Weslie Ching has been working as a modern dance choreographer since 2014. Her work has been shown in venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Ruth Page Center for the Arts (Chicago), Dixon Place (NY), and ODC Theater (SF). She received a Santa Barbara Independent "Indy" award for choreography in 2016 and 2019. Weslie holds a BFA from UC Santa Barbara where she was a Regents Scholar and recipient of the Undergraduate Research Award for Dance.
Born in Los Angeles, Nancy Colahan received her early classical training from Dimitri and Francesca Romanoff in San Jose, CA. After high school graduation, she moved to NYC, training initially at ABT, eventually moving on to train with Finis Jung, Marjorie Mussman, David Howard and Nadine Revene. As her professional career developed, her greatest influence and constant inspiration was the great ballet teacher Maggie Black with whom she studied until Maggie’s retirement in the early ‘90’s. Performing and touring extensively, Nancy performed with the Alvin Ailey American Repertory Ensemble (1 year), the Joyce Trisler Danscompany (4 years) and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company (9 years), dancing in the works of Alvin Ailey, Lucas Hoving, Milton Myers, Joyce Trisler, Charles Moulton, Donald McKayle, Doris Humphrey and Ruth St. Denis. Nancy was involved in the creation of many of the dances that Lar choreographed in the years between 1979 and 1989. (Cavalcade, A Brahms Symphony, Big Shoulders, Tabernacle, Adagio and Rondo for Glass Harmonica, Rhapsody in Blue, From Paris to Jupiter.)
In 1990, Nancy was invited by Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mark Morris to dance with the White Oak Dance Project, performing in the works of Mark Morris, Merce Cunningham, David Gordon, Paul Taylor, Tere O’Connor, Hanya Holm and Lar Lubovitch. From 1996 to 2004, Nancy performed with American Repertory Dance Company, a company that sustained America’s formidable modern dance legacy through research, reconstruction and performances of classic solos created by the great modern dance visionaries. Nancy danced in solos by Ruth St. Denis, Eve Gentry, Sophie Maslow, Jane Dudley, Michio Ito, Doris Humphrey, Agnes de Mille, Peggy Baker, Andrea Woods and Christopher Pilafian.
Nancy has been creating dances that have entered the repertories of the University of California Dance Companies; Choreo-Flecks & Meyer-Moves (2003), Sweet Summer Suite in the Winter (2004), Cascade: No End Point (2008), “…she passes through…” (2009), Elastic Flip (2010), No Freedom Like a Dance (2011), Deep Currents (2012), A Trancing Way (2013). Since 2010, these works have been performed by the company in Europe, primarily during the Italian touring that occurs each spring.
DESIGN / COLLABORATORS
MICHAEL KLAERS, lighting designer. Mr. Klaers has designed lighting for SBDT productions since 2012, including A Leap of Faith (2012-13), Time in Motion (2013-14), Common Ground (2015), the 40th Anniversary Season (2015-16) and Santa Barbara Dance Theater and Friends (2016). His regional theatre credits include Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, Indiana Repertory Theatre.