Dance Faculty Listing
Assistant Professor of Dance
BA, Women’s Studies, Columbia University, School of General Studies
MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College, VT
Elena Comendador joined the ballet faculty of Marymount Manhattan College’s Dance Department as an adjunct professor in 1998 and was awarded the Teacher Recognition Award in 2008.
Prior to joining the Dance Department, Ms. Comendador was on the ballet faculty of The Ailey School. Appointed as Co-Director of the Junior Division Program from 1996-2001, she continued to serve as a faculty advisor for the Certificate Program and assisted in recruitment activities for the School. She consistently received recognition from The National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts for her excellence in teaching dance in the high school level from 1996-2004.
Besides teaching ballet, Ms. Comendador is an interdisciplinary artist. An established costume designer for dance, she has designed for Ailey II, Colorado Ballet, Complexions, Connecticut Ballet, Montgomery Ballet, ABT II, Philadanco, The Limon Dance Company, Morphoses and various solo artists. She was also a teaching artist in costume design for American Ballet Theater’s Make a Ballet Program. Politically active, Ms. Comendador co-founded DanceLife Productions, a non-profit organization devoted to breast cancer awareness and advocacy through the arts.
Ms. Comendador trained in both classical ballet and Horton technique. She began her professional dance career at the age of 16, performing with Dayton Ballet, Hartford Ballet, The Feld Ballet, Joyce Trisler Danscompany, Alabama/Ballet South and Connecticut Ballet. Her musical theater credits include The King and I for Papermill Playhouse and Maine State Music Theater, Funny Feet, An Off-Broadway Musical at the Lamb’s Theater and Brigadoon for New England Lyric Operetta.
Ms. Comendador completed her BA degree in Women’s Studies at Columbia University’s School of General Studies, and her MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College.
Costume designer, “i.n.k , “ and “WHITE;” both pieces by choreographer Jessica Lang. Jessica Lang Dance, Joyce Soho, July 2011.
Costume reconstruction, “La Cathedrale Engloutie” Jiri Kylian., choreographer. Limon Dance Company at Gerald W. Lynch Theater, John Jay College, NY, June 2011.
Choreographer, “Primavera” Junior Division Ballet 6/7 – The Junior Division Concert, Hostos Community College May 2011.
Costume designer, “Discongio” Robert Moses, choreographer. Ailey II at Ailey Citigroup Theater, New York, April 2011.
Costume designer, “The Corner” Kyle Abraham, choreographer. Ailey II at Ailey Citigroup Theater, New York, April 2011.
Costume designer, “Cities of Desire” Adria Ferrali, choreographer. Montgomery Ballet, Davis Theater, Montgomery Ala., February 2011.
Costume designer, “Carmina Burana” Elie Lazar, choreographer. Montgomery Ballet, Davis Theater, Montgomery Ala., October 2010.
Choreographer, “Variations in Yellow and Black,” Marymount Manhattan College Dance Department , December 2009.
Associate Professor of Dance
B.A. in Dance, Marymount Manhattan College
M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College, VT
Anthony Ferro is known internationally as a passionate and motivational dance instructor. Here at MMC, he encourages each student to embrace the information outlined in their liberal arts studies so that they may transform those experiences into a deepened artistic expression. Professor Ferro’s career spans over forty years in the fields of classical ballet and modern dance, theatre, opera, film and video. His solo credits include the companies of Twyla Tharp, Louis Falco, Dennis Wayne, Kazuko Hirabiyashi as well as The Metropolitan Opera and The Atlanta Ballet. Artistic Director to the companies of Dance South, Atlanta, and Ballet Midland, Texas, he founded the Dance Department for the Fine Arts Division of Midland College. Professor Ferro also served as resident choreographer for Theatre Thalia and taught at the Balett Akademien in Gothenburg, Sweden (1989-1996). He holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College, Vermont, and a BA in Dance from MMC, where he has been a faculty member since 1997. Professor Ferro began his concert dance training with instructor Patricia Heigel-Tanner at Pennsylvania State University and later joined The Juilliard School’s Dance Division under the tutelage of Alfredo Corvino, Hector Zaraspe and Daniel Lewis. His extensive contributions to community-based outreach programs earned him awards from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Performer/Choreographer, “Under-Friction” - new solo work with score composed by Annie Gosfield: Merce Cunningham Studio. West Village, NY. January 2009.
Performer, “Belasco Duet” - in James Sutton.Anthony Ferro/Dances with score composed by Lionel Belasco and choreographed by New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Associate Arts Professor James Sutton: Merce Cunningham Studio. January 2009.
Choreographer, “Red Wagon” - originally conceived in 1981 and re-staged at Midland Festival Ballet, Texas. Medley of songs from 1930’s Big Band era. Ballet was granted Gala status by adjudicator Soili Arvola for Regional Dance America / Southwest performances. Sugarland, TX. March 2009.
