artistic director, shannon hummel
Shannon Hummel is a choreographer, arts educator and Founding Artistic Director of Cora Dance. Driven to create access to the arts for all people, she opened The Cora Studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn in 2009 as a home for her professional company and their education programs. The space strives to create exceptional dance experiences while addressing the impediments that restrict many people from the art-form. Equal parts professional choreographer and community artist, Hummel’s work has been seen as much in church basements, public parks and community spaces as on some of the country’s finest stages. She has been repeatedly critically acclaimed by Style Magazine, Village Voice, Richmond Times Dispatch, and The New York Times where she has been a Top 10 Critics Pick for Dance and had her “finely wrought dances” called “poignant, funny, vivid and true, remarkably assured and perceptive” and most recently “a rare gem.” While her choreography has been presented in over 30 NYC venues (including the 92nd Street Y, BAM, BAX, Brooklyn Museum of Art, DTW, Danspace Project, La MaMa, LMCC, among others) she is also known for creating accessible grassroots performances in off-the-beaten-path places in KY, NY, NJ, OK, VA, VT and WV. She has been an educational advisor, mentor or faculty member for hundreds of institutions including her alma mater James Madison University; enjoyed significant residencies in support of her choreography from Vermont Performance Lab, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange among others; and taught and lectured widely at American Dance Festival, ACDFA, NYLA, Rutgers, William & Mary, Marlboro College, Virginia Commonwealth University, Washington & Lee, among others. She is most proud to be the mom of a lively, lovely dancing boy named Henry.
hans bilger (composer)
Hans Bilger is fascinated by music and the natural world. While studying under the evolutionary ornithologist Richard Prum at Yale University, he investigated the aesthetic structure of birdsong and wrote Aviary, a piece that used songbird vocalizations as raw material for a series of improvisatory and through-composed movements. Since graduating from Yale with a double major in music and biology, he has worked as a double bassist, sound engineer, biological research assistant, and free-neighborhood-garden-concert impresario. Composing for GIFTS will be his first collaboration with Cora Dance.
Kelly Bartnik is a choreographer, performer and teacher who has been working professionally in NY since 2001. She is an original cast member of both the Boston and NY productions of Sleep No More and has also had the pleasure of performing with Cora Dance, Melissa Briggs Dance, South Brooklyn Shakespeare, Woodshed Collective, Switch N Play, and Shelter Theatre Group among others. Her own work has been presented at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange/BAX, BRIC Studio, DTW (formerly), Dixon Place, Joyce Soho, James Madison University, Long Island University, Arena Stage and The Publick Playhouse. She has been a guest professor at Sarah Lawrence College and director of BAXCo, the teen repertory dance company at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange. She is a founding member of GK1 Productions, a video production company specializing in dance films that premiered their latest film Reins, commissioned by Dances Made to Order. She is currently performing in two upcoming web series, Welcome to Our Mansion and 3L, and will be joining the first round of accepted students in the new Choreography MFA Program at Wilson College, led by program director RoseAnne Spradlin. www.kellybartnik.com
Sarah Burke moved to New York from Richmond, Virginia after graduating from James Madison University (2010) with a BA in Dance. She has been dancing for Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance since 2011. Sarah has danced in videos for artists like Devvon Terrell, David Chesky, Axel Jordan, and Elizabeth Chan. Sarah's TV work includes TLC "Breaking Amish," A&E "The Herbert Brothers" for the making of a commercial for Crunch Fitness, Good Morning America, Pix11, and New York Live. Sarah has choreographed for S'well Bottle, Yahoo’s Failure Club, Elizabeth Chan, Devvon Terrell, and acclaimed Burmese singer Supan Htwar. She has performed in various venues like Madison Square Garden, Hammerstein Ballroom for Broadway Bares, BAM Fisher, The Frederick P Rose Hall at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The Theater at BAX, Triskelion Arts, Dixon Place, The Ailey Citigroup Theater, and New York City Center. Sarah teaches at Gibney Dance, Steps On Broadway, and PMT Dance Studio. She is also now the voice of Spotify Premium Ads for USA, Lexi on iHeart Radio, Beat Junkies Radio, and DASH.
