maria gillespie      artistic director / choreographer


the company


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Flannery Gregg

Flannery Gregg is a recent graduate from the World Arts and Cultures, Dance program at UCLA and a recipient of the Soo Jin Kim Dancing Scholarship. She began training and performing in San Diego with local choreographers Jean Isaacs, Bradley Lundberg, and Michael Mizerany. Upon coming to Los Angeles she has been able to perform her own work along with the work of her peers, graduate students, and faculty in the World Arts and Cultures department. She is currently working for the Los Angeles County Arts Commission as the Public Events Assistant at the John Anson Ford Theatres. Flannery is thrilled to be dancing with Maria and Oni Dance!




Marissa Labog

Marissa Labog is excited to be performing with Maria Gillespie/Oni Dance. She is a LucillMorrison scholarship recipient and is honored with the Palm Desert Solo Award, an Ovation Award nomination, and a Lester Horton Award for Outstanding Performer. Receiving a BA in both Dance and English, Marissa went on to perform with Pennington Dance Company and the L.A. Philharmonic, Assistant Choreographer and performer for the award winning J.O.B. the Hip Hopera. She is currently rehearsal director of Collage Dance Theatre, and is founder/director of " One Step Ahead." Commercially, she has been privileged to work with such artists as Tina Turner, Christina Aguillera, LL Cool J, T-Pain, Sean Paul, N'Sync, Toni Basil, K-OS, and Slum Village. She has appeared on commercials including Nike, iPod, Coke, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Hyundai. Some of her TV/Film credits include, Shake It Up, That's So Raven, MTV Movie Awards, the Emmy's, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Bring It On All or Nothing, and award winning Go For It! directed by Carmen Marron coming out 2011.


Carlos Rodriguez

Carlos Rodriguez, a native of El Salvador, was raised in California from the age of ten, and started his dance training at age 17. He studied at Santa Ana College and the ADF School in North Carolina. While there he performed works by David Dorfman, Donald McKayle, Gail Gilbert, and Andrea Woods. Carlos has also performed works by Heather Gillette as an American College Dance Festival Gala Finalist. Other credits include performances with Dance Touring Ensemble (Orange County), Notoriety Inc., Pasadena City Ballet, Collage Dance Theatre, Ptero Dance Theater, APAP and Dancers Responding to AIDS in NYC, and Fusion Dance Theatre. Currently he is a member of Oni Dance and Regina Klenjoski Dance Co., where he is a teacher for RKDC's residency and is a guest choreographer for SAC. Carlos was recently nominated for the best male performer award by the Beverly Hills Outlook. A freelance makeup artist as well as female or celebrity impersonator, Carlos is most known for his Madonna illusion in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.


Wilfried Souly

Wilfried Souly is a choreographer, dancer, drummer and Tae kwon Do expert. He was born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso where he studied and performed with the acclaimed ensemble "Le Bourgeon du Burkina." In 2000 he co-founded Compagnie Tâ with Olivier Tarpaga and Auguste Ouédraogo. He has worked with choreographers Robert Battle/Battleworks, Gerardo Delgado, and Dole Danle with Company E.Go. In LA his dances have been seen at REDCAT and the Kodak Theater. He is a long time collaborator with Olivier Tarpaga and Esther Baker Tarpapa. In 2007 he was nominated for the Horton Award for best male dancer, and was awarded "best dance" in Emerging Above Ground Festival at Diavolo Space. He teaches West African dance for the Fullerton school district and also for LA's Best after school program.


Tida Sripanich

Tida Sripanich, born and raised in Los Angeles, began her dance focus at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, continuing to UCLA's department of World Arts and Cultures. In addition to her study of various classical and contemporary techniques, she has also trained with Ohad Naharin and the dancers of Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel. Tida has worked and collaborated with artists such as Francisco Martinez, Denise Leitner and Victoria Marks, whose styles vary broadly, allowing her to continually grow as a mover. She continues to perform various works in Los Angeles.