Choreographer, “Say April” - new chamber work staged for BA Dance majors at Marymount Manhattan College Dance Department’s Dancer at Work series with score by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Great Hall at MMC. April 2009.
Professor of Dance and Chair, Dance Department
B.A., Marymount Manhattan College, Valedictorian 1990
Katie Langan (Artistic Director/Chair of Dance) teaches advanced levels of Ballet and Pointe, is a frequent choreographer for the Department’s fall concert series, and is the Artistic Director of the Dance Department’s semi-annual performance series. Under Ms. Langan’s tenure, this performance series has grown from an in-studio presentation of works by faculty and student choreographers to a major dance event featuring new and restaged works by America’s most noted choreographers.
In addition to her work at Marymount, Ms. Langan taught company class for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for over three years and after several years continues to teach advanced levels for the Ailey School summer program. She has also taught for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, NYCDA, Dance Space, NYU Tisch, and Ballet Maestro along with Master Classes for the Connecticut Performing Arts Center and others. Lectures for Broadway Dance Center’s Teacher Conference have included How to Teach a Good Barre, Why Go to College, How to Teach Fondus and To the Pointe. Ms. Langan has also written several articles for Dancer Magazine including the cover stories, From Studio, To College, To Stage: The Importance of Modern Dance Training in March 2008 and The Spectrum of Contemporary Ballet – Giving Your Students a Leg Up in August of the same year.
Ms. Langan received her dance training at the North Carolina School of the Arts, American Ballet Theatre and the School of American Ballet. Before coming to Marymount, Ms. Langan performed with numerous companies including the Boston Repertory Company, New York City Opera, William Carter Dance Ensemble, the Zurich Ballet, Chamber Ballet USA, New Jersey Ballet and Twyla Tharp. She had the opportunity to work directly with Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, Anthony Tudor, Billy Forsythe, Rudi van Dan Zieg, Gelsey Kirkland, Eleanor D’Antuano and Brian McDonald to name a few. After retiring from performance, Ms. Langan studied art and design at MMC and received her B.A., summa cum laude, in 1990 when she graduated as class valedictorian. With over twenty ballets created, her 1995 ballet, Akhmatova, was asked to be a part of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts video archive in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
Ms. Langan currently serves on the Board of Directors of Parsons Dance, as a judge for DRA’s Dancin’ Downtown at The Joyce and recently served on the Princess Grace Foundation—USA 2010 Dance and Choreography Panel. She is certified in the ABT National Training Curriculum® through Level 5.
Langan, Katie. “Working with Ballet Syllabi; The Skinny on Ballet Certifications.” Dancer Magazine. Dancer Publishing Co., Inc. New York, NY. December 2008: Feature Story 82-84.
A Call to Arms: Dance Education.” Dancer Magazine. Dancer Publishing Co., Inc. New York, NY. November 2008: Feature Story 96-98.
Finis Jhung, & Jennifer Ringer. “Words of Advice.” Pointe Magazine. Macfadden Performing Arts Media LLC. New York, NY. October/November 2008: 50.
Going Live – a 5, 6, 7, 8!” Dancer Magazine. Dancer Publishing Co., Inc. New York, NY. October 2008: Feature Story 118-122.
Rennie Harris – Sharing the Hip-Hip Legacy.” Dancer Magazine. Dancer Publishing Co., Inc. New York, NY. September 2008: Feature Story 142-144.
Studio For Rent.” Dancer Magazine. Dancer Publishing Co., Inc. New York, NY. September 2008: Feature Story 120-122.
Contemporary Ballet: Giving Your Dancers A Leg Up.” Dancer Magazine. Dancer Publishing Co., Inc. New York, NY. August 2008: Cover Story 110-117.
Lecturer. "Preparing Your Dancer for College." Broadway Dance Center's Teacher Workshop. Sheraton New York Hotel and Tower. New York, NY. July 7, 2008.
Choreographer. “Tides II.” Score Constructed on a Macintosh Centris 650 using Studio Vision 3.0. Arrangement by Sergio Garcia-Marruz, Katie Langan, & Saul Spangenberg. Marymount Manhattan College Faculty Concert: Theresa Lang Theatre. New York, NY, December 4-6, 2008.
