Artists & Dancers
Gary Masters, Founder & Co-Artistic Director
Gary Masters (Founder and Co-Artistic Director) for sjDANCEco is the 2014 Isadora Duncan Awardee for Outstanding Achievement in Restaging/ Revival/Reconstruction for the company’s 2012 production of Joseé Limón ‘s The Moor’s Pavane and the 2007-8 Awardee for ‘Sustained Achievement’. He has been a Professor of Dance at San Josée State University since 2001. A graduate of the Julliard School, he has been associated with the Limón Dance Company/Foundation as Dancer, Artistic Associate, Reconstructor, Director of the Limón West Dance Project and the Limón Dance Company’s San Joseé Operations since 1969. He has been hailed by Dance Magazine as “...one of the most gifted performers in contemporary dance...” and his choreography as a “...dance with symbolism that may be seen as something deeply spiritual, a kind of seeking into the unknown...” Besides choreography for sjDANCEco, he has created work for the Limón Dance Company/NY, Limón West Dance Project/San Joseé, Diablo Ballet/Walnut Creek, Nashville Ballet, Dance Kaleidoscope/Indianapolis, Path Dance Company/Baltimore, Cabrillo Music Festival and Opera San Joseé. For more than a decade together with Fred Mathews, he directed the Mathews-Masters Dance Company/New York that toured the US, Canada and abroad. Other awards include Council Silicon Valley’s 2005 Artist Fellowship for Choreography and two National Endowment Choreography Fellowships.
Maria Basile, Co-Artistic Director & Dancer
Maria Basile is the 2010 recipient of Arts Council Silicon Valley Artist Fellowship for Performance, received the 2009 Individual Artist Special Recognition award for her choreographic contributions in Santa Clara County and was a 2009 “Isadora Duncan Award” nominee for Best Performance in Birthing the Ascension. Maria was recently honored with a Blessay Award for Performance & Acting by Bay Area Dance Watch/San Francisco. She is a founding member and Co-Artistic Director for sjDANCEco. Basile’s Birthing the Ascension (2006) was hailed by Rita Felciano as “one of her finest achievements…exquisitely designed dance… (that)eloquently spoke of permanence within change. It was her opening solo as roaming spirit over the waters that set the tone.” Besides her annual choreography for sjDANCEco, Maria is a soloist in the Premiere of Oceans with Spector Dance (Marina, CA) this coming November. She has choreographed for the Cabrillo Music Festival (2001 and 2002), Operaé (2005), Midsummer Mozart Festival (2005), De Anza College (2005) and San Jose State University Dance Theatre (2003, 2005, 2007, 2010). Performing highlights of Ms. Basile’s career have been as a charter member of The Limón West Dance Project of San Jose, CA (1994 -1998) and as part of The Limón Dance Company’s critically acclaimed 1997-1998 50th Anniversary World Tour. She has also danced in the Bay Area with ODC/SF and Anne Bluethenthal & Dancers. Ms. Basile competed in The XXIII Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Varna, Bulgaria in 1987. Ms. Basile is a Balance a certified instructor by the Balance Center (posture/ structural integration), and since 1996 a prominent teacher of Ballroom, Modern, and Latin dance at De Anza College and San Jose State University. She received her BS in Dance from the University of Oregon.
Fred Mathews, Choreographic Advisor
Fred Mathews (Choreographic Advisor) graduated from Stephens College where he worked under the tutelage of Harriette Ann Gray, former Humphrey-Weidman dancer, subsequently becoming her protege. He then joined the internationally recognized Jose Limón Dance Company, where he became known for his dramatic portrayals. He also performed in a broad repertory of works including “There is a Time,’ “The Winged,” “A Choreographic Offering” (dedicated to Doris Humphrey), “The Unsung,” “The Traitor,” “Missa Brevis” and as was featured as the ‘white man’ in “The Emperor Jones.” In addition he performed in original works by Anna Sokolow, Ruth Currier and Ted Rotante. In 1975, he was engaged to dance opposite Rudolph Nureyev at the London Coliseum in Limón's masterpiece “The Moor's Pavane.”
