• Lisa Andrea Thurrell

    Artistic Director, Choreographer, faculty, dancer, KDC (’95-date) was faculty at Academy of Russian Ballet, Denver, CO (‘01-04); Illinois State Univ., Normal, IL (‘05.); Ballet Minnesota, (‘98 - to date), UN-Lincoln, NE ('92,'94.) She danced with the Martha Graham Co. in NYC; and in the Spoleto Festivals in Italy and South Carolina ('91-'94); she also worked with Omega Dance Co and other NYC choreographers (‘88-‘94.). She was faculty at Idrætshøjskole, Oure, Denmark, toured her choreography to Odense (‘97.); and has presented in NYC (‘89-‘93) at The Field, Dance Space, Laban Center, and in the Midwest. She holds a Certificate of Completion, Professional Trainee and Teaching Program, from Martha Graham School for Contemporary Dance, NYC (’93) (3yr program nationally accredited); and an MFA in Dance, minor in Asian Theatre, UW-Madison (‘86.) She studied under: Yuriko, Diane Gray, Carol Fried, Ethel Winter, Hanya Holm, Nancy Hauser, Phyllis Lamhut and others. She shares awards (‘96-‘08) from: WAB, CitiARTS MCCF, DCCAC, Pleasant T Rowland, Overture, MCF; nominated for the Bonnie Bird International Choreography Award (Laban Center London ’97)
  • Robert E. Cleary

    Artistic Director, faculty, choreographer, dancer, KDC ('95-date); former principal dancer with Minnesota Ballet and Minnesota Dance Theater, trained under Frank Bourman, David Voss, Loyce Houlton, Bonnie Mathis, Mary Hinkson, Tisha Von Burpee, received his BA from Univ of Minnesota in Dance and History (’90). Cleary studied at the School of American Ballet; and the Susan Klein-Releasing Technique, NYC. He danced with Bebe Miller, Bill T Jones, Danny Ezralow, Paula Mann, Carolyn Brown and others. While on faculty at Oure Idrætshøjskole, Denmark, he toured his choreography to Arhus, Odense, and Copenhagen and danced as soloist in Nini Theilade's Ballet Schubert. He served as Guest Faculty at Southwest Texas State and Academy of Russian Ballet, Denver, CO ('01-03.) He annually performs in "The Nutcracker" for Ballet Minnesota; danced with companies in the Midwest including Wendy Hambidge. He has awards ('95-date) from WAB, CitiARTS, MAC, MCF, Pleasant T Rowland Fdtn, MCCF, DCCAC.
  • Sarah Wolf

    Sarah attended Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi, for two years working on her BFA in dance. She attended Milwaukee Ballet School’s summer intensive for multiple years, as well as summer intensives at the Ailey School and Masterworks Dance Festival. While completing her BFA in dance with honors form UW-Milwaukee, she worked with a variety of choreographers including Simone Ferro, Ed Burgess, and Luc Vanier. Ms. Wolf danced one season with Danceworks Performance Company in Milwaukee before joining Kanopy in 2010. Ms. Wolf is an ABT Certified Teacher in Primary through Level 7, and currently teaches at Kanopy Dance Academy, First Position Dance Studio, and Beloit College.
  • Erica Pinigis

    Erica Pinigis is a Madison, native and started her dance career at the Kanopy School for Contemporary Dance and Choreography. Erica received her BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota. After graduating, she produced and choreographed “Ooh La Lounge: An Evening of Dance and Jazz” at the Suburban World Theater and the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis. She was curated by the Red Eye Theater for her collaboration with Erinn Liebhard: Lulladreams and Insomnimares, and was an Artist in Residence at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Arts. Erica has performed in Madison and Minneapolis with the Kanopy Dance Company, Peel and Core Dance Company, University Dance Theater at the University of Minnesota, Zenon Block E performance group, the Eclectic Edge Ensemble, and Marylee Hardenbergh’s Global Site Performance. Erica migrated to the Bay Area in 2008 where she was a company member of several local groups including Facing East Dance & Music, Paco Gomes & Dancers, the Natasha Carlitz Dance Ensemble, Slick Babble Dance Project, H2O Dance, and Bianca Cabrera’s Blind Tiger Society. Erica completed her MFA in performance and choreography at Mills College where she was honored with the E.L Wiegand award for excellence in performance and choreography.
  • Vivian Tomlinson

    Teaching has been a big part of Vivian’s life for over three decades…and he still loves it. He has taught men, women, old and young, beginners and experienced —"even UW football players." While attending the University of Capetown in South Africa, he studied ballet and performed with the University of Capetown Ballet Company (1973-76.) “The highlight of that time was dancing with Margot Fonteyn of the Royal Ballet in Swan Lake. I was so impressed with her because she was very gracious and humble. She sat on the floor with us and chatted like everyone else.” Tomlinson arrived in Madison in 1973 to join Wisconsin Ballet Company. Mr. Tomlinson, a founding member of the Kanopy Dance (1976), danced in the Edinburgh Arts Festival in Scotland with KDC (‘78.) He performed in France and Switzerland. Mr Tomlinson has been teaching for the Madison School of Ballet, the UW Dance Program and the University Department of Liberal Studies and the Arts, Division of Continuing Studies, in Madison and in outreach programs around the state. He has taught, performed and choreographed at the Jewish Community Center in Omaha, NE; at East High School in Madison; at Columbus High School and at Watertown High School. He has worked with the Central Wisconsin Ballet Fdtn in Wausau since 1976. He has presented with Madison Civic Opera and University Opera. He reprised one of his most delightful works Just for Kicks for Kanopy's Generation to Generation concert in 2000. He was awarded the Wisconsin Dance Council 2000 Distinction Award.
  • Amy Panganiban

