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3.23.24 Collective Thread Program

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Collective Thread provides a voice and a platform for artistic self-impression to those women identifying artists of underrepresented ethnic groups within the medium of dance. ***PLEASE NOTE: MADC uses the term “women” to encompass all those that self-identify as women including cisgender, transgender, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming. We honor and respect all identities.*** 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.

MADC’s Collective Thread Dance Festival is made possible in part with funding from the West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC) Community Benefits Grant; Lower Manhattan Cultural Center (LMCC) Creative Engagement Grant; Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ) Arts Engagement Grant; and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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Kinematic Indeterminacy

Choreographed by: Julia Ramirez in collaboration with dancers

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Performed by: Juliana Martino, Madison Meredith, Julia Ramirez, Molly Weidmaier, and Elena Yasin

Music by: Original Composition by Nathan Morla


Instagram: @juliagrace624


Julia Ramirez is an emerging artist based in Jersey.  Her work has been featured in the 2023 92 NY Future Dance Festival, International Washington Dance Festival, Kun-Yang Lin’s Performance Series, Koresh Artist Showcase, Uptown Rising Performance Series, and Rutgers University. 


She is currently a performing artist with Dance Visions NY and has upcoming performances at Westfest 2024, MODArts Dance Collective's Collective Thread Dance Festival, and Mignolo Arts Center. Throughout 2023, she completed a residency at Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, NY and graduated with her Master’s degree in Dance Education. She had the privilege of working for David Dorfman Dance as their Media and Artistic assistant from 20’-23’. 


She is currently a dance educator at Lehigh Valley Charter High School of the Arts, Washington Rock Dance, Mark Morris Dance Center, and Accent School of Dance.

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Speechless (excerpt)

Choreographed by: Janelle Gilchrist

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Performed by: Janelle Gilchrist & Spencer Keith

Music by: Après un rêve Song by Gabriel Fauré


Janelle Gilchrist, Founder and Artistic Director of Janelle Gilchrist Dance Troupe, received her early training in ballet, modern dance, and jazz at the Harriet Hoctor Ballet School, Boston Ballet School, José Mateo Ballet Theatre, Broadway Dance Project, Concord Academy, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. She earned a BFA in Dance Performance at the Hartt School (University of Hartford) and a Master of Arts in teaching from Mount Holyoke College. Gilchrist apprenticed with the Hartford Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, and was a company dancer with José Mateo Ballet Theatre and City Ballet Boston.  She performed in Anthony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker, where she debuted as the Sugar Plum Fairy. In addition to her performance career, Gilchrist served as the principal and lead teacher at José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s Dorchester School. She also taught ballet in several local programs, including Tony Williams’ Dance Center, Step By Step, and Boston University’s Reach Program.  Currently, Gilchrist is a full-time dance instructor at The Burke High School with the Boston Public Schools and is an assistant professor of Dance at Boston Conservatory.  


Janelle Gilchrist Dance Troupe’s mission is to provide performance opportunities for professional dancers in the greater Boston community and beyond.  The ensemble performs Gilchrist's choreography which consists of strong ballet technique, fused with modern and jazz.  Gilchrist incorporates various themes throughout her work including the African American experience, multicultural collaborations, popular culture, and abstract concepts.

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"Khel" (Hindi for "play")

Choreographed by: Smt. Maheshwari Nagarajan

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Collaborators: Smt. Maheshwari Nagarajan and Smt. Vanitha Jayan (gurus based in India)

Performed by: Sloka Iyengar

Music by: Behag thillana/ Sri. Jayan Nair 


Instagram: @bnatyam_on_the_brain

Facebook: Sloka Iyengar

LinkedIn: Sloka Iyengar


Sloka Iyengar PhD is a neuroscientist and practitioner of Bharatanatyam, passionate about relieving suffering through the sciences and the arts. Her dance practice manifests in three main ways: 1. Continuing to learn Bharatanatyam, music, and Sanskrit from her gurus; 2. Creating works that articulate the convergence between the sciences and the arts; and 3. Creating the foundation to use Bharatanatyam for creative aging. You can find more about her at

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Light INspiration

Choreographed by: Audrey Hubbard Madison

Pronouns: she/her/hers

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

Music by: Light In by Anna Kova; and Thinking 'Bout Tomorrow by Incognito


Instagram: @mojazzdance

Facebook: MoJazz Dance


Costumes- Beverly Moore, Michele Ashley, Audrey Madison


Founder/ artistic director of MoJazz Dance, Audrey Hubbard Madison was born, raised, and established in Brooklyn, NY. As an original member of the Charles Moore Dance Theater performance highlights include Dance Africa, Dance Black America, Jacob’s Pillow, Symphony Space, and Theater of Riverside Church. She retired from New York City Department of Education after thirty-six years of service in both academic teaching and supervisory capacities. Audrey teaches modern jazz dance classes for adults who “used to dance and those who always wanted to learn,” at Dancewave, and works with older adults as a choreographer for Dances for a Variable Population.

