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Steering Committee

The Isadora Duncan International Symposium is dedicated to the expansion and deepening of the practice and art of Isadora Duncan in the 21st century through open collaboration and networking in the worldwide Duncan community. Participation in the symposium as well as the administrative organization is open to all interested Duncan Dance practitioners.

The current Steering Committee includes:

Margaret L. Brooker, MFA (Partner, Steering Committee)
Meg Brooker, Artistic Director of Thel Dance Theatre/Austin, TX, danced as a member of Lori Belilove & Company/Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation. She has performed, taught, and lectured about early modern dance work in Russia, Crimea, Italy, Costa Rica, and the United States, and teaches world dance for Texas State University. Meg has presented scholarship for Society of Dance History Scholars and Congress on Research in Dance, contributes to Dance Studio Life, and blogs at “Tunics in Texas.” Meg also preserves the work of Duncan contemporary Florence Fleming Noyes and serves on the Board of Directors of the Noyes Rhythm Foundation. She holds an MFA from UT Austin and a BA from Yale.

Marie Carstens (Steering Committee)
Marie Carstens, BFA, MS, BC-DMT, CMA, LCAT, is a board certified dance movement therapist, certified movement analyst, licensed creative arts therapist (NY), dancer and choreographer. She received her BFA in dance performance from the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri- Kansas City, and her Master of Science in Dance Therapy from Hunter College, City University of New York in 1996. Marie worked full-time as a dance/movement therapist in NYC from 1995-2014 while she continued to steep herself as a dancer and choreographer in the work of early modern dance pioneer, Isadora Duncan. Marie attained a teaching certificate in Isadora Duncan Studies from the Isadora Duncan International Institute (1997) under the tutelage of Jeanne Bresciani. She subsequently studied and performed with Lori Belilove (Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation) and most extensively studied with Lynn Armentrout with whom she created and co-directed the Duncan Dance Collective (2000-2010). This company was dedicated to creating new choreographic works keeping within the frame of Duncan technique. Marie also performed for choreographers Michiyo Sato, Rina Rinkewich (Return of the Sun), and most recently Catherine Gallant (Dances by Isadora). Marie attained her Certification in Laban Movement Analysis from Laban/Bartenieff and Somatic Studies International – an affiliate of the Laban Institute of Movement Analysis, in 2008, and continues her studies in movement analysis, currently pursuing the level of Analyst in the Kestenberg Movement Profile. Marie left full time dance therapy work in 2014 to spend more time with her young daughters. She now balances motherhood with a dance/movement therapy and movement analysis practice, teaching Analysis of Dance/Movement at Queens College, and is pursuing her license in massage therapy.

Valerie L. Durham, MFA (Partner, Steering Committee)
Valerie Durham has been dedicated to the art of Isadora Duncan for 20 years since discovering the technique at the University of Florida, where she pursued a BA in Public Relations. She has performed as a company member with Lori Belilove & Company, and studied with Duncan masters Lori Belilove, Jeanne Bresciani, Barbara Kane, Hortense Kooluris, Julia Levien, and others. She is the Artistic Director of Persephone’s Circle (formerly The Duncan Dancers) and Executive Director of the Isadora Duncan School for Creative Movement & Dance, a school dedicated to a progressive curriculum in the Duncan technique as well as creative movement based on Duncan’s philosophies. A Kennedy Center Teaching Artist with an MFA in Dance from the University of Maryland, Valerie has presented lectures and master classes at Mercy College, University of Maryland and other national and regional conferences and institutions, had articles published with BourgeonOnline, Centrifuga (Mexican dance magazine), and the Bourgeon anthology, and performed her choreography and Isadora’s repertory at the Smithsonian Institution, the National Cathedral, as well as venues in New York, Washington, DC, Florida, Las Vegas.

