Karen Peterson and Dancers
Excello Dance Space

8700B SW 129th Terrace
Miami, FL 33176-5904

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AS OF 1/17/2018


Karen Peterson Corash

Artistic Director, Choreographer, Dance Artist

Karen, a graduate of the Boston Conservatory has received four choreography fellowship awards from Miami Dade Cultural Affairs and the Florida Department of State for her physically integrated choreography. Her work has been presented in New York City, Atlanta, Cleveland, Brazil, Italy, Scotland, Bosnia, Serbia, Guatemala, Montenegro and Ireland and she received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 from the New World School of the Arts. Her additional awards include; Coldwell Bankers Cares, Citizens Interested in the Arts, Cultural Exchange Fund from APAP, a Knight Foundation Challenge Award in 2011, a 2015 American Red Cross Cultural Award and was named one of the “Queen of the Arts” by the Miami Herald 2014. She has influenced the dance and disability communities in South Florida for 25 years through teaching, creating and dance making. Her company was awarded $150,000 from the Knight Foundation to produce Forward Motion – An International Festival of Physically Integrated Dance in September 2018 and 2019.

Maria Lino

Visual / Video Artist as Collaborator

Maria Lino holds a Bachelor of Science in Studio Art from New York University, and a Master of Fine Arts from Florida International University. She is a Fulbright US Scholar and a two-time recipient of the Oscar B. Cintas Fellowship. As a visual artist, her artwork often deals with movement and interdisciplinary storytelling. She focuses on the rhythmic repetition of the everyday while creating portraits of those who are often overlooked, including persons with disabilities. Maria has exhibited her work extensively in solo and group exhibitions, uniting video with other artistic disciplines, including dance. She has collaborated with KPD on “Mano a Mano”, (2010) “Buoyant Dreams” (2012) and “Scrutiny” (2017).

Lucia Aratanha

Teaching Artist

Lucia is a performing artist, director and teacher with 40 years experience in the field of dance and theater. She began her career in her native Brazil, where she worked extensively with well-known choreographers and
directors. After relocating to Miami, she became active in the local arts community, and continued to perform locally and internationally while developing movement training for dancers and actors of all ages. Her own theatrical and choreographic work has been presented by Miami Light Project, The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Tigertail Productions and Fundarte. Lucia Aratanha is a teaching artist for students with disabilities for Karen Peterson’s Youth Arts Enrichment Program, and for VSA Florida. Both highly recognized
organizations in South Florida dedicated to bring the arts to students with special needs in the Public School System. Lucia Aratanha is interested in the dynamics of migration and imprint of culture in the body.

Ximena Castillo England

Teaching Artist

Ximena was born in Los Andes Chile; she began dancing as a child with her mother who was a dance instructor. Ximena earned her BA in Arts at The University of Chile, 1989. She began her professional dance career before graduation and was the assistant professor of dance at Ballet Folklorico of Chile. Ximena moved to Miami with her husband where she worked as an aerobic, yoga and Pilates instructor at Bally's Total Fitness. She began working as a ballet teacher at gymnastics wizard studios between 2007 and 2011. She
began a full-time position at new image dance studio, where she worked with juniors and beginners.   During her first summer with new image she was the facilitator for the summer camp at Dave and Mary Alper Jewish community center. Her participation in the camp featured dance therapy for autistic children.  Ximena recently returned from Croatia where she performs traditional Chilean folk dance to the public as well as Croatian officials. The trip was arranged through Ximena's dance company, Altura and at the request of the Chilean
ambassador to Croatia. It is more than clear that Ximena is dedicated to teaching and carrying the message of dance in its many forms to everyone.

Marjorie Burnett

Founding Dance Member

KPD dancer since 1999) graduated from Florida International University in 1999 with a BA in social work and minor in theatre and dance. She remains the only physically challenged student ever to be admitted into the FIU dance program. Marjorie is one of the five founding members of KPD and has created many original roles in the KPD repertory that have been presented on local and national stages. She has performed with KPD in N.Y.C., Washington DC, Altanta, Oberlin College and throughout Florida for VSA Florida conferences. She also works with choreographer Pioneer Winter and developed GIMP GAIT with him in 2016. She was an original cast member in “Identity” (2016) and “Scrutiny” (2017)s item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

Shawn Buller

Dance Artist

Shawn has been a dancer with KPD since the fall of 2006 and has created original roles in the KPD repertory. She has participated in four danceAble workshops one of which included a performance with Axis Dance Company at the Colony Theatre, Miami Beach in January 2012. She recently traveled to Belgrade performing at “The Off Frame Festival” in Belgrade, Serbia in December 2013 with KPD. She holds a Masters degree in Music Therapy and works full time at the Miami VA Medical center. She performed with Hajde Da, Belgrade’s leading mixed-ability company at the Miami Dade County Auditorium and performed in Lisbon Portugal with KPD in 2016. She was an original cast member in “Identity” (2016) and “Scrutiny” (2017). 

Katie Brennan

Dance Artist

Katie began dancing at the age of 8, training in the Royal Academy of Dance methodology before training at the Kansas City Ballet. After earning her Master of Social Work from Baylor University, Katie performed in the Kansas City area for six years with 940 Dance Company, City in Motion, and Gurukul Indian Dance Company. She spent a season as an associate artist with Core Project Chicago before moving to NYC where she completed her dance therapy certification coursework at the Harkness Dance Center and performed with
Kinesis Project Dance Theater. In Miami, Katie has performed with Momentum Dance Company and Dale Andree. She currently teaches dance to preschoolers and maintains her private mental health/dance therapy practice.

