Artists & Dancers
Gary Masters, Founder & Co-Artistic Director
Gary Masters is the 2007-8 Isadora Duncan Awardee for ‘Sustained Achievement’ and Professor of Dance at San Jose State University. A graduate of the Juilliard 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 Jose 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 Jose, Diablo Ballet/Walnut Creek, Nashville Ballet, Dance Kaleidoscope/ Indianapolis, Path Dance Company/Baltimore, Cabrillo Music Festival and Opera San Jose. 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. 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
Barbara Day Turner is founder and music director of the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, now celebrating its 20th season. An ardent advocate for new music, Maestra Day Turner has recently conducted the Thuringen Symphony Rudolstadt-Saalfeld (where she made her European harpsichord debut), the Orquesta Sinfonica de Aguascalientes, John Adams’ Nixon in China for Portland Opera, The Barber of Seville, Carmen and Porgy and Bess for Utah Festival Opera and La Cenerentola with the Rheinsberg Festival (Berlin), and The Music Man for Symphony Silicon Valley. She has conducted the world premieres of five operas, including Hotel Eden by Henry Mollicone, West of Washington Square by Alva Henderson, The Tale of The Nutcracker by Craig Bohmler and Phaedra by George Roumanis, and Alva Henderson’s Nosferatu. She holds a masters degree in harpsichord performance from San Jose State University, with advanced studies with the legendary Fernando Valenti. Other unusual projects have included conducting Sondheim’sAssassins for AMTSJ, Weisgall’s Six Characters in Search of An Author for Opera Festival New Jersey, the world premiere of Randall Wong's Household Opera for puppets in a Victorian toy theater and The Cat and the Fiddle for 42nd Street Moon in San Francisco. In addition, she has guest conducted for Opera Memphis, Nashville Opera, West Bay Opera, Rimrock Opera, Taconic Opera, Rogue Opera, Opera Idaho and led concerts with the Rudolstadt (Germany), Billings (MT), San Jose (CA), Fayetteville (AK), Redwood and Diablo Valley Symphonies (CA).
San José 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.
Raphael Boumaïla, Guest 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.
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 third season designing for sjDANCEco. Please visit his website for more information at Matthewantakydesign.com
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.
Nhan Ho, Company Dancer
Nhan Ho is a 2008 graduate of the Dance Program at SJSU where he was “Outstanding Graduating Senior.” He ventured into the world of dance at the age of sixteen under the guidance of Kellye Dodd, Director of the Dance Program at Independence High in East San Jose. He was a member of IndepenDANCE, the school’s performing ensemble and part of the Mentoring Program, under the direction of Gary Masters. As a member of SJSU's University Dance Theatre his choreography, Echoes, was selected for adjudication at the American College Dance Festival in 2005. This season Nhan is performing also with Printz Dance Project/SF and has performed with BodyArt Dance Company, Sasha Soreff Dance Thratre, I-Danse, and Faye Driscoll in New York, Facing East Dance & Music of Oakland & Berkeley, Margaret Wingrove Dance Company of San Jose, Push Dance Company/SF and KTDavisDance of Modesto. Nhan has taught for the South Bay Dance Center, East West Music and Dance and recently for the Dance Program at SJSU. He conducts an ‘Improve JAM’ monthly at SJSU and his company Nhan Ho Project was recently part of the West Wave Dance Festival/SF and will participate in sjDANCEco’s ChoreoProject in November.
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 from the senior production “Embody ONE” became part of UDT’s repertory. Dominique started dancing at Dance Attack at the age of 4, was one of the original performing company members, became an assistant teacher at an early age and shortly after began teaching her own class. She has won many awards including dance convention scholarships and leadership awards. In high school, she was vice president and assistant teacher of her high school’s dance program, Dance Spectrum, and also served as captain and choreographer of the Varsity song-leading team for three years. Dominique danced with Debra Emerson-Boyd and Jen Hechtle-Bradford for eight years, with Dance Attack’s Senior Company, and with Foothill College Dance Company where she was nominated Best Female Performer of the Year. Recently she has been part of the United Spirit Association as a professional Song-Leader Instructor. She teaches Contemporary Lyrical/ Modern at Dance Fusion and Intermediate/Advanced Jazz at Dance Attack. Dominique is in her 2nd year of teaching ballet and jazz in the Dance Program at SJSU and celebrates her fourth season with sjDANCEco.
Marte Osiris Madera, Company Dancer
Marte Madera (dancer) was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. He has danced professionally with Lustig Dance Theater of New Jersey and Oakland Ballet under the direction of Graham Lustig. Mr. Madera freelanced with Menlowe Ballet, the Kim T. Davis Dance Company, the Margaret Wingrove Dance Company, Western Ballet, Man Dance Company/SF, Central West Ballet; where he performed the Nutcracker, Coppelia, Cinderella, and Romeo and Juliet, and with sjDANCEco from San Jose, California; which included performing Jose Limon’s The Winged, There is a Time, and Missa Brevis. He also performed Speaking Ill of the Dead with Robert Moses Kin/SF and Donald McKayle's Hearts of the Disinherited. Mr. Madera has a BFA in Dance from San Jose State University where he was given the award of “Most Outstanding Graduating Senior.” While attending SJSU his choreography was selected for adjudication at the American College Dance Festival. During his time in college, he performed for various years; first with Modesto Junior College’s Off-Balance Dance Company, and then with San Jose State University’s dance ensemble; University Dance Theater. In addition to dancing, he has taught both ballet and contemporary dance at the Allegro Performing Arts school of San Jose, California and contemporary dance for Oakland Ballet’s summer program. Mr. Madera most recently choreographed a piece on Central West Ballet. This is Marte’s fourth season with sjDANCEco.
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.
Michael Saenz, Company Dancer
Michael Saenz has been a dancer with sjDANCEco since 2009. He has enjoyed several featured roles in José Limón works - ("Winged," "There is a Time," and "Missa Brevis") as well as sjDANCEco's Company works. Last year, he performed in Dominic Duong’s "Exurgency" as part of the "A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2011” in San Francisco. Prior to that, he was involved in several regional theatre productions as a featured dancer including “Guys and Dolls,” “Aida,” “Some Like It Hot,” “Godspell,” and “Joseph… Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” He has performed with Company One under the direction of Janie Scott at San Jose State University where he learned to incorporate and hone his love of musical theatre. He also danced professionally with Push Entertainment of San Francisco, for a number of Asian artists, including CoCo Lee, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for Jackie Chan's charity concert. Currently, he teaches lyrical, modern, hip hop, and jazz at East West Music and Dance where he has had the privilege of choreographing for their Senior Performing Group.
Jeanene Winston, Company Dancer
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!