Guest Choreographers in Residence

We bring in a diverse range of professional dance artists, dance companies, and guest lecturers to work with our students.

We are proud to present our Fall Arts Dance 2016

Francesca Harper Project

The Francesca Harper Project and GVSU Dance present “Beethoven’s The Creatures of Prometheus Ballet”


Dance performance followed by reception

Prelude carillon concert from 7–7:20 p.m. featuring 
University Carillonneur, Professor Julianne Vanden Wyngaard

The renowned New York City dance performing arts company The Francesca Harper Project joins with Grand Valley faculty members and students in a performance of Beethoven’s only work for the ballet stage: Creatures of Prometheus. The Francesca Harper Project, founded by Francesca Harper in 2005, is a nonprofit performing arts company dedicated to creating groundbreaking dance, music, and theatre works.

Francesca Harper pairs the scope of Beethoven’s original score, performed to full orchestra, with her interpretation of the classical ballet’s creation myth. In Creatures of Prometheus, Harper’s dancers evoke an eternal struggle to find balance in a life lived at the edge of peril. Contemporary ballet illustrates forces natural and primordial, elegant and dramatic.  

Written in 1801, Beethoven’s ballet has little to do with the classical version of Prometheus the Greek mythical figure. Instead, the composer imagined him as a righteous, idealistic, god-like figure who brings to humans an understanding of morality and virtue — creating humankind through the power of music and art. Beethoven’s matchless ability to portray heroic struggle through wordless music was a vital part of his power as a composer, leading many to believe it no accident that Beethoven re-used a theme from the ballet as the basis for the Eroica symphony’s final movement.  

Through this uplifting music, Beethoven passionately demonstrates the inspirational power of culture and rational thought as he fuses gesture and rhetoric in dance with his emerging heroic symphonic style.

We Are Proud to Present our Fall Guest Artists

Jesse Rand Powers

Jesse Rand Powers, Alumnus in Residence Aug. 29 - Sept. 4.

JESSE RAND POWERS graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts in dance. Jesse danced for 8 years, before going to Grand Valley, with Children's Ballet Theatre of Michigan performing lead roles in ballets such as the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Don Quixote. He has studied dance under the direction of Giuseppe Canale, Gregory M. George, Lisa Whiting-Dobson, Patty Villanueva, and Diane Newman. While at Grand Valley, Jesse worked with esteemed artists such as Julie Blume, Amy Cova, Lauren Edson, Autumn Eckman, Anna Liceica, and Erica Fischbach.

Jesse then danced two seasons with Inaside Chicago Dance as a Performing Apprentice. There he was able to work with Preston Miller, Kristen Harvey, Brandon DiCriscio, Eric Rivera, Robert Mckee, and Richard Smith. Most recently Jesse has been working with New York based artists including shawnbibledanceco, Psychosomatic Dance Company, and Michael Mao Dance. 

Richard Bowman

Richard Bowman, Guest Choreographer in Residence Sept. 12 - 18.

RICHARD BOWMAN was trained in New Zealand under careful guidance of his mother. After completing the Royal Academy of Dance Advanced examination with Honors, he was invited to further his training at the Royal Ballet School in London. During this time, he studied with such notables as: Murray Kilgour, Jiahong Wang and Mikhail Messerer. Over the next decade,  Mr. Bowman danced both as a soloist and principal with internationally acclaimed ballet companies, of which the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Vienna State OperaLeipzig BalletAustralian Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre are included. Throughout his career, he danced many leading roles, from the “Gaoler” in Kenneth MacMillan’s production of Manon, to “James” in Erik Bruhn’s production of La Sylphide. In addition to co-founding Danse Conservatory, Mr. Bowman also served as ballet master and principal artist for City Ballet of San Diego, California, Mr. Bowman also appeared as a principal guest artist for Sacramento Ballet, University of California, Irvine, and New Ballet West, San Marcos, for which Mr. Bowman also staged their production of Giselle. Mr. Bowman is a member of the  ABT® National Training Curriculum Artistic Board of Examiners & Instructors, and formally a senior faculty member for the ABT® Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School. Mr. Bowman also serves as a faculty member for Broadway Dance Center and is an international guest ballet master, coach and adjudicator.

Leslie Scott

Leslie Scott, Guest Artist in Residence Sept. 19 - 25.

LESLIE SCOTT is the founder and AD of BODYART ( a NY & LA based multi-media contemporary dance theatre Company as well as an International producer for dance. Her work has been performed in notable venues from LA, NYC, Dallas, Edinburgh and New Zealand.  The Decay Project, a dance film residency program, was created to partner with local communities and has just finished their third residency in Christchurch, New Zealand. The company is looking toward upcoming projects in Malaysia & Indonesia in June 2016. As a photographer, Scott worked for world-renowned dance photographer Lois Greenfield and later became the Art Director for BODYART's collaborations with underwater photographer, Chris Crumley. As an International producer, Scott has organized festivals in NYC, Beijing, and Edinburgh, and locally works with Invertigo Dance Theatre. Scott holds a BFA in Modern Dance with an emphasis in photography from Texas Christian University and is an MFA candidate at CalArts in 2016. Ms Scott is also certified sommelier and enjoys incorporating all five senses into her choreographic projects. 

