Cain A. ColemanCo-Founder & Co-Artistic Director(P) | Eric PolitzerA Richmond, VA native, began his professional career dancing with Philadanco (Philadelphia Dance Company), following his training at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase. After touring with the company domestically and internationally, Cain joined The Martha Graham Dance Company in 2014, and later became a performing artist and collaborator with the Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Company. He has been featured on Good Morning America, Good Morning New York and So You Think you Can Dance. As an emerging choreographer, Cain has presented works at Regional Dance Association, Barre Bone NYC, Gibney Dance, Bronx Academy of arts and Dance, Abrons Art Center, FAB, Movement Research and Afro Dance in the UK.
Matthew PerezCo-Founder & Co-Artistic Director (P) | Eric PolitzerMatthew Perez is a native of the Bronx, New York. He graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts with a high school diploma in 2009 and went on to receive a BFA from SUNY Purchase 2013. While at Purchase, Matthew had the honor of performing works by Pam Tanowitz, Lar Lubovitch, Twyla Tharp, Nicolo Fonte, and John Heginbotham. He has also attended the Movement Invention Project (2011) and Springboard Danse Montreal (2011 & 2012), where he worked with Emily Molnar, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano and Manuel to Vignoulle. He was a performer at Andrea Miller's Gallim Dance between 2013-2017, and continues to work with the company on a freelance basis. As a Choreographer, Matthew has presented work at Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Gibney Dance Center. He is currently the dance education teacher at P.S.4, the Duke Ellington School, and co-director of ColemanCollective.
Charisma GlasperCreative Director (P) | Dana BroekerCharisma Glasper, a native New Yorker, trained during her early years at the The Ailey School and Harlem School of the Arts. She attended Professional Performing Arts high-school in Times Square New York, while training during the summers at Joffrey Ballet. Charisma went on to complete her Bachelor's in Fine Arts at Purchase Conservatory of Dance. During her time at Purchase, Charisma worked with choreographers and performed repertoires by Bill T Jones, Martha Graham, and Gabriel Lamb. Having other passions and interest in fashion, film and performance art, Charisma is working to make a name for herself in these industries. Since graduating, Charisma is building her portfolio having modeled as a dancer in Vogue Italia’s “NY ‘Voguers’ project”. She was muse and model for Marc Jacobs hybrid watch collection launch, appearing on websites and billboards in Tokyo, Japan and Melrose Ave in California. In 2017 has Charisma performed for ESPN’s upfront show at the Minskoff Theatre. She will also appear as a feature dancer in an episode of an upcoming HBO series. Notably she has performed as a moving model in the AIDS Benefit Associations Life Ball in 2015, Vienna, Austria. She posed alongside her fellow ColemanCollective directors for Elle USA Magazine January 2017 issue featuring emerging New York City Art Companies. While pursuing her passions in the arts, Charisma teaches children’s ballet classes at Brooklyn College Prep Center. Charisma is recognized as a freelance teaching artist heavily involved in providing arts programming for NYC schools. Besides having taught many dance programs throughout NYC elementary and middle schools, Charisma has worked with nonprofit organizations to ensure the arts and knowledge of the arts in dance remain in NYC inner schools and communities. She has coordinated, creative directed and curated programs featuring the arts in educational, underprivileged, and LGBT communities. Charisma being a close friend and creative to Cain and Matthew, was inspired to share her passions and knowledge to the growth of ColemanCollective. Charisma joined ColemanCollective as a sole contributor in early 2015; continuing to contribute to the company’s goals and mission, Charisma stands as Associate & Creative Director of ColemanCollective.
Chazz GiovanniMusical Coordinator & Playwright (P) | Eric PolitzerChazz Giovanni is a graduate of SUNY Purchase BFA Acting Conservatory , who has alchemize his own style of untamed multi-medium performance art over the last decade. He is best known for his work on the East & West coasts with acts/organizations such as: Quincy Vidal, Less, Peacelife, Jackson Foote & NGR Creative.
