The AAlchemy Team
Nika Antuanette – Advisory Board & Imagineer
A celebrated out-side of the box thinker & doer, Nika Antuanette is a performing artist & choreographer who creates her own work. She has been a company member of Sarah Berges Dance, Alison Cook Beatty Dance, ZCO Dance Project, Gaspard & Dancers, & Gotham Dance Theater. She will be featured as a Dancer on HBO’s upcoming series, The Gilded Age, and has performed in productions such as Dancing Queen (Spirit Productions).
Nika has danced works by Rami Be’er, Mats Ek, Larry Keigwin, Carl Flink, Penelope Freeh, & Arnie Zane. She has also appeared in commercials, music videos, & immersive events as a dancer and choreographer. In 2020, she received a Queens Council on the Arts grant to create the dance film, HOLOGRAM.
There is always more on the horizon.
@nika.antuanette – photo credit: Ricky Gee Photography
Nicole Baker – Marketing
A person who lives to dance, lives FOR dance, and then dances with that special passion that carries audiences all the way to ecstasy, Nicole Baker lives the rigorous life of a New York City-based performing artist competing for success against all the known odds – and a few unknown odds as well – in the toughest of environments where success never comes easy.
Nicole received her BFA in dance performance from Adelphi University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. At AU, she performed the works of Martha Graham, Orion Duckstein, Takehiro Ueyama, Paul Taylor, and Jiří Kylián. Currently, she serves as the Rehearsal Director and Company Manager for Eryc Taylor Dance. Nicole most recently traveled to Mumbai, India for a three week tour to perform in an exclusive industrial with internationally renowned choreographer Nikos Lagousakos in the 2019 Aditya Birla Group Awards.
Her most recent commercial credits include starring in PBS ALL ARTS Climate Artists Series where her work with ETD was a featured episode, a featured dancer in Louis van Amstel’s La Blast for DailyBurn, a performer in Amazon’s The Marvelous Ms. Maisel, and performing background for popstar Meredith O’Connor during New York Fashion Week and the United Nations Youth Summit. Nicole has also worked for project-based choreographers Jaclyn Walsh (KEIGWIN + COMPANY), Chris Bell, Amy Marshall, Kristina Harris, Hollye Bynum, Natalia Roberts, Joelle Consentino, and MaryJohn Frank.
Matt Breton – Advisory Board
A way cool guy with a wealth of career experience in the Performing Arts as performer and wizard of theater production alchemy throughout New England, Matt Breton brings that special sixth sense so sought after by performing artists for managing the venue, lighting up the stage, assuring that the sound is perfect, and making darn certain that the sets look, feel, and move exactly the way they should. Today the Technical Director of Boston’s historic Strand Theater, Matt is one of those generous souls who gives so much of his time and thought in the most collaborative ways, all for making sure that live and video performance magic happens, that the story unfolds exactly as it should, and that the performers always feel thrilled to be sharing their art with audiences.
Cliff Brody – Principal
Born and raised in New York City and a long-time resident of Washington, D.C., Brody has had professional incarnations as an Army officer (Vietnam veteran), U.S. diplomat, international business and marketing consultant and strategic partner to multinational companies (e.g. Citibank, American Airlines, AT&T, Dell, Avon, Delta Airlines), entrepreneur, and husband, father, brother, and uncle.
Not all of these jobs, he is quick to admit, worked out quite the way he or anyone else expected. And like many others, Brody believes, the failures encountered along the way taught him far more valuable lessons than did any success.
Nominally retired (“That’ll be the day!”) and serving as CEO of the National Performing Arts Funding Exchange, Brody now spends a fair amount of time working with not-for-profits to advance their missions in childhood education, health services for seniors and the less fortunate, and the performing arts. He is author of “Commitments“, an unusual work of creative non-fiction, punctuated by intimate moments from his own life, that explores the reasons why people make commitments, break them, and repeat the cycle again and again… as he believes they should no matter what the pain.
Ina Broeckx – AAlchemy Co-Creator
Dutch, based in Pisa, Italy, acknowledged and acclaimed worldwide for choreography, dance, and leading-edge and edgy original creations for stage and screen; former dancer with Nederlans Dans Theater (world leader in contemporary dance art) co-Artistic Director of Italy’s Immersive Dancers Company producing widely toured “Words Form The Shadows” Anne Frank evening-length modern dance performance, the Shakespeare series, and the upcoming premiere dance performance centered on Alzheimer’s.