We Are Proud to Present Our Winter Guest Artists

Autumn Eckman

Autumn Eckman, Guest Artist in Residence, Jan. 9 - 15.

AUTUMN ECKMAN, originally from Atlanta GA, is a graduate of the Houston Ballet Academy. She also received her classical training from Tom Pazik (Atlanta Ballet), Susan Banks Beebe, and Kris Cangelosi. Professional performance credits include Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Giordano Dance Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Lucky Plush Productions, Ron De Jesus Dance and State Street Ballet (Santa Barbara). From 2009-2014 she served as Artistic Director of Giordano II and Artistic Associate/Resident Choreographer of Giordano Dance Chicago. In 2014, she created a reimagined version of Scheherazade as Artist-In- Residence for State Street Ballet. Other choreographic works include commissions/residencies for DanceWorks Chicago, Big Muddy Dance Co., Wylliams Henry Dance Co. (New Dance Partners), Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point and KRESA's Aesthetic Education Program. Her work JOLT was recognized by Dance Magazine's Wendy Perron as a top choreographic pick of 2012. Autumn is currently a member of The Cambrians- a  Chicago based company whose innovative platform provides unique opportunity for performance and choreographic exploration. She was an Instructor of Dance at Northern Illinois University from 2009-2015.  In her teaching, she strives to nurture both the artistic and technical aspects of dancing for the individual. Autumn is currently a Iowa Arts Fellow at the University of Iowa where she is pursuing an MFA in Choreography. 

Mark Haim

Mark Haim, Guest Artist In Residence, Jan. 23 - 29.

MARK HAIM is in his 4th decade of making dances. Born in New York City, Mark studied as a classical pianist at the Manhattan School of Music before beginning his formal dance studies with an honorary scholarship at The Juilliard School, where he received his BFA. He has created new works for many dance companies in the US, Europe and Asia, among them the Nederlands Dans Theater, Ballett Frankfurt, the Limon Dance Company, the Joffrey II Dancers, the Rotterdamse Dansgroep, the Silesian Dance Theater, the Companhia de Danca de Lisboa, CoDanceCo, the TRANS Dance Co., and Ballet Pacifica. He has restaged his works on companies such as The Joffrey Ballet, the Bat-Dor Dance Company of Israel, Djazzex, and the Juilliard Dance Ensemble. Since 2002, he has been guest choreographer at The Wooden Floor, an after-school organization that has promised hope and opportunity to nearly 400 low-income youth annually. He is a recipient of a 1987 NYFA Fellowship, 1988 and 1996 NEA Fellowships, and grants from the NPN Suitcase Fund, Artslink, Inc., the Harkness Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. In 2000, he was awarded the Scripps/ADF Humphrey-Weidman-Limon Fellowship for Choreography. His full evening solo project, The Goldberg Variations, has been performed at the John F. Kennedy Center, the American Dance Festival, the Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, On The Boards, and other venues in the U.S, Europe, and Asia. His This Land Is Your Land opened the 2013 ArtDanthe Festival in Paris, and has also been performed at the Joyce Theater, ADF, and by groups in San Diego and Beijing. Mark has been teaching dance since 1985, on the faculty of the American Dance Festival since 1993. From 2002-2008, he was Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington and in 2009 was Visiting Associate Professor of Dance at Reed College. He is currently on the faculty of the Velocity Dance Center, and the International Ballet Academy. He holds an MFA in Dance from the ADF/Hollins University MFA program.

Melissa Hale Coyle

Melissa Hale Coyle, Guest Artist in Residence Jan. 30 - Feb. 5

MELISSA HALE COYLE grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she received her early training from Roman Jasinski and Moscelyne Larkin. She studied as a scholarship student for two summers at American Ballet Theatre with Leon Dandelion and Patricia Wilde. After graduating from high school, she joined American Ballet Theatre as a company member for three years. Coyle later joined Cincinnati Ballet Company where she performed in principal roles and Tulsa Ballet Theatre where she was a principal dancer for six years. For the past 27 years, Coyle has lived in Charlotte, North Carolina where she is on the faculty and Artistic Director of the Ballet Program at Sullivan Dance Centre, Co- Artistic Director of Charlotte City Ballet Company and has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for the past 16 years. She has been on the faculty for American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive in Alabama for 12 years, has been a guest faculty member at North Carolina Dance Theatre’s Summer Intensive Program and a company teacher for North Carolina Dance Theatre(Charlotte Ballet). She has been a guest choreographer for the Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra, Charlotte Civic Orchestra, Carolina Voices, Atlanta Dance Theatre, The Dance Collective, Ballet San Antonio, Civic Ballet of Chicago, Lawrence Ballet Theatre, South Carolina’s Governors Summer School, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s 2015 Fall Dance Program and Orange County Performing Arts High School. Coyle has appeared in two movies, “The Turning Pointe” and “The Cowboy and the Ballerina”. Coyle is a certified teacher of the ABT National Curriculum and in 2001, The North Carolina School of the Arts awarded Coyle “Best Dance Teacher of North Carolina”. 

Page last modified March 29, 2017