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Chris Ferris & Dancers

Company Biographies

photo: Matthew Murphy

Chris Ferris, choreographer/dancer

photo: Steven Schreiber

Erin DeLucia-Benson, dancer

Michelle Gilligan, dancer

Erin DeLucia-Benson earned a BA in Dance from Point Park College in 2002, and went on to study abroad in Paris, France with Wells College. Erin has been dancing with Chris Ferris & Dancers since 2004, and with Tina Croll since 2007. She has also done work with Michael Mao Dance, Emily Faulkner, and Jenny Rocha Dance Theater. Erin is a certified MuTu Pro™ a certified Pilates instructor, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and a member of the AADP. Erin DeLucia-Benson Pilates and Holistic Health offers Pilates, Nutrition, and Pelvic Floor rehabilitation. Erin is a mother of two, and she is happy to be performing.

Vanessa Ferranti, dancer

Warren Kloner, artist

Warren Kloner, is a painter and sculptor who has lived in New York for many years.  He holds a BFA in sculpture from S.U.N.Y. at Purchase and a Masters Degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute.  Over the years he has shown his work in many group shows in such galleries as Jack Tilton and Paula Cooper, as well as having several solo shows at The Gallery Of Graphic Arts.  His current work can be seen at WarrenKloner.com.  He is also a founding partner of “6 Foot 3 Design” whose furniture designs can be seen at 6FT3.com.  Kloner has recently played slide guitar for improvisational dances by Ferris.  He is pleased and honored to be working with Chris Ferris as a visual artist.

Loren Kiyoshi Dempster, uses a combination of computer, electronics, cello, improvisation, notated scores, to create and perform music. His compositions have been presented at The Stone, Roulette, Issue Project Room, Weseleyn College, and at Chez Bushwick, a 2007 Bessie Award winning performance arts space of which he was a founding member. He toured extensively with Merce Cunningham performing Interscape and Biped. He was music director and composer for Harrison Atelier for many works.  Interested in the relationships between movement, space, and sound, he may be found creating and performing music with many collaborators including Chris Ferris, Gabriel Forestieri, Dahlia Nayar, and Margaret Paek.  Recently moved to Appleton, WI from Queens, NY, Dempster has taught as a guest artist at Renaissance High School for the Arts, and has performed in the Fox Cities area at Wriston Art Gallery, Science Atrium and Esch Studio at Lawrence University. For more information: www.lorendempster.com 

Loren Kiyoshi Dempster, composer/musician

Michelle Gilligan received her BFA in Dance Studies from Long Island University, CW Post. She is a co-founder of Immersion Dance Company, which has performed in Europe, New York City and the New England area for the past 10 years. She has also worked with Kanji Segawa, Deborah Mauldin, David Appel and Karen Arceneaux. She has had the pleasure of working with Chris Ferris since 2014 and is also happy to be working with Tina Croll + Dancers.

Vanessa Ferranti is from Long Island, NY.  She earned a BFA in Dance from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in May of 2012, where she performed the original works of Alvin Ailey, Robert Battle, Joyce Trisler, Camille A. Brown, Sidra Bell, Anna Sokolow, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Scott Rink and more. During her senior year, she was invited to study with Jennifer Muller/The Works as part of the Scholarship/Apprentice Program.Vanessa currently dances with Martita Goshen’s Earth Works and Dance Visions NY, an Isadora Duncan repertoire company. She is thrilled to join Chris Ferris & Dancers in this opportunity to perform and share the wonderful gift of dance!

Choreographer: Chris Ferris

Dancers: Erin DeLucia-Benson, Victoria Ellic, Vanessa Ferranti, Michelle Gilligan, Bethany Logan, Annastasia Mercedes, Cecly Placenti, Rachel Russell, Diane Lynn Skerbec, Emily Reylea-Spivak, and Maho Takeshita