Parris Monèt Lewis Soprano Soloist & Writer Parris Monèt Lewis is a Brooklynite who began performing at an early age in various ensembles and programs throughout New York City. She studied voice at Talent Unlimited High School for the Performing Arts and later received a Bachelors of Music Education from Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Miss Lewis has had opportunities to perform for organizations such as the Martina Arroyo Foundation, Carnegie Hall, The Grady- Rayam Foundation, The American Heart Association, National Endowment of the Arts, The United Negro College Fund, the Mayor’s Office of the City of Orlando and audiences as far as Colombia, South America, the Bahamas and Cuba. Currently fills her time being a teaching artist as well as working at the Museum of Modern Art and Carnegie Hall.
Marcella LewisAssistant Choreographer & Dancer (P) | Eric PolitzerMarcella Lewis hails from Los Angeles, CA, where she began her dance training at the Lula Washington Dance Theatre at the age of 3. She then continued her studies at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts(LACHSA). She later received her BFA from the Purchase Conservatory of Dance, where she was awarded the Adopt-A-Dancer Scholarship. While at Purchase, Marcella performed works by Doug Varone, Gregory Dolbashian, Madboots, Kevin Wynn and Ori Flooman. Marcella has completed summer programs at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Hubbard Street Dance and Alonzo King Lines Ballet, where she was awarded the Homer Avila Scholarship. She joined Abraham.In.Motion in fall 2016. She joined ColemanCollective as a Dancer and Rehearsal Director in summer 2016.
Christopher HernandezDancer(P) | Eric PolitzerChristopher Hernandez, a native of Miami, began his formal dance training at Michael M. Krop Senior High school under the direction of Bernadette Tousaint Pierre. He was the recipient of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatres full scholarship program for three summers and received his Bachelor's in Fine Arts degree from SUNY Purchase. Following graduation Christopher was cast in the highly acclaimed off-Broadway production of Sleep No More, and went on to dance with the internationally-renowned Ballet Hispanico. Christopher has performed in Cuba's International Ballet Festival and most recently was featured in Lincoln Center's Great American Dance series which premiered in over 500 movie theaters across the U.S. and is now showing internationally in Sweden, Puerto Rico, Germany and the U.K. Christopher has also been seen dancing on Telemundo, Univision, and Fox for various recording artists. He has been performing in the ensemble of the Broadway show, 'On Your Feet'!!!
Jasmin SimmonsDancer(P) | Eric PolitzerJasmin Simmons’s formal training began at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and culminated at The State University of New York at Purchase, where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance. This New Orleans native studied with the New Orleans Ballet Association, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet. Jasmin has been blessed to travel Europe while performing aboard the Crown Princess Cruise Ship. She has worked with Christina Noel and The Creature, Donna Crump of Good Dance Since 1984, Maya Taylor Dance, and BUKU Dance Krew. Jasmin is thrilled to be embarking on a new season with The Francesca Harper Project.
Aubree BrownDancer(P) | Eric PolitzerAubree Brown began her dance training in middle school and then continued at Baltimore School for the Arts under the guidance of Norma Pera, Anton Wilson, Deborah Robinson, and Linda-Denise Fischer-Harrell. She also trained at summer intensives including Pennsylvania Regional Ballet, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, and at The Ailey School as a scholarship student. Ms. Brown has worked with various choreographers including Troy Powell, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Kate Skarpetowska, Sarah O'Gleby, Jessica Lang, Ray Mercer, Bettijane Sills, Kirven Douthit-Boyd, Nathan Trice, Desmond Richardson, Dwight Rhoden and has performed works by George Balanchine. In May 2013, Ms. Brown graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts degree from the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase College. Afterwards, Aubree spent two years touring the world with Ailey II, the second company to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Myssi RobinsonCollaborator(P) | Lisa HibbertMyssi Robinson is a performer and educator active within both movement and visual practices. Following her graduation from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, she spent three years as a teacher, administrator, and company member for Nimbus Dance Works. In that time, she began developing an ever expanding interest in visual art. These methods of creative expression have become the anchor of her artistic identity and a prerequisite for her private peace. Today, Myssi works to balance her visual practice with a freelance dance career (Kyle Marshall Choreography, Quentin Burley Dance Group, Elizabeth Dishman and Company, Drigg Productions, Baye and Asa, the School of Nimbus Dance Works, Washington Rock Dance School). She has presented her artwork at Crushed Muffins IV and at the inaugural BUMP through Harlem event. Myssi's fresh and dynamic approach to visual art captures ARTery's appeal for collaboration between different art forms related to dance. Though she is new to the scene, she is not to be missed or underestimated.
