Susan Van Pelt Petry is a dance artist, educator, and advocate for the arts. She returns to the stage after over a decade fore-fronting administration. In the 80’s and 90’s, she was the Artistic Director of the Columbus based Van Pelt Dance Ensemble, and also toured her solo show locally and internationally. She is the 2013 recipient of the Greater Columbus Arts Council Ray Hanley Award for Artistic Excellence, and the 2016 OhioDance Award for Contributions to Dance Education and is a professor in the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University where she was chair 2006-2015.
Robert Post – Director
Dave Covey – Lighting Design, Art Direction
Nate Gorgen – Artist, Set Designer
John Van Pelt – Designer; Postcard, digital elements, poster
Choreographers for The Gift Project
John Giffin received a BFA in dance from the Juilliard School of Music and an MA in dance from The Ohio State University. He has danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadians in Montreal and the Wuppertal Dance Theater directed by Pina Bausch. He has toured with Agnes de Mille’s Heritage Dance Theater and was dance captain for the Broadway revival of Brigadoon. Giffin has received grants from the Ohio Arts Council, The Greater Columbus Arts Council and The OSU Office of Research and Graduate Studies. With Victoria Uris, he produced An Evening with Igor, choreographic works set to music of Stravinsky. He created Last Songs for the Cleveland Performance Art Festival and was commissioned by the Wexner Center for the Arts to create The Fall River Follies or Oh, Mrs. Churchill, Do Come Over, Someone Has Killed Father. With the Contemporary American Theatre Company, he created East Market Gardens and with the OSU Department of Theatre he created The Fire Still Burns. He has received Choreographic Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. In 2003 he was presented with the OhioDance award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. He has directed works by Charles Weidman, Antony Tudor, Anna Sokolow and Vaslav Nijinsky from the Labanotation score. His teaching areas include composition, notation, repertory and ballet technique.
Cailin Manning – began her dance training in Franklin, TN. Having trained in all styles, she continued her education by receiving a BFA in Dance from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where she worked with choreographers such as Abby Zbikowski, Joshua Manculich, Ann Sofie Clemmenson, Stephen Koplowitz, Ohad Fishof/Noa Zuk, & others. As a sophomore, Manning’s duet with Tadas Varaneckas, Blended Hues, premiered at the 2015 Midwest American College Dance Festival Conference. Manning’s senior choreographic work From Four to Two, a 10 minute piece based on anthropological studies of humans, won her the BellaMoxi Emerging Choreographic Artist Festival in Chicago Illinois in 2016 & an article in Dance Informa Magazine. While at OSU Manning curated a love for dance film: her film Unveiling was accepted/premiered at both 30FPS Film Festival in Columbus Ohio &the Jacksonville Film Festival in Jacksonville, Florida. Manning has set work for Seven Dance Company, The Collaborative Dance Project, Susan Petry & The Gift Project, Found Youth, & dance studios in Nashville & the Midwest. Manning returned home to Nashville to continue to dive into the growing dance scene & bring her knowledge back to the community. Manning’s solo Time premiered at the Raw Artists Collective & her duet Keep On premiered at the Tenacity Kreative Collective Showcase in 2017. Her piece Entity won Best Overall Choreography at Turn it Up Dance Competition & her quartette One Shot won Best Overall Modern/Contemporary Routine. Manning’s continues to work closely with dancers and choreographers in the Nashville area to create dance film & video. Her latest dance film Humble will be reset for the NashFeel Artists Showcase in the summer of 2017. Her most recent endeavor includes being Associate Director for Found Movement Group of Nashville.
Bebe Miller , a native New Yorker, first performed her choreography at NYC’s Dance Theater Workshop in 1978, after receiving her MA in Dance from OSU in 1975. She formed Bebe Miller Company in 1985. Her choreography has been performed in venues across the country and internationally in Europe and the African continent, and been commissioned by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Oregon Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, Philadanco, and the UK’s Phoenix Dance Company, among others. She has been honored with four New York Dance and Performance BESSIE awards, a Wexner Residency Award, the Jameson Archival Advocacy Award, fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council and the Guggenheim Foundation, is a United States Artists Ford Fellow, and is one of the 2012 inaugural class of Doris Duke Foundation Artists. A Full Professor of Dance at OSU since 2000, she is a Distinguished Professor in OSU’s College of Arts and Sciences and received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Ursinus College in 2009. Bebe Miller Company’s most recent work, A History, premiered at the Wexner Center for the Arts in 2012.
Daniel Roberts Roberts has an MFA in Performing Arts from Bennington College and his choreography has been presented in New York at Danspace Project and Movement Research, as well as in Copenhagen. He has taught nationally and internationally at several dance companies, festivals, schools, and universities; his choreographic and pedagogic research explores movement invention through dance and music improvisation, and the inherent musical properties of natural phenomena. Roberts has been visiting artist in residence at Williams College in Massachusetts, as well as in Ohio State’s Department of Dance. He is on faculty of the Cunningham Trust and Ballet Academy East in New York City and is a 2015 Cunningham Fellow.
Kaustavi Sarkar – a Visiting Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina Charlotte, is a dancer-choreographer-educator-scholar performing and teaching Odissi, an Indian classical dance form from eastern India, for over a decade. She has taught at Kenyon College and The Ohio State University (OSU) and holds a PhD from OSU in Dance Studies with interdisciplinary research interests in digital humanities, cultural studies, queer studies, and religious studies. Sarkar employs entrepreneurial measures for building a dance fraternity since her teaching, choreography, and writing builds conversations across academe, performance, and business. Her choreography was featured in American College Dance Association East-Central Conference at Kent State University in 2017.