Lea Fulton (Performer) is obsessed with stories and the re-telling of them through visual and physical media. She finds NYC a stellar place to collect these stories, as well as other things, like too many old dresses and dusty books. Some of her storytelling adventures have included a collaboration with Ryan Ross that culminated in a piece of movable theater, performed at the Philly Fringe Festival 2008, and a dancefilm collaboration with dancer Stephanie Miracle and filmmaker Greg King that was honored in the Dance on Camera Film Festival 2010. Being consistently drawn to the medium of film, Lea has choreographed music videos for electronic music artist, Nadia Ali and indie-rock group, Apollo Run in addition to performing in Animal Collective's video for "Summertime Clothes". Lea has had the good fortune of creating dance with Heather McArdle, Faye Driscoll, Christine Suarez, Kate Watson-Wallace and Laura Peterson. In addition to being thrilled to work on her first project with Alexandra Beller, she's currently working on projects with Janessa Clark and Elisabeth Motley. She holds a B.A in Interdisciplinary Studies from Wheaton College. She is interested in the healing properties of movement in general and to this end, after being certified to teach yoga in 2009 and studying Thai Massage with master teacher Pichest Boonthume in Thailand, began to use these platforms to bring the possibility of healing to people that aren't usually exposed to such modalities. She currently teaches yoga for the non-profit organization, Restore NYC and also to Muy Thai fighters at the boxing gym, Chok Sabai in Manhattan.
Toni Melaas (Performer) is currently finishing up her 8th year as a member of Alexandra Beller/Dances,and working on projects with Netta Yerushalmy/Dancing People and Gerald Casel Dance Company, with whom she recently finished a three month stint in Europe. Among others, she has had the pleasure of performing nationally and internationally with Shen Wei Dance Arts (including the State Theater), Faye Driscoll, Melissa Briggs Dance, David Dorfman Dance (BAM), Risa Jaroslow and Dancers, and Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig, with the Aquila Theater Company with Olympia Dukakis, and in the films 'Across the Universe' (Julie Taymor) and 'The Hottest State' (Ethan Hawk). Toni shares her company Hatch NYC (www.hatchnewyork.com) with partner Lily Baldwin, bringing customized yoga and pilates to individual clients and corporations in NYC and throughout the U.S, and on retreats worldwide. Many thanks to the generosity of these beautiful performers and to Alexandra's wisdom and love.
Carly Berrett Plagianakos (Performer) is a performer, writer, and multi media dance-maker. She hails from Salt Lake City, Utah and holds an MFA from the University of Utah and a BA from Brigham Young University. The insatiable urge to perform carried Carly to New York City, where she has experienced magic, heartache, and transformation through the art forms of dance and theater. Carly currently performs two leading roles in the Bessie Award-Winning interactive dance theater work “Then She Fell,” by Third Rail Projects. She also performs as a company member in Alexandra Beller/Dances. Carly has created dance film works independently and for various New York City Dance and Theater Companies. She has had the pleasure of working with Gesel Mason, Doug Varone, Ching-I Chang, Alex|Xan: The Media Movement, Nico-Li, Stephen Koester, Paul Matteson, Jen Nugent, and Bill Evans. Carly has been a master teaching artist at Dance New Amsterdam, Gibney Dance 280, 92Y, University of Albany, University of Colorado, University of Maryland, and St. Olaf College. She was an assistant professor at the University of Utah Department of Modern Dance from 2007-2009. Carly also free-lances as a grant writer for various art, education and dance non-profits in New York City and Brooklyn.
