Guest Artists

Webster Dance actively seeks guest artists, giving Webster dancers opportunities to work alongside national and international professionals.

Tymberly Canale Choreography Residency February 2015 with Co-Creator Linas Phillips

tymberly canale
Tymberly Canale (Webster University Alum) is a dancer, actor, choreographer and educator and has collaborated and performed with Big Dance Theater since 1995, recently performing alongside Mikhail Baryshnikov in Man in a Case in a recent extensive United States tour.  She received a 2010 New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for her role in Big Dance Theater’s Comme Toujour, Here I Stand.  Canale received her MFA in Dance in 2009 from Hollins University/American Dance Festival and has served on the faculty of Peridance/Capezio Certificate Program, University of the Arts, Marymount Manhattan College, the American Dance Festival and Barnard College.  Her choreographic credits include I HATE F*** MEXICANS, written by Luis Enrique Gutierrez Ortiz Monasterio, (directed by Danya Taymor), Brecht’s Play "A Respectable Wedding" at New York University (directed by Karin Coonrod), and Tristan Tzara’s "The Gas Heart" (for Big Dance Theater), as well as assisting in the off-Broadway Theater for a New Audience production of John Ford’s The Broken Heart and assisting on the David Byrne/Alex Timbers/Annie-B Parson production of Here Lies Love.

Linas Phillips
is an actor, writer and director mostly working in film and television. After graduating from NYU’s experimental theater wing in 1999, Linas spent many years performing comedy and theater in the New York “downtown” performance scene. In 2004 he co-created OUR LITTLE SUNBEAM with the Seattle based dance theater company 33 Fainting Spells which toured 9 cities across the country.  In 2006 he premiered WALKING TO WERNER, his first feature length documentary about a walk he made from Seattle to Los Angeles in search of Werner Herzog. The film played at festivals around the world and landed him a spot in Filmmaker magazine’s “25 New Faces in Independent Film.” In 2008 he made GREAT SPEECHES FROM A DYING WORLD an experimental documentary about 9 homeless people which features each of the subjects reciting a famous speech from history. The Seattle Times called the film “A moving portrait of homelessness that's honest, respectful, heartbreaking yet brimming with humanity.” His first narrative feature film BASS ACKWARDS (which he wrote, directed and starred in) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. Entertainment Weekly wrote, “Phillips’ eloquent images caress the landscape, and also the fascinating oddballs he finds there.” More recently Linas had guest starring roles on HBO’s EASTBOUND AND DOWN as well as The Duplass Brother’s new series TOGETHERNESS. Linas co-created DINOSAURS AND SEA HAWKS a dance film with Ezra Dickinson that premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival in 2014. He co-wrote and stars in the upcoming film  MANSON FAMILY VACATION which will premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March of this year.
Article in Webster Today

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Alicia Graf Mack, 
Guest Faculty


The Webster University Department of Dance welcomes Alicia Graf Mack of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Along with credits including Dance Theatre of Harlem and Complexions Contemporary Dance Company, Mack has also been a guest performer with Alonzo King LINES Ballet and musical artists Andre 3000, Beyonce and Alicia Keys. She is the co-founder of Daisha and Alicia Graf Arts Collective, and is the recipient of the Columbia University Medal of Excellence and Smithsonian magazine’s Young Innovator Award.

Ballet Master Class with John Gardner, December 10

John GardnerJohn Gardner was born in Lafayette, Indiana, and began his ballet training at the age of 12 with Glen Ashton in Lafayette, and subsequently trained at the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois, under the direction of Michael Maule. He received a scholarship to American Ballet Theatre’s School at the age of 16 and joined ABT’s secondary company three months later, in 1977. In 1978 he joined ABT’s main company and was promoted to the rank of soloist in 1984. Gardner’s diverse repertoire included many soloist and principal roles, representing an extensive range of styles and giving him the opportunity to work with some of the great ballet choreographers of the 20th century, including Antony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille and George Balanchine.

In 1991 Gardner joined Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, affording him the opportunity to work closely with choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Lar Lubovitch and Martha Graham. Gardner created numerous roles during his time with the White Oak Dance Project and toured extensively in Europe, the United States, Asia and South America.

He returned to ABT in 1995, where he danced a wide variety of roles with the company until 2002. In 2000, Gardner, together with his wife Amanda McKerrow, began working for the Antony Tudor Trust, staging and coaching his superlative ballet,The Leaves Are Fading, around the country.

During the course of his career, Gardner has achieved an excellent reputation as a master teacher and coach for ballet on both the professional and student levels, and has staged numerous ballets for professional companies and schools across the United States.

