ABOUT THE ARTISTS
James “Cricket” Colter
James “Cricket” Colter is a professional street dancer, choreographer, and artistic director who has performed, taught, and lectured internationally for over 22 years. In addition, he is a visual artist (sequential art, children’s book illustrations, etc.). Mr. Colter is a part of the “Step-Fenz” dance crew, a New York City- based dance group
known for its mix of B-boy and House dance. From 2012, Mr. Colter has worked as the Hip Hop /Street Dance Director for American Voices, a U.S. State Department administered program that brings the arts to youth in nations emerging from conflict or isolation around the globe. He is a founding member of the Hip Hop theater company Rennie Harris Pure Movement (RHPM) and has worked with the company for over 20 years, as well as leading the company’s education and outreach programs. In his work with RHPM, Mr. Colter deeply researched and lectured on black vernacular dance and its connection to today’s popular and underground street dances. Mr. Colter’s own work includes teaching at dance festivals worldwide, including Bates Dance Festival and the international SDK (Street Dance Kamp) in Europe; dancing in commercial projects including Step Up 2 the Streets, Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down, music videos for recording artist including KRS One, Will Smith, Eve, Avril Lavigne, and Chris Brown; hosting MTV Japan’s “Dreamers” television show; and touring and working with diverse artists from Bill “Crutch Master” Shannon, to theatrical wordsmith and founder of the Breakin Convention, Jonzi D. Mr. Colter’s artistic mission is to push the limits of the various movements that exist in Hip Hop and other contemporary dance forms. It is his belief that by blending the various art forms a viable story could be told on the concert dance stage, destroying the notion that Hip Hop is merely an athletic form of dance that can only be performed in a showcase setting. He believes, through Hip Hop, complex stories can be told, and the boundaries of theater can be pushed by adding the urban/Hip Hop aesthetic to costume, set design, and soundscapes, etc. To this end, Mr. Colter has recently founded his own company “Concept Kinetics”
A native New Yorker, Rosanna Gamson studied composition with Hanya Holm, Bessie Schonberg, and Phyllis Lamhut and earned a BFA and MFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts under the chairmanship of Lawrence Rhodes. She performed internationally as a member of Andrew DeGroat & Dancers, and in the dances of Yvonne Rainer, workshop performances of Robert Wilson, and in many others’ dance projects. Additionally, Gamson studied with poets Charles Simic, Louise Glück, and Thomas Lux and her poetry has been published in a number of literary magazines and journals. Since moving to Los Angeles, Gamson has created eleven evening-length dance theater works as Artistic Director of RGWW (Rosanna Gamson/World Wide). Gamson’s continuing investigation of improvisation and group-authored performance practices has developed into Gamson’s game system GO, which she began teaching internationally in 2017. Gamson has served as dramaturg, mentor and consigliere to both young and established choreographers and directors, and actively supports the development of the Los Angeles dance community through her Terra Nova Choreographic Residency program. Gamson is on faculty teaching composition at CalArts at the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance where she serves as Interim Dean and Program Director of the MFA in Choreography.
Rosanna Tavarez received an MFA in Choreography from The Ohio State University and a BFA in Choreography from University of Michigan. She has a diverse background as a performer/entertainer and has had the honor of working with Marina Abramovic, Ryan Heffington (Sia), Travis Payne (Michael Jackson), Tony Michaels (Beyoncé) and Rosanna Gamson/World Wide. She also toured with N’SYNC and Jessica Simpson as one-fifth of the girl group Eden’s Crush and covered the Emmys, Grammys and Oscars in addition to hosting her own shows as a television personality for FOX, E!, TV Guide Network, and Telemundo/NBC. As a dance educator, Rosanna has taught as faculty and guest artist at numerous institutions including CalArts, University of Michigan, Loyola Marymount University, Scripps College, CalState Long Beach, Studio School, University of Southern Mississippi, Texas State University and Cal State LA. She has also had the honor of teaching Countertechnique workshops across the country for dance companies and schools, and to an international audience via the Countertechnique Online platform. Rosanna creates her own dance-theatre work in Los Angeles under the moniker LA DANSA DANSA. Her work has been presented at The Broad Museum, American Dance Festival, REDCAT, Highways Performance Space, Breaking Ground Dance Festival, Sarasota Contemporary Dance and the LA Department of Cultural Affair’s LA Dance Platform and have been supported by ARC grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, UCLA Hothouse Residency and Show Box LA.
sam wentz is a movement and dance artist based in Los Angeles. He graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy in 2006, completed his BFA in Dance at NYU Tisch School of the Arts in 2009, and received his MFA in Dance and Choreography as a Teaching Fellow at Bennington College in 2016. He has performed with the Trisha Brown Company (2009 – 2014), Wally Cardona + Jennifer Lacey, Jay Carlon, Gerald Casel, Dimitri Chamblas, the Merce Cunningham Trust, Katherine Helen Fisher, Levi Gonzalez, Jmy James Kidd, Mark Morris Dance Group, Abigail Levine, Annie B. Parson, and Susan Sgorbati. In the Spring of 2019, he was one of 75 performers selected by the Merce Cunningham Trust to perform in “Night of 100 Solos: A Centennial Event”. His own work has been presented at the Bennington Museum (VT), the Geffen Contemporary at MoCA, Pieter Performance Space, REDCAT, and The Tank NYC. Since 2013, he has been a returning, guest artist teacher at P.A.R.T.S., the premiere school for contemporary dance in Europe, based in Brussels, Belgium. He has been a guest teacher at many colleges and universities including Bates College, University of Arizona, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Washington, and Yale University. He has taught company class for the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s ROSAS, the Lyon Opera Ballet, and Katherine Helen Fisher/Safety Third Productions. As a teacher of Trisha Brown’s work, he assisted in the re-staging of “L’Amour au théâtre” (2009) on the Trisha Brown Company. In the Winter of 2019, he and fellow alumni remounted Trisha Brown’s “Foray Forêt” (1990) and “Newark” (1987) on the Lyon Opera Ballet in Lyon, France. Commercial credits include appearances on “The Colbert Report” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live”. He has worked with music artists including Chris Garneau, Helado Negro, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Rufus Wainwright. He joined the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance faculty in the Fall of 2022 as faculty.