Tamisha GuyDancer(P) | Eric PolitzerTamisha Guy began her formal dance training at Ballet Tech, the New York City Public School for Dance under the direction of Eliot Feld. Later she attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, and SUNY Purchase College as a double major in dance and arts management. She has completed summer programs with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Springboard Danse Montreal, and Nathan Trice and performed works by William Forsythe, Pam Tanowitz, Loni Landon, Mark Morris, and Martha Graham etc. In 2013 Guy graduated with honors from SUNY Purchase College and joined the Martha Graham Company shortly after, and in 2014 joined Kyle Abraham’s Abraham in Motion. In 2016 Guy was selected as one of Dance Magazine' 25 to Watch and she also received the 2016 Princess Grace Award.
John Carlos FelicianoMusicianJohn Carlos Feliciano (@johnnyfelic) grew up in Concord, NH. He studied music at Purchase College where he began collaborating with Coleman Collective’s Chazz Giovanni. John currently lives in Brooklyn where he has had the privilege of sharing the stage with countless creative souls, Keenyn Omari Moore, Alex MacKinnon, Sharina Louise, Rob Clove, K’ La Soul, Maya Lazaro, Jared Sims, Frank Schaub, Jon Saraga, Daniel Glaude, Zaven Embree, and Parris 'Pams' Lewis to name a few. He composes and arranges for his own creative project called That Shuffle (@thatshuffle on IG/www.thatshuffle.com). John teaches at Brooklyn’s very own Patricia Robinson music school in Bed-Stuy. Watch out for him on the stand up bass as a proud member of ColemanCollective.
Stephanie ToomanArtistic Mentor(P) | Marisol Díaz-GordonStephanie Tooman has taught full time at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY since 2001. Ms. Tooman earned her MFA degree from the CoD in Performance and Teaching, and her BFA from the Juilliard School. She also received training as a Merit Scholarship student at the Alvin Ailey School.
Ms. Tooman performed extensively with many companies, including the Martha Graham Dance Company, Reggie Wilson Fist and Heel Performance Group (founding member), Neta Pulvermacher (founding member), Clive Thompson Dance Co., Merian Soto/Pepatian, Gina Gibney, Earl Moseley, Errol Grimes and Earnest Morgan in Hawaii. She was also a principal dancer, and rehearsal Director to the Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theater, most notably in Tokyo at the New National Theater for Ms. Hirabayashi’s full length Faust.
Ms. Tooman has taught nationally and internationally including for the Netherlands Dance Theatre, 1st and 2nd Companies, The Martha Graham School, The Rotterdam Dance Academy, the Institut del Theatre (Spain), the Dan Ching Dance Academy (Taiwan), Los Talleres in Mexico City, the Beijing Dance Academy, Regional Dance America North East, and for years at The Alvin Ailey School.
Ms. Tooman was awarded a ‘Bessie’ (New York Dance Professional Award) in 2000 for her work with Reggie Wilson, and the recipient of Arts International Exploration Fund Grant in 2001.
Ms. Tooman is a founding board member for VIM VIGOR/Shannon Gillen, and Artistic Advisor to Los Talleres as well as The 360 Dance Company. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Martha Hill Dance Fund. With Daniel Madoff and Terese Capucilli, Ms. Tooman also co-produced Kazuko Hirabayashi’s Memorial Concert at Symphony Space in October 2016.
