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MADC presents Collective Thread

MODArts Dance Collective (MADC) presents Collective Thread provides a voice and a platform for artistic self-impression to those women/womxn identifying choreographers of underrepresented ethnic groups within the medium of dance (African, Latina/o/x, Asian, Arab, Native American [ALAANA], MENA, & SWANA). The goal of Collective Thread is to instill artists with the necessary tools to take on leadership roles in an effort to increase diversity, inclusion, and gender equality in the dance field. 

Jenny Oliver_Modern Connections Collective

Courageously Present

Choreographed by: Jenny Oliver

Pronouns: She/Her

Performed by: Erin Chiesa, Imani Deal, Vivien Fergusson, Patricka James, Amisi Nazaire-Hicks, & Rachael Thomas

Music: Round Midnight + In Spite of Everything by Henrik Schwarz & Bugge Wesseltoft


Instagram Handle: @Modern_Connections 


A Boston-based trauma informed, culturally responsive, kinetic storyteller, Jenny Oliver is inspired by the transformative power of movement to educate, heal, and connect. An enrolled member of the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag, her experiences as an African American person of Cape Verdean/Native American heritage inform her creative process. Since 2019 her choreographic works have been presented at the Boston Center for the Arts, the MFA Boston, Mark Morris Dance Center, Tufts Arts Galleries and Salem State University. In 2020, utilizing a holistic approach, she developed a civic engagement residency with the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics/Office of Budget Management.


What words do you embody as a person?

Authentic, Compassionate, Creative, & Intuitive


What or who sparks joy to/for you?

Sunshine, Ocean, Family, & Embodied Practices


Piece Description:

Throughout the quarantine period of 2020 I, like many, faced a variety of challenges including numerous deaths of loved ones. Among them were almost an entire generation of my elders. This experience made me take a long, hard look at life. I observed myself being ushered into a place closer to eldership than I felt prepared for and in my pause, I kept coming back to the questions: What does it mean to belong to a person, to a place, to yourself? This piece is a reflection of those questions and a processing of life and death as seeds and soil.

Megan Curet_Curet Performance Project


Repeat Part 2 

Choreographed & Performed by: Megan Curet

Pronouns: She/Her

Music: Grupo Afro Boricua/Los Pleneros de la Cresta/Lunar Plane


Instagram Handle: @megancuret 

Facebook: Curet Performance Project 

Megan Curet is a Bronx native dance educator, choreographer, and performer. Her work has been toured, taught and performed throughout Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.  Former founder of TiLLT Dance Magazine and Curet Performance Project contemporary dance company. Curet holds a BA in Dance and Theater Performance alongside an MA in Dance Studies, and is currently a PhD candidate at The University of Plymouth in the UK. Through decolonial dance practice Curet's practice-based research seeks to create a new approach to dance training through the cultural syncretism of bomba from Puerto Rico (her familial homeland) and North American contemporary dance.


What words do you embody as a person?

Resilience, Ancestry, & Strength


What or who sparks joy to/for you?



Piece Description:

This work examines the amends we have been CONDITIONED to receive while creating space to shift the perspective unto those amends we DESERVE to receive. How does our tender nature make that possible? Repetition as a spiritual trigger must then trigger us to connect to what already exists within ourselves. Percussion, pulsations and rhythmic patterns...the original language we speak. REPARATIONSinTENDER|Repeat Part 2  deepens this examination through the use of text, audio, materials and mixed media. What are materials of memory? How are these memories passed on? Without these memories, how may we truly receive our reparations? 

Monica Shah

In the Strength of Stillness

Choreographed & Performed by: Monica Shah

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Music: N/A


Instagram Handle: @monshahdance 

Facebook: Monica Shah

Twitter Handle: @monshah


Monica Shah is an independent dance artist who performs in both classical and contemporary Indian dance styles. She has trained in Bharatanatyam for over 30 years, with complimentary work in diverse movement forms, and toured North America as a senior member of the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company for a decade.  Since then, she has performed as a soloist and guest artist in dance productions and festivals across Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and New York. Monica is also a licensed psychologist, providing therapeutic services across the age range and helping people build the lives that they want to lead.


