FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Ms. Keys is a land use and real estate attorney and urban planner, specializing in urban infill and transit oriented development projects. Ms. Keys acts as in-house counsel on all aspects related to partnership and operating agreements, public/private negotiations, commission agreements, site identification, due diligence, entitlement, acquisition, leasing/purchase and sale agreements, asset management and general business operations. She is the lead negotiator and liaison for all public/private deals and has extensive experience in negotiation, implementation and compliance. Kacy also manages outside counsel and consultants.
Kacy served as the Senior Real Estate Representative within the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, City of Los Angeles. During her service with the City, Ms. Keys spearheaded the Adaptive Re-use ordinance and major development projects in downtown Los Angeles and surrounding areas, including Staples Center, Disney Hall, the Old Bank District and more. Subsequent to her time at the Mayor’s Office, she was an attorney with the law firm of Allen, Matkins, Leck, Gamble and Mallory. Kacy has a comprehensive knowledge of entitlement, land use and real estate law. She also has expertise in Redevelopment Law and public incentive programs, and possesses vital negotiating skills necessary for the implementation and approval of complex development projects. Prior to joining the JH Snyder Company, Ms. Keys established her own firm, Keys Consulting Group, providing expert advice on all aspects of economic and real estate development.
Kacy received her J.D. degree from Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley; her M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA; and her B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley. She is the former Board Chair of ArtShare; and is also involved in the arts through the non-profit organization, Praxis Project Inc., which provides community-based workshops and performances in dance.
CHOREOGRAPHERS & INSTRUCTORS
Seda Aybay is the founder, artistic director and choreographer of Kybele Dance Theater /Los Angeles, CA (2003). She produced and choreographed “3 uc”, "Kosem Sultan”, "Purpose of Life", “4SEASONS”, “ELEMENTS”, “Hopes and Dreams”, “Sentimientos”, “VEDA” and “Nar”, which she took her company to tour in Los Angeles, New York, and Seatlle. Mss Aybay also choreographed for LACSA (Los Angeles County Arts Highschool), Praxis Project and Spectrum. She always took active part in different community projects such as Arts Bridge Program of UCLA, “Marina Del Ray Middle School” performance magnet, and “D.A.R.E” program by giving dance classes, organizing and choreographing dance performances at different elementary and high schools in Los Angeles. Mss Aybay has trained, performed and choreographed internationally in Modern, Jazz & Tap dance forms. She came to the United States 1998 and received her Associate of Arts Degree with Honors in Dance from Santa Monica College, than she transferred to UCLA World Arts & Cultures, and received her B.A in dance / choreography with honors. She performed with the “Synapse Dance Theatre” and “Folklorico de SMC”, “Ney Nava Dance Company”, Liliana de Leon Torsiello’s Flamenco Dance Company, Alex De Silva's dance group, “Praxis Project”, Lion’s Pounds Theater, Lula Washington Dance Theater, and featured by KTLA channel 9, Univision Kmex 34, Fox 11 at the “Morning News” as performer.
Ronald began training in classical ballet studying at the Ballet Russe of Cleveland, the Akron Chamber Ballet and the School of American Ballet. Later, he explored the modern disciplines of Jose Limon, Martha Graham, and Lestor Horton. Presently, Ronald has found the joy of movement in West African Dance under the guidance of Nzingha Camara. Ronald's professional credits include performing with such notable companies as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Alvin Ailey II, Dianne McIntyre.s Sounds In Motion, UCLA Dance Company, JazzAntigua and Malathi Iyenger & Rangoli Dance Company.
He has taught extensively throughout the United States at Interlochen Arts Academy, Brown University, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles County High School for the Performing Arts, Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences and the Lula Washington Dance Theater. Internationally, Ronald has conducted workshops in Finland, Italy, Taiwan, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Mexico. He has served as Associate Adjunct Professor of Dance in the Department of World Arts & Cultures at UCLA for fifteen years. He has received nominations for the Lestor Horton Teacher of the Year Award. For two years Ronald resided in Manaus-Amazonas-Brazil as instructor and choreographer for several schools and dance companies for the Secretaria de Estado da Cultura e Tourismo. Presently, Ronald is currently on faculty with California State University Long Beach Dance Center, Santa Monica College, and local dance studios. Ron Brown has been involved with Praxis since its inception in 1999. He also serves on the faculty at Idyllwild Arts Academy.
