Jamal Jackson was born in Brooklyn, New York and began his formal studies of movement with the Harlem based Batoto Yetu Dance Company. His pursuit of dance led him to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he received the Weston Award for his contribution to the Fusion Dance Company and New Works/ World Traditions African Dance Company from 1996-2000. Jamal studied with Michelle Bach-Coulibaly, Seydou Coulibaly, and Fred Benjamin and worked under M’ba Coulibaly, Salimata Soumare from Kelete Dance Theatre, and Ba Issa Diallo, director of Troupe District du Bamako in Mali, West Africa. Jamal choreographed for the New York Arts Festival and Inaya Day in 2002, marking the beginning of his African based, modern technique. Jamal performed with Ballet International Africans for two seasons as a principal dancer and in 2004 he founded the Jamal Jackson Dance Company. Jamal Jackson Dance Company has established a strong presence in and out of New York City, performing year round in festivals, self-produced shows, community outreach programs and private events. The company’s work has been presented at venues including: Mark Morris Dance Center, Jacob’s Pillow, NYC Summerstage Concert Series, DanceNow Festival, Dance Theater Workshop, Battery Downtown Dance Festival, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Brown University, The Brooklyn Museum, Equality Now’s 20th Anniversary, Big Range Festival in Austin, TX, The Yard in Martha’s Vineyard, MA, Performance Spaces for the 21st Century in Chatham, NY, and the GSUSA National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dana Thomas, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR/DANCER
Dana Thomas is from Centreville, Virginia. Dana is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dance and Media, Culture, and Communications. Dana has performed at various venues such as Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, The Joyce, The Ailey Citigroup Theater, DTW, Wolf Trap, The TANK, (le) poisson Rouge, MMAC, La MaMa, The Flea, Triskelion Arts, Skirball, Symphony Space, and Jacob’s Pillow. She has had the privilege of performing works by Debbie Allen, Susan Marshall, Mark Morris, Gus Solomons Jr, James Sutton, Brian Friedman, and Kay Cummings. In addition to working with JJDC, she has worked with David Dorfman Dance, Douglas Dunn and Dancers, skybetter and associates, Tze Chun Dance Co, POPmodern, Mark Dendy Dance & Theater Projects, ChristinaNoel Reaves & The Creature, and Malcolm Low/Formal Structure. Dana has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in productions of Faust choreographed by Kelly Devine, Les Troyens choreographed by Doug Varone, and Parsifal choreographed by Carolyn Choa. AGMA member.
Lynnette is an actor/dancer and teaching artist who loves work that is socially conscious and compelling. Previous shows include Kentucky (Amy Williams), The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane (Pretty Mbmane), Permanent Collection (Kanika Weaver), In a Daughter’s Eyes (Reheema Abu- Salaam); Tamer of Horses (Georgiane); Clybourne Park (Francine/Lena); A Raisin in the Sun (Ruth Younger); Intimate Apparel (Esther Mills). She is a proud member of Actors Equity, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and a graduate of Brown-Trinity Rep MFA Program.
Karina Fernicola-Ikezoe, DANCER
Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Karina Fernicola-Ikezoe moved to the United States after high school to attend college at Brown University, where she earned a B.S. in Neuroscience. While at Brown, Karina was both a member and co-director of the prominent student-run dance group, Fusion Dance Company, as well as the director of Body&Sole: an umbrella organization for all student dance on campus. In the spring of her senior year, she was recognized by the Theater, Speech, and Dance department and presented with the Weston Award for her dedication and contribution to the dance community at Brown.
Since graduating in 2009, she has moved to New York where she continues to pursue her love of the performing arts. While in the city, Karina has had the pleasure of performing works by José Limón, Sean Curran, Shani Collins, Christal Brown, and Nathan Trice, among others. She has also starred as the lead role in Black Moon Theater Company's production of Oscar Wilde's play, Salome, which was performed off-Broadway at the Flea Theater. Karina joined Jamal Jackson Dance Company in 2012, and continues to dance with him while pursuing an MFA in Dance at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she has been awarded a Graduate Assistantship in Video as part of the Dance and New Media department.
Jasmine Domfort, DANCER
Jasmine Domfort graduated from Long Island High School for the Arts and received her BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. Jasmine is a freelance dancer who has performed in projects at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Philly Fringe Festival, and the American Dance Festival. She has also performed abroad in London, England and Sofia, Bulgaria. Jasmine was featured in the documentary “Restaging Shelter”, and has worked with artists’ including Stefanie Batten Bland, Elizabeth Corbett, Leah Cox, Danielle Gwirtzman, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Ming Yang. She was a guest artist at C.W Post (LIU), and her choreography has been featured at the American College Dance Festival, Ailey Citigroup Theater, and AUPAC. Jasmine is currently a member of the VON HOWARD PROJECT, LMproject, Jamal Jackson Dance Company, and MADArt Creative. In her time spent away from the stage, Jasmine teaches at dance studios, schools, universities, summer intensives, and camps.
Rebecca Greenbaum, DANCER
Rebecca Greenbaum was born in Brooklyn, NY, and trained year-round at the Joffrey Ballet School. She has attended programs with American Ballet Theatre, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and Toscana Dance Hub. She holds a Masters in Fine Arts in dance from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where she was awarded a Graduate Assistantship. She graduated with her Bachelors in Science from Skidmore College Magna cum Laude with Periclean Honors and the Margaret Paulding award for excellence in dance. In addition to dancing for Jamal Jackson Dance Company, she also dances for XAOC Contemporary Ballet, Maverick Dance Experience, and the Brooklyn Contemporary Ballet Collective. Previously she has danced for INSPIRITdance/Christal Brown and apprenticed for ZviDance/Zvi Gotheiner. She has also presented work at Dixon Place in NYC and in the Florence Dance Festival in Italy. She is a certified classical Pilates instructor and teaches at Equinox, Uptown Pilates.