Artist-in-Residence, Dance (O'Donnell)
B.A., Adelphi University
Nancy performed as a soloist with the May O'Donnell Dance Company for over 15 years. She has danced with the Joyce Tirsler Danscompany, Theatre Dance Collection, Verlezza Dance, as well as in Leonard Bernstein's Mass at the Kennedy Center. She has appeared on television and in print for Danskin. She is Currently on the faculty at MMC and Montclair State University, and is the Artistic Director of the Dance in Education Fund, Inc.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance
M.A., New York University
Ph.D, Temple University
Carl Paris holds a Ph.D. in Dance Theory and Cultural Studies (Temple University) and a Master’s Degree in Dance and Dance Education (NYU). He has performed major roles with Olatunji African Dance, Eleo Pomare, Martha Graham, and Alvin Ailey. Carl Paris has taught in Spain and throughout Europe and he received the Dance Association of Madrid Award in 1995 for his contribution to dance in Spain where he maintained his own dance company, participated on various panels, and gave lectures on dance pedagogy and dance history. Carl Paris has taught and choreographed at the California Institute of the Arts, the Alvin Ailey Repertory Company, the Fiorella La Guardia High School of the Performing Arts, as well as works for several Alvin Ailey Summer Workshops in NYC. He has also taught dance education at New York University, dance, gender and composition at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, dance history at Long Island University and Drexel University, and African American Studies at John J. College of Criminal Justice. Dr. Paris has published various articles on African Americans in modern dance, and he is working on a book of essays that will examine issues of black males and representation in contemporary dance.
Assistant Professor of Dance
BFA, State University of New York, College at Purchase, MFA, Hollins College
Tami Stronach, heralded as a “choreographic doctor of the human condition” is well-known for creating piercing, inventive dances about the search for connection. Since the formation of her company in 2000, Tami Stronach Dance (TSD) has been commissioned and presented by more than 20 venues in NYC including Danspace Project at St. Marks Church, Dance Theater Workshop, Joyce Soho, PS122, Here Art Center, Dance New Amsterdam, La MaMa Etc., The Flea, and Movement Research at Judson Church, among others. TSD has toured to venues throughout the US and internationally to England, Australia, and Mexico with upcoming invitations to Russia and Trinidad. She is also regularly commissioned to choreograph for plays and musical theater.
As a teacher Stronach has been a regular contributor in the modern dance guest artist series at Dance New Amsterdam, and she has been a guest instructor at universities including Princeton, SUNY Purchase, Long Island University, Bennigton College, Alfred University, the University of Florida, and the University of Michigan. She also has worked as a Teaching Artist for Lincoln Center Institute and continues to be a consultant for The New York City Ballet Education Department. She holds a B.F.A. in Dance from SUNY Purchase College and an M.F.A. in Dance from ADF/Hollins University.
In her performing career, she danced with Neta Pulvermacher, Kate Weare, Monica Bill Barnes and was a member of the internationally acclaimed physical theater company The Flying Machine.
Recent Productions (2010): Actor: “Goodby Cruel World”. Adapted by Robert Ross Parker from Nikolai Erdman's The Suicide, Arclight Theater
Choreographer: “Me and Not Me” American Dance Festival, Reynolds Industries Theater
Choreographer: “But It’s For You”. Irondale Center, Flicfest Festival
Choreographer: “Birds!” Ramapo College: Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts
Choreographer: “Mother Tongue”. Wild Project, as part of the Between The Seas Festival
Associate Professor of Music and Dance, Music Director
B.A., Wesleyan University
M.F.A., New York University
ANDREW WARSHAW is Associate Professor of Music and Dance at Marymount Manhattan College. He is a composer, writer and former dancer whose music and lyrics for theater and dance have premiered at the Zellerbach Theater, Lincoln Center, Dance Theater Workshop in New York, and many other venues. His collaborators have included director/writer George C. Wolfe, playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, CONTRABAND, choreographers Stephan Koplowitz, Randy Warshaw, and Yoshiko Chuma, and film maker Richard Schlesinger. Warshaw's current project, The Sparks, The Ringing, an opera about an African-American musicologist with a Hasidic son, has been given support by many foundations and the New York State Council on the Arts, with major sections performed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Over the past year Warshaw has been writing about, speaking about, and performing what he calls Locomotion-Encoded Musical Patterns (LEMPS), a conceptualization of musicians' physical movements as fundamental elements of musical organization. Presentations include the Music and Evolutionary Thought Conference of the Centre for Music and Science of Cambridge University and The Institute for Advanced Study at Durham University, as well as the Philoctetes Center and the Music of the Spheres Society in New York. For this work he is a finalist for the 2009 Thatcher Hoffman Smith Prize.
Warshaw has an ongoing involvement with African-related musics, including work in W. Africa as a producer of the NPR series Afropop, a long essay on W. African music and politics called Guinea Dreams, published in The Gettysburg Review, and an ongoing collaboration with Gambian kora player Salieu Suso for The Sparks, The Ringing. He has taught at New York University, Lincoln Center Institute, Carnegie Hall, and Touro College, and has worked as a consultant in arts education for the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Warshaw holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. from New York University.
Musical Creatures: How Vertebrate Locomotion Shapes Human Music. The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of the Imagination. New York, NY. October 28, 2008.
Warshaw, Andrew and William Moulton. Making Music with Developmental Movement Patterns. 15th Annual Conference of the International Guild of Musicians in Dance. Florida State University. March 7, 2009.