Thang Dao, Contemporary
Q&A with Hayley Meier, Michelle Fransisco and Tamara Dyke-Compton
Monday, November 7th
Marquez Johnson, Hip Hop
Chris Compton, Michelle Fransisco and Tamara Dyke-Compton
The University of Arizona BFA in Dance is a professional degree and the primary focus is to offer technical training and performance experience that optimally prepares dancers for professional careers in dance upon graduation. In meeting these demands, the uniquely intensive curriculum prepares students in the range of dance styles and techniques necessary to launch and sustain a professional career. Students also have the ability in their junior year, to taper their programs of study should they desire to specialize or concentrate more heavily on a particular discipline to meet specific future career goals, while still maintaining breadth in their technical foundation. Even though the BFA degree in Dance places an emphasis on technique and performing, students are also assured of receiving a well-rounded academic education. To study dance in The School of Dance at The University of Arizona is to have the best of both worlds–a nationally reputed dance program with a high level of performance practice, housed within an institution nationally lauded for research and scholarly investigation.
Thang Dao resides between Los Angeles and New York City where he works as a freelance choreographer, educator, and coach. He is a graduate of Hollins University (MFA’ 21) and New York University (MA’ 09). Dao received his formal dance education from the Juilliard School and Boston Conservatory (BFA’ 01).
Dao performed nationally and internationally with the Stephen Petronio Company between 2001-2006. He also danced for the Metropolitan Opera between 2006-2008. He has choreographed for Ballet Austin, Ballet Austin II, Ailey II, Ballet X, Philadanco, Taiwan National University of the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Program, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Kennesaw State University, Troy University, Michigan State University, and the Boston Conservatory along with many performing arts schools nationally and internationally.
His works have toured throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia with acclaimed reviews. His ballet Stepping Ground, choreographed for Ballet Austin for the 1st Biannual New American Dance Talent, received the Audience Choice Award all four nights. Dao is the recipient of the 2008 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship, the 2009 Special Project Grant, and the 2012 Vilcek finalist for Creative Promise in choreography. In 2012, his work Waiting Women was featured at NYCDAF Gala: Destiny Rising at the Joyce Theater in New York. Dao was part of the creative team for the James Brown Project: Get On The Good Foot commissioned and produced by the Apollo Theater in collaboration with Philadanco under the artistic direction of Otis Salid.
Dao is excited to be a Visiting Assistant Professor at University of Arizona School of Dance
Marquez Johnson holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance degree from the University of Arizona as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. Marquez is on faculty at the University of Arizona’s School of Dance as an Instructor of Dance choreographing for various local events while teaching Jazz and Hip-Hop.
Under the direction of Tammy Dyke-Compton and Christopher Compton, Marquez is a returning teaching artist for Perry-Mansfield Summer Performing Arts Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Marquez teaches Jazz and Hip-Hop while assisting in end of program dance showcases and musicals such as Frog and Toad, Newsies Jr., and The Louder We Get for the Young Artist Intensive and Pre-Professional Intensive programs.
Marquez has performed works by Jose Limon and Ohad Naharin while also being a rehearsal assistant for Miguel Perez in his piece “Before Reality Sets In” and Michele Gifford in the re-staging of “The American” by Charles Wheeldon. Marquez has also contributed choreography for the University of Arizona ensemble with an old-school inspired hip-hop piece “Get Up Offa That Thang” and a contemporary dance on film piece “Onward and Upward.”
Locally, Marquez was a principal company member of Tucson-based contemporary dance company Artifact Dance Project for ten years. He has performed in several productions for Artifact including Fairy Tales Three, Poe, Artist’s Proof, The Grand Parlor, Judith, Downtown, Frida and New Moves to name a few. Marquez continues to choreograph for such companies as the Sothern Arizona Performing Arts Company, (SAPAC), and Casino del Sol for their production run of Solebrity Icons. Currently, he is a guest artist with Ballet Rincon in their production of Cinderella and annual Nutcracker presentations, as well as Funhouse Movement Theatre in their Butoh centered production of Rites of Spring. He continues to teach and choreograph at various studios and companies in styles ranging from Jazz to Hip-Hop and Contemporary.