Artists in Residence

TIER 1 members

Christina Gesualdi Zornitsa Stoyanova/ Here[begin] Dance
Loren Groenendaal / Vervet Dance  Brendan Tatsuio
Shannon Murphy
 Ben Grinberg       


 The Naked Stark Sara Yassky
 Curt Haworth  Amalia Wiatr Lewis and Maggie Donoghue 


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.


Careful-Injuries_Other-Case-Notes-EnsembleOTHER CASE NOTES ENSEMBLE is an experiment-based performance group recently formed in Philadelphia. As a group, they aim to share leadership roles, balance their individual histories with their collective history and investigate new movement material rooted in specific lines of inquiry. Their work generally begins with a hypothesis or question relating to where the psychological meets the physical and evolves based on what they discover in the process of investigation. Their latest work, (re)visions, was performed in September as part of the 2014 Philly Fringe Festival. The founding members of OTHER CASE NOTES ENSEMBLE are Jessieh Ruth Averitt, Maggie Donoghue and Samantha Jolene Orr.

They are collectively grateful to claim the following influences on their work:

Alice&Ellen, Dr. Annie Rogers, Dr. April Stein, Beyoncé, Camus, Celia Rowlson-Hall, Day Murray & Tromsness LLC., Dana Reitz, Emalie Ellis, Ella Tulin, Flannery O’Connor, Hijikata Tatsumi & Ohno Kazuo, Ione Beauchamp, Jenny Holzer, Jennifer Rohn & Christopher V. Edwards, Jerry Gardner, Julia Sugarbaker, Laughter Ministry, Marina Abramović, Pina Bausch, Rennie Harris Pure Movement, Sarah&Sands, Shakespeare, Sharon Olds, Sherry Kramer, Sigmund Freud, Squirrel-Girl, Studio IV ’09, Susan Sgorbati, Susan Sontag, The Golden Girls, The Pegs, TLC, and Toni Morrison.

Feel free to contact them via email at othercasenotesensemble{at} or check out the virtual storage shed for items that stir and delight them at



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).


Shannon-MurphyShannon Murphy is a dancer, choreographer and teaching artist and is a co-director of idiosynCrazy productions alongside founder, Jumatatu Poe. Her choreography has been shown throughout Philadelphia, at various festivals in the United States and in Paris, France. She was 2010’s New Edge Resident in Dance at the CEC and a FringeArts (then called Live Arts) 2012-13 Lab fellow. Shannon has danced with Dance Theater X, Group Motion Dance Company, Kosoko Performance Group, Nichole Canuso Dance Company, SCRAP Performance Group, and with choreographers Peggy Baker, Robert Battle, and Wally Cardona.

She has a BA from Point Park University in Pittsburgh and is of the first Franklin Method Educators to graduate in the United States. While in Pittsburgh, she was on faculty at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and Point Park University. Since moving to Philadelphia, she has been teaching young dancers at Koresh School of Dance since 2007 and a guest teacher at Drexel University, Swarthmore College, Temple University, and Villanova University. Currently, she is on faculty at Bryn Mawr College and  University of the Arts.


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.

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.