Company Bios

DAVID DORFMAN, artistic director of David Dorfman Dance since 1987, has been Professor of Dance and now Chair at Connecticut College since 2004. He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2005 to continue his research and choreography in the topics of power and powerlessness, including activism, dissidence, and underground movements, culminating in DDD’s, underground, which toured for four years engaging community dance casts in each venue. DD has also been honored with four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, three New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships, an American Choreographer's Award, the first Paul Taylor Fellowship from The Yard, and a New York Dance & Performance Award ("Bessie") for DDD's community-based project Familiar Movements (The Family Project). His work has been commissioned widely in the U.S. and in Europe, most recently by AXIS Dance Company (Oakland), Bosoma Dance Company (Boston), Bedlam Dance Company (London), d9 Dance Collective (Seattle), Eisenhower Dance Theatre (Detroit), and the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia for the musical Green Violin, for which he won a 2003 Barrymore Award for best choreography. 2012 found DD appearing on several episodes of A Chance to Dance, a reality show on OvationTV starring his friends the Ballet Boyz. The Ballet Boyz also invited DDD to make a short video for BBC Channel 4 Random Acts. We Don’t Own a Dog can be seen at Dorfman tours an evening of solos and duets, Live Sax Acts, with dear friend/collaborator Dan Froot, most recently in New York City and at the Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe.  As a performer, he toured internationally with Kei Takei's Moving Earth and Susan Marshall & Co. Dorfman hails from Chicago and holds a BS in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis (1977), and an MFA in dance from Connecticut College (1981).

NIK OWENS is a New York based performer who was born and raised in Altadena, California where he began his movement experience with gymnastics at age three and continued at a competitive level until he was 18.  Nik began to study dance seriously at Wesleyan University, where he graduated with honors, with a BA in Dance and a certificate in Environmental Studies. He has had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Nicholas Leichter, Tania Isaac, Kyle Abraham and has performed works by Vanessa Tamburi , The Dance Exchange, Gierre Godley’s Project 44, Mersiha Mesihovic’s CircuitDebris, and Tiffany Mills Company. Nik currently dances with Raja Kelly's thefeath3rtheory, Bryn Cohn + Artists, David Dorfman Dance, Helen Simoneau Danse, and Abdul Latif's D2D/T.



KENDRA PORTIER is a performer, teacher, and dance-maker based in NYC. Direct from Ohio, Kendra trained and performed with BalletMet and received a BFA with Honors from the Ohio State University. Kendra has since become a nationally recognized Teaching and Choreographic Artist at numerous colleges, festivals, and dance institutions, with her professional commissions organized under the moniker BAND | portier. A member of DDD since 2010, Kendra continues to perform with Vanessa Justice Dance; collaborate with Annie Kloppenberg & Company; remains on faculty at Gibney Dance Center; and is an MFA candidate at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.



SIMON THOMAS-TRAIN began his dance training as a freshman cross-country ski recruit at Middlebury College in 2005. Ever-fascinated by the intersection of the artist and the athlete, he has doggedly pursued dance wherever he can since graduation in 2009. He has had the pleasure of working with Satya Roosens/Studio Eclipse, Big Action Performance Ensemble, Attack Theatre, Alexandra Beller, Kendra Portier, Third Rail Projects' "Then She Fell", Rosie Herrera Dance Theater, Red Dirt Dance, Tiffany Mills and David Dorfman Dance. Simon creates his own blend of collaborative multisisciplinary performance under the name The Space We Make with his co-director Caitlin Scholl.



AYA WILSON is a dance artist currently residing in New York City. Originally of Normal, Illinois, she graduated with a BFA in dance from the University of Iowa. In New York City, Aya has worked with choreographers including Amy Jacobus Dance Projects, Tara Willis, Kensaku Shinohara, and Sarah Council Dance Projects. Most recently, she has been dancing with the A.O. Movement Collective, Mariah Maloney Dance, Kendra Portier/BAND|portier, Nadia Tykulsker/Spark(edIt) Arts, and David Dorfman Dance, with whom she was honored to travel and perform abroad through DanceMotion USA. She also occasionally creates her own choreographic work and enjoys teaching dance, most recently in the Contemporary Forms series at Gibney Dance Center.