MEET THE CAST
Siobhan Cook was a full time professional dancer and Dance Captain under the artistic direction of her mentor, Acia Gray with Tapestry Dance Company until 2019 and currently serves the Austin community as the SAFE CARES Drop-In Manager and Survivor Leader/Public Speaker. In her tap dance world, Siobhan has studied with Dianne Walker, Nicholas Young, Michelle Dorrance, Brenda Buffalino, Dormeshia Sumbry- Edwards, Dr.Fayard Nicholas, Dr. Arthur Duncan, and Dr. Jeni Legon. Siobhan has appeared in premier works by TDC such as Ears Wide Open, April Fools, and Time. She was a part of the NEA American Masterpiece production of Tapestry’s Souls of Our Feet - A Celebration of American Tap that toured the United States, Canada and China as well as many company full length concert premieres. She was the leading female in Matt Shield’s Chronological Life Story of a Few Tap Dancers, premiering at Vancouver International Tap Festival and It’s About Time with Sarah Petronio in NYC. She was Arthur Duncan’s demonstrator at the Montreal Tap Dance Festival in 2013 under the direction of Tanya Rivard. She also has taught at Zach Scott Theater and The Dance Institute and continues to work closely with Austin’s St. Stephen’s Episcopal School and The Brownsville ISD with Tapestry's educational outreach programming with co-founders Deirdre Strand and Acia Gray.
Denisha is a Texas-native singer, songwriter, and vocal producer who always felt called to the arts. Throughout grade school she participated in her local church and school choirs, where she was selected to sing in the DFW metroplex choir, UIL competitions, all region choir. Denisha furthered her Education at the University of North Texas, where she got her degree in kinesiology. After graduating from UNT, Denisha moved back to Austin in search of a new beginning. Since being back in Austin she has had the opportunity to sing backgrounds for various artists, be a part of an amazing collective and direct vocals in Austin’s very own Stretch Musik Band, and cultivate her own sound in the music industry.
Olivia Chacón is a flamenco dancer, choreographer, and instructor with a uniquely powerful dance style and dynamic approach to teaching students. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Olivia has danced flamenco for over seventeen years, and has spent five years studying flamenco and performing in Sevilla and Madrid, Spain with some of the world’s best flamenco artists. She spent two years touring internationally throughout Spain, Mexico, and Cyprus with the Cristóbal Reyes Compañia de Flamenco, and also performed as a soloist in flamenco clubs in Spain and Germany. Olivia aims to keep the dance form alive and well in this country by performing frequently throughout Texas and the region, and teaching flamenco to a new generation of dancers at her studio, Flamencura Music and Dance in Austin. Olivia is also co-founder and Artistic Director of A’lante Flamenco. Born in Austin in 2011, the 11-member company has garnered rave reviews and awards for their innovative ‘flamenco theater’ productions, including the Austin Critics’ Table Award for Best Dancer (Olivia Chacon 2013); and Best Dance Ensemble (2014 and 2015). A’lante Flamenco presents original choreography and music with the goal of connecting with audiences via creative storytelling. Their productions include The Red Shoes: A Flamenco Fairytale (2012); Prophecies (2014), based on the writings of Khalil Gibran; and most recently Desplazados (2015), in which company members told their personal stories of immigration and displacement via music, dance, and video. Olivia is also a dedicated flamenco dance teacher. She has taught flamenco dancers of all ages and levels since 2004, always with a special emphasis on understanding the pivotal role of music in flamenco dance. She has been an adjunct dance instructor at McCallum Fine Arts Academy since 2012, and loves exposing young dancers to the complexity, beauty, and tradition of flamenco. Flamencura students are also encouraged to show off their skills during performances several times per year in order to foment their artistic growth.
Robert Faires has been active in the Austin arts scene since 1980, having worked on more than 90 productions across the city as an actor, a director, and a playwright. He is also a recovering arts critic, following his recent retirement from The Austin Chronicle after 35 years of covering the performing, visual, and literary arts there. His writing and criticism have been recognized with awards locally and nationally, and in 2019, he was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters.
