S: Cooper/Morgan DanceTheatre
BC: Cooper/Morgan Dance Theatre 5th year Anniversary Edition
FC: A pictorial exploration of the first 5 years. | CooperMorgan Dance Theatre | Dance Photography by Mike Erdelyi
1: Dance is an expression of life. It is a heart beat that covers a multitude of people. The life of a dancer is challenging and gratifying. We are athletes, we are physical communicators, we are the architectures of the human body. We are Artist. we are the sculptures that come to life before your very eyes. Here in these photos we bring you a small piece of who we are, what we do. Enjoy. DeWitt Cooper and Savery Morgan
2: Despite all the disappointment ;I continue to defy the odds. I'm amazed at what my body can do. | Michael Alonzo Brown | CooperMorgan Dance 2009,2010
4: Julie Williams | CooperMorgan Dance 2010, 2011
5: in "TO Conrad; Within Reason"
6: All things grow better with love. | Julia Gregory
7: Savery Morgan
8: David Freeland in "Celebration" 2008,2009,2010
10: ......a brother helps in times of trouble. Proverbs 18:17
11: My Brothers Keeper | David Freeland and Wesley McIntyre 2009,2010,2011
12: In to the night she fly's , in to that night he follows. a voice unleashed a heart left in question.... A Night Hawk moves.
13: Night Hawk 2007 | Libby Riddick 2007, 2008
14: CooperMorgan Dance Theatre produces and presents vibrant dance productions with highly skilled dancers. The atmosphere is always inviting for the audience, and the depth and breadth of the experience for each dancer is unparalleled. - Cheryl Riddick, Vice President of Grant Making Services The Community Foundation in Jacksonville, FL | A great commuicator to this generation and a smooth quality dance makes it easy to watch Savery Morgan of CooperMorgan Dance Theatre. Nina Gilreath Director and Co founder of Ballethnic Dance Company Atlanta , GA | As dancers, CooperMorgan has an extreme appreciation for all art forms, and your work shows that. percision, Passion, Character, and Technique are just a few words to describe CooperMorgan Dance Theatre. And as a student at the CooperMorgan Summer Intensive for three years, I feel that I reach a level of improvement in those three weeks than in any three month period in my training. I am so grateful for all the opportunities and challenges you've thrown my way. And for all of this to be created by two men of color, working and mentoring side by side, makes the experience even better! Cedric James Paige II Student FSU Music Theatre | What are they saying about us?
18: Psalm 64 Choreographed by DeWitt Cooper III " Hear my voice ,oh God in my prayer.. preserve my life from fear..."
19: All things grow better with love.
22: Susan Saltmarsh 2009 Guest
24: Cassandra Freeman 2011 Host Cassandra Freeman an established star of both stage, tv and screen. She has appeared on Broadway in “Seven Guitars” and on stage along side Jane Fonda and Rosie Perez in Vagina Monologues. On TV she has appeared in The Guiding Light, All My Children, Shark and Numbers. On the big screen, Freeman came to international recognition with roles in Chris Rock’s I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE and Spike Lee’s INSIDE MAN, where she starred alongside Denzel Washington. She recently just finished filming a movie starring Morgan Freeman titled the Wish Wizard, and filmed a movie called “Kinyarwanda” that made its premiere at Sundance Film Festival and won the World Cinema Audience Award. Kinyarwanda is the movie that inspired her to start her non profit the Kassandra Arts Project, (www.kap2010.org) whose mission is to empower young women to be great leaders and artist in their community. She is a graduate of both Florida State University and received her MFA from NYU’s prestigious acting program.
26: DeWitt Cooper III -MFA-Co-Artistic Director/Co-Executive Director - is a noted singer, dancer,actor,choreographer and celebrated teacher. vHe is a former student of the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and went on to Florida State University to study Music Theater in the School of Music. Mr. Cooper also went on to receive his Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Contemporary Dance/Choreography at Case Western Reserve University where he studied Graham with Diane Gray, Gary Galbraith, Karen Potter, and Richard Dickinson. Mr. Cooper also studied extensively with Garth Fagan Dance under the direction of Natalie Cropper. Professional credits include: Anything Goes, Aint Misbehvin, West Side Story, She Loves me, Dream Girls,Black Nativity,Finding Nemo the Musical,and many others.Mr. Cooper recently finished the First National Broadway Tour of "In the Heights". He has taught workshops and master classes at the University of Teaxs , Case Western Reserve University, School of Creative and Performing Arts Academy of Pittsburg, Boston School of the Arts , LaVilla School of the Arts, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Music Circus of Sacramento, CA,and others .He has choreographed for Black Expo, Douglas Anderson Show choir, Tallahassee Community College, Florida A&M University, Flroida State University Music Theatre and many others. Mr. Cooper has won numerous choreography awards in both regional and national competitions. He was awarded the Okie Award and he was also nominated for the Pelican Award for his choreography in play writer Al Letson's "Julius X".