Marybeth Hraniotis (Steering Committee)

MaryBeth Hraniotis B.F.A., C.T.A.T., I.D.M.A., R.M. is a professional dancer, educator and healer. She holds multipldegrees and certifications specializing in psycho-physical integration, Constructive conscious education, teaching Duncan dance, performance and pedagogy recently adding aromatherapy to her skill set. Her combination of the Arts and Sciences in her work is culled from 20 + years experience in the field through studying with Master Teachers in Dance, The Alexander Technique, Reiki Energy Balancing, and Clinical Aromatherapy. She continues to focus her work on furthering the field of human caring through program development, educational inservices, lectures,certifications and competencies integrating Caring Arts Modalities within mainstream healthcare systems and community outreach programs for vulnerable populations while maintaining a private practice. MaryBeth has continued advocating Art as a Healing Agent in the Hudson Valley organizing, producing and developing multidisciplinary arts & dance performances while serving as Director at The Meadow Dance & Integral Healing Arts Center in Montgomery, NY. MaryBeth’s Duncan lineage via Maria Theresa Duncan, Anna and Irma Duncan directly from Jeanne Bresciani Ph.D at the Isadora Duncan International Institute, Inc. She has participated as an active member at the Institute since 1997 and served on its Executive Board. MaryBeth currently serves as President of H.E.A.R.T. Inc. a newly formed 501c3 multidisciplinary arts organization whose mission is to advocate and form partnerships between Artists and Communities promoting Art as a healing agent. She has written and received grants for Arts in Communities and Performances, is a member of the Orange County Arts Council and currently partnering H.E.A.R.T Inc with an Orange Arts and Tourism grant funded short film project Isadora & Loie: From Flower to Flame.

Julia Pond (Steering Committee)
Julia Pond first encountered the Duncan work as a member of Lori Belilove’s company from 2001-2005. As a company member, she studied and performed internationally with Lori Belilove and Cherlyn Smith, and received coaching from Julia Levien. Since 2012, Julia has also received direct coaching in repertory from Barbara Kane and performed with the Isadora Duncan Dance Group London/Paris. She joined the Steering Committee of IDIS in 2014, and is a co-founder of the Duncan Dance Project. Julia has taught and performed the Duncan work throughout Europe, Russia and the United States, and has created 3 full length dance theater works rooted in the Duncan technique, which have toured to Italy, London and the US. She has also developed class material which fuses core principles of the Duncan technique with a contemporary class structure. Julia is a founding member of the Art Monastery Project and a lead facilitator in the Creative Community model. She has a BFA in Dance from Boston Conservatory and an MA in International Relations.

Jennifer Sprowl (Partner, Steering Committee)
Jennifer Sprowl is Artistic Director of Duncan Dance Chicago. A founding member of Lori Belilove & the Isadora Duncan Dance Company, Sprowl trained directly with Duncan dance luminaries Belilove, Hortense Kooluris, and Julia Levien; she has extensive training in ballet and modern dance and has performed with the Dayton Ballet Company, among others. A faculty member at Joffrey Academy of Dance, Sprowl regularly conducts master classes in Duncan technique throughout the Chicago area. She served as the 2015-16 Loyola University Dance Concert choreographer and has staged innovative interpretations of Isadora’s repertoire for Momenta and The Chicago Academy for the Arts. Sprowl’s company, Duncan Dance Chicago, performs across the city and hosts workshop intensives on an ongoing basis. Recent collaborations include Dancestry as well as several touring productions with Meg Brooker, Valerie Durham, and Julia Pond. A specialist in dancer conditioning, injury prevention, and pre/post rehabilitation, Sprowl is a graduate of the Ohashi Institute of Shiatsu and certified as an Active-Isolated Stretch/Strength practitioner based on the work of Aaron Mattes.


Former Committee Members

Cynthia Word, MFA (founding member, 2012-2013) (www.worddance.og)

Ingrid Zimmer (founding member, 2012-2013) (www.worddance.org)

2 thoughts on “Steering Committee

  1. Thank you for doing such a wonderful job in organizing the Symposium. Bravo! I am so glad I was able to attend, even for a short time. It was wonderful to be able to gather with other Duncan dancers and scholars and share our collective knowledge and love of the art form. The welcoming atmosphere and respectful appreciation of everyone’s work was refreshing.

    Patricia Adams

  2. Pingback: Welcome Julia Pond to the IDIS Steering Committee | duncansymposium

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