SOULSKIN Dance is devoted to investigating the influences that shape our society. We communicate using the language of movement and hope the healing power of dance will inspire and encourage compassion and tolerance in our complex and often divided world.
Choreographer Adrianna Thompson attracts a roster of exceptional artistic collaborators to create a rich Pop Culture tapestry that comes to life through dance. Inspired by Haight Ashbury Salon parties of the 70’s, Thompson and her collaborators weave Media and Fashion design, musicians, DJ spins and dance to create immersive, electric dance happenings. Thompson’s choreographic style exudes personality and celebrates the musical genres she embraces.
“ … pure dance, pure excitement… SOULSKIN puts the pop back in Dance"
- San Francisco Chronicle
Founder/Artistic Director of SOULSKIN Dance
Adrianna has premiered works at Dance Mission Theater, PUSHFest, SjDANCEco, Mark Foehringer Dance Project (Dancing in the Park SF), Santa Barbara HH11 Dance Festival, and was presented twice at the Aspen Art Museum and Aspen Fringe Festival. Adrianna is also director of dance programming for the Aspen Fringe Festival and danced professionally in New York City for over 15 years with Battery Dance Co, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Co, Mark DeGarmo & Dancers, and worked with Bella Lewitzky, Milton Myers, Jonathan Wolken, Brenda Daniels, Risa Steinberg, and Mary Jane Eisenberg. As Artistic Director of MEFTAS Dance Theatre in New York City for 10 years, Adrianna’s choreography was presented at Joyce SoHo, the Cunningham Studio, The Riverside Theatre, Mulberry Street Theater, the Downtown Arts Festival, Trisha Brown Studios, Movement Research, Theater for the New City, Dance Space, and the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, CO. She received a BFA in Dance from Cal State Long Beach and was awarded Performance of the Year by the Boston Globe. She was on faculty for Aspen Santa Fe Ballet for ten years, and a guest faculty member for Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Adrianna was commissioned by the Aspen Art Museum in 2016 to create a site-specific work for SOULSKIN as part of the museum’s Alan Shields exhibit, as well as a residency as a part of an outreach program for children in 2017. In 2018 SOULSKIN partnered with Glide Memorial Church to provide dance classes to underprivileged youth in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. In April 2019 SOULSKIN Dance premiered Parallel Dialogues at the Boulder Dairy Arts Center and in September, premiered a new ballet entitled Golden Mean to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus Art Movement at Dance Mission Theater. During the Covid Pandemic, Adrianna choreographed the dance film Shelter in Place which was presented at AFF’s FallFest 2020. In June 2021 She choreographed the first live dance performance at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen CO. with 3 former members of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet which closed in 2021. The title, Phoenix Rising, was about displaced artists rising from the ashes of the covid pandemic. In Fall of 2021 Adrianna collaborated again with filmmaker Jaco Strydom and SOULSKIN Dancers to make the dance film CLOSER which premiered at AFF’s FallFest 2021 and again at Dance Mission Theatre in San Francisco. It was presented alongside her live dance piece The Awakening.
Adrianna is a GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Specialized Master Teacher and has been practicing the method for over 30 years.
Originally from San Cipriano, Argentina, Emanuel Colombo comes to us via Peru where he has performed on stage and television. He trained at renowned and prestigious institutes such as the IUNA Institute in Buenos Aires and Dactilares in Lima, Peru. Emanuel danced and acted regularly as a cast member on several National Peruvian shows such as El Gran Show, Operation Triunfo, and Al Fondo Hay Sitio. In 2013 he had his musical theater debut as Peter in the Mandragora production of Hadas in Lima , Peru and continued to perform consistently in the Peruvian theater. In 2017 he starred as a lead in Los Tres Cerditos y un Lobo No Tan Feroz in Miami, Florida. Following many theater roles such as Gigi and Pablo in La Cage Aux Faux he finally landed in Oakland, California where he performed in Ramon Ramos' CubaCaribe. In addition he has competed in and continues to dance one of his passions, Ballroom Dancing. He currently lives in Oakland where he teaches dance and is delighted to be performing in the Bay Area.
