Performers & Collaborators

Disposable Bodies                                           Creative Team:

Cardell Dance Theater Artistic Director,  Silvana Cardell is a choreographer, dancer, educator and 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography. She has been the program director and Chair at Georgian Court University since 2009. Ms. Cardell holds a B.F.A. in Dance from The University of the Arts and an M.F.A. in Choreography from Temple University, both in Philadelphia.                                                                                             Cardell received the most prestigious choreography award in Latin America from Fundacion Antorchas. CoCoA-Datei, a nonprofit organization devoted to developing dance in Argentina, she also directed her own dance company and dance school and created the Sala Ana Itelman. This performance space showcased mainstream and Avant-grade national and international artists, sponsored by Instituto Nacional del Teatro and Secretaria de Cultura de la Nacion. Cardell’s work has received grants from The Pew Center for the Arts & Humanities, Antorchas Foundation, Instituto Nacional de Teatro, Secretaria de Cultura de la Ciudad, Red Latinoamericana de Productores de Danza y Teatro, New England Foundation for the Arts, National Dance Project, Mid Atlantic Foundation for the Arts, U.S. Artist International, The Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Dramaturge: Blanka Zizka is a co-founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of the Wilma Theater, where she directed close to 80 productions. Her first show – Jiri Zizka’s and her adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm – was staged in 1979. Her last stage production at the Wilma was Rajiv Joseph’s Described the Night In 2019. During the pandemic, Blanka directed a film version of Will Arbery’s play Heroes of the Fourth Turning, viewed by audiences all over the United States. Blanka is a recipient of the Vilcek and Zelda Fichandler Awards and the founder of Wilma Hothouse Acting Company. 

Composer: Maria Sanchez Born in Lima, Peru and based in NYC, Maria Chávez is best known as an abstract turntablist, sound artist and DJ.
Her sound sculptures and sound installations have been exhibited for the JUDD Foundation (Marfa, Texas), the Getty Museum (Los Angeles) as part of PST LA LA and presented a new sound composition for Every Time A Ear di Soun for Documenta 14. In March of 2018, Maria will present a new body of work, Topography of Sound: Peaks & Valleys, as part of her solo retrospective with the Harnett Museum of Art at the University of Richmond. Maria is regularly invited to host workshops & lectures in major universities all over the world. She was chosen to be a research fellow with the Sound Practice Research Department of Goldsmith’s University of London from 2015 – 2017. Artist in residency with the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus/Aalborg, Denmark, Harvard University, the University of Richmond (Richmond, Virginia) & Black Mountain College Museum in the spring of 2018. This accolade led to invitations to become an arts fellow with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, a composer fellow with the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbertide, Italy, and was artist in residence with CEC Artslink Back Apartment Resindecy in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Visual Artist: DhCardell was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1977. He began his relationship with art intuitively in a neighborhood workshop at the age of 7 and after finishing high school he began to carry out illustration and set design commissions for massive muisc shows. Parallel to these commissions, he carried out his academic training in Buenos Aires as a Superior Professor of Visual Arts and later at the University of San Martín where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. He currently continues his experimentation and training on new technologies applied to visual language.
Although he considers that drawing is the discipline that structures every image, he is not limited to a particular discipline. From figurative art, he explores contemporary multidisciplinary languages and considers that tools, materials and contexts contribute to the aesthetics and composition of an image.

Visual Artist: Paula Meninato is a Philadelphia-based artist and activist.Since 2011, Paula has exhibited her socially-conscious art at 22 group exhibits and five solo shows in 8 countries, including a solo exhibition at the Embassy of Argentina in Washington, DC. In 2019, Paula curated a panel discussion at Tate Modern through the Tate Exchange program at Plymouth College of Art. In 2017, Meninato published Blueprint for Creative Dissent, an eBook on artistic activism. She has given over 250 presentations to over 6,500 attendees and booked for 12 speaking engagements in Luxembourg, Barcelona, Vienna, London, Brighton, Berlin, Sweden, and the US. Paula graduated from Tyler School of Artwith a BFA in Painting, academic honors, and a presidential scholarship. She has a Masters in Arts from Plymouth College of Art, where she focused on practice-led research on how art can be used to dismantle cognitive barriers that enable anthropocentrism.

Projections: Colin Saas is a lighting and video designer as well as a founding member of 10th Floor Productions LLC in Philadelphia. He is interested in emerging technology and its integration into live performance, events and installations. Recently his projects include collaborations with The Philadelphia Flyers, The Philadelphia Ballet, Philadelphia Zoo, Metropolitan Ballet Company, Azamara, MSC Cruises, The Lost Colony, Gretna Theatre, Our Market Project, ContraFuerte as well as Obviously Theater. He is excited to be working on this project as the subject matter is near and dear to his heart. See examples of his work at:

Lighting Design: Marien Velez Masters of Fine Arts in Architectural Lighting Design Parsons School of Design, The New School New York City. 22 – Co-Founder + Partner22 is a transdisciplinary design + art studio and platform led by Marién Vélez + Nasheli Ortiz. 22 works with architectural, stage, urban, and exhibition lighting design.

