Wednesday, April 3 at 6PM

Join us to celebrate the 2023 Arts Council Choreography Fellows!

The 2024 NJ State Council on the Arts Choreographers’ Showcase celebrates the dynamic and diverse artistic visions of 14 of the 2023 Arts Council Individual Choreography Fellows.  These talented artists bring the beauty and athleticism of dance to the SOPAC stage!

Selected every two years, choreographers submit samples of their work to an independent peer panel, who selects recipients based solely on artist quality.  Artists can receive up to $32,000 to be used towards furthering their artistic goals.

This program is conducted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, in partnership with the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.  To learn more about the Individual Artist Fellowship program, visit the Mid Atlantic Arts website.

Moving Into the Future: New Jersey Choreographers’ Festival is a co-sponsored project of SOPAC and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Performing on April 3

Eun Hee Ahn – Korean Traditional Dance of Choomnoori
Estrellx Supernova
Loretta Fois
Ariel Grossman – Ariel Rivka Dance
and Simone McCrear, winner of SOPAC’s Paul Bartick Emerging Artist Award


For a complete list of the 2023 NJ State Council on the Arts Individual Choreography Fellows, CLICK HERE.


Meet the Choreographers

Eun Hee Ahn – Korean Traditional Dance of Choomnoori

Eun Hee Ahn is the Director of Korean Traditional Dance Of Choomnoori (KTDOC) and Korean Culture Service (NY) Born in Seoul, South Korea, Ahn started her dancing at the age of eight and majored in Korean Dance at the Dankook University. She continued her education in Korean Traditional Dance at the Kookmin University for her teaching license.

Eun Hee Ahn has performed and received numerous awards, 3rd place in 5th National Korean dance competition and Best Art choreographer at the Asian traditional performance competition, Grand Prize in the United States. She performed at the Kremlin in Russia, The Kennedy Center, the United Nations Headquarters, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Bergen County Plaza (NJ), “Hope for Humanity ”, Comfort Women Forum at Columbia University (NY).

In 2008, Eun Hee Ahn established KTDOC Dance company, KTDOC was first to start a program introducing Korean music and dance Korean Culture Night at BCC. She held Korean Night performances in 2015, (Ridgewood), 2016 (Paramus), 2019 (Teaneck), and 2022 (Alvin Ailey American Theater) etc.

She has many classes and performances in New Jersey public schools to promote Korean culture. Also performed at the NBC today show to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the PyeongChang Olympics. She continues teaching Korean dance, various percussion techniques to all ages at her school and continues to perform and  educate people in the United state.

Ahn’s piece < K-Drum Ensemble> is a dynamic performance in which the dancer first wears drums and dance to rhythmic beats, and then the drummers bring out the drums and play the drums dynamically.  The solid drum sound rocks the inside of the deep and heavy ground, and the fine and soft dance of the dancers echo the glory and joy from the ground.  The drums deepen in sound and crescendos to a fevered and intricate movement. The climax encompasses a rhythm that penetrates deep into the bones and captures the essence of our souls.  It is a dynamic work that adds excitement with various drum beats and colorful dances.


Estrellx Supernova

Estrellx Supernova, who uses they/them pronouns, is an Afro-Guatemalan-American choreographer, performer, curator, and writer. Their performance alias, EHQS, is the root component of their macro-vision called The Universe of Rhizomatic Tenderness (TUoRT), an emerging ecosystem designed to empower Queer and Trans Creatives of the Global Majority through healing-based social choreographies.

Choreographically, Estrellx integrates club spaces as sites of generative dissonance, sites for their embodied unraveling. Estrellx insists on asking, “Are we celebrating or mourning or both? What do you really want and how exactly do you want it? How can the notion of quantum entanglement support us with co-creating alternative futures?” Estrellx implements Qi Energetic principles, divination, systems of improvisation, sonic scripts, and eco-drag into their ritualistic performative language.

Estrellx has choreographed several solo and collaborative works including: Animate, Intimate (Cycle 1): Points of Encounter (2023), Real Talk #2: VERSE (2022), and they are currently distilling their research into a tarot deck called El Tarot de Quebrantamiento, which they are aiming to publish by Fall 2025.