Erika's first performance as a professional dancer in NYC was in Adrianna Thompson’s Led Sequins over a decade ago. Erika also danced for choreographers Maureen Fleming, Heidi Latsky, Javier Dzul and Jennifer Muller. She traveled to Brasil, dancing in Marcelo Pereira’s Zen Companhia de Danca from 2000-2003, and to Japan to study with Butoh Master Min Tanaka. Erika performed in Tanaka’s theater Plan B in Tokyo in 2001 and in 2003. Back in New York she danced in and produced Ambivalent Skin at Theater for the New City in 2005. The following year she co-produced, danced and co-directed The Guest House with Adrianna Thompson also at Theater for the New City. She is a master trainer for GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® and part of the International Naam Yoga Teacher Training team. Erika joined SOULSKIN in 2013.
Jenelle Gaerlan is a multi-disciplined creative and freelance dancer from Portland, Oregon. Having trained in contemporary, jazz (Luigi technique, afro-jazz, industry), modern (Horton, Counter-technique), ballet, and improvisation under BodyVox's Junior Artist Generator (JAG) program, Jenelle has worked for Nike, DarVejon Jones Dance Ensemble, and BodyVox Dance Company under Emmy Award-winning choreographers Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland. She also reps Portland’s street dance community, rooting her style in house dance, waacking and breaking at cyphers and battles. This summer she took 1st Place in Portland’s 2v2 All Styles & Breaking battle: Breaking Quarantine, and recently in Oakland she made Top 2 in a 2v2 Open Styles Battle hosted by Mixd Ingrdnts: Battle On Broadway. Jenelle also choreographs and is fascinated by the intersection of visual media and movement. With expertise in dance, choreography, video production, design and creative direction, she is now relocated in the Bay Area to build and connect with other multifaceted artists.
ArVejon Jones was raised in Compton, California. His mother encouraged him to dance, hoping it would help with his weight and health issues as a child. He began taking tap, hip hop and West African at Kennedy Universal Dance Designs in Los Angeles, CA, where he trained for 13 years. He later moved to San Francisco to attend San Francisco State University, where he took his first ballet class, eventually deciding to double major in Dance and Japanese. ArVejon Jones has performed works by Adrianna Thompson, KT Nelson, Brenda Way, Kimi Okada, Kat Roman, Robert Moses, Ray Tadio, Dexandro Montalvo, Natasha Adorlee Johnson, Breton-Tyner Bryan, Raissa Simpson, among others. He was an apprentice with ODC in 2012, where he had the opportunity to tour with the company. ArVejon has also performed in Atlanta with PUSH Dance Company. In fall of 2014, ArVejon had the amazing opportunity to be featured in “AM/FM,” a film that premiered at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, choreographed by Robert Moses. Currently he teaches group fitness classes at the Federal Court House and at San Francisco State University. He is very happy to have the opportunity to perform with SOULSKIN Dance again this season.
Barbara Koch was born in Muncie, Indiana. She attended high school at North Carolina School of the Arts and received her BFA from the California Institute of the Arts. She received a scholarship as an exchange student from London Contemporary Dance School. She also trained with Stefan Wenta, Bella Lewitzky, Shelly Senter, Bill Evans and Zvi Gotheiner. She worked with Zvi Dance in NYC for over a decade and has the pleasure of touring with the company to Columbia, Germany, Poland, Russia and across the USA. Barbara has also worked for Tandy Beal, Dandelion Dance Theater, Aerol Grimes, Chen and Dancers, Lula Washington Dance Theater, and The Well Tempered Ballet. She was involved in a project on Gotland Island in Sweden. It was a collaboration of 5 choreographers and dancers from the UK, The Royal Swedish Ballet, and the The Cullberg Ballet. The project toured Stockholm, The Royal Opera House in London and a beautiful medieval church on Gotland Island. As a solo artist Barbara has performed her work in Los Angeles, San Francisco, India, and Nepal. She has also created and performed pieces on trapeze. Barbara is thrilled to be joining SOULSKIN for this season!
Margot Lena is a classically trained ballerina who has branched out to other dance disciplines and media. She grew up in Connecticut under the direction of Nanette Vallas and former American Ballet Theater soloist Christina Fagundes. She graduated from the the University of Hartford’s Hartt School in 2014 with a BFA in Dance Performance with a Pedagogy emphasis. Directly following her graduation, she moved cross-country to San Francisco where she has danced with SOULSKIN Dance Company, Sarah Bush Dance Project, Tandy Beal & Company, Dance Brigade and Alayo Dance Company. In addition to dancing and teaching dance, Margot has done magazine modeling and acted in several independent short films.
