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Donna Von Joo-Tornell

Donna Von Joo-Tornell is the Artistic Director of Atelier5. The company’s objectives include collaborations with other artists, dance performances in alternative spaces, and is informed by the belief that everyone is entitled to dance and all people have the ability to understand the language of contemporary dance.

Her most recent production was Cradle and All, a dance piece in three parts including He Sat Down Beside Her, Small Secrets, and Cradle and All. This dance looked at children’s nursery rhymes and their overlooked violent and unsettling elements. Prior to this she choreographed Remaining Recording Time  Is. . .  .  She has enjoyed several collaborations with artist Sieglinde Van Damme. Under her direction, Atelier5 received a Mentor Graphics Foundation grant to do a participatory children’s dance event at the San Jose Museum of Art.

Ms. Von Joo-Tornell earned her BA in dance from San Jose State University where she had the opportunity to dance with Limón West Dance Company, Limón Company, and UDT (University Dance Theater). She has also been seen in Cat Wiilis’ Diaspora, with Stamping Zebra Dance Company, Crash, Burn, and Die dance company, BelcCobra Dance, Shipp Dance Theatre, and Margaret Wingrove Dance Company. She has choreographed more than a dozen pieces and seen them produced through Dance Romanesque, DanceWorks, Choreographers Collective, and Eddie Gale's Concert for World Peace, at Circle of Palms during National Dance Week’s Dancing Downtown in San José, California and Modernbook /Gallery 494 in Palo Alto, California.

In addition she is a resident dance artist for ArtPath and has worked for Young Audiences San José and Silicon Valley. Both are programs that bring dance to primary schools. She is also on Faculty at Dancenter in Capitola and the Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center in Santa Cruz. Finally, she has been a dancer for a diverse collection of choreographers including: Sharon Took-Zozaya, Kim Shipp, Emilie Plauché, Rick Heiman, Erica Essner, Fred Mathews, Gary Masters, Robert Regala, Sylvie Minot, and others. Through workshops she has had the opportunity to work with Ralph Lemon, Daniel Nagrin, Carlos Orta, Nina Watt, Carla Maxwell, Raphaél Boumaila, and Ernestine Stodelle.

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