Erin Thompson

2019 Dancer FELLOW

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Erin Thompson’s dance performance career began in 1970 with the Minnesota Dance Theatre and continued in New York City in the companies of Nina Wiener and Bebe Miller. She received a New York Dance and Performance award, “BESSIE”, in 1986 for her dancing in Nina Wiener's Enclosed Time at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival. Erin moved back to Minneapolis in 1990, danced with Zenon Dance Company for two years, and founded 45 Chartreuse Dance Company with her husband, Byron Richard, in 1992. They received choreographer's fellowships from the McKnight Foundation (1993) and from the National Endowment for the Arts (1994, 1996). Since 1992, Erin has been on the faculty of the University of Minnesota's Department of Theater Arts and Dance as well as at Zenon Dance Company where she continues to provide advanced professional contemporary/modern dance training for the Twin Cities’ dance community. In the past five years, she has appeared in the work of choreographers Joanie Smith, Judith Howard, Penny Freeh, Sharon Picasso and Deborah Jinza Thayer. Erin received a SAGE Award for Outstanding Dance Educator in 2008 and the City Pages Best Dancer Award in 2016. She is an ATI certified Alexander Technique teacher. 

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Joseph "MN Joe" Tran

2019 Dancer FELLOW


Joseph “MN Joe” Tran is a professional breaker of 17 years. He is a member of world renowned crew Knuckleheads Cali and founding member of BRKFST Dance Company, an exploratory dance company rooted in hip hop. BRKFST utilizes foundational breaking movement with contemporary and innovative concepts to create works without a label. He also dances for the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 1st Avenue Breakers.

Tran’s unique and dynamic moves have helped him secure first place titles across Italy, Estonia, Colombia, France, the Netherlands, California, New York and Minnesota. Currently, he is a Hip Hop instructor at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and a Teaching Artist for COMPAS, a non-profit education organization that teaches through art.



Jinza Thayer


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After spending the first six years in Japan and Southeast Asia, Jinza Thayer grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University and received an MFA in Dance at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Now based in Minneapolis, she has created over 60 original works and presents her work as Movement Architecture – a blend of dance and theater in structured environments.

Some of the awards include being a two-time semi-finalist for France’s Rencontres choregraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis (Bagnolet) in 1999 and 2001, and receiving a 2010 SAGE Award for Choreographic Concept and Design. Fellowships include a 2004 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Choreographers, 2006 Associate Artist Residency at Atlantic Center for the Arts, and a 2010 Blacklock Nature Sanctuary Fellowship. She has received additional support from the Minnesota State Arts Board (1999, 2002, 2009, 2014, 2018), Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (2017), American Composers Forum (2006, 2011, 2014), and Jerome Foundation (2006).

Thayer has taught somatics, modern technique and composition at Zenon Dance Company and School in Minneapolis for twenty years.



Ashwini Ramaswamy


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As an independent choreographer, Ashwini Ramaswamy’s work references ancient myths and ritualistic practices, global literature and poetry, and the mixed media contemporary culture she has absorbed for 35 years, drawing from myriad influences to express a personal identity with collective resonance. Celebrated for her ability to “[weave] together, both fearfully and joyfully, the human and the divine” (New York Times), Ashwini studies Bharatanatyam from the legendary dancer/choreographer Smt. Alarmel Valli of Chennai, India, and Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy, Artistic Directors of Ragamala Dance Company.

As Choreographic Associate/featured performer with Ragamala, she has toured extensively, performing throughout the U.S. and in Russia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, the U.K, and India. Ashwini’s choreography was among the “Best of the Year” in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Big Dance Town, and Minn Post, and has been presented by the Joyce Theater (NYC), Triskelion Arts (NYC), Cowles Center (Minneapolis), The Yard (Martha’s Vineyard, MA), and Just Festival (Edinburgh, U.K.), among others.

Ashwini is a recipient of grants from the McKnight Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and Jerome Foundation, including a recent inaugural Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship. Ashwini’s work is supported by USArtists International, National Endowment for the Arts, and New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project. A recent piece was commissioned by The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series, and her work has been developed in residence at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) the Baryshnikov Arts Center (New York, NY) and the National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron, OH.