Originally from Seattle, Andrea moved to San Francisco at 15 to train at the San Francisco Ballet School, and the following year went on to join the San Francisco Ballet, where she performed in the corps de ballet for 4 years. Recently returned to the Bay Area, she has continued to dance & choreograph as a freelance artist in a variety of productions along the west coast & Hawaii, including most recently with Metamorphosis Ballet and eMotion Arts Dance. Following her passion for the healing arts, she became a Licensed Massage Therapist in 2012, and teaches somatic classes based on the work of Continuum Movement, which she has studied for the past 10 years. In addition, she is a certified GYROTONIC® & GYROKINESIS® trainer, which she also enjoys teaching throughout the Bay.
Alejandra Preciado began dancing in Panama City, Panama when she was three years old. Her family relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah when she was in middle school, where she continued her dance education at the Ballet West Academy under the direction of Jennie Creer King. Upon completing her high school education in 2015 she was accepted into the Alonzo King Lines Ballet B.F.A Program at Dominican University of California. During her four years in school she spent summers at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Nederlands Dance Theater, and SPRINGBOARD Danse Montreal. In May of 2019 she graduated Cum Laude with a B.F.A in dance and a psychology minor. She is beyond excited for her first season performing with SOULSKIN Dance.
Sophia Rumasuglia is a Bay Area native that has performed professionally with Joffrey Ballet in New York, Ballet Austin, and Bay Pointe Ballet. She is currently a freelance performance artist in the Bay Area and has worked on projects with Ballet Bernasconi, No Strings Attached, Emotion Arts and Metamorphosis Ballet. She received her BFA from St. Mary’s college, and is a certified yoga and GYROTONIC® trainer.
ROBERT "BUDDY" VALDEZ
Robert M. Valdez, Jr., affectionately known as “Buddy”, received his dance training at the San Francisco Academy of Ballet and the San Francisco School of the Arts. He also earned a BFA from The Juilliard School. Some of the companies Valdez has performed with include Luna Negra Dance Theater, 360º Dance Company, Riedel Dance Theater, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Flexicurve, Armitage Gone! Dance, and ZviDance. Commercial work includes NYFW, Fashion/One, Comedy Central, & Janet Jackson’s Made for Now music video. Valdez is SAG-AFTRA Eligible.
LILLY BRIGHT, PLAYWRIGHT
Lilly Bright is a writer, performer and movement artist living in Los Angeles. Her film career includes the production and distribution of award-winning films and documentaries under the banners of Curiously Bright Entertainment and Arthouse Films. Her play, American Standard: A Story of Enough, a one-act one woman solo show premiered in early 2018 and is currently being toured. She regularly teaches the Feldenkrais Method and (soon) Gaga dance-the movement language of Ohad Naharin. She is a mother of two. She believes in you.
CAMILLE CONROTTO, DJ
Camille’s love of music started as far back as she can remember, growing up listening to Soul/Funk/RnB/- Classic Rock, Blues and the golden age of Pop in the 80’s and 90’s. Classical music, jazz and musical theater heightened her love and passion for her craft when she started singing and playing instruments at the age of 8. She has performed with various Bay Area bands and worked with many talented musicians. You can see her DJing in local nightclubs, bars and parties all over the Bay Area, showcasing her love and appreciation for all music while she rocks folks on the dance floor!
JAMIELYN DUGGAN, COSTUME DESIGNER
A San Francisco native, Jamielyn established Eimaj Design in 2004 as a way to house and promote her various creative endeavors. With emphasis on ‘fashion that moves’, her custom work encompasses avant garde to casual clothing made to be seen, costumes for performance, visual and graphic design, and media direction and production. Her clients include ODC/Dance, Bandaloop, Liss Fain Dance, Milissa Payne Project, LINES BFA and Training Programs, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Project B., Hope Mohr, Alaska Dance Theater and Oakland Ballet. Achievements include work displayed at the De Young Museum, an Izzies nomination for design, and being cast as 1st alternate for season 6 of Project Runway.
DYLAN ELMORE, GUEST CHOREOGRAPHER
A London-based independent dance artist, he has worked with Batsheva Dance Company (Israel), Ballet Gulbenkian (Portugal), L’Anonima Imperial and Rami Levi (Spain), Daniel Larrieu (France), Tanzforum (Germany) and Galili Dance (Holland). He has danced works by Ohad Naharin, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Angelin Preljocaj and many others. As a freelance artist he has collaborated with and danced for many choreographers both in the United Kingdom and internationally. He is passionately curious about the body in motion. His regular movement practices include contact improvisation, sport climbing, yoga and GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® (of which he is a Master Trainer). He continues to delve deeper, bringing his lifelong movement enquiry and evolving personal practice to his choreography.
