fall ’23 PROGRAM


Sep 8-16, 2023

Sep 19, 2023


Hannah Garner


Hannah, awarded Dance Magazine’s ‘25 to Watch’ in 2020, graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Purchase, earning a BFA in Performance and Composition and a minor in Arts Management. While at Purchase, Hannah performed in works by Adam Barruch, Aszure Barton, Larry Keigwin, Rosalind Newman, Claire Porter, and Nicole Wolcott in addition to one semester dancing abroad at the Beijing Dance Academy.

Since graduating, Hannah has worked with Doug Varone, Raja Feather Kelly, Sue Bernhard Danceworks, Megan Williams Dance, and Rovaco Dance Company in venues such as The Joyce Theater, New York City Center, and New York Live Arts. Her work as 2nd Best Dance Company has been commissioned by GroundWorks DanceTheater, Gibney’s ‘dance-mobile’ series, Triskelion Arts, Kizuna Dance, GALLIM x CreateArt, musical artists (Snail Mail, Frankie Cosmos, and Half Waif), the Hartt School, and SUNY Purchase, among others.

In addition to her performing work, Hannah finds a creative home in teaching: she is currently on the dance faculty of the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase and Gibney Dance Center.

Recent credits for Hannah’s choreography, which “tackles topics like death and queer identity through rigorous, inventive movement and wit” (Lauren Wingenroth, Dance Magazine), include residencies at GALLIM and Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, movement direction for Snail Mail band (Valentine European tour, 2022), a semester creating work at Bard College, and a new evening-length commission by Gibney Dance Center (upcoming, November 2023). Additionally, Hannah currently serves on the Bessie Selection Committee.

Dava Huesca


Dava Huesca is a freelance choreographer and performing artist, based in New York City. She is a graduate of SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, Fiorello LaGuardia Arts High School, and two-time alumni of Springboard Danse Montreal. Her performance career began as a company member with Dance Theater Company VIM VIGOR.  Other performance attainment includes works by Yin Yue Dance Company, Jacolby Satterwhite, Johannes Weiland, Laja Martin, Maxine Doyle, Rena Butler, Sidra Bell, Damani Pompey, Christoph Wrinkler company, Telfar TV, and Martha Graham Dance company.

Dava’s interest in choreography evoked during the COVID-19 Pandemic, a time where she was forced to create opportunities for herself. In 2020, she co-founded the interdisciplinary arts collective LLAB RATS, a dance collective that seeks to practice art as activism for the benefit of Black folks. Through LLAB RATS she has performed and set works for Battery Dance Festival, CPR, Ciclo Dos, Purchase Dance company, Arts on Site, The Craft NYC, and POP UP NYC.  

As a freelance choreographer she has been commissioned for Whim W’him Dance company, Dance Lab New York, Movement direction for Yale University’s Summer Drama cabaret, associate choreographer to OK Laja Martin, as well as choreographer for Peridance Certificate Program graduation solo. Dava was the first Springboard Danse Montreal nominated recipient of Jonah Bokaer’s Arts Foundation AIR Founder’s Residency in 2021, as well as the first round of choreographic artists for GALLIM Moving Women residency in 2020.  

Dava has also been recognized for her teaching and educational work, having been adjunct professor at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance, MOVE|NYC|, Barnard, Gibney Pro, Peridance, Brickhouse, Broadway Dance Center, and more. Her impact in the dance world has been recognized by the Desiree Kera’s from the Heart (2015) as well as the New York Times and Dance Spirit magazine for her viral dance fashion Instagram page @issadancelook. In December 2022, Dava took on the role of Artistic Programs Manager for arts and social justice organization MOVE|NYC|.

Ana Maria Lucaciu


Ana Maria Lucaciu is a freelance choreographer and performing artist based in New York City and Antwerp, Belgium.

​Born in Bucharest, Romania, Ana Maria graduated from the National Ballet School of Canada and joined Canada’s National Ballet immediately after. She went on to dance with the Royal Danish Ballet (Denmark), Augsburg Ballet (Germany), The Portuguese Contemporary Dance Company (Lisbon) and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (New York), where she danced for seven years.
Ana Maria has performed and created works with contemporary dance’s foremost choreographers, including Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Hofesh Shechter, Jiří Kylián, Jo Stromgren, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Alexander Ekman and many others. As a freelance performer she has collaborated with New Dialect, Zoe/Juniper, Bryan Arias, Aszure Barton & Artists, and Alan Lucien Øyen’s Winter Guests.

She assisted Crystal Pite on her Polaris project at New York City Center, and regularly assists Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman with new creations and stages his work around the world.

Ana Maria choreographic work has been presented by the Norwegian National Ballet, New Dialect, Purchase Dance Company, Battery Dance New York, Ballet Finland, Dance Aspen, Philadelphia Ballet 2, Rambert School, London and a full evening piece for Terminus Modern Ballet Theater. In 2020 she was commissioned a short solo work by Swedish TV.  She also created a full-evening duet with Nathan Griswold that has toured the US and Europe.

Ana Maria joined London’s Rambert 2 company as a rehearsal director for the spring of 2021. She worked with Alan Lucien Øyen’s Winter Guests as rehearsal director, company manager and performer for their 2022 world tour. Starting in November 2023 she will take on the position of Head Rehearsal Director at Opera Ballet Flanders.

​Holder of a BFA in dance from Empire State College in New York, Ana Maria teaches ballet, contemporary, and improvisation workshops at professional programs and dance companies across the US, Europe and Asia. She is a 2018 TedX Bucharest speaker.


Michael Mazzola


Michael’s critically acclaimed lighting and scenery has been seen in venues all over the USA, Europe, and Asia, ranging from opera houses to amphitheaters to circus tents to hay barns. The 3-time New York Dance and Performance Award winner has designed lighting and scenery for many dance companies, in the USA, Australia, Finland, Sweden, Cuba. He designed lighting and video for the 2015 Presidential Scholars Awards, at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Michael has also been Senior Scenic Designer on two Comedy Central Celebrity Roasts, as well as the 2015 Lincoln Awards at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall for Uplight, Inc, based in NYC. Some of his performance photography has been published in Liz Lerman’s book “Hiking the Horizontal”, as well on the websites and marketing materials for Bebe Miller Company and Rachel Tess Dance.


Becca Blackwell


Becca Blackwell is a talented and versatile professional in the world of performing arts, making their mark as a dedicated Production Stage Manager for Whim W’him. With an extensive background in stage management, lighting design, and stagehand work, Becca has made a significant impact on the Seattle dance scene.

As a Production Stage Manager, Becca orchestrates the behind-the-scenes magic, ensuring smooth and flawless performances. Their organizational prowess, exceptional communication skills, and ability to handle high-pressure situations make them an invaluable asset to the Whim W’him team. Becca’s meticulous planning and coordination allow the creative vision to come to life on stage seamlessly. Additionally, Becca’s talents extend to lighting design, where their keen artistic vision and technical finesse have contributed to the creation of captivating visual experiences on stage.

With a diverse skill set, unwavering dedication, and a passion for the performing arts, Becca Blackwell continues to shine as a vital force in the industry. Their contributions, both as a stage manager and lighting designer, have left a lasting impression on audiences and fellow professionals, solidifying their position as a respected and sought-after talent in the Seattle dance community.


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