DTSBDC dancer Tati Valle-Riestra

Tati Valle-Riestra
photo credit: Jeffrey Watts

“Tati” (Maria Del Carmen) Valle-Riestra (Education Director) is in her 13th season with Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company. Ms. Valle-Riestra was born in Lima, Peru, where she began her dance training at an early age, continuing in Colombia, Canada, Ecuador, and Washington, D.C. She has performed extensively with Latin American contemporary dance and dance theater companies such as Integro (director Oscar Naters), Retazos (director Isabel Bustos), and Humanizarte (director Nelson Diaz), and has danced for independent choreographers and directors Mirella Carbone, Rossana Peñaloza, Pachi Valle-Riestra, Jaime Lema, Sarah Jane Burton, Pablo Cornejo, Wilson Pico, and Miguel Azcue. She has toured to Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Croatia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Latvia, India, and Jordan. Ms. Valle-Riestra won an award as best interpreter in the IV Festival Iberoamericano Oscar Lopez in Barcelona. She holds a BS in Marine Biology from the University of Guelph, Canada, and a Licenciatura title in biology from the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru. Ms. Valle-Riestra has taught dance at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Fundación Cultural Humanizarte in Ecuador; Escuela de Danza Pata de Cabra in Peru; and Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia; and Biology at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. Ms. Valle-Riestra also is an ink and watercolor painter, exhibiting her art in Washington, D.C. and Virginia.

DTSBDC dancer Katia Chupashko Norri

Katia Chupashko Norri
photo credit: Jeffrey Watts

Katia Chupashko Norri (Dancer) is in her ninth season with Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company. She graduated with honors from The George Washington University where she majored in Business and Dance. She has participated in company teaching residencies at Georgetown and The George Washington University and has toured internationally with DTSBDC.  Mr. Burgess’ work, Becoming American, is inspired by her story. Most recently, she represented the company at a White House performance, at the request of President Obama.

DTSBDC dancer Kelly Moss Southall

Kelly Moss Southall
photo credit: Jeffrey Watts

Kelly Moss Southall (Associate Artistic Director and Dancer) received his MFA in Dance from The George Washington University and his BFA in Performance and Choreography from Ohio University. Prior to joining Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company, he had the opportunity to perform in works by Sean Curran, Azaguno African Dance Ensemble, and Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre.  Mr. Southall’s choreography has been performed at the American College Dance Festival and at Concordia University in Montreal.  In 2001 he won the US Midwest Championships in Traditional Irish Dance and qualified for the 2002 World Irish Dancing Championships. In addition to his work with DTSBDC, Southall is on the Theatre & Dance faculty at The George Washington University and is a real estate professional at the company he co-founded, Scout Properties, in Washington, D.C.

DTSBDC dancer Sarah Halzack

Sarah Halzack
photo credit: Jefffrey Watts

Sarah Halzack (Dancer) is in her eighth season with Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company. She graduated from The George Washington University with degrees in Journalism and Dance. Ms. Halzack has performed with The Maida Withers Dance Construction Company and The Sonia Plumb Dance Company and was an intern at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. She has toured extensively with DTSBDC.

DTSBDC dancer Felipe Oyarzun Moltedo

Felipe Oyarzun Moltedo
photo credit: Jeffrey Watts

Felipe Oyarzun Moltedo (Technical Coordinator and Dancer) is in his third season with Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company. He is from Santiago, Chile, where he began dancing at the age of 12 and received Chile’s Best Dancer Inter-American Circle of Dance Professionals Award, First Place standard mode in Ballroom dance and the Best All Around Group in Hip Hop. Mr. Oyarzun ran his own Santiago-based folkloric company, which toured extensively. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance with honors from the University of Chile and has danced in various choreographies, which have led to multiple tours in Chile and abroad. Mr. Oyarzun choreographs for the Joy of Motion Youth Ensemble, most recently for their Millennium Stage and Greenberg Theater performances. He is currently a candidate for an MFA in Dance at the George Washington University.

DTSBDC dancer Christin Arthur

Christin Arthur
photo credit: Jeffrey Watts

Christin Arthur (Dancer) is in her second season with Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company. She was born at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and raised in California and Utah. She began her ballet training at the age of five and embarked on her path toward a professional dance career with the Ballet West Academy at the University of Utah at age 10. Under the tutelage of Sharee Lane, she danced principal roles in Ballet West Academy programs and corps de ballet roles with Ballet West. Ms. Arthur also participated in summer programs at the New Zealand School of Dance, the Hong Kong International Ballet School, Jacob’s Pillow, and the Berlin State Ballet School. After graduating from the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. in 2002, she joined the Universal Ballet Company in Seoul, South Korea, dancing roles in Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Shim Chung and soloist roles in Colors and Paganini Rhapsody – both original works by Brian Yoo. In 2008, she performed a guest principal role in an original contemporary piece created by Rick McCullough of Florida State University, and staged by the Columbia Classical Ballet, under Radenko Pavlovich. Most recently, Ms. Arthur has performed in Montreal, Quebec with Les Grands Ballet De Canadien, as well as the South Carolina Contemporary Dance Company. Throughout her training and career, she has studied Pilates, Yoga, and GYROTONIC® and is a certified GYROTONIC® and Pilates instructor.

