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The Cambrians


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The Cambrians


The Cambrians

The Cambrians [KAYM-bree-uns] is a global dance production network, based out of Chicago, that treats our dance performers as the primary drivers of choreographic quality and innovation. As a network, we grow by building relationships between our dancers. At any given time, The Cambrians has a project running centered on two or three performers, usually living in different cities. In these projects, the dancers travel to several cities to make duets or trios with a dozen or more choreographers, chosen by the performers. The performers then take all the duets that have been made on them and remix them to create evening-length shows. These projects act as relationship building gauntlets, through which the performers grow uniquely adept at dancing together by seeing each other in numerous situations and through a wide array of dance forms. They learn together, teach other, sometimes get impatient with each other, and ultimately grow together into artistic friendships that we then present to our audiences to get to know. Our network is young but growing quickly.

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Ariel


Ariel


Ariel Freedman

Ariel Freedman earned her BFA at The Juilliard School, where she was a recipient of the Martha Hill Prize. After graduating, she performed with Aszure Barton’s AszURe & Artists, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen Dance, and David Parker and the The Bang Group. She danced with the Batsheva Ensemble for two seasons and with the Batsheva Dance Company for three. She began teaching Gaga, the movement language of Ohad Naharin, and Naharin’s repertory in 2007, and has performed with Crystal Pite’s Kidd Pivot, Motley Dance, Keigwin + Company, Zack Winokur and Michelle Mola/ The Troupe in collaboration with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Liz Magic Laser, Noa Zuk, Idan Sharabi and Dancers, Talia Beck, Helen Simoneau Danse, zoe | juniper and Roy Assaf.

Ariel is paired with Meredith in Empress Archer, which will premiere in January 2017. 

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Autumn


Autumn


Autumn Eckman

Autumn Eckman (Atlanta, GA) received her classical training from the Houston Ballet Academy. As a member of the Cambrians, Autumn is a performer, choreographer and intensive instructor. Her performance career began with Giordano Dance Chicago before dancing with companies including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theatre, Lucky Plush Productions, Ron De Jesus Dance and the State Street Ballet in Santa Barbara, CA. With over 20 years of experience in diverse movement techniques and practices, she has formulated an integrated approach to her own ways of dance making, performance and teaching. From 2009-2014 she served as Assistant Artistic Director of Giordano Dance Chicago and Director of its second company, Giordano II. As Giordano’s Resident Choreographer, she created nine original works for the company including JOLT which was recognized by Dance Magazine as a top choreographic pick of 2012. Autumn has also served as Artist-In-Residence for State Street Ballet and choreographed for DanceWorks Chicago, Big Muddy Dance Co., Wylliams- Henry Dance Company, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point and the University of Missouri- Kansas City as an awarded of their 2013 Choreographic Fellowship. Her work has been presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Bates Dance Festival, Jazz Dance World Congress, Midwest RAD Festival, Florida Dance Festival and Kalamazoo Michigan’s Aesthetic Research and Education Program (KRESA). Her work has earned her recognition as a ‘Top Player in the Arts’ by Chicago’s NewCity Publication, a ‘Top 10 Choreographer’ in the Chicago Tribune and an awardee of ‘New Choreographic Voice for Dance Chicago. From 2009-2015, she was an Instructor of Dance at Northern Illinois University and has been a faculty member of Hubbard Street’s Lou Conte Dance Studio, Visceral Dance Center, State Street Ballet Summer Intensive, Florida Dance Festival, Summer Dance Lab (Walla Walla, WA) and the Bates Dance Festival’s Young Dancers and Professional Division. Autumn is an Iowa Arts Fellow at the University of Iowa’s MFA in Choreography Track program. Upon graduation in May of 2017, she looks forward to the next step in her career as a teacher and mentor to the next generation of dance artists.  

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Ben


The CV, resume, biography, photos and video of Benjamin Holliday Wardell

Ben


The CV, resume, biography, photos and video of Benjamin Holliday Wardell

Benjamin Holliday Wardell

Benjamin Holliday Wardell is the founder and Creative Director of The Cambrians. His dance training began in ballet and has since widened to encompass and ever broader range of techniques. In his fourteen years as a professional dancer, Ben has had the privilege to work with many of the world’s leading choreographers and movement researchers on innovative performance ventures. His career began with The Cincinnati Ballet, where he achieved the rank of soloist before moving to San Francisco to dance with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet. Working with LINES allowed Ben to expand further into his understanding of the human body and the many ways to create dance performance. Moving from San Francisco, he joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. After working with this company for over four years, Ben began to freelance. Based in Chicago, he has toured internationally with Aszure Barton and Artists, created work with Ron de Jesus Dance and has been an ensemble member of Lucky Plush Productions since late 2011. He has originated works with master choreographers and in so doing gained a breadth of knowledge and professional respect, which allow him to forge new paths in dance creation. His methods center on generating work through large-scale, complex collaborations in which members of numerous dance genres and communities contribute their knowledge, movement and creativity to the creation of singular performance processes.  The purpose of these collaborations is to create high-quality, experimental art that audiences of diverse backgrounds can identify with and enjoy.   