Tony Bordonaro – AAlchemy Co-Creator
Tony Bordonaro is a choreographer, director, and performer based in New York. Tony was a founding member of the all-male repertory company 10 Hairy Legs and has also performed with the companies Douglas DUNN & Dancers and the Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company. Most notably, Tony performed in Punchdrunk’s hit show Sleep No More in New York and Shanghai and has worked with the company extensively on immersive events. In 2017, he choreographed and performed in the Oscars® winning student film Opera of Cruelty. His love for physical storytelling is the driving force behind his solo work and collaborations like Passport, a performance art piece with Guggenheim fellow Robert Whitman, and CAMPFIRE with Ingrid Kapteyn. He holds a BFA in Dance Performance/Choreography from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts where he currently teaches contemporary dance and improvisation.
Alison Cook-Beatty – AAlchemy Co-Creator / Advisory Board
Alison Cook-Beatty received her BFA from the Boston Conservatory of Music at Berklee, moved to New York City and danced with the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Taylor 2. In 2012, she founded Alison Cook Beatty Dance, a classically-based modern dance company whose mission is to make dance accessible and emotionally engaging for all. The Company has grown to a reputable nonprofit with local impact and international esteem. Cook-Beatty herself has been commissioned by companies such as Ballet Next, Carolina Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet School, The Boston Conservatory of Music, and New York University. During the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic, Cook-Beatty has pioneered creative team-building, combining visionary practitioners in technology, videography, and the art of dance to stream compelling immersive stories to audiences near and far.
Joanna DeFelice – AAlchemy Co-Creator
Joanna DeFelice is a freelance producer, artist, and dancer based in Brooklyn Heights. A graduate of the Kirov Academy of Ballet she trained under Alla Sizova, Nikolai Morozov and Adrienne Dellas. Joanna has worked with Debbie Allen on numerous shows at the Kennedy Center and in Los Angeles and has toured internationally with Peridance Contemporary Dance Company. She has performed works by Igal Perry, Ohad Naharin, Robyn Mineko Williams, Bryan Arias, and Kristin Sudeikis, among others.
As a producer, Joanna has worked on projects with major brands such as Travel and Leisure, Target, and Honda. She has been commissioned as a set and technical designer for multiple art installations across the United States. Joanna currently teaches dance, choreographs and produces events around the country, where she constantly explores the depths of dance, music, and design.
At AAlchemy, Joanna is working closely with the Programming Team to establish criteria for reaching to and selecting performing artists, filmmakers, technologists working with the performing arts, and other creators who merit support from AAlchemy for presenting live, live stream, and video works at AAlchemy and through streaming services like HBO, Disney+ and Netflix.
Jamiel Devernay Laurence – AAlchemy Creative Advisor
The UJ’s Jamiel Devernay Laurence occupies a unique position within the wider arts economy, as an artist creating work through collaborative practice, while also producing the work of other artists through entrepreneurship, bringing together his experience as a Performer, Creative Director, Venue Director, Filmmaker, and Choreographer.
Jamiel embarked on his career as a dance artist in 2009 joining Scottish Ballet; becoming a Soloist in 2016 and retiring in Summer 2021. As an award-winning Choreographer & Filmmaker, Jamiel also has created works for several notable organizations including BBC ARTS, BBC Scotland, BBC Connected Studio, Google, OneDanceUK, 3Tone Records, The Peter Darrell Trust, Celtic Connections, Scottish Ballet, Ballet Ireland, Edinburgh Fringe, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Dance School of Scotland and more.
Since 2020, Jamiel has been a driving force facilitating new opportunities for concert dance, founding the ongoing #FundFreelanceDance initiative, and more recently creating the unique event concept, BALLET NIGHTS. Now working with like-minded thinkers on exciting projects outing dance into new spaces, Jamiel is focused on opportunities that assist with the recovery of the arts & culture sector post-pandemic and create conditions in which dance artists can thrive.
Kate Douglas – AAlchemy Co-Creator
Currently writing six plays and musicals while working as a full-time performance artist in New York City, Kate has goals that transcend what is thought to be possible.
Kate’s goal is to expose to the world New York City’s best kept secret: immersive performance where these experiences are gifts that deserve to be enjoyed by everyone, children and adults alike.