28: Savery Morgan Co Artistic Director Co Executive Director is a Native of Jacksonville Florida and a former student of the Jacksonville Centre for the Arts where he begin his formal training under the direction of Kezia Rolle . Also a former student of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. He went on to New York to begin an active career. During his time in New York Savery Morgan became a respected teacher and demonstrator in many different arenas.He was a member of the of the Dance Theater of Harlem Ensemble where he received personal coaching from Author Mitchell and many other Dance Theatre of Harlem Greats. He is currently a Principle Dancer /Assistant to the Artistic Directors at the Ballethnic Dance Company in Atlanta ,Georgia. There he was promoted to the position under the direction of Nena Gilreath and Waverly Lucas. Founders of Ballethnic. Today he is a teacher at the LaVilla School of the Arts and the Jacksonville Centre for the arts. He has won numerous Awards at regional and national competitions.Mr. Morgan was also an apprentice with the Florida Ballet. Mr. Morgan has also been a guest dancer for the Greensborough Ballet and World Ballet. Today he is in high demand a premier dancer and teaches privately preparing young minds and seasoned dancers for their next level.
30: Michelle J. Ottley -Fisher- Rehearsal Director Michelle J. Ottley-Fisher As the director of the dance department at the only Middle School of the performing arts in the Northeast region of Florida, Ms Ottley relishes in the opportunity that she has had to be a part of the inception and continuing development of that department and the school. The LaVilla School of the Arts is located in Jacksonville, Florida and is where Michelle directs a curriculum based in Ballet technique and involves Modern dance, Jazz and Tap dance techniques, as well as Dance History, Physicality and Choreography. This directorship continues from the Landon School of the Arts and Academics and a prior four years as an instructor at the performing arts high school, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. Outside of LaVilla, Mrs. Ottley-Fisher’s talents are explored studio, community, convention and professional theatre. In these arenas one might catch her teaching an African dance workshop, choreographing, directing a musical or creating moments in praise and worship. Mrs. Ottley-Fisher is excited to be a part of such a rewarding art and this rewarding experience.
31: 2010 CooperMorgan Honors Recipient
32: David Freeland- Assistant to the Artistic Directors is a graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and was a member of the highest dance level Dance Theater. He started dancing at LaVilla School of the Arts under the direction of Michelle Ottley-Fisher at the age of 12. Since he began his training he has danced here at Jacksonville Centre of the Arts as a member of Dance Theater. His summer studies include full scholarships to Atlanta Festival Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Bates Dance Festival, and the Juilliard School. While at Douglas Anderson. David has had the pleasure of working with famous choreographers such as Ronen Koresh, Bill Evan, Robert Philander, Thaddeus Davis, Eddy Toussaint, Adam Sage, and Larry Keigwin just to name a few. David has performed in The Nutcracker Ballet in roles such as, The Caviler, Rat King, Lead Spanish and Arabian , he has performed around Jacksonville at, National Dance Week, The Ritz Amateur Night, World of Nations, and The Super Bowl Pep Rally. David recently finished dancing with Missouri Ballet Theatre in the opening season in Fenton, MO. And this year he is attending SUNY Purchase to obtain his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.This is Davids 4th season with the CooperMorgan Dance Theatre.
34: Suzanne Saltmarsh 2011 Honoree Saltmarsh earned a BFA in Dance from Florida State University and a teaching certification from Martha Graham School in NYC. She has performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company, David Storey and Dancers, Dallas Black Dance Theater, San Francisco Opera Ballet, and The LABprojekt. She formed her own pick-up company in 1999 San Francisco, CA, as a vehicle to further developed her choreography. She has taught through out the US and in Portugal, Peru, and ItalySeveral of Saltmarsh’s former students dance currently for a variety of professional companies in the States and abroad. John Lam, one of Ms. Saltmarsh’s star students, was the recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Award and currently dances with the Boston Ballet. Two of her local students Madysen Felber and James Floyd competed under in the Youth American Grande Prix International Competition, in NYC March 2010, where they were awarded scholarships to The National Ballet of Canada and the Rock School in Philadelphia.Before beginning her teaching, choreographing, and performing career, Saltmarsh demonstrated for the FSU dance department, and later for the Martha Graham School, and the Julliard School. During the three year training program at the Martha Graham School(NYC), Saltmarsh was supported by the Gregory Peck Foundation.n an International level. Saltmarsh has taught for Marin Ballet (1998-2002), San Francisco Dance Center (1994-1998) for San Francisco High School of the Arts (2000-2004), Douglas Anderson School of the Arts (2004-2008), and LaVilla school of The Arts (2006-2010). She held the title of Artist in Residence for various Universities in the US and at the Escola de Movimento in Lisbon, Poturgal.