As a musician, soloist, choreographer and master teacher of the indigenous American art form of jazz tap dance, Ms. Gray has toured extensively across the U.S. and abroad as a tap dancer and in 1989 co-founded Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, TX with Deirdre Strand and currently serves as Producing Artistic Director & Artistic Director of The Soul to Sole Tap Festival. A graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts/NYC, Ms. Gray has shared the stage with legends of the form including Donald O’Connor, Fayard Nicholas, Arthur Duncan, Savion Glover, Jimmy Slyde, Sarah Petronio, Dianne Walker and many others in such productions as The Great Tap Reunion, Tap Do/Wop, Just Friends, Masters of Tap, Chicago on Tap and Women in Tap at UCLA. She was chosen to work with legend Charles ‘Honi’ Coles in America’s first creative residency for tap at The Colorado Dance Festival and again with Jimmy Slyde and was featured in the documentary A Class Act: The Magic of Honi Coles. She served on the Steering Committee of The National Tap Plan of The International Tap Association and served as its director from 2008-2018. She has also danced, choreographed and taught for numerous academic institutions and festivals around the world including courses at UT Austin in tap pedagogy. Her book The Souls of Your Feet – A Tap Dance Guide for Rhythm Explorers has been translated in the Czech Republic and China and debuted as an Amazon.com Bestseller in its category in 1998. Her numerous awards include the “Hoofer Award” by The New York City Tap Festival, nominated for a Princess Grace Award in the early 1990's and honored at the 2018 DanceUSA Conference among numerous tap festival honors. Ms. Gray has received numerous "Best Of" awards by the Critics Table in Austin and her work The Souls of Our Feet - A Celebration of American Tap Dance was chosen as an NEA American Masterpiece production and toured throughout the US, Canada, and China from 2009-2012. She can also be seen in the documentaries Honi Coles: The Class Act of Tap, Gotta Move - Women In Tap, Tap or Die, Thinking on Their Feet - Women of the Tap Renaissance and Passing it Forward produced by PBS. Ms. Gray is a premiere member of The Austin Arts Hall of Fame and she is also proud to be a 2019 Austin Creative Alliance Honoree and a current member of the Austin Arts Commission. www.aciagray.com.
Pamela Hart is highly regarded as one of Austin, Texas’ finest vocalist. She is noted by Austin Women’s Magazine as “Austin’s First Lady of Jazz.” Pamela is keen on keeping jazz vocal music alive. In 1994, Pamela and Kevin Hart founded the Women in Jazz Association, Inc. with a mission to keep jazz alive. The organization has been growing ever since providing concerts, vocal workshops, and youth programs geared towards jazz education and performance. With her performances, the Women in Jazz Association, Inc., vocal performance workshops, and vocal coaching, Pamela is making a difference in the Austin jazz scene. Pamela Hart was inducted in the Austin Jazz Society Hall of Fame in 2018. Pamela’s appreciation for the great masters of jazz is apparent in her intonation, grace and style. Professional, unique, & captivating,... Pamela Hart performs locally, regionally, and nationally for Concerts, Festivals, Weddings, Corporate Events, Banquets, & Night Clubs. She has also performed in Europe with the James Polk Texas State Jazz Band. She has repeatedly opened shows for, and shared stages with, many popular artists including Miss Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Nat Adderley, Jr., Kirk Whalum, Rachelle Ferrell, Norman Brown & Richard Elliot. Her passion for jazz extends to jazz education programs for youth and young female singers. For more information on Pamela, visit her website at www.pamelahart.com
Born and raised in Mexico City, Sharon's choreography has been listed numerous times as one of the top ten dance events of the year by the Austin Chronicle, and she is a three-time winner of the Austin Critics Table Award for Outstanding Choreographer. Sharon has created pieces for Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre, Big Range Austin Dance Festival, Forklift Danceworks, Ballet East, Hot September Flurries, Tapestry Dance Company, and many others. Her production, The Materiality of Impermanence, based on her experience with breast cancer, was honored with awards for Best Dance Concert and Best Dancer. In addition to her artistic endeavors, Sharon is a dual language elementary school teacher, and the proud mother and stepmother of two teenage sons. sharonmarroquin.wixsite.com/dance
Zell Miller III is an interdisciplinary theater artist based out Austin, TX. He is the Artistic Director of ZM3 Productions. Zell is an award winning, playwright/director/actor and Producer. Over a 15 year span, Zell has created work speaks to the condition of black american’s holds a mirror up to the American experience and hopes to destroy negative stereotypes of black americans. He has over 9 full length plays produced, he has traveled as a touring artist with Tapestry Dance, and he has opened for legendary artist like Nikki Giovanni, Laurie Carlos, and The Last Poets. He has been a member of two national slam tours and is a published author. He is most proud of his amazing relationship with his partner over 9 years Ashley Miller, and his two greatest creations Zell Miller, IV and Blaise Marley Miller.