Elayna Waxse

2019 Dancer FELLOW

Photo credit: Michael Slobodian

Photo credit: Michael Slobodian

Elayna Waxse is a Twin Cities-based performer, dance educator, and choreographer who hails from Overland Park, Kansas. She received her early dance training with Alecia Good-Boresow and at the Kansas City Ballet School, spending summers at the School of American Ballet in New York City. At the age of sixteen she was invited to Seattle to study in the Professional Division program at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, where she frequently performed with the company.

Waxse has worked professionally with Minnesota Dance Theatre, Colorado Ballet, Black Label Movement, BodyCartography Project, and is currently in her seventh season with TU Dance. Over the course of her career she has performed works by Uri Sands, Loyce Houlton, Alvin Ailey, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Dwight Rhoden, George Balanchine, Carl Flink, Francesca Harper, and Katrin Hall among many others. In the summer of 2014 she was selected to perform with Cie. Ismael Ivo e Grupo Biblioteca do Corpo at ImPulsTanz Vienna International Dance Festival as well as in São Paulo, Brazil.

In addition to performing, Waxse’s choreographic work has been commissioned and/or presented by Minnesota Dance Theatre, Ballet Minnesota’s MN Dance Festival, The School at TU Dance Center, Zenon Dance Zone, JSB TekBox Theatre, Bryant Lake Bowl, Detroit Dance Race, and Public Functionary. 



Paula Mann


Photo by Galen Higgins

Photo by Galen Higgins

Paula Mann’s work has been presented by performance venues both in New York at New York Live Arts, P.S 122, Danspace, and in the Twin Cities, by the Southern Theater, the O’Shaughnessy Dance Series, The Walker Art Center, and solo work presented throughout the U.S, Canada and Italy.

Mann has received several awards from the McKnight Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, Meet the Composer, the MN State Arts Board, St. Paul Cultural Star, MRAC Arts Activities (2015, 2016) and Community Arts, the Sage Cowles Chair at the U of M, a Bush Artist Fellowship, an American Composers Forum Music for Dance grant, a 2017 Artist Initiative Grant from the MN State Arts Board and a 2016-17 commission for new work from GT Artistry. In 2003, 2005 and 2007 her company, Time Track Productions, completed a trilogy of evening-length work that explored the effect of media on humanity through live performance. In July 2009 the company presented the evening length “I Love Tomorrow” at New York Live Arts.

Newer works include “Here & After” (2012), ‘The One And The Many” (2014) and “Rules Of The Crowd” (2015) for the Weitz Center for Creativity at Carlton College. From 1993-2013 Mann was full-time faculty at the U of M and was a 2015-16 visiting professor of dance at the U of W, Eau Claire. She is a graduate of New York University.


Galia Eibenschutz

2019 International Choreographer

by Rodrigo Valero-Puertas

by Rodrigo Valero-Puertas

Galia Eibenschutz is a dance and multimedia artist from Mexico City whose work has developed through both movement and visual art techniques. Her work registers the passing of time as well as the scenic presence of the human body and its projection within architectural spaces. Her most recent performance pieces include presentations at Teatro de la Danza (Mexico City, Mexico; 2018); Museum of Contemporary Art in Oaxaca (2018) in collaboration with musician Natalia Perez Turner; FABRIKA in Beirut, Lebanon (2016) in collaboration with Corinne Skaff; at Ex-Teresa Arte, and during Art Basel at The Center for Visual Communication (Miami, 2013).

Her work has also been displayed as part of several collective exhibitions at Modern Art Museum (Mexico City); Carrillo Gill Art Museum (Mexico, City); Contemporary Art Museum of Oaxaca, MUCA Roma and MUCA CU (Mexico, City); Palacio Nacional de Bellas Artes (Mexico, City); Witte de Witt (Rotterdam), Blain|Southern (London branch); Mexican Cultural Center (Paris); Saidye Bronfman Center for the Arts (Montreal) and in Stedelijke Museum Voor Actuele Kunst Gante (Belgium).

She has been in residency programs in Casa Wabi; Casa NANO, Villa Iris (Botín Foundation), L’École des Sables (Senegal) and the Mexican Fine Arts Museum of Chicago. As a performer, Eibenschutz has also participated in projects from other artists such as Joan Jonas and Carlos Amorales. 

For more information about Galia, visit her website.

For more information about the residency activities, visit our International Choreographer page.

For more information on the residency co-hosts Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder, visit their page.