Christine is a recent transplant to the Baton Rouge area and is thrilled to be here. As a dancer she has performed nationally and internationally with the Lewitzky Dance Company, Post House Dance Group, Donald McKayle, and Andrea Woods. She has toured Europe and the United States with the shows “Crazy for You”, “Will Rogers Follies” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”. In 1994 she had the honor of performing for President Clinton at the White House. As a choreographer her work has been showcased in the Los Angeles Festival of Solos and Duets, the Praxis Project, with the West Virginia Dance company and with Of Moving Colors Dance Company. She has created work for University of California, Irvine, Fullerton College, Cerritos College, Moorpark College, California State University, Northridge, and the American College Dance Festival where her work was selected as Gala Finalist. Christine holds a BFA from Point Park College, and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine where she assisted Donald McKayle.
FRIT AND FRAT FULLER
As performers, co-hosted KCAL TV’s-“9 On The Town” & PAX TV “Extreme Fakeover”. Their Commercials Include: Truth, Sony, Captain Morgans, Califonia Lotto, Lexmark, General Motors, 7up & PATH. They've worked under choreographer’s Keith Young, Patty Columbo, Russell Clark, Maranda Garrison & Tina Landon. In Film/Television: worked with directors Joel Schumacher, Henry Selick, Greg Beeman, Bruce Gowers, F. Gary Gray, Larry Einhorn & Woody Frazer& Jeff Androsky. Frit & Frat co-created KIN Dance Company & choreographed KIN’s performances at Shrine Auditorium, Ford Amphitheater, Japan American Theater, Luckman Theater, California Plaza and Painted Bride Theater. Other choreography includes -“21 Stories”, "Flirting With Morty", “Universoul Circus” U.S./International Tour, The Women Entertainment Channel sponsored Mrs. America & Mrs. World Pageants 2004 to the present. Vox Lumiere: "The Hunchback of Notre Dam"Also performed at The Ford Amphitheater and The Prince Theater in Philadelphia. In addition to choreography Frit & Frat has also directed Vox Lumiere: "THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME" performed in February 2007 at the EL Portal Theater.
They have also created a show titled "Down Around Brown Town" Celebrating the music of James Brown to be performed in July 2007 at the Nate Holden Theater. Frit Fuller and Frat Fuller have been involved with Praxis since its inception in 1999.
Janice Garrett is an internationally active choreographer and dance educator who currently directs her own San Francisco company, Janice Garrett & Dancers. Honored in 2004 as one of Dance Magazine’s top “25 to Watch,” she has created more than 30 original works for her company as well as receiving commissions to create dances for companies and university performance groups throughout the US and Europe. Internationally, her choreography has been presented at The Place Theatre, London, the Nott Dance Festival, Nottingham and Danse Scenen, Copenhagen. She has been a frequent guest artist with the renowned London Contemporary Dance Theatre as well as guest teacher for numerous dance companies including Rambert Dance Company, DV8 Physical Theatre and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. She has been a guest artist at universities across the country and a recipient of choreographic grants from the James Irvine Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, W.A. Gerbode Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Meet the Composer, and The City of San Francisco’s Grants for the Arts. A former member of Dan Wagoner and Dancers, she has toured and performed extensively throughout the US and Europe. Janice has been part of Praxis as a choreographer and supporter since its inception. For more information, visit www.janicegarrettanddancers.org.
Bridget Gray is a entertainment star on the rise, specializing in poetry slams, with her own radio program (including LA's 100.3), several television (HBO, CBS, more) and film appearances, 2 top-selling indie CD releases, and many other achievements such as a national spokesperson campaign for Nissan (#4 in the top 10 non-traditional ad campaigns), poetry slam competition wins (she's the only female 2-time poetry grand slam winner), and top university engagements.
WINIFRED R. HARRIS
Winifred R. Harris is a multi-faceted artist, teacher, and community activist. As a choreographer, she consciously balances the inherently beautiful escapism of dance and the social realities that form today’s aesthetic and cultural values. She enjoys working with fantasies and dreams, as well understanding and taking responsibility for issues grounded in reality. In short, Ms. Harris is a visionary who creates art as conversation, a connective tissue to the world, and a means to see beyond what we think of as "limits." Her work is a strong balance of technical prowess and expression through gesture. Ms. Harris began her training under the guidance of Denver’s critically acclaimed Cleo Parker Robinson. She then went on to dance professionally for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble for 10 years, Dallas Black Dance Theater immediately following, and also enjoyed a solo stint in New York and abroad during that time. In October 1991, Ms. Harris relocated and made her home in Los Angeles, founding the critically lauded and award nominated Winifred R. Harris’ Between Lines - a contemporary modern dance company. During the past fifteen years of Ms. Harris’ work as a choreographer, she has garnered special notice from both the Los Angeles Times and the California Arts Council for LA Cultural Affairs. In recognition of her work, she has been nominated for the Lester Horton Choreography Award as well as the Alpert Award. In recognition of her dedication and commitment in bringing dance to underprivileged youth through her teaching efforts within the Los Angeles community, Ms. Harris has received several awards from the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles.