Performers and Movement Collaborators

Merián Soto, choreographer and performance artist. Soto is best known for her interdisciplinary solo, group and collaborative works that explore and reflect upon the legacy of colonialism and Latino heritage, history and culture. Soto earned a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from The Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University and she received a Masters of Arts in Dance Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Soto is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards. In 2015 she received a fellowship from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage recognizing her 40-year career in dance performance, focusing on the body’s relationship to consciousness and creating “a dance of the future, a dance of healing, transformation, and transcendence.”

William Robinson holds a BFA in Modern Dance Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and was awarded the school’s prestigious President’s Award, along with the 2008 Outstanding Achievement in Modern Dance award. Mr. Robinson has also taught modern dance technique based on the work of Doris Humphrey at Temple University in Philadelphia, and is currently a member of Cardell Dance Theatre and Brian Sanders’ JUNK, both based in Philadelphia. He has also worked with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Momix, Group Motion, Curt Haworth, Wally Cardona, Rennie Harris, David Crosby, and Raven Symone, the Local Dance History Project as part of the Philadelphia Dance Projects.

Ama Ma’at G. Oyesii (we/they) is a black, queer, non-binary femme. As a multi-hyphenate being and cosmic creator their work is steeped in storytelling. Their movement techniques are queer, rhythmic and cyphering. They are in deep investigative play.  Interested in the black body as a center of exploration. Questioning ideas about identity, transcendence and ritual. Consider time in, through and around blackness. As a graduate from Georgian Court University (BA) and Temple University (MFA) they have had opportunities to work with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Dr. Kariamu Welsh and Lela Aisha Jones. They are Founder and Artistic Director of Ma’at Works Dance Collective and serve as adjunct professor at Bryn Mawr College. Currently, they are dancing with Silvana Cardell as a member of Cardell Dance Theater. As their roles rotate, bend and switch they find home in an infinite amount of places.

Tyler Rivera holds a BA in Dance from Georgian Court University where he performed works by innovative choreographers such as Sidra Bell, Stephanie Batten Bland, Megan Mazerik, Gregory King and more. His Choreography valIDity (2019), a multidisciplinary dance theater work, displays concepts of queer agency, fighting the expected silence or assumed conformity to stereotypical, western sociocultural ideologies of “gayness” as a fixed identity was presented at the 2020 American College Dance Association (ACDA) Regional Festival Gala, and was further selected to be performed at the 2020 ACDA National Festival in Long Beach, CA. For this piece, Tyler received the Emerging Scholar Award from the New Jersey Women and Gender Studies Consortium.

Muyu Yuan Ruba,Chinese dance artist and choreographer, received her B.F.A. in Dance from Shanghai Normal University in 2013 and M.F.A. in Dance from Temple University in 2017. She is the sole founder of Shero Dance Company and L&M Dance studio which began in 2016. In addition, she is an adjunct professor at Georgian Court University in the Dance department. Her work incorporates other media such as puppetry, installations, dance film, improvisation and fashion.

Mackenzie Morris recently graduated summa cum laude from Georgian Court University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and honors in dance and choreography. While attending the University, she studied under the direction of Silvana Cardell and received a scholarship to study abroad for a short period in Argentina. Recently, she has performed in Philadelphia showcases as part of local company, Open Category Dance Company, directed by former Parson’s dancer, Steve Vaughn.


Supper People on the Move -Performers:

William Robinson and Merian Soto, Mackenzie Morris,  Ama Gora (bios above)

Maria Urrutia  Cuban Born, Maria Urrutia is currently an Assistant Professor at West Chester University in the Theater and Dance Department. Her creative practice work expands into various disciplines’ including architecture, poetry, dance including Cuban rumba and America contemporary dance forms, and food making as an art practice.  She also holds a MFA Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College, an EdM, Dance Education Masters, from Temple University and a BFA in Modern Dance from The University of the Arts.  Her scholarly work, which focuses on Cuban rumba, has been presented in London, Toronto, Montreal and Edinburgh. Additionally her teaching of Cuban rumba in Diaspora took her to Tokyo, Japan and Santiago, Chile.  As an artist she has worked with Cardell Dance Theater, SCRAP and Myriam Herve-gil. Her recent work In Absence has been presented at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, a curated show Indiscipline in Vermont and Trondheim, Norway.