What words do you embody as a person?

Curiosity, Compassion, & Commitment


What or who sparks joy to/for you?

These days, it’s the small things – a friendly exchange with a stranger, the way the light hits the trees, a song that makes me want to move – and savoring those experiences and that spark of joy.


Piece Description:

This piece examines the strength that lies in stillness. We live in a world that is constantly moving, and yet, in those moments of quiet is where we connect with our power. Through surrendering to stillness, we find a force within us that cannot be shaken.

Melissa Garcia Velez & Sebastian Angel_Meldanzando & Dancers

Resiste, Resistencia

Piece Collaborators: Melissa Garcia Velez, Lua Arroyo Villareal,  Luisa Fernanda Alarcon Criales, Sebastian Angel, Li Sierra and Yessica Martinez

Performed by (with pronouns): Dancers - Luisa Fernanda Alarcon Criales (she/ella), Lua Arroyo Villareal (she/Ella), & Melissa Garcia Velez (she/Ella) / Musicians - Li Sierra (they/elli) & Sebastian Angel (he/him)

All music performed live by: Li Sierra and Sebastian Angel;  Songs: No Azara (La Muchacha) / Desolvido (Adriana Lizcano and Edson Velandia) / La Mala Rabia (La Muchacha)

Vocals: Manifestaciones by Yessica Martinez

Instagram Handles: @mel_danzando / @manifiesto_music / @lua.arroyov / @lolafer402 / @lanabaja


Melissa, a Colombian immigrant, minored in Dance at Lehman College, studying with Anabella Lenzu, Amy Larimer and Michael Manswell. A Full-time Social Worker and Dancer, Melissa trained at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. Her Colombian roots, migration story, and being a survivor of sexual violence, inspires Melissa’s work. Melissa has performed with Anabella Lenzu Dance/Drama and REDi Dance Company of Bevely Lopez. She is currently dancing with Bombazo Dance Company of Milteri Tucker, with whom she has performed at Lincoln Center, NY Botanical Garden,  Santiago de Cuba, New Orleans Congo Festival. Melissa also dances with Movement of the People Dance Company of Joya Powell, and has performed at INSITU site-specific Dance Festival and others. Melissa's work has been shown at the United Nations, New York University, Lehman College, Terraza 7, Dixon Place (as part of ModArts CollectiveThread Dance Festival). For Melissa dance and/with community are essential channels of organizing, connecting, and working towards moments of healing and being.


What words do you embody as a person?

Community, responsibility, herstory, migrant, woman, survivor, hurt, joyful, & trying


What or who sparks joy to/for you?

My mom's sancocho and her very-cheese Sunday arepas, with hot Colombian chocolate, birds humming, my niece's laughter, hugs from my friends and family, improvising with other movers, Salsa, Merengue and Bullerengue, my community, learning, and starting this piece with Sebas, Lola, Lua, Yessi and Li <3


Piece Description:

Resiste, Resistencia is a moment of an on-going process/reflection of pain, rage, sadness, hopefulness, power and the in-betweens of what the 2021 Colombian National Strike (Paro Nacional) did for/to ourselves, our families,  friends, and the people who led/are leading this movement. How the resistance of countless Colombian communities brought us together. How do we practice care for resistance, in our bodies, for each other, what keeps the resistance going? An individual and collective meditation of the impacts of the strike that searches for moments of healing and care while keeping in our minds, hearts and bodies the organizers, protesters, cooks, artists, everyday communities, leaders,  and all who took the streets and the many who were taken by the Colombian state.  A year later we are still in our own and collective mournings, and through this piece we bring dance, poetry, music; to question, hold on, process, release and continue the resistance.