RAWdance Choreography Residency November 2014

Formed in 2004, RAWdance aims to perform works which expose an intimate, honest core, the essence of our relationships and identities. 
 Committed to driven, visceral movement, the company explores the power and vulnerability of the human body. RAWdance, envisioned by co-founders Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein, strives to craft pieces balancing dance with theatrical elements and athletic movement with intellectual themes.

ryan smithRyan received his BA in Theatre Arts from Brown University, performing in works choreographed by artists such as Carla Maxwell, Danny Buraczeski, Anthony Rizzi, and Danny Grossman. A co-founder of RCJ Dance in Providence, he has always been supportive of the beauty of collaborative projects. Since moving to SF, Ryan has been blessed with the chance to work with artists such as Alma Esperanza Cunningham and Stephen Pelton, and to be a member of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company.wendy rein

A native New Yorker, Wendy has been dancing and breaking furniture since age 3. With a BA from Brown University, she worked with Misnomer Dance Theater before jumping coasts and co-founding RAWdance. Locally, Wendy has had the privilege of dancing with artists including Alma Esperanza Cunningham, Maxine Moerman, Nancy Karp, Mary Carbonara, Todd Eckert, and Deborah Slater. She has worked on dozens of dance film projects with RJ Muna, and teaches through Rhythm & Motion.
Article in Webster Today
Link to RAWdance

Dance Theatre of Harlem Master Class with Virginia Johnson November 8, sponsored by Dance St. Louis

virginiajohnsonVirginia Johnson returned to Dance Theatre of Harlem as artistic director having been a founding member and principal dancer. Born in Washington, DC, Johnson graduated from the Academy of the Washington School of Ballet. She briefly attended the School of the Arts at New York University as a University Scholar before joining DTH in 1969. During her 28 years with the company she performed most of the repertoire, with principal roles in Concerto Barocco, Allegro Brillante, Agon, A Streetcar Named Desire, Fall River Legend, Swan Lake, Giselle, Voluntaries, Les Biches among others.
Her choreographic credits include the television film,  Ancient Voices of Children in which she danced and an early, self-produced solo concert for Rae Metzger’s Concert Socials. Later choreographic works include ballets created for Goucher College, Dancers Respond to AIDS, the Second Annual Harlem Festival of the Arts, Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center and Marymount Manhattan College, where she was also an adjunct professor. The latter two projects were an outgrowth of Dancers Making Dances, a collaborative choreographic project with former DTH colleagues, Judy Tyrus and Melanie Person.

Her honors include a Young Achiever Award from the National Council of Women, Outstanding Young Woman of Americaand the Dance Magazine Award, a Pen and Brush Achievement Award and the Washington Performing Arts Society’s 2008-2009 Pola Nirenska Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2009 Martha Hill Fund Mid-Career Award. Highlights of her guest appearances include a tour of Australia with  Stars of World Ballet, several appearances at various International Festivals of Dance in Havana Cuba, and with the Royal Ballet at The Royal Opera House in London. Her commitment to community service is maintained through volunteer assignments with New York Cares
Article in Webster Today
Link to Dance St. Louis Master Classes
Link to Dance Theatre of Harlem

Wizdom Truth Hip Hop Workshop October 15

Wizdom Truth, LIG Studios

Wizdom Truth, St. Louis native, has performed and toured for Universal Recording artist Pretty Willie, as well as ATT and Vibe Magazine. In Los Angeles, Truth worked with choreographer Dave Scott in You Got Served. He has also performed for the 2010 Video Music Awards with Usher, television shows such as “Dance Behind the Moves” and “Dancing with the Stars”. He also appeared in Dance Flick, created by the Wayans Brothers, has choreographed for Omarion, and was Artistic Director and Choreographer for Fizz & Boog. 

Currently, he owns and directs Famous Fresh Studios and the Fly Girlz/Fly Boyz performing companies.
Article in Webster Today
Link to Famous Fresh Studios

Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner set Antony Tudor's Continuo

amandamckerrowThe Webster University Department of Dance is pleased to announce that acclaimed ballet dancers Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner will be restaging Antony Tudor's Continuo for the Webster University Dance Ensemble. Special thanks to Sally Bliss and the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust for this opportunity. Amanda McKerrow has enjoyed a career as one of America’s acclaimed ballerinas. She has the honor of being the first American to receive a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1981. Since then, she has been the recipient of numerous other awards, among them the Princess Grace Foundation Dance Fellowship and the New York Woman Award for Dance. 

Ms. McKerrow was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and began her ballet training at the Twinbrook School of Ballet in Rockville, Maryland, where she completed the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance. She then spent two years at the Metropolitan Academy of Dance where she studied the acclaimed Vaganova syllabus. She then studied at the Washington School of Ballet, under the direction of Mary Day, where she danced with the company for two years, touring extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

Ms. McKerrow joined American Ballet Theatre in 1982 under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was appointed Soloist in 1983, and became a Principal Dancer in 1987. Her repertoire included the leading roles in Cinderella, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Manon, La Bayadere, Coppelia, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Sylphide, and The Nutcracker.
She has received acclaim for her performances in shorter works by Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Jerome Robbins, and Juri Killian. Ms. McKerrow has created roles in ballets by choreographers such as Agnes DeMille, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Clark Tippet, Choo San Goh, and James Kudelka. She has also appeared extensively as a guest artist with ballet companies around the world.

In 2000, after having worked closely with him during his lifetime, Ms. McKerrow began staging the works of Antony Tudor for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust. She also stages the ballets of Agnes DeMille and Benjamin Millepied, as well as the full length classics such as, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and Don Quixote. After retiring from performing in 2006, she devotes the majority of her time to teaching, coaching, and staging ballets for professional companies around the world. Among them, American Ballet Theatre, Royal New Zealand Ballet and Colorado Ballet. She is married to fellow dancer and repetiteur, John Gardner.