DTSBDC dancer Alvaro Palau

Alvaro Palau
photo credit: Jeffrey Watts

Alvaro Palau (Dancer) is in his second season with Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company. He is from Cali, Colombia, and danced with The Washington Ballet for 10 years and for The National Ballet of Venezuela for two years. Mr. Palau toured internationally with both companies, dancing in festivals such as Havana Festival in Cuba; Umbrella Festival in South Africa; International Festival in Miami, Florida; AIDS Foundation in Austin, Texas; and performances at the White House and in the Memorial Day Show, Washington, D.C. (2003). Galas and awards include 1st Prize Arts Competition Colombia and Best Classical Dancer Casa del Artista de Venezuela. His repertoire includes classical ballets and works choreographed by such artists as Balanchine, Forsythe, Duato, Tudor and Tharp. Mr. Palau received his training at Colombia Ballet Institute. He studied at workshops in Cuba, New York with David Howard, and the Summer Program at the Houston School of Ballet. More recently, he has been featured in productions of the Washington National Opera and Colorado Opera, two short films by Jennifer Schwed, Carmen Tango with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra and performed and choreographed works for Gala Hispanic Theatre and Spotlight Comunicaciones.

DTSBDC dancer Ian Ceccarelli

Ian Ceccarelli
photo credit: Jeffrey Watts

Ian Ceccarelli (Dancer) is from Warwick, NY. This is his first season with DTSBDC. He studied dance at The Kennet School of Gymnastics and later at The Masters School Dance Company. He is currently a Presidential Scholar In the Arts at the George Washington University, majoring in Dance and Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy. He has studied modern dance with Dana Tai Soon Burgess, Anthony Gongora and Maida Withers. Last summer he studied at the Mark Morris intensive and recently performed in a work by Paul Taylor soloist, Laura Halzack.

DTSBDC dancer Christine Doyle

Christine Doyle
photo credit: Jeffrey Watts

Christine Doyle (Dancer) was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, where she trained at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts under the direction of Phyllis Penney and Rhonda Stampalia and at The Florida Ballet under the direction of Laurie Picinich-Byrd. Ms. Doyle has had the opportunity to work with and perform original works by Ronen Koresh, Eddy Toussaint, Emery LeCrone, Christopher Huggins, Michael Smith, and Runqiao Du, as well as train at White Oak Plantation. After graduating from Florida State University with a degree in International Affairs, Ms. Doyle relocated to Washington, DC. Since then, she has performed with regional companies such as Moveius Contemporary Ballet, Metropolitan Ballet Theatre, DC Contemporary Dance Theatre, Ballet ADI and Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company. Ms. Doyle is on faculty at the Kirov Academy of Ballet, American Dance Institute, Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and Georgetown University.

DTSBDC dancer Joan Ayap

Joan Ayap
photo credit: Jeffrey Watts

Joan Ayap (dancer) was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Manila, Philippines. Ms. Ayap began her training at the Halili-Cruz School of Ballet and the Philippine Ballet Theatre Conservatoire. She received a B.S. in Interior Design from Assumption College, San Lorenzo (Philippines) while pursuing a dance career. Her professional experience began with the Philippine Ballet Theatre, where she worked with the finest teachers and choreographers including Gener Caringal, Anatoli Panasiukov, Enrico Labayen, Tony Fabella, Maiqui Mañosa, and Graham Lustig, among others.  In Washington, D.C., she performs with DC Contemporary Dance Theatre/ El Teatro de Danza and is also an artist of Bowen McCauley Dance. Ms. Ayap  also competes in American Rhythm Pro Multi-Dance divisions.

DTSBDC dancer Marvin Bell

Marvin Bell
photo credit: Felipe Oyarzun

Marvin Bell (Apprentice) is in his first season with Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company. He was born in New York City and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. Mr. Bell trained with April’s Dancing Feet in Brooklyn, New York from seven until twelve years of age. From thirteen to fifteen he trained under Alvin Ailey dancer Arthur Sabb in Harlem, New York. He trained throughout high school at the Hotchkiss School where he danced with the Hotchkiss Dance Company under the direction of Alice Sarkissian-Wolf. In 2013-2014 Mr. Bell danced with Miki Orihara, principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. He has also danced in the works of Laura Halzack, Connie Fink, Stacy Stearns, and Marin Leggat Roper. Mr. Bell is currently a sophomore at the George Washington University double majoring in dance and sociology.

DTSDDC dancer Mika Takahashi

Mika Takahashi
photo credit: Felipe Oyarzun

Mika Takahashi (Apprentice) is in her first season with DTSBDC. She is a sophomore Presidential Scholar for the Arts at the George Washington University double majoring in political science and dance. She was born and raised in Hudson, Ohio and danced with Ballet Theatre of Ohio for eight years. She studied ballet, jazz and tap at Christine Meneer’s School of Dance for fifteen years and modern dance at Western Reserve Academy for four years in the honors dance program. She has performed in various works such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella under the discretion of Christine Meneer.

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