Composers: Loren Kiyoshi Dempster, Max Maples, and Helen Yee

Artist: Warren Kloner

Chris Ferris is the artistic director of Chris Ferris & Dancers.  Her work is based on an exploration of movement from a sculptural, dynamic and emotional point of view.  Its focus is to bring you design in space and time with a human element.  Our newest suite of works Rampaging Light was presented 3/31-4/1 2017 as part of The Waxing Crescent (an evening of dance and music with guest artists presented by Ferris). An earlier version of Rampaging Light was performed at Take Root, Green Space Studio LIC Sept. 2016. Perfect Tension, was presented at the Martha Graham Studio Theater in Nov. 2014 after premiering at FLICfest in Jan. 2014. Urban Pastoral an outdoor improvisation with 10 sculptural lights by Warren Kloner, 10 dancers, and live music was presented, in June 2015 at Socrates Sculpture Park LIC NY, Battery Park City NYC, and Carl Schurz Park NYC.  In it’s Spring 2014 series we performed at Central Park NYC and Squibb Park/Bridge.  In the Fall of 2013 we presented at the Tobacco Warehouse, Brooklyn Bridge Park; The High Line, Manhattan; and Central Park NYC. Circuitous Body, was performed at Roulette, Bklyn NY 4/12 and Green Space Studio LIC, NY 11/12 where it was partially funded by a Mertz Gilmore Foundation Late-Stage Stipend. Chris Ferris & Dancers’ 2011 concert, Continental Drift, was presented at CPR – Center for Performance Research. Proximity Of Clouds (2010 full evening work), premiered at Joyce SoHo NYC; incorporating sculptures that hang, swing, slash, glow, and illuminate. Ferris' dances have been shown in New York at 3 season concerts at the Cunningham Studio Theater. Her work has also been presented at 60x60, Triskelion Arts, WestFest, Green Space Blooms, Performance Mix, Solar Powered Dance Festival, Dance Conversations at the Flea, Movement Research at Judson Church, University Settlement, the 92nd Street Y, and a variety of other venues.

Maho Takeshita, dancer

Maho Takeshita graduated from the Limon Professional Studies Program in 2013, where she performed the works of Jose Limon and Alan Danielson.  She has also assisted members of the Matthew Bourne company at an international festival in 2013 and was a facilitator for children at a Communication and Dance workshop in Japan in 2014.  Maho is currently dancing for UrbanHumans, MoustacheCatDance, and Chris Ferris & Dancers. 

Max Maples is a drummer, composer, and educator based in New York City.  He performs and records regularly for local artists, arranges and composes, and teaches world percussion at the Greenburgh-Graham Union Free School District.  He has performed with Jazz artists David Baker, Bob Sheppard, the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, John McNeil, and Oliver Nelson Jr, and has worked as an accompanist and composer for the Mark Morris Dance Group, Joffrey Ballet, and Vashti Dance Theater.   

Max Maples, composer/musician

Victoris Ellis, dancer

Victoria Ellis, originally from Vestal, NY, earned her BFA in Contemporary Dance from The Boston Conservatory in 2015. Since graduation, she has been working as a freelance dance artist based in NYC. While in NYC, she has performed with CaptiveFlow Dance, Amalgamate Dance Company, Advanced Curation, LEMI Collective, and Casey Bagnall. Victoria is also a certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Victoria is thrilled to be working with Chris Ferris & Dancers.

Bethany Logan graduated from Ohio University with a BFA in Dance & Choreography, a Minor in Psychology, and is a 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher and a Certified Personal Trainer. She is thrilled to perform with Chris Ferris & Dancers, and also performs with Kelley Donovan & Dancers and The Physical Plant. Past performances include Sandra Kramerova & Artists, The Median Movement, Doug Neilson, Thodos Dance Chicago, and Dance Kaleidoscope. Logan's ensemble choreography, Pani (2014), was selected & performed in the American College Dance Association's Gala Concert in March 2015. She's also choreographed for University of Dayton Dance Ensemble and performed her own choreography in Mumbai, India, where she danced with Navdhara India Dance Theatre.

Bethany Logan, dancer

Emily Relyea-Spivak, dancer

Emily Relyea-Spivack has been dancing with Chris Ferris & Dancers since 2017.  She had the privilege of attending the year-round training program at The Ailey School of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  Emily holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance with the initial 2 years of study at The Hartt School. She then transferred, for the completion her degree in 2015, to The University of Massachusetts Amherst.  In the summer of 2014, Emily had the honor of performing at The American College Dance Association's National Gala, held at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.  Emily has collaborated with Leslie Frye-Maietta and Niki Farahani on an original duet which they toured as part of Tom Vacanti's, FLUX: Dance Choreo-Lab and Jennifer Muller's/The Works, HATCH Series.  Emily is a certified Comprehensive Pilates Instructor through Polestar Pilates.