Dancer/Choreographer/Educator/Collaborator. Being raised by art-loving Indian parents in Canada, Anuradha has had the best of many worlds. Her western upbringing along with her traditional training in India and deep-rooted spirituality, make her a unique teacher and performer of Bharata Natyam dance who connects with people from across the globe. She is founder and Artistic Director of Austin Dance India, her organization of nearly 30 years through which she teaches regular classes and presents her work. She has trained numerous dancers from beginner to professional level and continues to mentor students and young artists. She is a 2018 inductee into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame for her significant body of work and a juried artist on the touring roster of the Texas Commission on the Arts. The Austin Area Critics’ Circle has nominated and awarded her Best Dancer and Production numerous times. She has received several awards in India including Sringara Mani and Mayura Natya Tarakai. She is a recipient of the 2020 and 2017 Artistic Innovations Grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance. The Austin Chronicle included her in their list of Movers and Shakers for her valuable contributions in the dance community. She tours regularly as a soloist or as a collaborator with local and international artists of different genres. Anuradha is passionate about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is a member of the Global Artists 2030 Network. Her social practice projects include work with refugee teens, South Asian seniors, and social justice, and climate change. Her work with girls’ empowerment through dance was featured in the PBS series, Arts in Context. Anuradha can be seen at various schools, libraries, and museums across the state presenting performances on Indian dance and culture. She is deeply dedicated to arts in education and making art available to all children. Interested in creating and performing works that not only historically preserve artistic traditions, she engages in art as social practice to build community and bring awareness to global issues.
Ami is an award-winning, eclectic creative professional with 22+ years with a strong history of results in Advertising + Marketing as a Creative Director, Art Director, Animator, Illustrator, Designer, and Developer (way back in the day). Ami has worked across the media spectrum–driving & executing projects in Social, Web, Display Advertising, Print, TV, Video, Animation, Apps, Augmented Reality+++. In his current endeavor, Gonzo Viz, he is creating unique drawn, painted & animated content & engaging experiences for brands that maximize engagement and meet business objectives. Having worked in a variety of positions–from Agency to client, he has a multi-faceted perspective on the creative and production process. He is a true believer that strong communication and collaboration is the key to any successful enterprise, and he strives to be part of teams and initiatives that have a strong sense of purpose to create work that exceeds business & creative expectations.
Jun "Sunny" Shen began his formal dance training during high school, where he learned ballet, Chinese classical opera, and Chinese folk dance. He earned his bachelor's degree in dance at Beijing Capital Normal University in 2001 and worked with Beijing Dance LDTX as a full-time dancer and choreographer from 2005 to 2009. In the past several years, he has performed and choreographed many works at various worldwide dance festivals such as Beijing Dance Festival, Grand Performances (LA), Dance Salad Festival (Houston), Busan International Dance Festival (South Korea), Culture Scapes (Switzerland), Braunschweig Dance Festival (Germany), and many more. He has also collaborated with many artists and dance companies such as Willy Tsao, Janis Claxton, Charles O. Anderson, Hugo Dalton, Yago de Quay, Wang Jianwei, Sally Jacques, as well as Ziru Production, Alonzo-King Lines Ballet Training Program, Ellen Bartel Dance Collection, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company, and Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre. In addition, Shen has rich teaching experiences both nationally and internationally. In 2013, Shen joined the graduate dance program at The University of Texas at Austin, and earned his MFA in 2016. After his graduation, he formed Shen Jun Movement Effect and started teaching dance at Austin Community College as an assistant professor. In June of 2017, Shen formally joined Blue Lapis Light as a principal dancer and choreographer, and in 2018 was awarded Best Dancer by the Austin Critics Table for his performance in Belonging, Part One. In 2019, Shen’s work Centrifugation was selected to perform at the gala concert of American College Dance Association South Central Regional conference.