Virtual Contemporary Workshop Series - Gibney
Making space for

Virtual Contemporary Workshop Series
Summer 2020

12 Headshots of different dancers and choreographers.

The Virtual Contemporary Workshop Series features two-day workshops with Alexander Anderson, Rena Butler, FLOCK, Zui Gomez, Jesse Obremski, Kevin Pajarillaga, Marla Phelan, Jie-hung (Connie) Shiau, Gilbert Small, Jacob Thoman, Jake Tribus, and Leal Zielińska.

Meet the artists and get a glimpse into their unique journeys as they navigate and transform the ethos of current art. Open your perspective as you delve into their process and reimagine the future of the dance field. Artists curated by Alexandra Wells.

Workshops will take place via Zoom from July 13-August 6. A single workshop costs $40 and each additional workshop has a discounted cost of $20 each. View the schedule and register below.





Workshops are led by a single teaching artist over 2 consecutive days. Each 3-hour session includes technique, repertory/exploration/improvisation, and a ‘meet the artist’ discussion.

MONDAy-TUESDAY, July 13-14

Jesse Obremski: 12:00 – 3:00 PM EDT
Gibney Company Artistic Associate Jesse Obremski will guide a weighted and breathy class, and teach Gibney Company repertory, Peter Chu’s Forming Out.

Zui Gomez: 3:30 – 6:30 PM EDT
Gibney Company Artistic Associate Zui Gomez will lead a warm-up based on conditioning exercises, ballet, and improvisation and teach Gibney Company repertory, Micaela Taylor’s EYESOW.

Wednesday-Thursday, July 15-16

Alexander Anderson: 12:00 – 3:00 PM EDT
This workshop will start with breath work and a mindful centering practice followed by an improv based warmup. We will work on repertory from choreographer Mark Caserta, diving deeper into the world of his work UMEUS.

Monday-Tuesday, July 20-21

Kevin Pajarillaga: 12:00 – 3:00 PM EDT
Join Kevin Pajarillaga in a class of body mapping and combining different textures to understand and research the range of our movement.

Jake Tribus: 3:30 – 6:30 PM EDT
Jake Tribus explores the efficiency and fullness of movement through the utilization of natural momentum, swing, and curve.

Wednesday-Thursday, July 22-23

Marla Phelan: 12:00 – 3:00 PM EDT
Marla Phelan melds dance and theater techniques to enhance performance magnetism and to discover the efficiency in movement for a sustainable career.

Monday-Tuesday, July 27-28

Jie-Hung (Connie) Shiau: 12:00 – 3:00 PM EDT
“Speaking up while making space to listen. We will dance, share, practice, and move to empathy.”

FLOCK: 3:30 – 6:30 PM EDT
The emphasis of the class is on researching physicality and finding and inhabiting personal artistry and will be followed by a Q&A session with Alice and Florian.

Wednesday-Thursday, July 29-30

Rena Butler: 12:00 – 3:00 PM EDT
Join Rena in a focus for playfulness rooted in investigation, intuition, and prompted tasks versus abandonment.

Monday-Tuesday, August 3-4

Jacob Thoman: 12:00 – 3:00 PM EDT
This workshop explores how to simultaneously hold masculine and feminine energies, along with learning parts of Gibney Company’s repertory work A Measured Existence by Yin Yue.

Gilbert Small: 3:30 – 6:30 PM EDT
Gilbert will guide idea generating and gathering tools to strengthen our practice, and to build strong tethers to anchor our survival and fulfillment in the profession.

Wednesday-Thursday, August 5-6

Leal Zielińska: 12:00 – 3:00 PM EDT
Gibney Company Artistic Associate Leal Zielińska will guide through grounding exercises,  and the movement generation that lead up to Bobbi Jene Smith’s creation of Gibney Company repertory work Francesca and Connie.