35: Saltmarsh has taught and choreographed for the last 26 years. She has tirelessly given her students a passion and respect for the art of Dance. Saltmarsh believes that Dance transcends cultural, economic, and religious beliefs; and that Dance has the power to communicate on an International level.It can reach students of all ages, and all backgrounds to create a more informed and aware community that strives to benefit one another.
36: Elizabeth "Liz" Delancey Ph.D, MFA- ELIZABETH “LIZ” DELANCY, PhD, MFA Liz began studying ballet at five years of age, while living in Yokohama, Japan. When she returned to the States, she trained under Marius Zirra, Kathryn Irey (Pittsburg Ballet), Tanis Michaels (Fosse), Maxine Mahan and Wendy Cochran. She interrupted her dance studies to attend Hampton University in Hampton VA, where she earned a BA in Mass Media Arts. While attending Hampton, she performed with the historical Hampton University Terpsichorean Dance Company. After completing her undergraduate degree, as a journalist. She made her way back to dance via Florida State University’s (FSU) Department of Dance (DOD). While there, Liz studied with the foremost artists in the field of dance—most notably Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Myra Woodruff, and Lynda Davis. Following the completion of her MFA in Dance, Liz was awarded a prestigious McKnight Doctoral Fellowship for her studies in the humanities at FSU. Her doctoral thesis, In God’s Presence: Conquering Addiction through Dance explored how one Tallahassee-based dancer used Christian based dance as a tool for drug addiction rehabilitation. Her dissertation was published by VDM Publishing Company in 2008.
37: As professional dancer, Liz worked with Zollar/Urban Bush Women as a dancer, community workshop leader and rehearsal assistant. During her tenure, she performed Hands Singing Song, the stellar work Shelter and Soul Deep to the Bone. Liz teaches humanities at Florida A&M University, is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and is a Friends of Dance (FSU DOD) board member. She is a member of the World Ballet, Inc. faculty, as well as the Vice President of the Board.
38: Aurora Hansen- 2011 Honoree Aurora Torres-Hansen's dance evolved from her family's love of the arts. Music and dance was and it still is a part of the family'scultural experience. Aurora started dancing at an early age as a member of the first children's company of the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company, the national dance company of the Philippines. Duringt hat time she also trained in ballet under Greta Monserrat Aguilar,Joji Velarde and Lourdes Villaflor. She performed with the Bayanihan Dance Company's performing and touring group until she was 15 years old. At 16, she became a Youth for Understanding scholar and spent a year in WallLake, Iowa as the town's first exchange student. She continued her studies at Iowa State University majoring in Science Journalism/MassCommunications and Dance and was a member of Orchesis I and II and theIowa State Dance Touring company. At ISU, she was mentored by Dr.Betty Toman who introduced her to modern dance and the many aspects of dance education. She credits Ms. Betty for the success she has had ind ance as a performer and administrator. She trained in West Germany and Dame Lucy Gray of Stuttgart and the UlmOpera. It was here that she received the highest honors in balletwith the Dance International teachers Association in London. She assisted Dame Gray with classes in Ulm and developed the movement education curriculum for the children of American and German military families stationed in Ulm. Upon returning to the United States, she and her husband moved to Lakeland, Florida where she taught at Florida Southern College's Dance Enrichment program, at the Highland School of Dance, Polk Community College and for the cities of Lakeland and Winter Haven. She was also active with the Dance Masters of America, Inc. and the Dance Educators of America, Inc., and actively choreographed for various theater groups in the area (Children's Theater in Winter Haven, Fla. and the Pied Piper Players based in Lakeland). While at Polk Community College, she started Dancers Theatre and served as the Artistic Director and Choreographer for 11 years. In 1990, she and her family moved to Tallahassee,Florida where she started teaching dance for the Tallahassee Tumbling Tots (now the Trousdell Gymnastics Center and has been there for 21 years. ) She was hired as the Assistant Supervisor for Palmer Munroe Community Center with the City of Tallahassee's Parks and Recreation. At the community center, she started the dance program for pre-schoolers and the after school enrichment program. She then moved to Lawrence-Gregory Commuity Center as the Supervisor and continued to promote the love for the arts with dance , theater and music classes. It was at Lawrence-gregory Center that the Cooper-Morgan Summer Dance evolved. During this time she also taught at the Tallahassee Community College and started the Tallahassee Community College Dance Company. Now in its 10th season, the company has given many students the opportunity to dance, choreograph and work with many outstanding choreographers. This year will be the third year of dance collaboration with the Cooper-Morgan Dance. Aurora 's professional career has now become full circle as she works at the Tallahassee Senior Center. Still active in the community as a member of many cuttural and civic organizations, Aurora shows no signs of slowing down. "Dance keeps me young and keeps me grounded. I hope to dance for as long as I can and so that I can continue to offer more collaborative opportunities for my dancers especially with the Cooper-Morgan Dance Project."
