Artistic Director and Founder Sophia Rabinovitz has been creating work since she could walk and directing since she could speak. She began formally training at the age of six and holds a BFA in Dance, a BA in Anthropology from Temple University and a MA in Dance Cultures from the University of Surrey. Her training in dance consists of a multitude of different forms and her choreography reflects this diversity. Sophia’s choreography is varied in its origin and innovative in its combination of movement styles, such as African, Modern, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Latin dance. She strongly believes in the power of movement to express ideas, educate, and to encourage discussion about major issues in our society. This belief has inspired Sophia to create Artivism Dance Theatre, producing work that reflects the world we live in and inspiring dialogue about important issues in our society.
“My history of activism and my studies in world cultures has inspired me to use my art form as a catalyst for dialogue about social justice issues. I believe that art, and dance specifically, has the potential to speak to significant world matters in a way that words often cannot capture.”
Originating from North Carolina, Briana Alston, found dance first as a hobby, teaching herself Hip Hop freestyle and choreography. She attended Elon University, where she joined their club dance team and became the lead choreographer; creating hip hop pieces for diverse occasions all over campus. When she graduated with her BA in Education, she moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to pursue a career in education, her love for dance followed. Briana has performed for the Dancing Grounds showcases, the New Orleans RAW Showcase, and most notable as a backup dancer for Canadian performing artist, Peaches. Briana is grateful for the opportunity to dance with and for such talented and diverse dancers and leaders. She desires to grow her talent while moving people through Artivism's continuing journey of discussing social stigmas and challenges.
Madyson Barbain began training at Art in Motion Dance Academy in 1998. She graduated from two high schools Warren Easton and New Orleans Center for Creative Arts with honors in academics and dance. Madyson is currently a student at Tulane University majoring in Dance and Health and Wellness with a minor in Business. She is on the Tulane Shockwave dance team and is a dance instructor at Girl Twirl and Art in Motion Dance Academy specializing in choreography and technique. She has danced at Joffery Ballet and with the KM Dance Project and is excited to begin her second season with Artivism Dance Theatre. Dance is her heart and passion and Madyson plans to open her own dance school in the future.
Ashly 'Sheik' Nguyen
New Orleans local Ashly 'Sheik' Nguyen Ashly graduated from XULA with a bachelor’s in Chemistry and is currently a Chemical Lab Analyst at Eurofins and the Youth Program Director at the non-profit VIET. She is a freestyle Waacker and invited to battle in the top 16 Dance Your Style Redbull New Orleans regional; making it to the top four. Since 2015, Ashly has showcased her unique freestyling at Buku Fest as a BukuBreaker and currently holds the title for Houston’s All-style Champion: Queen of the South.
Since her early teenage years, Ashly has been dedicated to the idea of bringing people together and sharing dance freely in a safe environment. She seeks to deepen her vocabulary for movement and loves discovering new connections to music from the liberating styles of underground dance. A true objective of hers is sharing the self-empowerment that waacking has to offer to all. Ashly continues to grow discipline and gain knowledge as a proud member of Artivism Dance Theatre.
Sarah Noelle Prescott
Sarah Noelle Prescott is a New Orleans based choreographer, performer, and teacher. Prescott achieved a BFA in dance performance and choreography from Belhaven University in 2017 where she graduated with honors and received the Bezalel Award for outstanding artistic achievement. Prescott has performed in numerous works, working under choreographers such as Sung Yong Kim of Daegu City Dance Company, Cynthia Newland of Feet Speak, Elizabeth Dishman of Dishman and Co. Choreography, and Teresa Fellion of BodyStories. Prescott has choreographed works featured at the American College Dance Association Regional Gala Concert, the Mississippi Museum of Art, The Mississippi Lights Festival, Huston Fringe Festival, and the New Orleans Infringe Festival. Prescott choreographed and performed nationally and internationally with Kinetic Etchings Dance Project, and has worked with a variety of companies throughout New Orleans. Prescott is excited to be joining Artivism Dance Theatre for another season of art and activism.
Athena Turek hails from Northern Nevada. Originally a devout thespian who trained at the New Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, she discovered a love of dance in joining her high school dance team and continued to dance through out college. Following college, while on a Fulbright grant in Luxembourg, Athena was cast as an actress and dancer in a couple of musicals, participated in contemporary dance performances at events sponsored by the local university, and most importantly discovered the power of dance in creating social change by working with a contemporary group that sought to bring refugees and members of the greater community together in order to form bonds and communicate experiences through dance. As a former ACLU research intern with a degree specialization in Middle Eastern politics and conflict resolution, this felt particularly impactful, and it was this academic history that drew her to Artivism upon moving to New Orleans. Athena is excited to join Artivism for her first season, as well as take on the role of Volunteer Coordinator.
Tyler "Sho-Ked" Wilson
A native of Baldwin, Louisiana, Tyler Wilson has danced all his life and specializes in Hip Hop dance. He frequently travels to New York City to study with the pioneers of Hip Hop culture and is passionate about keeping the roots of the art form alive. Tyler has performed with the Rhythm & Soul Group for the last ten years teaching the youth of Louisiana positive outlooks through dance. When he is not doing Hip Hop, he also performs Boylesque under the name Phathoms Deep and works with Fleur de Tease, Big Deal Burlesuque, and Boom Boom Burlesque.
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