Gayle Halperin is executive director of Bruce Wood Dance. Halperin and Bruce Wood® formed a partnership in 2010 and together with a group of Dallas investors launched Bruce Wood Dance Project. Halperin was born and raised in Connecticut and received her BA in dance from Connecticut College. She performed with Mel Wong Dance Company in New York from 1976 to 1984 and taught dance at Yale University and Southern Connecticut State University. She and her husband, Jim, relocated to Dallas in 1984. She went on to receive the first MFA degree in Dance at Texas Woman’s University (TWU). She was an Assistant Professor of Dance at TWU from 1988 to 1995. Halperin is very active in the nonprofit arts sector since leaving academic work. She is on the board of directors of TITAS PRESENTS; Advisory Board of Sammons Center for the Arts; President’s Council of Booker T. Washington HSPVA; and the SMU Meadows School of the Arts Advisory Board. As a DCNT board member, Halperin and her colleague, Linda James, founded the Dance Planet Festival. Halperin is Artistic Director of Dallas DanceFest. The James + Gayle Halperin Foundation is dedicated to supporting the arts in Dallas. They are the recipients of the 2011 Tom Adams Award of Appreciation for Dedication to TITAS and the Arts; 2011 Crystal Hope Award from AIDS Interfaith Network; and 2014 Sammons Center for the Arts Award. The Halperins are proud parents of two sons, Dave and Mikey. Gayle Halperin’s dream has always been to transform Dallas into a center for dance.
PHOTO BY BRIAN GUILLIAUX
Ellen Storeim has been the designing for Bruce Wood Dance since the dance company was formed in 2011. She has operated her graphic design company, Ellen Kendrick Creative, Inc., since 1985. Storeim creates branding and corporate identities, logos, brochures, advertising, marketing materials, and Web sites for clients in diverse industries ranging from rare coins to psychedelic rock posters. Her work as for Bruce Wood Dance pairs her love and passion for dance with her love and passion for design and communications. In September 2017, Storeim became the “maestra of merch,” expanding her business to include promotional products and employee awards programs.
Storeim lives in the beautiful mountain town of Evergreen, Colorado with her husband, Mike, and their three horses—Macaroni, Romey, and Wingman. She enjoys trail riding, horse showing, hiking, and skiing.
PHOTO BY KIMBERLY ANDERSON
Rebecca Butler joined the BWD team in May 2013 to assist with administration and marketing by placing a strong focus on building the company’s social media presence. Prior to working with BWD, she spent three years in corporate sales and marketing with Bluebonnet Nutrition, preceded by 14 years in store management and operations; purchasing; and regional marketing and merchandising at Whole Foods Market. While studying and performing dance throughout her youth and young adult years, she attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where she was awarded Honorable Mention in the Modern Dance and Choreography categories at the National YoungArts Foundation Competition. After receiving scholarship offers to California Institute of the Arts and New York University, she opted to attend Collin College to allow her to care for a terminally ill family member. Butler continued dancing off and on, winning a handful of ballroom competitions in the early 2000s. These days, she expresses her creativity through photos, videos, and quippy social media posts for BWDP. She also makes a mean cocktail.
PHOTO BY BRIAN GUILLIAUX
Danny Pietryk was a friend and close associate of Bruce Wood® for more than 20 years. Beginning at an early age, Pietryk has worked in every aspect of theater—from acting, directing, stage managing, and technical production—to box office and feeding the crew. His training in theater and psychology make him a perfect fit with the BWD team as company manager.
GRANTS + DEVELOPMENT
Pamela Deslorieux joined the BWD team in June 2016 as Development Associate. As former executive director of the Dance Council of North Texas (DCNT), she successfully helped shepherd the organization through a recession with the DCNT Board. During her seven-year tenure, the DCNT annual revenue grew 200 percent. A classically trained dancer with a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology, she founded and directed the University of Rhode Island Dance Company as a graduate student. Deslorieux was awarded the RI Artist-in-Residence in Dance and holds an Arts Management Certification from the University. Subsequently, she instituted a corporate fitness program for Sunbeam Corporation in Illinois in addition to performing, teaching dance and fitness, and designing dance curriculum. As part of a four-person team of volunteers, Deslorieux raised a previously unprecedented $465,000 in funds for St. Mark’s School of Texas where her sons graduated. Deslorieux was also a formation member of the Musical Theatre Track Emphasis at Booker T. Washington HSPVA—her daughter’s alma mater; Coordinator Communications, Membership, and Volunteers for the Music Guild; and a member of the Site-Based Decision Making Committee at Booker T. Washington HSPVA.
