Artists in Residence

Jazmyn Burton Community Engagement / Development at Mascher 
Christina Gesualdi – Membership / Marketing at Mascher
Loren Groenendaal / Vervet Dance
Ben Grinberg  / Almanac
Curt Haworth
Lauren JohnsSpace / Rentals at Mascher
Katherine Kiefer Stark / The Naked Stark
Zornitsa Stoyanova/ Here[begin] Dance – Programs / Finance at Mascher
Sara Yassky
Amalia Wiatr Lewis and Maggie Donoghue 

Jazmyn Burton is a 200-hour certified, Philadelphia based yoga instructor and health and wellness writer.Over the last decade Jazmyn has immersed herself in the physical and spiritual practiced of yoga. Her classes are crafted for all levels and provide a serene, safe and welcoming space where students of all shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds can find peace and balance while working to create a wellness regime that supports their physical, emotional and spiritual development. Visit to learn more about Jazmyn and her classes.

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).


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

Amalia Wiatr Lewis is an interdisciplinary dance artist. Her dance work asks questions of space, time, and relationships through the exploration of idiosyncratic gesture, somatic practices, and improvisational scores. Her current movement practice uses abstract experiments to explore ideas of domesticity, gender politics, internal psyches, and the self and the other. She has worked with Elena Demyanenko, Dana Reitz, and Samuel Wentz.  She is a recent graduate of Bennington College.



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.


Lauren Johns is a graduate of The University of the Arts. She is a company member with Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, and she performs and teaches with them. She has also taught at Swedesboro School of Performing Arts and Yes! And… Collaborative Arts in Germantown. Lauren is also a venue manager at the Maas Building. Lauren has a passion for learning new things, and is excellent at taking care of Mascher’s physical space needs. She is dreaming up new ways to make Mascher Space a place where performers can feel at home.


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.


Sara Yassky is a somatic practitioner, massage therapist, dance artist, advocate and organizer. As a healer and practitioner, Sara works to build a body based approach to personal and collective transformation. Their practice is rooted in a sense of a politicized somatics—meaning the approach to change is guided by the information held and learned within our bodies in relationship to the various systems and realities we live within and respond to.

Sara has been exploring the intricacies of the body from a young age. With over 20 years of training in dance and movement, and a decade of dancing and making work professionally, Sara’s nuanced sense and inquiry of moving bodies is a strong foundation for their somatic and bodywork practice. They enjoy pulling from a range of other modalities in their work including Alexander Technique, Body Mind Centering, Qigong, movement practices, and energy work.

Sara is currently a Graduate student at Bryn Mawr College, working to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. They are excited to expand and challenge their depth of skills and perspective towards healing justice and transformation.

Sara is a Certified Massage Therapist in both Pennsylvania and California and Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (national certification). They are also a member of the Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. Sara has completed the 3 year Somatic Experiencing Practitioner Program through Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute/SETI.