Zippora Karz is a former soloist ballerina with the New York City Ballet where she performed for 16 years on stage and in televised performances. She was featured in a variety of roles choreographed by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins (The Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker being one of her favorites) as well as works choreographed for her by such choreographers as Peter Martins and Lynne Taylor Corbett. Today Miss Karz stages Balanchine ballets all over the world coaching and teaching dance. She still performs, mostly for diabetes related events, as well as speaking and sharing her story, and teaching movement to kids and young adults. Miss Karz was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 21 and is passionate today about motivating others to take care of themselves and live their dreams.
BENJAMIN LEVY of LEVYdance
Benjamin Levy is the Artistic Director of LEVYdance and has been awarded the honors of "Top 25 Choreographers to Watch in 2004" by Dance Magazine and a Goldie Award by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Founded by Levy in 2002, LEVYdance is a company of five dancers that has annual engagements in San Francisco, New York City, and Washington, D.C. Levy's choreography has been presented at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, Zellerbach Playhouse, ODC Theater, The Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Cowell Theater, Dance Place, the Joyce SoHo, and internationally at VDU University in Kaunas, Lithuania. He has taught master classes and been in residence at Beverly Hills High School, the University of Utah, University of California Santa Barbara, San Jose State University, University of California Berkeley, and George Washington University. He has been a member of the Joe Goode Performance Group and as toured regionally and nationally with Lula Washington Dance Theater, Frit and Frat Fuller's KIN Dance Company, and Robert Moses' KIN. Levy was born and raised in California and holds a BA in Dance from University of California, Berkeley.
(photo: Lois Greenfield)
Rogelio began his dance training in Mexican Folk at Roosevelt High School and later became a member of EL SOL Dance Company for five years. He earned his BA in theater Arts and dance from CSU Fresno. He also received his MFA in dance from CSU Long Beach, the place where he had the pleasure to work with wonderful choreographers such as David Dorfman, Bill Young, Joe Goode, Terry O’connor, and Andrea Woods. Rogelio had the honor of dancing with Sara Vox Dance Theater, LA contemporary dance company and PTERO Dance Company in which was a part of their first international tour. He is also very excited to join Keith Johnson/Dancers. Besides dance, Rogelio studied theatrical scenic, lighting, and costume design and enjoys drawing and painting. Rogelio has received the best student scenic design award from the United States Institute of Theater Technology, the Lester Horton award for best performance in a small ensemble in the company of PTERO (2006) and he is nominated for The Lester Horton award for best performance in a small ensemble in Keith’s work (2007). Rogelio represented California State University, Long Beach in ACDF with his work entitle When Kept in the Dark. Currently, Rogelio teaches at Cerritos Community College and he is a part time staff at CSULB.
PTERO Dance Theatre (Paula Present, Artistic Director) was formed in Spring 2004. At the Entrance of An Idea, performed at Highways Performance Space, marked PTERO’s second major production, and was selected as one of Los Angeles Magazine’s “Top Ten” events in October 2005’s Guide section. PTERO was part of the “Four insightful, high-profile female choreographers…” (LA Weekly) sharing an evening, Variegate, at Highways Performance Space in 2006. PTERO (Pronounced terr-o, Greek for "wing") created its inaugural full evening premiere Candle in the Sun at the Ivy Substation through a grant from the City of Culver City in 2004. The company has received grants from The Puffin Foundation LTD in 2004 and 2006. The company was recently awarded two Lester Horton awards for their work in 2005. The company has garnered ten Lester Horton Award nominations, including consecutive nominations for Outstanding Achievement "Performance" and "Choreography." The company has also performed at the 2006 Brand Library Series, 7th Annual Los Angeles Dance Invitational, San Diego’s Celebrate Dance Festival, Gallery One San Francisco, Barnsdall Gallery Theatre and has toured in Mexicali and Tijuana, Mexico. PTERO’s next production will be at Unknown Theatre July 2007. www.pterodance.org
Scott Putman is an Associate Professor in dance and choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is Founder and Artistic Director of the contemporary dance company Amaranth, resident choreographer of Pasadena Dance Theater and faculty member of California State Summer School for the Arts. His work has been seen in national and international dance festivals and commissioned by both ballet and modern companies. Scott was awarded the 2005 National Choreography Plan Award for exceptional choreography from RDA, Pacific. He has danced for Mordine and Company Dance Theatre, Dimitrius Klein Dance Company, Minnesota Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Chicago, Donald McKayle, David Alan, Douglas Becker, and Geri Houlihan. Scott received his B.A. from Columbia College, Chicago, and an M.F.A. from the University of California at Irvine, where he was a Chancellors Fellow and William Gillespie Scholar.