His first major work, “Solaris,” was premiered by the Limon Company in 1975 and received enthusiastic reviews. His next piece, “Lunaris,” was choreographed for Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers and became known as his signature work. In 1979, he and former Limon dancer, Gary Masters, formed the Mathews-Masters Dance Company in New York City, performing throughout the United States and in Europe. He has choreographed for several professional companies and taught for many years at New York University. In addition, he has given extended workshops at Harvard University, Radcliffe College and Sarah Lawrence College. In 1989 Mr. Mathews was invited to join the faculty at San Jose State University. Professor Mathews is Choreographic Advisor for sjDANCEco and also serves as co-director of Danceworks Presents which produces Bay Area dance companies annually. In 2008, his innovative piece, “Witness the Dawn,” was performed by sjDANCEco and most recently, he directed a structured improvisation as part of “Velocities” for their 2011 season at the California Theatre. Professor Mathews is Coordinator of the Dance Program at San Jose State University where he teaches choreography and philosophy and directs all student choreographed concerts.
José Limón, 1908-1972
Jose Limon was a crucial figure in the development of modern dance. His powerful dancing shifted perceptions of the male dancer, while his choreography continues to bring a dramatic vision of dance to audiences around the world. Born in Mexico, Limon moved to New York City in 1928 after a year at UCLA as an art major. It was here that he saw his first dance program: “What I saw simply and irrevocably changed my life. I saw the dance as a vision of ineffable power. A man could, with dignity and towering majesty, dance... dance as Michelangelo's visions dance and as the music of Bach dances.”
In 1946, after studying and performing for 10 years with Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, he established his own company with Humphrey as Artistic Director. During her tenure, Humphrey choreographed many pieces for the Limon Dance Company, and it was under her experienced directorial eye that Limon created his signature dance, The Moor’s Pavane (1949). Limon’s choreographic works were quickly recognized as masterpieces and the Company itself became a landmark of American dance. Many of his dances - There is a Time, Missa Brevis, Psalm, The Winged - are considered classics of modern dance.
Limon was a consistently productive choreographer until his death in 1972. He choreographed at least one new piece each year, and he was also an influential teacher and advocate for modern dance. He was in residence each summer at the American Dance Festival, a key faculty member in The Juilliard School's Dance Division beginning in 1953, and the director of Lincoln Center's American Dance Theatre from 1964-65. Limon received two Dance Magazine Awards, the Capezio Award and honorary doctorates from four universities in recognition of his achievements. He was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, The Dance Heroes of Jose Limon (Fall 1996), and in 1997 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, NY. His autobiographical writings, An Unfinished Memoir, were edited by Lynn Garafola and published in 1999 by Wesleyan University Press.
Barbara Day Turner, Music Director & Conductor
Maestra Barbara Day Turner is the founder and music director of the San José Chamber Orchestra, and its family of five youth orchestras. An ardent advocate for new music, she has premiered more than 125 new works just with SJCO. Named a 2012 Silicon Valley Arts Council “On Stage” Artist Laureate, Maestra Day Turner is also Music Administrator and Conductor of the Utah Festival Opera where she has been resident conductor for the past 13 seasons. She frequently guest conducts for orchestras and opera companies in the US, Germany and Mexico, and conducted for Opera San José for 18 years. She is a frequent adjudicator for the Metropolitan Opera national auditions, annually serves as a judge for the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, and serves on the advisory boards of OperaNeo in San Diego, the Delphi Trio, and on the board of directors for the National Women's Philharmonic Advocacy association.
