Chelsea Lynn Acree
Chelsea Lynn Acree grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, where she began her dance training with Sharon Lerner and continued at Carver Center for the Arts and Technology. Since receiving her BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase in 2005 she has had the opportunity to work with a variety of artists including SYREN Modern Dance, Laura Peterson, Hilary Easton + Company, and Michael and the Go-Getters. Acree is on faculty at The School at the Mark Morris Dance Center teaching kids and adults how to move through space. She began working with Mark Morris Dance Group in 2007 and became a company member in 2011.
is originally from Berkeley, California, where he began studying tap at the age of 9 with Katie Maltsberger. He received his B.F.A. in Dance from SUNY Purchase, and also studied at the Rotterdamse Dansacademie in Holland. He has performed with David Parker, Takehiro Ueyama, and Nelly van Bommel, and currently teaches MMDG master classes and Dance for PD®. He first appeared with MMDG in 2005 and became a company member in 2007.
was born and raised in Fairfax, Virginia, and attended George Mason University. She graduated with high distinction in 2002, receiving a B.A. in english and a B.F.A. in dance. She danced with bopi's black sheep/dances by Kraig Patterson and joined the Mark Morris Dance Group in 2003.
from Tampa, Florida, began his dance training at Interlochen Arts Academy and North Carolina School of the Arts, where he performed in works by Martha Graham, Jerome Robbins, Jiri Kylian, and Larry Keigwin. At University of South Florida, he participated in the reconstruction of Bill T. Jones’s “Serenade: the Proposition.” He also was a student at the Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Program, where he worked with Judith Jameson. Freedman will graduate in 2013 from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, with a B.F.A. in Dance and intensive minor in Psychology. At Tisch, he had the opportunity to learn and perform Mark Morris’s Pacificas well as choreograph multiple works on the student company. In New York, he has worked with Korhan Basaran, Chihiro Shimizu and Artists, and DANAKA dance. He will join MMDG as an apprentice in January 2013.
Lesley Garrison grew up in Swansea, Illinois and received her early dance training at the Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis, Missouri and Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan. She studied at the Rotterdamse Dansacademie in Rotterdam, Nederland and holds a B.F.A. from the State University of New York at Purchase, receiving the Modern Dance Faculty Award. She has performed with Erica Essner, Dance Heginbotham, the Kevin Wynn Collection, Neel Verdoorn, Nelly Van Bommel's NOA Dance, Rocha Dance Theater and Sidra Bell Dance New York. She first performed with MMDG in 2007 and became a company member in 2011. Lesley teaches at The School at The Mark Morris Dance Center and for the Dance for Parkinson's Disease program.
has danced with the Mark Morris Dance Group since 1996. Performing leading roles in The Hard Nut and Mozart Dances, Ms. Grant has appeared in over 40 of Mark Morris' works. She is on the faculty of the school at the Mark Morris Dance Center and frequently leads classes for the company before rehearsals and performances. Additionally, she teaches technique and repertory at schools and universities across the U.S. and abroad. Ms. Grant has been featured in Time Out New York, Dance Magazine, the book Meet the Dancers, and appeared in a documentary (South Bank Show, UK) which followed the company in the making and premiere of Four Saints In Three Acts. She and her husband David Leventhal (former MMDG dancer) became proud parents of son Zev, born March 2012.
began his dance training in Toronto at Canadian Children's Dance Theatre. There he worked with choreographers such as David Earle, Carol Anderson, and Michael Trent. Lawson spent a year studying at the Rotterdamse Dansacademie and graduated summa cum laude in 2010 from Purchase College, where he was also granted the President's Award for his contributions to the dance program. Lawson has had the pleasure of performing with Pam Tanowitz Dance, John Heginbotham, and Nelly van Bommel's NOA Dance among others. He joined MMDG as an apprentice in 2011.
grew up in Seattle, Washington and began dancing at the Creative Dance Center as a member of Kaleidoscope, a youth modern dance company. He began his classical training at the Cornish College Preparatory Dance Program and received his B.F.A. from The Juilliard School in 2009. He danced at the Metropolitan Opera and with Arc Dance Company before joining MMDG as an apprentice in 2010 and becoming a full company member in 2011.
began her dance training at Petaluma School of Ballet in California. She moved to New York City to attend The Juilliard School, where she performed works by Robert Battle, Margie Gillis, José Limón, and Ohad Naharin. After graduation in 2003, Laurel danced for Dušan Týnek Dance Theatre, Sue Bernhard Danceworks and Pat Catterson. She first danced with MMDG in 2006 and became a company member in 2007. Many thanks to Gene and Becky.