    Amy is a native of Madison. She performed professionally with Minnesota Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theater and American Festival Ballet. After retiring from dancing, she began designing and building costumes for Christopher Aponte at Spokane Ballet and later worked as a costume designer for Eugene Ballet Company in Oregon. While at EBC, Amy designed several of Toni Pimble’s ballets including Raramuri, Still Falls the Rain, Channel Surfing, Wild Indigo and Slipstream. Amy also created costumes for classical productions of Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. In addition to her work with EBC, Amy has also designed costumes for Charleston Ballet Theatre; Ballet Teatro de Guadalajara; University of Oregon Dance Department and for the Oregon Ballet Theatre’s American Choreographer’s Showcase in Portland; and, worked with several choreographers including Eloy Barragán and Lisa de Ribere.
  • Juan Carlos Díaz Vélez

    Juan Carlos began his dance training in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he studied under several teachers including Carmen Sandoval, Lucila Arce, and Alex Zybin. He also attended summer programs at the San Francisco and Pacific Northwest Ballet schools in the U.S. and was an apprentice with the American Festival Ballet. As a professional dancer, he danced with Idaho Dance Theater and Spokane Ballet, and as a principal dancer with Charleston Ballet Theater, Ballet Idaho and Eugene Ballet Company. Juan Carlos has performed throughout Mexico, United States, Canada, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Syria, Jordan, Tunisia and Taiwan. He has worked with many accomplished choreographers including Christopher Aponte, Toni Pimble, Jill Eathorne Bahr, Lisa de Ribere, Elisa Monte, Beth Corning, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, David Berkey, Sandra Kaufmann and Martin Lofsnes.
  • Olivia Claire Rivard

    Olivia, a Wisconsin native, began dancing at the age of four. After following this passion throughout her childhood and teenage years, she entered the dance program at the University of Minnesota in 2004. Five years later, she received both a B.F.A. in Dance and a B.A. in French Studies. Her international dance experience extends to training in Paris at Studio Harmonic and the Centre de danse du Marais in addition to organizing and teaching her own modern dance technique classes for adults. Previously as a student and now as a teaching assistant, she has been participating at the American Dance Festival for several years where she has performed works by Erick Hawkins and Trisha Brown. In Wisconsin, she has set and performed her choreography as part of the Bare Bones Dance Collective.
  • Georgia Corner

    Georgia is a dancer and teacher with over twenty years of experience performing, teaching, and producing dance. She performed for five years with the Erik Hawkins Dance Company; for two years with Douglas Dunn and Dancers, and New York based companies of Lise Brenner, Kriota Willberg, and Karen Bernard. She also performed throughout Minnesota with Ballet Harren, and performed domestically and internationally for eight years with Ballet Mink Colbert. In 1998, she founded and went on to co-direct and dance in The Wellspring Project, a repertory company based in the Hawkins technique. Over six years, Wellspring commissioned and premiered over a dozen new dances, produced five New York seasons, performed throughout New England, and appeared in Toronto and Montreal. Corner developed a lecture demonstration about modern dance for Wellspring and grants which were funded by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Bossak Heilbronn Foundation. In 2002 Wellspring produced the Erik Hawkins Legacy Forum in conjunction with Hunter College, which drew teacher and students from across the country and abroad. While in New York, Corner taught modern technique at the Erik Hawkins School of Dance and at the 92nd Street Y, both cradles of modern dance. For twelve years she directed the Broome Corner Studio, which offered classes, rehearsal and performance space to the New York dance community. She has been a guest artist at the University of Nebraska-Las Vegas, and has taught workshops and master classes for groups of every age and experience level.
  • Anna Betz

    Anna, dancer and ballet instructor for KDC, began her dance studies at the Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota. She has danced in many of the classics restaged by Cheryl Rist for Ballet Minnesota including: "Don Quixote", "La Bayadere", "Sleeping Beauty" and "Swan Lake". She has been a featured dancer in works by Andrew Rist including: "The Classic Nutcracker", "Beethoven"s 9th Symphony", "Rhapsody in Blue", "Beethoven's 6th Symphony", "Mozart's 40th Symphony" and "Black Dog Cafe". Anna was made an apprentice to Ballet Minnesota for the 2010-2011 season. She studied under the instruction of Elizabeth Shipiatsky, Gelsey Kirkland, Ted Kivitt, and Karen Burns as part of her supplementary training. Currently pursuing a degree in Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is also certified in instructing the Vaganova Method of classical ballet.
  • Alaina Keller

    Alaina hails from Milwaukee, WI and began dancing at a young age with Wauwatosa Recreation dance school and Miss Connie’s Studio of dance. At the age of 14 she joined the Milwaukee Ballet School to continue her training in Ballet. Throughout her years there she attended Milwaukee Ballet School’s summer intensive where she trained in many forms of dance and worked with a variety of choreographers including Rolando Yanes and Petr Zahradinicek. Alaina also attended summer intensives at Mystic Ballet of Connecticut, working with choreographer Brian Enos, and Eisenhower Dance of Michigan where she worked with Laurie Eisenhower, Lizzie Meckenzie and Darby Wilde. After high school, she was accepted into Milwaukee Ballet’s second Company where she danced for one season performing works by Michael Pink, Nadia Thompson, Rolando Yanes, Petr Zahradnicek, and Brent Whitney. While with Milwaukee Ballet she also had the opportunity to teach with their outreach program for Milwaukee public schools. Last Year Alaina began working and teaching with Danceworks Performance Company of Milwaukee, she also had the opportunity to work with UW-Milwaukee’s Dancemakers summer dance program.