After ten years of running a modern dance company in Cambridge, MA, Anna Myer and Dancers shifted its focus by adding the talents of young poets and hip hop dancers into the company in 2007. The dance company’s director, Anna Myer, understood the transformative power of artistic expression on both sides of the proscenium. She focused her company’s time and resources on the art and voices of Boston’s inner city and beyond, where she took her work to theaters and public housing developments. The performances featured eclectic combinations of modern and hip hop dance along with rap, spoken word and original musical and choreographic compositions. The company of collaborators continue working together to convey messages that captured their stories and their hopes for family and community.
From an early age Anna’s expressed her voice through dance and later through choreography. The multidisciplinary work she now is creating stems from her longstanding interest in social justice and equality. The combination of these passions has taken the company to join forces with Jay Paris to create beheard.world, a new non-profit that combines performing arts, film and advocacy. Her dancers and poets and a team of social change partners are betting on the power of creative expression to reach the world with original messages of hope and inspiration.
Choreographers and Directors
Anna Myer began her dance training in 1962 with Esther Brooks at the Cambridge School of Ballet on a Ford Foundation Scholarship. After receiving scholarships from the Joffrey Ballet, The School of American Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre, Myer joined the Boston Ballet. She later studied and performed with Ana Roje. In 1992 Myer founded Anna Myer and Dancers (AMAD), a modern dance company in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Since its founding in 1992 Anna Myer and Dancers has performed Anna Myer’s innovative choreography to a steadily growing audience throughout the Northeast, most notably in Boston and New York City, and to the acclaim of some of the country’s most prominent dance critics. Myer’s unique language of movement is a fusion of her classical, modern, and postmodern background. Her dances are emotionally charged and infused with a keen formal intelligence. The Company has been presented by Dance Umbrella’s Boston Moves (1999), the Fleet Bank Celebrity Series (2003), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (2002 and 2003), Summer Stages Dance (2006), and Crash Arts at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston (2007, 2012), Hibernian Hall (2011 and 2014), Strand Theater (2008), Fringe Festival, Scotland (2009), North Conway, NH (2012), Holderness, NH, (2012), Bennington College, VT (2013), Bridgewater State College (2013) basketball courts in housing developments in Boston (2011 –2012) The Harlem Stage, NYC (2014), Hibernian Hall, Boston (2014).
Critics in both The New York Times and The Boston Globe have hailed her work. Accolades include “Ten Best Dance Events of 2001” (Christine Temin of The Boston Globe), and “Best of Arts and Dance” (2003, 2005 The Boston Phoenix). Jennifer Dunning wrote “Ms. Myer is a master weaver” (The New York Times) while Thea Singer wrote, “…a moving confluence of music, rap, and dance sends a message” (The Boston Globe, 2008). AMAD had a feature article on Hoop Suite in The Boston Globe on June 8, 2012.
As a choreographer Myer has a long history of artistic collaboration using live music, original scores, and people of various ages and backgrounds.
Funding for Myer’s work has been provided by Massachusetts Cultural Council, Cambridge Arts Council, Foley Hoag Foundation, The Star Foundation, Turner Family Foundation, Scripps Foundation, and New England Foundation for the Arts, Expedition Touring Grant. Myer recently received a Choreographic Fellowship from the Boston Dance Alliance. Funding for Myer’s work has been provided by Massachusetts Cultural Council, Cambridge Arts Council, Foley Hoag Foundation, Turner Family Foundation, and New England Foundation for the Arts, Expedition Touring Grant. Myer recently received a Choreographic Fellowship from the Boston Dance Alliance.
In 2014 Myer co founded beheard.world to expand her creative base and give voice to individuals and communities.
