2017-2018 Guest Artists
Inta Balode calls herself a dance politician. She is a dance writer, a curator, a dramaturg, and the editor of www.journal.dance.lv. Since 2004, Inta has been curating dance projects, including seminars for artists, journalists, and managers, and a mini festival called New Dance in a New Place. Inta holds an MA degree in the theory of culture; she acquired additional training in dance writing and management in the United States and Europe. While working as a dance expert at the Latvian State Culture Capital Foundation and jury member for the annual theatre prize, she managed to do lobbying work for the status of contemporary dance. Inta is a member of the Latvian Dance Council—a consulting group at the Ministry of Culture. The main issue Inta as a dance politician stands for is trying not to stand for anything too stubbornly. As an outcome of caring about geographical, mental, and emotional peripheries, in 2017 Inta together with co-thinkers from Latvia, France, and Finland established the international nonprofit organization LAUKKU.
Grace Courvoisier, a native of Las Vegas, Nevada, is a bicoastal performance maker and choreographer based in New York City and Los Angeles. In addition to studying Graham, Horton, and composition at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies and Performing Arts High School, she studied the Vaganova technique with Nevada Ballet Theatre under the artistic direction of Bruce Steivel for which she received the Nancy Houssel Scholarship. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Grace has had the opportunity to work with/perform the works of renowned choreographers including Tere O'Connor, Laurie Carlos, Catherine Cabeen, and Rebecca Nettl-Fiol. Grace was also selected to perform in the reconstuction of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's D-Man In the Waters (National Endowment for the Arts) in 2008. She created a number of works during her undergraduate career, including Sister Republic, which was invited for inclusion in the American College Dance Festival and went on to be performed in Chen Dance Center's New Steps Choreographer's Series in New York City in 2011.
Grace Courvoisier and Dance Company (GC&DC) was founded in September 2012. Grace believes the physicality of a woman's body can house historical and emotional landscapes. She often creates works that are on the borderline between dance and theatre, and her New York City pieces have been performed for the Current Sessions at the Wild Project, CRAWL, the Invisible Dog Art Center, Bunker Dance, Symphony Space, Movement Research, Judson Church, the Secret Theater, and Issue Project Room. In her spare time, she can be caught seeing various museum exhibitions, reading Victorian British literature, practicing/writing anagrams, and saving the world one sequin at a time.
Olga Žitluhina (Latvia) is a choreographer, dancer, and teacher—the most influential personality in the Latvian contemporary dance scene and the head of a program of contemporary dance at the Latvian Academy of Culture. She was the artistic director of the Olga Žitluhina Dance Company from 1996 to 2012. The company was the only professional contemporary dance group in Latvia for more than a decade. Olga's productions have been performed in and she has taught in China, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Since 2006, she has been the director of the international contemporary dance festival Laiks Dejot in Riga.
Olga Žitluhina's artistic bio in numbers:
37 years—teaching and sharing dance
20 years—teaching in the state ballet school
16 years—the director of the contemporary dance program in the Latvian Academy of Culture
10 years—the artistic director of Laiks Dejot, a contemporary dance festival in Riga, Latvia
20 performances for her own company
3 performances for the Latvian National Ballet Company
2 performances for the break dance company Camelot
56 hours of solo dancing in 2014
24 years—official alien
20 countries—performing and teaching
2 times awarded the best contemporary dance performance in Latvia