39: 2011 CooperMorgan Honoree
40: Kezia Rolle- Executive Director Jacksonville Centre for the Arts, President Owner Kezia Rolle Model and Talent Agency
41: 2011 CooperMorgan Honoree
42: Kavin Grant - Choreographer Kavin Grant is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. He has trained at Alvin Ailey Dance Centre, Florida State College at Jacksonville, and Jacksonville University where he earned a B.F.A. in Dance with a minor in Sociology. Currently, he is pursuing a M.F.A. in dance at Temple University. He is in his second season with Kariamu and Company:Traditions. He’s the Co-founder and former Artistic Director of Ka’Mia Contemporary Dance Theatre and Founder and Artistic Director of A Rhythm Nation Dance Theater of Jacksonville. This is Kavins 3rd season choreographing for the CooperMorgan Dance Theatre.
44: Julie Williams, (dancer, choreographer, songwriter, designer), is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. She began dancin under the direction of the late Iris Shead.She went to Landon Middle School/Lavilla School of the Arts for middle school, under the direction of Michelle Ottley-Fisher and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, under Dr. Phyllis Penney. While attending Douglas Anderson, she worked with Eddy Touissant, Ronen Koresh, K.T Nelson, Lula Washington, Muhammed De Costa, Maria Bauman and the D.A.dance faculty.Julie was awarded partial and full dance scholarships at Bates Dance Festival and Jacob's Pillow Dance.She trained at Jacksonville Centre of the Arts,under the direction of Kezia Rolle, Sarasota Ballet Intensive,Florida Dance Festival,Garth Fagan Summer Intensive,and Peridance-Ronald K.Brown Workshop. While in Jacksonville, she performed in Black Expo,Jaguars Halftime Show, and the First Coast Nutcracker.Julie attended New World School of the Arts/ University of Florida program in Miami, Florida where she studied with noted teachers and choreographers such as Peter London, Bambi Anderson,Tina Santos,Dale Andree, and others. She performed works from Doris Humphrey, Martha Graham,Peter London, Bill Evans,and Robert Battle. There she received her Associates Degree and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance After graduation, she performed a Lecture/ Demonstration with world renown dancer and choreographer George Faison in Harlem, New York.She was a principal dancer in the J-Dash Music Video "WOP". After the passing of her Godfather Conrad De'Andre Lewis, she knew in her heart that she had to continue the teaching, mentoring, and wisdom that he instilled in her. Ms. Williams has performed for royalty- King Kigeli V. and Prince Sahle-Salassie Haile Salassie of Uganda for the African Knights Royal Gala at the Hyatt Hotel in Coral Gables.She's choreographed for recording artists, NFAA Arts Competition,African Dance Celebration/Agbedidi,Miami Dade College, Black HIstory Month:Hip Hop Summit, to name a few.She now lives in Jacksonville, Florida and works as a teacher and choreographer at JCA at the Performers Academy, Spectrum Dance Factory, Lavilla School of the Arts, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and Episcopal High School. She's been casted in commercials, and was a principal dancer in the Cedar Fair: Fun Next to None that aired in the US as well as Canada.
45: She has choreographed for Jacksonville Giants Halftime Show and recently The Exclusive Viewing of United Negro College Fund Presents Chaka Khan at The Ritz Theatre & Museum. She is working with the Will Neal Music Group as a songwriter and is working on an upcoming clothing line that will hit Spring of 2011. Julie would like to thank God, her family, and close friends for their support and prayers as she continues to strive for excellence in the arts. This is Julie's second season with the company CooperMorgan Dance Theatre.
46: "The CooperMorgan Dance Project has given dancers (beginning to advance) the opportunity to work with outstanding choreographers. In addiditon the dancers have been challenged to go beyond their comfort zones and discover movement to the fullest." -Aurora Hansen | "It was a new kind of creativity that I was introduced to. the CooperMorgan style is very unique unlike any other company and it was an honor being around such influential dedicated company members.It is very inspiring and they push dancers to give 110%. The best assest that CooperMorgan has besides its style and technique is their passion for dance. it is something they always project and inspire. -Jenni Jackson | Participating int the CooperMorgan is one of my favorite memories of 2010 it was one of the most challenging,sore, and fun weeks of dance I've ever had.Thank you so much for sharing your rime and talents with the Tallahassee Community College Dance Company. you all asre amazing and i am thankful i had the opportunity to take class with you all. I cannot wait for CooperMorhand next endeavor with the TCCDC. -Kelsy Torrellas | What is the Public saying?
47: The CooperMorgan Dance EXPERIENCE was none less than amazing! This talented group of young men and women are the best that the arts world has to offer. From ethereal movement to precise classic execution, each performance is breathtaking from beginning to end! -Rahaman Johnson Former City official/Actor