MFA in 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 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 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 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