About the Director
Annie Arnoult (Artistic Director/Choreographer) is the founding artistic director of Open Dance Project where she directs the company’s professional performance season and oversees the company’s extensive dance education work in partnership with Young Audiences Houston and the Houston Arts Access Initiative. She is a recent recipient of a Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant in support of Open Dance Project’s upcoming ‘Bout a Stranger, an immersive dance theater performance inspired by the life and work of Woody Guthrie premiering at MATCH March 17-23, 2017. Arnoult returned to her native Houston from Chicago where she was the artistic director of Chicago’s Striding Lion Performance Group, garnering acclaim for the company as a “new center of gravity for indie dance in Chicago” and support from The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Arts & Business Council, the Arts Work Fund, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and The Illinois Arts Council.
Arnoult’s creative work is deeply informed and influenced by her 19 years as an artist teacher and arts education advocate in Chicago Public Schools, Illinois Arts Council’s Arts-in-Education Residency Programs, Illinois Migrant Education Association, After School Matters Chicago. Arnoult has been a guest artist/teacher at Now Next Dance at Appalachian State University and Sam Houston State University, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, The University of Alaska at Anchorage, Northwestern University’s National High School Institute, Evanston Dance Ensemble and Alaska Dance Theatre. Arnoult is a Certified Cecchetti Ballet teacher and a member of the National Dance Education Organization. Her research and choreography has been presented regionally and internationally. She has served on the dance faculty of Northwestern University and The School of Theatre and Dance at University of Houston.
Arnoult’s choreography and research on concert dance has been presented regionally and internationally. Her choreography for theater, which she indulges in whenever a spare moment allows, includes: Speed the Plow, Madforest, Abingdon Square, The Guys, and Gogol Stories for Piven Theatre Workshop; Some Explicit Polaroids for Roadworks Productions/Steppenwolf Garage; Bluebeard and Other Less Grisly Tales of Love for Toad Productions; The Perjured City for Street Signs; The Giver for Apple Tree Theater and Metropolis; Search for Odysseus for Adventure Stage Chicago; and Ill Met by Moonlight, Billy the Mountain and Other American Card Tricks, and Birdsongs (Remount 2010) for Striding Lion; and The Passion of Henry David Thoreau, The Heart of Spain, and Pride and Prejudice for Northwestern University. In addition to performing in her own work and with Striding Lion, Arnoult has danced for Meghan Durham, Ashley Thorndike-Youssef, XSIGHT! Performance Group, Lucky Plush Productions, Peter Carpenter, Asimina Chremos, and Billy Siegenfeld’s Jump Rhythm Jazz Project.
About the Company
Abby Flowers graduated with her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Sam Houston State University in 2013. She has had the privilege of traveling to New Mexico, Ecuador, and Ireland with VauLt and has recently been working with independent artists Lori Yuill and Laura Harrell. Abby shares her passion for dance and aerial arts by teaching classes weekly and is thrilled to be joining Open Dance Project for it’s first season!
Joshua De Alba *Apprentice* is a native of Orlando Florida, where he cultivated a love of music during his adolescence – both by extensive cataloging and playing an array of brass instruments. His love turned into a passion for all arts, eventually deciding to pursue dance composition as a career. He is a graduate of Northwestern State University, where he trained in styles ranging from ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, tap, and earned certifications in Pilates and Bartenieff fundamentals. Joshua has worked on shows such as West Side Story, Once on this Island, Hairspray, Sweeney Todd, Avenue Q, Rent, and Oklahoma! as an ensemble member, featured dancer, makeup artist, house manager, and choreographer. Joshua’s professional credits include the Walt Disney World Cast, Unto these Hills in Cherokee NC, and now Open Dance Project, where he is excited to serve as an apprentice for the 2016-17 season.
Born and raised in Houston, Elizabeth “Nalley” Grossberg grew up dancing with the Houston Ballet Academy. After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder, with her BFA in Dance, she spent one more year in Boulder obtaining her Pilates Teaching Certification with The Pilates Center of Boulder. Ready for some craziness, she moved to Manhattan and spent two action packed years performing, training, and teaching throughout the city. Portland Oregon was the next stop. While in Portland, Elizabeth taught Pilates, obtained her Master’s Certification from The Pilates Center of Boulder, and performed with Tere Mathern Dance, Oslund+Co/Dance, and tEEth. Elizabeth married the love of her life, Aaron, in 2008. They have two precious children, Arlo and Evie, who keep them awake and entertained. Elizabeth is so excited to be back in her home town dancing with Open Dance Project.
Tehillah Hartmann is a native from Chicago, IL where her love for dance first integrated with her passion to see people healed and whole from the inside out. She explored these themes while obtaining her BFA from the University of Michigan, and upon graduating received the Albert A. Stanley Medal for outstanding achievement. During her time at Michigan, Tehillah produced and choreographed three evening length shows involving video, music and costume collaborators, as well as co-founded the student organization Performance Ark which seeks to facilitate collaboration between student artists to engender community thought and discussion. After graduation Tehillah continued to investigate the relationship between her faith and her artistry in Redding, California at Bethel Church’s School of Supernatural Ministry for nine months. Fueled by this season of creative soaking, Tehillah moved to Houston with her husband and joined the Ad Deum Dance Company for their 2014-2015 season. She is thrilled to be working with Open Dance Project in its premiere season and supporting Annie in her creative and entrepreneurial ventures.
