Articulate Austin

About Our Panel

announcing our 2019 panel



Choreographer/Director Raja Feather Kelly is the artistic director of New Brooklyn Theatre. In 2009 he founded the dance-theatre-media company the feath3r theory. The two companies merged in 2018. Raja has been awarded a Breakout Award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (2018), Dance Magazine's inaugural Harkness Promise Award (2018), the Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography (2016), and, twice, the Princess Grace Award (2017, 2018). He was born in Fort Hood, Texas and holds a B.A. in Dance and English from Connecticut College.

Raja has been awarded a New York Dance Performance "Bessie" Award, a Bessie Schonberg Fellowship at The Yard, a DanceWEB Scholarship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Choreography Fellowship, a HERE Arts Fellowship, 2018 Creator-in-Residence at Kickstarter, and a Choreography Fellowship at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU. 

Over the past decade he has created thirteen evening-length premieres and six short-format works. Professionally, Raja has performed with Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, Keely Garfield, Kota Yamazaki, David Dorfman Dance, Kyle Abraham|, Christopher Williams Dance, and zoe | juniper. He has also managed a number of dance companies: Race Dance, Kyle Abraham/Abraham. In. Motion, zoe | juniper, and Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group.

Since 2016, Raja has choreographed extensively for Off-Broadway theatre in New York City, most notably for Signature Theatre and Soho Rep: The SandboxDrowningFunnyhouse of a NegroThe Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire WorldEverybody and FAIRVIEW, under the directorship of Lila Neugebauer, Lileana Blain-Cruz and Sarah Benson. Other theatre credits include choreography for Everyday Afroplay (JACK), GURLS (Princeton University), Electric Lucifer (The Kitchen), Lempicka (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The House That Will Not Stand (New York Theatre Workshop), Fireflies (Atlantic Theatre Company). Upcoming Choreography includes The Good Swimmer (BAM), The Chronicles of Cardigan and Khente (Soho Rep), Hurricane Diane (New York Theatre Workshop), If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka (Playwrights Horizons), Faust (Opera Omaha), and A Strange Loop (Playwrights Horizons).


Kristin damrow

Kristin Damrow grew up on a rural farm in Wisconsin then lived in Chicago while earning her B.A. in Dance from Columbia College. In 2010, she moved to San Francisco, California, where she founded Kristin Damrow & Company. Damrow has choreographed and produced over 15 new dance works for venues throughout the Bay Area. She has been featured in Fast Company, Backstage Magazine, KQEDs "Do List", and SF/Arts Monthly. Damrow is a faculty member at ODC Dance Commons and Dance Mission Theater. She has taught master classes at NYU Tisch School of the Arts (NY), Columbia College (Chicago), Gibney Dance (NYC) and Mark Morris Dance Center (NYC), University of San Francisco, Sonoma State University, City College, LINES Ballet, and was a resident artist at Iowa State University this fall.

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Aurelio Planes

with Inna Grudtcina

Aurelio Planes Rodriguez is an award-winning dancers and choreographer. After graduating with a bachelor degree in Arts from National Art School of Manuel Muñoz Cedeño. He joined a dance company "Danza Fragmentada" (Guantanamo, Cuba} as a dancer and worked his way up to the company teacher and choreographer. He has choreographed 5 works that are now a part "Danza Fragmentada" repertoire. He has won 4 highest awards at national dance competitions for his choreography. Feeling the need to grow as an artist he moved to the capital, Havana and joined Danza Teatro Retazos, one of the most recognized Cuban dance companies. With this company he got a chance to tour Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and Canada. Looking for opportunities to take his professional career to a new level he decided to immigrate to USA in 2016. Since moving to USA he's collaborated with Lotus Contemporary Performing Arts and Ballet East Dance Company and performed with Cheryl Chaddick Dance Theater. In Summer, 2017 together with Inna Grudtcina he founded Chamacos Dance Company(CDC). Within a year Aurelio has choreographed and produced three evening-length works: "En Medio de la Nada" ("In the Middle of Nothing"), "Mirando Hacia Arriba" (Looking Up") and ProprioKinesico. CDC has performed at Austin Dance Festival (Austin, TX), {254} Dance Fest (Waco, TX) and Festival de Artes en Espacios Alternativos (Veracruz, Mexico).

Inna Grudtcina

Inna was born and raised in Vladivostok, Russia. She started to study dance and perform at the age of 14. Inna was developing her career in different countries. She trained professionally with Kauri Contemporary Dance Company (Vladivostok, Russia) and in Vertigo International Dance Training Program (Jerusalem, Israel). She was trained in ballet by M.Fyodorov and A.Strokin –  nationally recognized ballet teachers. Inna was a principal dancer in such shows as “Cinderella” (Seoul, S. Korea) and “Tribute to Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the dance” (Ibiza, Spain). Back in Russia she was a dance teacher and successful choreographer. Her works won awards at regional and national dance festivals and contests. Since Inna found her passion in dance she kept on developing her dance and teaching skills at numerous workshops in Russia and abroad. She moved to Austin, TX in 2013 in search of new carreer opportunities. She is a former member of Ballet East Dance Company and Lotus Contemporary Performing Arts.

In Summer, 2017 Inna Grudtcina and Aurelio Planes co-founded Chamacos Dance Company(CDC). In its inaugural year CDC has produced three evening-length works: "En Medio de la Nada" ("In the Middle of Nothing"), "Mirando Hacia Arriba" (Looking Up") and ProprioKinesico. The company was featured in Ballet East Dance Company's  semi-annual productions, at Austin Dance Festival (Austin, TX), {254} Dance Fest (Waco, TX) and Festival de Artes en Espacios Alternativos (Veracruz, Mexico).


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Erica Gionfriddo

Erica Gionfriddo is a dancer, choreographer, and somatic researcher experimenting with how and where bodies—and humans—connect. She is co-founder of Austin-based multimedia company ARCOS whose ongoing research probes the intersection between technology and humanity through rigorous interdisciplinary experimentation to discover adventurous new forms of contemporary performance. Artists that have spurred Erica’s performative trajectory include Anna Sokolow, David Parsons, Robert Moses, Gail Gilbert, luciana achugar, Leyya Mona Tawil, among others. Her choreography has been commissioned by Moorehead State University, Shenandoah Conservatory, Motion X Dance DC, Texas State University, and INTERDANSA, where her work toured in Catalonia, Spain, and in Austin was honored with  a B. Iden Payne award. With ARCOS, she has been presented work at festivals and institutions including MacCallum, SITE Santa Fe, Currents International New Media Festival, {254} Dancefest, Online Performance Art Festival, BarnStorm DanceFest, Dance Co-Op, CounterCurrent, and a critically acclaimed, award-winning production at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. ARCOS has received artistic residency at Texas State University, Colorado College, Texas A&M University, Connecticut College’s Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, University of Colorado Boulder, University of North Texas, Playa Summerlake, Ucross Foundation, and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New Mexico Arts, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Donors Trust, Hatchfund, Rea Charitable Trust, Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation, and the City of Austin. Erica’s extensive experience as a GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® trainer guides her pedagogical methodology by foregrounding the energetic body to bring a multiplicity of backgrounds to the same somatic understanding, which she brings in her capacity as lecturer in dance at the University of Texas at Austin and as a local and national teaching artist. Erica holds a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Shenandoah Conservatory and is currently an MFA candidate at Hollins University.