Artists in Residence

Tevyn East
Linda Frank
Alissa Robin / For The Love of Dance Academy
Curt Haworth
Nick Jonczak

Dawn Pratson
David Pica
Katherine Kiefer Stark / The Naked Stark
Old City Sweethearts

Christina Gesualdi – Membership/ Marketing Admin at Mascher
Paige Phillips – Community Engagement/ Development Admin at Mascher
Kate Seethaler – Rentals and Space Admin at Mascher
Zornitsa Stoyanova/ Here[begin] Dance – Programs / Finance Admin at Mascher

Loren Groenendaal / Vervet Dance – Board Member
Ben Grinberg  / Almanac – Board Member


Christina Gesualdi is a Philly based dance, choreographer, and movement educator.  She is an artist in residence at Mascher Space Co-op where she makes experiential work that researches a certain softness and imaginative off-ness in the body.  Christina has performed with Nicole Bindler, Meg Foley, Annie Wilson, Melisa Putz, Zornitsa Stoyanova – [Here]begin Dance, and <fidget>.  She is an advocate for DIY, small scale cooperation, collaboration, and community exchange in Philly’s dance community.  She is also a yoga teacher who loves teaching senior citizens, Temple University undergraduates, and experimental movers at The Whole Shebang. She is currently doing a new yoga training at Motherheart Studio in Fishtown.  Finally, “YES to the way dancing bodies can breed pluralism and anti-absolutism.”



photo by Sinru Ku

 Loren Groenendaal is dancer, improviser, choreographer, and movement educator. She earned an MFA in Choreography at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA in Dance and Visual Arts from Oberlin College. Loren is also a Certified Movement Analyst from the Laban/Bartinieff Institute of Movement Studies. Loren is particularly interested in building unique movement vocabularies drawing from her experience with modern, Balinese, social, breakdance and contact improvisation, investigating the community building possibilities of live art, the spectrum between improvisation and composition, and the spectrum between ritual and performance. Her work has been performed in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and presented by various organizations including the the Abington Art Center, the CEC including the New Edge Mix, Cultivate, Green Space Blooms, Inhale, Philly Fringe Festival, the North Carolina Dance Alliance, and the StudioSeries at Studio 34. Loren was a founding member of Mascher Space Cooperative from 2005-2007 and happily returned in 2013.

Loren has performed for Nicole Bindler, Ann Cooper Albright, Mark Dendy, Ann Dils, John Gamble, Gamelan Semara Santi, Indonesian Cultural Club, The Naked Stark, Mereminne dancers, Nusha Martynuk, pima group, and Helen Simoneau. Currently, she co-facilitates a weekly contact improv jam  at Phily PARD and teaches creative dance to children at Studio 34 and for other programs. She has and is available to teach Balinese Dance, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Composition, Contact Improvisation, Contemporary Technique, Dance Appreciation, Dance History, Improvisation, Laban Movement Analysis, and Somatics.

Vervet Dance is a Philadelphia-based contemporary dance company directed by Loren Groenendaal. The dance works draw on both the legacy of modern dance and cross-cultural influences to create innovative movement vocabularies and imaginative choreographies. Vervet strikes a unique balance between classic forms, new ideas, and ancient purposes for dance. Although subject matter varies, what is characteristic of the company is an ongoing intellectual diligence meeting a curious playfulness and an exploration of the visual and visceral components of dance.



Ben Grinberg is a Philadelphia-based physical theatre artist, acrobatic choreographer, actor, director and video editor. A 2013-2014 Fresh Tracks artist at New York Live Arts, he is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training and of the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied Classics. A native of New Preston, Connecticut, he started acting at age eleven and has never stopped. A passion for the physical and spiritual aspects of the circus combined with an intense interest in how the rhythms of the stage can both echo and contrast with those of modern life has led him to his current line of inquiry as a body-based artist. With his primary collaborator Nick Gillette, he created communitas, an acrobatic dance piece that has been presented by Circus Now!, at Mascher, and will be performed on the New York Live Arts stage in December 2013. Around Philadelphia, Ben has been an actor and devisor for Pig Iron Theatre Company, Philly Improv Theatre, Shakespeare in Clark Park, HellaFresh Theatre, the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, and SmokeyScout productions. As a video editor his work has been seen on HBO,, Location One Gallery in New York City, and on, and he has worked with Pig Iron, NoFace Performance Group, Alie and the Brigade, the Groundswell Players, and many others. 

