abun[dance] is a site-specific project that combines my passions for the performing arts and sustainability. This collaborative project explores the idea of sustainable structures in our relationships, our anatomy, our homes, and our planet. During the performance, audience members are led on an experience around and through LEAFHouse, which is a 100% sustainable building on the University of Maryland campus, built by students on the Solar Decathlon team in 2007. Many thanks to the artist collaborators and audience who participated in this project! View video excerpts here.
Jasmine Watkins is a graduate from University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in Dance. She has been involved in UMD productions such as: The Lost World, New Dances, Umoves, the MFA Dance Thesis Concert, and the Faculty Dance Concert. She has worked with PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER, guest artists Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Samantha Speis as well as former Dance graduates Chelsea Brown and Meghan Bowden on various projects. She is a former member of Phunktions Hip-Hop Company and a 2016 recipient of the Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship. She enjoys long walks, long naps, and watching Korean dramas in her free time.
Born and raised in Annapolis, MD, Emily Reyes grew up with a love of athletics spanning from soccer and sailing to ballet and acrobatics. After high school she spent six years dancing with the Anne Arundel Community College Dance Company under the instruction of Lynda Fitzgerald. In 2013 she danced in Chelsea Brown’s choreographic work titled “Unraveling: Discovering the Interconnection Between Science, Art, and Religion.” After taking a brief break for the birth of her son, Oliver, Emily returned to dance and seeks to make dance a lifelong avocation while raising a family. In what spare time she has she likes to sew and make guacamole. She would like to thank her Mom and Sister who babysit during rehearsals, her family, and especially her husband Jonathan.
Sree Sinha is a Company Dancer with Mayur, and has trained for 19 years in the classical Indian dance style of Odissi under the direction of Sukanya Mukherji. Sree also has extensive training in the style of Kuchipudi, and has performed classical and folk dances in India, Singapore, at the Kennedy Center, and at the Smithsonian Institute. She minored in Sustainability Studies at the University of Maryland and was heavily involved in advocacy and campus organizing during her undergrad years, including co-founding Sex Week at Maryland. Sree currently works at Pathways to Housing, a nonprofit mental health agency in DC, and is planning on pursuing a PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University of Denver this fall.
Heather C. Boyd, Ph.D.
Heather is a multipotentialite (no, that's not a new species!): scientist, musician, writer, editor, artist, and mother of the choreographer. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the second graduating class to enroll women at Rutgers College in New Jersey and a Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Pennsylvania. After years of laboratory research in Pennsylvania, California, and Washington State, she raised a family and an ongoing scientific editing business. With two daughters nurtured and launched, Heather unearthed her artistic roots and started another business, combining her natural sciences background with her creative talents. She is pleased to collaborate with Chelsea in creating the “welcome poster” for this LEAFHouse dance project. You can see more of Heather’s artwork (cards and collages) using real plant materials at www.hcboyd.wix.com/natureart.
Rachel Sitomer is excited for this opportunity to collaborate with fellow artist and environmental crusader Chelsea Brown. Ms. Sitomer is an opera singer, church music director, violin teacher, and mother to the two most adorable boys on the planet (although she admits she may be a bit biased on this front...) Most recently, she was seen singing the role of Pamina (The Magic Flute) with Opera AACC. Other notable roles include Gilda (Rigoletto), Monica (The Medium), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), and Micaela (Carmen). She would like to thank her family for their constant support and love.
Samantha is currently a junior at the University of Maryland, studying harp performance with Baltimore and Delaware Symphony harpist, Sarah Fuller. During her time at the University of Maryland, she has performed in many ensembles such as the UMD Symphony Orchestra and Opera Studio and has participated in the National Orchestra Institute and Brevard summer music festivals. Although her studies are focused on orchestral music, Samantha has a background in classical and jazz piano and saxophone. When not playing the harp, Samantha enjoys painting, reading, hiking, and taking walks with her dog. She is looking forward to working with Chelsea Brown and the other talented artists on this project.
Perry grew up in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, surrounded by pastures and woods, with an artist mom and a musician dad. Since childhood he has loved music and the outside world of living things; following those pulls led him to the University of Michigan for an undergrad in oboe performance and environmental studies. From there, an interest in environmental justice issues in urban and rural contexts was the motivation to move to Montréal and pursue a master’s in anthropology at McGill, to be able to think more rigorously about historically accreted human-environment relationships. Shortly after the LEAFHouse project (thank you Chelsea! arts and environment!), he will spend a few months working in community farming with Grow Ohio Valley, in Wheeling, West Virginia, and in the fall will move to Chicago to pursue music (with the Suburban Piano Quartet) and activism as related but distinct forms of inquiry. Outside of plans and political concerns, he continues to love music and outside places, especially playing banjo and being beside water.
Meet the Collaborators
Patricia Mullaney-Loss is a minnesotan based in Washington, DC where she dances, collaborates, teaches, and performs locally. She is grateful for another opportunity to work with Chelsea Brown, to dance with wonderful strong women, and to start investigating sustainability practices within her life. Most recently, Patricia has had the pleasure of dancing for Heart Stück Bernie (Sarah Beth Oppenheim) and working with Claire Alrich, Meredith Bove, BodyCartography, Jillian Peña, Stephanie Miracle, Jessie Laurita-Spanglet, Susan Marshall, Tere O'Connor, and Sharon Mansur since coming to the east coast. When not in motion, you can find her deeply engaged with spreadsheets as a researcher at a national arts nonprofit.