North Coast Dance Festival Event Photo

North Coast Dance Festival

July 26-28
Annual Dance Festival
In its second year, the North Coast Dance Festival will welcome professional dancers from across the country to NMU's campus for an event that is sure to entertain. Inclusive of both performance and educational programming, this showcase is sure to be an experience that you do not want to miss! Featuring performances by Ballet Project OC (under the direction of Ally Helman), professional ballet dancers Julia Feldman (Sacramento Ballet), Ava Chatterson (Sacramento Ballet), and Mate Szentes (guest Principal Dancer, American Contemporary Ballet and choreographer), and NMU's CO/LAB Company performing Collective Pulse choreographed by Karina Johnson (faculty) and A Different Kind of Love choreographed by Gianna Daprai (student). This event has been generously supported by the Siril Endowment for the Arts.

Wednesday, July 26th at 6:30pm - Observable Ballet Master Class and Talk Back (FREE)

PLEASE NOTE: This event is open to the public at no charge. It isn't often that the public gets to see how dancers train leading up to a performance. In this behind-the-scenes training demonstration, audience members are invited to observe a ballet master class taught by Julia Feldman (1 hour 15 minutes) of NCDF artists and NMU and community dancers, as well as attend a talkback with our visiting artists and NMU students about being a dancer and performer. The talkback will be moderated by NCDF director Jill Grundstrom. Questions from the audience will be accepted.

Class Participation: The ballet master class will be open to NMU and community ballet dancers ages 14 and up with at least 5 years of previous ballet training. Participants must pre-register in advance herePre-registration for class participation will close on Monday, July 24 at 5:00pm.

Once you have registered, the NCDF staff will review your application for acceptance. A follow-up email with detailed instructions will be sent to you on or by Tuesday, July 25.

*If you are under 18, you will need to have a parent or guardian sign the release form in the application.*

Thursday, July 27th at 7:30pm - Performance and Opening Night Party
Friday, July 28th at 7:30pm- Performance

Location: Forest Roberts Theatre

Tickets are $17 for General Public, $12 for NMU Faculty/Staff, Seniors, and Military, $10 for Students, and $5 for NMU Students.



Collective Pulse

Choreography by Karina Johnson

Music: 1st movement titled "Dragon" by Taiko Drums, 2nd movement "Susukino" by Paul Frazer & Chris Canstantinou

Dancers: Gianna Daprai, Sylvia Gravel, DaShawn Mitchell, Amaraé Robinson, Kyra Skinner, and Rowan Ward


solo at dawn

Choreography by Julia Feldman

Music: "Homesickness, Pt. 2" by Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru

Performance by Ava Chatterson



Choreography by Ally Helman

Music: "Tribal Ritual" by Gary Daverne

Dancers: Kimberly Brubacher, Cara Hansvick, Hannah Keene, Camille Kellems, Julianne Kinasiewicz, Elise Kruger, Cassidy Mcandrew, Leah McCall, Madeline McMillin, Cleo Taneja, Ethan Boresow, Robert Fulton, and Robert Mack


Film Feature - Perhaps We Wrong Them

Film by: John Scheibe

Perfromance by Karina Johnson

Choreography by Riley Owen

Music: "Oh Dear" by Martin Landh (provided with other sounds by Epidemic Sounds)

Full Credits:


CONTENT WARNING: Please note this film contains reference to trauma and triggers. This film visually explores powerful themes relating to childhood trauma and its lingering effects on a survivor’s everyday adult life. There is no on-screen aggression or violence depicted in the film, however our main character’s journey and movement, at times, may be suggestive of the past violence they’ve endured. Additionally, there are a few moments in the film that may trigger a claustrophobic or anxious reaction for some viewers.


Director’s Note:

The story of a lingering childhood trauma, told through dance.

Award Winning Official Selection of Cannes Short Film Festival, Independent Shorts Awards, Hollywood Gold Awards, Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival & Emberlight International Film Festival.

’23 Screendance Short of the Year Nominee.


A Different Kind of Love

Choreography by Gianna Daprai

Music: “A Different Kind of Love” by Son Lux

Dancers: Abigail Foskuhl, Sylvia Gravel, Breanna Ladiski, Aja Alise Miller, and Kyra Skinner


Choreographer’s Note:

The piece “A Different Kind of Love” is about the many relationships people have in their lives and how they are affected by them. Friendships, romantic relationships, family relationships, and acquaintanceships all have the potential to impact and change people for the rest of their lives. Although anyone can be subjected to toxic people throughout their lives, sometimes people find themselves becoming what they fear in relationships.



Choreography by Maté Szentes

Music: “Fljòtavik” by Sigur Ròs

Performance by Julia Feldman and Maté Szentes


Choreographer’s Note:

On a frozen lake lit by the moon late at night, warmth is brought by the human connection of two strangers gliding through a moment in time.