Katie Dean is a New York based performer. She graduated in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. In Richmond, she was a performer for Brinson Leigh Kresge, Travis Steele Sisk, Eleanor Smith, and others. Since moving to New York, she has been a performer for Courtney Cooke, Megan Harrold, Julie Mayo, Rebekah Windmiller, in cameo roles for Stacy Grossfield and Nora Stephens, and in collaborative performances with Heather Bregman, Jake Dibeler, Alaina Stamatis and others. She is currently dancing with Kim Brandt, Nadia Tykulsker, and Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance.
Solomon Goodwin lives in Brooklyn, NY and was raised in Red Hook where he started learning to dance by swapping movement with friends in the hallways, streets and courtyards around the neighborhood. By age 11, he had started his own hip-hop group and was battling throughout the borough. He has regularly performed dances for Dance Theatre Etc. Red Hook Initiative, and Dancing in the Streets where he has also been a hip-hop teacher. Beyond that, his favorite appearances include performing on the TV show “106 and Park” and at The Apollo Theater. He has been teaching and dancing with Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance for the past four years. Solomon currently attends Long Island University where he is studying Media Arts.
Kelsey Kramer is a Brooklyn based arts educator, administrator, dancer, and choreographer. She graduated from James Madison University with a BA in Dance and Communications Studies in 2014. Since moving to New York, Kelsey has taught for several schools in the NYC area, worked as Programs and Communications Manager for Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance, and has had the pleasure of performing for LuisaInnesFree Dance, Sarah Burke, and Cora Dance. Her own work has been seen at SITUATIONS Gallery in Chinatown, the Cora Studio Theater in Brooklyn, Dogtown Dance Theater in Virginia, internationally in China, and was selected for the Gala Performance at the 2013 American College Dance Association Mid-Atlantic Conference in North Carolina. She was the co-director of the Associate Dance Ensemble at James Madison University and a guest choreographer for the Cora Youth Company (CYC) in 2016. In 2017 Kelsey co-founded JACKS, her most recent choreographic endeavor with artistic partner Lexie Thrash.
A native Brooklynite, Nadia Tykulsker is mover/maker/manager/mayhem causer. She is currently working as Faye Driscoll’s Artistic and Administrative Associate. In January she performed a solo in an evening of works choreographed by Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance at BAM Fisher. She has had the pleasure of dancing for Amy Chavasse, Jessica Fogel, Xan Burley, Alex Springer, Jesse Philips-Fein, Abby Bender, EmmaGrace Skove-Epes, Katie Dean, Lindsey Deitz Merchant, Shannon Hummel, Steve May and Kyli Kleven. Tykulsker is also the founding director of Spark(edIt) Arts, created in 2010 as a forum to bring artists of different mediums together to make
collaborative works. Spark(edIt) aims to widen the range of what we can communicate through movement. The work emphasizes a commitment to collaboration in an attempt to honor the voices of the performers and designers involved. Spark(edIt) has presented work in Michigan, Baltimore and multiple venues in New York including Triskelion Arts, Dixon Place, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, AUNTS at Arts @ Renaissance and Movement Research at the Judson Church. Nadia Tykulsker/Spark(edIt) Arts was
a recipient of a Brooklyn Arts Exchange Space Grant in 2012 and was a Chez Bushwick AIR in January 2014.
Keon is a New York City native, who has been dancing and performing for nine years. Once he gained an interest in dance, he began training in Hip Hop and other styles with some of the best teachers in New York City, such as Robert Cecil Brooks III, Amanda Pope, and the late Maurice C. Dean. Throughout high school and post-graduation Keon began realizing his love of training dancers as well as performing. To further cultivate his skill set as a teacher, dancer and choreographer, he began working alongside his mentor Amanda Pope as a teaching assistant at Lower Manhattan Arts Academy, Harlem School of the Arts, Amanda Pope Dance Company and Chimera Concept dance team. Currently, Keon is a teaching artist at the Harlem School of the Arts and Aubrey Lynch-Extra Essential Arts (AL-EEArts). Additionally, he is a faculty member at the Harlem School of the Arts teaching Hip Hop to ages 8-12 and at Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance teaching Hip Hop to students ages 5-16. In 2016-2017 Keon is Assistant Director to the Cora Youth Company alongside Shannon Hummel. Going forward in his career, Keon will continue teaching Hip Hop dance as well as coach, perform, and choreograph various dance routines for all ages to promote his brand and open opportunities for more dancers.