Dance Omi


About Dance Omi International Dance Collective

Since 2005, the Dance Omi International Dance Collective has brought together ten accomplished dance artists from around the world for three weeks of creative exchange each summer. Though the program culminates in informal showings on the Omi campus, the emphasis is not a performance product; rather, a gently facilitated process of experimentation and collaboration.

This exploration is enhanced by providing resources that dancers and choreographers often lack: space, time and other artists with whom to work. Under the direction of the Dance Omi Director and an alumni Guest Mentor, residents learn from each other's creative process and the freedom to play. The result is a model of creative process and community building that envisions consequences for the participants beyond the sphere of art making.

Professional Dancers/Choreographers of ALL styles (Modern, Ballet, Improvisation, Ethnic Dance forms, etc.) who have the desire to share ideas and process with dancers from around the world are encouraged to apply. It is recommended that applicants do not have specific projects in mind, but come open to working with others on jointly conceived projects. It is imperative that all applicants have a genuine openness to collaborating with artists of different dance backgrounds.

All awarded fellows commit to remaining for the entire residency and to participating in the concluding showings. Everyone accepted to Dance Omi receives full room and board during his or her stay at Omi (note that Omi is unable to provide travel funds).


Dance Omi Events

Dance Omi Open Salon (members priority!)

Saturday, August 9, 5 - 7 PM

The Studio Barns at Omi: 59 Letter S Road, Ghent NY

With a diverse group of dancers from all over the world, Omi's Open Salons allow residents to share their individual work with the public before exhibiting their collaborative projects later in the month. Taking place in the Studio Barns at Omi.

So You Think You Don't Understand (Modern) Dance?

An audience participation process with Dance Omi Alumni

Sunday, August 17, 2 PM 

Off-premises location: PS21, 2980 NY Route 66, Chatham NY


Participating Alumni:
Marie France Forcier, Canada (2007 alumna)
Lynn Neuman, New York (2006 alumna, 2008 guest mentor)
Melissa Riker, New York (2008 alumna)

Dance Omi Director Christopher K. Morgan will facilitate a showing of works-in-progress by Alumni of the Dance Omi Residency Program. Using his extensive experience with the Liz Lerman Critical Response Process, Morgan will facilitate an exchange between the artists and the audience.

PS21 is delighted to be collaborating with its neighbor and fellow arts organization in Columbia County. Since 2005, the Dance Omi International Dance Collective has brought together accomplished dance artists from around the world for three weeks of creative exchange each summer. The emphasis is not a performance product; rather, a gently facilitated process of experimentation and collaboration. Christopher K. Morgan is the Artistic Director of Christopher K. Morgan and Artists, a contemporary dance company in residence at City Dance in Bethesda, MD and the Alden in McLean, VA.

A reception for the dance artists will follow the showing.

Free and open to the public.

Images used courtesy of the Department of Dance, Faculty Fine Arts, York University. Photographer David Hou, 2013.

Photo of Dance Omi Director Christopher Williams, credit to Ross Willows.


Dance Omi Showing in The Fields

Saturday, August 23, 2 - 4 PM 

The Fields Sculpture Park: 1405 County Route 22, Ghent, NY

Omi's Dance Residents show their finished pieces, created in collaboration with each other while in residence at Omi. Dancers from all over the world come to share ideas with one another and create unique pieces in Omi's International Residency Program. Taking place in the Fields Sculpture Park at Omi.

Free and open to the public.


Applications for the 2014 Dance Omi International Dance Collective are now closed. Announcement of this years residents should take place in early April. Check back for future opportunities.



Omi International Arts Center is located two and a half hours north of New York City in the historic Hudson River Valley. Named for a neighboring village, Omi is close to the small town of Ghent, New York, as well as Albany and Hudson, which offer train connections only thirty minutes away.