Lisa Wahlander

Lisa Wahlander is a Los Angeles based dancer, photographer, educator and video artist. In 1999 she moved to Los Angeles to obtain her B.A in World Arts and Cultures/Dance from UCLA where she studied with Michele Bloom and Gillespie. With John Bishop as her mentor, she was involved with several notable choreographers' video projects, including Victoria Marks and Simone Forti. Since then, Lisa has served as a Martial Arts Coordinator and Videographer for Nickelodeon's award-winning television series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, an Arts Educator for the Skirball Cultural Center, as well as a Dancer for various west coast choreographers, including Joe Goode, Taisha Paggett, Victoria Marks, Kristen Smiarowski, Maggie Lee, and Jeremy Hahn.


Kevin Williamson

Kevin Williamson is a choreographer and dancer working in LA, SF, and NYC. A graduate of UCLA's prestigious World Arts & Culture program, 2009 Lestor Horton Award winner, and director of KDUB DANCE, Kevin has been presented at Highways Performance Space, Nate Holden Theater, Diavolo Space, the Rover Soho, Winter Music Conference, and Freud Theater. He is a company member of Robert Moses' Kin, Oni Dance, and LA Contemporary Dance. He is honored to have worked with Angelin Preljocaj and Julie Taymor for the LA Opera, David Gordon, Stephen Koplowitz, and Sebastian Prantl of TanzAtelierWien. Kevin is a dance educator, Bates Dance Festival Fellow '09, and program director for Chadwick School '08-'10.


Nguyen Nguyen

Nguyen Nguyen was born in Vietnam and came to the United States at the age of 7. He received a Regents Scholarship to attend UCLA and graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Nguyen received his teaching certification as a District Intern and taught for the Los Angeles Unified School District. He holds a cleared credential for secondary Biological/Chemical Science. Nguyen is currently a member of Maria Gillespie's Oni Dance as well as Holly Johnston's Ledges and Bones dance project, and has also performed with Collage Dance Theater. He has worked and collaborated with local artists Taisha Paggett, Shyamala Moorty, Nicole Smith and Eva Aymami. His own works has been presented at Highways Performance Space, Ananotomy Riot, Diavalo Space, Citrus College Dance Festival, Santa Monica's "Music and Dance by the Pier", "Dancers For Life" at Landis Performing Arts Center, and the American College Dance Festivals. Nguyen is on dance faculty at Santa Monica College where he teaches contemporary movement.


Yiwen Chen

Yiwen Chen, a native of Taipei, Taiwan, moved to Los Angeles in 2006. She began her dance training at Tainan Woman's College of Art & Technology, where she studied history of Chinese dance and western dance, modern dance, Chinese ethnic dance, anatomy, kinesiology, pedagogy etc. while there she performed in Ren Wu dance theatre and had taught Chinese ethnic dance in Tainan County GueiRen Elementary School for three years. Since moving to Los Angeles, she has worked with Shana Menaker, Jenny Backhaus, and joined Oni Dance in 2008.



Anthony Barbir (Administrative Support)

Anthony Barbir is a Washington D.C. based arts administrator, choreographer, and dancer. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he graduated with a BA in World Arts and Cultures with a dance concentration. While in Los Angeles, he produced his own work along with the work of his peers, graduate students, and faculty in the Department of World Arts and Cultures and the greater LA community. As an administrator, Anthony interned with Oni Dance (Los Angeles, CA) and the Bates Dance Festival (Lewiston, ME). He now works with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), Oni Dance, and the Croatian Scholarship Fund (San Francisco, CA). As a dancer, he has performed and collaborated internationally with Koraci Croatian Folklore Ensemble, the UCLA Bruin Marching Band, the World Champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, Oni Dance, and most recently with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Anthony is honored to be working with Maria and Oni Dance.





