About the Director

untitled-510-233Annie 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

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 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”.

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. Since returning, Seth has performed with Hope Stone Dance and METdance. Recently, he had the opportunity to perform with Dark Circles Contemporary Dance at Jacobs Pillow’s in Massachusetts. Currently, Seth teaches dance at Dance Du Couer in Sugarland, TX and Dance Expressions in Friendswood, TX. Professionally Seth is in his 8th Season with NobleMotion dance, and is so excited to be in his third season with Open Dance Project!


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 headshotAlonzo 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 1 8x10-1 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 headshotJoseph 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, 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.

Davis Stumberg graduated from the University of North Texas in 2014 with his Bachelor of Arts in dance.  After his graduation he moved to Houston to be near family, and pursue a career in dance. Since moving to Houston, he has been a guest artist for Noble Motion, and preformed in the Houston Grand Opera’s productions Rusalka and Faust. He is currently in his second season with Open Dance Project, as well as a dance fitness and aerial silk instructor at Hunter Dance Center.

Brittany Thetford Deveau is a working Dance Artist in the Houston area. She is entering her third season with Dance Theatre Company, Open Dance ProjectDeveau is also a founding dancer and collaborator of NobleMotion Dance, where she has performed in over 28 original works, currently in her 8th season with the company. She has also had the pleasure of working on independent projects with artists: Jennifer Mabus, Laura Harrell, Aimed Dance and Recked Productions. 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, Big Rig Dance Coop, to mention a few. Mrs. Deveau is currently on faculty at Hunter Dance Center where she teaches all level of Modern dance technique, and an adjunct professor for Sam Houston State University where she received her Masters of Fine Arts in 2013.

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. With a BFA in Dance and a Pilates Certification, Jaime wishes to become an active member of the dance community and to also help develop outreach programs that promote dance and other arts in lower-income neighborhoods.


6 thoughts on “Artists

  1. Annie, how impressed I am with your work. “in the Gloaming” was beautifully done. What fine, fine dancers you have assembled.

    1. Travis! What a gift it was to have you all in the audience! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Garreth and I meet tomorrow to begin work on our March collaboration! There’s not a moment to lose!

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