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Woman On The Verge Of Her Man's Breakdown

Choreographed & Performed by: Shani Arazy

Pronouns: she, her, hers

Collaborator: Michael Edwards

Music: No Scrubs cover, performed live by Shani Arazy and Michael Edwards


Instagram: @shaniarazy


The work premiered in Diver Festival 2023, Suzanne Dellal Tel Aviv. Residency by Tights Dance And Thought Tel Aviv.


Shani Arazy (Cohen), b. 1998, graduated The School Of Visual Theatre (2022).

Studied fine arts in Oranim Academic College (2016-2017). 

Multidisciplinary artist, working mainly in the fields of choreography, painting and writing. 

In her works Shani researches the body in its wider perception both physically and spiritually, and forms her research into real life cases of documentary crimes and personal experiences. 

Member and co-founder of pangolin poetry group and magazine. 

Presented her works in Diver Festival Suzanne Dellal, Machol Shalem Dance House, Spectrum Festival, The Mill Theater, Hameretz 2, Nulubaz Gallery, Koresh 14 Gallery, AudioVisual Festival Hazimmer, Sheik Abreik Festival, and more.


To See the Light 

Choreographed by: Ashlyn Christina

Pronouns: she, her, hers

Performed by: Joseph Hodge Jr. , Deanna Foust, Destiny Delancey, & Raquelle KoonKoon

Music by: Universal Love by Ron Trent 


Instagram: @ppacsocial @iamashlynchristina

Ashlyn Christina hails from Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn, N. Y. She is a dancer, teaching artist, choreographer, filmmaker, and arts administrator who prides herself in excellence and consistency in all her business and creative endeavors. Ashlyn studied Ballet, Modern, Tap, African, and Jazz during primary and secondary school years. She chose to continue her pursuit as a professional dancer upon enrolling as a Dance Major at Hunter College. There, she studied Ballet, Horton, Graham, and Afro-Latin Jazz technique styles. She developed a passion for choreography and storytelling through dance during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  She wrote, choreographed, directed, and produced her first choreo-drama, When All Is Said and Done, in August 2021. In 2023, She presented an excerpt of her original work, A New Thing for the Estrogenius Festival in New York City. Ashlyn plans to pursue her Master’s in Fine Arts and Theology to explore the parallels between dance and the supernatural power of the Divine. She quotes most passionately. “ I hope that my art inspires others to feel, to speak, to believe, and to be. Authentically. To the best of their ability.”

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A matter of her

Choreographed & Performed by: Sivgin Dalkilic

Pronouns: she, her, hers

Music by: Nihan Devecioglu


Instagram: @sivgin_dalkilic


Special thanks to the Institute of Culture Barcelona (ICUB)


Sivgin Dalkilic is a performer and choreographer from Istanbul, currently  in Barcelona, moving to New York in January 2024. Her work explores the spectrum of human experience that stays out of the reach of words and can be felt only through artistic contemplation. Her pieces move between dance and image, using movement, space design and dramaturgy as a medium of expression. Her most recent achievements are winning the ICUB (Institute of Culture Barcelona) grant for choreographic research 2023 and the second prize Estruch Choreographic Contest with her piece (Un)certain Journey.

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Didn't I?

Choreographed by: Rachel Harris

Pronouns: she, her, hers

Performed by: Rachel Harris & Babou Sanneh

Music by: Silence = Death by Don Pullen


Instagram: @rachell.christie

Facebook: Rachel Harris


2023 Bessie Award Nominee for “Outstanding Performer,” Rachel Harris (Charlotte, NC) graduated from the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance where she performed the works of William Forsythe, Barak Marshall, Crystal Pite, and many others. Harris later joined Zeitgeist Dance Theatre and Parsons Dance, where she performed for three years. Rachel has directed and produced her own works and been named Howard University’s 2021 Emerging Choreographer to Watch, Gibney Dance Converge2Emerge 2021 Film Grant Recipient, and more. She is now performing at the Metropolitan Opera and continues to freelance in New York City and  Los Angeles.