began her dance training in Baltimore, Maryland at the Peabody Conservatory. In 2006 she graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a B.F.A. in contemporary dance. She has danced for the Amy Marshall Dance Company, the Neta Dance Company, Helen Simoneau Danse, Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theater, Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, and Rashaun Mitchell. A member of the Repertory Understudy Group for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 2009 through 2011, she joined MMDG as an apprentice in January 2012 and joined as a full company member in November 2012..
from El Cerrito, CA, began dancing at age 4, studying jazz, tap, and acrobatics with Katie Maltsberger, and ballet with Yukiko Sakakura. He received a B.F.A. in dance from the California Institute of the Arts. McMurray performed with the Limón Dance Company in addition to works by Jiri Kylian, Alonzo King, Robert Moses, and Colin Connor. McMurray performed with MMDG as an apprentice in 2006 and became a company member in 2007.
Amber Star Merkens
originally from Newport, Oregon, began her dance training with Nancy Mittleman. She received her B.F.A from The Juilliard School and went on to dance with the Limón Dance Company. In 2001 she received the Princess Grace Award and joined MMDG. She has presented her own choreography both in New York and abroad, taught at The School at the Mark Morris Dance Center, and worked as a freelance photographer for MMDG, the Silk Road Project, and Brooklyn Rider, among others. Merkens would like to thank her family for their continuous support.
studied primarily with Lynda Yourth at the American Ballet School in San Diego, California. She was a member of Boston Ballet II and Ballet Arizona before moving to New York to study modern dance. Okamura has danced with choreographers Neta Pulvermacher, Zvi Gotheiner, Gerald Casel and John Heginbotham, with whom she frequently collaborates as dancer and costume designer.
began his training in Springfield, Virginia studying under Melissa Dobbs, Nancy Gross, Kellie Payne, and Marilyn York and at the Maryland Youth Ballet with faculty such as Michelle Lees, Christopher Doyle, and Harriet Williams. In 2008, he entered The Juilliard School under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes and had the opportunity to perform works by Jose Limon, Jerome Robbins, Sidra Bell, and Fabien Prioville. Ramirez joined MMDG in 2010 and became a company member in 2011.
began his training with the School of Carolina Ballet Theater located in Greenville, SC under the direction of Hernan Justo. At 14, he was accepted into the SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities where he studied with StanislavIssaev and Bobby Barnett. Randolph received his B.F.A. in Dance from SUNY Purchase in May of 2012. There he had the opportunity to perform with Dance Heginbotham (choreographer John Heginbotham) as well as repertory by Stephen Petronio, LarLubovitch, Paul Taylor and George Balanchine. Randolph will begin his apprenticeship with MMDG in January 2013.
grew up in Fredericksburg, VA, and attended George Mason University under a full academic and dance talent scholarship. Billy graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2007 and received achievement awards in Performance, Choreography, and Academic Endeavors. While at George Mason he performed the works of Mark Morris, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, Doug Varone, Daniel Ezralow, Larry Keigwin, Susan Marshall and Susan Shields. Billy's own piece, 3-Way Stop, was selected to open the 2006 American College Dance Festival Gala at Ohio State University and his original choreography for a production of Bye Bye Birdie garnered much critical praise. An actor as well, Billy's regional theatre credits include Tulsa in Gypsy, Mr. Mistoffelees in CATS and Dream Curly in Oklahoma!. Previously he danced with Parsons Dance from 2007-2010. He became an MMDG company member in 2010.
received his B.A. in Dance from Columbia College Chicago, where he worked with Shirley Mordine, Jan Erkert, and Brian Jeffrey. In New York, he has danced with Teri and Oliver Steele and the Kevin Wynn Collection. He began working with MMDG in 2002 and became a company member in 2004.
received her early training from Boulder Ballet Company near where she grew up in Longmont, Colorado. She holds a B.F.A. from Southern Methodist University and also studied at Boston Conservatory, Colorado University and The Laban Center, London. Since moving to New York in 2001, Weddel has performed with RedWall Dance Theatre, Sue Bernhard Danceworks, Vencl Dance Trio, Rocha Dance Theatre and with various choreographers including Alan Danielson and Ella Ben-Aharon. Weddel first performed with MMDG in 2006 and became a company member in 2007.
was born in Brooklyn, New York, and began her professional dance training at the New York City High School of the Performing Arts. Upon graduation she received the Helen Tamiris and Brith awards. For three years she was a scholarship student at the Alvin Ailey Dance Center, and attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Michelle joined the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1997. Mom, thank you.