NPAFE is particularly enamored with Kate’s original immersive production Middlemist Red, a mystery experience meant to reconnect children with the importance of conservation through analog play. The children are taken on an adventure to find a missing rare flower while learning about sustainability, interdependence, and the gifts of analog discovery.
Jana Gerhart – Marketing Research / NFT Programs For Performing Artists
A native of Germany living in the city of Mainz near Weisbaden and Frankfurt, Jana Gerhart is both scientist and musician. Born in 1992, she received her first cello lessons at the age of six and today holds degrees in instrumental pedagogy and orchestral music from the Peter Cornelius Conservatory in Mainz.
Together with this, Jana has completed a communication science (B.A.) and management (M.Sc.) degree at the Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) in Mainz, Germany.
Right now, Jana is immersed in studies towards receiving her Doctorate in Management at JGU. She is also working together with several scientists leading innovative research on how individuals are influenced by emotions in their personal goal setting.
An alumna of the Fulbright foundation and a scholarship holder of the “Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volks”, Jana brings to AAlchemy a refined sense for research and planning. These skills are coupled with her compelling understanding of music and its impact on society at large and on people as they experience actual performances.
Listening to Jana playing the cello is a special privilege; our great good fortune is having as a resource her keen understanding of how people react to external stimuli that flow from experiencing the performing arts.
Daria “Dasha” Kobzan
From Kharkiv in Ukraine with a degree in linguistics and a 7-month working sojourn in Israel, Daria “Dasha” Kobzan has joined the NPAFE/AAlchemy team in Washington DC to direct all social media and marketing initiatives.
Smart as a whip and with a second-to-none let’s-get-it-done drive, Dasha has that rare talent to quickly identify the core qualities in whatever she sees, hears, and learns, especially in the performing arts, filmmaking and dance. That goes whether her sources are live, digital, or the written word.
You’ll easily sense Dasha’s talent for conceptualizing and executing compelling social media messaging in the NPAFE and AAlchemy websites and in our Instagram feeds and Facebook pages. Her brilliance is equally impressive in synthesizing the complexities of the performing arts to create succinct and compelling visual and written social media, every step of the way winning the trust of every performing artist whose talents she is so determined to convey.
Together with all the performing arts creators who receive our pro bono marketing and financial support, NPAFE and AAlchemy know how lucky we are that Dasha is on our team. Dasha, you rock!
Idalia Roberta Kurowska – Programming
From Poland and currently living in Warsaw, Idalia Roberta Kurowska is an accomplished pianist, harpsichordist, dancer, and teacher whose performances in Europe and beyond attest to her exceptional ability to impress audiences with the art of music and movement.
Idalia is known in her home country and among her world-wide clientele for her diligent focus on high quality: at the keyboard, on stage as a dancer, and in her innovative approach to using technology to teach piano on-line. Her role in AAlchemy centers on identifying programming options both for the near-term and several more seasons extending to 2025 and beyond.
Ingrid Kapteyn – AAlchemy Co-Creator
Ingrid Kapteyn is an international performer, creator, collaborator, teacher, and student of listening with a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School. She swings nine roles in Punchdrunk’s hit immersive show “Sleep No More” NYC, and she spent 2017 building and performing a new version of “Sleep No More” in Shanghai.
As a performer, Ingrid has also worked with Brian Brooks, Danielle Russo, and The Metropolitan Opera, and she was an actor in MacArthur award winner Martha Clarke’s “Angel Reapers” at The Signature Theatre in 2016 along with Clarke’s ongoing “GOD’S FOOL” workshop.
As a choreographer and director, Ingrid has created, self-produced, and performed evening-length productions in New York and in China, including “Humans Within Structure”, “Once we’re lit”, and “This Is Nothing Without You” with her collaborative collective HEWMAN; “POP” with fellow Shanghai castmates; and “CAMPFIRE” and “The Pigeon & The Mouse” with Tony. She cofounded HEWMAN with Jason Collins and James Lindsay Harwell in 2014 to reimagine the traditional model of a dance company run by one choreographer by engaging individual artists with distinct voices to collaborate as equals in creative process.
