LIGHTING DESIGNER Stephen Bennett designs for all performing arts disciplines. He has garnered five Drama-Logue and three L.A. Weekly awards for set and lighting design. Stephen has been honored with two Lester Horton Dance Awards for lighting design, for Hae Kyung Lee and Dancers, and for Loretta Livingston & Dancers’ 1996 evening length work Tales From the Plate, Moving North. Among his artistic associations are directors Peter Sellars, David Schweitzer and Steven Berkoff; choreographers Donald Byrd, Rudy Perez and Chester Whittmore; and performance artists Jan Monroe and Rachel Rosenthal. Stephen was the technical director and lighting designer for the Los Angeles Festival and has taught lighting design at the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures. He is currently Manager of Production Events Services at the new Getty Center in Los Angeles.
DANCER (Understudy) Erin Suzanne Carper is a newcomer to southern California, relocating from Chicago. She brings a strong background in both ballet and modern to her work. Her early training was with Mary Day and Patricia Berrend at Young Dancers of the Washington Ballet. Erin has danced with the Cleveland Ballet, Ballet Met, Charleston Ballet Theater, and Ballet Chicago. As a performer in the Modern Dance idiom, she has danced with Chicago-based Cerulean Dance Theater, Melissa Thodos and Dancers, and recently with Ilaan Egeland. This is her first project with Loretta Livingston & Dancers.
DANCER John Diaz was born and raised in California. He began studying Mexican Folklórico dance in the 4th grade. Later he studied classical ballet and the Modern Dance techniques of Cunningham, Graham, Limon and Hawkins, as well as Butoh dance with artist Diego Pińon. John began his professional career in 1989, dancing with a variety of groups, including San Diego Dance Theater, Helios Dance Theater and Wendy Rogers. John practices Hatha/Ashtanga Yoga, enjoys literature, languages and finding the sacred in the everyday.
COSTUME DESIGNER Martha Ferrara is an award-winning designer of more than 75 productions in theater, dance, opera, video and performance art. She is perhaps best known for her museum reconstruction of costumes for the futurist opera Victory Over the Sun, originally conceived by Kasimir Malevich in 1913. These sculptural costumes have been seen at the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Akademie der Kunste in Berlin, der Meervaart in Amsterdam, and at the History of Sculpture exhibit in Basel, Switzerland. As the Costume Designer for Loretta Livingston & Dancers, Martha has created the costumes for twelve repertory premieres and was honored as the first recipient of Los Angeles’ Lester Horton Dance Award for Visual Design. In theatre, she is known for her designs for new plays, including those developed at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles, such as Year One of the Empire and McCarthy. In 1997 Martha created the costumes for the PBS special, Isabella d’Este, First Lady of the Renaissance, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Most recently she designed more than 110 costumes for the musical production of the Will Rogers Follies at SRT in Santa Rosa, California. Martha joined the faculty of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 1977, teaching courses in Costume Design, History, Drawing and Special Theater Crafts. She has served as Chair of the Faculty Senate (1989), Associate Dean (1990) and as the Acting Dean of the School of Theatre (1991-95). Before coming to CalArts, for three years she held the position of Costume Designer at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Michigan, the American sister school of England’s Royal Academy. Her training is from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Goodman School of Drama.
COMPOSER Murielle Hamilton was born and raised in Montreux, Switzerland. She studied classical piano from an early age, attended the Conservatory at Vevey and graduated from the University of Lausanne in Political Science. While working for the Montreux Jazz Festival Murielle began a career as a management executive for a variety of rock bands, including the Rolling Stones, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Prince. She returned to composition when she settled in Los Angeles, studying privately as well as at the Grove School of Music and UCLA. She was a member of the Lo Cal Composers-a group of five composers known for creating original music and performing in unusual venues-premiering many chamber pieces with them. In addition to her concert work she writes for films, concentrating on independent features and documentaries. Murielle received the 1996 Lester Horton Dance Award for Outstanding Musical Score for her original music for Tales From the Plate, Moving North, an evening-length dance work by Loretta Livingston & Dancers. Murielle speaks several languages, enjoys skiing, horseback riding, reading and painting, as well as her family life with musician Joel Hamilton and their two daughters.
