Momar Ndiaye (he/him) is an international performer, choreographer, teacher, and videographer from Senegal. In 2017, he received his MFA in Dance from the University of Illinois and the Bruno Nettl Award for excellence in choreography. Ndiaye has created and toured staged dance performances and choreographed for music videos with his company Cadanses since 2004 and was a full-time dancer in the international dance company Premier Temp from 2008 to 2014. Currently Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University, Ndiaye's research focuses on the effects of Negritude, interculturalism, globalization, and colonialism on the “performance of daily life” in Senegal and Africa at large and its subsequent impact on traditional patrimonial dances and staged dance. This is Ndiaye’s second project with Abby Z and the New Utility.
Fiona Lundie (she/her) is a movement artist and cognitive scientist interested in what is vital about how and why we move, what form it takes, and how it shapes our perspective. She has explored movement on land, air, fluid water, and frozen water all her life through dance from 3, skiing from 5, synchronized swimming from 8, flying trapeze, springboard diving, and snowboarding. Lundie holds a BA in Cognitive Science (Dartmouth College) and an MFA in Dance (The Ohio State University). She’s a founding member of Abby Z and the New Utility and performed with the STREB Extreme Action Company.
Jennifer Meckley (she/they) attempts to emphasize the benefits of training in African American vernacular dance techniques through performing, teaching, and choreography. Moreover, her identity as a gay gender non-conforming person motivates the content for her work. Meckley obtained a BA in Dance from Slippery Rock University and an MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University. She served as faculty at West Chester University, Cuyahoga Community College, Northampton Community College, and the University of Dayton. Meckley is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Ball State University and is a founding member of Abby Z and the New Utility.
Alex Gossen (he/him) started dancing after being bitten by a radioactive headspin in 2011. To keep the rest of his origin story secret and his family safe from those who oppose thought-provoking dance, he moved to Brooklyn, NY, in 2019 to be a freelance dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Little else is known about this eccentric and mysterious human, except that he dances for Abby Z and the New Utility.
Kashia Kancey (she/her) earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from New World School of the Arts. While in school, she performed works by Robert Battle, Ohad Naharin, Mark Morris, and more. Kancey has performed in spaces like New York Live Arts, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, MDC Live Arts Theater, Perez Art Museum, Miami History Museum, and the Ailey Citigroup Theater. She has worked with Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre and is currently working with Adele Myers and Dancers and Abby Z and the New Utility. Kancey is now based in Brooklyn, NY.
Benjamin Roach (he/him) is a movement artist and educator based in Southeast Ohio. In 2018 he received a BFA in Dance from Ohio University. Following graduation, Benjamin completed an artist internship with The Yard. He performed for the internal company Dance the Yard as well as Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre. In 2019, alongside Caitlin Morgan, Benjamin co-founded the multidisciplinary duo Piug Dance Theatre. The two have presented their comedic duets at various NYC venues. In addition to working with Abby Z and The New Utility, Benjamin has collaborated with artists Joshua Dumas, DZ Maciel, and JACKS and is in current creative practice with Ani Javian.
jinsei sato (he/they/she) was born in Japan and grew up in Taiwan. They participated in summer intensives at Backhaus Dance, ADF (2014, 2019), Jose Limón Dance, White Mountain Summer Dance Festival, and Peggy Baker Dance Projects. In 2016, jinsei was awarded the Director’s Talent Scholarship Award to attend the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She attended Camping at Centre National de la Danse in France and worked with Damien Jalet and João Fiadeiro. They have since finished a BFA in Dance and have performed works by Jesse Zaritt, Sidra Bell, Bobbi Jene Smith, Kaneza Schaal, Doug Varone, and Juel D Lane.
Jon Harper (he/they) is a NYC-based lighting designer and also the Managing Director of Abrons Arts Center, part of Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side. In lighting, he has toured in the past as the lighting supervisor for Pilobolus, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, PS122, and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. He is married to the inimitable Madeline Best, a lighting designer herself and Director of Production at the Chocolate Factory Theater, with whom he shares the distinct joy of parenting two amazing kiddos.
Conor Thiele (he/him) is a visual artist and collaborator who is driven by the unlimited potential of live performance. Based out of NYC, Conor is an alumni of The Juilliard apprenticeship program and was recently accepted to the Boston University MFA program for Lighting Design. Select credits include Adelphi Dance Showcase (Adelphi University), The House of Legendary (The Seagle Festival), and Children of Eden (Bayway Arts Center). He would like to thank all the people in his life for their support and encouragement.
Matthew Peyton Dixon (he/him) has been performing and writing music professionally since 16, first playing percussion with the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps. Matthew received a BA in Percussion Performance at the University of North Texas in 2009. He has accompanied and composed for dance at the University of North Texas (2007-2016), Texas Woman’s University (2010-2016), Denison University (since 2016), American Dance Festival (since 2016) and The Ohio State University (since 2018). Dixon tours extensively and has composed over 40 works for dance, has 7 solo albums, many album recordings with bands, and 4 volumes of poetry. This is his first collaboration with Abby Z and the New Utility.