Almanac Dance Circus Theatre was founded in 2013 by Nick Gillette and Ben Grinberg, graduates of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training, with Adam Kerbel, a graduate of the Headlong Performance Institute. The company pursues present performance at the edge of what is possible, inventing through playful honesty. They were selected as 2013-2014 Fresh Tracks artists at New York Live Arts, are the resident company at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, and are artists-in-residence at Mascher Space Co-Op. Their work has been presented by the Tyler Arboretum and the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Pig Iron Theatre Company, the Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, Lois Welk, Circus Now!, the University City District, SmokeyScout Productions, Pig Iron Theatre Company, and New York Live Arts, including as special guests of Bill T. Jones with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company at the NYLA Gala (2014). Full-length productions include Leaps of Faith and Other Mistakes (2015), The Fleecing (2015), Nightfall (2014), and Communitas (2014).



Paige Phillips is an interdisciplinary artist based in Philadelphia. Her artwork is situated on the border between the performing and visual arts, engaging most frequently with dance, movement scores, installation, and video. Her content is concerned with endurance challenges, and recontextualizing rituals from pop-culture and religion to better understand identity politics and community formation. She holds a MFA from The Ohio State University with an interdisciplinary specialization in Folklore, a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts, and a diploma from Interlochen Arts Academy. Phillips was recently an artist in residence at the Marpha Foundation in Nepal, taught last year at International School Bangkok, and is currently a member at Mascher Space Cooperative. 


KATE SEETHALER is an improviser, choreographer, dance educator, performer, and brand-newly relocated Philadelphian. Her artistic work moves from questions about the audience/performer relationship, the line (if one exists) between serious and silly, and utilizing improvisation to access other realms. Kate has had the recent pleasures of working with choreographers Barbie Diewald, Deborah Goffe/Scapegoat Garden, Katie Martin, Stephanie Turner, and Whitney Wilson. She was the Spring 2017 Artist-in-Residence at the School for Contemporary Dance & Thought (Northampton, MA), during which time she created a new evening-length work–Homing–with four collaborating dancers. Kate has served on the faculties of Springfield College, School for Contemporary Dance & Thought, Aldrich Pilates, The Taft School, and at Smith College as a Gretchen Moran Teaching Fellow. She earned her MFA in Dance/Choreography and Performance from Smith College in 2016, and her BA from Springfield College in 2008. Kate can’t wait to meet and dance with the folks of Philly!


Dawn Pratson has an extensive, interdisciplinary background  in music and dance. She earned her BA in music and dance from the University of Hartford/Hartt College of Music and her master’s degree in creative arts in therapy from Drexel University. She has her license in Dalcroze Eurhythmics and is certified in Orff-Schulwerk .

Dawn was initially trained as a musician but started dancing as a sophomore in college. Her dance and movement training emphasized modern and post-modern dance (Humphrey-Limon, Graham, Contact, Improvisation, Laban Movement Analysis), somatics (Bartenieff, BMC, Topf), martial arts (Kung Fu and Tai Chi Chuan), sacred circle dance and authentic movement/contemplative dance. Currently Dawn teaches workshops in Dalcroze Eurhythmics on a free-lance basis and in the summer music studies programs at the University of the Arts and the Longy School of Music of Bard College, Cambridge, MA. Her major instrument is flute and she plays recorder, piano, percussion, body percussion, and sings.

From 1983-2003 Dawn had an active career in performance, teaching and arts in therapy in and around Boston, MA.  She was a member of the children’s theater troupe “Music Alive” from 1998-2002 and founded and directed a women’s a cappella ensemble called ‘LEVEN, from 1991-2003. During that time she created and directed several, evening-long performances of her choreographic, music and collaborative works. Since moving to Philadelphia in 2003 she has performed with Workshop for Potential Movement, Nicole Bindler, Leah Stein, Tara Rynders, Pamela Heatherington, Choral Arts Society, the Anna Crusis Women’s Choir and currently plays with pianist Jeffrey Nations and violist Soo Kyong Kim.  She was the founding music teacher at the Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School where she taught from 2005-20015. She is interested in working with musicians who like to move and dancers who like to make music.

Katherine Kiefer Stark and Megan Mazarick. Photo by Kathryn Raines

The Naked Stark builds complex dance works that take apart, redefine, and consider everyday experiences of people, ideas, and social phenomenon.  Founder and artistic director, Katherine Kiefer Stark strives to build a physicality unique to each work and tackle philosophical content through embodiment and presentation.  The Naked Stark seeks through its performances, community projects, workshops and classes to move people and cause them to consider and question their assumptions about social norms.