San Jose Chamber Orchestra
San Jose Chamber Orchestra are recipients of three ASCAP/League of American Orchestra awards for adventurous programming, the San Jose Chamber Orchestra has commissioned and premiered over 80 new works by North American composers since the orchestra's inception in 1991. Making SJ's Le Petit Trianon its concert home, SJCO always has something new and exciting on stage. The orchestra also mentors and oversees 4 youth orchestras serving 90 young string players, and frequently collaborates with young composers from SJSU through our Composition Connection program.
Matthew Antaky, Lighting Designer
Matthew Antaky (Lighting Designer) has created both scenic and lighting designs for all of the performing arts including Theater, Opera, Dance and Music since 1985. His design history includes many years designing with companies such as Liss Fain Dance Company, Festival Opera, Lily Cai Dance Company, Mark Foehringer Dance Project, Opera San Jose, Caminos Flamencos, Utah Symphony, Cabrillo Music Festival, Shadowlight Productions, The San Francisco World Music Festival and Flyaway Productions among many others. Mr. Antaky is a five-time nominee and two-time recipient of the Isadora Duncan award for Outstanding Visual Design. This is Matthew’s sixth season designing for sjDANCEco. Please visit his website for more information at Matthewantakydesign.com
Raphael Boumaïla, Company Dancer
Raphael Boumaïla (Guest Dancer) has been a Principal Dancer with the renowned Limón Dance Company/New York since 1998 performing many of the roles created and performed by its founder Jose Limón. Mr. Boumaïla was a charter member of the Limón West Dance Project of San Jose from 1994-98 and is a graduate of the Conservatoire National Supérieur Music et Danse de Lyon. Besides touring the world with the Limón Dance Company, he has performed throughout France with Red note/Andy Degroat Company and in duet concerts in the U.S. and abroad with Nina Watt.
Heather Cooper, Company Choreographer & Dancer
Heather Cooper (Company Choreographer, Dancer) is the 2009 - 10 Isadora Duncan Award nominee for performance, a founding member of sjDANCEco, and Assistant Professor of Dance at SJSU. Ms. Cooper has also performed with Sensedance, Kim T. Davis Dance, JoAnna Mendel Shaw, and was an apprentice with Jennifer Muller/The Works in New York. In 1998, along with Mara Williams, Ms. Cooper opened Adage School of the Performing Arts in Milpitas, CA. Besides teaching students of all ages and levels in ballet, modern and jazz she also co-directed the Adage Repertory Company. Adage was also home to Kim T. Davis Dance where she is a founding and current member. Besides her annual contributions as choreographer and dancer to sjDANCEco, Heather is also in demand as a choreographer and teacher around the Bay. She teaches for Teen Dance Company of the Bay, where she served as Artistic Director in 2006, and has also taught and choreographed for Lines Contemporary Ballet Summer Program, the Northern California Conservatory for Dance, West Valley College, and Western Ballet. Ms. Cooper holds a BA in Dance from UC Santa Barbara and an MA from California State University at Long Beach.
Dominic Duong, Company Dancer
Dominic Duong (Company Dancer) was one of 12 natinal finalist in the first “A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2011 San Francisco” for his work, ‘Exurgency’. He has been a dancer with sjDANCEco since 2006 and was hailed during the company’s 5th Anniversary Season by Rita Felciano in the SJ Mercury News saying, “Throughout the evening, it was difficult to take your eyes off this lithe and beautifully trained artist who integrates Western dance and martial arts into his dance.” Dominic has been a guest artist for the opening of the new Performing Arts Center at DeAnza College performing in Donald McKayle’s ‘Songs of the Disinherited’, worked with San Jose Choreographer Bih Tau Sung, Tandy Beal’s ‘Mixed Nutz REMixed’, been guest choreographer and principal dancer with the Vietnamese folkloric company, Chan Chim Bach Viet and worked with Emmy, Oscar and Tony Award winner, Shanda Sawyer, on the stage of Thuy Nga’s ‘Paris By Night’. He received his B.A. in Dance from San Jose State University in 2006 where he was awarded Outstanding Graduating Senior. His choreography, ‘Quietus’ was enthusiastically received at the ChoreoProject Awards in 2007 and later presented during sjDANCEco’s 5th Anniversary Season about which Ms. Felciano wrote.