After dancing in two Praxis concerts, Shari Rhone is pleased be returning to the Praxis stage as a choreographer! Her professional dance career began as a soloist with the Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre. In addition to dancing for the company for 6 years, she’s traveled internationally with them and served as the Assistant Artistic Director for 3 years. Once she moved to Los Angeles Shari joined Lula Washington Dance Theatre. She’s traveled and taught throughout the United States as a soloist with this group. After 4 years with this company Mrs. Rhone was an original cast member of the Los Angeles company of Lion King, where she was a swing for 11 singers and dancers and understudied the role of Sarabi. Shari has performed throughout the world singing and dancing in various shows and groups, including the Heritage Chorale. Mrs. Rhone became a part of the Walt Disney family by dancing in the opening cast of Snow White and Enchanting New Musical at Disneyland. Shortly after that she joined the Choreography and Staging department at the Disneyland Resort where she currently works as a Maintenance Choreographer.
Dorcas Román-Colins is a dancer, choreographer and actress from beautiful Puerto Rico. She received her BA in Theater from the University of Puerto Rico and an MFA in Choreography and Performance from the UCLA Dance Department. Dorcas has been active in dance and theater for the past 14 years teaching, dancing, and choreographing both domestically and abroad. She has presented her work in cities such as Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Brasilia, Brazil. Dorcas has also worked with dance and theater productions for International Art Festivals in Caracas, Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Corrientes Argentina, New York City, Brasilia Brazil, Santo Domingo in The Dominican Republic, San Juan, Dorado, and Ponce in Puerto Rico and Los Angeles. She specializes in techniques including Contact Improvisation, Release, Latin Jazz, Flamenco and West African dance as well as Horton Technique and her own style of Dance-Theatre a unique fusion of movement and acting in a theatrical setting. She is the artistic director of Dorcas Román Dance Theatre based in Los Angeles, California. She is the resident choreographer for the MYE Theater Company.
Her work "Subtle Fragmentations" was presented at the Downtown Water Gardens as part of the Praxis Project and the 2002 Sola Contemporary dance festival. She presented her choreography at the California Choreographers Dance Festival in Laguna Beach, California in 2002 and 2005. She produced and choreographed her second concert last year at the Santa Monica Playhouse and choreographed for the Toyota Symphonies for Youth series at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2005. Dorcas started the summer by presenting her work in her native country of Puerto Rico. Dorcas is a part of the CSULB family where she enthusiastically teaches Flamenco and Latin Jazz.
Lowell Smith began his dance training at the North Carolina School of the Arts. After completing his studies, Mr. Smith became a principal dancer with Ballet South of Memphis, Tennessee.
He was invited to New York as a scholarship student with the Joffrey Ballet and continued to perform principal roles with the Eglevsky Ballet.
At the age of twenty-two, Lowell joined the Dance Theater of Harlem as a principal dancer. He was appointed director of the Kennedy Center Dance Project and the Dance Theater of Harlem School.
Mr. Smith has taught classical ballet at such institutions as Ballet South, The Royal Ballet of London, the University of California in Los Angeles, Brown University, The Portland High School of Performing Arts, Le Grange Ballet, The Atlanta Ballet and the New York City school system, Ballet Arts, Broadway Dance Center and Dance Theater in Harlem in New York City, as well as Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Praxis Project and many other venues in Los Angeles. Mr. Smith choreographed for the Dance Theater in Harlem Ensemble, The Portland High School of Performing Arts, Le Grange Ballet and Brown University.
On October 22, 2007, Lowell Smith, friend and choreographer, passed away. He was an incredible teacher, and an even more amazing person, whose sense of humor, insight and wisdom, touched everyone around him. Lowell lit up the room just by walking into it. We feel so honored and lucky to have known him. With love and honor, we will miss him dearly.
» Read the New York Times article about Lowell
Pat Taylor is the Artistic Director/Choreographer for JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble. A multiple Horton Award nominee, Pat was a finalist in the 2006 Dance Under the Stars Choreography Competition in Palm Desert. She is the recipient of several awards including a Brody Arts Fund Choreography Fellowship and grants from the Doolittle Foundation, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, the Cultural Affairs Department and the California Arts Council.