“I see my work as a way to investigate and deconstruct social norms and simultaneously as a place in which I am contributing to the construction of our social fabric.  Over the past five years my work has centered around investigating two major themes, war and the construction of identity, through a lens of everyday experience, making my work deeply personal.” – Katherine Kiefer Stark




Curt Haworth is an expatriate Californian who lived in New York City for twenty years before moving to Philadelphia in 2009. He holds a BA in Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz and a MFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  He has an eclectic movement background ranging from athletics to modern dance and postmodern techniques, to yoga, contact improvisation and ballet. Curt toured internationally with David Dorfman Dance from 1990 to 2002, while creating over 15 original roles. He was a Movement Research Artist in Residence in 2001-2002, he has taught regularly at Movement Research and DNA (formerly Dance Space Center) in NYC and is on faculty at ADF. He was the co-director of PARD in Philadelphia, an organization dedicated to supporting new movement performance and teaching, located at the Mt Vernon Dance Space. He has taught and set work as a guest artist throughout the United States, South America and Europe and is currently an Associate Professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.



Zornitsa Stoyanova/Here[begin] Dance is a performance artist, curator, writer, lighting and video designer based in Philadelphia, PA. A native of Bulgaria, she holds B.A. in Dance and Sound Design from Bennington College, VT. She has been creating, producing and presenting performing art and video under the name Here[begin] Dance in Philadelphia since 2006.

She is deeply inspired by artists like Anthony McCall, James Turrell and Japanese choreographer Naoko Tanaka.  She questions the ideas of the constructed structures of performance and pushes the boundaries of social propriety. Mylar reflective material and custom lighting are integral part of her most recent work.  Since becoming a mother in 2013 her work has focused on abstracting the female body, feminist ideas and imagery.

In 2008 Zornitsa was a fellow with Headlong Performance Institute, where she focused on abstract character building, clowning and interactive theatrical performance. Later, her studies with Deborah Hay sparked an interest in performance presence and deconstruction of communication thorough posture and gesture.  Since then, Zornitsa has sought out professional development opportunities researching art practices in abstracting the body and looking for emotional content and potential for meaning. Her most influential teachers include Miguel Gutierrez, Michelle Boule, Ishmael Houston Jones, Susan Rethorst, Fay Driscoll, Luciana Achugar, Danny Lepkoff amongst others.

While an artist in residence at Meet the Next Generation program, part of eXplore Dance Festival 2011 in Bucharest, Romania, she studied with Meg Stuart. This influenced her tremendously and furthered her research in extreme emotional presence.  To this date Zornitsa uses Stuart’s methodologies in working with power dynamics and physical states in performance.

In September 2015, she started a yearlong residency at <fidget> space in Philadelphia exploring personal narratives from the female perspective along with custom lighting and Mylar multimedia interaction.  Her residency brought her to producing a collection of photography and dance on camera she calls Body Etudes. Culminating the residency Zornitsa will present a multimedia interactive performance event called Explicit Female last weekend in April, 2016.

Zornitsa is a supporter for a sustainable dance community.  From 2006 until 2010, and again in 2016, she was a member of Mascher Space Cooperative and is deeply invested in helping further conversation and collaboration. As Here[begin] Dance she has curated and produced Current: an evening of dance and art and Dance Cinema Projects from 2007 until 2011.  She has hosted and organized multiple workshops for the community and taught free workshops in making web sites for artists and budgeting. In February 2015, she started a community dance workshop in collaboration with <fidget> space called Get What You Need.  Along with fellow artist Kristen Shahverdian and Jacelyn Biondo, Zornitsa is curating an ongoing festival called Move Dance Think Fest.  She teaches improvisation technique for performance, dance on camera and composition and has done so in Philadelphia, France, Hungary and her native Bulgaria. Zornitsa is also a writer for

Her latest project is Moms Make Art residency in partnership with Mascher Space Cooperative and Fidget Space.


The Old City Sweethearts
are Philadelphia’s premiere vintage dance troupe, dedicated to reviving the art of the chorus girl through original choreographies and tribute pieces. The company seeks to share the joy of vintage dance and vaudeville with contemporary arts audiences through the development of original pieces and media that reflect the rich cultural heritage of jazz and related art forms.

The Sweethearts were formed in 2014 under the guise of some like-minded friends getting together to share their love of vintage style and dance. Since then, Philly’s finest flappers have grown into a professional company of diverse women who have performed at the Kimmel Center, the Philadelphia Free Library, the Franklin Institute, the Barnes Foundation, and more.