JAMES SAMSON is a native of Jefferson City, Missouri where he began his dance training at age eight, and later became a competitive gymnast. He decided to continue his studies in dance at Missouri State University where he earned a B.F.A. along with a minor in business. He went on to study as a scholarship student with the David Parsons New Arts Festival, the Pilobolus Intensive Workshop, and the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive. Mr. Samson’s professional career has included Charleston Ballet Theatre, New England Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, Take Dance and the Amy Marshall Dance Company. He has also set his own choreography on regional dance companies; being performed at the American College Dance Festival and Regional Dance America. Mr. Samson recently retired from the Paul Taylor Dance Company in New York City after 17 years.
MICHAEL BISHOP trained in the Vaganova based ballet technique as well as modern dance (Graham based), caribbean, improvisational and hip hop and joined T.A.L.K Dance Co. where he danced and toured internationally. Michael served as a rehearsal assistant to the choreographer Christopher Caines for the 2010 International Ballet Competition (IBC). In 2011, he received the Bezalel Award for outstanding artistic achievement in his senior class. Upon graduation Michael moved to New York and began training at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT). After studying at AAADT he performed and toured nationally with the David Gordon Pick Up Performance Company, performed with Deeply Rooted Productions in Chicago, taught at Edge School Of The Arts (ESOTA) in Queens, NY and went on to tour for two years with the International European Tour of West Side Story 2012-2014. Since returning to the states Michael joined ForzaMlizia Dance Company as the rehearsal director and choreographer staging several original works. He presented his choreography in the Fertile Grounds workshop in New York, performed with Anthony Williams as a member of LOVING BLACK in the original cast and revised production and is performing as the lead male dancer/poet/ puppeteer and ensemble member for The Dance of Life as apart of the Fringe Festival New York 2016. Michael is a member of the AGMA Union and is SAG-AFTRA Eligible.
Maria Vittoria Villa
A native of Italy, MARIA VITTORIA VILLA began her studies with Ballet and modern dance at “Centro Studi Coreografici Teatro Carcano”, Milano, where she graduated in 2013. She then was awarded with a scholarship at The Ailey School, where she performed with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in a work by Matthew Rushing. In 2014 she became a scholarship student at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance where she graduated in June 2016 after joining Graham 2, the junior company. In August 2016 she became a company member of Vanessa Long Dance Company and Smashwork.
CASSANDRA OREFICE is a dancer from Vancouver, WA. She holds an Associates of Art degree from Clark College. She has been studying dance sincethe age of three starting with CecchettiBallet, then at sixteen she discovered the joys of Contemporary, Jazz, Theater, and Aerial Silks. Cassandra has also held two titles in the Miss America Scholarship Pageant and one title in the Miss Universe Pageant. Since moving to New York she has danced for New York Couture Fashion Week, Toys-R-Us Children’s Fund Gala, opened up a private personal training facility with her partner and ate a lot of really really good food. Cassandra is honored to be a part of A Corona Works and to get the chance to perform with these beautiful dancers.
JAMES JOHNSON attended The Juilliard School and graduated with his BFA in dance in 2012. James has enjoyed the process and time with A Corona Works on “The Impossible Love” and “Just Joy.” He is also working with Young Soon Kim’s White Wave Dance Company, and prior to that he has worked with Alessandro Pellicani on a pre-production of “7 Doors, The Journey Within.” James has also worked in NYC with The Breton Follies, a show choreographed by Breton Tyner-Bryan and in a Nightmare: Horror Show production entitled “Broken” choreographed by Anthony Giorgio. Earlier engagements include performing in Boston for Touch Performance Art in a show called “AcousticaElectronica.” James has also worked with Attack Theatre Dance Company where he performed multiple productions and Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company where he was able to perform multiple productions on tour in the USA and Canada.
BRIAN CASTILLO grew up in Northern Jersey and now lives in NYC where he has been performing for the last seven years. He can currently be seen in Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More. Brian began dancing after graduating from Penn State, where he studied film. He has been a principal member of toUch Performance Art’s Acoustica Electronica since 2012. Some of Brian's greatest moments have been dancing in works by his mentors Brice Mousset and Mike Esperanza. He has also had the pleasure of performing with Mary John Frank, The People Movers, Schoen Movement Company, Rox Republic, E|N|Z|A, and director Derrick Belcham. Brian has trained at Springboard Danse Montreal and taken to the stage in works by Johannes Wieland, Spenser Theberge, and Elia Mrak. He greatly enjoys working in print and film and has been seen on ABC's The View and in the pages of Schön Magazine. He is overjoyed to be on this journey doing what he loves.
FERNANDO CARRILLO (New York, NY), Trained at the Ailey School in NYC. Mr. Carillo performed with Ailey II, Ballet Hispanico (AGMA), The Lion King (ACTORS EQUITY)-Broadway's 1st National Tour, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Worked with Hinton Battle in "Louis-The Movie" (SAG) and Bronx Casket - musical workshop. Performed at Carnegie Hall with Jessye Norman (choreography by Milton Myers) and the solo "Ready" from Alvin Ailey's Revelations for Alicia Alonso at the 40th Anniversary of Campañia de Ballet de Cuba with Ailey II in 1999. Mr. Carrillo has taught at the University of Iowa (MFA Candidate), The Ailey School, Joffrey Ballet School, The Juilliard School (as substitute for Milton Myers' classes), Kirov Academy of Ballet, JKO School at ABT, Marymount Manhattan College, The Actors Studio, NYU's Cap21 Musical Theatre Conservatory, Steps on Broadway, Peridance Capezio Dance Center. He is a proud member of AGMA, SAG and ACTOR's EQUITY.
