Meet the women of WOMEN WHO DANCE!

Photo: Jeff Zmania


Women Who Dance

ran March 2-4, 2018

at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water Street


A coalition of empowered women from all walks of life came together to dance diverse styles from a variety of perspectives.

Pattern, Repattern, Unpattern, Repeat


Choreography: Dani Kuepper and dancers
Performers: Danceworks Performance Company (Kim Johnson, Dani Kuepper, Gina Laurenzi, Liz Licht, Christal Wagner)


See Danceworks Performance Company’s bios here.

Disclosure Tactics (2012)


Choreography, text, solo performance: Sarah Wilbur
Ensemble: Amy Brinkman, Dianne Dziengel, Mary Guy Franke, Janice Hjelmgren,  LaBella Hunley, Posy Knight, Dani Kuepper, Jane Lewis, Sarah Mesa, Andréa Moser, Rasheeda Panniell, Samantha Mesa-Payne, Natasha Posey, Ramsey Schlissel, Maggie Seer, Gabi Sustache, Liz Tesch, Christal Wagner


Sarah Wilbur

Sarah Wilbur is a cross-sector choreographer, dance/performance researcher, and the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in dance studies at Brown University in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies. In 1996 she co-founded a dance collective and ran production operations for the cross-cultural and inter-generational dance nonprofit, Danceworks, Inc. During this decade (1996-2007) and ever since, Sarah has augmented theatrical with dance work within the “non-arts” contexts of K-12 education, social service, health care, and most recently, veterans’ affairs. When Sarah is not sweating, she is researching dance institutions and infrastructures and writing a book detailing the struggle to recognize and resource dance across the fifty year lifespan of the Dance Program at the National Endowment for the Arts (1965-2016). She holds a B.F.A. in dance (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), a M.F.A in dance, and a Ph.D. in culture and performance studies from the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. She is profoundly grateful for the trade school education in dance practice and the deep friendships that Danceworks has made possible. Those interested can learn more about Sarah’s ideas (academic, artistic, and otherwise) can click here.


Read Sarah’s interview with Milwaukee Magazine about Disclosure Tactics and Women Who Dance here!

Respira y Baila


Choreography: Karlies Kelley and dancers
Performers: Panadanza Dance Company (Rachel Apple, Sofia Ascorbe, Julie Banashak, Annie Dubats, Angie Gabriela, Mary Kat Hart, Imani Jalil, Karlies Kelley, Cecilia Moretti, Elizabeth Orich, Devin Settle, Nicole Katerina Spinelli, Kanchana Srinivasan)


Panadanza Dance Company

Panadanza Dance Company has been established since 2008 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by artistic director Karlies Kelley, a native of the Republic of Panama. Panadanza is an all women dance ensemble that utilizes music, singing, acting and colorful folkloric costumes to bring alive the identities of the Caribbean, Central and South America. Panadanza performs and teaches for a wide range of audiences and abilities. Panadanza’s mission is to awaken the spirit in all ages through teaching and performing Latin American dances, helping to build trust, confidence, respect and leadership among all communities.


Karlies KelleyKarlies Kelley, originally from Panama, has earned her B.F.A. in Dance from UW-Milwaukee and has over 10 years of experience dancing, teaching and performing in a variety of settings. Her constant research and passion for dance have molded her into a versatile dancer, ranging from Salsa to West African, Brazilian, Caribbean, Modern, Jazz, Theater and more. Karlies is actively involved in the Milwaukee community, engaging youth and women to move in positive and unifying ways. She fully believes dance to be the medicine for living a happier, more meaningful life.



Friday, March 2


Sound Score/Improvisation: Cadance Collective

Performers: Cadance Collective (Emma Koi, Alicia Storin, Christal Wagner)


Founded in 2012, Cadance Collective creates an interface where music informs dance and dance informs music. This ensemble treats music composition and dance choreography as common tools in creating original performance pieces. Cadance Collective performed at the Inaugural Milwaukee Fringe Festival in August, 2016, and has been a featured guest artist on several subscription concerts at Danceworks Performance Company. The company has created commissioned work for the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center and the Battery Factory, the Shorewood Senior Resource Center, and the Cedarburg Cultural Center. Cadance Collective’s work has received favorable reviews from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Magazine and Shepherd Express, and has received global attention in the Epoch Times.


