LUISA MESHEKOFF is co-founder and executive director of The Dance Project Inc. which provides dance education, rehabilitation, performances, mixed media, cultural events, and also produces educational documentary videos for national and local Public Access and PBS stations.
As a professional ballerina, Luisa has performed with the New York Baroque Dance Company, Joffrey Ballet, Joyce Tristler Dance Company, National Ballet de Lyon in France, and The National Ballet de Danza in Quito, Ecuador, and is considered on of only a dozen worldwide experts on 18th century movement and dance. She continues to work professionally as an Argentine Tango dancer.
Luisa became a master trainer in Gyrotonic® in the early 1990s and was involved in its development with founder Juliu Horvath during its beginnings in 1984. Luisa began working with Juliu as a means to recover from a dance injury she was told would end her career. The results allowed full recovery with improved use of her body. Wanting every dancer to have these benefits, she began studying.Her training in rehabilitation is supplemented by study in Alexander Technique, Pilates, Floor Barre, and various Yoga traditions, including Iyengar, Hatha, and Katonah Yoga practices. She is also certified in E-stem electric acupuncture and Cranial Sacral therapy. Luisa has developed her own advanced system, called Integrated Alignment, which interfaces these modalities and her life experience.
Ms. Meshekoff offers workshops and private and group classes in New York for both Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and The Joffrey Ballet. In Tampa, she works with a variety of professionals: dancers, musicians, gymnasts, divers, swimmers, tri athletes, and anyone interested in high-level wellness and performance. Luisa has worked with professional sports teams, including the N.Y. Mets, Detroit Pistons, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Tampa Bay Mutiny. She also works with individuals who have suffered severe spinal and brain injuries.
GINA BUNTZ teaches and choreographs throughout the world with international sponsorship from the United States Information Agency’s Arts America Program, the National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer’s Exchange Program in France, and the Olympic Arts Festival in Korea. Her work has been presented at the Korea Dance Festival, the American Dance Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine.
She has taught and choreographed for the Dance Theatre of Harlem School in New York City, the new World School of the Arts in Miami, the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, University of Michigan and the Haitian-American Dance Academy in Port-au-Prince.
Gina has also taught company classes for Lulu Washington, Body Traffic, and is currently working on a project developing totemic movement and cellular moment.
CECILIA ROSSEY (Choreographer) trained with Charles Weidman at Expression of the Two Arts Theatre in New York City. She also studied with Norman Walker (George Washington University), Crystyne Lawson (Ballet Center of Buffalo), and Anna Sokolow. After retiring from performing, Ms. Rossey choreographed and produced works for her own company in Porte None, Italy. Now she resides in Sarasota, Florida and continues to produce works for The Dance Project and other companies.
SCOTT KLUKSDAHL made his debut with The San Francisco Symphony, and has been heard as chamber musician, recitalist and soloist in the United States, Europe, Israel, and Central and South America. His particular interest in modern music has led to significant affiliations with Robert Helps, Richard Wernick, Richard Brodhead, David Del Tredici and Augusta Read Thomas. He possesses a special affinity for the unaccompanied cello repertory spanning four centuries, and, following a daring unaccompanied program at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City, Strings magazine identified him as “a simply superb cellist, playing with consummate technical ease, a beautiful sound, total conviction, authority and dedication to the music.” Scott was a founding member of the Lions Gate Trio, and he performed and recorded for twenty years as its cellist. He currently is a member of the Veronika String Quartet. He has recorded on CRI, Albany, Triton, Pierian, Nimbus, and Centaur labels.
Scott has received Tanglewood’s Leonard Bernstein Fellowship, prizes in Naumburg and Washington International Competitions, and degrees from Harvard and Juilliard. He holds a professorship in cello performance at the University of South Florida, where he is a Theodore and Vennetta Ashford-Askounes Distinguished Scholar. He has presented master classes at Indiana University, Northwestern University, Eastman School of Music, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His commitment to teaching prompted the legendary cellist Zara Nelsova to remark, “It is rare to find a cellist who is equally at home as a concert artist as well as a great pedagogue. In my opinion Scott Kluksdahl has one of the great talents of his generation.” He oversees a musical outreach in Tampa, based on the Rochester-based initiative ‘If Music Be the Food…’ where chamber music is the agent for raising attention and support for hunger in the Tampa Bay community. This is a collaboration between the Tampa Bay Harvest, Saint Andrew Episcopal Church, and musicians in the Florida west-coast community and their friends. Significant food and cash donations have been raised because of their efforts thus far.
HELGA WINOLD was born in Munich and studied cello with Adolf Steiner and André Navarra. She came to the United States to study with the renowned artist-teacher Janos Starker at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and she received the first Doctor of Music degree in cello granted by that institution. She began teaching at Indiana University in 1969 and taught private cello lessons, cello literature, cello pedagogy and chamber music at this institution in the rank of Professor of Music. In 2008 she was honored at Indiana University with the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching. Presently retired, she still maintains a busy schedule of private teaching, master classes, solo recitals, and chamber music recitals. She teaches at the University of South Florida. She is the author of a beginning method for cello entitled Cellocity, which is free and available on winoldsmusic.com
JUDSON GRIFFIN (Musician) serves regularly as concertmaster, soloist and chamber musician in New York with Concert Royal, The American Classical Orchestra, and Amor Artis. He has been guest soloist and concertmaster with the Dallas Bach Society and frequent soloist and conductor at the Connecticut Early Music Festival. This season Mr. Griffin has been acting music director of the Clarion Music Society. His more than sixty recordings range from the seventeenth century to the present day.
TOM SZUMLIC, Ph.D. is a practicing architect with expert experience in the fields of architecture, interior architecture, industrial design, filmmaking, building construction, community development, and design education. His interest in the connection between dance (movement) and architecture is wide and diverse and includes sources from architectural composition, theory, and history. At the center of this knowledge is the principle that architecture is a sensory experience manifested by sequential movement through space. Therefore it is the motion of the body in space that becomes the primary animating force of architecture. The interdisciplinary work of choreographer Anna Halprin and landscape architect Lawrence Halprin through their experimentation in environmental design and awareness have also influenced him.