Vitacca Dance Project introduces the 2017 Fusion Dance Intensive Faculty line up: Phillip Broomhead, Jess Hendricks, Jim Nowakowski, Fara Scuilli Bowen, Autumn Eckman, Britt Wallis. Fusion will be held June 5-10 at Vitacca, located at 2311 Dunlavy. Register today!
Fusion Dance Intensive is six days of motivating, challenging and inspiring training for dancers ages 10-18. Fusion offers two class levels with a faculty of leading industry professionals from across the country. Classes include: Ballet, Variations, Contemporary Jazz, Modern, Fusion Rep and more! All Day Classes: 10:00am – 4:00pm, followed by additional Fusion Rep with Jess Hendricks 4:00-5:00pm.
Jess Hendricks graduated from the University of Colorado with a BFA in Dance. Her training consists of Perry Mansfield School of the Performing Arts, American Dance Festival, Harvard Dance Festival, EDGE Scholarship, Gus Giordano and Hubbard Dance Street.
Her credits include commercials and industrials for Godiva, L’Oreal, Reebok, Toys R Us, Universal Studios, Volkswagen and Warner Brothers. Jess worked on the tour of HAIR as Dance Captain for years, performed for the opening premiers of Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby and can be seen in such movies as Living Out Loud and Between The Sheets. She has danced in or been the assistant choreographer to the Elan Awards, Bob Fosse Awards, Ms. America Pageant, Carnival, Dance Break and Broadway Bares.
Jess has choreographed the New York musicals “The Shaggs”, “The Book Of The Dun Cow” and “Dead City” as well as the movie musical “Free Fall”. She has choreographed the music video “Just A Dress” for the Berlin Film Festival, “Mia Agapi Fotia” for European artist Sofia Strati’s Eurovision and was one of the choreographer finalists for the ACE Awards in New York City in 2011.
Jess has taught at Universities and Festivals throughout Canada, Costa Rica, Cyprus, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway and the United States. Jess has danced with “The Wes Veldink Movement” and co-created her own company “Two Peas & A Pod”. She recently created live work for the band “A Great Big World” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, set work to be performed at Carnegie Hall and assisted with choreography for the Alicia Keys tour. She is currently an adjunct professor at both Pace University and Marymount Manhattan College in New York and thrilled to be on faculty with 24 Seven Dance Convention.
Phillip Broomhead was born in London, England, trained at the Royal Ballet School, and joined The Royal Ballet in 1981. He was promoted to Soloist in 1983 and to Principal in 1986. Several roles were created specifically for Broomhead, including The Southern Cape Zebra in Still Life at the Penguin Café and roles in Varii Capricci, Isadora, Pursuit, Number One, Enclosure, and L’Invitation au Voyage. He performed numerous times in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen, the Queen Mother, and at many other royal galas. Broomhead joined Houston Ballet as a Principal dancer in January of 1991 and made his debut in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella. He was featured in all of Stevenson’s ballets, and many other works.
In March 1991, while on vacation in Washington, D.C., he attended a Royal Ballet performance of Swan Lake. During Act I, their Principal dancer sustained a serious injury and Broomhead found himself thrust onto the Kennedy Center Stage as Prince Siegfried; his performance won him worldwide critical acclaim. Broomhead has also created roles numerous world premieres including Glen Tetley’s Lux in Tenebris, Ben Stevenson’s Eclipse, and Trey McIntyre’s Peter Pan. He retired from Houston Ballet as a dancer in June 2004 after performing with the company for 13 years at which time he joined the artistic staff as Ballet Master, a position he held until 2011. In 2012 Broomhead joined Vitacca Productions & Company as Artistic Advisor.
Fara Scuilli Bowen began her intensive ballet training under the direction of renowned master teacher, Roberto Munoz, in the children’s school at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While attending Point Park’s International Summer Dance Program, Fara was taught by legendary ballet coach, Laura Alonso. At the age of 15, Fara was invited by Ms. Alonso to perform with Ms. Alonso’s youth company in Argentina, Brazil and throughout Cuba. After performing with Ms. Alonso for two years, Fara joined Lexington Ballet, in Lexington, Kentucky. While dancing in Lexington, Fara performed ballets choreographed by Trey McIntyre, Sean Kelly, David Cesler, and others. After two years with Lexington Ballet, Fara auditioned for Ben Stevenson, O.B.E, at Houston Ballet and joined the company for the next six seasons. Fara had the privilege to be a part of the creation of Dracula, Cleopatra, and Snow Maiden. Fara danced in many ballets while with Houston Ballet. Among her favorites were Ben Stevenson’s Peer Gynt, Swan Lake, Dracula, Cleopatra, Snow Maiden, Romeo and Juliet, Nutcracker, Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow, George Balanchine’s Four Temperaments, Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Gloria, Harold Lander’s Etudes, and William Forsythe’s In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, among others.