Taylor McAnulty *Apprentice* is a choreographer/performer/teacher in her hometown of Houston, TX. She has performed five seasons with Psophonia Dance Company under the direction of Sophia Torres, along with performing in many festivals across Texas including “Brazos Contemporary Dance Festival” and “254 Dance Festival”. In 2014 she was a featured soloist in the original score of Robert Paterson “The Book of Goddesses”.
Alisa Mittin is originally from Buffalo, NY and an alum of the California Institute of the Arts. She has had the opportunity and pleasure to work with in depth with Atlanta artists Blake Beckham and Gregory Catellier over the past 4 years before moving to Houston. Alisa was a Dance Source Houston Artist in Residence and a 2015 recipient of the Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant. Her choreographic work has been presented in Atlanta, Buffalo, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. In addition to dance, Alisa is a visual and multimedia artist, working collaboratively on a series of experiments.
Alonzo Lee Moore IV began his dance training in 2002 as a student in Loyola University’s Ballet Repertory Program under the direction of Gayle Parmelee and Laura Zambrano. Alonzo performed with Komenka Ethnic Dance and Music Ensemble from 2002-2006, touring Poland, Bulgaria, and France. Alonzo moved to Oregon in 2005 fine tuning his artistry. In 2007 he became a company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, serving as resident Actor/Choreographer for four seasons. In 2009 Alonzo performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Throne of Blood, directed by experimental theater master Ping Chong. Alonzo began work with Dancing People Company in 2007 as well, bringing modern dance to southern Oregon. Touring throughout the northwest Alonzo has joined DPC in residence at Crater Renaissance Academy (Eagle Point, OR), Pacific Northwest College (Portland, OR), and Saint Olaf College (Northfield, MN). Alonzo was also part of the teaching faculty at the 2012 Open Look International Contemporary Dance Festival Saint Petersburg, Russia where he performed works by Choreographer Robin Steihm. After 10 years of being away from home, Alonzo found his way back home to the Houston community. He has danced/dances with KoumanKele African Dance Ensemble, Houston Grand Opera, Karen Stokes Dance and Hope Stone Inc. Alonzo recently performed Jane Weiner’s “Called Back” at the 2016 Bates Dance Festival at Bates College in Lewiston Maine, a great honor. This is Alonzo’s first season with ODP, he looks forward to sharing the stage with some of Houston’s finest modern dancers weaving innovative dance experiences.
Stacy Skolnik was born in Houston, Texas; began dancing at three at Margo Marshall’s Ballet Studio in Houston. She continued on at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where she continued to focus on dance and their different styles. Recently, Stacy graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance in May of 2014. She has studied with Lyn Wiltshire, David Justin, Holly Williams, Grace Holmes, Tina Curran, Andrea Beckham and performed works by Yacov Sharir and Charles O. Anderson. She has also peformed works by Ohad Naharin, Robert Battle, Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch, and Andy Noble. Through out the summers, she has also studied at Point Park University’s intensive, Joffrey Contemporary/Jazz intensive in NYC, Joffrey Ballet Intensive in San Antonio, TX and the American Dance Festival. Most recently, I have been apart of Gaspard&Dancers in Durham, NC. We showcased a new work at Duke University, which led to being apart of the APAP conference held at the Lincoln Center. She is very thrilled to be working with Open Dance Project and what the future holds!
Joseph Stevens *Apprentice* was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, later relocating to San Antonio, Texas where he attended Tom Clark High School studying vocal performance as well as trained in dance for 4 years under Director Sarah Visel. He continued his studies at the University of North Texas earning a degree in the Bachelor of Arts in Dance, while also gaining knowledge from a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program. In doing so, he has studied under astounding professors such as Shelley Cushman, Claudia Howard Queen, Mary Lynn Babcock, Robin Lakes, Erin Boone, Sue Collins, Karen Maclntyre, Whitney Geldon, and Lily Sloan. Also, working with guest artists and instructors such as Libby Rhodes, Carl Flink (Black Label Movement), Contra- Tiempo Urban Latin Dance Theatre, Joshua L. Peugh, Alumni Jake Bone, and many others. Currently, he plans to continue his exploration of dance performance, choreography, and pedagogical practices as a dance apprentice in the Open Dance Project company under artistic director/founder Annie Arnoult in Houston, Texas.
Brittany Thetford Deveau is a founding dance and collaborator of NobleMotion Dance, where she has performed in over 20 original works. She has also performed for Recked productions, Rednerrus Feil, and independent artist Laura Harrell. Brit’s choreography has been presented by NobleMotion Dance’s Next Step Series producing emerging Houston Artists, Sam Houston State University, Dance Italia in Lucca, Italy, Lone Star College, San Jacinto College South and most recently Lamar University. Brit’s is currently an adjunct professor for Sam Houston State University and San Jacinto College South.
Juan Ventura *Apprentice* was born in Santa Ana, California and moved to Houston, Texas in 2004. He did not grow up in a home with artists, but became enthralled by music and movement. Prior to his introduction to dance, Juan began vocal and instrumental training in middle school and high school. This eventually led to him to begin his modern dance education at the age of 15 through color guard and then classical ballet at the Artisan School of Dance. Juan also continued on to study dance at the University of Houston. He has since performed with The Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps as a featured performer and a soloist as well as Cypress Independent Colorguard. With the excitement of a great season ahead of him, Juan is finishing up his senior year as a biology student at the University of Houston and hopes to continue dancing before enrolling into medical school in the future.