Tsunami Dance Company, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2002, is a New Orleans-based modern dance company incorporating athletic, innovative movement with a dynamic, contemporary style in its original works. Tsunami endeavors to be a high-quality modern dance company for the city of New Orleans by offering regular performances of insightful choreography, skilled dancing, and collaborations with artists of other genres. Our mission is to provide quality dance experiences as a means of enriching the New Orleans community through:
- Providing economic empowerment to dance artists through employment as performers, choreographers and teachers
- Raising awareness and access to the cultural arts through modern dance
Yearly programming includes self-produced company concerts, performances in community arts events and national dance festivals, guest artist residencies, and community master classes. Over the past ten years Tsunami Dance has presented the choreography of Kettye Voltz, John Allen, Nicole Boyd-Buckels, Michaela Cannon, Diogo De Lima, Jeffery Gunshol, Erin Healan, Scott Heron, Maritza Mercado-Narcisse, Anna Morris, and Tierney St John. Collaborators have included local musicians The Quaalords, Morella and the Wheels Of If and visual and media artists Denny Juge, Jeff Louviere, Vanessa Brown, Ryan Dufrene, and Andrew Wade Smith.
The 2013 company members include John Allen, Cristine Barona, Mary Glackmeyer, Frances Gremillion, Eric Thielman and Kettye Voltz with guest artists Donna Crump, Anna Schwab, Anne Tangi, Diogo De Lima, Brianna Nowlin, and Marion Spencer, and Apprentices Natalie Gotter and Nikki Kleinberger. Collaborating artists include Louviere + Vanessa and musician Eric Laws.
Co-Founder / Artistic Director / Choreographer
is the co-founder and artistic director of New Orleans based Tsunami Dance. Her choreography has been performed locally in Tsunami Dance Company’s concerts Fast Forward, GO, Match, Orpheus, Portraits in a Forgotten City, Fugitive, Street of Crocodiles, Dreams of Oblivion, Covers, and Ghostwalk. In addition to her choreography for Tsunami, Kettye has presented works for the DUMBO Dance Festival, Wave Rising Series, Cool New York Dance Festival, The Louisiana Dance Festival, Cangelosi Dance Project, Happensdance, New Orleans Fringe Festival, A Confederacy of Dances, Dramarama, and as a guest artist with Southeastern Louisiana University and the Contemporary Dance South Conference.
She was invited to present her choreography at the Governors Arts Awards and in a promotional fashion video for New Orleans based clothing designer Seema Sudan for her Winter 2009 collection. She is a three-time co-recipient of the Big Easy Classical Arts Award for Best Modern Dance Production, GO, Orpheus, and Portraits in a Forgotten City, as well as a three-time nominee for Best Original Choreography for Banco Ballante, Mi Corazon and Ego-Tripping at the Gates of Hell. She is the 2008 Louisiana Division of the Arts fellowship recipient in choreography. Kettye was named one of Gambit Weekly Magazine’s “40 Under 40” for her work with Tsunami and the arts community of New Orleans.
Kettye’s involvement in local arts organizations has also included participation on the selection committees for the New Orleans Fringe Festival and A Studio In The Woods, and as a grants panelist for the Louisiana Division of the Arts, and the Arts Council of New Orleans. She has received funding from the Jazz and Heritage Foundation, The Cultural Economy Foundation, The Louisiana Division of the Arts, The Arts Council of New Orleans, and the World Cultural Economic Foundation. In 2010 she was invited to be an artist on the Southern Artistry circuit, and in 2013 she was elected Vice-President of the Dance Alliance of New Orleans.
is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Tulane University. He is a resident choreographer and creative consultant with Tsunami Dance Company.
John has performed with the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Stephen Koester and Dancers and danced in original works by Doug Varone, Sean Curran and Daniel Ezralow. He has done teaching and choreographic residencies with such international companies as First Physical Theatre (Grahamstown , South Africa), Kannon Dance (St. Petersburg, Russia), and Ekaterinburg Contemporary Arts Centre (Ekaterinburg, Russia).
At the local level, in addition to creating work for Tsunami, John has been commissioned to set works on such Louisiana companies as Of Moving Colors and Baton Rouge Ballet. John is also active in teaching having recently taught residencies at Rhodes University (South Africa), the Open Look Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, the University of Utah, Utah Valley State College, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as well as master classes at the American College Dance Festival, Louisiana Dance Festival and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA).