As a teacher, Ingrid has offered master classes, workshops, and seminars internationally, including for Juilliard Global Ventures/Nord Anglia Education (in Shanghai, Dubai, Switzerland, Qatar, and NYC), New York University’s School of Medicine, FRESH Dance Intensive, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and Princeton and Bucknell Universities. In 2016, she served as Assistant to the Artistic Director of Springboard Danse Montréal.
Julie Magneville – AAlchemy Co-Artistic Director / Advisory Board
A New York City and Paris based creator, filmmaker, choreographer and dancer who has successfully translated her childhood passion for dance into a commercially impressive career of imagineering artful movement of mind and body, Julie Magneville is today among that tiny handful of sure-bet international go-to innovators when brands and sponsors insist on compelling live, live-streamed, and captivating filmmaking, perfection in performance direction, and storytelling and dance that captures and captivates audiences. At the same time a thoughtful, inspiring and patient mentor, a master builder alive with a keen eye for opening new doors in performance, Julie is determined always to innovate. She is especially expert in making sure audiences not only imagine the story but feel it intimately through their close contact with performers, even in and especially in digital format.
It is our luck indeed that Julie is on board as a determined crack-the-whip manager of imagination. AAlchemy, its partners and its stakeholders can do no better. The list that you will find on Julie’s website of her co-creators over the past 15 years is as breathtaking as it is enviable.
Walter Matteini – AAlchemy Co-Creator
Italian, based in Pisa, Italy, co-Artistic Director with Ina Broeckx (above), expert marketer as well as dancer, also former dancer with Nederlans Dans Theater, acknowledged for his choreography, dance, original creations for stage and screen; like Broeckx, with an exceptionally strong world-wide network of performing artists and technical experts with deep experience in staging original and immersive performances.
Andriana Matviyishyn – Marketing
A self-proclaimed renaissance woman, Andriana Matviyishyn is a business mind in a dancer’s body.
At just 18 years old, Andriana was chosen by J.P. Morgan Chase out of hundreds of applicants to receive the Thomas G. Labrecque Smart Start Scholarship, awarding full academic tuition and a four-year stint at the firm.
Andriana graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University in 2016 with a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Applied Mathematics with a distinction in Mathematics. After graduation, Andriana was hired by J.P. Morgan Chase full-time as an Investment Banking Analyst focusing on corporate credit analysis and leveraged finance transactions.
After a little over seven years at J.P. Morgan Chase, Andriana left the corporate world in October 2019 to fully commit herself to a career in dance and arts administration. This act of self-determination and bravery speaks to Andriana’s character and her desire to follow her dreams no matter what.
Dance has been Andriana’s passion for as long as she can remember. As a little girl twirling on a ballroom dance floor right through her studies at Barnard, she has used every available moment to stay connected to dance, explore life through movement, and help others do the same.
Andriana’s expertise in investment banking matched with her passion for dance makes her the perfect NPAFE team member. And aren’t we lucky!
With her unique interdisciplinary background, Andriana brings a unique double perspective rounding out the NPAFE team, helping to strike the right balance between managing sponsor expectations while putting our affiliated artists front and center.
Jillian Mitchell – Marketing / Programming
An Atlanta based dancer, choreographer, and enterpriser committed to building, shaping, and transforming culture, Jillian Mitchell is a risk-taker and doer in relentless pursuit of pushing the art-form forward and finding innovative means to make beauty happen.
Jillian is a founding board member of Atlanta’s dance community organization, DanceATL, where she serves as Co-chair. In 2017 she founded the ensemble, Kit Modus, which is in residence at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, where she is also director of ballet studies and program developer.
In that same year, Jillian started Active Space, a commercial multi-use event facility that doubles as a spatial and funding resource for artists. This year, just before the pandemic, she formed an offshoot collective intended to activate underused property to generate income for landlords while at the same time providing space for art to happen. She and her partner are a force for historic preservation and finding creative solutions anchored in artistic collaboration to salvage buildings worth preserving that are in danger of being lost to decay or demolition.
Jillian’s background is in classical ballet (Harid Conservatory, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School). She has performed with New Jersey Ballet, Georgia Ballet, GloATL, and the Atlanta Opera. Her choreography has been shown throughout Atlanta and at the Women in Dance Leadership Conference in Philadelphia. The creative work of her Kit Modus ensemble has been featured in ArtsATL’s year end-highlights each year since its inception. ArtsATL’s growing roster of nationally recognized guest-choreographers enjoys onsite accommodations at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, an initiative she also founded.