FLAVIA SGOIFO born in Milan, Italy, raised in Athens, Greece and currently living in New York, U.S.A.- is an actress, writer, journalist and social media strategist. She holds a BA in Media & Communication from the “National and Kapodistrian University of Athens” and a 3-year Diploma in Theatre and Stage Acting from “Traga Drama School”. In 2014 -after winning the “Sanford Meisner Scholarship” to study Acting for Film and Television at the “New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts”-she moved to New York where she lives and works happily ever after.
Some of her Off-Broadway credits include: “Antigone” ,”The Spyglass Seven”, “Marino Faliero.The Doge of Venice” and ‘Bella Napoli”. She can also be seen in upcoming Amazon prime series “Brooklyn Ties”, Netflix original “Metropark” and feature film “Starling”.In addition Flavia works as a freelance arts and culture columnist for newspaper “The National Herald” and hosts “Flavia Sgoifo Show” on “Hellas Fm” radio station.
MUSIC DIRECTOR/PIANIST & SINGER
MARIO ROSINI, from Gioia del Colle, Italy, studied piano at the Niccolo Piccinni conservatory in Bari, but his artistic choices steered him towards musical styles that diverged from classical. For two years, he frequented the Umbria jazz clinics and won a scholarship for a course taught by Joe Zawinul on keyboard and computer music. He has had numerous collaborations with national and international jazzpop artists. He has performed as a pianist and vocalist on tour with Anna Oxa, Irene Grandi, Mia Martini, Rossana Casale, Tosca, Neri per Caso, Alex Britti, Gino Vannelli, and was the opening act for Al Jarreau and Michael Buble during their European tours. He frequently performs in live concerts with major exponents of the Italian and international jazz scene. He has released numerous recordings with the collaboration of artists such as Billy Cobham, Pino Daniele (his artistic producer), Mick Goodrick, Rossana Casale, Dirotta su Cuba, Fabrizio Bosso, and others. In 2004, he won second prize in the San Remo festival with the song, “Sei la Vita Mia.” Since 2008, he has been the President of the Mia Martini Prize. Since 2005, he has been professor of jazz singing at the Paisielllo Conservatory of Taranto and in 2012 also joined the faculty of the Duni di Matera Conservatory. Mario is currently the Music Director, Pianist, and Singer for the ACoronaworks productions, “Dinner with Friends” and “Dulcinea in Manhattan” directed by Alessandra Corona.
HERMAN PAYNE is a Juilliard graduate where he earned a BFA, and is proficient in ballet, modern, jazz, and hip-hop / jazz funk. He has performed with Aspen Ballet Company, and has appeared in the international tours of ‘Fosse’ under the direction of Debra McWaters, and the international tour of ‘West Side Story’ under the direction of Joey McKneely. On Broadway, Herman appeared in the musical ‘9 to 5’ choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbueler. For the New York City Center Encores’ series, Herman appeared in their productions of ‘The Wiz’, choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbueler, ‘House of Flowers’, choreographed by Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall, ‘The Pajama Game’ choreographed by Tony Award winner John Carrafa, and ‘The ID of BOB’, directed by Hinton Battle. From 2000-2013 Herman was in ‘The Radio City Christmas Spectacular’ choreographed by Linda Haberman. He was in ‘Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Special’. Besides working with Michael Jackson, Herman has performed with Mariah Carey, Usher, Mya, Destiny’s Child, Whitney Houston, and Deborah Cox. His extensive background in dance education includes his studies at Interlochen School of the Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Alvin Aiely American Dance Theater, Boston Ballet, and Jacob’s Pillow. Herman has choreographed many industrials, corporate events, and has taught at many summer intensive programs, including ‘The Broadway Theatre Project’ (Assistant Art Director), and Miami City Ballet.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, PARRIS MONE’T LEWIS began her years of performance and study at Ronald Edmonds Learning Center, Talent Unlimited High School for the Performing Arts and performed with the Songs of Solomon Inspirational Ensemble. Later she earned a Bachelor’s of Music Education K-12 from Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Miss Lewis has had opportunities to perform with organizations such as The Public Theatre, The Bronx Opera, The Martina Arroyo Foundation, Carnegie Hall, The Grady- Rayam Foundation, The American Heart Association, The National Endowment of the Arts, The United Negro College Fund, the Mayor’s Office of the City of Orlando, New York Fashion Week and for audiences as far as Colombia, South America and Cuba. While exploring songwriting and poetry, Ms. Lewis has recently performed currently performs with
The New York Choral Society, ColemanCollective and works as a Teaching Artist for The Leadership Program and the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall.
ARIANNA WELLMONEY is originally from Milan, Italy. When she was in high school, she directed, acted and produced her own webseries "PACLE" with her classmates. She moved to New York at the age of 19 to pursue acting and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2016.
Arianna has been featured in the webseries "Immigrants Eat it" and has also recently appeared in the new Snapchat's webseries "3018".
Arianna's Off Broadway credits include: Lord Byron's "Marino Faliero", Sophocles' "Antigone" and Michael Seebold's "Enoptromancy".
In 2017, Arianna was part of the movie "Dissonance", which was part of the Short Film Corner at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
THOMAS LENTAKIS, music composer, born in New York City, comes from a musical background: his mother was a concert pianist who studied at Julliard College, and both his mother and father played the accordion, often as a duo. Mr. Lentakis started studying the piano at the age of 7 and later also studied the drums and guitar. He formed his first band, the Poxdoctors, when he was 11 . After studying writing and music at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College, Mr. Lentakis co-founded the Agents, a New York-based band and started composing electronic music for dance productions. He has worked with various choreographers including Ramon Oller(Barcelona) , Renato Greco (Rome), and Alessandra Corona (New York).
Since 2012 Mr Lentakis has composed original music for all the productions of “A Corona Works” Dance/Theater Company.