Jay Paris is a former magazine writer, editor and author who has been published widely in national and international magazines and book presses. He began working with North American Family Institute in 2000, focusing on developing prevention and early intervention solutions to communities at risk. A long-time proponent of the arts, in 2006 he began working with talented young artists from Boston’s housing projects, which led to his partnering with Anna Myer in 2011 to develop mixed genre stage performances. The resulting Hoop Suite ensemble has successfully toured throughout New England with the support of the New England Foundation for the Arts, The Pearson Foundation and the Scripps Foundation. In 2014, he co-founded beheard.world to bring iconic and powerful stories about the power of giving voices and being heard, using film and live performances.
Adriane Brayton: A native of Boston, MA, Adriane began dancing with Anna Myer, Danny McCusker, and the Boston Dance Company. She attended the Boston Arts Academy, received BAs in Dance and Biological Sciences from Connecticut College, studied abroad at the University of Melbourne, and has performed works by Kyle Abraham, Laura Dean, David Dorfman, Heidi Henderson, Jose Limon, Nicholas Leichter, Lisa Race, Pedro Ruiz, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Colleen Thomas, and Nathan Trice, among others. She also furthered her dance studies on scholarship at Summer Stages Dance/Concord Academy, the American Dance Festival, the Bates Dance Festival, and MADE in France. Adriane’s original choreography has been presented at the American College Dance Festival (2009 and 2011), Boston Arts Academy (2012), Boston’s This/That show (2009), and Tufts University’s Rough and Ready show (2012), among other venues. Adriane currently dances for Anna Myer and Dancers and Weberdance.
Jeremy Ruth Howe: Jeremy Ruth is a professional dancer, choreographer and educator in the Boston area. She graduated from the Universityof Hartford’s Hartt School of Dance with a BFA in Dance Performance. While at Hartt she performed soloist roles in La Bayadere, Guernsey Fields, and Martha Graham’s Steps in the Street. She has danced professionally with Northern Ballet Theatre and Virginia Ballet Theatre dancing soloist roles in The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and George Balanchine’s Serenade. Jeremy Ruth is on faculty at Dean College teaching ballet and choreographing for the Dean College Dance Company. She has created eight original works for the company. Her most recent works, 1748 and breath(less) were premièred in May 2012. Jeremy Ruth has been dancing with Anna Myer and Dancers for the past nine years.
Mary Ellen Liacos was raised in New Hampshire and began her dance training with New England Civic Ballet, New Hampshire School of Ballet and New England School of Dance, as well as studying under Lara Little. She then moved to Boston and trained at Boston Arts Academy for high school. After high school, she furthered her dance training at The Boston Conservatory as well as Columbia College. She feels privilege to have studied with incredible dance educators such as, Olivier Besson, Fernadina Chan, Leslie Koval, Liz Lapuh, Daniel McCusker, Tommy Neblett, Diane Noya, Jennifer Scanlon, Donna Silva, Adriana Suarez , Jimmy, Vierra and Leslie Woodies, among many others. Her dancing flourished within several programs she was able to attend such as Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, RiverNorth Dance Company, Boston Dance Company and Thodos Dance. She has been fortunate enough to have performed works choreographed, by Adriane Brayton, Fernadina Chan, Sean Curran, Joe Gonzales, Jose Limon, Perdo Ruiz, Nathan Trice, Jimmy Vierra, and many others. She is currently teaching ballet and creative movement at Boston Arts Academy and at Spontaneous Celebrations and she is thrilled to be performing her first season with Anna Myer and Dancers!
Marissa Molinar was born into a family of Mexican Folkloric dancers, Marissa Molinar started learning folklorico from her mother at an early age. After moving to Boston, Marissa was introduced to Bharatanatyam, a South Indian dance form, and began training with Aparna Sindhoor at Navarasa Dance Academy. Marissa was introduced to modern dance in high school, studying and performing with Daniel McCusker. After a dance hiatus while at college, Marissa returned to dance upon graduating and has been performing with many choreographers in the Boston area, including Daniel McCusker, Sara Smith, and Yo-el Cassell. When she is not dancing, Marissa works as the Administrative Assistant at Boston Dance Alliance. Marissa is currently a member of both Danza Orgánica (under the direction of Marsha Parrilla) and Anna Myer and Dancers.
