Choreographer: Johanna Kirk is an Idaho native. She danced with Balance Dance Company for eight years before attending Columbia University, from which she graduated Summa Cum Laude.
After college, she lived and worked in New York City as a free-lance dancer, journalist, and choreographer. Research for her art and writing took her deep into the NYC professional ballet community, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Centre National de la Danse outside of Paris, and to Guinea, Africa.
“of air and amnion” constitutes her Master’s thesis for her gradate degree in Choreography from the University of Iowa. At the University, she teaches Yoga, Modern Dance, and Experiential Anatomy.
Composer: Jason Gregory is in his last semester in the Master’s program in music composition at The University of Iowa. Currently studying with David Gompper, his studies with composers include Lawrence Fritts, David Maki, Robert Fleischer and Ted Hatmaker. On the violin, Jason worked under Matthias Tacke at the University of Northern Illinois, and in his hometown of Virginia Beach with Dora Mullins.
At Iowa, Jason has taught undergraduate musicianship under Dr. Matthew Arndt and Dr. Jennifer Iverson for two semesters. For the last two years, Jason has composed and mixed music for graduate and faculty performances. In addition to collaberation with choreographers with fixed media, Jason also participates in improvisation with dancers on the violin.
Dancer: Hannah Anderson is a junior at the University of Iowa, pursuing degrees in Dance and English. Hannah began her dance training in Marshfield, WI at the age of three with Main Street Conservatory of Dance where she studied ballet, jazz, and modern, with further dance training from summer intensives with Kansas City Ballet, The Kirov Academy, River North Dance Chicago, Paul Taylor, and the Bates Dance Festival. At University of Iowa Hannah has continued to perform in undergraduate, graduate, and faculty works.
Hannah is incredibly grateful to be a part of “of air and amnion” and feels blessed to work with such talented artists.
Dancer: Sarah Finley is from Delavan, WI and began dancing at Dance Factory at the age of two where her training was heavily influenced in the Cechetti method. Throughout highschool Sarah also enjoyed performing in musical theater.
She is currently a sophomore at the University of Iowa where she is pursuing degrees in Dance and Physical Therapy. While at Iowa, Sarah has enjoyed various performing opportunities such as the Collaborative Performance and the Grad/Undergrad Concert this past fall.
Sarah would like to thank Joh for this inspiring opportunity.
Dancer: Melissa Carroll was born and raised in a Chicago Northwest suburb, Mount Prospect. Her dance training started at the age of 8 and has continued on at The University of Iowa Department of Dance. In her college career, she has performed in Ana Cortez’s Master’s thesis piece in 2009. She has also previously performed in the Department of Dance’s annual Graduate & Undergraduate Performance.
Melissa is currently in pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance and Marketing at The University of Iowa. Her ultimate career goal is to work as a Marketing Director for a professional performing arts organization.
Melissa is grateful for the opportunity to work with such incredible artists in “of air and amnion.”
Dancer: Gisela Baldwin, a Wisconsin native, is currently a senior at the University of Iowa pursuing her degree in dance as well as a Certificate in Performing Arts Business Entrepreneurship. Over the past few years, she has performed in several pieces choreographed by UI faculty and graduate students. In addition, she has spent time volunteering with elementary-aged students in both Iowa and Wisconsin. Upon graduation, Gisela hopes to combine her passion for helping children with her passion for dance. Her goal is to open her own dance studio in which she can continue to share her knowledge and love of dance with others. Gisela has enjoyed experiencing “of air and amnion” with the rest of the cast and it is the second time she has worked with Johanna.
Dancer: Bianca Medina began her dance training at Legere Dance Centre in River Forest, Illinois. For 9 years, she performed in various lead and core roles in Ballet Legere’s annual production of The Nutcracker Ballet. Other training includes Interlochen Center for Performing Arts Camp, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, and Lou Conte Dance Studio. She has also enjoyed choreographing and performing for her high school musical theatre productions.
Bianca is currently a sophomore at the University of Iowa pursuing a major in Dance with a minor in Health Promotions. She has performed in 6 works so far and is beyond excited for what else is in store for her in the upcoming 2 years. She’d like to give a shout out to Joh and the cast for being so inspiring and supportive during this “developmental series.”
Dancer: Erica Bohac is a senior at the University of Iowa pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Dance, the certificate for Performing Arts Entrepreneurship, and a minor in history. She is originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, where she trained since the age of 11 in dance at the Anderson-Hoxie Dance Project. Throughout college, she has performed in several concerts, including Dance Gala 2010 and 2011. She is currently an instructor at Debut Dance in North Liberty, Iowa teaching Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary and choreographing for the studio’s performance company and competition ensemble.
Dancer: Lizzy Mello is a sophomore at the University of Iowa double majoring in Dance and International Studies with an emphasis area in Global Health. Prior to coming to Iowa, Lizzy, a Massachusetts native, attended the School of the New Bedford Ballet for fourteen years. While attending UI she has performed with the Department of Dance, studied dance abroad in India, and participated in organizations such as the Undergraduate Dance Organization, the UI Honors Program, and the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee. This is Lizzy’s second time working with Johanna and is thrilled to be part of the cast of “of air and amnion.”
Dancer: Ann Duffy is a senior at the University of Iowa double majoring in Dance and Health and Human Physiology. Growing up in Orland Park, Illinois she began dancing at the age of three and received training from Elite Dance Academy as well at intensives with Joel Hall, the Joffrey Ballet school in New York, Lar Lubvoitch Dance Company, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Inaside Dance Chicago, and the American Dance Festival. At the University of Iowa Ann has had the opportunity to pursue her love of performing through being a member of the department’s repertory company, “Dancer’s In Company” as well as performing in 21+ works for faculty, guest artists, grad, and undergrad students; her most memorable experience being apart of the re-creation and premier of Trisha Brown’s “ Set and Reset- Reset” directed by Melinda Myers in this year’s fall Gala. Ann is grateful to be apart of “Of Air and Amnion” with such a wonderful cast, and wants to thank Joh, friends, family, and professors who have supported her in this dance journey thus far.