Estrellx  has recently received a New Jersey Individual Artist Fellowship Award (2023), Djerassi Residency (2022), Creative Capital Award (2020), San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) Individual Artist Grant Award (2019), a Princess Grace in Choreography Award (2019), amongst other awards.

Estrellx’s piece The Hanged Them (in Reverse Cowgirl) or i told you so: [i host, you guest] explores the polarity created between the words pleasure : racism, surprise : boundary, and cookie : crumble, neutral : body; words that emerged for Estrellx during a workshop they took in 2023 with Portuguese choreographer, Vera Mantero. In addition to the tension that these pairs engender within Estrellx, the words also brought reflections to the surface related to being an American, the facade of the American Dream, stark inequity and uneven power relations since 1776, and that which lies subtly yet prominently in the dark wet corner of the room you are most afraid of. The Hanged Them attempts to illuminate the already precarious foundations of a nation born out of violence and asks, “What does it mean to be born out of violence and where do we go from here? Are we in the after-math or right in the middle? Or… are we breaking even? What movement can be found in in-difference?” The Hanged Them stands as an embodied testimonial, a form Estrellx witnessed within the Pentecostal church context they grew up within so therefore, queering the form, and sourcing pleasure as a lubricant for traversing explosive terrain is at the heart of their performative proposal.

Explore more of Estrellx’s work on Instagram @estrellx_supernova.


Loretta Fois

Loretta Fois is a performing artist, choreographer, and teacher who works with movement, music, and language. She received her M.F.A. in Dance from Ohio State University, a CAGS in Expressive and Creative Arts from Salve Regina University and a B.A. in Theatre/Chemistry from The College of the Holy Cross. Fois is the Director of Dance at Raritan Valley Community College and, as Director of the Espressione Corporea Project, offers Expressive Arts classes and workshops for adults and children. She is an Early-Stage Facilitator with the Alzheimer’s Association, leading Creative Arts Memory Cafes.

As an advocate for arts education, Fois served on the DanceNJ Board for over 25 years, was on the Writing Team for the NJDOE Performing Arts K-12 Curriculum Standards, and sat on the N.J. Department of Education S.E.L. (Social and Emotional Learning) Arts Task Force. She has also been a teaching artist for the N.J. Department of Education and Papermill Playhouse, and faculty at Mason Gross School of the Arts, CUNY, Ohio State University, Union County College, Middlesex County’s School of Performing Arts, and New Jersey School of Ballet.

Fois studied Dalcroze and Espressione Corporea in Italy and New York and has presented at National Dance Education, Dalcroze Society of America, and American College Dance conferences, and the 2023, 2021, and 2019 International Conference of Dalcroze Studies. Fois received three N.J. State Council on the Arts Choreography Fellowships (2022, 2017, and 2011), and her work has been performed at Joe’s Pub, DUMBO, Ailey Citigroup Theatre, Carnegie Mellon, Dixon Place, Greenspace, YourMove, SMUSH, and the 2019 International Human Rights Festival. She has performed the works of various artists, including Claire Porter, Ellen Cornfield, Pat Graney, Ralph Lemon, Sabatino Verlezza, and Stephen Koplowitz. Fois is working toward her Ph.D. in Humanities and Technology at Salve Regina University, focusing on a new materialist approach to ethics in group improvisational play. In addition to her movement work, Fois sings with the Umoja Imani Songsters and Caritas Chamber Chorale.

Her piece, Ludic Conversations, explores the intersection of structure and improvisation. The motivic development of the piece is in constant flux as each performer responds to and builds upon the changing rhythmic, melodic, and gestural elements. Improvisation “invites us into whole new kinds of human relationships and fresh harmonies, in that the structure, idiom, and rules are not dictated by any authority, but created by the players. Shared art making is, in and of itself, the expression of, the vehicle for, and the stimulus to human relationships. The players, in and by their play, build their own society.” (Nachmanovitch, 1990)


Ariel Grossman – Ariel Rivka Dance

Ariel Grossman is a native New Yorker trained at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts and Joffrey Ballet School. She earned a B.S. in Dance, honors, and a Minor in Women’s Studies from Skidmore College.