The facilities, situated on three hundred acres of open land, include a large two-story barn with indoor studios; contemporary residence buildings designed with a vernacular reference to local barns, surrounded by abundant perennial beds, expansive lawns dotted with fruit trees, adjacent to The Fields Sculpture Park.

A Federal Period farm house serves as a gathering center, providing a full kitchen, television room and library; while the front porch overlooks rolling hills and the majestic outline of the Catskill Range. A swimming pool, bicycles, WiFi access and several state of the art computers are available on the premises.

Columbia County, and the nearby Berkshire Mountains, are popular destinations because of their historical, natural and cultural riches. From bird sanctuaries to modern dance, presidential mansions to farmer's markets, the environs offer a singular blend of rural quiet and cultural stimulation. Staff and friends in the neighborhood are often available for excursions of interest to residents. The local library has a modest collection, but is a member of the Mid-Hudson group, calling on the resources of libraries within much of eastern New York.

2014 Dancers in Residence

2014 Dance Omi Residents

Chris Babingui (Congo)

As a young child, Chris Babingui says he used to mimic the oldest ones who danced the traditional and urban dances from his home, the Congo. At 17, the Boom Danger group discovered him and two years later, he met the choreographer Florent Mahoukou and became a dancer of his company, traveling across Africa and Europe. Babingui has studied with choreographers Eric Lamoureux, Byb Chanel, Redy Wilson, Andreya Ouamba, Roberto Torres, and Alissa Shiraishi. As a choreographer, his first creation Evasion received an award in 2010 at the Mabina Danse Festival. He is currently touring Nibo Nabo, meaning "still the same", and is working on a new project, Faux calculs, a reflection on the selfishness that makes man his own worst enemy. Since the civil war horrors, it is Babingui's aim to use dance as a vehicle to pass a message of hope.

Talia Beck (Israel/USA)
Talia Beck is a graduate of The Thelma Yellin High School for the Performing Arts. She joined Vertigo Dance Company in 1998 dancing for choreographers Noa Wertheim (IL), Gabor Goda (HU), Netta Pullvermacher (USA) and Adam Benjamin (UK). In 2000-2001 she danced with choreographer Bruno Listopad in Holland and Portugal, then joined Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak Dance Company (IPAVDC) in 2002. In 2004 she became the company's Rehearsal Director and Artistic Assistant. In 2005 she created Kinky Love 4, with Edan Gorlicki, and began her studies in Philosophy and Art History at TAU in 2006. She created 2 pieces for IPAVDC: Saudade (2008), Ma'atzama (2010), has worked with Choreographers Yasmeen Godder and Noa Dar, among others, and choreographed for theater. In 2013 she premiered The Botany of Desire. Talia teaches ballet, contemporary, repertoire extensively, has given workshops and master classes around the world, is a recipient of the ministry of culture award and the Schusterman Grant.

Erin Crawley-Woods (Maryland)
Erin Crawley-Woods is an MFA Candidate and Teaching Assistant at the University of Maryland. Most recently she created Visible Seams, a site-specific sound/dance/video installation for the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. From 2007-2011 she was a Company Member and Director of Community Outreach at Keshet Dance Company in Albuquerque where she managed Keshet's nationally-recognized Outreach Program for Incarcerated Youth. She has taught creative movement for children, pre-professional training for teens and physically integrated dance for all ages. In 2006 she completed the Wholistic Bodywork program at NM Academy for Healing Arts. From 2001-2005 Erin lived in NYC where she was Company Manager for PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER. She has performed in the US and abroad with Nancy Meehan Dance Company, Leslie Satin & Dancers, Sara Rudner & Company, Russell Dumas, Anneke Hansen, and Irish Modern Dance Theater. Erin received a B.A. in theatre, dance and French from Sarah Lawrence College in 2001.

Kokou Gbakenou (Togo/USA)
Photo and bio coming soon!