Audrey Madison_MoJazz Dance

Inspiration Rising

Choreographed by: Audrey Hubbard Madison

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Performed by: Michele Ashley; Angela Eargle-Bell; Sheila Kennedy; Bernadette Lewis; Rita Littrean; Angela Lomax; Jackie Davis-Manigaulte; Karen McClain Marvin; Beverly Moore; Marie Rosenberg; Terry Walden; & Audrey Hubbard Madison 

Music: Golden Days by Kem & Jill Scott

Film Editor: Alejandro Rosario

Instagram Handle: @mojazzdance

Facebook: MoJazz Dance


MoJazz Dance is a Brooklyn, NY based company, comprised of women of a certain age, currently 50- 75 years young. The Ladies of this ensemble are fabulous, dynamic, comrades who inspire and uplift audiences, as they celebrate the joy of dance with heart and spirituality. MoJazz Dance presents choreographed works which reflect themes that are relevant to our experiences as women of color and we perform for the empowerment of all. Founder/ artistic director Audrey Hubbard Madison was an original member of the Charles Moore Dance Theater. Performance highlights include Dance Africa, Dance Black America, Symphony Space, Lincoln Center Outdoors and Theater of Riverside Church. 


What words do you embody as a person?

Joyful, Inspirational, & Nurturer


What or who sparks joy to/for you?

Family, Friends, & Dance in all forms 


Piece Description:

Through each phase of life, we aspire to become our best selves. We dream big dreams, set high goals. But then there are the obstacles, that impede our path, block our way. Inspiration bubbles up inside of each of us, calling us to action. Inspiration Rises, so we can soar.

Leah Tubbs_MODArts Dance Collective (MADC)

143 (excerpt)

Choreographed by: Leah Tubbs

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Performed by: Veronica Cheeseboro, Shoshana Mozlin, Sharayah Spruill, Courtney Stewart, Leah Tubbs, & Imani Vieira

Music: H.E.R. & Teyana Taylor, Iman


Instagram & Twitter Handle: @modarts_dance 

Facebook: MODArts Dance Collective 


Leah Tubbs, a Birmingham, Alabama native & Harlem resident, studied dance at Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) and the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. She has performed with various dance companies in Alabama, Ohio, California, Texas, and New York. MODArts Dance Collective (MADC), established in 2011 by Leah and Shaun Tubbs, holds space for BIPOC artists & communities through its choreographic work, festivals, concerts, residencies, & workshops.The mission of MADC is to to utilize movement as the catalyst to increase IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, & access) as a form of resistance & liberation for Black & Brown people nationwide. 


What words do you embody as a person?

I lean into calm, clear, and groundedness.


What or who sparks joy to/for you?

My husband, connecting with sister friends, celebrating my ancestors and elders by honoring everything they did to be where I am in the current moment, being in fellowship with community, and given the opportunity to move every day I am gifted just to name a few.


Piece Description:

143 (excerpts) celebrates BIPOC love as a form of resistance while engulfing radical joy to uplift and inspire the communities that MADC serves. 143 utilizes dance as a form of healing and reflects positive images of love in the BIPOC community. MADC’s overall goal for 143 is to provide an inclusive and accessible space for BIPOC communities and artists to feel seen and heard in a positive, uplifting manner while connecting to a broader audience.

Gratitude & Support​

MADC would like to thank our donors & Patreon supporters: Anonymous (3), Sharon Banks, Paul Brill, William-Michael Cooper, Zoe Correa, Mallory Creveling, Megan Curet, Lindi Duesenberg, Sherema Fleming, Joy Hanks, Sarah Horne, Bri Jenkins, Rachel Kuczynski, Karen & Brian Lowy, Jeffery Martin, Susan Mende, Leila Mire, Jessica Mosher, Sophie Parens, Tanya Patton, Joya Powell, Chatiera Ray, Tammeca Rochester, Nathaniel Rutledge, Harriette Smiley, Laronica Southerland, Charis Travlos, Laura Tubbs, & Monse Valdez.

MODArts Dance Collective is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible; EIN: 87-2210130. Please consider assisting us in continuing to be an agent of social change and amplifying BIPOC womxn voices through movement. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation, become a Patreon patron, purchase an item from MADC's Etsy shop, or discover other ways to support the company.

MADC’s Collective Thread Dance Festival is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, a regrant program supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by LMCC.

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