Merlin Benneth – dancer
Merlin Benneth first discovered his love of the dance floor at the age of 10 when he began taking ballet lessons at Laurelhurst Dance Studio. Desiring more, he spent the next three years training at Oregon Ballet Theater, as well enrolling in da Vinci Arts Middle School’s dance program. After taking a break to pursue other forms of art, he returned to the dance floor in 2012 and now vigorously continues his dance training in the Pre-Professional Dance Program at Classical Ballet Academy under the direction of Sarah and Anna Rigles, where he has performed leading roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Twelve Dancing Princesses, and The Phantom of the Opera. Merlin joined Agnieszka Laska Dancers in 2014.

Allie FahsholzAllie Fahsholz – dancer
Allie Fahsholz, originally from Eugene, Oregon earned her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Western Oregon University. She has been training in dance since the age of 5 at various academies and studios throughout Oregon. Her training includes idioms such as ballet, modern, West African, jazz, hip-hop, improvisation, and composition. She has studied and participated in workshops with Martha Graham Dance Company, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Garth Fagan Dance, Lucinda Child’s Company, Amy O’Neil, TEETH, as well as multiple International artists through a Seattle summer program. Allie has been a guest performer with the Eugene Ballet Company, Dance Theater of Oregon, and has performed various works from choreographers such as Jodi Melnick, Margo Van Ummerson, and Daryl Thomas. Allie is an innovative choreographer who enjoys exploring real-life social issues in her work, such as the oppression of women abused in sex trafficking and the realities of war. She joined Agnieszka Laska Dancers in 2012 for the Broken Flowers project.
Sharon LaneSharon Lane – dancer
Sharon started dancing at the age of 10 at the YMCA in Salem, OR, with Widad Farren. At 16, she became a member of the Classic Tap Performing Company in Keizer, OR. At 18, Sharon decided to pursue ballet and moved to American Ballet Academy in Salem, OR under Annie Josling (Orwick). At 21 Sharon became a Trainee at the Portland Festival Ballet under Artistic Director, John Magnus. She continues to dance at PFB. In addition to her dance training, Sharon has also taught ballet and jazz throughout the years at various studios. She is absolutely thrilled and honored to be a part of the Agnieszka Laska Dancers. She joined Agnieszka Laska Dancers in 2012 for the Broken Flowers project.
Heidi Nelson Heidi Nelson – dancer
Heidi Nelson, a native Oregonian, has been dancing since she was 12 years old. As a Jefferson Dancer, she studied and performed for may top dance companies including Arthur Mitchell of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Honey Coles and Brenda Bufalino tap masters and Edward Villella of the New York City Ballet. She has also studied master classes in New York with Luigi for Jazz and Maggie Black for Ballet. Heidi has performed in musical theater productions around Portland including Jesus Christ Superstar and Applause. She continued studying and performing dance at Portland State University where she earned her Bachelor Degree. Heidi has been dancing for Agnieszka Laska since the very first performance in 2003 and has been given the opportuntity to continue to perform and dance, which is what she loves most. Heidi gives her utmost thanks to her loving family & friends for supporting all of her artistic endeavors.
Lauren RichmondLauren Michelle Sprague – dancer
Lauren Michelle Sprague graduated from Portland State University in the Spring of 2007 with a BA in Communications and a Minor in Dance. Lauren was formerly a member of Polaris 2 (Polaris Dance Theatre), Kinetic Images Dance Company, and Legacy Dance Company. She has performed in local collaboration projects with: Les Watanabe, Lavinia Magliocco, Melissa St. Clair, Theresa Koon’s Promise opera, Opera Theater Oregon’s Cunning Little Vixen by Clara Weishahn and Erica Melton, and XX Digitus Duo’s rendition of Debussy’s Six Epigraphes Romantique (Debussy: Revolutionized, 2015) and Roque Cordero (20 Frames Per Second, 2016). Lauren performed for two years in Portland Festival Ballet’s Trainee Company, directed by John Magnus, the former Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. Before that Lauren graduated from Classical Ballet Academy’s pre-professional ballet school in June of 2009 under the direction of Sarah Rigles and accepted a position as a ballet teacher, modern dance, improvisation, and stretch & conditioning instructor contributing 40+ original choreographic works of art. Lauren joined ALD in August 2011 while guest performing the “Woman” solo from the company’s Lamentatio repertory becoming a soloist and collaborating on her lead roles in Chopin Project, Broken Flowers, and was most notably publicized for her role as “The Chosen One” in The Rite of Spring Centenary (2013) with the PSU Symphony and guest performance with the Chicago Philharmonic (2013 Inaugural Concert). Lauren has also enjoyed touring abroad to Mexico and Poland with ALD Company.
Sophie Stensvad – dancer
Sophie Stensvad was born in Portland and fell in love with dance at the age of 4. She has studied ballet, contemporary, jazz, and modern dance at Classical Ballet Academy under the guidance of Anna and Sarah Rigles, and attended San Francisco Conservatory of Dance’s 2013 and 2014 Summer Intensives to train with renowned choreographers such as Summer Lee Rhatigan, Christian Burns, and Alex Ketley. Sophie is currently in her final year of high school and hopes to continue dancing in college and beyond. She joined ALDancers in June of 2015.
Jack GabelJack Gabel – resident composer & technical director
Jack Gabel’s concert hall works are performed internationally. For 20 years he’s run the North Pacific Music record label. For the past 10 years he’s Resident Composer and Technical Director for Agnieszka Laska Dancers. Though classically trained with composers Derek Healey, Tomas Svoboda and poet Ralph Salisbury, Gabel recounts as his most memorable musical experience, the impromptu jam session he had with an Afghan tribesman in a Herat tea house in 1972 — the composer on mouth organ and the local talent holding forth on his handmade, rough-hewn, 3-string lute. The two miraculously found a common modality straight away and carried on for several hours. “No concert-hall premiere or recording session can to date compare,” adds the composer, “nor likely ever will.” Today, Gabel’s work is infused with widely varied ethnic and ancient colors and motives, most notably those of the ancient, native cultures of North America..