PHOTO BY BRIAN GUILLIAUX
Tony Tucci, a pre-eminent lighting designer, has been creating and recreating lighting for Bruce Wood Dance Project since the company’s inception in 2011. The Austin-based Tucci currently is resident lighting designer for Ballet Austin’s repertory; Long Center Opening; Metropolitan Classical Ballet; Washington Ballet; Houston Dance Salad; Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre; University of Texas at Austin Opera’s Turn of the Screw, Don Giovanni, La Curandera, Bastien und Bastienne, and Albert Herring. Additionally, Austin Musical Theatre keeps Tucci hopping with lighting design for Damn Yankees; Carousel; West Side Story; Annie; Gypsy; Jesus Christ Superstar; Music Man; Oklahoma; A Chorus Line; Carousel; and Sound of Music. Tucci is the recipient of two B. Iden Payne Awards and Critics Table Awards. His extensive design resumé also includes American Ballet Theater’s Configurations with Mikhail Baryshnikov and the video, Baryshnikov, Dancer and The Dance.
PHOTO BY AMITAVA SARKAR
John Ahrens began his career as a costume designer in New York City working with New York City Ballet and The Juilliard School. Among the many modern dance companies he has designed for are Martha Graham; Paul Taylor; Alvin Ailey; Merce Cunningham; and José Limón. In Texas, Ahrens has designed for the Dallas Ballet; Fort Worth Ballet; Ballet Austin; and Dancers Unlimited. His is pleased to work with the BWD dancers.
PHOTO BY BRIAN GUILLIAUX
Vincent Hardy, a University of the Arts alum, danced for Complexions Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden. During his career he had the opportunity to work both in the concert world and in commercial dance, television, and film. He has recieved the chance to dance for artists such as Donald McKayle, Christopher Huggins, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Luis Johnson, Zane Booker, Kim Bears Bailey, Desmond Richardson, and more.
During his time with Complexions Contemporary Ballet he developed a desire for higher education to enhance his craft and to better educate the upcoming generation of dancers. After applying to University of California Irvine (UCI) he was offered a full scholarship and there received his MFA. During this time he also went to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to receive a certification in Horton technique under the guidance of Ana Marie Forthsye.
Since then, Hardy has taught and choreographed both nationally and internationally at universities such as Hun Yang University (South Korea), Belhaven University, and University of North Texas. He was an artist in residence for organizations such as Texas Ballet Theatre II, Ad Deum Dance Company, Ecclesia Contemporary Ballet, and more. In addition, Hardy is currently company class instructor for both Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Bruce Woods Dance.
In 2017, he established the ZION DANCE PROJECT, a growing platform which provides professional dancers the space and opportunity to present faith-filled art for the kingdom of God.
photo by David Ochoa
Matt Rivera has spent the better part of the past 30 years dancing and performing on stages throughout the country and around the world, and off stage as a teacher, coach, and choreographer. He began his career on the concert stage performing with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago under the direction of founding director Lou Conte, and then in New York City with the companies of Eliot Feld and Twyla Tharp, as well as The American Dance Machine for the 21st Century. On the theater stage, Rivera worked with several Broadway touring companies, including Movin’ Out, Swing! (assistant dance captain), and CATS; off-Broadway in Garden of Earthly Delights (dance captain) and Lynne Alvarez’s Romola & Nijinsky; and most recently with the Las Vegas production of MAMMA MIA! where he also acted as dance captain. His Las Vegas credits also include Cirque Du Soleil’s Viva Elvis and acting as company instructor for NBT. Rivera is currently on faculty at several schools in the Dallas area.