Hsiang-Hsiu Lin, Company Choreographer & Dancer
Hsiang-Hsiu Lin is Artistic Director of ‘Lin HH Dance Company' and received her BA in dance and MA in performing arts from San Jose State University. She was a charter member of the Limón West Dance Project/San Jose and a member of the Limón Dance Company's 50th anniversary tour in 1997-98. Ms. Lin has received many grants and awards from Taiwan’s National Cultural and Arts Foundation (NCAF), been commissioned by the Kaoshiung City Ballet and selected as one of Taiwan's emerging choreographers. In 2003 she formed 'Lin HH Dance Company' performing at the Experimental Theatre of the National Theatre. In 2005 – 06 Ms. Lin along with Robert Regala, principal dancer with the Limón Dance Company, performed in the Taiwan premiere of Limón's classic duet “The Exiles, which toured Taiwan and performed on Dance Works/SJSU. Returning to the States in 2009, she joined sjDANCEco as choreographer and performer and was guest artist for the inaugural performances of the De Anza Performing Arts Center. In collaboration with sjDANCEco’s artists, dancers of the University Dance Theatre/SJSU and her dancers from Taiwan, she produced an evening long production of Mix/Match in 2010. Lin's teaching includes: the Dance Program of SJSU, the Taipei National University of the Arts, the National Taiwan University of the Arts, Kaoshiung City Ballet, Neo Dance Company and Cloud Gate Dance Theatre. She is also a certified Astanga Vinyas Yoga teacher and is currently teaching Dancing Yoga and company class for sjDANCEco.
Dominique Lomuljo, Company Dancer
Dominique Lomuljo is a 2008 Bachelor of Arts in Dance graduate from the Dance Program at SJSU where she was a member of the University Dance Theatre - the advanced performing ensemble. She is the recipient of the Carol Ann Haws Award in recognition of excellence in performance, and her choreography “Embody ONE” became part of UDT’s repertory after being adjudicated at the American College Dance Festival. After graduation, Dominique pursued her two passions - Dance and Teaching. She teaches all levels of both Jazz and Ballet and continues to choreograph for the UDT program at her Alma Mater. Dominique's most recent work "MissShapen Fortune" was selected to perform in the 2013 ACDF. Her dance career began at 4 years old, and passion for dance blossomed as she became one of the youngest teachers at Dance Attack. As a member of the Senior Company, Dominique danced with Sioux Lehner, Debra Emerson-Boyd, and Jen Hechtle-Bradford for 8 years. During her time with the Foothill College Dance Company she was nominated for Best Female Performer of the Year. Dominique's time at sjDANCEco coincides with her time as Co-Artistic Director, teacher, and choreographer of DACPAC - a modern/contemporary college preparatory dance company. 2014 is Dominique's sixth season as a member in sjDANCEco where she has performed all of the company’s classic works choreographed by Joseé Limón, as well as many World Premieres choreographed by Company Choreographers.
Gabriel Mata, Company Dancer
Gabriel began dancing at the age of 16 at Santa Ana High School after he was told he did not know how to dance. He began his technical training at Santa Ana College under the direction of Heather Gillette and Eve Kikawa. His solo work "Caged Heart" was nominated to be in the American College Dance Festivals 2012 Gala performance and placed second alternate to perform at the Kennedy center. He has performed with Anaheim Ballet and works by Mark Haim, Joel Smith, Andrew Merrill and Jenny Backhaus. Recently he has worked with Gary Masters, Heather Cooper, Jill Yager, Dominique Lomuljo, Maria Basile, Robert Dekkers and Rogelio Lopes. Gabriel has attended the American Dance Festival 2010, Limon West intensive 2011, Backhausdance intensive 2011 & the Keith Johnson intensive 2012; all on scholarship. Gabriel is now in his undergraduate studies at SJSU along with his membership in sjDANCEco and University Dance Theatre as a dance company member.