Ronnie Terrell Thomas: Received his arts education at The Boston Arts Academy under the direction of ballet master Cosmin Marciuletiu and began his aerial acrobatics training with The Hybrid Movement Company. Ronnie has performed with Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theater, The American Ballet Theater, White Oak Dance Project, Quixotic Fusion Performance Ensemble, Janusphere Dance Company and Urban Dance Collective amongst other companies. As an aerialist Ronnie has performed with the Hybrid Movement Company, Vance Garrett Productions and Rudy Benda Productions. He also performs breakdance with the NYC Tranzformerz Breakdance Crew. As a choreographer Ronnie has collaborated on dance, aerial and body2body works with the Hybrid Movement Company since 2009. In 2010 Ronnie performed a solo work for Quixotic Fusion Performance Ensemble’s ‘Lux Esalare.’ This year is Mr. Thomas’ first time performing with Anna Myer and Dancers.
Erin Washington began her dance training under the direction of Deena Laska Lewis at Children’s Center for Dance Education, located in Evansville, IN. At this school she studied classical ballet, and performed roles in ballets such as, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides and Firebird. In high school, she attended summer dance intensives at Nashville Ballet and North Carolina Dance Theater. After graduating from high school, Erin attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Dance. While in Tallahassee, Erin began to train more in depth in modern, jazz, and contemporary dance. She danced and choreographed with the TCC Dance Company, under the direction of Aurora Hansen, and World Ballet, under the direction of Henry Hernandez. Erin has recently graduated with her Master’s in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling at Antioch University New England. She now lives in the Boston area and is the Outreach Coordinator Boston Children’s Foundation. Erin joined AMAD in January 2013 and now trains with Anna in ballet.
Darnell Brown is a dancer/Choreographer who has been formally dancing since the age of fourteen in the style of Hip Hop Freestyle. In his career he has received training at the Jeanette Neil’s Dance Studio from Hip Hop teacher Ricardo Foster Jr. He has also been introduced into a new dance movement known as Krump Dancing. He has also trained with SYTYCD winner Russell Ferguson with his group called Side Street. In the year of 2010 he took training at the summer intensive at B.U known as REACH. Reach is a five-week program that trains teen apprentices in dance and choreography, developing essential skills in a structured, educational environment and provides a quality art experience to thousands of urban youth where the teens and professionals take their work “on tour.” After completing this program he then Attended Dean College for further training in Dance; obtaining knowledge and training in the more technical styles of dance such as Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Tap for The last two years while attending the school. Recently in 2012 he taught a four week intensive at City Lights North located in Maine to youth and adults between the age range of 8 – 18 years old who were able to learn and perform a hip hop piece and a modern Piece. His future plans are to teach dance and continue growing in his career.
McKersin Previlus: Gliding across the floor since the age of four, McKersin learned his first choreography from Michael Jackson – well at least Jackson’s videos. One year later, he had to trade in moonwalks and pelvic thrusts for more traditional movement when he relocated to Haiti and began to study folkloric dance. After a few years of exploring cultural dances, McKersin returned to the United States and found a middle ground in hip-hop. In high school, he danced alongside school mates who were part of Phunk Phenomenon and went on to study various styles: popping, breaking, house, whacking, etc. In 2009, McKersin began to teach, perform, and choreograph for local R&B artists and colleges. He is currently Assistant Director of Bunker Hill’s Performing Arts program, working toward a major in Biology and Music, and developing his classical dance skills with Anna Myer.
Tu Phan, inspired by hip hop, spoken word and literature, has been writing poetry for about three years. His writing focuses on socioeconomic, environmental, political, and spiritual concepts, drawn both from life and people’s speech and from his readings in satire, history, and spiritual literature. Tu’s spoken word poetry aims to help people change their destructive habits. He lives in Dorchester and is attending Northeastern University.
Lucci is a renowned poet on the Boston Spoken Word scene