Choreography by: Isabella Velasquez & Anthony Cannarella

Music: "Tyondai Braxton" by Phillip Glass

Dancers: Kimberly Brubacher, Cara Hansvick, Ally Helman, Hannah Keene, Camille Kellems, Julianne Kinasiewicz, Elise Kruger, Lilly Leech, Cassidy Mcandrew, Leah McCall, Madeline McMillin, Cleo Taneja, Ethan Boresow, Robert Fulton, and Robert Mack



CO/LAB Dance Company - (Collective Pulse) (A Different Kind of Love)

  • Company Members: Gianna Daprai, Abigail Foskuhl, Sylvia Gravel, Breanna Ladiski, Aja Alise Miller, DaShawn Mitchell, Amaraé Robinson, Kyra Skinner, and Rowan Ward


Ava Chatterson - Soloist (solo at dawn)


Ballet Project OC Dance Company - (Tribe) (Rubric)

  • Company Members: Ethan Boresow, Kimberly Brubacher, Robert Fulton, Cara Hansvick, Ally Helman, Hannah Keene, Camille Kellems, Julianne Kinasiewicz, Elise Kruger, Lilly Leech, Robert Mack, Cassidy Mcandrew, Leah McCall, Madeline McMillin, and Cleo Taneja


Julia Feldman & Maté Szentes - Duet (glide)


Creative Team

Artistic Director Jill Grundstrom
Choreographers Anthony Cannarella, Gianna Daprai, Julia Feldman, Ally Helman, Karina Johnson, Maté Szentes, and Isabella Velasquez
Lighting Designer David Pierce
Sound Designer Dan Zini
Technical Director Braeden Ingersoll
Production Stage Manager Kasey Scheibe


Jill Grundstrom (Artistic Director): Jill has a B.S. from NMU in Secondary Education with majors in English and French, a M.A. in Dance Education from New York University, and an Ed.S. from NMU in Educational Leadership. She is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Dance Education with a concentration in Movement Science at Teachers College, Columbia University, as well as assisting with new Character Dance and Partnering curricula for American Ballet Theatre (America’s National Ballet Company®) in New York City. She is certified in the Luigi Jazz Technique, American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum, is a Certified FLX Conditioning Specialist, and a Hamrick Method Master Trainer. Jill has choreographed over 30 full-length musical and dance productions in New York City, Los Angeles, Italy, and here in the Upper Peninsula, including a full-length, original ballet, East of the Sun, West of the Moon (NMU). She also choreographed an independent feature-length film, Our State Fair. She has previously worked with Superior Arts Youth Theatre, the National Dance Education Organization, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance.

Gianna Daprai (Choreographer - A Different Kind of Love): Gianna is a second year student at NMU, she is majoring in both environmental science and dance. Her previous performances at NMU include CO/LAB (dancer), The Producers (ensemble), and The Nutcracker (Snowflake). Gianna was a dancer and choreographer in the CO/LAB this spring and is very excited to show her first full choreographed piece again in North Coast Dance Festival.

Julia Feldman (Choreographer - solo at dawn): Born in Davis, California, Julia was trained under Pamela Hayes of Pamela Hayes Classical Ballet. She began her professional career as a dancer with the Sacramento Ballet in 2011, and is a current Company Artist. In 2015, Julia co-founded Capital Dance Project (CDP), a collective of professional dancers based in Sacramento for which she has created seven premieres to date. In 2019, Julia was one of four choreographers selected for the National Choreographer’s Initiative in Irvine, Ca, under the direction of Molly Lynch. In 2021, she co-choreographed a new Nutcracker for the Sacramento Ballet, under the direction of Anthony Krutzcamp. Julia was honored to be selected for the New York Choreographic Institute's 2022 Spring Session, under the direction of Adrian Danchig. Her first full work commission for the Sacramento Ballet, 'Hearts' premiered in April 2022.

Ally Helman (Choreographer - Tribe): Ally was born and raised in Southern California where she began dancing at a young age. Her professional training lead her to The School of American Ballet in New York City. Ally danced professionally with New York City Ballet. Ally along with her sister Emily launched Ballet Project OC and the streaming platform Ballet Project TV out of sheer determination in 2019. Since it's inception, Ally has taken on artistic leadership as well as choreographer and dancer roles. Ms. Helman has created over twenty new works for Ballet Project OC and continues to lead the company towards a successful future.

Karina Johnson (Choreographer - Collective Pulse): Karina started ballet at the age of four in Irvine, California, and was trained by such accomplished teachers as Charles Maple, Amanda McKerrow, and John Gardner from American Ballet Theatre, as well as Evelyn Cisneros from San Francisco Ballet. She attended ABT, Boston Ballet, and American Academy of Ballet summer intensives throughout her years of training, as well as competed in the Youth of America Grand Prix competition for five consecutive years. Starting in 2007, Karina worked on a degree at The University of Utah as well as guested with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s The Nutcracker for three years. In her senior year of college she became a trainee with Ballet West, performing as a supplemental corps de ballet dancer. Karina graduated in 2010 with a BFA in Ballet, and afterwards spent a year as an apprentice at Smuin Ballet in San Francisco before moving to join the Sacramento Ballet. There she had the privilege of performing in such renowned ballets as Ron Cunningham’s The Great Gatsby, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Carmina Burana, Rite of Spring, Cinderella, and The Firebird, as well as Trey McIntyre’s Wild Sweet Love, and George Balanchine’s Western Symphony, Who Cares?, Rubies, and the First Regiment Lead in Stars and Stripes. One of the highlights of Karina’s career was performing the first act Pas de Trois, and Cygnettes in Swan Lake, one of the hardest and most rewarding ballets to perform. After retiring from her career with the Sacramento Ballet in 2015, Karina helped found the dancer-run company Capital Dance Project, choreographing, performing, and organizing their summer performance series. After eight years of dancing professionally, and 5 more of helping run a project-based company, she decided it was time to pass on her love and knowledge of dance to the next generation... bringing her to NMU!

