Introducing the EtM Artists Advisory Council

David Johnston

Exploring the Metropolis is very proud to announce our new, reconstituted and revitalized Artists Advisory Council.

We have selected a group of artists whose work we love, and who have served in various capacities for us: one previous Board member, five former panelists and three former EtM Artists-in-Residence.

We want to make sure we continue to know what is happening in our field, and we want feedback and input from a wide range of styles and genres for our programs for choreographers and composers.

Each artist will serve a three-year term in an advisory capacity, offering guidance on EtM’s procedures, and selection processes.  We are happy to welcome them.

Karesia Batan is a modern dancer, and director of the Queensboro Dance Festival. Previously, she was co-founder and creative producer of Forward Flux, structuring residencies and exhibitions for interdisciplinary artists. She served as program producer for National Choreography Month, and curates performances for the LIC Arts Open. With her company The Physical Plant, Karesia’s choreography has been presented throughout NYC. Karesia founded the Queensboro Dance Festival in 2014, with the mission to strengthen the dance identity in Queens. She has been a guest speaker for Boston University, Pentacle, and is a grant recipient from Queens Council on the Arts.


Ursula Eagly is a dance artist based in New York City since 2000. Her works are characterized by a “rabbit-hole logic” (New York Times), and her research considers relationship to audience, a disjointed physicality, and the potential of porosity. Works have been commissioned throughout New York City, and her interest in different artistic contexts has drawn her to work in several countries. Her current project, Piece with gaps for each other, was commissioned by The Chocolate Factory and takes place also in Japan and Mexico. Soon it will be released as record.


Annie Gosfield, whom the BBC called “A one woman Hadron collider” lives in New York City and works on the boundaries between notated and improvised music, electronic and acoustic sounds, refined timbres and noise. Her music is often inspired by the inherent beauty of found sounds, such as machines, destroyed pianos, warped 78 rpm records and detuned radios.  She has received fellowships from the American Academy in Berlin, the American Academy in Rome, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Gosfield’s essays on composition have been published by the New York Times. Active as an educator, she held the Darius Milhaud Chair at Mills College, and has taught composition at Princeton University, and California Institute of the Arts. She is currently working on an opera with director Yuval Sharon for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.


Judd Greenstein is a composer of structurally complex, viscerally engaging works for varied instrumentation. A passionate advocate for the independent new music community across the United States, much of Judd’s work is written for the virtuosic ensembles and solo performers who make up that community and is tailored to their specific talents and abilities. Judd’s philosophy as both a composer and a curator involves music that is an organic blend of multiple styles, sounds, and instruments, open to all influences. Standout groups that reflect this “post-genre” sensibility, including yMusic, Roomful of Teeth, and NOW Ensemble, all counted Judd among their earliest commissions and continue to perform his work to this day. As a national and international audience has taken notice of these and other like-minded artists, Judd has been increasingly in demand as a composer for the orchestra and the stage, with recent commissions from the Minnesota Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony, and the North Carolina Symphony, among many others. Current projects attest to the diversity of Judd’s output: an orchestral song cycle for indie rock vocalist DM Stith, an opera about Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, and an evening-length adaption of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival for the Minnesota Children’s Theater.

Kamala Sankaram has been praised as “strikingly original” (NY Times) and “an impassioned soprano with blazing high notes” (The Wall Street Journal.) Recent commissions include Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Memphis, Opera on Tap, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Awards, grants and residencies include: Kevin Spacey Foundation, Jonathan Larson Award, NEA ArtWorks, MAP Fund, Opera America, NY IT Award Best Musical, the Civilians, HERE, the MacDowell Colony, and the Watermill Center. She has performed and premiered pieces with Beth Morrison Projects, Anthony Braxton, and the Wooster Group, among others, and is the leader of Bombay Rickey, an operatic Bollywood surf ensemble.

Claudia Schreier has been commissioned by organizations including the Vail Dance Festival, New York Choreographic Institute, Ballet Academy East, and The Ailey School. She was the 2017 Virginia B. Toulmin Fellow at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU and received a B.A. from Harvard University in 2008. She has served as rehearsal assistant to Damian Woetzel at the White House, Jazz at Lincoln Center and NY City Center. Her awards include the 2017 Lotos Foundation Prize and 2008 Suzanne Farrell Dance Prize. In July 2017, Claudia Schreier & Company will make its debut at the Joyce Theater

Composer Robert Sirota’s works have been performed by the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, Sequitur, Chameleon Arts Ensemble, Left Bank Concert Society, Dinosaur Annex, the Chiara, American and Blair String Quartets, Ethel, The Peabody, Concord, and Webster Trios, and the Fischer Duo, and at the Tanglewood, Aspen, Yellow Barn and Cooperstown festivals. Orchestral performances include the Seattle, Vermont, Virginia, East Texas, Lincoln (Neb), Meridian (Miss), New Haven, Greater Bridgeport, Oradea (Romania) and Saint Petersburg (Russia) symphonies, as well as conservatory orchestras of Oberlin, Peabody, Manhattan School of Music, Toronto, and Singapore. He has received composer grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the United States Information Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and the American Music Center.

Gus Solomons jr is a dancer, mentor, actor, and writer, which danced with Donald McKayle, Pearl Lang, Martha Graham, and Merce Cunningham before founding Solomons Company y/Dance (1972-94) and PARADIGM (1996-2011.)


Christopher Williams, dubbed “one of the most exciting choreographic voices out there” (The New York Times) is a “Bessie” award-winning choreographer, dancer, and puppeteer working in New York City and abroad since 1999. His work has toured in France, Italy, Spain, England, Holland, Colombia, and Russia, and has been presented in Philadelphia, Princeton, Los Angeles, Kalamazoo, as well as in local venues including Lincoln Center, City Center, DTW, Danspace Project, P.S. 122, 92nd Street Y, Joyce SoHo, and La Mama. He holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College and the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, and has performed for many distinguished dance and puppetry artists.


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