Liz Beres, DANCER
Liz Beres, a proud Wisconsinite, earned her BFA in Dance from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She has performed for Elisa Monte Dance, ChristinaNoel & The Creature, Sarah Council Dance Projects, Naomi Goldberg Haas’s Dances For A Variable Population, and skybetter and associates, among others. Her own work has been presented in NYC at Joe’s Pub through DanceNOW[NYC]’s Dancemopolitan series, 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center’s Fridays at Noon program, NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, and Columbia University. Recent regional credits include WEST SIDE STORY (Consuela) and SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (Ensemble, u/s Annette). Liz teaches yoga to adults and dance to little and big ones alike in the tri-state area.
Dianna Anderson, DANCER
Dianna Anderson-Guerrero found her love of dance in New Jersey at the age of four. Upon attending the American Dance Festival in 2008 she decided to follow up her BA in English Literature from Brown University with an MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her desire to work with special needs youth resulted in an MST in Special Education. She has performed works by David Parsons, José Limón, Kangi Segawa, Sean Curran, Shani Collins and, Lisa Race . She has also participated in repertory with Ronald K. Brown, Keith Thompson, Dianne McIntyre and, David Dorfman. Dianna is currently teaching dance and yoga to youths with special needs and their families and plans to continue her journey toward becoming certified in Dunham Technique.
Kelly Butterworth, DANCER
A Long Island native, Kelly graduated from Adelphi University where she studied dance and psychology. She continued her education at Adelphi, earning her M.A. in Childhood Education with the Advanced Certificate in Special Education. As a NYS Certified Dance Educator, Kelly teaches at Nassau BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts where she also coordinates a program that brings dance to students with special needs. For the past three years, Kelly was a member of Patricia Kenny Dance Collection, under the direction of former David Parsons dancer, Patricia Kenny. She is currently a guest artist with Dance Householder and a recent member of H.T. Chen and Dancers. This is Kelly’s first season with Jamal Jackson Dance Company.
Joanna Futral, DANCER
Joanna Futral is originally from Atlanta, GA and graduated from Georgia Tech in 2009 with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics. After moving to NYC in 2012 she has worked with the Kitchen Sink Collective, Keeley Walsh Collective, Maya Orchin, Lubartdances, Muse 309, Erica Essner, ChristinaNoel and the Creature, and The Lovelies.
David Bengali, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
David Bengali has been designing lighting for JJDC since 2004. Recent projects include: Square Peg Round Hole (Tectonic Theater Project), Two Point Oh (59E59), The Tempest (CSC), I Forgive You Ronald Reagan (Theatre Row), The Orion Experience (XL), Look Upon Our Lowliness (The Movement Theatre Co.), Cav/Pag (Tri Cities Opera), Little Nemo in Slumberland (Sarasota Opera), The Sensational Josephine Baker (Emerging Artists Theatre - Theatre Row), A Single Ride (Ephrat Asherie / Dixon Place).
Coleen Scott, COSTUME DESIGNER
Coleen Scott is always excited to work with Jamal Jackson Dance Company. She has worked in New York with the New York Fringe Festival, Melting Pot Theater, Upbring Dance Company, Stone Soup Theater Co., Working Man’s Clothes, Subjective Theater Co., and The Japan Society. She received her MFA in Costume Design from Boston University in 2004. Film experience includes work with Academy Award Winning costume designer Ann Roth on several feature films, and she spent several years working in television for NBC/Universal and Warner Bros. productions. She is currently teaching costume design to students at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn. She is the creator of the school’s makeup program, and she studied makeup and hair for fashion at The Makeup Designory in NYC. www.coleenscottdesign.com
Allen Bernard Branch, MUSIC DIRECTOR
Allen Bernard Branch is a multi-instrumentalist from the Eastside of Baltimore, Maryland and currently resides in New York City. He is a percussionist turned keyboardist, and a drummer turned bassist, and a young kid beating on pots and pans, turned working musician. He is strongly rooted in drum set. Allen has been playing since the age of six. He attended the Baltimore School for the Arts high school, and studied orchestral percussion with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s percussionist, John Locke. Allen’s drum set playing in church and marching band helped him use the music theory and orchestral experience that BSA instilled in him, to prepare him for a professional career as a musician. Allen is currently in over five New York City bands: Everyman (Baltimore/New York), Red Sahara, Lulu Fall and James Theory, Feeding Goats, LTLT, Soul’D Out NYC, Killbozby, and The Audubon Lab Experiment. Allen plays regularly on stages that his favorite influences have played on in NYC at some point, haha: The Groove NYC, The Bitter End, The Shrine NYC, Silvana, The Village Underground, Drom NYC, and Rockwood Music Hall’s Stages 1 and 2. Allen was the drummer and background singer for the European Gospel group, The Original USA Gospel Singers and Band, for three seasons. While in European, Allen played traditional and contemporary Gospel on stages in places like: Germany (Daun, Wittenberg, Berlin, Munich, The Black Forest, Leipzig, and Frankfurt), Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, and France.