ARTISTS

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Photo by Lynn Lane

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. 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 was recently named one of the “25 to Watch 2018” by Dance Magazine, citing her “keen attention to detail” and was a 2017 recipient of Houston Arts Alliance Individual Artist Grant for the development of the critically acclaimed ‘Bout a Strangerdeemed one of the “most fully realized pieces to come out of Houston in decades,” by Nancy Wozny in Dance Magazine.

Arnoult is the director of Hunter Dance Center in the Heights and 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. 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 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.

In addition to performing in her own work, Arnoult is a member of Houston’s Transitory Sound and Movement Collective, under the direction of Lynn Lane, and 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

Photo by Lynn Lane

Joshua de Alba has been dancing and choreographing in Houston Texas for nearly 5 years. Originally a native of Central Florida, Joshua received his Bachelor of Science in Theatre from Northwestern State University in 2016. While his training focused largely on classical modern, ballet, and jazz. Joshua has also worked as a choreographer, actor, singer, musician, aerialist, stage combatant, and even as an event coordinator. Joshua’s choreography has received awards at the American Dance Festival, and has the distinct pleasure of teaching 8 different nationally competitive programs across the country. Recent professional credits include Houston Grand Opera, Cirque la Vie, The Theatre Under the Stars, Hope Stone Inc., and NobleMotion Dance. Joshua is thrilled to back for his third season with Open Dance Project!

Photo by Lynn Lane

Brittany Thetford Deveau, M.F.A is a Dance Artist/movement enthusiast in the Houston area. She is a founding dancer and collaborator of NobleMotion Dance, where she has performed in over 35 original works. She has also had the pleasure of working on independent choreographer’s projects with artists: Ido Tadmor, Jennifer Mabus, Laura Harrell, iMEE and Recked Productions. Brit’s choreography has been presented both internationally and nationally: NobleMotion Dance’s Next Step Series producing emerging Houston Artists, Sam Houston State University, Lamar University, San Jacinto College, Dance Italia in Lucca, Italy, Big Rig Dance Coop, Dallas,TX. Mrs. Deveau is on faculty at Hunter Dance Center where she teaches all levels of Modern dance technique, participates in community engagement projects and teaches pilates. Brit is a founding dance artist of Open Dance Project.

Photo by Lynn Lane

Taylor McAnulty is a choreographer/performer/teacher in her hometown of Houston, TX. Taylor has had the pleasure to perform with Open Dance Project, under the artistic direction of Annie Arnoult since 2014. Previously she performed 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”.

 

Photo by Lynn Lane

Seth McPhail was born in Hartford, Connecticut, but escaped to Houston at the age of 2. Seth grew up in Friendswood, TX where he graduated high school and began his dance training at San Jacinto College South at the age of 18. He went on to obtain a BFA in dance from Sam Houston State University where he studied under Jennifer Pontius, Andy Noble, Dionne Sparkman Noble, Erin Reck, and Jonathan Charles. After graduating, Seth spend two years dancing at sea with Royal Caribbean Productions where he performed the musical Hairspray. Seth has performed with Hope Stone Dance,  METdance, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance at Jacobs Pillow’s in Massachusetts, Transitory Sound and Movement Collective, and is a company member of NobleMotion Dance. Currently, Seth teaches at Dance Du Couer in Sugarland, TX, Dance Expressions in Friendswood, TX, and with Open Dance Project at Hunter Dance Center in the Heights. He is in his 4th season with Open Dance Project.

Photo by Lynn Lane

Alisa Mittin is a local movement artist and an alum of the California Institute of the Arts. She has had the unique privilege to be able to live and travel both nationally and internationally performing with visual, performance and installation artists including: Blake Beckham, Johnathan Fredrickson, Mira Kingsley, Catherine Turner, Frances Disley, Kate Gilmore and Heather Rowe and Julien Previeux. Since moving to Houston in 2013, Alisa has worked as a founding member of dance-theatre company Open Dance Project and in commitment to furthering her somatic practice and study, works as a movement educator and serves on faculty at Hunter Dance Center. In 2014 she was selected as a Dance Source Houston Artist in Residence and was a recipient of the Houston Arts Alliance 2014/2015 Individual Artist Grant.  Alisa’s choreographic work has been presented in Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco.

