Mary Verdi-Fletcher is the President/Founding Artistic Director of Dancing Wheels Company & School. Verdi-Fletcher has been the world’s first and foremost professional wheelchair dancers, she has worked and studied with such esteemed artists a pioneering force in the development and success of physically integrated dance for nearly 4 decades. She has performed for audiences of more than 5 million since the inception of the Company and is responsible for the commission of over 65 works in the Company’s current repertory.

 

Seeing the need for training and career opportunities for dancers of all ability levels, Verdi-Fletcher created the multi-arts Dancing Wheels School in 1990. Attracting students from around the globe, the school is considered the worldwide center for physically integrated dance & Arts Access. As an educator, Mary has conducted master classes and lectures and has consulted with notable arts institutions across several continents.

Also a tireless arts administrator and advocate, Mary has helped develop state and national programs for arts and disability service organizations and has worked to help to pass significant pieces of legislation. Her efforts have paved the way for others in their quest for full and equal access.

Mary is a recent recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize, OhioDance Award for contribution to dance in Ohio, Governor’s Award for Arts Education in Ohio, has been recently elected to the Board of Directors of DanceUSA and is a member of the ADACleveland committee. 

If dance is an expression of the human spirit, then it is best expressed by people of all abilities. That is the fundamental belief behind the Dancing Wheels Company & School. Considered one of the premier arts and disabilities organizations in the U.S., Dancing Wheels is a professional, physically integrated dance company uniting the talents of dancers both with and without disabilities.

 

Mary Verdi-Fletcher, the first professional wheelchair dancer in the U.S., founded the Dancing Wheels Company in Cleveland in 1980. Born with spina bifida, Mary wanted to offer others with disabilities full and equal access into the world of dance. An almost unimaginable concept at the time, Mary’s vision and passion have since helped to revolutionize our very notion of dance – as well as what defines a dancer.

To date, the Dancing Wheels Company’s inspirational mission has touched over 5 million people through performances, school assemblies, residencies and workshops. Millions more have enjoyed their artistry via appearances on CNN, Good Morning America, 20/20 and the TV special “Christopher Reeve: A Celebration of Hope.”

Dancing Wheels continues to travel the globe advocating disability awareness and entertaining over 30,000-50,000 people each year. With a repertory of over 75 works from nationally- esteemed choreographers and a message of inclusion and accessibility, the Company continually expands the reach of artistic possibilities while celebrating the universal spirit of dance.

For more information, please visit www.dancingwheels.org.

Yu.S.Artistry was founded by artistic director Yuki Ishiguro in 2018 fiscally sponsored by New York Live Arts. Technique is based on Yuki’s background contemporary flow movement with Break dance floor works, accents by isolations and storytelling gestures.

They've performed at Booking dance festival at Jazz at Lincoln Center, DUMBO dance festival, KoDaFe at Ailey citigroup theater, Come together dance festival at Suzanne Roberts theater, Meade! Dance maker International dance festival at performance garage in Philadelphia, own evening length production “Shifting Tides” at Actors Fund Arts center, etc

Also has taught master classes for MAD festival at Nazareth College, and Bridge education program by Nai-Ni-Chen dance company.

Yuki Ishiguro, Japanese native, discovered Break dance on the street during college. Since then he has learned many forms of dance. After graduating from Ritsumeikan University in Japan with a BA in business. He started to work with Japanese ballet company for 2 years, then Yuki moved to New York as a student of DNA(Dance New Amsterdam).

In NY Yuki also studied with unique street performers such as Kenichi Ebina, well known as a winner of America's Got Talent season 8. From these training and his own practice Yuki created his own dance style and signature movements, which has been praised by dance reviews.

"a dancer of remarkable athleticism. It was a thrill to watch him execute his moves with skill and eclat, maintaining a smooth unbroken dramatic flow as he shifted through one style after another." 

- The Dance Journal

”What makes Yuki so intriguing - beyond his style of movement - is his enigmatic quality. There's no other dancer quite like him on the Gotham dance scene.” 

- Oberon's Grove

As a dancer Yuki has worked and toured with several dance companies in the U.S. - Roxey ballet, Catapult entertainment, Emery LeCrone dance, etc. He has been invited by fusion flute musician Kenzie Slottow in Austin, Texas to choreograph and dance for her music videos, and featured in martial arts short film “Conored” in an action scene which has been shown at AMC 25, Times Square.

For more information please visit https://www.yukiishiguro.com/

Born and raised in New York, Skyla Schreter has worked as a professional dancer for Boston Ballet and most recently, for 6 years at San Francisco Ballet. She attended the School of American Ballet in New York City for her formal dance training. During her ballet career in San Francisco, she cultivated her artistic inspiration and began developing her own choreographic voice. Now, as an independent choreographer and multi-disciplinary artist, Schreter will be relocating back to her roots in New York to develop her body of work. Working primarily in dance, paint and film, she has created performance, media and visual art on both coasts, as well as internationally. Her work has been professionally commissioned for the San Francisco Ballet Trainee Program as well as the Loud Spring Art Activism Organization. Her recent dance film “A Flower” was selected for the 2019 San Francisco Dance Film Festival and won an Audience Choice Award at the 2020 Utah Dance Film Festival.

 

”My interest is in creating live and filmed dance-works which serve as a vehicle for movement as a unifying language. In an effort to transcend social and experiential boundaries, my work uses the body as a storytelling device for universal understanding. Through movement exploration and creation, I strive to shape organic expression to tell those stories that can move us to feel things that we often miss when we are looking, but aren't truly seeing. Using dance to facilitate connection through communication, I aim to establish community by celebrating individuality. In trying to highlight the sublime in Nature which both surrounds and lives inside all of us, my work searches for new ways to use dance as a powerful instrument of personal reflection and social change. I am searching for physical and conceptual routes that can unite and awaken us to our own collective humanity.”

For more information please visit https://skylaschreter-art.com

© 2015 Alyssandra Katherine Dance | All rights reserved | Photos by Sarah Kouhou at Visualinstincts except where noted

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