Swamp Dance Fest

July 7 - Aug. 3, 2014

Gainesville, FL

Faculty Biographies

Biography of Guest Artists and Faculty For Swamp Dance Fest! 2014

Tiffany Rhynard,  Director of this Summer's Swamp Dance Festival, is a social activist, filmmaker, choreographer, and teacher.She is the artistic director of Big APE, an experimental dance company exploring the intersection between human behavior and performance. Her choreography has been presented in venues nationwide and internationally. In addition to creating dance for the camera shorts, Rhynard’s documentary films focus on issues of social justice. Her production company Sisters Unite produced “Little House in the Big House,” a film illuminating the strength and resiliency of incarcerated women at a state women’s prison in Vermont. Her latest film project, “Dreamers,” chronicles the challenges facing undocumented youth in rural North Carolina. Rhynard made the transition to dance from visual art during her undergraduate tenure at UNC Greensboro where she received her BA in Dance. She holds an MFA in Choreography from the Ohio State University. Rhynard has taught at various colleges, universities and studios spending the last six years as Artist in Residence at Middlebury College. Often on the road for residency and free-lance work, she currently resides in Gainesville, Florida teaching at the University of Florida. www.bigapedance.com.

Shua Group has been presented by dance presenters in New York including Danspace Project, Movement Research, Dixon Place, Joyce Soho, New Dance Alliance; in universities including Rutgers University, Steven University and at Texas Womens University (09); and internationally by Tacheles, Berlin (07), Kontainer, Bilbao Spain (07), Le Temps D'Aimer La Danse, Biarritz France (05), Danza Parco, Brescia Italy (o7), Landiver University, Guatemala (06), Echo Arts, Cyprus (04), FIDA, Toronto Canada (04). The group has also been curated by visual art presenters American Visionary Art Museum (08); Emily Harvey Foundation (08); Jersey City Museum (08); Atelier Gobart Garin, Biarritz France (05, 07). Shua Group has received financial support from Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the American Music Center, Hudson County Cultural Affairs and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.

Laura Quattrocchi is a movement artist. She came to New York City in 1995 from Italy to study contemporary dance.  Central to her artistic development was meeting and working with Daniel Lepkoff, Elaine Summers, Joshua Bisset and artist Agata Olek Oleksiak.  Laura’s interest expanded to costuming inspired by artist Olek in 2005.

Laura has performed with David Parker and The Bang Group, Mary Anthony Dance Theatre, Tam Le, Kun-Yang Lin, Andrea Haenggi, Elaine Summers, Jody Oberfelder, among others and she is a founding member of Shua Group.

Joshua Bisset
She has worked in collaborations with visual artists, Sylvestre Gobart, Diego Britt, Agata Olek Oleksiak, Virginia Valdes, and Thuy-Van Vu.

Joshua Bisset is a choreographer and movement artist. Since 1998, he has created original stage and site-specific dances and performance projects and founded Shua Group in 2000. His choreographic work develops from preoccupation about the line between self and other, private and public, art and life.  To varying degrees his performances present uncertain outcomes, depend on audience action and involve untrained bodies in structured work.  Listening to the body's impulse and observing outside space with the senses is the basis for his creative and technical process.   Joshua graduated with a degree in philosophy of religion from Bowdoin College and worked as a social worker before coming to New York in 1998 to study and make dance. Joshua has been influenced by movement artists Daniel Lepkoff and Elaine Summers. 

Bill Young/ Colleen Thomas & Co., has been presented in New York City by the Joyce Theater, DTW, The Kitchen, Danspace Project,  PS 122, Movement Research, Symphony Space and the 92nd St. Y (among others), and on repeated international tours, including performances in Austria, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Canada, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Finland, Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Venezuela.   Now an international group of artists (with recent and current dancers hailing from the US, Greece, Africa, China, Albania & Venezuela), the company has received support from the Guggenheim Foundation, NYSCA, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the US Information Service and State Dept., Artslink, the Suitcase Fund, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, the Mary Duke Biddle, Joyce Mertz-Gilmore, Harkness and Greenwall Foundations, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Fund for US Artists at International Festivals, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Bill Young, winner of recent Guggenheim and NYFA fellowships, discovered dance through contact improvisation while studying music at Oberlin College.  He showed early work in San Francisco, while dancing with Margaret Jenkins, and later moved to New York where he danced with Douglas Dunn, Randy Warshaw, Merce Cunningham (on video). In 1988 he established Bill Young & Dancers, for which he has created over 70 works; his commissions include new works for the Estonian National Opera Ballet, Pennsylvania Dance Theater, the Zenon Dance Company (Minneapolis), DanceArt Hong Kong, Core Performance Group (Atlanta), the Wildspace Dance Company (Milwaukee), Compagnie de Danse L’Astragale (Montréal), Teória de Gravedad (Mexico), Bratislava (Slovakia) Dance Theater, and the Madach Theater (Budapest).  He has also taught in Universities and Festivals throughout the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia, and has served as a panelist for Artslink, DTW, ACDFA  and NYFA. He currently teaches at  the Juilliard School in NYC.
Colleen Thomas is a New York based choreographer and performing artist. She began her professional career with the Miami Ballet and went on to work with renowned contemporary choreographers such as Nina Wiener Dance Company, Donald Byrd/The Group, Bebe Miller Dance Company, Bill T.  Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and The Kevin Wynn Collection among others. In 1997 a creative collaboration with Bill Young evolved into an intimate company focused on rigorous physicality and dynamic partnering.  Their work has been seen throughout the US, Europe, Asia, and South America. Now interested in focusing on illuminating her vision of contemporary work, Thomas has formed ColleenThomasDance.  Thomas has presented her work in Hong Kong, Estonia, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, and Russia and in New York at Joyce Soho, Danspace Project, Dance New Amsterdam, The Miller Theater, Danny K.  Playhouse, and The Kumble Arts Center, as well as at Cal State Long Beach, East Carolina University, and Minneapolis at the Ritz Theater, Southern Theater, and The New Guthrie.  Thomas received her BA in psychology from SUNY Empire State College and her MFA in Dance from University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.  She has been an adjunct faculty member at Long Island University's Brooklyn Campus, The New School, Barnard College, Skidmore College, and Bates College.  She is currently an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Barnard College of Columbia University.