Edward Rice (Performer), originally from the suburbs of Chicago, started dancing as a child and received his early training from The School for Saltcreek Ballet, Lyons Township High School, and Jo’s Footwork Studio. He holds a B.S. in Performance from Illinois State University and a M.F.A. in Dance Performance from the University of Iowa where he was a recipient of the Iowa Arts Fellowship. His choreography has received honors at American College Dance Festival Association Conferences and has been performed through out the Mid-West. In New York, his work has been presented at Dixon Place and as part of Synethesia by Electric Pear Productions. He has performed with Jennifer Kayle + Company, The Brian Brooks Moving Company, Stone Depot Dance Lab, Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects, Amber Sloan, and Elizabeth Dishman. He currently dances with Alexandra Beller/Dances, Laura Peterson Choreography and Benn Rasmussen and Dancers. He has taught Technique and Improvisation throughout the Mid-West, as well as Dance New Amsterdam (NYC), the New School, The International Dance Festival in Bytom, Poland and The Open Look Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. In his administrative life he is the Programs Manager at Dance New Amsterdam, a Producer with RoofTop Dance (www.rooftopdance.com).
Simon Thomas-Train (Performer) began dancing at Middlebury College, transitioning from an extensive background in competitive cross country skiing to graduate with a BA in Dance and Architectural Studies in 2009. Since then he has had the pleasure of working with Tiffany Rhynard/Big Action Performance Ensemble, Satya Roosens, Attack Theatre, Alexandra Beller/Dances, Megan Bascom and Dancers, Tiffany Mills and Company, Rosie Herrera Dance Theater, Red Dirt Dance, band|Portier, David Dorfman Dance, Pavel Zustiak|palissimo and most recently with the 2013 Bessie-winning "Then She Fell" by Third Rail Projects. He is the co-founder of The Space We Make (www.thespacewemake.com).
Martijn Hart (Film and Videography) has been a filmmaker, cameraman and TV director for the past 20 years. He has worked throughout the United States, South and Central America, Canada, Australia, Asia, and Europe. He was first cameraman, and later the director for, “Stads TV Rotterdam” for 6 years. Then he pursued a free-lance career and relocated from Holland to New York City in 1996. He was the co-creator and director of “Nova New York,” a weekly series from New York City for Dutch television, which followed the 2004 American elections. His documentary credits include “The Brooklyn Connection,” which investigated the American connection to arms traffic in Albania (co-produced with Klaartje Quirijns and Stacey Sullivan), and “Saxman,” which chronicled the life of legendary saxophone player Piet le Blanc. His work has been shown at The Rotterdam Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, VPRO Dutch TV, PBS, CBS, and stations across Europe. He has worked as a cameraman on numerous programs, including, “Panorama” (BBC), “Focus” (RTL), “60 Minutes” (CBS), and “Liebe An Der Macht” (ARD). He has been a cameraman for the US Open, Australian Open, and other major sports events as well as breaking news globally. He has also filmed numerous live performances, particularly modern dance, in New York City and collaborates artistically on film components for theatrical events.
Amanda K. Ringger (Lighting Designer) has lived in New York for the past 13 years designing locally, nationally and internationally with artists such as Alexandra Beller, Faye Driscoll, Julian Barnett, Deborah Lohse, Laura Peterson, Cynthia Oliver, Katie Workum, Doorknob Company, Shannon Gillen, Darrah Carr, Kota Yamazaki, and Mark Jarecke, among others. She received a BA from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD and an MFA in lighting design from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. She is the recipient of a 2009 Bessie award for her collaboration on Faye Driscoll's 837 Venice Boulevard at HERE Arts Center.
Robert Poss (Sound Design) has performed and recorded with Rhys Chatham, Nicolas Collins, Ben Neill, Phill Niblock, David Dramm, Susan Stenger and Bruce Gilbert. In 1986, he formed the wall-of-guitars group Band of Susans, which Rolling Stone Magazine described as "adamantly arty, brainy, visceral and bracing." BOS released two EPs and five full-length CDs (all produced by Poss) before disbanding in 1995. In 2002 Poss released two companion solo CDs, "Distortion Is Truth" and "Crossing Casco Bay" on Trace Elements Records. Of his recent solo work, Tape Op Magazine writes “Guitar genius, drone meister … Robert Poss is the master of treated and manipulated guitars.” He continues to perform his guitar and electronics pieces in the U.S., the U.K. and Europe.
