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fearless action, physical indulgence, and elegant design

Chris Ferris & Dancers

Company Biographies

photo: Matthew Murphy

Chris Ferris, choreographer/dancer

photo: Eric Bandiero

Anastasia Ellis, dancer

Meghan Connolly, dancer

Anastasia Ellis is a freelance dancer based in New York City. She graduated from Butler University with a degree in Dance Performance in 2015. Anastasia is a company member of ALDEN MOVES Dance Theater and is excited to join Chris Ferris & Dancers this season.

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 cello, computer, electronics, composition, improvisation, notated scores, and world music influences to create and perform music. He is deeply interested in the relationships between movement, space, and sound, and has created and performed music with many collaborators, including Trio Tritticali, Tad's Living Room, Harrison Atelier, BK Soul, Chris Ferris, projectLIMB, Dahlia Nayar, Lower Left, and Margaret Paek. 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. Recently moved to Appleton, WI from Queens, NY, Dempster has taught as a Lecturer at Lawrence University and as a guest artist at Renaissance High School for the Arts. He has performed in the Fox Cities area at Lawrence University, Kohler Arts Center, Artists Guild, The Source, the Draw, and the 602 Club. For more information: www.lorendempster.com 

Loren Kiyoshi Dempster, composer/musician

Meghan Connolly graduated from the Boston Conservatory with a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance and an emphasis in ballet. She has studied and performed works of Alejandro Cerrudo, Mats Ek, Nacho Duato, and Sharon Eyal. Meghan has also had the opportunity to work with Sidra Bell, Helen Simoneau, Jeanne Solan, Zoe Scofield, Brian Brooks, and Ebony Williams. Most recently she has performed in Aida for the Sarasota Opera Company under Miro Magloire’s direction, performed for Refinery29 at a woman’s empowerment event, participated in the Battery Dance Festival with TRAC, and performed for Regina Nejman in the La Mama Moves! Dance festival.

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 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: Caroline Ciferno, Meghan Connolly, Anastasia Ellis, Victoria Ellis, Vanessa Ferranti,  Ali Lane, Bethany Logan, Dafni Mari, and Diane Skerbec

Composers: Loren Kiyoshi Dempster

Musicians: Jon Hanrahan, Gabriel Peterson, and Kyle Stalsberg

Lighting Design: Joe Levasseur

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.  Chris Ferris & Dancers premiered, the full evening work, Unquantifiable at Roulette, Brooklyn NY Feb. 17, 2019. The REAL: Suite was performed at Fast Forward, Dixon Place Sept. 2018.  Selections from The REAL Suite and the Rampaging Light suite were presented at Roulette, Brooklyn NY Feb. 2018 and at Second Sundays, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House March 2018.  Rampaging Light was presented spring 2017 as part of The Waxing Crescent (an evening of dance and music with guest artists presented by Ferris at NY City Center Studios). 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 2014 and 2013 we performed at Central Park NYC, Squibb Park/Bridge Bklyn,  the Tobacco Warehouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park; and The High Line, Manhattan. 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.

Joe Levasseur has collaborated with many dance and performance artists including: Big Dance Theater, Jennifer Monson, John Jasperse, Sarah Michelson, Neil Greenberg, David Dorfman, Jodi Melnick, RoseAnne Spradlin, Jane Comfort, Ishmael Houston-Jones, and Amanda Loulaki. His lighting design work has been seen throughout the United States, Europe and South America, and has received two Bessie awards. In 2009, his Drop Clock installation was featured in the lobby of Dance Theater Workshop (New York Live Arts. In 2010 he showed a collection of original paintings at Performance Space 122 and in 2013 was commissioned to paint an original mural for AUNTS. Ongoing projects include lighting work for Chris Schlichting, Brian Brooks, Big Dance Theater, and Pavel Zustiak/Palissimo. www.joelevasseur.com

Joe Levasseur, lighting design

Victoris Ellis, dancer

Ali Lane was born and raised in Oklahoma, and has been living in New York since 2018. She earned a BFA in Modern Dance Performance from the University of Oklahoma in December 2017. During her college career she spent two summers at Jacob’s Pillow working as a house manager and production coordinator. Ali has trained at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Velocity Dance Centre, and Bates Dance Festival in addition to others. She currently works as a freelance theatre technician in New York primarily in lighting and wardrobe.