DANCER Alyson Little Jones was born in a small fishing village outside of Yokohama, Japan, and was raised in Pensacola, Florida. She began studying ballet at age five, and then was accepted into Kaleidoscope Dance Theater, a nonprofit children’s dance company. Within the creative atmosphere of Kaleidoscope Alyson began choreographing her own dances, as well as working her way up the performer ranks to the Senior company, until by age seventeen she had performed in over 250 concerts. Alyson spent two summers on scholarship with the Joffrey Ballet, and then went on to Florida State University where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. She performed for four years with Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth (Texas) before finalizing her education with a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance from University of California, Irvine. Alyson also has a background in sports, character dance, traditional Chinese and Japanese dance, Aikido and creative writing.
DANCER Kristi Keanuenuepiolaniku’uleialoha Kapahua (“Kea”) was born and raised in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. She began dancing hula at age five, studying with the Beamer/Solomon family, Ray Fonseca and Clarice Nuhi. Kea came to the mainland to study dance at State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase, and then transferred to Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. Kea has performed with Wade Madsen & Dancers, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Strong Wind Wild Horses, directed by Shirley Jenkins, and the Village Theater-a musical theater company in Washington state. Kea received a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance from University of California, Irvine. In addition to her concert dance work, she performs with “Leialoha”, a Hawaiian music band based in Los Angeles, dancing hula, singing, playing ‘ukulele and guitar. When she’s not performing she’s on the waves-she is an avid body boarder.
CHOREOGRAPHER Loretta Livingston is an award-winning artist based in Los Angeles. A fifth-generation Californian, Loretta has chosen to work in the West, investigating her own “Pacific Plate” point of view and aesthetic. Trained in the visual arts and dance, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from California Institute of the Arts, and then spent her first professional decade touring throughout the United States and Europe with the Lewitzky Dance Company. With West Coast dance legend Bella Lewitzky as mentor, Loretta rose to positions of soloist and principal and eventually took on some of Lewitzky’s original roles. In 1983 she left the Lewitzky Company to begin investigating her own choreographic work. In 1984 she formed her concert ensemble, Loretta Livingston & Dancers, and began building a body of works and a collaborative process with dancers, designers, composers, and visual artists. With her company and collaborators Loretta has created many evening-length works that have toured nationally and which earned a record total of ten Lester Horton Dance Awards---the Los Angeles dance community’s annual peer recognition acknowledgments. In addition to her concert work with her company, Loretta accepts choreographic commissions and works as a solo artist, with her most recent project, Solo Traveler/Viajera Sola-combining dance, video imagery of Los Angeles by video artist Kate Johnson, and music by Gerardo Tamez of Mexico City-seen in Chicago in spring 1999. She has participated in new forms of hybrid work, having been invited in 1997 by contemporary folklórico choreographer Gema Sandoval to participate in the Spanish language play Aguila Real. In 1998 she collaborated with Ms. Sandoval on the creation of ˇSí, Se Puede/ Yes, You Can!, an homage in dance and music to United Farm Workers leader and visionary César Chávez, using Ms. Sandoval’s company Floricanto/USA, with music by Gerardo Tamez. Recognized for her abilities as a performer, choreographer and arts educator, Loretta received the 1990 Dewar’s Young Artist Award, the 1994 Distinguished Artist Award from the Club 100 of the Los Angeles Music Center, the 1995 Professional Artist Award from the California Alliance for Arts Education, and the title of “California Distinguished Artist” by Los Angeles’s Dance Kaleidoscope in 1997.
