Learn about Director Victoria Lynn Awkward here.
Aliza Franz is a Boston-based dancer, collaborator, and arts manager. Aliza has had the pleasure of working with Lorraine Chapman the Company, Eliza Malecki Dance, Rachel Linsky, and Abilities Dance Boston. Aliza graduated from Skidmore College in 2020, where they earned a double major in Dance: Performance and Choreography and Psychology, with a minor in Gender Studies. Outside of dance, Aliza is the Creative Director of Zamana Art, a company that fosters interpersonal connection and team building through the lens of art and creativity. She is also the facilitator for Dunamis’ newest program Artists Anonymous, a bimonthly community space for Boston-based creatives. Aliza continues to explore their identity through movement and advocate for diversity in creative spaces. She is excited to be dancing with VLA DANCE for her second season!
Tabitha is an artist based in Boston. They started their journey at Dean College, and after completing two semesters they were ready to dance in projects included in the Boston Contemporary Arts Festival and understudied work by Sidra Bell, Yin Yue and Itzik Galili. Tabitha has been dancing with Victoria Awkward and VLA Dance since 2019. They performed at Fountain Street Art Gallery in Sand an Evening Length Installation in 2018 with VLA DANCE and have continued their movement research with the company in years thereafter. They also take on freelance and collaborative projects such as Black Love performed with Victoria Awkward, in collaboration with Castle of Our Skins as well as working with Melissa Shaak on her art installations and video projects. Tabitha works on projects and with people who continue to celebrate uniqueness and move freely and honestly through their passions.
Ori is an interdisciplinary artist and recent graduate from Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a BFA in Contemporary Theater. Growing up in Chicago, he found a love for performance and movement through gymnastics, working with his dad as a clown, taking circus classes and acting out scenes with his siblings. Before receiving formal training in dance, his movement style centered around acting techniques such as Grotowski and Anne Bogart's Viewpoints in addition to anything he could pick up from YouTube tutorials. In Ori's sophomore year of college he began a mentorship with Jun Kuribayashi and a year later joined HYBRIDMOTION. He has performed with the Ridiculous Project in Pandemic Plays as well as the Boston Pops Orchestra in Boston Pops in Love.
Olivia Moon is a Boston-based, multidisciplinary artist with specific passions in photography, film, and pole dance. Her work, in all mediums, is greatly centered around her self-identity. As a queer, female-identifying, Asian-American woman, Olivia uses her artistic platforms to highlight underrepresented voices. She currently teaches at Boston Pole Fitness, and dances with Kairos Dance Theater as well as several independent projects. Follow along on Instagram: @halfasianlens & @mooningeveryone.
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., Betsy Miller Dance Projects, Jessy Zizzo & Dancers, Lisa Race, Shura Baryshnikov, and apprenticed at David Dorfman Dance. She is a company member at Grant Jacoby & Dancers, Ruckus Dance, and VLA DANCE. She currently teaches at Midday Movement Series and is also a licensed massage therapist.
Theophile Victoria (Theo for short) is a performing artist born and raised in Brockton, MA. He studied at Salem State University and graduated with a BA in Dance with a theatre minor and Hip-Hop concentration. Theo is a company member in Kenzie Finn's Project31 and teaches dance at Center Stage Dance Academy. He curated a work in-progress showcase for performers at Canton Community Theater and loves participating in creating performances any way he can. In addition, Theo enjoys ensemble work like the recent production of American Idiot at The Company Theater which he performed in or Ragtime at SSU which he assisted in choreographing. Overall, Theophile Victoria's diverse skill set supports his artistic explorations and leads to provocative art.
Cassie Wang is a multidisciplinary artist exploring contemporary dance, design, technology, and everything in between. She calls Kansas City home and is currently based in Boston. Cassie graduated magna cum laude from Pomona College in 2021 with a B.A. in Computer Science and minors in Dance and Media Studies. There, she had the opportunity to originate works with choreographers such as Derion Loman, Becca Lemme, and Ronit Ziv and was the recipient of the DanceJerusalem Scholarship and the Virginia Princehouse Allen Dance Award. Cassie is thrilled to be with VLA DANCE for her second season, in addition to dancing with KAIROS and freelancing with local choreographers—most recently Jessi Stegall, Luminarium Dance, Dara Capley, and Chavi Bansal. Her choreographic works have been presented by the Solstice Dance Project, ACDA Baja, NACHMO Boston, Dunamis, and soon with Resilience Dance Company.
Hoang-Anh (Ashley) Eng
Hoang-Anh (Ashley) Eng started dancing at the age of 3 in Houston, Texas. She attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and was a company member of the Houston Repertory Dance Ensemble. She had the opportunity to train in a high focus curriculum that included techniques of ballet, modern, tap, improvisation, composition, musical theatre, jazz, and modern partnering. She continued her studies at Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance Performance, emphasis in composition, and minor in Creative Entrepreneurship. She has participated, choreographed, and collaborated in various projects and short films with local Boston artists, rising musicians for their music videos, and fellow Berklee and Conservatory students. She has choreographed and produced her own danceworks during and after her undergrad. Ashley is an administrative assistant for Midday Movement Series and VLA Dance, a Boston based non-profit dance organization, an instructor for Preschool Moves of the Arts, Junior Company Rehearsal Director for Jo-Me Dance, and a freelance artist in Boston. She is excited to continue performing concert works, producing and choreographing and exploring unfamiliar movement styles, and being involved in the dance community through teaching, administrative work, arts advocacy, and community engagement.
Claire Lane is a dance artist, educator, and choreographer. She graduated summa cum laude in 2020 from Smith College with a B.A. in Dance and French Studies with the distinction of highest honors. A recipient of the Five College Dance Department Virginia K. Wagner Scholarship and the Smith College Excellence in Dance Studies award, she performed in works by Doug Varone, Bebe Miller, Ephrat Asherie, Angie Hauser, Chris Aiken, and Rodger Blum. Claire has pursued training internationally at P.A.R.T.S under the direction of Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker in Belgium, and at Trinity Laban Conservatory in London. Professionally, she has worked with Kairos Dance Theater, Holly Stone/StoneWorks Productions, Abilities Dance Boston, Chavi Bansal, Haley Andrews/Andrews Movement, and Eliza Malecki Dance at esteemed venues including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and L.A. Dance Project. Alongside her collaborator Caroline Bradbury, she co-founded her choreographic collective, detritus dance, in 2021 and was honored to be a Somerville Arts Council ArtAssembled Artist-in-Residence to develop her inaugural work. Claire is on faculty at several studios throughout the greater Metro Boston area, and she cultivates connections with professional contemporary dancers as a rotating teacher through the grassroots organization Midday Movement.