Grossman’s work has been presented globally, including BAM Fisher, NJPAC, NYLA, Bryant Park, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Rutgers University, Hann Sahne Theater, TR, and across the nation in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Houston, Cleveland, Florida, Oklahoma, Detroit, and Memphis. In 2023, her work will be presented in Périgord and Paris, France, and Bari, Italy. 

Grossman created original pieces commissioned by Dance Lab NY, Konverjdans, Ballet Vero Beach, and Skidmore College. She has collaborated with Rioult Dance NY, Taylor 2, Heidi Latsky, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, and Sean Curran. She is a past recipient of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (New) Moves Fellowship, Monira Performance Residency, and a Nimbus Arts Center artist residency. 

In 2008, she founded Ariel Rivka Dance, an all-female contemporary dance company based in New Jersey.  ARD’s mission is to champion female creatives through original choreography, commissioned music, and curated educational programming. Through movement, ARD creates a community of vulnerability and acceptance, providing opportunities for hope and connection. Ariel Rivka Dance is committed to creating work that explores emotionally driven movement with technique and structure. Collaboration and accessibility are the heart of ARD, and they produce shows that incorporate newly commissioned music from living composers, exposing our audiences to quality artistry in an inviting way. 

Grossman’s piece, (Un)Coupled, explores the raw, poignant journey of uncoupling.  While societal norm pressures partnership and co-dependency, this piece is about learning how to depend on yourself first and foremost, and seeking community for additional support.  This is the beautiful part of life. 


Simone McCrear

Simone McCrear, a senior at Columbia High School, is the winner of SOPAC’s 2023 Paul Bartick Emerging Artist Award.  McCrear began dancing at four years old, taking weekly classes at Inspirational Dance in Maplewood, New Jersey.  In 2019, she won the High Gold, High Score, Technical Difficulty, and First Place awards for her contemporary solo at the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts (NADAA) competition.  Then, in 2023, she received the New Jersey Governor’s Award in Arts Education for Exceptional Artistry and Community Leadership in Dance. McCrear has studied in Joffrey Ballet School’s Jazz & Contemporary Summer Intensive and regularly takes Street-style classes at Broadway Dance Cetner and Brickhouse Studio.  Her dedication to dance and the arts extends outside of her own training, as she has both taught and assisted classes for children ages 4-10 at her local studio for the past three years.  After college, she intends to pursue a career as a professional dancer and entertainer.  As a recipient of the Paul Bartick Emerging Artist Award, SOPAC recognizes McCrear’s exceptional commitment to and talent in the arts.


About the New Jersey State Council on the Arts

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State and a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. The Council believes the arts are central to every element we value most in a modern society including: human understanding; cultural and civic pride; strong communities; excellent schools; lifelong learning; creative expression; and economic opportunity. To learn more about the Council, please visit


About the Paul Bartick Emerging Artist Award

Presented annually to a middle or high school student, the Paul Bartick Emerging Artist Award honors young artists who have shown exceptional commitment to and talent in the arts.  Honorees may be painters, sculptors, musicians, poets, dancers, actors, and more.

To be eligible for the award, students must be nominated by an arts teacher or instructor who will submit an application on their behalf to SOAPC in the spring of each year.  Selected students receive a commemorative plaque and a monetary award to be used to support continuing arts education, lessons, programs, or materials.


Accessibility & Accommodation

 For details, visit our Accessibility page.

If you or a member of your party needs assistance, please notify SOPAC at the time your tickets are purchased. Contact the SOPAC Box Office at (973) 313-2787 or


Title Banner Photo Credit: Steve Vaccariello, from his exhibition Just Dance in the Herb + Milly Iris Gallery.

Collage Photo Credit: Eun Hee Ahn’s choreography; still from Estrellx Supernova’s work; Ariel Rivka Dance.