Christine Germain - STEM

Founded in 2007, Christine Germain/STEM (formally known as Christine Germain and Dancers) uses somatics as a practice/process of inquiry to heighten social and environmental awareness. The performance actions are denunciations, manifestoes, political statements and questions. Each performance is an extension of the performers’ practice and rehearsal into the public sphere. A common theme running through all company’s creative work is “otherness” and the ways we deal with the foreign, the unfamiliar, and how the novel yields particular consequences.

Christine Germain:

Christine Germain

Originally from Quebec, Canada, Christine is a movement explorer, dancer and choreographer. She earned earned an MFA in Dramatic Arts/Choreography from University of California in Davis and a BFA in Contemporary Dance from Concordia University in Montréal. She recently received the “Outstanding Choreographer” Award from BayAreaDanceWatch for her work about social issues from 2010-2014. Other awards include the UC Davis Humanities Graduate Research Award and the “Most Promising Choreographer” Award at the 2012 Montreal Fringe Festival. Her work has been performed In Canada, Germany, England, India, and the United States. As a dancer, Christine performed for Ellen Bromberg, Cathleen McCarthy, Iu-Hui Chua, Kim Epifano, Paco Gomes, Jesse Hewit, Alex Ketley, Diana Lara, Amy Lewis, Nita Little, and Sri Shashi Shankla among others.

Heather Basarab:

Heather Basarab is a lighting designer whose recent projects include Portrait (Dana Genshaft) and Z (James Sofranco)with SF Danceworks’ inaugural season; What Do I Remember with Wei-Shan Lai; Change with Fogbeast; Dogsbody, with Erik Ehn's national Soulography Project at La Mama (NY); The Shipment with Crowded Fire; Breakfast with Mugabe with Aurora Theatre; Hamlet and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf with Shotgun Players.  As a resident designer with AXIS Dance, she has lit pieces for Marc Brew, Shinichi Iova-Koga, Alex Ketley, Joe Goode and David Dorfman. Favorite designs include Big Head with performance artist Denise Uyehara (LACMA, Los Angeles); Birdhouse Factory with Cirque Mechanique; and Wonderboy and Drowsy (Isadora Duncan Award) with the Joe Goode Performance Group.  Additional recognition includes a Time Out Chicago Award for dance lighting (Wonderboy), an Upstage Downstage Award, two Lighting Artists in Dance Grants and several BATCC awards. Ms. Basarab holds a degree in Theater Design from UCLA.

Sonsherée W. Giles:

Sonshereé Giles – Headshot

Sonsherée W. Giles is a dancer, choreographer, teacher and costume designer. She is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her dance practice is informed by her dedication to running and yoga, and her dance making is informed by the observation of animals, landscapes, art history, and daily life experiences. From 2005-2015, she was Associate Director and performing/teaching artist with AXIS Dance Company, a physically integrated, contemporary repertory company based in Oakland, California. She has taught contemporary dance in public school systems, institutions, dance festivals and universities and her work has been seen by audiences throughout the USA and internationally. She received her MFA in performance/choreography from Mills College located in Oakland, California. Sonsherée has received an Isadora Duncan Award for ensemble performance, and a Homer Avila Award for Excellence in the field of integrated dance.

Gretchen Jude:

Gretchen Jude

Gretchen Jude is a performer and composer born in Idaho and based in Hawaii, whose eclectic works have been heard from Seoul to Helsinki. Gretchen sings, plays koto, and engages extensively with both audio electronics and improvisation. She loves to collaborate with dancers, reflecting her interest in the body, its materiality, and its relationship to the contradictions and conundrums of contemporary human life.

Diana Lara:

Diana Lara

Diana Lara is a choreographer, performer and teacher from Honduras. She graduated from the choreography program of the Center for Research and Choreography at the Mexican National Institute of Fine Arts, and from the Somatic Research and Participatory Arts program at Moving-on-Center in Oakland. In 2011, she graduated from the Body-Mind Centering certification program on Developmental Movement in Berkeley. She has worked for 20 years in collective dance groups with inspiring choreographers and improvisers in Mexico, and Central America. Diana has collaborated in the San Francisco Bay Area with Rosemary Hannon, Bonner Odell, Liz Boubion, Maryann Brooks, Aya Chigusa, and the Dance Generators.

Joyce Lu:

Joyce Lu

Joyce is a Feldenkrais practitioner and a member of Bodyweather Laboratory (BWL), directed by Oguri in Los Angeles. She has performed with BWL at the Getty and Guggenheim museums and also practices Balinese dance with Gadung Kasturi (Norcal) and Burat Wangi (Socal). She teaches in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Pomona College.

Slater Penney:

Slater Penny

Slater Penney is an Emmy award winning physical theatre artist and teacher. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Theatre Arts, then furthered his professional training at the San Francisco Circus Center and the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. He currently has two of his own productions, The Submarine Show and Le Projet Migration, both of which continue to tour and win awards internationally. He has taught circus for the past 17 years, and is proud to be the Gym Director at Luna Gymnastics. Slater continues to teach group and private lessons in circus arts at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, and hopes to continue growing as a creative human being for the rest of his life.

Ronja Ver:

Ronja Ver is a dancer and dance maker, a teacher, a mother, an activist, and a lifetime student of performance as meaning-making. Her choreographic work addresses current issues through movement, sound, and awkward audience participation; technical but unpolished, often working with extreme physical states to invite a visceral, nonverbal place of relating. A native of Finland, she has worked and performed extensively throughout Europe and in the United States, most recently with Nancy Stark Smith and Mike Vargas in Seattle and New York City, Sara Shelton Mann, Risa Jaroslow & Dancers, Scott Wells and Dancers and Avy K Productions in the Bay Area. Previous posts include the National Theater of Finland and in Riitta Vainio Dance Company, and she was proud to perform in Steve Paxton’s DVD Material For The Spine. Her choreography has been presented in the U.S. at Movement Research at the Judson Church (NYC), Danspace Project (NYC), the American Dance Festival (NC). This year, she is excited to begin her 3-year artist residency at SAFEhouse for the Arts, San Francisco in 2016, with a new work in progress called DOOR.

Ronja Ver is continually inspired by the art and practice of Contact Improvisation, which provides a place for play and magic in her life. She is a co-organizer of the West Coast Contact Improvisation Jam and a co-founder of the Finnish CI festival Skiing On Skin. She holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University.

The Musicians:

Many wonderful musicians have contributed to the various work presented by Christine Germain and Dancers:

Aharon Wheels Bolsta (Writhing Letters, Remembering)

Jaysi Chander (Remembering)

Frédéric Péloquin (Le Projet Migration)

Albert Mathias (Le Projet Migration, Nexus)

Gretchen Jude (Transmutation, Corps Étranger)

Ofir Uziel (Le Projet Migration)

Audrey Spinazola

And we also had the chance to have the talented Heather Basarab as lighting designer!!

Thank you to all the artists for sharing time, energy and creativity!