Originally from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Yusha-Marie Sorzano has been a member of Ailey II, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Morphoses, TU Dance, and BODYTRAFFIC. She has performed as a guest artist with LA Dance Project and is currently a member of Camille A. Brown & Dancers. As a choreographer, Ms. Sorzano has created works for Santa Barbara Dance Theater, New Century Dance Project, The Ailey School, and most recently The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where she created "Testament", a tribute to Alvin Ailey's "Revelations", with Associate Artistic Director Matthew Rushing and Company member Clifton Brown. She was a part of the creative team for NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar,” the recipient of the Alvin Ailey Foundations New Directions Choreography Fellowship and a National YoungArts Foundation Artist In Residence. She is currently a research fellow at the New York Public Library Performing Arts Division and Co-Artistic director of Zeitgeist Dance Theatre, a new concert dance company launched in 2020.
Hailed by the New York Times as “one of the world’s most luminous dancers,” Michael Trusnovec grew up dancing on Long Island, graduated from the Long Island High School for the Performing Arts, and earned a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University. For over two decades, Michael was a Principal Dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, creating more than 25 roles with, appearing in over 70 dances choreographed by Mr. Taylor, and premiering new works by choreographers including Pam Tanowitz, Larry Keigwin, Margie Gillis and Doug Varone. Additionally, Mr. Trusnovec was Associate Rehearsal Director, and now serves as the Director of Worldwide Licensing and as a repetiteur of Mr. Taylor’s dances. Michael was honored with a 2018 Dance Magazine Award, a 2006 Bessie Award, and in 1992 he was a YoungArts awardee and Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He serves on the Board of Directors of Dance Films Association, and is a co-curator for the 2020 Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center. He is also a National Reviewer and Dance Mentor for YoungArts, and is a co-founder of the Asbury Park Dance Festival.
Juel D. Lane
Celebrated as one of the most gifted and innovative new voices in American dance, Juel D. Lane was anything but fearless growing up in Atlanta, Georgia. Overcome by severe anxiety as a child, Lane would soon discover it was that same body that would unlock his freedom. Lane’s serendipitous encounter with dance occurred while he studied theater in Tri-Cities High School’s Visual and Performing Arts magnet program. Picking up on his faculty and fluidity with movement, teachers Freddie Hendricks and Dawn Axam suggested Lane register for dance classes. And like a tsunami stirred by a butterfly in flight, Lane’s dance destiny was set into motion. After receiving elite training from Tri-Cities High School and the Youth Ensemble of Atlanta, Lane earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a focus on Contemporary Dance. It was the unconstrained self-expression offered by this style of dance that freed Lane from his severe anxiety. Lane pushes the boundaries of contemporary dance through choreography that “strips labels and shows humanity,” as he puts it. Whether he examines political concepts, gender roles, or his own intimate experiences, Lane stays unapologetically true to his singular perspective. Lane’s clear vision is met by his extraordinary technical talent, resulting in ever-growing national acclaim that is helping to launch his career to new heights. World-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater recently invited Lane to flex his creative muscle as a featured choreographer for Ailey II, a secondary company that focuses on emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers. This addition to Lane’s resume lends global flare to an already robust list of accolades and achievements. Lane’s exceptional repertoire has landed him on the cover of Dance Studio Magazine and on Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” list. Currently dancing with Bessie Award-winning Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Lane made history in 2012 as the first local and independent black choreographer to have his work commissioned by the Atlanta Ballet. From there, he participated in the 2015-2016 Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab, and collaborated with dance legends across the United States. In 2010, he began incorporating multimedia into his performative work. His film projects, "Just Another Day," "How to Kill a Ghost," and "When The Beat Drops," showcase the complexity, playfulness and creativity within this dynamic choreographer’s mind. Lane’s choreographic voice and the growth of his repertoire share one common thread: they are fast. Lane nods to his up-tempo inclinations when he says, “My work is fast because the hyperactive boy with anxiety is still in there.” Lucky for us, he is helping to shape the future of dance before our very eyes.
Chicago-based choreographer and 3-Arts Award winner Stephanie Martinez aims to create environments which captivate, connect, and move her audiences along a journey guided by the kinetic momentum of her work. With original creations for Ballet Hispanico, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Sacramento Ballet, Eugene Ballet, The Big Muddy Dance Company, Dance Kaleidoscope, Ron De Jesus Dance, Chicago Dance Crash, and Visceral Dance Chicago, among others, she expands the boundaries of contemporary movement. Stephanie’s choreography has been featured in collegiate dance departments across the country, including Point Park University, Columbia College, Northwestern University, Jacksonville University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Boston Conservatory. In 2010, she assisted Broadway legend Ann Reinking in setting the Fosse Trilogy, as well as Daniel Ezralow, choreographer of Broadway’s Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, in remounting his celebrated work, Pulse, for Company C Contemporary Ballet in San Francisco. She has also created for The National Choreographer’s Initiative and was awarded The Joffrey Ballet’s "Winning Works: Choreographers of Color” commission, which was subsequently performed at The Joffrey Ballet's 2017 Annual Gala. Upcoming commissions include Charlotte Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Cinncinati Ballet, and World Premiere with The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.