Ben is the recipient of a 2014 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award and one of four 2015 Lab Artist Awards from Chicago Dancemakers Forum

At 33, Ben's curiosity is inexorably drawn to the nature of performance, the phenomenon of dance and the capacity of art to thwart the walls that divide us.

Ben is paired with Michel in The Nexus Project and performs in Clover with Michel and Mindy.

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Christian


The CV, resume, biography, photos and video of Christian Denice

Christian


The CV, resume, biography, photos and video of Christian Denice

Christian Denice

Christian Denice began his professional dance career at Odyssey Dance Theater in Salt Lake City, Utah, and spent the next three years at River North Dance Chicago in Chicago, IL, under the direction of Frank Chaves. There, Mr. Denice worked with such choreographers as Robert Battle, Sidra Bell, Lauri Stallings, and Frank Chaves. He has guest performed with the Montgomery Ballet, Greensboro Ballet, and Company E. Recently, Christian lived in Montreal, Quebec where he danced for Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal and had the privilege of performing works by Andonis Foniadakis, Cayetano Soto, Wen Wei Wang, and Barak Marshall. In addition to dancing, Christian teaches and choreographs nationally and internationally. He has created works for Odyssey Dance Theatre, Odyssey II, Expansions Dance Company, River North Dance Chicago in collaboration with Frank Chaves, LEVELdance Chicago, DanceWorks Chicago, Interlochen Center for the Arts, METdance too, the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company, and Missouri Contemporary Ballet. Christian is the 2015-2016 winner of the University of South Florida's Echo Choreographic Competition, and had a two-week residency at the university where he restaged his 2011 work, " raum". He is also the 2016 winner of the Joffrey Academy's Winning Works Choreographic competition where he had the honor of creating a work on the trainee and studio company dancers. In April 2016, Christian directed and choreographed a short dance film entitled “the watchers” filmed by Salt Lake City based videographer Bryce Johnson. 

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Jamy


Jamy


Jamy Meek

Jamy Meek is a dancer and performer from Lubbock, Texas who has traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe. He has performed works by Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Nacho Duato, Margo Sappington, Danny Ezralow, Marguerite Donlon, William Forsythe and Twyla Tharp among countless others.

During his thirteen year career at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago – then his three year career at Nederlands Dans TheaterJamy has developed an understanding and gained experience in the different approaches to dancing works created by European and American master choreographers, as well as being able to enlighten audiences with a relaxed approach of humor and character work. He is also an experienced teacher and coach and has taught master classes in ballet and jazz throughout the United States.

With The Cambrians, Jamy was paired with Autumn as a performer in The Losers.

Currently, he is appearing in the ensemble of The Goodman Theatre Chicago’s production of Brigadoon. Jamy holds a BFA in dance performance from Oklahoma City University where he performed in various musicals including Oklahoma! (dream Curly), Guys and Dolls, and Anything Goes.

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Jonathan Alsberry


Jonathan Alsberry


Jonathan Alsberry

Jonathan Emanuell Alsberr is a dance educator, creator and coach focused on inspiring excellence and joy in the study of Ballet, Jazz, and Modern techniques with a constant dedication to the exploration of artistry and the creative process. Born in Normal, IL he began dancing with his mother Lyndetta and went on to graduate from The Chicago Academy for the Arts where he has since been guest faculty and created over a dozen dances for the school and company. In 2006 he received his Bachelors of Fine Arts from The Juilliard School where he met Aszure Barton. Jonathan a.k.a “Jojo” is now dancer, rehearsal director, and creative collaborator with Aszure Barton & Artists and has assisted Ms. Barton in over a dozen creations including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bayerische Staatsballett and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Jonathan has performed for Prince Edward III in Banff, Canada, and shared two tours with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen Dance as well as Evolution with Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo. Jonathan has performed as a principal dancer with The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Chicago Opera Theater. In 2007 Jonathan joined the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and is currently performer and rehearsal director with the company. Other credits include Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Nilas Martins Dance Company, and Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. He has worked independently with Randy Duncan, MTV. Since 2007 Jonathan has been teaching, coaching and creating work at various educational institutions including Harvard University, Lou Conte Dance Studio, The National Ballet School, and Ballet Hispanico.  