Emma KoiEmma Koi maintains an eclectic career as an orchestral, chamber and collaborative flutist. She is an alum of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Principal Flute of the Festival City Symphony, Third Flute/Piccolo with the Wisconsin Philharmonic Orchestra, and is a frequent substitute with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Koi has worked under the batons of conductors Edo de Waart, Charles Dutoit, Michael Tilson Thomas, Jaap van Sweden and Ricardo Muti, and has performed with soloists Yo-Yo Ma, Jennifer Koh, and Alisa Weilerstien, among others. An active chamber musician and collaborative flutist, Ms. Koi is an alum of the Leonard Sorkin Institute of Chamber Music and the Bowdoin Institute of Chamber Music in Brunswick, Maine. She has performed locally with Present Music, Milwaukee Musaik, Frankly Music, Access Contemporary Music for Doors Open Milwaukee, and on many recital projects with Milwaukee area chamber musicians. She enjoys a regular schedule of collaborative projects, and has worked with Danceworks Performance Company, Wild Space Dance Company and in collaboration with Chicago Symphony Orchestra Composer-in- Residence Anna Clyne. A multi-faceted artist with a passion for interdisciplinary collaboration, Emma Koi is the founder of Cadance Collective, a Milwaukee-based ensemble of musicians and dancers, treating choreography and composition as equal tools in creating new work for the stage. In demand as a teacher and clinician, Ms. Koi has served as a coach for youth band and orchestra programs throughout the country and was on the faculty at the 2nd Annual Festival of Youth Orchestras and Choirs in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2011. She is currently a faculty member at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, and an interim faculty member at Carroll University. She holds a Master of Music in Flute Performance from Carnegie Mellon University and degrees in music (BA) and dance (BFA) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Alicia StorinAlicia Storin began playing cello at the age of 10 with the public school music program in her hometown of Mequon, Wisconsin. Throughout middle school and high school she studied with Greg Matthews, of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Alicia went on to study cello performance at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, under professor Tanya Remenikova. In 2007, Alicia earned her Master’s Degree in cello performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Stephen Geber. She recently completed a chamber music program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, earning a performance certificate as part of the Leonard Sorkin International Institute of Chamber Music. During this time she studied with Dr. Stefan Kartman, and also worked closely with Dr. Bernard Zinck and members of the Arianna String Quartet.  In 2013, Alicia, along with violinist Megan Buschkopf, won the UWM concerto competition with the Brahms Double Concerto. Alicia seeks out collaborative opportunities and loves working with artists of different mediums.  One of Alicia’s favorite collaborations was the production of An Iliad, presented by both the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and American Players Theatre. Alicia had the role of the Muse, only speaking through her cello, opposite James DeVita as the Poet.  She also performed in Windfall Theater’s production of Identita, highlighting folk songs and contemporary pieces from Slovenia. Alicia teaches at the Waukesha String Académie and the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, and also maintains a small, private studio out of her home in Bay View.


Christal WagnerChristal Wagner has her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Professionally she gained her start with Milwaukee based company Your Mother Dances in 2006, spending 4 seasons with the company dancing locally and abroad at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. While with YMD, she performed in works by David Parker including his theatrical work Nut Cracked, Heinz Poll performing his famous Bolero, and numerous works by the Artistic Director, Elizabeth Johnson. She currently performs with Danceworks Performance Company and is in her seventh season with DPC. While with DPC she has performed work by Sean Curran (NY), Emma Draves (Chicago), Amii Legendre (NY), Janet Lilly (Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane), and Simone Ferro (UWM Chair). Her featured work includes solo performance in DPC’s Maria de Buenos Aires (2011), Solo Performance in MFA Graduates Amii LeGendre and Carrey Foster’s Museum of Narrow Places (2011) and a featured performance in Present Music’s Around 30 Concert (2012), celebrating milwaukee artists around the age of 30. Currently she choreographs for Danceworks Performance Company, Cadance Collective, and Community Theatre Works, working with anywhere from 85-100 kids and professionals each summer on full length musicals put to stage in as little as 4 weeks. In film, Christal has worked performed for Milwaukee director, Tate Bunker in his independent film, Studies in Space, which premiered at the 2012 Milwaukee Film Festival. Christal also choreographed and performed for the 2013 Dance Your Ph.D film competition in collaboration with engineer, Dr. Tim Hunter.

We Come From Women

Saturday, March 3


Performers: Earthstrong Women’s Collective (Dena Aronson, Holly Haebig, Karlies Kelley, Ana Paula Soares Lynch, Kara Mulrooney)


Earthstrong Women’s Collective is made up of a diverse circle of friends who unite together in collaborative courage, joy and hope to create songs, stories, dances, music and art.  Our intention is to stir up, inspire and be inspired by the many communities we love and share.