Frances Gremillion (Dancer/ Choreographer/Yoga Teacher) began her career dancing numerous roles for the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. In Louisiana and Pennsylvania, Frances continued dancing as a featured company dancer with Anne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers Company, Alchemy Dance Company, and the Cangelosi Dance Project. Other dance projects include working with Group Motion, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and multiple creative collaboration projects with Colleen Hooper Performance Projects. Receiving her MFA in Dance Choreography and Performance from Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music, Frances had the privilege performing in professional works by Merian Soto, Philip Grosser, and Maurice Wright. Frances presented choreography in the 2010 and 2011 Philadelphia Fringe Festivals. In 2011 she choreographed and produced Revolving Spaces a site-specific, multi-media dance piece that was conceived with Colleen Hooper. As a Vinyasa yoga instructor, Frances has accumulated 360-hrs of teacher training and taught at both Dhyana Yoga and Temple University. Frances is also a Vipassana meditator. She completed her first 10-day meditation retreat at the Dhama Dhara Vipassana Meditation Center in July 2012. Overjoyed to be living in her home state again, Frances is grateful to be dancing with Tsunami Dance Company.
Cristine Barona studied ballet from the age of three at Ballet Hysell with Diane Carney and Harvey Hysell and continued her studies in ballet, contemporary dance, and jazz at the London Contemporary Dance School in London, England. Cristine has performed with Anne Burr Dance Company, Laura Jerez, Gabe Pickard, Monique Moss and Tsunami Dance Company in New Orleans.
Mary Glackmeyer joined Tsunami Dance Company in October of 2009, shortly after relocating to New Orleans from New York City. She is originally from Columbus, GA where she began dancing at the age of 6. She trained extensively in ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance while performing with a pre-professional performance company nationally and internationally. She graduated Valedictorian from the University of the Arts with a B.F.A. in Modern Dance Performance in 2006. She has danced with Dodge Dance Company, Silver-Brown Dance Company, Salim Gauwloos, Sidra Bell Dance NY, and Tsunami Dance. She was also a member of the New Orleans Hornets Honeybees Dance team and has been featured in fitness DVDs, TV shows and print ads. She will appear later this year in Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy. She is a Jivamukti Yoga Certified Instructor and loves sharing her passion for yoga and movement in New Orleans. Join her on the yoga mat or on the dance floor in celebrating this wonderful world we are a part of. Big thanks to Tsunami Dance and Kettye Volts for the opportunity to perform and dance in this great city.
, Scenographer. Recent work includes Lighting Design for Southern Rep productions of The Piano Teacher, In The Other Room, aka The Vibrator Play, Afterlife, and Incendiary; Scenery, Costume and Prop design for The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane’s productions of
Love’s Labor’s Lost and The Tempest; and Costume Design for all Delgado 2010 productions. She is also the Technical Coordinator for New Orleans Ballet Association. Her association with Kettye and Tsunami Dance began with their first performance and continued until Katrina when she went on the road with Parsons Dance company as their company manager and then to LSU to gain a Master of Landscape Architecture. She rejoined them for Covers and loves being a part of this amazing company.
Louviere + Vanessa
Known for works combining the mediums of film, photography and printmaking. They utilize Holga cameras, scanners, 8mm film, destroyed negatives, wax, blood, and gold.Did you know … ?
Jeff Louviere and three other artists created the world’s largest painting, a 76,000 square foot image of Elvis which was included in the “Guiness Book of World Records.”
Vanessa Brown began photographing at age 12 and won a Kodak International Award of Excellence in Photography at age 17.
Eric Thielman studied at the Pittsburgh CLO, Virginia School of the Arts, University of the Arts in Philadelphia and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He has performed with Susan Stroman’s Contact, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Gateway Playhouse, Southern Rep Theater, Chard Gonzalez Dance Theatre, Maritza Mercado Narcisse, Brice Mousset and New Orleans Fringe. Eric has also choreographed for the Joffrey Ballet School NYC, the NOLA Project, the New Orleans Ballet Association and currently is on the dance and musical theatre faculty at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.