Staff and Board

Michelle Buchanan, Executive Director

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Michelle joined Motus Dance in 2009 when she performed in Broken Fragile Mind. After years of dancing, choreographing, and teaching for Motus, she became the Executive Director is 2017.  She moved here from San Diego, where she was a member of Butterworth Dance Company, and was a guest artist for several other productions including San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances.  She has also lived and danced in Hawaii where she was a teacher, choreographer, and dancer, and part of the Still Frame in Motion and The Boundless Tour. Originally from Oregon where she found her love of modern dance at Oregon State University, she began her dance training in ballet and performed with the Eugene Ballet Company.  Michelle is excited to be a part of such a dynamic group, and is eternally grateful for the love and unending support of her husband Sean and her son Dylan.

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Bethany Wells Bak, Director of Movement Education

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Bethany Wells Bak holds a Bachelor of Fine and Applied Arts in Dance Performance from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was a member of Memphis’ Project:Motion Modern Dance Collective for four seasons, where she presented 5 original dance-works. She also co-directed Project:Motion’s site-specific spring 2014 Show, “PROMenade”, alongside Artistic Director, Rebecca Rose Cochran. Bethany served as the Class Coordinator for the Collective where she worked to deepen the community class offerings with the addition of Adult Beginner Dance, Body-Rolling, Yoga, Contemporary Jazz and African, Memphis Jookin, and Somatics.

Bethany is a co-founder of Dance Makers Workshop, alongside her collaborative partner Sarah Ledbetter. She is passionate about dance education outreach and bringing world-class artists to the South. In July of 2014, Bethany and Sarah, as Dance Makers Workshop, hosted The Urban Bush Women’s Memphis COLLABoratory, a two-day professional dance workshop with Maria Bauman of Urban Bush Women. Bethany and Sarah also hosted longtime William Forsythe dancer Elizabeth Corbett for a weeklong workshop at the new Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education and The University of Memphis in October of 2015. Dance Makers Workshop most recently presented and filmed an experimental performance project called ROSA in May of 2016 at The Darkhorse Theater in Nashville, TN.
Since moving to Indianapolis in 2016, Bethany has performed with Motus Dance Theatre and Rebecca Pappas, and has presented new dance-works in Cultivate: An Emerging Choreographer Showcase in October 2016 and Flourish: A Modern Dance Showcase in June 2017. Most recently, her dance-work Lauren & Bethany was selected for live performance at this year’s Midwest RAD Fest.

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Lauren Curry, Director of Development

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Lauren received her early training from the Academy of Ballet Internationale in Indianapolis and continued her studies in both dance and dance pedagogy in Texas under the tutelage of Susan Clark. She loves ballet, but only the friendly parts.

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Lani Weissbach, Director of Artist Residencies and Embodied Learning

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Lani Weissbach is a performer, teacher and choreographer of contemporary dance and somatic movement based in Indianapolis, and her ongoing investigation of Butoh has deeply informed her work for over 25 years. As founder and director of Shen & Bones Performance Group based in Erie, PA, Lani created and performed for 17 years in numerous works of “quiet introspection, raw power, evocative imagery and dark themes” (Steve Sucato, national dance writer/critic). In addition to frequent engagements throughout Northwestern PA, her work has been presented by the Cleveland Public Theatre, The Vangeline Theater in NYC, The D.C. Arts Center in Washington, D.C., the BeBe Theater in Asheville, N.C. and Links Hall in Chicago. As a devoted movement educator, Lani has worked in a variety of settings and with a wide range of students, from professional dancers to the elderly. She has served on the faculties of numerous colleges and universities in Northwestern Pennsylvania and the surrounding region, teaching both studio and academic courses. From 2014-16, Lani founded and co-directed Soma Movement Arts, a movement studio devoted to somatic movement education in Erie, PA. Lani is an associate artist with Pounds Per Square Inch, a Toronto-based interdisciplinary performance company and is featured in Sondra Fraleigh’s Butoh: Metamorphic Dance and Global Alchemy (University of Pittsburgh Press 2010). She currently teaches for a variety of organizations and is on the staff of Indianapolis Movement Arts Collective in Indianapolis. Lani holds an M.F.A. in dance from Arizona State University, is a Registered Somatic Movement Educator (RSME) with the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA) and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500) with Yoga Alliance. For more information, please visit: www.laniweissbach.com.

 

 

Board Members:

Ashley Sherman

Faith Cohen

Idrienne Steiman

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