Stephanie is the proud mother of Senlee and Arthur.
Samantha BarrientoDancer(P) | Eric PolitzerSamantha Barriento is a native New Yorker, having attended the Fame School and the Ailey/ Fordham Bachelor in Fine Arts program as a Dance major. With such highly acclaimed training from both institutions, she has gone on to dance professionally with Ailey II and Nimbus Dance Works. She has also performed in project based work by Alia Kache-Blackwell, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Fredrick Earl Mosley, and many other New York City based choreographers
Camille UpshawActressCamille Upshaw is a proud Detroit native. She is a graduate of the 2016 BFA Acting Conservatory at SUNY Purchase College. She just finished working with Bright Star Touring Theatre Company and is proud to come back to NYC and join ColemanCollective. She would like to thank God and all those who continue to support her. Credits: THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE; Nutella, IN THE RED AND BROWN WATER; Shun, STAGE DOOR; Bobby, MARAT/SADE; Cucurucu.
Makeda SmithDirector of Media & Engagement
Heather M. BensonDancer(P) | Theresa ReganHeather M. Benson is an Atlanta,Georgia native, where she trained and performed with Norma’s Academy of Dance, The Atlanta Ballet Centre of Dance, and Total Dance/Dancical Productions, Inc. She received a B.F.A. in Dance from The Florida State University, where she performed works by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Artistic Director/Founder of Urban Bush Women, Anthony Morgan (former member of The Martha Graham Dance Company) and Gerri Houlihan (former member of The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company). Heather is a former company member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre II, Urban Bush Women and Philadanco! (The Philadelphia Dance Company), performing the works of Talley Beatty, George Faison, Milton Myers, Christopher Huggins, Ron K. Brown, Dwight Rhoden, and many more. As well she has taught the Lester Horton Technique and other dance forms around the world whilst touring with Philadanco! In 2013, Heather was an original cast member of The Apollo Theater’s (NYC) James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, featuring works by Otis Sallid, Ron K. Brown, Camille A. Brown, Thang Dao and Abdel Salaam. Now residing in London, Heather teaches Horton Technique weekly at Danceworks. Additionally, she serves as a resident instructor for Artistry Youth Dance and Transform! Dance, and as a guest tutor for the WAC Arts Diploma Programme.
Natasha WilliamsDirector of Development(P) | Eric PolitzerNatasha R. Williams started dancing with a small studio in Greensboro, NC. Under the instruction of Melissa St. Amour, she learned the importance of sound technique coupled with her already strong musicality and natural ability. She was heavily influenced by her instructor’s knowledge of the subject matter and the rich history of dance, kinesiology, and dance construction. So much so, that she continued her education at the same university and received her BS in Dance Education with NC licensure for K-12, graduating with Honors. During her time there, she performed with John Gamble Dance Theatre and danced in various other repertory pieces. She made a point to break down the stereotype that “those who can’t do, teach.” On the contrary, she held herself to a high standard as a performer and choreographer, living the mantra that “The best teacher should be the best tangible example for their students.” After graduation, her teaching career was put on hold after she was offered an opportunity with Christal Brown’s Inspirit. After a year, she embarked on her teaching career as a high school dance instructor. Many of those students, with no prior dance training, have gone on to study dance in prestigious collegiate programs, have become influential dance educators in their own right, and are even dancing in professional dance companies in NYC and other major cities. She’s performed for a multitude of choreographers in both concert and commercial genres. While in NY, she has danced for Monifah Kincaid Contemporary Dance and has freelanced for various others companies as choreographer and performer. She has been focusing on vocal performances as of late, and has recently been offered a feature performance opportunity at the critically acclaimed, Metropolitan Room in Manhattan. “ Dance will always be my first love. I’m a feeler. I see dance , I feel instruments, and I live to tell stories. You don’t have to love the craft, but I want each and every person to leave changed. I think that should be the goal of every performing artist.”