Zachary Svoboda, a native of Kansas City, earned his BFA in Modern Dance Performance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA.  Zachary has performed in many venues, from Philadelphia’s City Hall to house parties, as well as internationally in Paris, France, Guatemala City, Guatemala, and Tokyo, Japan.   During the month of August ’11, Zachary spent his time in the woods of Martha’s Vineyard dancing at The Yard. Zachary has danced with such artists as Oscar Araiz, Wally Cardona, Jaamil Kosoko, Myra Bazell, Megan Bridge, Silvana Cardell, Akiko Kitamura, Lisa Kraus, Kenshi Nomi, and Kate Watson-Wallace/Anonymous Bodies. At Georgian Court University he serves as the Technical Director/Production Manager to the dance department, he was the Production Manager for Anonymous Bodies creation, Mash Up Body, which premiered April 2013, and has done tech work for the LiveArts Festival, Annenberg Center for the Arts, and many other local performing artists.

Bethany Formica is a dancer, educator, choreographer and artisan. Bethany graduated with a BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 1994. Since then has worked with several New York City based companies including Sean Curran and Co., Pearson/Widrig Dance Theatre, The Kevin Wynn Collection, Michael Foley, Martha Bowers Dance Theatre and with Philadelphia-based companies such as Cardell Dance Theater, Boan Danz Action, Megan Mazarick, Nichole Canuso Dance Company, Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre, and She has also performed internationally with Dada von Bzdülöw Theatre (Poland), and worked locally with Sylvain Emard Danse (Montreal) among many others.  Bethany has received fellowships from the Independence Foundation (2012) and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for Choreography (2008), a Rocky Award (2009), and several professional development grants from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through Dance Advance. Her work has been presented in Philadelphia, NYC, and internationally in Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and England. She currently teaches modern dance technique at Swarthmore College and Bryn Mawr College and is the owner of Sawdust Siren, creating wood-centric art.

Hassan Syed is a dancer and choreographer from New Jersey. He holds a BFA in Dance from Georgian Court University. Under director Silvana Cardell at GCU Hassan has was worked with artists such as Sidra Bell, Les twins, Stefanie Batten Bland, David Parsons, Gregory King, and Randy James and was awarded first honors in choreography of his graduating class. Currently he is a candidate in the MFA in choreography at Temple University. Hassan is a recipient of the leadership scholarship while attending ADF (American Dance Festival). As a Hip-Hop Dancer Hassan has competed in multiple battles across the Tri-State as well as overseas in Europe and Asia.

Megan Midgley holds a BA indance from Georgian Court University, where she has performed works by innovative guest choreographers such as Sidra Bell, Stephanie Batten Bland, Gregory King, Daniel Gwiterzman amongst others. Shehas also trained with well-known dance companies such as Pillobolus, Parsons Dance, Koresh and has attended international programs at ImpulseTanz and Dance Italia. She is currently a member of Cardell Dance Theater located in Philadelphia, with whom she has tour nationally and internationally.                      

Past Collaborators

Conrad Bender- prop design, Conrad is Production Designer with 20 years experience in event and facility management, theatrical and corporate production, and lighting, sound, and video installations. He is currently the technical director of PhildephiaFringe Arts and is a production designer at MC3. He began his career with a degree from Swarthmore College.

Nick Zammuto has produced music and videos for many projects and collaborations over the last 12 years, most notably for his sound collage project ‘The Books’ and more recently his four-piece band ‘Zammuto’. He has toured extensively worldwide, with a show combining live performance with tightly synched video projections consisting mostly of found footage from VHS tapes and photo collections. He has also been working on a series of interactive sound sculptures and visually oriented musical instruments. He built his studio from a ramshackle tractor garage on his family plot high in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Over the years he’s gathered a strange assortment of acoustic and electric instruments, synthesizers, drums, and vintage production equipment. His sound sculptures are focused on making sonic concepts visual through a synesthetic approach. Sound vibrations are translated to visual motion by various means, such as speakers blowing puffs of air into kitchen spoons, or lasers reflecting off of vibrating auto-parts.

Jennifer Baker is the curator of Portraits of People on the Move exhibition, Set and Costume Design. Baker is a painter and sculptor working in Philadelphia since 1978. She attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts), and the Art Students League of New York. She has shown extensively in both New York and Philadelphia, and received a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in 1993, a Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant in 2010, and a Leeway Foundation Window of Opportunity Grant in 2018. Her most recent exhibit, Third Street: Paintings and Monoprints by Jennifer Baker, at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art documented the Philadelphia neighborhood of Northern Liberties over 30 years.

Past Performers and Collaborators: Jumatatu Poe. Olive Prince, Adrian Plascensia, Leanne Grieger, Mina Estrada, Shavon Norris, John Luna, Ana de Orbegozo (Visual artist) Patricia Arnillas (Visual artist), Jennifer Baker ( visual artist), Manfred Fishbeck (Choreographer), Myra Bazell (Choreographer), Madison Cario (Lighting designer/ dramaturge), John Lewis (Composer), MiguelMagud (Composer), Jorge Perrin (Visual Artist) Melina Martin (Argentina) Matias Etchebery (Argentina).