Limón Dance Company
DANTE PULEIO (Artistic Director, He/Him), a widely respected former member of the Limón Dance Company for more than a decade, Puleio was appointed the sixth Artistic Director in the Company’s 77-year history, a position that originated with Doris Humphrey. After a diverse performing career with the Limón Dance Company, touring national and international musical theatre productions, television and film, he received his MFA from University of California, Irvine. His research focuses on contextualizing mid 20th century dance for the contemporary artist and audience. He is committed to implementing that research by celebrating José Limón’s historical legacy and reimagining his intention and vision to reflect the rapidly shifting 21st century landscape.
NATALIE CLEVENGER (Dancer, She/They), received her BFA in dance from the University of Arizona in the fall of 2018, where she was awarded the Gertrude Shurr award for excellence in modern dance. Upon graduation, Natalie joined Dance Kaleidoscope and is now a member of the Limón Dance Company.
JOEY COLUMBUS (Dancer, He/Him) began his dance training in the Chicagoland area before obtaining his BFA in dance from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program. He has performed with companies such as RIOULT and Company XIV as well as at the Metropolitan Opera.
MJ EDWARDS (Dancer, They/Them), from Middletown, NY studied at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School and MOVE|NYC|. MJ then trained at the San Francisco Ballet School. They went further to study at The Juilliard School and joined the Limón Dance Company in 2021.
MARIAH GRAVELIN (Dancer, She/Her) joined the Limón Company in 2019 where she has performed and taught nationwide. She holds a BFA from Alvin Ailey/Fordham University (2018). She is on faculty for the Limón Institute and can be found with her camera in hand photographing when not dancing.
Terrence Donzell Mitchell Diable
Terrence Donzell Mitchell Diable (he/him) (New York, NY) a graduate from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program, Diable has performed works choreographed by Paul Taylor, David Parsons, Martha Graham, Robert Battle, Aszure Barton, Matthew Rushing, Ohad Naharin and Fernando Melo. In 2011, Mr. Diable joined the Francesca Harper Project and in 2012 he collaborated with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He also danced for The Steps Repertory and, most recently, has been assistant to Matthew Rushing on his commission of ODETTA for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Diable joined the Limón Dance Company in 2017.
Johnson Guo (he/him), from Brooklyn, New York, began his dance training under Eliot Feld’s Ballet Tech Program at the age of 8. There, he had the honor of performing works by choreographers Eliot Feld, Brian Brooks, Julia Eichten, and Stephanie Terasaki at the beautiful Joyce Theater. Upon graduating from Ballet Tech, Johnson continued his dance education at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase, where he was introduced to a vast variety of techniques such as, Graham, Cunningham, Gaga, DOVA, floor work, and Limón. Johnson has had the wonderful opportunity of performing works by Rena Butler, José Limón, and Eve Chan.
Deepa Liegel (she/her) is thrilled to rejoin the Limón Dance Company for the 2022 season. Deepa was born in Calcutta, India and raised in Seattle, Washington. She grew up dancing with Cornish Preparatory Dance, Leela Kathak Dance and Seattle Theatre Group. She got her BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in Arts Management from Southern Methodist University. Professionally, she’s worked with Mark Morris Dance Group, The Metropolitan Opera, Broadway Bares and Delta Rae. Deepa is a certified classical Pilates instructor through Power Pilates, NYC. She’s represented by Jim Keith, Movement Talent Agency, NYC Division. Instagram: @deepaleaps.
Nicholas Ruscica (he/him) is originally from Toronto, Canada where he began his training at Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre. Nicholas continued his studies at California Institute of the Arts, receiving his BFA in 2020 and was a four-year recipient of the President’s Merit Scholarship. After graduation, Nicholas joined Limón in 2021 and has been teaching Limón technique at the National Ballet of Canada, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, and Perpich Arts Highschool in Minnesota. As well, he has had the pleasure of working with artists and companies such as Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Human Body Expression, Raúl Tamez, Olivier Tarpaga, and TOES FOR DANCE.
Frances Samson (she/her) is a New York based artist originally from Toronto, Canada. She has had the pleasure of performing for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Walt Disney World, TEDx, Miss Universe Canada, New York Fashion Week and Rotary International. She is an artistic collaborator for WHITE WAVE Dance, Frog In Hand, as well as the multicultural project, The Gravity Between directed by Jacqueline Bulnes with original compositions by Niklas Emborg Gjersøe. Frances is on faculty at the Limón Institute and teaches the Limón style of movement in Europe, Canada and the United States. She joined the Limón Dance Company in 2017.
Jessica Sgambelluri (she/her) is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, where she received her BFA in Dance in 2014. During her time there she was selected to perform in the Yang Liping International Dance Festival in Kunming, China. Upon graduating, Jessica joined Graham 2 where she received the Pearl Lang Award and performed on TED Talks Live. Since then, she has worked with Odyssey Dance Theater, ARIM Dance, Caterina Rago Dance Company, The Metropolitan Opera, and Buglisi Dance Theatre. Jessica is also a part-time faculty member at The Martha Graham School, Peridance, and a Pilates instructor at Groundfloor Exercise. Jessica is ecstatic to be dancing her first season with the Limón Dance Company.
Savannah Spratt (she/her) joined the Limón Dance Company in 2016. Born and raised in Rochester, PA, she attended Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School and holds a BFA in Contemporary Dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She collaborates often with Helen Simoneau Danse and the Merce Cunningham Trust, most notably performing in the Los Angeles installation of Night of 100 Solos. Savannah is a licensed GYROKINESIS Level 1 Apprentice and enjoys knitting in her down time.
Lauren Twomley (she/her), born in Brooklyn, New York, graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Arts Management. She has worked with renowned choreographers: Doug Varone, Sidra Bell, Dylan Crossman, Kevin Wynn, Ana Maria Lucaciu, Chafin Seymour, Francesca Harper, Kate Weare, Raul Tamez and Olivier Tarpoga, and has performed masterworks by Martha Graham, José Limón and Merce Cunningham. Lauren works with Soluq Dance Theater, is a dancer, rehearsal coordinator and social media manager for Peter Stathas Dance, and is a teaching artist for the José Limón Dance Foundation. She joined the Limón Dance Company in 2019.
Robert M. Valdez Jr.
Robert M. Valdez Jr. (he/him), affectionately known as “Buddy”, received dance training at the San Francisco Academy of Ballet and the San Francisco School of the Arts. He earned a BFA from The Juilliard School under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. Some of the companies Valdez has performed with include Luna Negra Dance Theater, 360º Dance Company, Riedel Dance Theater, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Flexicurve, Armitage Gone! Dance, and ZviDance. Commercial work includes NYFW, Fashion/One TV, Comedy Central, and Janet Jackson’s Made for Now music video. Valdez also has certifications to teach yoga, the Feldenkrais Method®, and Latin social dancing.
B. Woods (he/him), from Winston Salem, NC, BFA graduate of UNC School of the Arts (UNCSA), began a professional career dancing original works created by Duane Cyrus, Helen Simoneau, Eric Oberdorff, Zane Booker, Juel Lane and more. He soon performed and toured with the West Virginia Dance Company that featured works choreographed by Doug Varone. He is a recipient of the William R. Kenan Fellowship, which commissioned an original work he co-created, entitled “Skin-Deep”, at the Lincoln Center. Most recent collaborations include dances with StubbornMVMT, Olga Rabetskaya, and Variety Pack Collective. This is Brandon’s premiere season with the Limón Dance Company.