Dance Faculty

Image of Elena Demyanenko
Elena Demyanenko is a Russian/American dance artist, choreographer, improviser, maker of dance films, and educator who lives and works between New York City, Vermont, and Moscow, Russia. Demyanenko has extensive professional performance and choreographic experience in a multicultural context from 30 years of touring around the world and is a former member of Stephen Petronio Company and Trisha Brown Dance Company.
email edemyanenko@bennington.edu
Image of Michael Giannitti

Michael Giannitti has extensive professional experience as a lighting designer and educator. He has designed lighting at many of the most prestigious venues around the country and has taught abroad as a two-time Fulbright Specialist Grant recipient.

email mgiannitti@bennington.edu
Image of Levi Gonzalez

Levi Gonzalez is a dance artist whose work highlights the porous boundaries between audience and performer, and employs a queer corporeal logic to resist narrow definitions of knowledge and experience.

email levigonzalez@bennington.edu
Image of Mina Nishimura

Mina Nishimura is a Tokyo-born dance artist whose works focus on ever-changing relationships between internal landscapes and external forms. Buddhism-influenced philosophies and butoh-based principles are reflected across her somatic, performance and choreographic practices. Nishimura is a 2019 recipient of Foundation of Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award.

email mnishimura@bennington.edu
Image of Dana Reitz

Choreographer, dancer, and visual artist Dana Reitz weaves movement and light scores that continually shift perception of time and space. Often performed in silence, they reveal musical nuance. She has collaborated with Jennifer Tipton, created works for Mikhail Baryshnikov, and toured extensively.

email dreitz@bennington.edu
Image of Charles Schoonmaker

Charles Schoonmaker is an Emmy Award-winning costume designer for theatre, dance, opera, and television.

email cschoonmaker@bennington.edu
Image of Susan Sgorbati
Director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Action and Interim Director of the MFA in Public Action

Susan Sgorbati is a professional mediator and educator whose creative research has led to collaboration across disciplines and borders as both an artist and a driver of social change.

email sgorbati@bennington.edu

Visiting Faculty

Image of mayfield brooks
Guest Faculty

mayfield brooks (they/them) is a movement-based performance artist, vocalist, urban farmer, writer, and wanderer based in Lenapehoking also known as Brooklyn, New York.

email mayfieldbrooks@bennington.edu
Image of Nicole Daunic
Visiting Faculty

Nicole Daunic’s research as a dancer and dance scholar examines the intersection of movement and power in choreographic and improvisational dance practices in order to consider the politics of how we move together.

email nicoledaunic@bennington.edu
Image of Parijat Desai
Visiting Faculty

Circle-making in dance is a way to kinesthetically experience and to embody inclusion, connectivity, and collectivity. Parijat Desai’s current work involves retooling Gujarati circle dance ritual, within community and performance practice. She also asks how individual expression remains alive within collective. Her ongoing research happens through choreography and storytelling with hybrid movement and theatrical vocabularies. 

email parijatdesai@bennington.edu
Image of Maura Gahan
Visiting Faculty

Originally from Malvern, Ohio, Maura Gahan MFA '22 is a Northern Vermont based dancer, puppeteer, and improviser. Her practice is derived from the technical forms and philosophies of Material for the Spine (Steve Paxton), Tuning Scores (Lisa Nelson) and the Bread and Puppet Theater (Peter Schumann) and is influenced by the movement of objects, plants, and other species.

email mauragahan@bennington.edu
Image of Aguibou Bougobali Sanou
Visiting Faculty

Aguibou Bougobali Sanou (known as ‘Bougobali’) is a dancer, choreographer, musician, storyteller, and Director of the In-Out Dance Festival in Burkina Faso. His work is a mix of West African Mandingo traditional dances, Brazilian capoeira, and theater expressions drawn from his work with influential European stage directors. His training in sacred and profane African traditional dance in his native country combines with other forms of expression to create a unique theatrical statement.

email asanou@bennington.edu
Image of Larissa Velez-Jackson
Visiting Faculty

Larissa Velez-Jackson is a NYC-based choreographer, movement educator, the Artistic Director of LVJ Performance Co. and a multi-platform artist who blends dance, healing modalities, sound, humor, strategies of self-compassion and intergenerational community practice. 

email larissavelezjackson@bennington.edu
Image of Kota Yamazaki
Guest Artist

Born in Niigata, Japan, Kota Yamazaki was first introduced to butoh under the teaching of Akira Kasai, then graduated from Bunka Fashion College (Tokyo) with BA in Fashion Design. He is a recipient of Bessie Award 2007, FCA Award 2013, NYFA Fellowship 2016, and Guggenheim Fellowship 2018.

email kyamazaki@bennington.edu

Instructor/Technician

luciana achugar
MFA Fellow

luciana achugar is a dance maker and teacher whose work blurs the lines between theater and healing; and between dancing and ritual. She makes dances as a way of growing an uncivilized, decolonized, utopian body with a practice of being in pleasure.

email lucianaachugar@bennington.edu
Image of Dale Doucette
Technical Instructor in Lighting and Dance Production

Dale Doucette has been a touring lighting designer/director and production manager for over 40 years. He has traveled the world over with a variety of musical performers. He has also worked in set and lighting design for film, television and theatre production.

email daledoucette@bennington.edu
Erin Ellen Kelly
MFA Fellow

Erin Ellen Kelly is a body based artist that creates performances and ephemeral collages for on-site presentation, the stage, installations, photographs and video. Her aim is for the body and its dance to explore nuanced relationships to environments and society.

email erinellenkelly@bennington.edu
Image of Richard MacPike
Technical Instructor in Costume Production

Richard MacPike brings his experience working on Broadway shows such as The Lion King and companies like the Santa Fe Opera and Glimmerglass to his work as costume shop manager at Bennington.

email rmacpike@bennington.edu
Image of Tal Shibi
MFA Fellow

Tal Shibi is a native Jerusalem choreographer, improvisor, performer, and teacher of dance, CI, and somatic awareness. He is continuously curious in exploring collaborations between different art forms, and widening the perceptions of performance and dance.

email talshibi@bennington.edu