Ali Lane, dancer

Caroline Olivia Ciferno, dancer

Caroline Olivia Ciferno, born and raised in Northeast Ohio, graduated from Ohio University in 2017 with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. While at OU, she performed in works by Ani Javian, Meredith Lyons, Kyle Abraham, Christine Cali, and Travis Gatling. As a choreographer, she has presented work at Bates Dance Festival’s Young Choreographers Showing (2016), and was selected to present work at the American College Dance Association (2017). Now a Brooklyn-based artist, Caroline teaches dance to youth throughout Brooklyn and is the Media and Archive Associate at Movement Research. Caroline is currently creating work and dancing with Wild She Dances, among other projects.

Kyle Stalsberg, musician (viola, electric violin)

Diane Lynn Skerbec, dancer

Jon Hanrahan, pianist, is also producer for the national news analysis program On the Media, from WNYC. He has previously produced for WQXR's Meet the Composer. Prior to his work in radio, he studied piano under Michael Mizrahi at Lawrence University's Conservatory of Music.

With a passion for cross-collaboration and gnarly experimentation, Kyle Stalsberg is an emerging contemporary-classical violist based in New York City. Performing with chamber ensembles including Levels and Lilith, Stalsberg advocates strongly for the promotion and study of living composers. Within the 2015-2016 year, Kyle received funding from the Alyssa Paul Maria Fund and the Chandler Endowment, which assisted in commissioning works from acclaimed composers such as Andrew Cole, Lawton Hall, and Evan Williams. He was also selected as a recipient of the Mellon Grant for his project, "Songs of Survivors: How Music Empowers Marginalized Communities," a proposal for which he was also named a semi-finalist for the prestigious Watson Fellowship. Stalsberg currently performs on Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera and enjoys teaching kindergartners violin. A Wisconsin native, Kyle received his B.M. in Viola Performance at Lawrence University’s Conservatory of Music, where he studied under the tutelage of Matthew Michelic. In May, he earned his Masters of Music in Viola Performance at New York University, studying with Artist Faculty Karen Ritscher.

Diane Lynn Skerbec, from Cleveland, Ohio, received her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography Cum Laude from Kent State University. in 2012. After graduating, she studied with Jennifer Muller as a scholarship student. Miss Skerbec is currently dancing with NYC-based companies Chris Ferris & Dancers (director Chris Ferris) and Sleepdance (director Stephanie Sleeper), along with project-based company Tenth Intervention (curators Dorian Wallace and Hajnal Pivnik). Previous company work included Kinetic Architecture Dance Theatre (director Arrie Davidson) and JT Lotus Dance Company (director Jessie Tomanek). Alongside performing, Miss Skerbec has taught dance in several public schools, non-profit community centers, and dance studios throughout the city. She is currently an Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Scholar in the Hunter College Dance Education Masters of Art program and teaches elementary students at PS255 in Brooklyn.

Jon Hanrahan, musician (piano, melodic)

Gabriel Peterson is a saxophonist currently based in Brooklyn, New York. He has presented work at Appleton Wisconsin’s The Draw as well as HECK and Triskelion Arts Center in Brooklyn. He holds a degree in Saxophone Performance from Lawrence University Conservatory of Music.

Gabriel Peterson, musician (saxophone)

Victoria Ellis is originally from Vestal, NY. She earned her BFA in Contemporary Dance in 2015 from The Boston Conservatory. Victoria now works as a freelance dancer based in NYC. Here she has had the pleasure of performing with SYREN Modern Dance, CaptiveFlow Dance, LEMI Collective, and Advanced Curation, among others. Victoria is thrilled to be performing with Chris Ferris & Dancers.

Born and raised in Greece, Dafni Mari began her studies at the professional dance school of Despina Gregoriadou and the School of Pharmacy at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. After graduating from both schools, she was accepted to Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, where she gained her Master's of Dance Science. While in London, she was an associate member of Ballet Black Neoclassical Company and also participated in many dance and artistic projects. Searching for new opportunities, she moved to New York City and has danced with Ajkun Ballet Theatre, Yuka Kawazu's Danse en l'air, Benjamin Briones Ballet, Eryc Taylor Dance, Ballet for Young Audiences, Homo Veritas Dance Theater and String Dance+Media. She also guests around the US with various dance companies. Dafni also works as a dance scientist and instructor as well as fine fragrance lab technician.

Dafni Mari, dancer

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 dances with BABEL Movement and Josh Pacheco Dance. Past performances include Olivia Dwyer Dance Projects, Kelly Donovan & Dancers, The Physical Plant, Sandra Kramerova & Artists, The Median Movement, and Doug Neilson. Logan’s choreography has been performed throughout New York City, at the American College Dance Association Gala Concert, University of Dayton, and in Mumbai, India, where she danced with Navdhara India Dance Theatre.

Bethany Logan, dancer