Man jumping with his arms and legs in the air in front of a purple background.
About the Artists


Alexander Anderson is a South Florida native where he attended the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Class of 2010. Upon high school he continued is training at The Juilliard School where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance in 2014. While at Juilliard, his choreography received Choreographic Honors and was featured on the Peter Jay Sharp Theater from 2010 – 2014. He is a 2013 recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Scholarship Award and a 2012 recipient of the Dizzy Feet Dance Scholarship Award. Upon graduation, he began his professional career dancing for Netherlands Dans Theater 2 and later joined as company artist with Netherlands Dans Theater 1. He is now a guest artist with Gibney Company.

rena butler

Rena Butler hails from Chicago, IL, and has danced for companies like Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Manuel Vignoulle/M-Motions, and David Dorfman Dance. Her choreographic commissions include BalletX, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Charlotte Ballet, Boston Dance Theater, CHTV Stories in Switzerland, Public Records TV in New York, and more. She trained at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, studied overseas at Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, and received her BFA from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. Butler serves on the consortium for Chicago Dancemakers Forum, and in 2019, received the prestigious Princess Grace Award for her choreography.


In 2017 Alice Klock and Florian Lochner founded FLOCK, a dance company with an emphasis on collaboration and community building. As FLOCK, Florian and Alice co-create and perform their own work, teach as a team, and produce shows in the US and Germany in which FLOCK expands to include an international group of artists and collaborators. Alongside their self produced work they have choreographed for numerous institutions including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ballet Arkansas, the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA, the Goethe Institut, Adaptations Dance Theater on Maui, and the USC Glorya Kaufman/Hubbard Street Summer Intensive.

zui gomez

Zui Gomez, born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Miami. She received her BFA in dance at The Boston Conservatory. She currently dances for Gibney Company located in lower Manhattan, NY, where she developed her fellowship program, the CONFIDANZ series. Within the company she had the opportunity to perform works by Bobbie Jean Smith, Michaela Taylor, Shamel Pitts, Peter Chu, Adam Barruch, Bryan Arias and others. Aside from being an on stage performer, she is also a model and has appeared on DanceSpirit Magazine, Glamour (Spain) magazine, featured in a campaign for Volunteers of America, modeled for Good HyouMan, along with worked with a variety of different designers during fashion week in NYC. She has also worked with Rosie Herrera, Karole Armitage, Ballet Hispanico, along with performed in musicals for regional theaters in Florida. Other skills include choreographing, photographing and movement coach.

jesse obremski

Jesse Obremski, a native New Yorker, graduated from LaGuardia High School and The Juilliard School has additionally trained at The School at Jacob’s Pillow, The Ailey School, Diversity of Dance, and Springboard Danse Montréal. Obremski, award-winning choreographer and performer, notably Dance Magazine’s March 2019 Dancer “On The Rise”, has performed with Diversity of Dance, Brian Brooks Moving Company, Kate Weare Company, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Buglisi Dance Theatre, WHITE WAVE, and The Limón Dance Company, and has been with Gibney Company since 2018. Obremski has taught nationally and internationally and has been commissioned for new creations across America.


Kevin Pajarillaga, a Filipino American began his training at Citydance Conservatory in 2010 then at Point Park University. Professionally he worked with companies NW Dance Project, YYDC, Sonya Tayeh Dance, Bruce Wood Dance, and PRIOREDANCE. He guest performed with Parsons Dance Company at NHSDF, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. He originated roles with choreographers Felix Landerer, Ihsan Rustem, Yin Yue, Patrick Delcroix, Andrea Pena and more. At SPRINGBOARDDANSE Kevin performed works by Crystal Pite and Victor Quijada. He has choreographed for NW Dance Project’s “In Good Company”, The Juilliard Schools’ senior showcase 2017 and DREAMscape Gala 2017.

marla phelan

Marla Phelan, Juilliard alumna and YoungArts awardee, danced for Hofesh Shechter, Akram Khan, Aszure Barton, Punchdrunk, and CompanyXIV. She debuted on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof and is the tour’s associate choreographer/director. Marla played leading roles in Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More and The Drowned Man and premiered in Dragon Spring at The Shed. She danced in music videos, on network TV, Netflix, feature film The Kitchen and campaigns for Desigual, H&M, and Napoleon Cosmetics. Marla choreographed Fischerspooner’s Top Brazil, Cousin John (SXSW), Flow (SXSW) and campaigns for Mazda, GAP, Reebok, Stuart Weitzman, Refinery29, NY Magazine, and NYTimes.

