoves: Harlem Stage, and Jersey (New) Moves at NJPAC, COLORED navigates the beautifully twisted spectrum of blackness that dance artists Oluwadamilare Ayorinde, Kyle Marshall, and Myssi Robinson regularly embody. As three black artists from varied backgrounds, their work together in the studio led to conversations on tokenism, appropriation, stereotype, and representation. COLORED is a filter for these thoughts and a celebration of cultural variation. Thank you to the wonderful folks at BAM for making this video release possible!

To grab your ticket for the virtual watch party, please follow this link. Note: once you complete the RSVP form, you will be directed to a corresponding payment form via Payable. Please follow the instructions to submit your payment and then proceed to your email inbox, where you should receive a confirmation, along with the video link. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email at

Mason Gross Dance Alum Myssi Robinson has been featured in this month’s Dance Magazine. “I am developing a relationship to my profession that is simultaneously more critical and more generous.” Check out the full article below.

Congrats to MFA alum Ashton Waldron, who premiered a new screendance, “Wait and See,” in the inaugural Stay Home Film Festival, a virtual expression of the quarantine experience through movement on film. Watch it at the link (first film in the video)

BFA alums Daniel Costa and Javier Padilla (in collaboration with BFA alum Elyse Mertz), have been commissioned to create dance films for Seattle’s CHOP SHOP: Bodies of Work Contemporary Dance Festival.

BFA dance alum Nayaa Opong was featured in New York Times (Dec. 27) in the Arts & Leisure section, in a photo and caption leading to a story about the best arts photography of 2020. I’ve attached screenshots of the digital edition of the Times.
The photo of Nayaa appears in an article of best-of arts photos, as well:

Kyle Marshall Choreography’s newest virtual commission by DanceForceNY and Operation Unite NY, Hudson (2020). This new digital dance was directed and edited by myself and features KMC performers Oluwadamilare Ayorinde, Bria Bacon, Mimi Gabriel, Myssi Robinson, with sound by collaborator Kwami Winfield. You can view Hudson December 27th through January as a part of Operation Unite NY’s Day 2 Kwanzaa Celebration.

Faculty & Staff News

Click here to view the trailer:

Originally created and broadcast in 1986, the recently restored EOD 200th Program Anniversary Special kicks off EYE ON DANCE’s 40th Anniversary celebrations on March 28 at 4pm.
Sign up to see Merce Cunningham, Alwin Nikolais, Violette Verdy, Merrill Ashley, Hanya Holm, Dudley Williams, Jacque D’Amboise, Carmen deLavallade, Charles “Cookie” Cook, Loretta Abbott, and so many others who helped build the richness and diversity of American dance.
EYE ON DANCE, the weekly, education television series created and produced by Jeff Bush and Celia Ipoitis, aired weekly on PBS from 1981 – 2004.

DEL’s MSC film, choreographed by Yin Yue and myself, and edited by Nel Shelby Productions premiered on Friday, March 19 at 1pm EDT on Facebook and Instagram 

Julia M. Ritter’s book, Tandem Dances: Choreographing Immersive Performance, was published by Oxford University Press in November 2020. 
Tandem Dances was reviewed by dance critic Eva Yaa Asantewaa in Imaginings: A Gibney Journal, published by the Gibney Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, New York, New York, on1/26/2021.

Pam Tanowitz Dance brings a double bill of works to The Joyce Theater (streaming on-demand through Dec. 26 at, “Gustave Le Gray, No. 2” with music by Caroline Shaw, and a new site-specific work “Finally Unfinished: Part 1” with music by Ted Hearne. This new work, created in collaboration with her dancers while in quarantine via Zoom, is the second iteration of Tanowitz’s site-specific dances and will take place throughout the empty Joyce Theater. 

The program is a critic’s pick this week in the New York Times: Review: Finding Hope in an Unfinished Pam Tanowitz Premiere

Congratulations to Pam Tanowitz & Kiri Avelar

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ Jerome Robbins Dance Division will hold its annual symposium on Friday, January 29, 2021. Dance and Immigration: A Symposium Beyond Boundaries features the culminating projects from this year’s cohort of Dance Research Fellows, which includes MFA alum Kiri Avelar and faculty member Pam Tanowitz.

More at

 Embodied Truth Dance Film Review – Kimani Fowlin

“This winter, Cooperative Performance Milwaukee presents a surprisingly deep, little video package on the topic. Embodied Truth: Finding Ways to Move Together. It’s a mixture of dance, spoken word and candid first-person stories that packs one hell of a lot into a beautifully concise, little half-hour package.” Read more of the review HERE

An exploration of the #metoo and #blacklivesmatter landscape, EMBODIED TRUTH: FINDING WAYS TO MOVE TOGETHER examines parenting through the lenses of gender and race. This work draws on the stories of the performers – all parents themselves – combining dance, spoken word, and storytelling to honor the blessings and burdens of being a parent.

This production will be presented as an online video dance, available to stream on-demand via Vimeo from November 13th, 2020 to February 7th, 2021. (Run-time is approximately 30 minutes.)

For all announcements, please email