Meet Our 2022/2023
Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner, Visiting Guest Artist
Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner is a choreographer and dance educator committed to inclusion, representation and social consciousness in both pedagogy and creative practice. She received her B.F.A. at the University of Minnesota, and her M.F.A. as an Advanced Opportunity Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. She has served as the Choreographer in Residence for the Minnesota Dance Theater and is a four- time winner of the Arizona Choreography Competition’s Professional Division. Original works by Gutierrez-Garner have been commissioned by numerous colleges and universities across the U.S. Additionally, she has enjoyed commissions by professional companies including the Minnesota Dance Theater, Dulce Dance Company, Eclectic Edge Ensemble, Zenon Dance Company and Los Angeles based Jazz Antiqua. Gutierrez-Garner’s work has seen support from organizations such as the Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Walker Art Center, the Arizona Commission on the Arts and Lane Arts Council. She is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Western Oregon University and is the Artistic Director of Company Movimiento, based in Eugene, OR. Cynthia will be premiering her new jazz work Holding Pattern created for Concerto Dance this season.
Steve Rooks, Visiting Guest Artist
Steve Rooks began his dance training in Washington D.C. with Jan Van Dyke and Greg Reynolds. After graduating with honors from Dartmouth College, he continued his training in New York City as a scholarship student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. Mr. Rooks has danced and toured with the Greg Reynolds Dance Quintet, the Mary Anthony Dance Theater, Peter Sparling, Dancer's Eye, and the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, where he performed classic works by Ailey, Donald McKayle, Talley Beatty, and Ulysses Dove. He joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in the summer of 1981, and was a Principal Dancer with the company until 1991. In October 1989, Mr. Rooks solo, Outside was selected to be presented in the New Choreographers series during the Graham Company's fall season at the City Center Theater in New York, and one of his works, Cool River became a part of that company's 1996-1997 Repertory after its World Premiere at Lincoln Center in August 1996. Mr. Rooks is currently Resident Choreographer and Associate Professor of Dance at Vassar College, and was a founding faculty member of the Dance Degree Program at Howard University. He is also a Guest Instructor at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham Schools of Dance. He was a 2001 Artist-in-Residence at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and has been a member of the International Association of Blacks in Dance. Mr. Rooks has taught internationally at several dance festivals and as a guest instructor for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Florida Dance Masters, the Masterworks Festival, Ballet Nacional de Mexico, the American Academy of Ballet, the Houston Ballet, and the Symposium on Dance at Yale University. Mr. Rooks will be premiering a new modern work set to music by composer Alberto Ginastera on Concerto Dance this season.