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In The Space Between

In The Space Between is an in-progress work via residency with The Theater Offensive. More on this show will be shared over 2024 and 2025.

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Dava Huesca, a graduate of SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance and an alum of Springboard Danse Montreal, she began her performance career as a member of VIM VIGOR Dance Theater Company. Her artistic journey includes works by esteemed artists such as: Yin Yue Dance Company, Johannes Weiland, Laja Martin, Rena Butler, Sidra Bell, and more. Beyond traditional stage settings, Dava's artistry transcends into impactful appearances at commercial ventures and festivals, including engagements at the McKittrick Hotel, Barclays Center’s Moonfest Festival for Karencici, and music artist Madisen Rose. She has been featured in campaigns for brands like Telfar, Parade, and Prom Girl, showcasing her versatility and depth as a performer. In 2020, she co-founded LLAB RATS, an interdisciplinary arts collective focusing on art as activism for the benefit of the Black community. Following the dissolution of LLAB RATS in 2022, Dava shifted her focus to pursue her career as a freelance choreographer. Dava’s compositions stem from a hyperrealist lens that grounds the viewers in a space that feels familiar, such as a train station, cave, living room, etc. before delving into an intricate exploration of time, space, and mood. Her compositions challenge conventional notions, weaving elements of realism with an underlying sense of instability to invite audiences to reconsider their perceptions. As a choreographer Dava she has received commissions from Whim W’Him Dance Company, Dance Lab New York, Yale University's Summer Drama Cabaret, Peridance Certificate Program Graduation Solo, and worked as an associate choreographer with Laja Martin for Gibney Pro. Dava was honored as the first Springboard Danse Montreal nominated recipient of Jonah Bokaer's Arts Foundation AIR Founder's Residency in 2021 and was among the first round of choreographic artists for Gallim's Moving Women residency in 2020. As an educator Dava offers a grounded contemporary floor work experience, emphasizing alignment, efficiency, and fluidity. Drawing inspiration from acrobatics, Graham technique, modern dance, and partnering, she prioritizes effective body alignment to ensure safety during high-risk movement. The The floor will become a friend and will aid the dancer in strength, stability, and agility. 

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Music Direcor | Desire Graham

Desiré Graham is a performer, director, dramaturg and arts administrator. She sings to connect to a past that is not just her’s, but a history of many. She writes to reconcile the shade and the sun. She collaborates, in a constant search for those who also feel the tug to be elsewhere. From 2019-2022, she was based in Tuscany, Italy as a company member at the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards. Currently based in the U.S., Graham commits to the cultivation of artistic spaces that foster transparency, active listening and anti-oppressive practices as a requirement. In alignment with these values, Desiré works with Double Edge Theatre and VLA Dance as a recurring artistic collaborator. Additionally, she curates a space for black queer performing artists to create inside of The Black Residency. Graham also hosts a workshop series entitled, Somewhere in Between, an invitation for BIPOC and ALAANA New Haven residents to discover the use of communal singing, give weight to their vibrational soul, activate, and call on others to join in. She is freely in-process, if you have any questions about what she’s done or where she’s been, please ask about it to be about it.

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Diovanna Obafunmilayo is an accomplished visual artist, choreographer/dancer, and poet, from Virginia Beach, VA with a BA in Dance Studies from Marymount Manhattan College. She has used the many hands of her artistic expression to direct award-winning short films, creative direct music videos, write songs with Grammy award-winning artists, dance and choreography in live and video performances, and become a successful working painter with work in private collections across the country. Her major debut as a performer came as the choreographer and dancer in Kehlani’s “Altar”. Her short film “When We Arrive As Flowers'' was screened at over 25 film festivals. She has also appeared in Tribeca film fest and spoken at an international panel on NYC Ballroom History. She is a priestess of the Afro-Cuban Lukumi religion and an avid spiritual advisor.