Perry Kayla Fox (Production Manager)

Perry Kayla Fox is a dancer, choreographer and stage manager from Oakland, CA. She is studying technical production and dance at UCLA and is pursuing a career in dance production. Perry is the assistant director for UCLA's AIDS Performance Team and has worked on various shows for the University of Oregon Dance Department, UCLA's World Arts and Cultures Department, Oni Dance and Margaret Jenkins' CHIME event. Her choreography has been featured in performances at the University of Oregon and UCLA. She is excited to be working with Maria Gillespie and Oni Dance.

  Recent Company Performers:  

Eva Aymamí

Eva Aymamí is a native of Barcelona, Spain. In 2001 she received the seven-year degree in Contemporary Dance and Choreography from the Institute of the Theater of Barcelona. After that, she danced in several dance and theater companies such as La Fura dels Baus, Les 4 Souffles, Dansa Xalesta and Toc de Retruc; she was also a dance teacher in distinguished dance schools, including a series of master classes at the Ramon Llull University in Barcelona. In addition to her dance studies, Eva holds a BA in Social and Cultural Anthropology (with minor in History) from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She first came to Los Angeles in September 2006 with a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue an M.A. in Culture and Performance at UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures. She is currently researching dance as a construction of social protest. Currently, Eva is a member of Oni Dance, and she has also collaborated with Los Angeles choreographers, Victoria Marks, Nguyen Nguyen and Jia Jia Wu.


Noellie Bordelet

Noellie Bordelet is a native of Paris, France and moved to LA in 2004. She studied dance at the Studio Harmonic School in Paris. She received training from choreographers and teachers Corinne Lanselle, Bea Buffin, Domi nique Lesdema, & Bruno Collinet. The emphasis of her studies were: the relaxed and natural weight of the body, contact and connection with the floor, the kinesphere, the quality of movement, anatomical awareness, musicality, and an allowance for the natural execution of the bodies ranges of motion, virtuosity, and subtlety. After receiving her diploma ( D.E.) she collaborated with above choreographers and performed in theaters such asTheatre de Paris, L'Oplympia, Cafe de la danse, Theatre Mogador, and at others venues throughout France. In 2005, she joined Oni Dance and was nominated 2005 & 2006 for the Lester Horton Award best female performer for her work in Oni Dance's Bandits and La Hora de Salir. She also worked with Victoria Marks, Lionel Popkin, Laura Gorenstein Miller's Helios Dance Theater, and Stephanie Nugent.


Holly Johnston | Guest Artist and Collaborator

Holly Johnston is the artistic director and choreographer for Ledges and Bones Dance Project. She is recognized for being "…a fearless investigator of the human condition"- LA Times. Holly's choreography has been presented throughout Los Angeles, San Francisco and Arizona. Several colleges and universities have commissioned Johnston's choreography. Holly holds a BA in Dance from Loyola Marymount University and has taught for numerous universities among them, UCLA, CalArts, CSU Long Beach, and Loyola Marymount University. She has taught her high-velocity idiosyncratic physicality in Master Classes throughout Southern California. Holly also toured nationally and internationally with TONGUE Contemporary Dance during her eight years as rehearsal director, master teacher, and principle dancer. She has been nominated for five Lester Horton Awards for Outstanding Ensemble Performance and Costume Design. She is currently working with Ledges and Bones, String Theory Productions, Rosanna Gamson/World Wide, Victoria Marks and Oni Dance.



Past Peformers:

Shelley Wilcox, Johnny Tu, Diana Mehoudar, Natalie Bowers, Lillian Bitkoff, Damon Patrick Rago, Holly Rothschild, Chris Stanley, Todd McQuade, Alesia Young, Miyo, Monica Gillette, and Robbie Shaw.




"Gillespie’s dances share unexpected twists and turns: Limbs extend into space only to snap and recoil, a poised suspension suddenly deflates, an expansive circular sweep of the leg resolves with a quick kick that sends a dancer sprawling on the floor. "

---LA Times

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artistic director