Katrina Weaver

Dance Artist

Katrina received a BA in dance from Florida International University. This is her sixth season with the company. As a company member she has served, as a team teacher with the Youth in Education Program serving special needs students in Dade County schools and also traveled to Trebinje, Bosnia in 2010 to teach and perform. She premiered her solo work Square 1 in the KPD 2014 season and also presented her solo work in Guatemala City. She is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and Tae Bo certified kickboxing instructor. She also taught in Sarajevo, Bosnia with Ms. Peterson in May 2013 and assisted Karen in Belgrade in May 2013. She performed with Hajde Da, Belgrade’s leading mixed-ability company at KPD’s 25th Anniversary ​concert on May 14, 15th 2015 at the Miami Dade County Auditorium​ and was a lead choreographer on the development of SCRUTINY - performed May 2017.​

Oscar Trujillo

Dance Artist

Oscar stumbled into a ballet studio in 1996 and a career in dance and arts education emerged. While in the Bay Area he performed with Margaret Jenkins, Capacitor and Ramon Ramos Alayo. In New York, Oscar collaborated closely with Maija Garcia/Organic Magnetics, Richard Gonzalez and Alicia Ohs. In South Florida since 2016, he directed el Pueblo Habla, an interactive theatre education campaign in Homestead, is a body worker and also creates interactive performance installations and short films with Celia Grannum.

Abby Contreras

Dance Artist

Abby was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela where she began her dance training, which she then continued in Quito, Ecuador until 2013. Abby relocated to St. Louis, MO to pursue her BA in Dance and BS in Business Administration at Webster University. During her time at Webster, Abby studied under Michael Uttoff, Alicia Graf Mack, James Robey, Beckah Reed, Maggie Dueker, and Patravadi Mejudhon. She has also had the opportunity to perform in works by José Limón, Darrell Moultrie, Nejla Yatkin, Tymberly Canale, Beckah
Reed, Monica Newsam, Diadie Bathily, James Robey, and Heather Sultz.

Martina Tarducci

Dance Artist

Martina Tarducci was born and raised in Italy. She began dancing at age of 3 with Patrizia Cartei and she expanded her training studying Ballet, Character Dances, Pas Des Deux, Contemporary and Contact Contemporary. When she was 10 after exceeded the Audition with Federic Olivierì, take part of “Giulietta e Romeo” at “Theatre Comunale di Firenze” with Maggio Fiorentino Company. She won a lot of competitions and she came for the first time in the USA with a scholarship at Mark Morris Dance Center in New York. She finished her study in Psychology with a Master Degree cum Laude at Università degli Studi di Firenze. After she decided to work as a psychologist and teach dance as well. Martina moved to Miami one years ago and she starts to work for multiple dance company and she is currently a dance teacher too.

Jesus Vidal de León

Dance Artist

Jesus from Dominican Republic in his early age started with a dance and acting class at the age of 5, he developed his love for acrobatic movement and flexibility. His school had gymnastics and dance program, which he assisted for several years till, became a member of the national gymnastics team of Dominican Republic. Knowing the reasonability to be a professional gymnasts he was force to stop dance b at the age of 12. With 4 years out of dance her felt that dance was missing in his life that's when he incorporate acro dance, ballet, and jazz on his free time in a independent dance academy in Dominican republic which gave him the privilege to participate as a dancer and singer for musicals, dance competition and teaching acro dance to a young generation of dancer. He became 8 times national gymnastics champion of DR and an independent dancer.  Recently suffer a spinal cord injury in 2014 that made him stop his dance and gymnastics career, he's looking to find in a new way of living to go back to his route of dance and being active in life trying to corporate dance in his life.

John Beauregard

Founding Dance Member

KPD dancer since 2000, lived and skied most of his life in Steamboat Springs Colorado and joined Karen Peterson and Dancers after participating in danceAble in June of 2000. With Karen, he has created original roles that have been performed at the Different Ability Festival in Carpi, Italy, 2002, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, 2003 and at the Montenegrin National Theatre in Montenegro 2009. Through Tigertail Productions, John worked with German choreographer, Gerda Konig in Cologne, Germany and premiered this work in danceAble 2003 and 2005. With Heather Maloney, John performed Falling Up and Vertical Sprawl at the Florida Dance Festival in June 2013. He performed at “The Off Frame Festival” in Belgrade, Serbia in December 2013 and in “Identity” in Lisbon Portugal with KPD in 2016. He was an original cast member in “Identity” (2016) and “Scrutiny” (2017).

Rebecca Pelham

Dance Artist

Rebecca Pelham is a dance artist and civic engagement educator based in Miami FL. Her training in Dance at Bard College included studying under teachers from the Bill T Jones/ Arnie Zane Dance Company and New York Live Arts, who provided instruction in composition, improvisation, and technique. Upon graduation, she attended the American Dance Festival in North Carolina before relocating to Miami, where she danced with Momentum Dance Company for three years. She is honored to dance and perform with Karen Peterson and Dancers. She was an original cast member in “Scrutiny” (2017).

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