The Creative Living for Dancers Award Committee is a carefully selected group of diverse professional artists who are active in their fields. Each member is dedicated to supporting dance professionals and the community at large.
Casey Herd was born in Salt Lake City, USA where he began his ballet training at The School for Ballet West. After graduating from the The Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. he began his professional career with American Ballet Theatre in New York City. He later joined Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle where he quickly rose to the rank of principal dancer. Having previously been a guest artist with Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam, he was invited in 2008 to join the company as a principal. Mr. Herd has been invited to dance as a guest artist with many world renowned companies including San Francisco Ballet, English National Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Lithuanian National Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and many more. After leaving the Dutch National Ballet in 2016 he began a career as an international guest artist and teacher. In 2019 Mr. Herd was inspired to create a new initiative called Ballet Rising, deriving from his life-long passion for art, photography, history, sociology, and having extensively traveled much of the world. As Ballet Rising allows for his continued involvement and development of ballet, it also allows Mr. Herd to engage in a wide range of subjects, and with far more people around the world.
Alesandra Seutin an international performer, choreographer and teacher, and daughter to South African and Belgian parents, was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. She grew up in Brussels and now lives in London. She studied dance in different parts of the world including Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States. She holds a Diploma in dance theatre from Laban and a degree in choreography and performance from Middlesex University in London. Alesandra also further trained at the École des Sables, Senegal and became a student of Germaine Acogny, training directly under Acogny. Alesandra is a worldwide ambassador of the Acogny technique, which she teaches at Ecole des Sables and globally. She has performed for several noted artists including, Johnathan Burrows, Matteo Fargion, Helge Lentonja, Rosemary Lee, Hugo Glendinnings, Germaine Acogny and Rafael Bonachela, to name a few. Alesandra has been working on a new work Dear Winnie for JR.CE.SA.R supported by KVS & NNT, which will tour has toured in Holland 2019-2020, will resume tour in Belgium 2020-21 and internationally in 2022.As Artistic Director and Choreographer, she has created work for Phoenix Dance Theatre, Trinity Laban, 12º North Dance, State of Emergency and 3rdEDge. Alesandra will be a Guest Artistic Director for the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC) 2020-21. As Movement Director & Dramaturge she has worked for two plays at Theatre Centre and regularly acts as dramaturge and writer for companies, including Les Mybalés (Á travers l’autre). She has also appeared in dance films Concrete Flight (dir. Irven Lewis & Alesandra Seutin, 2012), Danser l’espoir (dir. Vali Fugulin, 2016) and IYA TUNDE (dir. Laure Malecot, 2017) and she regularly facilitates intensive workshops and classes internationally for professional companies, dance organisations and training institutions in Europe and Africa.
Peter Sparling is Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Dance and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emeritus at University of Michigan. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and The Juilliard School, Sparling was a member of the José Limón Dance Company and principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. He directed Michigan’s own Peter Sparling Dance Company from 1993-2008 and was recognized with the 1998 Governor’s Michigan Artist Award. He is a lecturer, published poet and essayist. His dances for video have been selected for numerous international festivals, including the 2007 New York Dance on Camera Festival, the American Dance Festival Dance Film & Video Festival (2008, 2019), Lisbon’s InShadow Festival (2010, 2020), DANCE:FILMS Glasgow and Ann Arbor Film Festival (2017, 2020). His video, “Winterreise”, will be premiered with live musical performance at Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in June 2020. Sparling has presented solo shows of his paintings at Gallery 22 North in partnership with Equality Michigan and at Benton Harbor OutCenter. His paintings have been selected for group shows at Ann Arbor Art Center’s ART NOW 2019 and at Buckham Gallery, Flint.
Joori Jung is the Founder of ArtLab J and Artistic Director and Choreographer of ArtLab J. Originally from Seoul, Korea, she received her B.A (2006) and M.A in dance from Kyung Hee University in 2008. She toured internationally with the Seoul Dance Theatre and danced with Eun Mi Ahn, Sujeong Kim, . She danced with various dance companies in Korea before moving to New York in 2009. She then joined Time Lapse Dance and Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre and began her own choreographic work in New York. In 2012, she moved to Detroit to achieve her goal to expand contemporary dance as well as the arts community in Detroit and decided to establish ArtLab J in 2012. Through ArtLab J, she produces and directs the international Detroit Dance City Festival. Jung is also the curator of many other ‘lab’ projects, including the local choreography showcase Detroit Dance Race, collaboration concert Detroit Revival Project, Moving with Detroit networking group, and is the publisher of the annual Moving With Detroit Dance Resource Magazine. Jung has also been a 2014 Ted Fellow, and the Detroit Dance City Festival was a 2014 Knight Arts Challenge winner. Under Jung’s direction, ArtLab J co-curate dance programming for the Detroit Institute of Arts to supplement the special exhibit on dance 2016. Her work has been presented at the 2014 TedX at Detroit Opera House, 313 to the 212 at Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Summer Stage at Grand Circus Park, Ann Arbor Art Fair, Friday Night Live at Detroit Institute of Arts, The Current Sessions (NYC), Dumbo Dance Festival(NYC), Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Mix @ the Max, APAP(NYC), Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts, New Dance for Asia(South Korea), Zawirowania Dance Festival(Poland) and more. Jung’s story has appeared in Detroit Free Press, Dance Teacher Magazine, Crain Business, Creative Exchange, ModelDMedia, Yonhap News and more.