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Choreographed & Performed by: Allyson Ross

Music by: Luminous, Rise, Love Is All I Know Medley by SAULT

Allyson Ross is an artist, educator and creative. She uses dance performance, choreography, film and writing to express her creative voice.  She has performed works by Angel Kaba, Bobby Morgan, Stacie Cannon, Tamika Daniels, Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Robert Garland, Francesca Harper, Linda Celeste Sims, General Mischief Dance Theater and the Leah Glenn Dance Theater. Allyson has also presented her own choreography and film through MODArts Dance Collective since 2017. She is a graduate of The College of William And Mary and Harvard University and is an educator in New York City.

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Nina Remixed, Section 3

Choreographed by: Leah Tubbs with collaboration from Belleza Mitchell, Sharon Moreno, Toni Owens, Jessica Park, Ianne Fields Stewart, & Yasmin Venable

Performed by: Belleza Mitchell, Sharon Moreno, Toni Owens, Jessica Park, Ianne Fields Stewart, & Yasmin Venable

Music by: Nina Simone


Instagram: @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 through its choreographic work, festivals, concerts, residencies, & workshops. MADC's mission is to utilize movement as the catalyst to increase IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, & access) as a form of resistance & liberation for Black & Brown people nationwide. 

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Introduction of CREATE | SHARE | INSPIRE Legacy Award Recipient: Dyane Harvey-Salaam

Dyane Harvey-Salaam is a founding member and assistant to director Abdel R. Salaam of Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company; a 44-year-old Harlem based company whose mission is the empowerment of our audiences through relevant works of art some of which respond to the call to preserve our planet. 

Harvey-Salaam, a 2019 BESSIE nominee for Best Revival of Eleo Pomare’s ‘HEX’, earned the 2017 BESSIE for Performance in Dance Africa’s/Abdel R. Salaam’s BESSIE Award Winning Outstanding Production of the Year, the Woman of Distinction Award (from the Harlem Arts Alliance and the Harlem Chamber of Commerce), the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes Award (from the Hempstead African-American Museum), the Dance for Life Award (from Better Family Life, a cultural, educational, financial empowerment organization based in St. Louis, Missouri), three AUDELCO Awards, the Miami Dade Community College Artistry-in-Motion Dance Living Legacy Award, Monarch Merit Award, the Black Theatre Award, and the Goddesses and Gurus Award. 

Concert dance experiences include Joan Miller’s Dance Players, the Eleo Pomare Dance Company, George Faison’s Universal Dance Experience, Otis Sallid’s New Art Ensemble, Jelon Vieira’s Dance Brazil and the Trinidad Repertory Dance Theatre. Founder of Ma’at Pilates, she is also a dance educator at Princeton and Hofstra Universities introducing courses that inspire and challenge students. The Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the Lincoln Center Library has chronicled her life path through interview recordings in the Oral History project and presented video excerpts of her career path in “The Dance Historian Is In”. 

She is a published writer, having chronicled her collaborations with Ntozake Shange for the College Language Association Journal, Shange Special Issue, “Making Movement As An Act of Listening, Riding With The Muse” and recently in an entry sharing experiences with Sweet Honey In the Rock in the book Good Is Powerful edited by Reverend Melony McGant.

Commercial credits include: “Free to Dance” (PBS Special), “The Wiz” (Broadway/film), and “Timbuktu!” (Broadway), “Spell #7”, “Ailey Celebrates Ellington” (CBS Special), and internationally in the Paris Company of “Your Arms Too Short To Box With God 

Ase to All who have come before.

Gratitude and Thanks

MADC would like to thank its 2023/24 donors: Charlotte Abbott, Dr. & Mrs. Amamoo, Sharon Banks, William-Michael Cooper, Sherema Fleming, Malaika Holder, Rev. & Mrs. Lee, Karen & Brian Lowy, Tanya Patton, Adriana Ray, Nathaniel Rutledge, Harriette Smiley, Cheryl Thomas, & Brittany Wilson. We are grateful to have received funding this season from IABD COHI | MOVE Collective Cohort (2021-24), 2023 West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC), 2023 & 2024 Lower Manhattan Cultural Center (LMCC) Creative Engagement Grant, 2024 Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ) Arts Engagement, 2022/23 The Performance Project @ University Settlement Artist-in-Residence, & the Cultural Development Fund Award from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. We are thankful to be receiving subsidized studio rates as a company-in-residence at Hi-ARTS. Thank you to our cultural partner, Go Hard Dance Studio, for sharing their space and for being an agent of change in Harlem through providing accessible dance training to budding artists ages 3 to adults.


MODArts Dance Collective, Inc. (MADC) is always grateful to receive contributions to continue to expand and amplify the reach of holding space for BIPOC artists & communities through its choreographic work, festivals, concerts, residencies, & workshops. MADC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible; EIN: 87-2210130. Please consider contributing to MADC here.

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