Upon returning to Los Angeles in 1992 after teaching and choreographing in Europe for six years, Pat co-founded JazzAntiqua to celebrate the African American roots of the jazz tradition. Her modern-jazz dance style fuses West African dance, American vernacular, and Horton and Dunham techniques with classical and modern elements. Her work has been presented at: Ford Amphitheatre, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California African American Museum, The Jazz Bakery and many other venues.
Pat has taught throughout southern California and is the chair of the dance department at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica.
International Artist, Philein, is a tri-lingual, Chinese-American woman who creates work in multiple mediums. She composes her own music, writes her own poetry and choreographs her own dances. Philein’s work fuses Chinese, American and European influences into her dance and music.
Philein has pioneered a unique new motion style: Tiger Hip-hop motion (TM). Tiger Hip Hop is a dynamic new dance form which incorporates Tiger Claw, Kung Fu, Wushu, Tai-chi, Yoga,modern dance and hip hop.
Philein studied at the Beijing Ballet Academy, UCLA's World Arts and Cultures. She trained extensively with Beijing Wushu Team former champions, who created the style seen in Jet Li's movies and in the Oscar-winning movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Philein received scholarships to: the American Dance Festival, Lewitzky Workshop and Trisha Brown. She was a soloist with many U.S.troupes including: Janice Garrett, Ron Brown, Winifred R. Harris and Liss Fain, as well as Taiwan's world-renowned Cloudgate Dance Theater.
Since 2005, she has taken her dance and music on live tours to: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Arizona, New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Dalian, China.
Currently, Philein divides her time between the U.S. and Asia. For a quarter of every year, she remains a choreographer/member of Cloudgate Dance Theater. This year she will be teaching workshop intensives for: Laney College, Virginia Commonwealth University, LDTX (Beijing Modern Dance), Beijing Private Dance Academy and Guang Dong Modern Dance.
Tamica Washington-Miller is Associate Director and principal dancer for the Lula Washington Dance Theater in Los Angeles. Washington-Miller has been on the faculty of the International Association of Blacks in Dance, Black College Dance Exchange, Grambling State University and the Bates Dance Festival. She earned her degree in dance and choregraphy from UCLA and also studied with her mother, Lula Washington, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, the Dance Theater of Harlem, and with Donald McKayle, Ottis Sallid and Stefan Wenta. Currently the California Arts Council sponsors Washington-Miller as an Artist-in-Residence in Los Angeles offering free dance classes to young people. She has been teaching Modern, Jazz, Hip-Hop, African, Tap and Ballet over the past 12 years.
Keith is both a professional photographer and founder of multiple successful software companies, and continues to work in both arenas. He has a special passion for dance photography, and has worked with scores of artists and troupes around the world, and been published in Dance Magazine and Dance Spirit Magazine. When not working with dancers he also brings his eye to commercial shoots such as going live with surgeons in the operating room for UCLA Medical Center, corporate portraiture for WSP Environmental Consulting, and extensive travel photography around East Asia. He gets a particular satisfaction volunteering for Praxis, as resident photographer, original webmaster, and general problem solver. Visit his website at http://keithweng.com
Kenji was born in Japan and received his initial training in Tokyo at the Studio Ichibangai, The Performing Dance Center and the Japan Broadway Dance Center. He danced professionally throughout Asia for several years and additionally became proficient in gymnastics, culminating in his participation in the Olympics held in Los Angeles as a member of the Japanese gymnastics team.
Kenji has continued his dance studies in Los Angeles and earned his B.F.A. from California Institute of The Arts. He has locally performed in Dance Kaleidoscope, Jazz Dance L. A., Dance Spectrum and Praxis Projects. He placed first at the Japan National Jazz Society Competition as well as first and second place at the Palm Desert Dance Under the Stars Competition. Kenji currently teaches ballet, jazz and modern dance at Millennium Dance Complex, Mayfield Senior High School, Idyllwild Arts Academy and Yuri Grigoriev School of Ballet. As a Dancer in Kin Dance Company at the Linhart Theatre in New York City, the Dance legend, Gus Solomons, Jr. described him as "a slight dancer with huge flexibility, whose every move looked studied for perfection of line". Lewis Segal refers to his choreography as “earthy and danced brilliantly.”
He was recently awarded Pas De Deux at the Ninth Annual Dance Under The Stars Choreograph Festival in Palm Desert, California.