Maté Szentes (Choreographer - glide): Maté is originally from Budapest, Hungary. He studied at the Hungarian Dance Academy and attended summer programs at North Carolina Dance Theater. Upon graduation he joined the Hungarian National Ballet for 3 seasons and in 2012 he moved to California and joined the Sacramento Ballet. Mr. Szentes relocated to the east coast in 2015 to join the Richmond Ballet where he danced principal and soloist roles. In 2021 he became a freelance artist based out of Los Angeles. Since 2016 he is actively choreographing and his works have been performed across the country by various companies and festivals.

David Pierce (Lighting Designer): David is a lighting designer and educator based out of Marquette, MI. Previous design credits include Finding Home, A Chorus Line, Footloose, Above the Timberline, Mamma Mia!, Sweeney Todd, What We Leave Behind, Building Madness, and Tarzan. He has also partnered with UP Home Health and Hospice as Lighting Designer for Dancing with Our Stars as well as worked as Production Manager for the Adirondack Theater Festival in Glens Falls, NY. David is also an Associate Professor and Production Manager for the Department of Theatre and Dance at NMU and teaches courses in stage electrics, lighting design, and stage management.

Kasey Scheibe (Production Stage Manager): Kasey is an NMU alum and accomplished CPA for the State of New York, where she spent 5 years in the Broadcast Industry. She continues her work today as a remote Accounting Manager for SiriusXM (NYC), and as a part-time Instructor for Bay De Noc Community College (MI). Additionally, she’s become a resource for local entrepreneurs here in Marquette as a Consultant and Virtual CFO through her own business venture; Count on Kasey. She balances her love of numbers with a passion for the arts as the Color Guard Instructor for the NMU Marching Band and now as a Stage Manager within NMU’s Theatrical Productions.

Dan Zini (Sound Designer): Dan is an award-winning designer and engineer in both live and broadcast sound and media with over a decade of professional experience. He also works as a composer, producer, studio engineer, musician, and programmer, holding many internationally recognized certifications. Dan’s credit list is extensive and includes Andy Grammar, Keith Secola, Samantha Fish, Carlos Nunez, Alash, Sandra Joseph, Joshua Davis, LDI Las Vegas, Hershey Entertainment, Orange Theatre Company - Amsterdam, and many other artists, organizations and theatre companies working on many events, albums, concerts, broadcasts and over 100 theatrical productions. Dan currently teaches live, studio and theatrical sound and media design at the Northern Michigan University School of Music Theatre and Dance and Media Studies Departments in which he also serves as Supervisor and Engineer of Sound and Media. In addition, Dan serves as Owner of Talking Turtle Productions and Co-Owner of Steady Stone Productions.

Braeden Ingersoll (Technical Director): Braeden, originally from Des Moines, Iowa, received his MFA in Technical Production from Florida State University where he focused on Technical Direction, Team & Production Management, and teaching. Braeden also has certifications in OSHA-10 “General Entertainment Safety” (OSHA 1910), 3M™ Fall Protection Competent Person, Genie Lift-Pro™ Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) Classes 1A & 3A, and American Red Cross CPR/First Aid & AED. Additional professional credits include Technical Director with Des Moines Metro Opera and Theatre Aspen, and Assistant Technical Director with Creede Repertory Theatre.

Additional Artistic Staff

Assistant Stage Manager Carley Bishop
Assistant Technical Director Ethan Noel-Rickert
Audio 1 Ryan Harvey


Forest Roberts Theatre Staff

Costume Shop Staff Em Rossi
Scene Shop Technicians Seth Bowen, Laura Hinz
Head Electrician Ryan Harvey
Electrics/Sound Technicians Ryan Harvey
Marketing/Box Office Staff Sylvia Gravel, Keely-Shaye Hanson, Kyra Skinner
Photographer John Scheibe


Forest Roberts Theatre Professional Staff

Producer Bill Digneit
Artistic Director Jill Grundstrom 
Production Manager Jill Grundstrom 
Scene Shop Supervisor Braeden Ingersoll
Scenic/Paint Supervisor Lex van Blommestein
Head Carpenter Emily Kendall
Costume Shop Supervisor Ann Juidici
Lighting Supervisor David Pierce
Sound and Media Supervisor Dan Zini
Marketing/Box Office Manager Emily Burbey