We honor all our past dancers and collaborators – we are grateful for your artistic contribution.


DANCERS: Kelsey Adams, Sissy Dawson, Karissa Dean, Allie Fahsholz, Sharon Lane, Nikki Leopold, Heidi Nelson, Lauren Richmond, Amelia Unsicker, Christina Wolken, Niqi Cavanaugh, Gentry Fielder, Jonathan Garza
guest dancers: Jorge Ronzon – by the courtesy of Contemporary Dance Production Center (CEPRODAC), Mexico, Natalie Cheechov, Sophie Marcus, Maddox Dancers Little Ballet Theatre

PSU Symphony Orchestra – Ken Selden conducting
Chicago Philharmonic – Scott Speck conducting
Jeffrey Payne and Susan Smith – piano / Rite of Spring
Ruta Kuzmickas – piano / Chopin Project
Igor Lipinski – piano / Chopin Project

Andrzej Krukowski – actor / Chopin Project


DANCERS: Niqi Cavanaugh, Sissy Dawson, Karissa Dean, Allie Fahsholz, Timothy Johnson, Sharon Lane, Heidi Nelson, Lauren Richmond, Marcella Sweeney, Richard Sokpor


DANCERS: Allegra Carlson, Cady Cox, Courtney Coughlin, Heidi Nelson, Nick Cavanaugh, Keyon Gaskin, Lauren Richmond, Marcella Sweeney + guest artist: Kristine Anderson
CIUDAD INTERIOR (MEXICO) Claudia Izquierdo, Isabel Carapia, Felipe Escalante, Isaac Santana, Mariano Aviles, Alejandro Chávez, Nalleli Guarneros and Isabel Aguerrebere.
CHOREOGRAPHER: Alejandro Chavez


DANCERS: Claudia Izquierdo, Luis Arreguin, Alejandro Chavez, Jorge Ronzon


DANCERS: Allegra Carlson, Nick Cavanaugh, Cerrin Lathrop, Heidi Nelson, Dinita Nicole, Michelle Rogers, Richard Sokpor, Kristine Anderson, MJ Richardson
DANSCOREO (MEXICO) Eleanne Anguiano, Guadalupe Godinez, Leticia Mendoza, Carlo Somera, Raul Salazar
IMPETUS ARTS: Kathy Coleman, Isaiahe Jackson, Susan Poznyansky Jackson + guest: Cerrin Lathrop
THE TUESDAY GROUP: Jan Carpenter, Carlton Grew, Don Kern, Wayne Haythorn, Anet Ris-Kelman
MUSICIANS: Nancy Wood – vocal, Brook – piano, Paul Safar – piano, Ashia Grzesik – cello, Inés Voglar – violin, Tomas Svoboda – piano,
MUSICIANS in Lamentatio production: Keith Clark – conductor, Nancy Wood – solo soprano, Diane Chaplin, solo cello: cellos: Emma Wood, Sonja Mykebust, Glen Choen; contrabass – Clint O’Brien; violin – Charles Johnson;
sopranos: Sue McDowell, Elinor Frieberg, Maria Karlin, Lee Hopkins, Jean Murray; baritiones: Carlo Antinucci, Scott Corbett, Kris Dyer, Ken Skach-Mills, Josh Lucas, Cameron Boe; bass: Konstantin Kvach, Clayton Morgareidge, John McAnulty, Alex Lundquist, Jacob Veristain
VIDEO: Takafumi Uehara