Katie Dean (Company Manager + Graphic Designer) received her BFA (Cum Laude) in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. She specializes in branding and graphic design, and served as Education Director and Press and Marketing Director for a nonprofit arts organization for six years before joining Alexandra Beller/Dances in 2015. She is currently also the Marketing and Graphic Design Associate at HERE Arts Center in Soho. She has received instruction through the BAM/DeVos Institute of Arts Management Professional Development Program. In addition to her administrative work, she is a freelance performer and has performed with artists including Ivy Baldwin, Kim Brandt, Julie Mayo, Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance, Phoebe Osborne, Phoebe Berglund, Nadia Tykulsker/Spark(edIt) Arts, and others.
Intern: Mia Martelli (2017-2018)
Jenna Riegel (Performer) grew up in Fairfield, Iowa and holds an M.F.A. in Dance Performance from the University of Iowa. Jenna has performed in works by Tatiana Baganova, Carolyn Dorfman, Michel Kouakou, Gabriel Masson, Donald McKayle, Jennifer Nugent & Paul Matteson and Bill Young. In addition to Alexandra Beller/Dances, Jenna currently dances for David Dorfman Dance, johannes weiland and Tania Isaac Dance. Jenna is thrilled be performing with Alexandra Beller/Dances and is grateful to her family and friends for their unconditional love and support.
Justin Donham (Performer) is a performer and stage manager whose credits include Broadway: Dance of Death with Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren. Off Broadway: Aunt Dan and Lemon, Mike Leigh's Smelling a Rat, What the Butler Saw (all with the New Group), Uncle Jack, Small Craft Warnings, Whoa-Jack! ( with Worth Street), Young Playwright's Festival (Cherry Lane). Other NY credits include: P.S. 122, HERE, 59E59, Joyce Soho, and Aaron Davis Hall. Regional: Vineyard Playhouse and Princeton Rep. Tours: extensive touring with SITI Co. including Dublin International Festival (Ireland), MC93 Bobigny (France), Bonn Biennale (Germany), Court Theater, Walker Art Center, American Repertory Theater, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He also toured all over the US with experimental jazz composer Fred Ho and recently to Eastern Europe with Alexandra Beller/Dances.
Drew Smith (Performer) was privileged as a young dancer to appear in feature films and music videos under the direction of Paul Thomas Anderson, Jerry Mitchell, Marguerite Derricks, and Michael Rooney, among others. Over the years he has worked as a guest artist for Shirley Winters Ballet (Fresno), Sacramento Ballet, Commonality Dance (Los Angeles), and premiered "Traveling Light" with Joe Goode Performance Group (San Francisco) at the historic Old Mint. During his education at NYU-Tisch Dance he performed, with the Second Avenue Dance Company, "Of the Earth Far Below" by Doug Varone (NYC). He has premiered work with Christopher Williams (NYC), including "The Voyage of Garbhglas" at the Irish Hunger Memorial.
Tara Lee Burns (Website & Online Marketing) is honored to have been working with Alexandra Beller since 2006. She began with Alexandra Beller/Dances as company manager and resigned to designing projections, websites, online marketing and social networking materials for the company since 2009. She currently designs materials for creative clients including Adele Myers, The Field, Heidi Henderson, Rebecca Davis, Martijn Hart, Robert Poss, Sandi Sissel and many others. In addition to Alexandra Beller/Dances, Tara has designed projections for Adele Myers and Dancers and her own work under the name Burns Dance Media. She currently dances with Adele Myers and Marjani Forte and has performed throughout Germany, the UK and the US with Alexandra Beller, Philip Montana, Milvia Pacheco Salvatierra, white road Dance Media, Andrea Haenggi/AMDaT, Kelly Drummond Cawthon, Kelly Donovan, and Voci Dance Company. Her own choreography has been seen in Connecticut, NYC, the UK and throughout Florida. Tara received a BFA in Dance Performance from the University of Florida and an MA in Digital Performance at The University of Hull/ Doncaster, UK. www.taraleeburns.com