JP Dance Group
The Moving Beauty Series proudly presents:
JP Dance Group
JP Dance Group performs Wednesday March 11th, 2015 in The Series.
JP Dance Group creates live dance productions that aim to entertain, educate, and inspire its viewers. JP Dance Group believes that movement is universally understandable which makes dance an ideal format for storytelling.
We believe that dance moves everyone and allows the performer to connect with the audience in a unique way. When a new production is created, Julie Petrusak, choreographer and artistic director of JP Dance Group, begins with a reallife experience as her inspiration. As she choreographs, she tries to she chooses specific images, emotions, and sensations from that experience and exaggerates them with her movement, gestures, or other visuals such as costuming and lights. The resulting product is a slightly abstracted, surreal version of the original narrative. Petrusak’s goal is to tell a story, but to present it in a way that the audience has freedom to interpret for themselves what they are seeing on stage and what is significant.
Julie is the founder and artistic director of JP Dance Group. She earned her degree from the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. in Dance Program, after studying ballet extensively at the Maryland Youth Ballet. In Spring of 2013 she co-directed and choreographed three productions at Riverbank State Park’s Cultural Complex that reached over 1,000 New York City school children and senior citizens. She has presented work at various venues in New York City including the Ailey Citigroup Theater, Arron Davis Hall, Triskelion Arts Center, Riverside Theatre, Anita’s Way and for Fashion Week 2013. In 2012, she Co-produced “New Works” at the TANK where she premiered her ghost story ballet, “Apparitions”. In 2010, she assisted Karen L. Arceneaux in setting Arceneaux’s “Chasing a Dream” on the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A class of 2014. As a performer Julie has worked for companies such as Genesis Dance Company, Racoco Rx, and Millennium Dance Company. She has performed works by Alvin Ailey, Anna Sokolow, Ronald K. Brown, Adam Barruch, and Daniel Gwirtzman, and has appeared in music videos for The Clox and Alex Young.
Cherri Nelle Thompson
Cherri has been performing in film, dance, musical theater, and commercial productions involving dancing, acting and musical theater since she was 7 years old. She has an Associate’s degree in Dance Performance from Valencia College, a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language, and a minor in French, both from the University of Central Florida. Cherri loves arts, but has other passions too! Due to her love of languages and helping others, she has completed a 2 year certification program from New York University in order to become a Certified Spanish Medical Interpreter. She has danced with companies while she studied in Florida such as DRIP performance art entertainment company, Moore Dance Project, and Patelworks Dance Theater. She has studied acting at the T. Shreiber Studio, studied dance at The Martha Graham School of Contemporary dance under scholarship, and performed with the second company, Graham II. She has also danced or guested with Trainor Dance Company, Millennium Dance Company, Juel D. Lane, ACB Dance Company, Buglisi Dance Theater, Twins and Artists, and Riverbank Dance Collective. She currently resides in New York City as a freelance artist, where she enjoys teaching, administrating, acting, and dancing in various theater projects. She recently starred in Triple Played, and What’s it take to hook up these days. She danced in the Thelma Hill PAC 35th Anniversary Dance festival. Cherri is delighted to be the company manager and a member of JP Dance Group!
Diego De Souza Aleixo
Diego began his studies in ballet, jazz, and contemporary in 2004 at Centro Cultural Vanessa Ballet in São Paulo, Campos Do Jordão ,Brazil. He has participated in social projects in Brazil and has won various awards in these festivals. Upon graduating in 2010, Diego moved to New York City to pursue ballet. He received a full one-year scholarship at the Ailey School which allowed him to further his training in modern dance. He has danced for companies including Cia Cooperdance, Artisy, and now with JP Dance Group.
Diane trained in modern, ballet and jazz, studying at The Neighborhood Playhouse, The Mark Twain School for the Gifted and Talented and The Brooklyn College Preparatory Center for the Performing Arts. She also studied Near/Middle Eastern dance with Dalia Carella. She dances with The Dalia Carella Dance Collective, a global-fusion dance theater company, and JP Dance Group. She teaches dance and yoga in NYC.