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Mindy


Mindy


Melinda Jean Myers

Melinda Jean Myers (Mindy) is a dance artist and choreographer currently working and residing in Chicago, Illinois. Along with teaching dance classes and performing with Lucky Plush Productions (Cinderbox 2.0 and The Queue), she creates interdisciplinary ensemble works and one woman cabarets. She received her MFA from University of Iowa (2012, choreography emphasis), and her BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (2005). She was honored to perform and teach internationally with the Trisha Brown Dance Company for four years (2006-2010) and currently re-stages their repertory and teaches master classes.

Since her move to Chicago in the fall of 2012, Mindy has presented her work at Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, D49 Festival, and shared an evening with The Nexus Project: Installment I at Hamlin Park Fieldhouse. She also produced her one woman cabaret, greatBIGworld, through High Concept Laboratories' Sponsored Artist program at Mana Contemporary. Her choreographic works have been presented in South Korea, Germany, New York City and throughout the Midwest.

With The Cambrians, Mindy is the principle choreographer of Clover, in which she also performs with Michel and Ben.

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Meredith


Meredith


Meredith Webster

Meredith Webster grew up in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, studying dance under Jean Wolfmeyer, and received further training at the Harid Conservatory and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She then worked with Sonia Dawkins and Donald Byrd in Seattle, and earned a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Washington before moving to San Francisco to work with Alonzo King LINES Ballet. In her nine seasons as a dancer with the company, Webster performed and originated many central roles, received a Princess Grace Award, and guested at gala events around the world. In August 2014, she moved into the role of Ballet Master. In 2015 she performed INCOGNITO, a duet with Ledoh/Salt Farm as part of the SF International Arts Festival at Fort Mason, and worked with Maureen Whiting Company on Burden of Joy.

Meredith has served as a faculty member for the LINES Ballet BFA, Training, and Summer Programs, and as a guest teacher at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, George Mason University, Cornish College of the Arts, Spectrum Dance Theater, and Dancers’ Workshop in Jackson, WY. She has contributed as writer to Dance Spirit and Conversations.

Meredith is currently working on Empress Archer with The Cambrians that will premiere in January 2017. 

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Michel


Michel


Michel Rodriguez Cintra

Michel [mee-CHEL] Rodriguez Cintra is a Cuban born dancer, teacher and choreographer. He graduated from Escuela Nacional de Arte (National School of Arts) in Havana, Cuba. Upon graduation he was chosen to join Danza Contemporanea de Cuba where he became Principal Dancer and toured internationally. He has premiered works by choreographers Jan Linkens, Cathy Marston, Rafael Bonachela, Luca Bruni and George Cespedes.

After moving to Chicago in 2008, Michel started dancing with Hedwig Dances, where he performed works by Susan Marshall and Andrea Miller in addition to choreographing his own works on the company. Recently, Michel became an ensemble member with Lucky Plush Productions and has been seen as a guest artist in numerous dance companies and projects in Chicago including Khecari and Chicago Moving Company. Michel serves as an adjunct faculty member at The Dance Center of Columbia College, teaching modern dance technique.

In 2010, Michel was a finalist of the A.W.A.R.D. Show Chicago with his work Moi Aussi and was named one of The Men of 2010 in dance by Timeout Chicago. In October 2013, he was the recipient of the prestigious 3Arts Award and was featured in Dance Magazine’s 25 to watch 2014.

Michel is paired with Ben in The Nexus Project and performs in Clover with Ben and Mindy.

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Ilya


Ilya


Ilya Vidrin

Ilya Vidrin graduated with honors from Northeastern University, earning a degree in Psychology and English Literature. During his undergraduate studies, he spent several years working in the Neurology Department at Harvard Medical School's teaching hospital, conducting research in neural plasticity and working with individuals suffering from neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. After graduating, Ilya focused his attention on alternative therapies for cognitive and behavioral disorders. Currently a graduate student at Harvard University, his focus is on improvisation and embodied cognition, particularly in the realm of education. 

As a dancer, Ilya has performed works by Aszure Barton, Dwight Rhoden, Jill Johnson, Sidra Bell, and Kyle Abraham, among others. He won the Open Latin category at the 2007 United States National Collegiate DanceSport Championships and has performed his own choreography in New York City, Boston, San Jose, and London. Utilizing his diverse backgrounds, Ilya has spent most of his time synthesizing his academic and artistic interests to investigate holistic organization of the mind and body.

Ilya is collaborating with The Cambrians to examine the nature of movement as it relates to embodied cognition, neural synchrony and agency via dynamic systems theory. This research is towards the end of developing the company's educational curricula for mind-body control, behavioral intervention and group intelligence.