ROXY ROLLER, COMPOSER
Roxy Roller was born and raised in the Bronx,NY and is proudly a self trained musician. He fell in love with Rock N' Roll at an early age and was influenced by the first wave of glam rock bands like T Rex, Kiss, Queen and Bowie. He knew then at a young age what he wanted to do with his life. He traveled around as a young man with a group of gypsies learning the ways of the road and life on the streets. He ended up settling in Athens ,Georgia. He formed his first band there Naked in the Rain and worked in collaboration with many artists, soaking up the fertile creative environment of that unique southern town. Roxy then moved his band to San Fransisco at the height of the Lollapalozza nation and work at the Warfield Theater for Bill Graham Presents for 5 years.He met his wife Barbara during this period and moved to LA. for a year.They collaborated together on a few pieces that was performed with The Lula Washington Dance Theater and The Well Tempered Ballet. As well they performed their collaborations/creations at various rock venues and art galleries in Los Angeles. NYC was calling and for Roxy. It was a time to focus on recording. He turned his attention to loops, drum machines and sound scapes.The factories, noise, and industrial environment of 4th Ave Brooklyn and NYC reflected into his work. He was Inspired by early industrial music like Einsturzende Neubauten and Test Department as well as Lou Reeds Metal Machine Music. He immersed himself in musical creation, solitude, recording music and oil painting as opposed to public performance. It was a time of introspection. Since he has returned to the West coast he has been a prolific performer. His band Lucabrazzi was voted by SPIN Magazine one of the top 10 unsigned bands in 2010. Lucabrazzi was know to be the hardest working band in the Bay area for many years. He also played bass for Meat Hook and the Vital Organs and they were know to be the most dangerous band in the Bay area!! Mixing Glam, Gutter Punk and Industrial.. He then joined forces with punk legend Steve Ricablanca from VIKTMS and co fronts the band Pleasure Parade. He also plays in a bands with his wife Barbara Koch XoX. His booking company Chromespider Presents has booked countless bands, performers and events over the past decade. Roxy is also a radio personality and has worked on FCC Free Radio and Mutiny Radio in the Mission. Composing original music for Golden Mean is his first collaboration with SOULSKIN.
NOH SALOMON, COMPOSER
Noh is a classically trained pianist who studied music composition at CalState Long Beach. When composing, he draws from various genres of music such as rock and jazz. From a young age Noh was exposed to many styles of dance through his family, especially his sister Kim, who danced. Noh and Kim began creatively collaborating while in college and this exposure allowed him to work with other dancers. He enjoys collaborating with dancers because it allows his music to be translated to movement. He has been commissioned by and performed with choreographers Kim Salomon, Tracy Fitzpatrick, Brenda Daniels and Mehmet Sander.
SEBASTIEN THILL, GUEST DANCER/CHOREOGRAPHER
Sebastien Thill is a Paris based solo dancer. He entered school in 1986 at ‘ L’Ecole de Danse de l’Opéra de Paris’, dances as Soloist in Le Bal des Cadets (D. Lichine), L’Oiseau de Feu (M. Fokine) and M pour B (M. Béjart). Thill began his professional dance career in 1991 at the ‘Opéra National de Paris’ under the direction of Rudolf Noureyev, and was promoted Choryphée the following year. He has danced in all Noureyev ’s productions: Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Raymonda, Sleeping beauty, etc. Thill has worked with worldwide known choreographers: Balanchine, Robbins, Béjart, Carlson, Petit, Neumeier, Massine, Fokine, Lifar, Naharin. In 2001 he created the solo Souvenir d’un après midi choreographer (Patrick King) and joined as a soloist in the Hamburg Ballet with whom he toured internationally and became the inspiration for new ballets: Winterreise, The Seagull, Death in Venice, Preludes CV, Parzival. In 2009 Thill moved to Berlin to work with choreographer Patrick King. In working with King, Thill performed many of his creations internationally, including before her Majesty Queen Sonia of Norway. In 2014 he was a soloist in La Damnation de Faust, directed by C.Spuck at Deutsch Opera; in 2016 a soloist in Paris ‘Simul’ Histoire d’Hommes by Redha; and in 2017 co-choreographed and danced in Gstaad 'Adios Nonino' a Tango Duo.