Brice was born in Reunion Island. At age 24, Brice left Reunion to live his passion, Dance. After studying at the IFPRO Rick Odum’s in Paris for 4 years, he received his Jazz Dance Teacher’s Degree. Upon moving to New York, Brice studied at the Martha Graham School and became a company member of Graham II. This is his first season with JP Dance Group.
Pei-Rong is originally from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where she discovered her love and passion for dance. She began traditional Chinese dance and Ballet training at age 7. As a young dancer, she performed at prestigious theaters in all the major cities in Taiwan. At age 15, she was accepted by the dance department of Tsoying Senior High School(Kaohsiung, Taiwan), where she continued her professional training in all disciplines of dance. In 2008, she decided to move to the United States to pursue her dreams of working professionally and exceptionally in dance. She was not only accepted as one of 30 students into the BFA program over almost 300 perspectives auditioned, but also rewarded a scholarship to New World School of the Arts. There she continued her dance training with Daniel Lewis, Peter London, and Bambi Anderson. Throughout her time in New World School of the Arts, she had the opportunities to work with contemporary artists such as Robert Battle, Kate Weare, Robert Swinston, Darshan Bhuller, and Kyle Abraham. In 2012, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance and graduated with highest honor. After graduated from school, Pei-Rong decided to move to New York City to continue her dance journey. She explored the various and diverse dance communities in the city and had great opportunities to work with creative NY based artist such as Jennifer Archibald, Goldie Peacock, Nai-Ni Chen, and Julie Petrusak. Pei-Rong is thrilled to be a part of JP Dance family. She currently resides in New Work City where she continues to grow and expand her career as a performing artist.
Debbie trained in ballet under the direction of Helena Baron, Brunilda Ruiz and Paul Sutherland and performed with the Baron Ballet and New Jersey Ballet. Debbie graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University in 2010 with a double major in Dance and French Literature. She has performed in showcases at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, in New Orleans, and abroad in Paris, Dublin and Rome. Debbie has danced with The Next Stage Project, Community Dance Project, Giada Ferrone, and Diane McCarthy. Debbie has modeled for Christopher Deane and has written articles for Dance Magazine and Industry Dance Magazine. She was awarded a merit-based fellowship by NYU to complete an MA in French Language and Civilization (Paris, 2012-2013). Once again back in the Big Apple, Debbie is maintaining her French, demonstrating for ballet classes at Peridance, and having a ball working with JPDG!!!
Erke was born in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands. She received her dance training and BFA at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, the Netherlands under the direction of Wim Broeckx where she performed works by Jiri Kylian and Lightfoot Leon. After moving to New York, she completed the Certificate Program with excellence of honors at the Peridance Capezio Center in New York under the direction of Igal Perry. Some choreographers she worked with during the program are Sidra Bell, Bryan Arias, and Manuel Vignoulle. Erke has worked with Netherlands Dance Theater 2 and performed works from Alexander Ekman and Ohad Naharin in several theaters in the Netherlands and Europe. She is currently working with the Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, Gwen Rakotovao Dance Company, and JP Dance Group.
Deborah was born in New Haven, CT and raised in Atlanta, GA. She received her early training at the Academy of Ballet Arts and the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. Deborah’s professional training began at The Ailey School in New York City under the tutelage of various instructors, including Denise Jefferson. Continuing her training, she went on to attend New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida under the direction of Daniel Lewis. Deborah previously worked as a freelance artist in Atlanta, GA with various modern dance choreographers and companies. She made her professional choreographic debut during the 2010 season of Dance Canvas (An emerging choreographer’s showcase). This is her debut season with JP Dance Group.
Dale (Brooklyn, NY) began his training at the age of 17 in Waukesha, WI with Accent on Dance Studios and the Milwaukee Youth Ballet programs. He went on to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cites where he graduated with a BFA in Dance. Dale continued training at the TU Dance Center in St Paul, MN under the direction of Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands and after attending a professional division summer intensive at the Ailey School in NY was accepted into the professional division Independent Study Program at the Ailey School. Dale moved to NY in 2013 to attend the Ailey School and while completing his training has had the opportunity to perform works by Choreographers Carlos Dos Santos, Judine Sommerville, Hollie E. Wright, Brent Radeke of Radeke Dance Theatre, Chelsea Koenig of SPARK Movement Collective, and Julie Petrusak of JP Dance Group.