Brynn Shiovitz The Orchestrator/Director
Brynn Shiovitz received her PhD in Culture and Performance from UCLA and also holds an MA in Performance Studies from NYU and a BA in Philosophy and Dance from Mills College. She is currently on the dance faculty at Chapman University and teaching courses in the theatre department at UCLA. Her writing on dance can be seen in Dance Chronicle, Women and Performance, Jazz Perspectives, and Dance Research Journals, Dance, Dance Spirit, and Dance Teacher Magazines, and a forthcoming anthology on African Diaspora Dance edited by Thomas DeFrantz. Brynn’s research intersects at the crossroads between dance, theatre, film, and critical race studies. She is primarily interested in the ability of Africanist performance to narrativize diasporic identity by simultaneously attending to fields of vision, aurality, and embodied practice. Her current work asks readers to consider multiple forms of masking at play in twentieth-century American tap dance performances of the stage, screen, and sound cartoon. While her research historicizes tap’s relationship to minstrelsy and other means of masking, her current work in documentary film calls attention to the relevancy of this conversation today. Brynn is the sole creator of The Rhythm Project, a series of documentaries that take up questions regarding the relationship between rhythm, race, and diaspora, as it exists for contemporary tap dancers living in Los Angeles and New York City. Aside from her research, Brynn has danced professionally with the Oakland-based Mills College Repertory Dance Company and the New York-based tap dance company TapOle. Most recently she has performed with Meredith Monk at the Freud Playhouse, the Trisha Brown Dance Company at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, and was in the Los Angeles cast of Jérôme Bel’s Bessie Award Winning show, The Show Must Go On. She has taught movement and theory across the country at schools such as UCLA, Chapman, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), and Brooklyn College. In addition to dance, Brynn is a certified Mat Pilates and Hatha yoga instructor.
Martin Urbach The Musician
Brooklyn-based Drummer Martin (pronounced mar-TEEN) Urbach juxtaposes his Bolivian and Jewish roots with his experience as an immigrant in the United States to add color to his sophisticated drum grooves. Martin has brought his music to music clubs, bars, performing arts centers and music festivals across the USA, South America and more. Recently Martin began producing solo percussion suites of music composed, performed and filmed in peculiar places such as dilapidated hotels and the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Martin has composed a few mini-scores for this project. They can be heard on this website and will be incorporated into the final documentary.
Lissy Mandel Shapiro Post Production Consultant
Lissy Mandel Shapiro is an independent video and digital marketing professional based in Austin, TX. After graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Lissy began her career as a video producer and editor with the award-winning corporate communication agency Imageworks Chicago, primarily executing content for the large scale events of clients including Thomson Reuters, Cisco and Abbott. With over six years of experience and a move to Austin, Lissy focuses solely on her two companies Make Me A Montage and Mind Body Brands. Through Make Me A Montage, Lissy produces video content strategy and development as well as on site production for social and corporate events, most recently implementing digital programs for the Texas Association of School Boards' annual Summer Leadership Institute. With Mind Body Brands, Lissy provides marketing support, including social media management, web design and email marketing, for clients nationwide, predominantly working with businesses in the fitness and real estate industries.