LINES Ballet Training Program Spring Showcase 2016

February welcomed the start of several creative processes for the Spring Showcase in May. On the bill are world premieres by an all-star cast of visiting and local choreographers including LINES’ own Lee Wei Chao, Ballet Master Arturo Fernandez, Artistic Director of tinypistol Maurya Kerr, dawsondancesf‘s Gregory Dawson, Sidra Bell Sidra Bell Dance New York and guest artist Shannon Gillen of Vim Vigor! Former LINES dancer and Training Program alum David Harvey will remount last semester’s WESTER with the entire student body. Join us for this special event to celebrate the culmination of the 2015-2016 year!

Spring Showcase
Friday, May 27 at 7pm
Saturday, May 28 at 7pm
Sunday, May 29 at 2pm

Z Space
450 Florida Street, San Francisco

Read more about our choreographers below:


Born in Taipei, Taiwan. LeeWei Chao started his ballet training at age 15 with Ms. Xiao Lee, who brought from Russia the Vaganova ballet method to Taiwan. After dancing with Taipei City Ballet, Henry Yu Dance Company, He joined Singapore Dance Theater. In 1996 Mr. Chao joined Joffrey Ballet Concert Dancer in New York City, followed by dancing carrier with Joffrey Ballet Chicago and Milwaukee Ballet Company. Mr. Chao started his choreography work while he was dancing with Milwaukee Ballet Company. His works have been perform by Milwaukee Ballet Company, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Oklahoma City Ballet, New Mexico School of The Arts and among the others. In 2014 Mr. Chao received National Choreography Recognition Award from Regional Dance America. Mr. Chao has been teaching at Stanford University, National University of Taipei, Taiwan, ODC, San Francisco State University. He currently teaches at San Francisco Dance Center and is a faulty member with LINES BFA and training programs.


Maurya Kerr danced with Alonzo King LINES Ballet from 1994-2006. She is on faculty with the LINES Ballet Education Programs and conducts residencies nationally as a visiting guest artist with BODYTRAFFIC, Hollins University, University of Minnesota, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and The School at Jacob’s Pillow. Maurya is the director and choreographer of tinypistol. tinypistol has received numerous grants and awards including a 2011 Hubbard Street National Choreographic Competition award, a 2012 CHIME grant, a University of Minnesota 2014/15 Cowles Visiting Artist grant, and selection to Whim W’Him’s 2015 Choreographic Shindig. Maurya’s work has been commissioned and presented by Axis Dance Company, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, WestWave Dance Festival, The San Francisco International Arts Festival, and the Black Choreographers Festival, among others. She is currently an ODC artist-in-residence.


Gregory P. Dawson, former LINES Ballet dancer, received his BA from St. Mary’s College. In 2007, he formed dawsondancesf (ddsf) as an outlet for his choreographic goals and vision. Shortly thereafter he created “which light in the sky is us” for Company C Contemporary Ballet (nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award for choreography) and became the Assistant Director of the California State Summer School of the Arts’ Dance Department in Southern California. In the Fall of 2011, Dawson become the Artistic Director of Dawson Wallace Dance Project in Denver, Colorado (formerly David Taylor Dance), where the Denver Post named him “the best choreographer in Denver.” Soon after, Dawson received a CHIME grant, partnering him with choreographic mentor Elizabeth Streb for one year. In September 2013, dawsondancesf re-established its presence in San Francisco with the world premiere of “fabricca matterasso d’argento” at Zaccho Dance Theatre. Following this, Dawson created “birds eye view” (a collaboration with Richard Howell Quintet) for the 2014 Black Choreographer’s Festival, which received an Isadora Duncan Award in 2015. ddsf also presented “MONOCHROME” at the Ban7 Festival 2014 in San Francisco. In Fall of 2014, Dawson premiered “in this moment with Richard Howell”. The Zellerbach Foundation funded ddsf’s next premiere “intrinsic motion project.” In the Spring of 2015, ddsf premiered Intima produced by Al’myra Communication which collaborated with Ali Kaf (visuals) and Ashraf Kateb (music). dawsondancesf made its debut in New York City in the Fall of 2014 at Baruch College, with a return in September 25-27 of 2015. In the Summer of 2015, ddsf completed the 5th week residency at CSSSA’s summer intensive at Cal Arts where Dawson is assistant to the Chair. Dawson currently teaches and choreographs for all the LINES Ballet Education Programs.

Sidra Bell_David Flores

Sidra Bell is a Master Lecturer at the University of the Arts (Philadelphia), and was an Adjunct Professor at Ball State University (Indiana) and Barnard College (NYC). She has a degree in History from Yale University and an MFA in Choreography from Purchase College. Ms. Bell has won several awards, including a notable 1st Prize for Choreography at the International Solo-Tanz Festival in Stuttgart, Germany. Her critically acclaimed work has been seen throughout the United States and in Denmark, France, Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey, Germany, China, Canada, Aruba, Korea, Brazil, and Greece. Bell has received many commissions from institutions internationally and has produced over 100 new works. Bell was commissioned as the choreographer for the feature film “TEST” set in San Francisco during the height of the AIDS crisis. The movie was nominated for a 2015 Independent Spirit Award. “TEST” was also awarded two grand jury prizes from the Los Angeles Outfest and was a New York Times Critic’s Pick. The film has had many screenings at LGBT festivals worldwide and is enjoying an international theatrical run. She was recently named one of 50 outstanding artists living or working in Westchester County as part of ArtsWestchester’s 50th Anniversary. SBDNY has an extensive educational and mentorship program and works with institutions for dance and theater internationally with a particular emphasis on young artist development. (photo by David Flores)

David Harvey_Lauren Crew

David Harvey is from Bainbridge Island, Washington, and began dancing there under the instruction of Michael Falotico. He proceeded to study in several programs across the country before arriving in San Francisco in 2006, in order to attend the LINES Ballet Training Program. David joined Alonzo King LINES Ballet in 2008, and was with the company until 2014. He is currently a freelance teacher, dancer and choreographer. (Photo by Lauren Crew)


Named among New York’s top 20 artists by Brooklyn Magazine, called ‘mesmerizing’ by VOGUE and recently championed as ‘vastly gifted’ by Deborah Jowitt, Shannon Gillen has had an extensive career as a dancer and choreographer in NYC and Europe. She was a member of the Johannes Wieland Company based at Staatstheater Kassel in Germany; won commissions from Mainfranken Theater Würzburg and the TIF Theater in Kassel; and was selected as a THINK BIG choreographer-in-residence at Staatsoper Hannover. Upon returning to the States, Shannon founded VIM VIGOR DANCE COMPANY as the home for her choreographic and educational endeavors. The company recently debuted in NYC to sold-out audiences at GK Arts Center and has upcoming commissions in California, Canada, and South America. Dedicated to contemporary dance theater education, VIM VIGOR has an upcoming summer intensive happening in August 2016, focused on floorwork, partnering, improvisation, composition and acting. Additional recent projects for Shannon include commissions from fashion label PHELAN, Springboard Danse Festival in Montreal, Hubbard Street 2, and BEACH SESSIONS in NYC; notable festivals and venues where her work has been seen include New York Live Arts, Judson Church, PULSE Fair at Art Basel, Bryant Park Presents, NYC’s River to River Festival, the Joyce Theater, and Jacob’s Pillow. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School and earned her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Gillen is on faculty at SUNY Purchase College and guest teaches at NYU/Tisch, the Juilliard School, and the Hartt School. Visit to learn more.

Check out this video of their Fall 2015 Showcase at ZSPACE for a taste of what you might expect to see:

Video by Katie Wong; Cover photo by Stephen Texeira