Photo by Lynn Lane

Yoshi Pineda is a driven performer and choreographer, as well as dance adjudicator at the international level. He has a strong passion for contemporary based movement and aerial acrobatics. He received his professional training at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia,PA, where he was a ballet major. As a professional, Yoshi is heavily involved in the commercial dance industry. His love for travel and culture led him to perform with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines vessels as a dance captain and aerial coordinator; he has also directed shows for the fleet. Yoshi toured internationally with aerial acrobatics company On the FLY as choreographer, dancer, and aerialist. With On the FLY, he has performed on season 9 of hit TV show Americas Got Talent and was runner-up on the second season of TruTV’s FakeOff.  Yoshi returned to his concert dance roots in 2018, when he performed one season with Amanda Selwyn Dance Theater in New York City. He would like to express his gratitude to the Houston dance community and ODP for opening the doors to this new family.

Photo by Lynn Lane

Cameo Reneé, born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, danced at studios around the Kansas City area, and solidified her training at DanceWorks Conservatory. From there pursued a BFA in Dance and Performance at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and graduated with an emphasis in modern dance. Studying under faculty such as DeeAnna Hiett, Mary Pat Henry, Gary Abbott, and Sabrina Madison-Cannon she was given the opportunity to work with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Störling Dance Theater, and many more guest artists. As well as teaching around the Houston area, Cameo is a company member with Urban Souls Dance Company, a Black Angel for Tobe Nwigwe, and now entering her 2nd season with Open Dance Project.

Photo by Lynn Lane

Stacy Skolnik was born in Houston, Texas, began dancing at three at Margo Marshall’s Ballet Studio in Houston, continued at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. 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 performed works by Ohad Naharin, Robert Battle, Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch, and Andy Noble and was a member of Gaspard&Dancers in Durham, NC. Stacy teaches Ballet, Barre, and Pilates at Hunter Dance Center and the Houstonian and has been a member of Open Dance Project since its inception in 2015. Stott Pilates certified since 2015.

Photo by Lynn Lane

Joseph Stevens 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 under professors Shelley Cushman, Claudia Howard Queen, Mary Lynn Babcock, Robin Lakes, ‬Erin Boone, Sue Collins, Karen Maclntyre, Whitney Geldon, and Lily ‬Sloan. He serves as a dance educator at Hunter Dance Center and Cypress Dance Project. He is currently in his 5th season with Open Dance Project and 3rd season with NobleMotion Dance.

Photo by Lynn Lane

Jaime Garcia Vergara is a 24-year-old dancer from Cali, Colombia. Jaime began his dance journey with a Colombian folkloric company in 2010 where he studied various dance styles such as Salsa, Paso Doble, and Rumba. From 2013-2015 Jaime became a member of FrenetiCore Dance Company where he began to receive his introduction to Ballet and Modern dance techniques. During this time Jaime was also able to work with many incredibly talented choreographers including Jane Weiner, Jennifer Salter, Rebecca French, Laura Harrell, Ashley Horn, and Annie Arnoult. While at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) Jaime had the opportunity to work with Erin Reck, Jennifer Mabus, Dionne Noble and Joshua Peugh amongst other great choreographers. Jaime has a BFA in Dance and a Pilates Certification, teaches Latin, Modern, and Aerial at Hunter Dance Center and is in his second season with Open Dance Project.

Photo by Lynn Lane

Jordan Willis, a native of Dallas Tx, Willis began her dance training at Dallas Black Dance Academy and later received additional training at Ozsoy’s School of Ballet. She continued her training attending Booker T. Washington HSPVA and upon concluding her senior year she was awarded the Merit Award from the National YoungArts Foundation. Post graduation, Jordan proceeded to attend Point Park University COPA under the direction of Garfield Lemonius. During her time  there, Jordan has performed works by choreographers such as Septime Webre, Kyle Abraham and Edwaard Liang, furthermore, she’s worked with Sidra Bell, Desmond Richardson, Jodie Gates and more. Jordan has trained at summer intensives like Dance Theatre of Harlem, BalletX, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. In summer 2020, she had the opportunity of performing with The Black Iris Project directed by Jeremy McQueen. Jordan is thrilled to be performing in her first season with Open Dance Project.