DANCERS: Alison Camp, Allegra Carlson, Heidi Nelson, Nick Cavanaugh, Richard Sokpor, MJ Richardson, Kristine Anderson, Michelle Rogers, Sumi Wu, Tim Dudley, Shakir Najieb, Shelly Misevch
DANSCOREO (MEXICO) Guadelupe Godinez, Leticia Mendoza, Eleanne Anguiano, Carlo Somera, Humberto Serrano
DANCING PEOPLE COMPANY: Emily Abrahams, Veronica DeWitt, Alonzo Lee Moore IV
MUSICIANS: The Dickson String Quartet, Christopher Schindler, Joel Bluestone, Jung Wan, Inés Voglar, Nancy Wood, Paul Safer, Jeff Winslow, Gary Noland, Chris Schindler, Edison Tsai, Justin Kagan – cello, Josh Weissenborn – cello, Gary Noland – piano


DANCERS: Alison Camp, Allegra Carlson, Nick Cavanaugh, Luella Davis, Shelly Misevch, Heidi Nelson, Michelle Rogers, Olya Surtis,
guest artists: Luciana Proaño, Dar Butler, Don Kern, Wayne Haythorn, Eric Zimmer
Las Pleyades Danza Contemporanea (MEXICO): Citlali Zamudio, Karla Rabling, John Cordero, Rodrigo Zozaya, Luis Arreguín
Phffft! Dance Theatre Company: Lauren Ehnebuske, Chris McCallister; CHOREOGRAPHER: Cyrus Khambatta
Traduza Dance Company: Valéria Ball, Katie Brown, Alonzo Lee Moore IV, Romina de los Santos, Charmaine Gaffrey, Jennifer Loghry, April Hill; CHOREOGRAPHER: Valéria Ball
VIDEO: Takafumi Uehara
MUSICIANS: Nancy Wood – vocal, Paul Safar, Cary Lewis, gary Noland, Kaori Noland – piano, Tessa Brinckman, Dawn Weiss – flute, Justin Kagan – cello, Lori Presthus – cello, Siberian Chamber Orchestra Quartet, Wielkopolski Kwartet


DANCERS: Alison Camp, Allegra Carlson, Patricia Germann, Heidi Nelson, Taryn Johnson, Nick Cavanaugh, Amber Davis, Kristen Overbay
Las Pleyades Danza Contemporanea (MEXICO): Rayito Citlali Zamudio, Carlota Desiree, Karla Rabling, Luis Arreguín
VIDEO: Takafumi Uehara
MUSICIANS: Oregon Symphony String Quartet: Chien Tan – violin, treble violin; Amy Schwartz-Moretti – violin; Joel Belgique – viola; Nancy Ives – cello. Guest cellist: Justin Kagan, Jerry Bobbe – cello, Maria Choban, Cary Lewis – piano, Dorothy Lewis – cello


DANCERS: Alison Camp, Amber Davis, Taryn Johnson, Heidi Welter, Kristen Overbay, Jenya Lum, Jodie Hurley, Melanie Linker, Sumi Wu, Naomi Miller, Shakir Najieb + Raquel Valdes, Kailea Lake, Hannah Welter, Audrey, Amy Philips, Raquel Valdes
MUSICIANS: Tessa Brinckman & East West Continuo, Adam Esbensen, Phil Hansen, Janet Coleman, Joel Belgique


DANCERS: Alison Camp, Amber Davis, Jodie Hurley, Taryn Johnson, Naomi Miller, Melanie Linker, Heidi Welter, Sumi Wu, Nick Cavanaugh, Shakir Najieb + Sobotka + Hannah Welter, Andrew Berkowitz, Joseph Linker, Wid Prajugo
MUSICIANS: Phil Hansen, Fear No Music, Diane Syrcle, Marilyn Shotola, Stan Stanford, PSU Percussion Ensemble directed by Joel Bluestone


DANCERS: Taryn Johnson, Dana Loewen, Stefanie Gross, Heidi Welter, Sumi Wu, Jennifer Kirkpatrick, Morgan Webert, Amber Davis, Brad Cleary, Shakir Najieb, Coleen Farnum, Michelle Ainza + Laura Shotola, Evan Halbert, A-WOL (Brandy, Jen, Julie, Stacey), Sobotka
MUSICIANS: Trio Spektrum: Tomas Svoboda, Marilyn Shotola, Stan Stanford; Richard Freeman-Toole, Tessa Brinckman

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