Dancer | Diovanna 

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Atlanta native Justin Daniels began his artistic journey at Tri-Cities High School's Visual & Performing Arts Program in East Point, GA. He holds a B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance Performance with a minor in Psychology from The Boston Conservatory and abroad at The Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. Now as an New York based dance artist, choreographer, and photographer represented by BLOC NY. Justin has worked with world Grammy award winning artist Jon Batiste and recently with global sensation Serpentwithfeet on  “Heart of Brick”, a groundbreaking production intertwining music, theater, and dance.  Justin has also been a collaborator  in choreographic incubators with Dance Lab New York and residences at Kampnagel Summer Festival, Kaatsban, and Turnpark Summer festival.  Featured in DanceItalia! (Spring,2021’) and VoyageATL(Spring, 22’) Magazine Justin is committed to exploring and expanding the collectiveness of concert, commercial, and digital dance spaces.

Dancer | Justin

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Maxi Hawkeye Canion (they/she), originally from El Paso, TX, is a versatile artist specializing in durational performance, movement, and improvisation. In their creative process, Maxi materializes sensory experiences, guiding viewers to the intersection where the hyper-surreal and ordinary harmoniously meet. Collaboration and community are integral to their work as they investigate the intricacies of identity, intimacy, and failure. Their focus is on intricate character design, developing personas that synthesize broader socio-political stances and incorporate maximalist references from subversive niche media. Recently, they held residencies at Leimay: CAVE, Art Omi, MOtiVE Brooklyn, Otion Front Studio, New Dance Alliance, Gibney, and the GALLIM Moving Artist Residency. During these residencies, they nurtured "willing to eat stars," a work in process that weaves a hyper-surrealist horror with the bleak and mundane. Along with this, they have performed their work at SFX Festival 2024, Performance Space x Spectrum, Momenta #002, FUERZAfest, Performance Mix Festival 37, JACK, BOFFO Performance Festival, Pageant, Triskelion Arts, Arts on Site, Judson Church, BAAD!, CPR, and Chelsea Factory. As a performer, Maxi has collaborated with notable artists such as Eve Tagny, Alexandra Waierstall, Ryan Ponder McNamara, Miles Greenberg, Sigrid Lauren, J. Bouey, slowdanger, Shikeith, Monica Mirabile, Richard Kennedy, Young Boy Dancing Group, and Sidra Bell, among others.
 

Dancer | Dava

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Sasha Peterson currently lives and grew up dancing in the Boston area. In 2016, she completed a dance major at Connecticut College, through which she had the privilege of learning from and performing works by renowned dance faculty and guest artists. Sasha has worked with Ali Kenner Brodsky & Co., Audrey Maclean, Betsy Miller Dance Projects, Boston Lyric Opera, Grant Jacoby & Dancers, Jessy Zizzo & Dancers, Laila Franklin, Lisa Race, Shura Baryshnikov, and apprenticed at David Dorfman Dance. She is a company member at Ruckus Dance and VLA DANCE, and is also in process with Continuum Dance Project. She currently teaches at Midday Movement Series and is also a licensed massage therapist.

Rehearsal Director + Dancer | Sasha

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Choreographer + Dancer | Victoria

Dancer | Maxi

Victoria Lynn Awkward is a multi-hyphenate creator, administrator, educator and the Director of VLA DANCE. Through her work she aims to inspire people to pause and reflect on their actions towards themselves, their community and their environment. She pursued her multiple interests at Goucher College and graduated with high honors in Dance, Visual Art and Secondary Education. Alongside directing VLA DANCE, Victoria is a freelance artist, who most recently choreographed for Huntington Theater, Company One Theatre, Boston Lyric Opera, and Commonwealth Shakespeare. Victoria is also an educator having worked at Salem State University, Brown University, West End House, Middlesex School, and Urbanity Dance. She continues to deepen her teaching practices as a mentee with Midday Movement Series. Victoria is currently a Brother Thomas Fellow, and recipient of the Next Steps for Boston Grant Dance Program as well as a recipient of the Queer (Re)public Theater Offensive Residency.

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