PHOTO BY JASON WATSON
RED. PHOTO BY JENNIFER FERMAINT
BRUCE WOOD DANCE PROJECT was launched in Dallas in January 2011 to champion the vision, leadership, and artistry of nationally acclaimed Texan dance-maker Bruce Wood.® BWDP picked up where the successful Fort Worth-based Bruce Wood Dance Company left off.
Why is BWD the most celebrated dance company in Dallas?
Over the past nine years, BWD has received rave reviews and awards, and has been included on every annual Top Ten Dance list by The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and TheaterJones.com. Fortified by Wood’s legacy, Kimi Nikaidoh led this exhilarating Dallas-based company into its eighth year with new work and fresh new collaborations. Nikaidoh recently relocated to Los Angeles, passing the torch to long-time BWD creative member Joy Bollinger.
Since you’re on this site, chances are you’re a discerning dance lover with a passion for compelling choreography and transcendent dancing.
We’ve got good news.
You have the opportunity to see an amazing show this November when BWD presents Harvest at the Moody Performance Hall. Mark your calendar now for November 15+16 at 8:00 PM.
What distinguishes Bruce Wood Dance?
“It’s because of the work,” was Wood’s favorite answer. BWD is Wood’s second company. A group of Dallas investors in 2010 lured him from Fort Worth to base a company in Dallas after the renowned Bruce Wood Dance Company folded in 2007. Why? Dance-goers missed his creativity. They missed the excitement of what he was going to create next. They missed the buzz that surrounded his performances.
During his 20 years as an artistic director and choreographer, Wood created more than 80 ballets acclaimed for their originality, innovation, and humanity. Spanning
funny to sad, goofy to surreal, you can identify; you can feel the warmth of a
tender moment or the sadness of loss. Wood demystified dance and captured the audience like no other artist in the region. His genius for creating dances that tether us to our humanity also generated incredible enthusiasm for the performing arts. Along the way he added to his legacy by mentoring the next generation of choreographers and performers.
Bruce Wood® was a trailblazer in true Texan fashion. He did it big.
When Nikaidoh took the helm following his untimely death in May 2014, she expanded the company’s choreographic range through new commissions from artists whose philosophies were either akin to Wood’s aesthetic or influenced by it. Nikaidoh commissioned 2017 Princess Grace-awardee Bryan Arias to create My Heart Remembers; and 2017 Bessie-nominated Katarzyna Skarpetowska to create the Klezmer-inspired piece, Yesod. She invited Joy Bollinger and Albert Drake III to create dances that ultimately garnered tremendous praise. During her tenure as artistic director, she also choreographed two outstanding world premieres for the company, Find Me, and Bloom.
In The Dallas Morning News, Manuel Mendoza applauded, “Led by the revival of a riveting Bruce Wood masterpiece, the late choreographer’s company put on one of the best dance shows of the year this weekend at Dallas City Performance Hall. The eclectic program included premieres of two accomplished works that share qualities with Wood’s intimate and touching human-scale approach while also doing their own thing.”
Over the past 20 years, Wood’s productions have had a lasting impact on dancers, audiences, patrons, and culture. Among other accolades, BWD was named Best Dance Company by D Magazine editors in 2013, 2014, and 2017. BWD was awarded “Best of Dallas Voice” 2014-2017, is on the 2018-2020 Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster. and has been included on every annual media Top 10 Dance List since 2011.
MY HEART REMEMBERS. PHOTO BY JENNIFER FERMAINT
The mission of Bruce Wood Dance is to present high-caliber, original, contemporary choreography that
harnesses the power of dance as a tool for entertainment, enrichment, and healing. Fortified by Bruce Wood®’s
aesthetic, BWD produces and maintains his repertoire, commissions new work by resident choreographers and
guest dance-makers, and contributes to the quality of life in Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas, and across the nation.
Bruce Wood Dance Company is a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization. We are grateful for the support of our sponsors.
Bruce Wood is a registered trademark.