MEET THE LUCKY PENNY'S WORK ROOM ARTISTS
AND SUPPORT THEIR RESIDENCIES
BLAKE BECKHAM is a choreographer, educator and producer. She is the Executive Director of The Lucky Penny, and serves as Director of the Work Room. Beckham has produced her own choreographic works since 2001. Her recent works have engaged large teams of multi-disciplinary collaborators to transform theatrical spaces into evocative interior worlds. These celebrated pieces include OneAnother (2016), Dearly Departures (2014), Threshold (2012), and PLOT (2011). Blake holds a BA in English and Dance from Emory University, and MFA in Choreography from Ohio State. For 10 years, worked in the Development Department of the distinguished youth program, Moving in the Spirit. Blake has held faculty appointments at Agnes Scott College and Emory University. Beckham received a Community Impact Award from Emory's Center for Creativity & Arts. In 2013, she was honored to receive the Tanne Foundation award in recognition of her outstanding artistry.
MELISSA WORD is a dance artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. Her body-based research is a persistent pleasure-seeking, investigating where trauma, power, and desire live and collide in the body. She is a teaching artist with the Woodruff Arts Center and Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, working with children to facilitate self-discovery through creative movement. In 2013 she founded KIN, a mobile performance series in Birmingham, Alabama, as a platform for emerging Southern artists to present work, experiment, and engage with contemporary practices in their community. She has guest-lectured and choreographed at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she also graduated with honors in 2011.
ANICKA AUSTIN is an artist currently researching what it means to fuse wellness modalities (i.e. yogic principles and color psychology) with deeply personal narrative in order to create holistic environments through physical movement, color and costume design. Her work has been presented by Elevate Atlanta, The Lucky Penny and Fulton County Arts and Culture, and exhibited at Gallery 72, Abernathy Arts Center, West End Performing Arts Center and 368 Ponce. Her research on sensuality as a vehicle for navigating daily life was presented at Critical Junctures: The Work of Art conference at Emory University.
She is a 2017 Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts Distinguished Fellow and a participant in the 2017-18 Walthall Fellowship.
CORIAN ELLISOR has worked in a variety of dance communities locally and abroad, including: Atlanta, Houston, Florida, Massachusetts, Arkansas, North Carolina, Guatemala and Sweden. Corian is a dance and performance artist, teacher, choreographer and drag artist. He thrives on human interaction and forging relationships through art. Corian has choreographed over 40 dances. His work has been presented twice at the American College Dance Festival and awarded a coveted spot in the Gala performance. He has produced eight evening length dance concerts including: The Atlanta Queer Dance Festival, WikiDance, Be(a)stie, Coming Out Party, It Takes a Village, See You Soon, Identified, and BAES. Corian's awards and honors include: the choreography award at the University of Houston, 2012 Walthall Fellowship through WonderRoot, “Top 20 people to watch in 2013" by Creative Loafing Atlanta, 2014 Art on the Beltline grant, and Work Room residency with The Lucky Penny.
MARYGRACE PHILLIPS is an Atlanta-based dancemaker and movement artist. She has her BFA from Belhaven University and received the 2015 Emerging Artist Award in Dance from the City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Her work has been presented by The Lucky Penny, The Goat Farm, Elevate Atlanta, and Emory Dance Company. She has also produced her own work in partnership with WonderRoot, MOCA GA, and Sumptuary Arts. In 2014-2015, she participated in WonderRoot’s Walthall Artist Fellowship. She is a current resident artist at The Lucky Penny's Work Room, a Hambidge fellow, and a contributor for ArtsAtl.
HEZ STALCUP is an experimental dance artist based in Atlanta, GA. He began dancing professionally in 2012, at age 35. Since then, Hez has created dance and performance pieces for Eyedrum, Dance Truck, ELEVATE Atlanta, WonderRoot, Dance Chance, Flux Projects, Sumptuary Arts, The Hambidge Center and The Lucky Penny. Hez was a 2014/2015 Leap Year Artist with MINT Gallery. He is currently a Resident Artist in The Lucky Penny’s Work Room studio. His goal is to create smart, queer, emotionally condensed, compelling work.
OKWAE A. MILLER is an Atlanta-based dancer and choreographer, who's work is rooted in identity, memory and the universal human experience. His approach to movement integrates collaboration, research and task to produce compelling interdisciplinary work. Okwae began his training at UNC Chapel Hill, where he received a BA in Economics in 2011. He has also studied dance at Duke University, the American Dance Festival and The Ailey School. In 2014, Miller was the Artist Fellow at Spelman College. He has performed and trained with acclaimed artists including Troy Powell, Brenda Daniels, Elizabeth Roxas, Shani Collins, Amanda K. Miller, Cedar Lake Ballet, and Atlanta-based choreographers Blake Beckham and T. Lang Dance. Miller began producing his own work in 2012. His choreography has been featured in events along the east coast, including All Out Arts Fresh Fruit Festival, Triangle Dance Festival for AIDS, Spelman College and the Modern Atlanta Dance Festival.
BELLA DORADO is a Bolivian-born, Tennessee-raised artist of movement and words. She is currently based in Atlanta, GA where she is working with independent choreographers and performers, approaching each project with a sense of curiosity and investigation. Her work, in both dance and writing, deals largely with the uncomfortable; anxiety, morbidity, sensuality, rage, elation. The impolite extremes of experience captivate her imagination and peculiarize her creative explorations. Her work has been featured in arts festivals and showcases in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Illinois in the form of live performance and film. In her free time, Gabriella frequently indulges in laughing, tales of adventure and intrigue, and incredibly tragic art. She is a woman of whimsy and a lover of all things fanciful, nonsensical, implausible and absurd.
Myra Bazell and Madison Cario co-direct SCRAP PERFORMANCE GROUP and bring with them over two decades of success in creating contemporary multi-media dance based theater locally, nationally and abroad. Scrap Performance Group transforms dance from art to inquiry creating potent dance-theatre experiences that provoke audiences to question. Integrating light, sound, video and the environment with blazing physicality and edgy choreography, Scrap moves dance into a new vigorous genre. Scrap’s vision is of a community that is unafraid to address issues of importance, and one in which artists and art are a vital component of a civic dialogue. Scrap attains that vision by making work through a collaborative process that engages artists and audiences in the act of creation, informing and transforming Scrap’s work through that process of feedback and dialogue. Scrap’s genuine desire is to creates work that is radically exquisite, psychologically intricate, and emotionally raw.
Emma Alley is a movement artist and healer. She is interested in investigating the repression and resurgence of feminine power in the modern world. Her creative practice explores pleasure, pain, and power as they manifest in our physical bodies, language, and personal narratives. After receiving her BFA in dance from Florida State University in 2014, Emma moved to Atlanta to continue fleshing out her relationship to movement as a tool for expression, connection, and healing. Since then she has begun work as a yoga instructor, energy healer, and performer. Her dances have been shown in Atlanta at Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, Mammal Art Gallery, and 368 Ponce. She seeks to create performance experiences that engage the audience in ways that are probing, direct, and activating.