Aleksandr Frolov (Russia)
Aleksandr has been a contemporary dancer, choreographer and teacher for the last 4 years. Born in 1985, he grew up in the village near the city of Yekaterinburg and had no opportunity to dance until age 20. Except for years of university, his experiences in three and a half years have been his primary training and experience, but not exclusively. From 2010 till the present, Aleksandr has been a dancer and choreographer of the dance duet group Zonk'a (Ekaterinburg, Russia) with Anna Shchekleina. Recent works include Place, Chocolate and others.

Osías Yanov (Argentina)
From Argentina, Osías Yanov's works are placed in an interdisciplinary threshold between dance and sculpture. In his works issues such as gender identity, reconfiguration of body induced by environment and pain as a way of ecstasy and release are addressed from manner, gestures and symbols. He was trained at the most reputable study centers of fine Arts in Argentina. In the performing arts, dance and choreography, he studied in workshops belonging to renowned choreographers and dancers. Looking for an extension of the concept "art collective" in 2006 he creates the art team called Rosa Chancho together with other 4 members of different specialties, where they use performance for the creation of narrative moments in order to remove any difference between group and individual. Since 2006 he has been exhibiting in art centers in Argentina, Spain, France, Brazil and Russia. He is currently carrying his research processes(dance-sculpture) to educational area.

Andrea Hackl (The Netherlands)
Andrea Hackl is a freelance choreographer, dancer and video artist based in Amsterdam. Her work has been influenced by artists such as Emanuel Gat, Gabriella Maiorino, Ime Essien, Anouk van Dijk, Tony Vezich as well as philosophers, e.g.: Stephen Nachmanovitch & John Dewey. Various methods of energetic & somatic work have enriched her understanding of dance & movement. Hackl describes her vision as "standing for a paradigm of co-existence - the fact that all of Life is intrinsically connected. My wish is to let others re-connect to an essential level on which it is possible to experience this connection. The focus of my work frequently shifts onto the subjects of human-nature relationships." She has been dancing with various companies across of Europe (e.g.: Emanuel Gat Dance, United-C, Suzy Blok & Fabian Chyle) and has been invited to residencies as well as festivals in and outside of Europe.

Zoe Rabinowitz (New York)
Zoe Rabinowitz is a freelance dance artist based in New York City, interested in movement as a discourse on social and political issues. Originally from Vermont, Zoe earned her BFA in Dance from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program, and studied abroad at De Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Holland. She has since performed with companies such as INSPIRIT, JoAnna Mendl Shaw/ Equus Projects, MBDance, Nia Love/ Blacksmith's Daughter and Urban Bush Women. Current projects include collaborations with Anne Zuerner, the Movement Party, and Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre, a contemporary dance company based between New York and Palestine, where Zoe is a founding member and Associate Director. Her own choreography has been shown at the Women in Motion Salon Series in New York City and the Fleet Moves Dance Festival in Cape Cod. In addition to her work as a performer, Zoe is also a certified yoga instructor.

Wesley Ruzibiza (Rwanda)
Wesley Ruzibiza first encountered contemporary dance in 2000  at the National University of Rwanda. Selected out of many dancers by the French choreographer Irene TASSEMBEDO, he took part in a training in Ouagadougou and Paris, leading to a creation of the first professional contemporary dance group in Rwanda, the Amizero Company. In 2011, he was nominated for the Young Rwandan Achiever Award. Wesley won Rwanda a silver medal at the sixth annual Jeux de la Francophonie and he was given the same year the Rwandan Top Talent Arts Performer Award. Wesley has given classes, choreographed and directed both locally and internationally. He also has a professional Degree in Traditional Dance and Contemporary Technique Acogny from Ecole de Sables with the choreographer Germaine ACOGNY, and benefited from a professional mentorship within the Sundance Institute. Wesley is the founder of the first Rwandan Contemporary Dance Festival, the EANT, which he has initiated and directed since 2012.

