Michael Estanich (artistic director) and Lucy Vurusic Riner formed RE|dance group in 2009 as a means to explore long distance collaboration since he lives in Stevens Point, WI and she lives in Chicago, IL. Michael's creative research currently examines ideas about the intersection of the physical body with space, architecture, and landscape often resulting in dances supported by sculptural environments. He is a Professor of Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where he teaches modern dance technique, composition, dance pedagogy, movement analysis and dance history. He earned his MFA from The Ohio State University and his BFA from Denison University. Michael’s performance credits include Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak, Cerulean Dance Theatre, Rebecca Rosen, Melanie Bales, Bebe Miller, a reconstruction of Mark Morris’ choreography All Fours, and Susan Marshall's ARMS. He is the Mainstage Choreographer at the Trollwood Performing Arts School in Moorhead, MN and Vice President of Nominations and Elections for the American College Dance Association (ACDA).
Lucy Vurusic-Riner (executive director) is a native Chicagoan who has been dancing, choreographing and teaching in the Midwest for over twenty years. She received her BS Degree in Dance and Dance Education from Illinois State University. Lucy has been a member of Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak, RTG Dance Company and Matthew Hollis’ “The Power of Cheer.” She has also been part of the community cast of White Oak Dance Project and David Dorfman Dance. Lucy has taught modern, hip hop, and jazz at numerous studios and high schools in the Chicagoland area. For the last fourteen years she was the Director of Dance at Oak Park and River Forest High School. Lucy now teaches at New Trier High School. In 2005, Lucy completed her Masters Degree in Education from National Louis University and also received the Midwest Dance Teacher of the Year award and was the youngest of four finalists in the running for the National Dance Teacher of the Year award. When Lucy is not working with RE|Dance Group, she spends time with her super, supportive family: Jim, Margie and Luka.
Daiva Bhandari (dancer) is an actor and dancer originally from Louisiana where she attended Loyola University, New Orleans and earned a BA in Drama. In her time at Loyola, Daiva also studied modern dance at Tulane University and became a member of EgoPo Productions, training extensively in Viewpoints. Since moving to Chicago in 2006, she has worked onstage with The Neo-Futurists, Steppenwolf, Theatre Y, The Building Stage, The Inconvenience, Emerald City Theatre, Pop Magic Productions and Kelly Anderson Dance Theatre. Daiva has been a company member with RE|dance group since 2011 and is proud to be celebrating her 8th season with the company.
Zach Bird (dancer) is currently a Chicago based performer and artist who works with friends and companies throughout the city. Originally an Iowa native, his love for dance and corn brought him to the University of Iowa where he graduated with a BFA in Dance Studies under the mentoring of Jennifer Kayle. After losing his interest in the multiple varieties of corn cuisine, he moved to Chicago and began dancing with Mordine and Company. Since moving to the city Zach has had the pleasure of dancing for, Earlyn Whitehead, Hedwig Dances, Kelly Anderson Dance Theater, Monica Thomas, Brady VanPatten in addition to RE|dance group. He's currently working on producing his own work, which will most likely be centered around the exquisite topic of corn.
Stacy DeMorrow (dancer) earned her bachelor’s degree in dance from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. During her studies there she performed works by Billy Siegenfeld, Susan Marshall, Mary Anthony, as well as spending a month teaching dance in Thailand as part of the Thailand Project, a mission to use higher education as humanitarian aid. Now living in Chicago Stacy has performed for Perceptual Motion Dance Company, We Stand Sideways Dance, Mordine and Company Dance Theater, Montom Arts by Monica Thomas, and Kelly Anderson Dance Theater. Stacy is thrilled to continue in her tenth season with RE|dance group.
