Nathan Trice, artistic director/founder

Nathan Trice is the Artistic Director/Founder of nathantrice/RITUALS project-by-project dance theater based in New York City. Originally from Detroit, MI Nathan began his training in 1988 under the strict direction of Aulani Chun in San Diego, Ca. at Mesa College. While training, he simultaneously completed his remaining two years of a four and a half year contract with the U. S. Military Naval service. Upon completion of his Naval contract, he was accepted into the Alvin Ailey certificate program. Since completing the certificate program Nathan has worked with MOMIX, Complexions, Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater, Kevin Iega Jeff, Donald Byrd/The Group, danzaiza, Burnt Sugar Arkistra, Forces of Nature Dance Co., his own group (nathantrice/RITUALS dance theater), and continues to freelance with an array of artists. While working with other artists, Nathan has continued to travel throughout the United States and abroad for the past 15 years conducting residencies, master classes, workshops, lecture demonstrations and performances. For the past 8 years, Nathan has continued to serve as professor of dance at Long Island University’s dance department in Brooklyn New York. Mr. Trice has continued to receive commissions from the Ailey II Company, Dallas Black Dance Theater, The Herman Lavern Theater Group, Bermuda Dance Company, The Harkness Dance Festival, Aaron Davis Hall E-moves Festival, DNA’S In The Company of MEN and Numerous Universities, colleges and Performing Arts High schools.

Ryoji Sasamoto, dancer

Originally from Chiba Prefecture in Japan, Ryoji Sasamoto has performed with Nathan Trice/RITUALS, Makiko Tamura/small apple co., KEIGWIN+COMPANY, Shen Wei Dance Arts, Alexandra Beller/Dances, his own company and continues to freelance with an array of artists. As part of Nathan Trice/RITUALS dance theater and Makiko Tamura/ small apple co., Ryoji has performed and taught Contemporary and Hip Hop classes, as well as, assisted in setting work nationally and internationally. Ryoji was taught as a guest teacher of the contemporary class in Tokyo and New York since 2008. Ryoji was chosen as “one of 25 to watch” from the dance magazine in 2011. This is his sixth year to work with Nathan Trice/RITUALS.

Damani Pompey, dancer

Damani Pompey is a native of Brooklyn, NY. He had studied traditional Shotokan karate for ten years before receiving his second degree black belt at age thirteen. He attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Dance under the direction of Michelle Mathesius and graduated with the Stephanie Silverman Award in 2008. Pompey attended the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance as an Adopt-a-Dancer and graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2012 with a BFA in Dance, minor in Arts Management, and concentration in lighting design. Pompey has performed repertory by Sarah Mettin, Pedro Ruiz, Nathan Trice, Ronald K. Brown, Fredrick Earl Mosley, Christopher Huggins, Wallie Wolfgruber, and Paul Taylor. He has worked with Trice throughout his dance education and is excited to be apart of the “Strange Love” project. This is Pompey’s first official season with nathantrice/RITUALS.

Tendayi Kuumba, dancer

Tendayi Kuumba is a 2010 Spelman Graduate with BA in Drama and Dance as well as double minors in Psychology and Womens Studies. She began her choreographic journey during her years in undergrad and have gone on to produce 2 original works Memoirs of Percipitation and Breathe. Tendayi has performed works by artists such as Jasmine Guy, T.Lang, Dawn Axam, Jule Lane, Kyle Abraham, Doug Elkins, Laura Dean, Rae Ransom, Marjani Forte , Laurie M. Taylor/ Soul Movement, among others.Currently Tendayi Kuumba is a New York resident and current company member of Ase Dance Collective, Liberata Dance Theater, T. Lang Dance, as well as a former member of Axam Dance Theatre, Zifadance and Keen Dance Theater. She is also the vocalist of the Gerry Eastman Quartet at the Williamsburg Music Center under the direction of Gerry Eastman in Brooklyn,NY. Tendayi thanks her family and friends for their undying love and support.

Makiko Tamura, dancer

As the founder and artistic director of small apple co., Makiko Tamura is the recipient of the first-place prize in The A.W.A.R.D Show! 2009: NYC presented by The Joyce Theater Foundation and the third-place prize in Festival Twenty Ten DanceNOW Challenge 2010 at Dance Theater Workshop. Tamura graduated from Japan Women’s Junior College of Physical Education and then graduated from Toho Gakuen College of Drama and Music in Tokyo, Japan. She was an annual special guest choreographer/dancer of The Dance Satellite Lecture at Yamaguchi University Faculty of Education from 2004-2009. Tamura moved to the U.S.A. in 2007 and since then, she has worked with Nathan Trice/ RITUALS, Vanessa Justice Dance, Ellis Wood Dance and various other NYC artists. Her works have been presented in newsteps choreographer’s series 2008/2010 at Chen Dance Center, Danspace Project Food For Thought 2009 at St. Mark’s Church, RAW Material Fall 2009 and SPLICE: Japan│Artists in Residence 10-11 at Dance New Amsterdam, Family Matters and Fresh Tracks 2010 at Dance Theater Workshop, 92nd Street Y Presents Fridays at Noon, DanceNOW 2011 at Joe’s Pub, Movement Research at Judson Church and other NYC venues. small apple co. will be presenting an evening-length show at Joyce SoHo on July 13-15, 2012. Makiko looks forward to performing in her fourth season with Nathan Trice/RITUALS.

TIffany Mellard, dancer

Born and raised in Bronx, New York, Tiffany Mellard began her professional training at Mind Builders Creative Arts Center and the Harlem School of the Arts. From 2003-2007 she studied dance at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts. At LaGuardia High School she performed the works of Milton Myers, Sidra Bell, Pedro Ruiz, and Adam Barruch. Upon graduating high school, she received the Dr. Randolph A. Goodman Award for Excellence in Dance. While in New York, Tiffany performed works by Kevin Iega Jeff, Elisa Monte, Nai Ni Chen, Krystal Hall Glass, and Whitney Hunter. Tiffany received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance at Florida State University in 2011 while under the instruction of Gerri Houlihan, Lynda Davis, Dan Wagoner, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Rick McCullough, and Suzanne Farrell. At Florida State University, she performed at the American College Dance Festival Association in Gainesville, FL and the Gerri Houlihan and Dancers: Retrospective in Miami, FL. Tiffany attended the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC on full scholarship as the assistant to Co-Dean Gerri Houlihan. Tiffany is also currently a teaching artist for LEAP and a certified ZUMBA Fitness Instructor. In 2012, she performed with Laurie M. Taylor/Soul Movement at the COOL NY Dance Festival and is now working with nathantrice/Rituals Dance Theater as a performer in Strange Love: EPISODES. She is blessed to be a part of such an exciting and innovative project!