Sydney Schiff (New York)
Sydney Schiff graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in History of Science and a Certificate in Dance. Choreographic highlights include: ContextPreconstructed (Princeton 2010), Eugene Onegin (Princeton 2012) and CHALOM: A Dream Opera (NYFringe 2012). As Artistic Director of Sydney Schiff Dance Project, she is developing a new evening-length work, Dry Bones: Resurrection of the Living, facilitated by a year of full-time intensive biblical Hebrew language and text study as a 2012-2013 Arts Fellow at Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. Performance highlights include: Patricia Hoffbauer, Emily Faulkner, Pedro Jimenez, Clare Cook Dance Theater, H.T. Chen & Dancers and the Parparim Ensemble of the Israeli Dance Institute. She is currently apprenticing with Zvidance.

Kensaku Shinohara (Japan)
Born in Sapporo, Japan, Shinohara started dancing and creating his own work while studying anthropology at International Christian University in Tokyo. After dancing and touring nationally and internationally, he moved to NYC in 2009 to further his creative work. Since then, Shinohara has collaborated with Jennifer Muller, Tiffany Mills, Daria Faïn, Chuma Yoshiko, Philippa Kaye, Giada Ferrone, Lynn Neuman and others. He has presented his works for New Museum presents Dance for DNA, Movement Research at Judson Church, One Bryant Park/Bank of America Tower by chashama, Dumbo Art Festival, WAX Series, and more. His works have been described as ''A spirited and fun take on urban experience,'' (Art Values Education) and ''Filled with humor''( He has been a residency artist at The Field, MANA CONTEMPORARY, E|MERGE. He is a producer and curator of CRUSHED MUFFINS, an artists gathering in NYC.

Paola Ponti - 2014 Guest Mentor, Alumni 2012 (Italy)
Paola is a  dancer, choreographer, teacher and bread maker. She is a member of Compagnia IRIS and Studio28 Dance Factory (Perypezye Urbane). She collaborates with cooks, experts of languages and sounds, of somatic and Chinese medicine, always searching for new intersections and point of views for dance research. In 2013 she present her solo Umano at Festival Monoplay in Zadar, Croatia, and she attended The Human Empowerment Through Video Production Workshop in Malta. Since 2011, Compagnia IRIS, In Ocula and Menoventi are organizing WAM!, a festival dedicated to contemporary performing arts Faenza, Italy. She is also developing a community dance project, Corpo e Azione (Body and Action), with the desire of getting all kinds of people actively involved with contemporary performing art. In 2011 her solo Zolfo was a finalist at the GD'A prize, a competition for emerging choreographers. Paola graduated in 2008 from SEAD (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance).


Dance Omi Sponsors:

Israel's Office of Cultural Affairs*
The Embassy of Ecuador in Mexico*

* Providing Fellowships

Omi's residency programs are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts

Program Board of Directors

Maria Mitchell

Lynn Neuman

Amber Sloan

Nicole Smith

Gus Solomons, Jr.

Christopher K. Morgan, Director

Christopher K. Morgan - Director (Maryland)
 has directed Dance Omi since 2006. Christopher is also the Artistic Director of Washington DC area contemporary dance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, and the Dance Artist in Residence in the School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland. His Native Hawaiian ancestry and a diverse, international performing career as a modern dancer influence his choreography. Said to be "charming and poignant" by The New York Times, his work has addressed issues including sexual and gender identity, race, climate change, and water conservation and been presented in 18 countries on 5 continents. Dance Magazine profiled him in 2011 as one of six breakout choreographers in the United States. His 2010 work +1/-1, commissioned by the US State Department, a US and a Palestinian Dance Company, opened the Ramallah International Dance Festival, and won the Dance Metro DC award for Outstanding New Work that year. Known as an advocate and eloquent speaker, Morgan regularly adjudicates for the American College Dance Festival and has served on panels for the NEA, Maryland State Arts Council and McKnight Foundation. Recent awards include a 2013 Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Fellowship, 2014 NPN Creation Fund Award and a 2014 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award for Solo Dance Performance.