Isabelle Nelson – AAlchemy Co-Artistic Director / Advisory Board
Power is anchored in the mind and movement of choreographer / dancer Isabelle Nelson. Her creative drive reaches way beyond brilliant performance on stage and screen to the magic of inspiring filmmakers, sound artists, musicians, festivals and more to collaborate in producing the near-impossible: wordless storytelling where performer and audience alike are carried away from the here and now to a moving world of emotion, intimacy, and desire.
Hailing from Wellington, New Zealand, in the Netherlands now for years earning acclaim for her work as a freelance dancer, teacher and choreographer, Nelson’s career as a performing artist has led her to work with multiple dance companies and festivals throughout Europe as well as producing and developing her own work.
Nelson’s success should come as no surprise. She is a no-nonsense business-minded performing arts force to be reckoned with. Determined to unite advanced video technology with the performing arts and especially dance, she is convinced (as is AAlchemy) that way-outside-the-box mixing of choreography, dancer excellence, cinematography, light, sound – plus the courage to go way beyond the creative norm – will result in compelling immersive 2D video art, drawing new audiences to the passion of gripping dance performance that she literally lives and breathes.
AAlchemy and its stakeholders are very fortunate to count Nelson both as an AAlchemy Creative Partner and Board of Advisors member.
Jeanne Pernot – Social Media and Marketing
At NPAFE and AAlchemy in Washington DC during the first half of 2023 for managing their social media initiatives, Jeanne Pernot brings to the table an especially keen mind, deep interest in social justice, and growing expertise in economics and business management from her ongoing coursework at France’s Ecole des Sciences Politiques in Aix en Provence, France, not far from her home city of Marseille. Tri-lingual in Spanish, English and her native French and readying for a Master’s Degree program, Jeanne is gifted with a sparkling “let’s get-it-done” personality, coupled with a special talent for defining and executing complex social media and marketing campaigns. It took her less than a week not only to understand and begin deploying NPAFE’s resources for supporting dance, choreography and filmmaking but also to chart new ways for growing our non-profit’s network of performing arts imagineers. It is our great good fortune that Jeanne is on the NPAFE team.
Melissa Wu – Video Imagineer
A brilliant entrepreneur who packs in more each 24-hour day than most of us achieve in a week, Melissa (Tara Devnam) is a multidisciplinary artist in dance, cinematography, photography and graphic design. A survivor of violence, she uses her art, different movement practices like yoga, and meditation to self heal and to share her special know-how with many others.
A Hong Kong native, Melissa grew up in a city where the East meets the West, and where they once merged harmoniously to create a safe haven free from political storms and agendas. In the “calmness” before the storm, the only storm that existed around her was the one in people’s hearts and minds, providing the perfect environment for her observation of the human psyche with great curiosity.
Through a continuous search of knowledge and self studies (with obsession) in psychology, quantum physics, religions, ancient civilizations, occult, astrology and more, she found herself in the kundalini yoga community.
Melissa is very active within the dance non-profits in NYC as a digital media content creator, working to transform her media service into a non-profit digital media company, as well as the brain of this wellness brand, committed to demystifies and preserves spirituality in this digital age. Melissa’s film works are compelling both for her highly stylized use of the camera when filming and for her remarkable sixth sense for beauty that is elemental to her post-production editing brilliance.
Chilei (“Leilei”) Zhou – Business and Financial Planning
A native of Changzhou, China near Shanghai, Leilei (LAY-lay) Zhou is a new graduate of Columbia University in New York, awarded her degree in Business and Entrepreneurialism with Honors in December 2020. Having lived in Manhattan during the first three of her four years at Columbia, Leilei had to complete her senior year while back home in Changzhou due to the pandemic – which meant attending class remotely at 1 AM, 2 AM or even later local time because of the 13-hour time difference between Shanghai and Manhattan. How’s that for tenacity!
More than a scholar in matters business and finance, Leilei is an accomplished short-story writer. Her imagination takes readers from the here-and-now to a unique dystopian future in which she interweaves moments of fact with the ecstasy of pure fiction evoking passion, love, disappointment, and survival.
Leilei is supporting AAlchemy by applying her knowledge of finance and marketing to the team’s strategy and implementation of its financial modeling, funding efforts, and social media marketing initiatives.
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