Hannah Vaughan, Company Dancer
Hannah Vaughan started dance at the age of two in Hunstville, AL. After moving to California at the age of six, she continued her love of dance and by the age of 10 decided that she wanted to focus on dance professionally. Hannah was a student at the Santa Clarita Ballet Academy for 10 years where she was a part of the pre-professional company. She performed annually in the Nutcracker and spring shows where she was fortunate to play solo and/or principal roles. Hannah trained in the R.A.D. (Royal Academy of Dance) where she obtained Distinction and high marks on all of her exams from grade three to Advanced two. Hannah is graduate of San Jose State University with a B.F.A. in Dance. She is blessed to have worked with choreographers such as Kara Davis, Rogelio Lopez, Heather Cooper, Maria Basile, Jill Yager, and Gary Masters. Hannah is now performing with Peter & Co. SF, Reach BC Co. , and is happy to appearing in her first season with sjDANCEco.
Jeanene Winston, Company Dancer (on leave)
Jeanene Winston, originally from Kansas City, MO, first performed professionally with Storling Dance Theatre. She was awarded a full scholarship to The Ailey School and completed a two year fellowship with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. She has performed works by Thaddeus Davis, Alvin Ailey, Robert Battle, Igal Perry, Martha Graham, and Nacho Duato, to name a few. While in New York Jeanene Winston danced with Peridance Ensemble, Battery Dance Company, Thomas Ortiz Dance, Adam Barruch Dance, and most notably was principle dancer with Buglisi Dance Theatre for 10 years. She is thrilled to be joining sjDANCEco for the very first time!
Kelisha Gardeen, Company Apprentice
Kelisha Gardeen is a recipient of the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award and the Carol Anne Hawes Award for Excellence in Performance from San Jose State University, where she recently received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. She has studied modern, ballet, and jazz under the artistic guidance and instruction of Gary Masters, Fred Mathews, Heather Cooper, Mark Foehringer, John Beasant III, Jill Yager, and Dominique Lomuljo. Ms. Gardeen has been a part of SJSU's University Dance Theatre for three years, under the artistic directorship of Gary Masters. She has also had the fortune of attending the American Dance Festival at Duke University. Ms. Gardeen plans to continue exploring and discovering her own voice in dance.
Katherine House, Company Apprentice
Katherine House started dancing at a young age at Janet Lang Dance Studio in Rochester, Minnesota studying ballet and jazz throughout her youth. Eventually, Ms. House joined the Rochester Dance Company, which provided her with more professional training and performing experience through a classical ballet repertoire. However, in high school Katherine discovered modern dance, and very quickly grew to love it by apprenticing with Rainy Day Cabaret, a contemporary company based out of the Twin Cities. In order to continue to pursue her love of dance, Ms. House moved to California to attend San Jose State University. She is currently studying towards her BFA in Modern Dance as well as being an active member of the University Dance Theatre ensemble. This is her first season with sjDANCEco.
Frankie Rivera, Company Apprentice
Frankie Rivera began dancing at young age in a small ballet studio in Salinas, CA. Soon after, he transitioned to Kyoto, Japan and continued his ballet studies in Tokyo. After returning to the United States, he moved to San Francisco, California to pursue a higher dance education at Alonzo King's LINES dance center. He continued this education until graduating high school where he then joined the Training program for 2 years. Upon leaving, Rivera found himself in Santa Cruz, California where he worked with Robert Kelly (Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre), Cid Pearlman and David King (Cabrillo College), and Damara Ganley (Joe Goode Dance Group). Rivera is currently studying at San Jose State University pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance and a company member of the University Dance Theatre ensemble.