jie-hung (connie) shiau

Jie-Hung (Connie) Shiau received her BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase College. Shiau has worked as a collaborator with an array of companies including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Gallim Dance, Helen Simoneau Danse, MeenMoves, Adam Barruch Dance, and Kevin Wynn Works. As a movement artist and choreographer, she thinks a lot about connection – human connection, spiritual connection, connection to the natural world, connection to images. Connection occurs when there is a spark between two things. It can be inspiring as much as it can be challenging – a bridge between experiences and perspectives. In her life, the bridge between her and her world, her people, is movement. In addition, Shiau was a recipient of Chicago Dancemaker Forum Greenhouse Artist in 2019, New Choreographer Project in Taipei, Taiwan in 2019, Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch” in 2018, Honorable Mention for Jadin Wong Award for Emerging Asian American Dancer in 2014, and Reverb Dance Festival Dancer Award in 2014.

gilbert small

Gilbert Small II is a dancer, choreographer, dramaturg, and rehearsal director. He started his formal training at the Baltimore School for the Arts and holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. While at Purchase, he received the opportunity to study at Codarts in the Netherlands. Upon finishing his education, he was invited to join Ballet British Columbia. While with Ballet BC he worked with choreographers such as William Forsythe, Crystal Pite, Medhi Walerski, Johan Inger, Emily Molnar, and Cayetano Soto. As a freelance artist Gilbert has worked with Serge Bennethan, Sidra Bell, Zoe Scolfield, and Kyle Abraham. Gilbert is currently based in Seattle.

jacob thoman

Jacob Thoman, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio attended The School for Creative and Performing arts his freshman and sophomore year of high school. He trained and performed with Exhale Dance Tribe under Missy Lay Zimmer and Andrew Hubbard with additional training at Cincinnati Ballet. Jacob graduated from The Juilliard School (Class of 2019), under the direction of Larry Rhodes and Alicia Graf Mack. He has had the pleasure of working with Benoit Swan Pouffer, Eric Beauchesne, and Ami Schulman at Cedar Lake 360 Intensive as well as Springboard Danse Montreal under Alexandra Wells. He has performed works by Crystal Pite, Mark Morris, Alejandro Cerrudo, and Roy Assaf among many others. Recently Jacob performed in the production of Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise at The Shed, choreographed by Akram Khan.

jake tribus

Jake Tribus is a recent graduate of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. He has worked with artists such as Taylor Swift, Lorde, Backstreet Boys, and Billy Porter. In 2019, he performed in the world-premiere work of Where There’s Form by Aszure Barton in Hamburg, Germany, and most recently performed in the US premiere of A Quiet Evening of Dance by William Forsythe at The Shed in NYC. Additional performances of his include work by: Crystal Pite, Dwight Rhoden, Jiri Kylian, Sonya Tayeh, Barak Marshall, Andrew Winghart, Rauf “Rubberlegz” Yasit, Paul Taylor, and more.

leal zielińska

Leal Zielińska began her training with private ballet coaching, studied at Codarts Rotterdam Dance Academy and graduated from the Independent Program at The Ailey School in 2015. Upon graduation she spent three seasons working with Sidra Bell Dance New York, during which Dance Magazine named Leal as one of 25 to Watch in 2018. Leal attended Springboard Danse Montréal in 2016 where she worked with Bobbi Jene Smith, Alexandra Wells and Elia Mrak. Represented by commercial talent agency blocNYC Leal has performed at the 2018 MTV VMA show, and appeared in national campaigns for GAP and Google. Leal joined Gibney Company in 2018, and in 2019 founded mental health advocacy project Okay, Let’s Unpack This.


Registration for a single workshop is $40, and each additional workshop costs just $20.

1 Workshop: $40
2 Workshops: $60
3 Workshops: $80

To register for multiple workshops, select the 2 Workshop or 3 Workshop payment option. Once your payment is complete, you will be able to register for the additional workshops without any additional charge.

If you would like to register for more than 3 workshops, please contact to process your payment.

Top Photos (in order left to right, top to bottom): Jesse Obremski by Christopher Jones, Rena Butler by Lindsay Linton, Jie-Hung (Connie) Shiau by Kevin Micheal Briggs, Jake Tribus courtesy of the artist, Marla Phelan courtesy of the artist, Kevin Pajarillaga by Jason Hill, Leal Zielińska by Cesar Brodermann, Alexander Anderson by Scott Shaw, Jacob Thoman by Scott Shaw, Gilbert Small by Marcus Eriksson, Zui Gomez by Scott Shaw, Alice Klock by Quinn Wharton. Middle Photo of Kevin Pajarillaga by Jingzi Zhao. Rena Butler by Kevin Michael Briggs.

Black woman leaning back in a deep bend in front of a saturated red light.