Upon retirement, Fara moved back to her hometown to start her family and begin teaching at the school where she grew up, Point Park University. She enjoyed teaching and had the honor of working as ballet mistress for Francis Patrelle and Karl von Rabenau. After being inspired by such noted choreographers, Fara choreographed two of her own pieces, The Sound of Forza and DVS1.
Now, Fara returns to the great state of Texas (which she considers her second home) and is thrilled to be back in the Houston dance community and on the Vitacca Dance Project Faculty!
Jim Nowakowski began his formal ballet training at the Timothy M. Draper Center for Dance Education Rochester, New York. He performed as a Rochester City Ballet company member in 2002 in productions of the Nutcracker, Cinderella, and Firebird.
In 2002, Jim attended the Youth American Grand Prix where he was presented the Junior Grand Prix Prize. Later in 2004 he took home the junior Men’s Gold and again in 2007 was awarded the Senior Men’s Gold Award. He was a finalist at the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts youngARTS Week and was presented with the Gold Award in Dance from Mikhail Baryshnikov. He also was a Presidential Scholar of 2007 Nominee, as well as Carnival Cruise Line youngARTS winner in Dance.
Jim joined Houston Ballet as a corps member in 2007. His roles included the Fire God and the God of Dreams in Stanton Welch’s La Bayadere, Step Sisters and Lead Ghost in Stanton Welch’s Cinderella, and numerous roles in Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker.
Other repertoire of Jim’s includes featured roles in Stanton Welch’s Tu Tu, Nosotros, Falling, Elements, and Tapestry; Hans van Manen’s Solo; Blue Boy in Sir Frederick Ashton’s Les Patineurs; Jiri Kilyian’s Soldiers Mass; and The Bluebird in Ben Stevenson’s The Sleeping Beauty.
In 2015, Jim made the Top 6 of So You Think you Can Dance and completed a 75-city tour of the United States and Canada.
Most recently, Jim became a featured cast member in Travis Wall’s “Shaping Sound” Company and joined them on the road for the fall 2016 tour of “Dance ReImagined.”
Autumn Eckman, originally from Atlanta, GA, is Assistant Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of Giordano Dance Chicago. She received her classical training from the Houston Ballet Academy under Clara Cravey and Steve Brulee, and from the late Tom Pazik of the Atlanta Ballet. In 2000, Autumn moved Chicago and began her performance career as a Giordano company member. She has also danced with other renowned companies including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ron De Jesus Dance, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Lucky Plush Productions, State Street Ballet (Santa Barbara) and the Cangelosi Dance Project. Autumn has created several works for the Giordano main and second companies and has been commissioned by Williams and Henry Dance Company, DanceWorks Chicago, Grand Valley State University, Western Michigan University, Northern Illinois University, KRESA, State Street Ballet, Chicago Repertory Ballet, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, State Street Ballet, Contemporary Dance South, Inaside Chicago Dance, Momenta, NoMi LaMad and the Vittaca Dance Project. She was awarded Dance Chicago’s “New Artistic Voice” in 2009, and named as a “Standout Choreographer” for 2010 in theChicago Tribune. The same paper recently featured her in the Fall Dance Preview of 2012 in which Dance Critic, Sid Smith described her as “a bright choreographic stylist, mixing solid design with color and sparkle.”. Autumn is also dedicated to training dancers in ballet, modern, jazz and contemporary dance. She is currently a full time instructor of dance at Northern Illinois University, and is on faculty at several Chicagoland area studios. She has recently been a guest at the Florida Dance Festival, State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara and Summer Dance Lab in Walla, WA. This past summer she served as guest jazz instructor at the Bates Dance Festival in Maine.
Brit Wallis, a native Houstonian, grew up training at Shelly Power’s Academy of Dance, and continued her studies at the Houston Ballet Academy. She was a member of the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company for 5 years, and had the opportunity to work with luminaries such as Kate Skarpetowska, Margo Sappington, and Mario Zambrano. She spent a season in Chicago working and touring with Luna Negra Dance Theater, and a summer in New York City performing with Molly Rabinowitz/Liquid Grip. Brit remains actively involved in the Houston dance community. She is currently in her 4th season with Hope Stone Dance, her 2nd season with NobleMotion Dance, and her 1st season with Frame Dance Productions. Additionally, she is performing with Vault, 6 Degrees, Recked Productions, Chapman Dance and on Faculty with Vitacca Dance Project.