Erika Astrid Farkvam (dancer) began her dance training at the Academy of Movement and Music in Oak Park, IL. In 2005, she moved to Tucson, Arizona to attend the University of Arizona where she received her BFA in Dance in May 2009. From 2009 to 2012, Erika danced and choreographed with New ARTiculations Dance Theater in Tucson. Since Erika’s return to Chicago in 2012, she has performed with Momenta (2012-14); a showing of Aftertaste, hosted by The Inconvenience and Tuesday Night Dinner (2013); The Fly Honey Show (2013-14); works choreographed by Erin Kilmurray; and most recently in The David Bowie Variety Hour Show at the MCA with The Salt. She is very excited to be performing with RE|dance group this season.
Danielle Gilmore (dancer), originally from Yuma, Arizona, attended the University of Arizona, receiving her BFA in dance performance with concentrations in jazz, ballet, modern, and dance injury. She trained under faculty members Susan Quinn Williams, Amy Ernst, Michael Williams, James Clouser, Melissa Lowe-Handcock, Sam Watson and Nina Janik. Upon moving to Chicago, Danielle studied and performed with Hedwig Dances, River North Dance Chicago,, Thodos Dance Chicago, JMT/JLS Choreography, and Chicago Dance Crash. She also had the opportunity to travel and perform on Norwegian Cruise Line, "Pride of Hawaii," as an original cast member and Dance Captain. Danielle is currently performing with Mordine and Company Dance Theater and Kelly Anderson Dance Theater. Danielle is extremely excited to be performing with the amazing RE|dance group this season.
Corinne Imberski (dancer) is a Chicago based dance choreographer, performer, and educator who has presented her solo and group works across the United States and in France, Bulgaria, and Canada. She has taught master classes and staged her commissioned choreography at universities, museums, and independent dance companies throughout the US, including the University of Michigan, Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, Toledo Museum of Art, Cranbrook Academy, and the American College Dance Festival. She has been a featured performer with many dance companies, including DDCdances (Detroit, Michigan), HNM Dance Company (Windsor, Ontario), Ann Arbor Dance Works (Ann Arbor, Michigan), and Peter Sparling Dance Company (Ann Arbor, Michigan). Corinne was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Northwestern University and Hillsdale College, a dance faculty member at Columbia College Chicago, University of Toledo and the Paul Taylor Summer Intensive in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as a co-director and faculty member of the Summer Dance Institute at the University of Michigan. Corinne received her MFA in Dance Choreography and Performance from the University of Michigan and a BA in English from the University of Maryland. Currently, Corinne is a freelance performer/choreographer, and a company member of RE|dance group and Ayako Kato/Art Union Humanscape.
Melanie Neumeier (dancer) In addition to thriving in exactness and clarity, Melanie's lifetime devotion to dance has drawn her to also crave the nuance and eccentricities that movement and live performance have to offer. The study of movement and all its communicative possibilities inspires her to bring this artistic perspective into all that she does. Whether in rehearsal, as a content strategist at a tech company, or spending time with a friend, Melanie believes that intimate human connection isn't just good, it's essential. For those looking for stats: BA Dance, UWSP; RE|dance group collaborator since 2011; past collaborator with Laboratory Dancers and Darling Shear.
Anthony Taylor-Davis (dancer) is originally from Durham, NC and holds a BA in Dance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Anthony has served in a number of instructional dance capacities. During the summer of 2014, he served as a Dance Teaching Assistant Counselor for the North Carolina Governor’s School East in Raleigh, NC. Additionally, he served for three semesters from 2013 to 2014 as a dance instructor for Dancers Connect. In the spring of 2012, he served as assistant choreographer for the hillside high school marching band auxiliary team. Anthony’s stage experience includes the UNCG art series 2013 choreographed by Larry Keigwin, The National Dance Education Organization annual conference’s “Why Men Dance”, a number of fall and spring concerts produced by UNCG’s Department of Dance, and IDANCE, a UNCG dance company which travels across the state to promote dance awareness and dance education in North Carolina public schools. Anthony was also with JOYEMOVEMENT Dance company for two touring seasons. Anthony’s motto is “the art form of dance connects with everyone once the person connects with the steps from within.” He is thrilled to be joining RE|dance group this season.