DANCER Michael Mizerany was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He studied dance at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and danced for three seasons with the Mid-America Dance Company. In1989 he relocated to Los Angeles to join Loretta Livingston & Dancers. In 1996 he toured with the internationally renowned Lewitzky Dance Company for its farewell season. He has been a member of San Diego-based Malashock Dance Company, and has been a guest artist with Los Angeles Chamber Ballet, Francisco Martinez Dancetheatre and Pacific Dance Ensemble. Michael is also a choreographer, performing his work locally and on tour, and has received two Lester Horton Dance Awards for his performances of his solos Tin Soldier and Bump in the Road. In addition to being Rehearsal Assistant to Ms. Livingston for Two Thousand Steps, Michael is creating a new work on a Fellowship from the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, to be premiered in June 2000.
DANCER Myshia Moten is a native of the Los Angeles area, born in Inglewood. She began her early dance training with former Lewitzky dancer Charles Edmonson and respected teacher Karen McDonald. Myshia graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from California State University Long Beach, and was a three-year member of Between Lines, a contemporary dance company under directorship of noted choreographer Winifred R. Harris. In addition to her devotion to the art form of dance, Myshia is the proud mother of two small children.
DOLL DESIGN/ ASSISTANT TO THE COSTUME DESIGNER Itsaso Petricorena is of Basque descent, born and raised in Europe. She has worked as a designer for theater, film and dance. She has worked with notable directors in New York and California, including Travis Preston, Jenie Geiser and Mari Lou Rosato. Itsaso graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts in Costume Design from California Institute of the Arts.
DANCER Keena Smith was born in Riverside, California and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. Keena’s movement training began at the early age of five, with studies in dance and gymnastics. She was a competitive gymnast from age nine to age seventeen. Keena earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she credits professionals Victoria Dale and Walter Nicks with influencing her career. Keena studied Graham technique in New York, and then was a member of the cast of the famed EFX show in Las Vegas. She completed her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of California, Irvine.
SCENIC DESIGNER James P. Taylor brings a distinguished list of credits to his design projects. He is both a lighting designer and a scenic designer, as well as an educator. He has designed for Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Des Moines Playhouse, Arkansas Opera Theatre, Colorado Opera Festival, Music Theater of Wichita, ABC Television Sports, Des Moines Ballet, Ballet Arkansas, Hanya Holm Dance Ensemble, Horse Cave Theatre, Summer Repertory Theater, Arkansas Symphony and Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota, among others. He is currently a designer for A Noise Within in Los Angeles. He has taught theater design at the University of Arkansas/Little Rock, Drake University, Grinnell College, and has been Associate Professor/Designer at Pomona College since 1991. He has received numerous grants including a Fulbright Senior Lectureship to Manila University in Manila, the Philippines in 1997/98. James holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Theater Design and Technology from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts/Drama from Colorado College.
DANCER Johnny Tu was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and came to the United States at the age of seven. He was first introduced to dance while a business student at Cal Poly Pomona. With nurturing and support, he received scholarships to the 1994, ’97 and ’98 California State University Summer Arts Program. Johnny began his professional career with the Los Angeles Mexican Dance Theater, directed by Carola De La Rocha. Since then he has danced with Bridge Dance Theater, Stephanie Gilliland Dance Company, Winifred R. Harris/Between Lines, Rosanna Gamson/World Wide, and Trip Dance Theatre. He has also been directed by Sharon Kinney, formerly of the Paul Taylor Dance Company and currently a film/video dance artist. He has appeared in works by Stella Gardiner, Dulce Capadocia and Keith Johnson. Johnny is inspired by “ …people in motion, creating fleeting moments of understanding, enlightenment and awareness.”
DANCER Sioux Wing was born in Jacksonhole, Wyoming and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She trained in gymnastics from age three to age twelve, competing throughout the Southwest. At that time she was also active in competitive swimming. For Sioux, the end of gymnastics was the beginning of a life in dance. She began studying ballet with Mary Beth Cabana, and while at the University of Arizona she shifted her dance focus to Modern, crediting the influence of former Lewitzky dancer Amy Ernst. While at the University of Arizona Sioux danced with Orts Theater of Dance with Anne Bunker and was awarded the Jay and Betty Citrin Award for Outstanding Talent. When she is not dancing Sioux teaches gymnastics and swimming to young people, and coaches swim team in the summers.